Category Archives: Reading

Freak the Mighty

Alright class, now that we’ve finished the book and watched the movie, I want to get your thoughts on the story. Answer at least two of the following questions by leaving a comment. Feel free to respond to your classmates’ comments, as well. And of course, share any other opinions you have about the book, the movie, the characters, etc.

1. What is the main conflict and resolution of this story?

2. Now we know that Kevin made up the “bionic body” story. Do you think he actually started to believe it? Or do you think he was just hoping to protect Max?

3. The book and the movie both talked about stars, and how we see their light even though some may have burned out long ago. Why is this so important to the story? What do the stars symbolize?

4. Speaking of symbolism, what was the point of Max flying that ornithopter in the closing scene of the movie? Does the ornithopter represent something other than a mechanical bird?

Independent Reading Blogging Guide

As promised in the last post, here are the details of what your child should reflect and report on while reading at home. At least eight posts, one for each section, should be completed before the end of term in December. But more are welcome, especially if the student is genuinely compelled to share his/her reading experiences with the world!

Inferential Comprehension
Demonstrate your ability to make inferences while you read. Include a sentence or passage from the book (“in quotes”) and then describe the information you’re able to infer from it. Some new character trait? A prediction?

What’s the problem?
Every story has a main conflict and a resolution. You might think it’s “Aliens are trying to destroy the planet!” but if you dig deeper, what problem is actually guiding the story? It’s usually related to the main character(s). Is he/she lacking confidence? Angry because of a past experience? Missing something in his/her life? And then the resolution would not be “With his self-designed shrinking ray-gun, Johnny turned the attacking aliens into small, insignificant creatures, therefore saving the day,” but probably, “Johnny’s scientific genius was finally appreciated and he was no longer bullied.”

Character Study
Characters change over the course of a story, and they usually learn something about themselves or others along the way. Pick a character from your book (probably the main character, but not necessarily), and describe his/her change. If possible, use quotes to support your ideas.

What genre(s) have you read this year? Start keeping track. We want you to read deeply, to enjoy your books; this is not a competition. But we do want you to start exploring a variety of genres, to consider the differences in styles, and to identify the components of each. Start a Numbers spreadsheet on the titles of books you’ve read, the genre, and perhaps the amount you read in a given week (time, pages, etc.). Further instructions to come.

What do you see when you read? Are you able to make “mind movies” and really be in the experience? As you read your book(s), be on the lookout for a scene that was so vividly described by the author, you felt like you were actually living it.
Choose the passage, copy it (“in quotes”) into a blog post, and then share your experience. What are you seeing? What are you feeling? Smelling? Hearing?

Author Study
Who is your favorite author? Or, which author has captured your attention recently? Share what you’ve observed about his/her style.

  • Does the author follow a similar pattern in all his/her books?
  • Are there common themes?
  • What else have you learned about the author? (web sites?)

Why not write a letter to your author? Contact information is sometimes available from publishing companies.
List the books you’ve read from this author, as well.

Literary Devices / Figurative Language
Metaphors, similes, alliteration, onomatopoeia, personification, idiom, hyperbole…and more! You’ll be learning about these literary elements throughout the year. If you encounter one while reading, share it (“in quotes”), and explain what it means to you, or the reason why you think the author used it.

Free Choice
Book report, movie trailer, book talk to the class or on video, explore author’s website, form a book club with friends, make a poster advertising your book, act out one of the scenes, write an additional chapter for the book in the author’s style, talk to Miss Orlagh about an official recommendation in the library or writing a review for her…the possibilities are endless. Have fun!

And as usual, always be on the lookout for new and interesting words you’d like to analyze. Note to self, start a “Cool and interesting words I discovered while reading…” poster in the classroom.

Freak the Mighty

OK students, now that we’ve finished the book, please share your thoughts. Specifically, what is theme of this story and what is the main conflict and resolution? The great thing about higher level questions like these is that there’s no ONE absolute answer. I have my opinions, but with a strong argument and well-presented case, you may change my mind. So now it’s time to leave a comment, share your opinions, and support them with evidence from the story. Go!

“Harris and Me” thoughts?

OK everyone, this is your final reading “test” of the school year. I want your detailed thoughts and supporting evidence on the following:
What is the main conflict of Harris and Me? And what is the resolution? Please leave a comment to share your thoughts…


OK, we finished Freak the Mighty, watched the movie version, The Mighty, and we bought the T-shirt. Ok, maybe not that last one, but now there’s probably some big project we have to do, right? Well…sure…if you want to. What I would really like to see is your response to the following question, and any other comments that result.

In the book and movie, Freak makes a point to tell Max, “The sky’s like a photograph from a billion years ago. Just some old movie they’re showing up there. Lots of those stars have switched off by now. We’re just seeing the rerun.”

Thoughts? Why did Freak say that? Why make such a big deal about the stars?

Freak the Mighty

Now that we’ve finished the book, what do you think the main conflict and resolution were? Lots of problems in the book, but what was the MAIN one? The one that drove the story. And then, what was it’s solution – resolution – in the end?