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Freak the Mighty > Chapter 1
Freak the Mighty, Chapter One
The Unvanquished Truth
Explicitly teaching comprehension skills such as vocabulary,
inferences, and character and quote analysis can be closely
tied to literature.
Here are some comprehension activities related to the novel
by Rodman Philbrick. NOTE: Choose
the exercises for students to do. Reading should be fun --
don't let the comprehension exercises keep students from enjoying
the story. It may be appropriate to simply have a student
complete the "learning log" for each chapter, or
discuss questions and events instead of writing them down.
The learning log can be completed before or after other activities,
and some students will find it much easier to do it one way
or the other. (Do it the easy way -- the objective here is
to learn to understand literature, not to make everything
as difficult as possible.)
1. Word Part: Un
(You want to know what "unvanquished" means, don't
Complete the "First Day's" exercises, or complete all the
exercises for four words on the "Word part: UN" worksheet.
This is a PDF file -- click
here for ready-to-print pages. They are in Adobe PDF (portable
document file) format, which can be read by any computer with
the Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free at the Adobe site.
2. Signal Word: But
When you read "but" in a sentence, you know that you're
about to read something that is different from what came just
before it, maybe something you wouldn't expect. You would
read "He lost the game but he was happy," because you
wouldn't expect losing a game to make someone happy.
Complete these sentences so that they make sense. There
are lots of different ways to finish them.
1. Max kicked some people in day care, but he
2. Gram and Grim liked to hug Max, but Max
3. Freak was little, but
4. Gram and Grim knew Max's father's name, but
5. Most kids went to day care every day, but Freak
To infer something is to figure it out from hints. The more
hints, the more likely you are to be right.
If a boy walks in from outside with a dripping umbrella, you
might infer that it's raining.
You make inferences without even trying to -- but you get
smarter when you learn to make them on purpose. When you read
and ask yourself 'why?" and think of possible answers, you're
making inferences. Asking "why" at the right places while
you read can help you understand what you're reading.
Freak the Mighty gives us a lot of information to ask about
in the first chapter. You'll know Max and his friend a lot
better from the start if you ask yourself "why" along the
way, and think of possible answers.
Here are some good "why" questions to try to answer. Take
a guess if you don't know for sure -- and look/listen for
the answer as you read the book.
Grim means serious, not happy. Why would Max call his grandfather
Max said that Gram and Grim "took me over." This means they
started taking care of him. What are two reasons this could
What does Max mean when he says he "had a way of saying things
with my fists and my feet"?
Why might Max say that "hug stuff" was "a lie?"
Why might Gram and Grim talk about Max's father "like his
name is too scary to say"? WHy might Max's father be scary?
Why might Freak be called Freak?
A. Give this chapter a new title. Consider what has happened
and the feelings in the chapter.
B. Setting: Identify the main setting of the chapter.
A. Time ______________________________
C. In one or two sentences, summarize what happens in this
Questions: What are two questions you could ask about the
characters you've been introduced to? _