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					Name _________________________________________Date ___________________
                  “Sonata for Harp and Bicycle” by Joan Aiken
                          Build Vocabulary

Using the Word Bank
 DIRECTIONS: Match each word in the left column with its definition in
the right column. Write
the letter of the definition on the line next to the word it defines.
____ 1. encroaching                a. passionate
____ 2. tantalizingly              b. produced
____ 3. furtive                    c. ridiculous
____ 4. menacing                   d. stealthy
____ 5. reciprocate                e. implausibly
____ 6. ardent                     f. intruding
____ 7. gossamer                   g. wispy
____ 8. preposterous               h. temptingly
____ 9. engendered                 i. return
____ 10. improbably                j. threatening
Name __________________________ Date ___________________
“Sonata for Harp and Bicycle” by Joan Aiken
Build Grammar Skills: Participial Phrases
A participle is a form of a verb that can act as an adjective. A participial phrase is a
with modifiers or complements. Like a participle, a participial phrase acts as an adjective.
Participles: roaring
Participial Phrases: Roaring past the house, the tornado disappeared.
A respected judge, Mr. Jones made a fair decision.
A participial phrase should be placed close to the word it modifies, or the meaning of a
sentence may be unclear.
Misplaced Modifier: Hanging upside down on the bar, Sam watched a monkey.
Corrected: Sam watched a monkey hanging upside down on the bar.
A. Practice: Underline the participles or participial phrases in the passages from “Sonata
for Harp
and Bicycle.”
1. But, shaking her head, she stepped onto a scarlet homebound bus . . .
2. Walking as softly as an Indian, Jason passed through it . . .
3. He . . . found himself with two more endless green corridors beckoning him like a pair
of dividers.
4. He led Berenice to the fire door, tucking the bottle of Médoc in his jacket pocket.
5. And she stared firmly down at the copy in front of her, . . . candyfloss hair falling over
her face. . . .
6. Offices lay everywhere about him, empty and forbidding.
B. Writing Application: The following sentences contain misplaced modifiers. Rewrite
them so that the meaning is clear.
1. Strapped inside the case, Peter carried the new cello.
2. Jane saw an antique car walking to school.
3. Dangling from a high wire, Lucy watched the trapeze artist.
Reading Strategy: Predicting
As you read you try to guess what will happen next, especially in a mystery. You may not
stop and figure it out, but part of what keeps you reading is your desire to see what
compared to what you think might happen. We predict events in stories, just as we do in
real life, by using information to make a judgment. We get our information from details,
and we
apply what we know to the situation. When we do so, we build expectations. Sometimes
satisfy us by meeting our expectations. Sometimes they please us by surprising us.
they disappoint us by dashing our hopes.
The key to good predicting is paying close attention to details as you read. A light and
writer like Aiken often provides many colorful details to serve as hints. Practice
predicting what
will happen based on details you notice.

DIRECTIONS: Use this graphic organizer to practice your predicting skills. In the left
column appear details from “Sonata for Harp and Bicycle.” In the left column, write a
prediction of what each detail will mean to the story. After you have finished the story,
write what really happens in the right column. How closely did your predictions match
the actual outcomes?

it 6: Short Stories
PREDICTION                     OUTCOME

1. Loudspeakers instruct staff to stop work, and the building empties.
2. Miss Golden tells Mr. Ashgrove he may not know the secret until he is on the
Established Staff.
3. Jason looks down into the void from the fire escape.
4. Miss Bell “rented a room—this room—and gave lessons in it.”
5. Jason says “We must remedy the matter.”
6. “. . . two bottles of wine, twobunches of red roses, and a large, canvas-covered
Name ___________________________________Date ___________________
                       “Sonata for Harp and Bicycle” by Joan Aiken
Literary Analysis: Rising Action
As a good story moves along, it often has a sense of rising action that propels readers to
each new paragraph. What happens next? Where will these events lead? Eventually, the
reaches its climax, the high point of the story at which the readers’ interest is at a peak.
Writers build a sense of rising action in many ways. A setting may be intriguing. We may
sympathize with a character. Often, the action of a story, its plot, can be tracked. Where
your interest at its height in “Sonata for Harp and Bicycle”? What point in the story
would you
say is the climax? What details along the way heighten your interest? Use the following
chart to
plot events that build the sense of rising action for you.

DIRECTIONS: On the lines provided list events in the selection for each line. Items 1
through 4 should be events that you think build the sense of rising action. Item 5 should
be the climax, and item 6 the ending of the story.


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