21st Century Learning

How does this look in an English classroom?

The newest "buzz" word

If you are anything like me, you have heard about the 21st Century Learner and have probably even been told that this is the student in your classroom. I have gone to many-a- training on 21st century learning in the classroom with the hope that someone would show me how this technology based world works in an English classroom.

The most applicable information I received was the 4 C's of 21st Century Learning: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity. This idea was something I could understand and apply in my classroom. My students can/do communicate, collaborate, think critically, and creatively.

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How Can I Use This to Direct My Lesson Planning?

At this point, I continued my research and found that PBL or Project Based Learning might be the best way to encompass these skills in an accessible way for all of my students, especially my ELLs and struggling kids.


The Buck institute is probably the best resource for Project Based Learning. http://bie.org/about/what_pbl

This website includes not only the steps of PBL, but also ideas for projects you can use in your classroom.

Teaching with the 21st Century in Mind

Really 21st Century Learning is based in best teaching practices. Students are asked to communicate, collaborate, think critically and creatively. These skills are all used, accessed, and expected on a daily basis in a ELA classroom. Also, this requires all students to read and write which is an opportunity we must allow our students to have consistently throughout the year. It is our job as ELA teachers to encourage the students to see the vital connection between reading and writing.

Using the idea of the 4 C's when lesson planning, I can be sure that all of my students will be engaged in my activities. My ELLs, SPED, and 504 students will be given multiple modalities to interact with the information. If students struggle with reading, there are more ways for them to understand the information by using visuals, videos, partners, discussion, etc.

A PBL in an ELA Class (all activities listed below follow this section)

1. Establish a group goal-what is a problem you want to address as a class?

a. My 6th grade class decided that the biggest problem we saw in our school was bullying particularly those with disabilities. *Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking

2. Allow the students an opportunity to gain more understanding of the problem-by research, interviews, personal stories, etc.

a. My students were given a chance to choose a famous person with a disability. I made thinglinks for each of the people. The students researched their person. They created a smore.com flyer about their person. (see Research)

b. Then, my students worked as a group with all the other students who researched the same person and created scrapbooks about the person to place in the library for all to see. *Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity

3. To reinforce the importance of our mission, we read the novel, "Out of My Mind" by Sharon Draper. This is a story through the eyes of a 10-year old girl with cerebral palsy.

a. I created a thinglink about cerebral palsy for background information for the students before reading the novel.


b. Read the novel and do the activities. *Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity

4. Once we completed the novel, in groups the students created either a poster, skit, PSA, flyers, etc. to support our anti-bullying campaign.

a. As a class, we assigned one item of the campaign to each group. There was a student group that was also in charge of the entire composition of the campaign. Each class was specifically focusing on a school (primary, elementary, middle, and high school) *Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity

5. We presented the campaign at the assigned school and hosted a "mix-it-up" lunch at the middle school for 2 weeks.

Research Guidelines

USE THE THINGLINK that corresponds with your person:

Michael J. Fox: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/515927080748187650

Stephen Hawking: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/515911285833990144

John Nash: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/515883542958309378

Helen Keller: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/515883540013907970

Temple Grandin: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/515883536905928706


The first thing you will need to do in order to complete this research project is the RESEARCH. You will take notes from the internet on handwritten CNotes. The following headlines can help you organize your notes.


1. When was your person born?

2. Where was your person born?

3. Where did your person grow up?

4. Did anything eventful occur during your person’s childhood?

5. Did your person go to school? Where?

6. What type of home life did your person have?


1. Who were your person’s parents?

2. Did your person grow up with his/her parents?

3. Did your person have any brothers or sisters?

4. Are there any other family members that influenced your person?

5. What type of relationship did your person have with his/her family?

6. Was your person married? If yes, did the spouse play a major role in their life?


1. Did your person have any particular strength?

2. Did the person do anything that changed the course of history or influenced it in any way?

3. Did your person win any awards? List the awards.

4. Did you person write any books? List titles.

5. Did you person start a foundation? Name it.


1. Did your person face any personal challenges during his/her life?

2. How did your person respond to these obstacles?

3. Was anyone else involved in these issues?

4. Was there an end to the problems that your person faced?


· How and when did your person die?


· Find at least 3 quotes from your person.

· Explain each quote-What it means? Why it is important?


1. In what ways was their life remarkable, despicable, and admirable?

2. What human qualities were most influential in shaping the way this person lived and influenced his/her times?

3. Which quality or trait proved most troubling and difficult?

4. Which quality or trait was most beneficial?

5. Did this person make any major mistakes or bad decisions? If so, what were they?:

6. What biographical information is helpful to know in order to understand the impact on the world?

7. Did your person push the boundaries of what makes people “successful”?

8. Why is your person considered noteworthy?


1. What is the most interesting fact about this person?

2. How would you describe this person?

3. If you could meet this person, what questions would ask him/her?

4. Now that your have learned more about this person, how do you feel about him/her and why?

5. What other important information have you learned about this person that you have not already included?


1. Basic description of the disability/illness.

2. Brief history of the disability/illness.

3. Age group, gender, cultural group most affected by this disability/illness.

4. Symptoms of the disability/illness.

5. How the disability/illness affects the human body.

6. Cures or treatments for the disability/illness.

7. Causes of the disability/illness.

8. Prevention of the disability/illness, if any.

9. How the disability/illness affects a person’s daily life.

10. Number of Americans affected by the disability/illness.


· List the specific websites you used to acquire the information.

Application of Research


Write a 4-5 paragraph summary of the information you learned on notebook paper.


Reflect on all that you have learned about your person. Create 8 metaphors or similes about your person. Think, “If my person were an animal, what kind of animal would my poet be and why?”

Example-Ms. Naizer is a frog because she hops from student to student.

A. Animal

B. Plant

C. Article of clothing

D. Color

E. Shape

F. Food

G. Number

H. Season of the year



Create a Smore (online flyer)

Must include:

· Information about your person-

o Birth date

o Death date, if applicable

o Birthplace

o Family-parents, siblings

o Childhood

o Education

o Impact on the world

o Awards won

o Books published

· Information about your person’s disability/illness

o Brief explanation

o Your person’s own story with the disability/illness


3 o3 other interesting facts

· At least 5 images of your person

· At least 3 quotes by your person and explained by you

· All 8 of your metaphor/similes with corresponding symbols

· Resources used for research


Present to the class

Scrapbook Explanation


· Images of the person (at least 2)-DO NOT PRINT IN COLOR

· Quotes from the person about their life, disability, etc. (at least 3)

At least one page with information about your person's disability.

· Images that symbolize important things or places in their life (at least 4)-hand drawn, printed, or found from other medias

· Metaphors you wrote about your person with the “why?” scattered throughout the scrapbook (8)

Your scrapbook needs to be at least 5 pages. You can combine them anyway you wish.

You have full creative license on the scrapbook. It can be done on white printer paper that you fill with color yourself, or you can use scrapbook supplies if you have them and would like.

The images of the person should not be printed in color, but the scrapbook should be colorful. Use colored pencils, markers, crayons, colorful paper, newspapers, drawings, magazine clippings, etc. The quotes can be typed or handwritten, in your best handwriting.

The scrapbook needs to be bound together in a folder or any other creative way.

"Out of My Mind" activities

Topic(s): ELAR

Grade Level: 6th-8th

Materials List: (Books and all materials)

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper


To read and analyze a novel. To raise awareness and affect change in our school.

Fig.19(D) make inferences about text and use textual evidence to support understanding

Fig.19(E) summarize, paraphrase, and synthesize texts in ways that maintain meaning and logical order

within a text and across texts

Fig.19(F) make connections (e.g., thematic links, author analysis) between and across multiple texts

of various genres, and provide textual evidence

6.6(A) summarize the elements of plot development (e.g., rising action, turning point, climax,

falling action, denouement) in various works of fiction

6.3(A) infer the implicit theme of a work of fiction, distinguishing theme from the topic

6.8(A) explain how authors create meaning through stylistic elements and figurative language

emphasizing the use of personification, hyperbole, and refrains

6.2(B) use context (e.g., cause and effect or compare and contrast organizational text structures) to

determine or clarify the meaning of unfamiliar or multiple meaning words

6.2(E) use a dictionary, a glossary, or a thesaurus (printed or electronic) to determine the meanings,

syllabication, pronunciations, alternate word choices, and parts of speech of words

HOTS: Fig. 19-making connections, inferencing

6.3(A) infer the implicit theme of a work of fiction, distinguishing theme from the topic

Science-human body systems, biology, diseases

Introduction/Anticipatory Set:

Students will do a quickwrite about a time when they have felt that they are being judged because of something they cannot control.


Then, the teacher will start by allowing students to use the above thinglink to become more familiar with cerebral palsy and its effects on others. Students will then summarize what they have learned about cerebral palsy.

Also, the students will think-pair-share a prediction about the book.

Procedures: ( I do/ We do/ You do) Scaffolding Cycle

Before Reading

1 Quickwrite

2 Thinglink

3 Summary

4 Prediction

During Reading

5 Vocabulary

6 Questions/Venn Diagram/Character Diary/Analogies

7 Figurative language identification

After Reading Activities

8 Book Advertisement

9 Making Connections Chart

10 OER questions

11 Novel Newspaper

12 Test


Social needs:

Teacher selected partners

Language needs:

Preteach vocab

Bilingual dictionary

Preview text before reading aloud

Academic needs:

Allow for oral responses

Preteach vocab


Preview text before reading aloud

Oral admin of test/questions


As a class, we will come up with an anti-bullying campaign (posters, PowerPoints, skits, smore.com, etc.) that we can start in our school. We will also take this campaign to the elementary school and high school.



During Reading activities

After Reading activities


Pre Reading activiites



Anti-bullying campaign


Out of My Mind activities per chapter

PER CHAPTER-one self-selected vocab word on vocab map + any teacher selected vocab words on vocab maps.



· Iridescent-p. 1


· Melody


· Find an example of figurative language. Use correct parenthetical documentation. Figurative language-imagery, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, simile



· Flailing-p. 4

· Contentment-p. 5

· Harmony-p. 5


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad


· Find an example of figurative language. Use correct parenthetical documentation. Figurative language-imagery, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, simile



· None


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad


· Find an example of figurative language. Use correct parenthetical documentation. Figurative language-imagery, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, simile



· Profoundly-p. 22


· Melody

· Mom

· Dr. Hugely


· Create a collage of images that represent what Melody is thinking. Illustrate the inside of her mind (words or pictures).



· Yodel-p. 34


· Melody

· Mrs. Hyatt

· Mr. Gross

· Ashley, Carl, Freddy, Jill, Maria, and Willy


· None



· Sonata-p. 48

· Concerto-p. 48

· Nimbus-p. 49

· Cumulus-p. 49


· Melody

· Mrs. V


· Use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast Mrs. V with Melody’s parents (3-5 items)



· Unraveled-p. 53


· Melody

· Mom

· Mrs. Tracy

· Mrs. Billups


· Use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast Mrs. Tracy with Mrs. Billups. (3-5 items)



· None


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad

· Ollie

· Butterscotch


· Write 3 paragraphs about a time you spent with a pet. Be specific. *If no pets, write 3 paragraphs about a time you spent with something you love.

· Create 2 analogies-

o Ollie : Melody ::_________ : _________

o Butterscotch : Melody ::______ : _______



· Wavered-p. 75

· Paparazzi-p. 77


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad

· Penny


· Pretend you are a family counselor and you are interviewing Melody’s Mom or Dad about the changes/challenges their family is facing. (4 questions with answers, use text evidence)



· None


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad

· Penny


· Describe how the introduction of Penny as a character changes the family dynamics. Analyze Melody’s complicated feelings about her little sister. (2-3 paragraphs)



· None


· Melody

· Mrs. Shannon

· Mrs. Lovelace

· Molly

· Claire

· Elizabeth

· Jessica

· Rose


· How does the inclusion program change Melody’s school experiences? 1. Describe both positive and negative results of the program. 2. Describe Melody’s unrealized need for a friend. (Use details and text evidence.)



· Dignity-p. 103


· Melody

· Mrs. Shannon

· Molly

· Claire

· Rose

· Catherine

· Ms. Gordon

· Connor

· Mr. Dimming


· Claire and Molly think that Melody has it “easier” because Catherine helps her answer the test questions. How could they think this? What is your opinion? (1-2 paragraphs)



· None


· Melody

· Penny

· Mrs. V

· Rose

· Molly

· Claire


· What does Melody learn about friendship during the trip to the aquarium? Why is true friendship important? (1-2 paragraphs)



· None


· Melody

· Ms. Gordon

· Catherine

· Rose


· None



· None


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad

· Mrs. V

· Elvira


· How does Melody’s computer change her life? Her outlook on life? Her potential? Her relationships? Her confidence? (1-2 paragraphs)

· What is the significance of the name Elvira? (2-3 sentences with text evidence)



· None


· Melody

· Ms. Shannon

· Catherine

· Elvira

· Ms. Gordon

· Claire

· Molly

· Rose


· The other kids are making fun of Melody’s medi talker. What would your do or say to get the kids to leave her alone? Or would you be mocking her, too? Be honest. Explain why. (3-5 sentences)



· Defiance-p. 153


· Melody

· Catherine

· Elvira

· Claire

· Molly

· Rose

· Connor

· Rodney

· Mr. Dimming


· Mr. D says, “If Melody Brooks can win the 1st round, then my questions must not be difficult enough!” 1. How does his comment make you feel? 2. Was this an appropriate comment for Mr. Dimming to make? 3. What does his comment reveal about him? (5-7 sentences)



· Convulsion-p. 166


· Melody

· Penny

· Mrs. V

· Catherine


· “We all have disabilities. What’s yours?” Respond to the ignorance of others. Include how you can help stop the ignorance in our world? (at least 1 paragraph)



· None


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad

· Penny

· Catherine


· Why does Melody decide to enter the quiz team competition? What obstacles must she face and overcome just to get on the team? (1-2 paragraphs)



· None


· Melody

· Mom

· Dad

· Catherine

· Rose

· Claire

· Molly

· Mr. Dimming


· What does Melody learn about friendship as she practices and competes with the quiz team? What does she learn about herself? (1-2 paragraphs)


· Do a Character Diary (see handout)


· Do a Character Diary (see handout)


· Imagine it is the last day of 5th grade. Create a conversation between one of the following pairs of characters: Rose and Melody, Melody and Mrs. V, Melody and Catherine, Mr. D and Melody, or Melody and Claire. Be sure to mimic Draper’s voices for the character so that your dialogue feels like it could be a part of the novel. –Needs to be a page. Use correct dialogue format.


· Do a Book Advertisement (see below)



Character Diary

Assignment Summary:

As we read Out of My Mind, you will write a diary entry from the point of view of any character except Melody from the novel.


Your character diary must meet the following expectations:

1. Begin with an important quote from your character.

2. Describe a scene of the novel from your character’s point of view.

· How does your character feel/think about the events and the other characters?

3. Be at least 25 lines.

Notes about character in preparation for diary


Now chose an event from this section of the book that your character would have strong thoughts and opinions about.

Event from the Novel: Pages

Brief Description of the Event:


Key attributes (qualities) about the Character: List 6

Character’s Thoughts and Feelings about the Event: Be creative and get inside your character’s head.

Important Quote: Find a quote that shows your character’s thoughts and feelings about the event. Write quote with parenthetical documentation (Author’s last name, page number)

Now-Begin writing your diary!



Checklist for “Out of My Mind” Book Advertisement

Item Points Possible Your Score

Visual Display:

Book Title and Author Clearly Visible............ 12.......................................

Picture: Main Characters / Setting / Plot (not the cover).................... 16..................................

Symbolic......................................... 16............................................................................

Colorful............................................................. 8.............................................................................

Written Description: (Can be creatively weaved throughout poster)

Gets the reader interested...................................... 8...................................

Names all of the Main Characters............................................. 8..............................................

Describes the problem or plot............................... 8..........................................................

Has at least 5 quoted examples of figurative language...................... 8...............

Describes the theme .......................8...................................................................

Does not give away the ending........................... 8........................................

Total........100........................................................................... __________



“Out of My Mind” OER Questions

Use text evidence and parenthetical documentation for each question unless noted otherwise. Be sure to use the words from the question to start your first complete sentence. Write all answers on a piece of notebook paper.

1. The novel opens with a powerful discussion of the power of words and language. How does this textual choice help capture the reader’s attention?

2. The story opens with Melody being frustrated because she does not “fit in” with the rest of the world. How is her world different than that of the people around her?

3. In a world that does not work for her, what seems to cause the biggest frustrations for Melody?

4. Describe Melody’s parents. How do they learn to communicate with Melody and help her overcome everyday problems? Why are those efforts sometimes a complete failure?

5. Both of Melody’s parents love her very much. However, they show their love in very different ways. Identify three ways each parent shows their love.

6. Describe Mrs. V. What role does she play in Melody’s development? Why is she a necessary addition to Melody’s life?

7. Why is Mrs. V’s character such a positive role model for us all?

8. How does Melody feel about school? How does she fit in with her classmates and what makes her different from the rest of the children in H-5? What would be Melody’s ideal school situation?

9. Discuss Melody’s teachers since she began going to school using specific details. What does this say about her school system, or about attitudes at her school about teaching children with special needs?

10. What is significant about the story of Ollie the fish? Describe Melody’s feelings when she is unable to tell her mother what really happened.

11. What does Melody learn about friendship during the trip to the aquarium? Make a comparison between Ollie’s life, the life of the fish in the aquarium, and Melody’s life.

12. What does Rose learn about friendship at the aquarium?

13. Why does Melody decide to enter the quiz team competition? What obstacles must she face and overcome to get on the team?

14. What is ironic about the events at the restaurant after the competition? How does this scene foreshadow the events that led up to the airport fiasco?

15. Describe Melody’s feelings before the trip to the airport, while she is there, and after she gets home. How would you have coped with the same situation? (No text evidence needed)

16. Describe Melody’s extreme range of emotions as she tries to tell her mother that Penny is behind the car. How did the scene make you feel? (No text evidence needed)

17. Discuss the scene in which Melody confronts the kids on the quiz team. What is satisfying about how she handles the situation? What else might Melody have done? (No text evidence needed)

18. Why are the first two pages repeated at the end of the book? How has Melody changed, both personally and socially from the beginning of the book to the end?

19. How would this story be different if it had been written from a third-person point of view; from the point of view of her parent; from the viewpoint of an outside observer? (no text evidence needed)

20. Explain the title of the novel. Give 3 possible interpretations. (No text evidence needed)

21. If you could change one thing about the novel, what would you change and why? (No text evidence needed)

22. Find 10 similes.

23. Find 3 personifications.

24. Find 3 metaphors.

25. Find 5 examples of imagery.



Novel Newspaper

Directions: You will be creating a newspaper or a mini magazine on “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper.

· Text Evidence-must be included

· Parenthetical Documentation-must be included

· Be neat and creative.

1. Editing: correcting and proofreading the newspaper and putting all the parts together.

2. Headline and news article: The article must be about an important even in the book and must contain the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, and Why, plus How.

3. Editorial: This article must discuss an issue from the book, with the student writer stating his/her opinion and supporting it with facts from the book.

4. Feature article: This article should state a theme or message of the book, which should be supported with examples from the book.

5. Book review: This article should discuss the positive and negative aspects of the book and explain what kind of reader would be interested in this type of book.

6. Interview with a character: Pretend that you had a chance to interview a character. Write out some questions and answer them as if the character had answered them.

7. Illustrations: Draw the main characters and write a description of each that includes physical, emotional, and personal qualities.

8. “Dear Abby” letter and response: Write a letter about a problem in the book and then write an answer in letter format that helps the character solve the problem.

9. Comic strip: Create a comic containing an insight or theme from the book.

10. Crossword puzzle: Create a crossword puzzle and answer key of at least 10 new vocabulary words from the novel.

11. Obituary: If there is a death in the book, write a death notice for the deceased.

12. Want ads: Create at least 5 ads for something you feel is missing yet needed in the novel.



“Out of My Mind” Test and Essays

1. Why was it easy for Melody to respond to Quiz-Whiz questions?

a. They were multiple choice questions; she tapped A, B, C, D keys.

b. Catherine spoke her answers.

c. She could let the Medi-Talker do the answering.

d. She could write the letter answers herself.

2. How did Melody retain so much knowledge from what she saw and heard?

a. She had a lot of help from Catherine.

b. She had a photographic memory.

c. She practiced a lot.

d. She read a lot of books.

3. What is special about the way Mrs. V treats Melody?

a. She leaves Melody alone to do what she wants to do.

b. She spoils her and lets her get away with anything.

c. She demands and expects Melody to put out a lot of effort to learn.

d. She is available, but distant.

4. Melody just knew her mother was pregnant because…

a. She was much crankier than usual.

b. She spent a lot of time throwing up, but she was getting fat.

c. She had a lot more energy.

d. She smelled different and her skin felt softer and warmer.

5. When Ollie, the goldfish, escaped his bowl…

a. He was rescued in time and lived a long life.

b. Melody’s mother thought that Melody knocked over the fish bowl.

c. Melody just laughed and didn’t care.

d. Her father bought her another pet goldfish.

6. Why did Mrs. V start calling Melody, Mello Yellow?

a. Mello Yellow was Melody’s favorite soft drink.

b. Melody would pee herself every day and it looked yellow.

c. Melody was always sad.

d. Mrs. V liked rhymes.

7. When Melody was featured in the newspaper after the team won,…

a. She knew her teammates would hate her for getting all the attention.

b. She knew she would do well in Washington D. C.

c. She was embarrassed about all the attention.

d. Everyone congratulated her at school.

8. Paul, the stage manager at the TV studio, was kind to Melody because…

a. He saw that she was a little afraid and nervous, so he gave her a hug and a lollipop.

b. He felt sorry for her and didn’t want her to embarrass the TV station because he could lose his job.

c. He thought Melody was a good example for others who were physically disabled, like his son.

d. He was afraid that her parents would sue the TV station for not being nice to Melody.

9. One of the problems Melody encounters in her Special Needs classes is…

a. Lack of supervision with the students because the teachers danced to their music all day.

b. Being alone most of the time because the teachers were scared of her.

c. Lack of bodily care by the aides because they didn’t care about their jobs.

d. Some teachers didn’t do much to challenge her…just entertained.

10. This story is being told from Melody’s mind in what point of view?

a. First person.

b. Second person.

c. Third person limited.

d. Third person omniscient.

11. How did Melody come up with name of the puppy she received on her 8th birthday?

a. She named him after the color of her hair.

b. She named him after her favorite sno-cone.

c. She named him after her favorite candy.

d. She named him after the smell of jazz music.

12. Why was feeding Melody such a stressful time?

a. She threw her food at the people feeding her and around the room.

b. She farted when she ate and the smell filled the whole room.

c. She talked with her mouth full and spit on the people feeding her.

d. She had to be fed with a spoon and it took a long time to feed her.

13. When Inclusion Classes began for Melody, she found that…

a. Everyone was very friendly.

b. Not all the teachers were welcoming.

c. People often talked about her as if she were deaf or not in the room.

d. It was a big bore and she wanted to stay in H-5.

14. Dr. Hugely, the specialist, determined that Melody…

a. Was probably spoiled by her parents.

b. Could continue attending special needs classes at school.

c. Was beyond any kind of educational help.

d. Should be placed in a school for the developmentally disabled.

15. Who added many words, phrases, and sentences into the Medi-Talker?

a. Mrs. V.

b. Catherine.

c. Elvira.

d. Mom.

16. When Melody earned a perfect score on the practice quiz,

a. Melody knew she wouldn’t have to study for the real quiz.

b. Melody didn’t make the quiz team.

c. Mr. Dimming did not believe it.

d. Some of her classmates accused her of using Catherine to cheat.

17. Who helped Melody find the information for the Medi-Talker?

a. Catherine.

b. Mrs. V.

c. Mom.

d. Dad.

18. The only part of the quiz that Melody found difficult was the…

a. History questions.

b. Language arts questions.

c. Geography questions.

d. Math questions.

19. When Melody and her family arrived at the airport to go to DC,…

a. She panicked and decided not to go after all, which made her team happy.

b. She left for DC full of hope and excitement with her Mom by her side.

c. The flight was cancelled, but the rest of the team took an earlier flight.

d. The entire team was waiting for her on the plane and ready to go.

20. What really embarrassed Melody at the restaurant after the first competition?

a. She couldn’t drink without her Sippy cup.

b. Her mother had to wipe off the red sauce spill on her shirt.

c. Her mother had to feed her small bites of food.

d. Claire threw up on Mr. Dimming’s shoes.

21. What were the first words that Melody spoke to her parents through Elvira

a. “Where are Butterscotch and Penny? I want to show this off.”

b. “Hi Dad. Hi Mom. I am so happy. I love you.”

c. “I don’t like Claire and Molly.”

d. “Everyone has a disability. What’s yours?”

22. What other features did the Medi-talker have?

a. A combination computer, music player, and speech device.

b. A printer, microwave oven, and scooter.

c. A microphone, speakers, and a speech device.

d. A printer, a microphone, and a cell phone.

23. How was Melody able to make math questions easier for her to solve?

a. She asked Catherine for help.

b. She would use the calculator on her Medi-Talker.

c. She would make up a song with the problems.

d. She would change the numbers into a picture story in her mind.

24. Why did Melody feel that the kids would hate the article about their Whiz Kids team that was in the local newspaper?

a. The article said that they kids were the dumbest group from Spaulding Street in years.

b. The article focused too much on Melody and hers was the only picture featured.

c. The article was about the alternates only.

d. The article was too long and had their names spelled wrong.

25. How did Mr. Dimming determine who would be the 6 members of the national team?

a. The top six scorers from all the practice rounds.

b. The first six kids to get on the plane.

c. The six students who were meanest to Melody.

d. The six students who attended the most practices.

26. Why was the team originally scheduled for the noon flight to Washington D.C. instead of an earlier flight?

a. The competition wasn’t until the next day.

b. The school could only afford the noon flight.

c. The hotel had a late check in policy.

d. The only flight available was at noon.

27. Why was the team able to be at the airport in time to catch the earlier flight?

a. All the parents sped to get there because of the weather.

b. Mr. Dimming told them the wrong time.

c. They had breakfast together without Melody.

d. The airline called the night before and told them their flight would be cancelled.

28. Why did Melody not want the ninth place trophy the team offered her as consolation?

a. She thought it was ugly and wouldn’t caught dead with it.

b. She felt that she didn’t earn it because she didn’t compete.

c. She wanted them to keep it in the classroom for all the students to admire and share.

d. She thought the team got what they deserved and should keep it; she didn’t want it.

29. In her autobiography project, what did Melody write that she was surrounded by?

a. Friends.

b. Words.

c. Love.

d. Family.

30. “My parents have always blanketed me with conversation.” (Draper, p2) is an example of a:

a. Metaphor.

b. Simile.

c. Personification.

d. Onomatopoeia.

31. “The whump and whoosh of the furnace coming alive each morning.” (Draper, p5) is an example of a:

a. Onomatopoeia.

b. Metaphor.

c. Simile.

d. Hyperbole.

32. “The tangy odor of heated dust as the house warmed up.” (Draper, p5) is an example of:

a. Metaphor.

b. Onomatopoeia.

c. Imagery.

d. Simile.

33. “The morning started out like crystal…” (Draper, p261) is an example of:

a. Metaphor.

b. Hyperbole.

c. Onomatopoeia.

d. Simile.

34. “My head is killing me.” (Draper, p273) is an example of:

a. Metaphor.

b. Hyperbole.

c. Simile.

d. Imagery.

35. “It’s like somebody gave me a puzzle, but I don’t have the box with the picture on it.” (Draper, p293) is an example of:

a. Imagery.

b. Metaphor.

c. Simile.

d. Hyperbole.

36-38.Write a persuasive essay (3-4 paragraphs) that discusses ONE of the following options: (a) Melody is just like every other fifth grader. (b) Melody is very different from the rest of the world. (c) Melody is unique in that she is very much like other children, yet not like them at all. Be sure to use at least 3 examples of text evidence to support your answer.

39-41. Describe the relationship between able-bodied children and Melody in a 3-4 paragraph essay. Would you describe it as a true friendship? When situations become monumental and overwhelming to young people, what is likely to happen? Explain in detail with 3 examples from text and personal example to support your answer.

Susan Naizer

  • I am a middle school English teacher with 9 years of experience teaching in Texas. Currently, I work in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD.