Maniac Mageeby Jerry Spinelli
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- Authors Live Interview with Jerry Spinelli
Use this interview transcript of TeacherVision's Authors Live with Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Spinelli. Share with your class the questions that students from around the country asked Mr. Spinelli.
- Character Traits Chart
There are many notable characters in this story who possess exceptional traits. Construct a chart that lists the traits of the main characters in Maniac Magee: Amanda Beale, Maniac Magee, John McNab, Earl Grayson, Mars Bar Thompson, Russell and Piper McNab. Use the character traits chart as a word bank.
- Home Sweet Home
Maniac is searching for a home. Explore the meaning of "home" with your students. Have them create a shape poem, a recycled poem, a poem of alliterations, an acrostic poem, a limerick, a haiku , or other type of poem that reflects how they feel about their home.
- Hyperbole Hunt
There are numerous examples of hyperbole (extravagant exaggeration; example: "arms and legs pistoning to a blur") in Maniac Magee. Break your class into teams of three students, hold a Hyperbole Scavenger Hunt, and see which team can come up with the most finds. It is fun to have the students illustrate the hyperboles' literal meanings.
- Maniac for Mayor
Pretend that Maniac is running for mayor of Two Mills. Have your students design an election poster and campaign slogan for him. Then, assign them to write and deliver endorsement speeches in favor of Maniac for Mayor.
- Oral History
Maniac Magee learns about Grayson from the tales the old man tells. Have your students learn more about a significant elderly person in his/her life. Use this worksheet to help the students and the interviewed person get started.
- Tall Tales
Maniac Magee has many of the elements of a tall tale:
- A superhuman main character who has a unique mission to accomplish
- A problem that is often resolved humorously
- Frequent use of hyperbole and exaggeration
- Characters who appear normal in most respects
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
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May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.