Reading Guide

  1. What impressions and questions come to mind as you look at the front cover, including the subtitle “Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology?”

  2. “’All that stuff is basically true.’” (p.66) What criteria do you use to decide if something is basically true? What criteria do you expect your UM professors and textbooks to use to portray something as basically true?

  3. Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder has numerous illustrations.  How do the illustrations contribute to your understanding of the writing?  What else do you wish was illustrated? 

  4. What evidence do you find for how the museum got its name as the Museum of Jurassic Technology?  How apt do you think this name is?

  5. What are your earliest memories and impressions of museums and how do they compare to David Wilson’s early experiences of museums? (pp. 42-43)

  6. Think about the most intriguing person you’ve ever met or the most unusual natural phenomenon, technology or artwork you’ve ever encountered.  Is there anything ironic about this person or thing that would call for its inclusion in the Museum of Jurassic Technology?

  7. What do you find most ironic or fantastical about the arrangement of this book?

  8. Weschler indicated that the discovery of the New World catalyzed the collecting of wonders in Europe.  Think about the items in your room or home; what could make these items a “wonder” in 500 years?

  9. What is your reaction to the folk remedies: urine, duck’s breath, scissors at the wedding party, mice on toast (pp.104-106)?  What is your experience of folk remedies, such as treatments for the common cold, used as you were growing up?

  10. If you were to meet Lawrence Weschler, what are three questions that you would like to ask him about his career, his visits to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and his conversations with Mr. Wilson? What three questions would you ask Mr. Wilson?

For additional reading guide questions, please click here.







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