Three Cups of Team - Chapter Questions
• is “failure” an appropriate title for Chapter 1? discuss/explain.
• The first line of the story begins “Greg mortenson was lost.” The word “lost” can have both a literal
and a figurative meaning. state what you think the author meant by this sentence.
• What role does the setting – the high altitude and the treacherous terrain of the Himalayas – play in
the initial events of this story?
• Who assists mortenson on his way to Korphe?
• What does mortenson drink for nourishment? Why is this significant to the story?
• What does mortenson discover about the quality of life in Korphe, specifically in regard to healthcare
and education? in what ways is the quality of life in Korphe better or worse than your own?
• Who is Haji ali?
• How do the villagers help mortenson? How does mortenson help the villagers?
• What promise does mortenson make to the villagers of Korphe?
• list three important details from mortenson’s childhood.
• list three of mortenson’s actions or thoughts from the chapters that reveal his character. Based on
the actions you list, describe mortenson using only one adjective.
• How does mortenson try to raise money for the school? is he successful?
• What roles do Kishwar syed and Jean Hoerni play in mortenson’s fundraising?Chapter 6
• When mortenson returns to Pakistan with money for the Korphe school, abdul shah, the watchman
at the hotel, says, “By the merciful light of allah almighty, tomorrow we make much bargain.”
What does shah mean? What do the act of bargaining and the mention of allah reveal about shah’s
culture? How is it similar or different to your culture?
• describe how mortenson feels before a branch of a poplar tree “smacked him in the face.” How do
these feelings compare to his feelings toward the end of the chapter?
• What misunderstanding occurs in this chapter?
• mortenson has great news to deliver to Haji ali about the school, but first he takes tea. What does
this reveal about mortenson? What does taking tea reveal about the Balti culture and traditions? Why
is this significant to the story? describe a custom or a tradition of hospitality from your culture.
• What new obstacle does mortenson face in this chapter?
• retell, in your own words, the hunt that mortenson participates in. How does this hunt reflect the
values and traditions of the Balti community?
• Why does mortenson enlist George mcCown to help pay those who were working on the bridge?
• The title of the chapter “Building Bridges” has a literal and a figurative meaning. define both and tell
how each relates to the story.
• describe the friends mortenson has made up to this point in the story. Chart on the Character
attribute Web chart.
• What important personal event takes place at this point in the story?
• at the school construction site, what does Haji ali instruct mortenson to do? How is this situation a
• retell, in your own words, the custom of “three cups of tea” as defined by Haji ali. How does
embracing this custom impact mortenson’s success?
• What are some of the sacrifices the people of Korphe made in order to build this school?
• Why does mortenson consider Haji ali to be the “wisest man he ever met”?
• describe the wisest person you know and why he or she is wise.
• describe the tone of this chapter.
•mortenson wants to call his wife Tara, but there are no phones. imagine a phone call took place.
Write the dialogue of their conversation.
• What advice does Haji ali give to mortenson that he incorporates into the Central asia institute (Cai)
plans for building new schools? do you think this advice would serve mortenson well if he were
building schools in the united states? discuss/explain.
• list two details from this chapter that reveal that Jean Hoerni is proud of his role in the Cai.
• What does this story reveal about the rights of girls?
• locate the Kashmir region on a map.
• What does mortenson hope Westerners will understand in the example of syed abbas?
• How has your understanding of muslims/muslim culture changed from reading this story?
• list at least three reasons why there is a need for a water pump in skardu.
• Who is one of mortenson’s role models? How do you know?
• Chapter 19 recounts the events of september 11, 2001, and concludes with a speech by muslim
religious leader syed abbas rasvi at a Cai school inauguration celebration. How did reading syed
abbas rasvi’s speech make you feel? did you find other quotations in the book from muslim leaders,
school children, or others surprising, informative, or reassuring? explain your answer. (Source:
Penguin Young readers Group 3 Cups of Tea discussion Guide.)
• What does Haji ali mean when he tells mortenson to “listen to the wind”?
• mortenson says, “The difference between becoming a good local citizen and a terrorist could be an
education.” do you agree or disagree? How so? does mortenson’s statement apply to citizens in the
u.s. as well? How so?
• Why was going to Washington D.C. like being “dropped in a remote afghan village” for mortenson?
• What evidence is revealed that demonstrates that the schools are improving the lives of the students
who attend them?
• mortenson states that the war on terror “will ultimately be won with books, not bombs.” do you
agree or disagree with this statement? discuss/explain.
• How is education like water?
• How is life like climbing a mountain?