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How To Eat Fried Worms

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					                         Novel Study: How To Eat Fried Worms
                                               by Thomas Rockwell




Chapters 1-4, pgs. 1-21

      §       Who are the four main characters in this story?
      §       As the story opens, Alan and Billy tell Tom he missed something the night before.
              What did he miss?
      §       How do the boys get started talking about eating worms?
      §       What are the details of the bet? If you were Billy, would you have accepted the
              bet? Why or why not?
      §       What is a python? Why does Tom use the word to describe the worm Alan and Joe
              have just dug up?
      §       What kinds of things does Billy do to prepare himself for the worm?
      §       What arguments does Tom use to convince Billy that he has to go through with the
              bet after he sees the first worm?
      §       When Billy starts hopping around the barn flapping his arms like a big bird, what do
              the other boys think?
      §       Find the meanings of these words: smudged (pg. 2); fricasseed (pg. 5); devious (pg.
              6); recoiling (pg. 13); scrutinized (pg. 17); shrill (pg. 21)
      §       Use an electronic encyclopedia like Compton's, Grolier's, or World Book to find out
              more about earthworms. Summarize your findings in a short paragraph.

Chapters 5-10, pgs. 22-41

          §    How do you know Alan is worried? Can you give any reason for Joe's lack of
               concern? Why isn't he worried?
          §    What is the thing that bothers Billy the most about eating the worms? What
               suggestion does Tom have?
          §    The author makes Billy's fantasy about taking the mini-bike into church and school
               seem so real by using interesting descriptive words. List as many of these words as
               you can find from pgs. 28-29.
          §    Find pictures in a magazine or newspaper of a mini-bike or a person on a mini-bike.
               By carefully tracing these pictures, draw the scene in the classroom or the scene
               in Mr. Simmon's office.
          §    Does it seem like Billy has any trouble eating the third worm? Why?
          §    What are Joe and Alan up to as they watch Billy eat the fourth worm? What story
               do they tell Billy?
          §    What does Tom think of Joe's story? Do you think Billy believes it? Why or why
               not?
          §    Where do you think the boys live? What time of year is it?




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6 Grade TreasureTrove                                            http://www.occdsb.on.ca/~proj1615
Chapters 11-15, pgs. 42-59

      §   Why did Billy want Tom to eat a worm? How do you know that Tom really doesn't
          like the idea?
      §   Besides losing the fifty dollars, what was Alan afraid of?
      §   What did Joe mean when he said to Alan over the phone that he had nothing to
          worry about becauseBilly was "cracking"?
      §   How do you know that Billy is beginning to worry about what Joe had said about
          eating worms?
      §   What does antidote mean? Why was Billy looking for an antidote?
      §   Have you ever had a scary nightmare? What was it about?
      §   Who sounds more worried about Billy's gurgling stomach, his mom or his dad? How
          do you know?
      §   If you woke your mom up at 3:15 am with a rumbling, gurgling stomach, and you said
          you had eaten five worms, what would she say?
      §   Find the meanings of these words: reassuring (pg. 43); gagged (pg. 44); trough (pg.
          45); tainted (pg. 52); discernible (pg. 58)

Chapters 16-21, pgs. 60-75

      §   Billy actually had nightmares after eating the fifth worm. Why is it that he
          doesn't seem to mind eating the sixth, seventh, and eighth worms? What things
          does Billy do as he eats these worms that show you he is no longer afraid of what
          might happen to him?
      §   Are Joe and Alan getting more worried? How do you know?
      §   Billy asks Alan, "Where's Joe?", as he eats the eighth worm. What was Joe up to?
      §   Why did Billy suspect something as he looked at the ninth worm?
      §   When the author writes that Billy had forgotten to dip the piece of worm in
          horseradish sauce, what had happened?
      §   What might be the reason that Billy is asking his mom about eating hot dogs for
          breakfast? Could it have something to do with their shape?
      §   Why do Joe and Alan come to see Mrs. Forrester? Do you think they trust Billy?
      §   What has happened to the friendship between Alan, Joe, and Billy?
      §   What does Mr. Forrester think about the fact that the bet is still on?

Chapters 22-27, pgs. 76-89

      §   What new way of serving up worms does Mrs. Forrester come up with? Describe it.
      §   You are asked to prepare a "worm dish" for Billy. How would you serve your worm?
      §   Why is Emily, Billy's sister, a bit envious?
      §   Joe comes up with another idea to trick Billy. How do they plan on making Billy lose
          the bet?
      §   Why don't Billy, Tom, and Pete have to "dig up" a worm when Billy realizes he has
          been tricked?
      §   Explain why Billy has to eat the worm raw.




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6 Grade TreasureTrove                                       http://www.occdsb.on.ca/~proj1615
      §   Why do they wake up half the neighbourhood before Billy eats his thirteenth
          worm?
      §   Write an interesting sentence for each of these words: a) eyeing; b) snout; c)
          drowsy; d) disgusted; e)furiously

Chapters 28-33, pgs. 90-102

      §   When did Mr. Phelps realize that he had been used as a way to trick Billy into
          losing the bet? Was he very happy about that when he found out?
      §   Why are the last three letters in the title of chapter 30 upside-down?
      §   Why does Billy suspect that Joe and Alan will try something?
      §   In chapter 31, Billy reads a letter addressed to his mom. Who is this letter from
          supposedly? Who do you think really wrote it?
      §   What is it about the letter that makes it seem very unlikely that a real doctor
          would've sent it? Explain your answer in detail.
      §   What is an autopsy? When are autopsies performed? Why would this scare Billy?
      §   How did Mr. Forrester know something was the matter with Billy?

Chapters 34-41, pgs. 103-116

      §   Tom isn't around to watch Billy eat the fifteenth worm. Where is he? Who tells
          you this? Is this person a reliable source of information? Why? Could there be
          another explanation as to Tom's whereabouts?
      §   Do they try to trick Billy again? How?
      §   Find out what a cistern is. You might want to try and do your research on one of
          the electronic encyclopedias in your school - Compton's, Grolier's, or World Book.
          Why would Mr. Forrester be so upset about the boys playing around it?
      §   Why did Pete say, "Hurry! Tom's talking to your mother!" What did he mean?
      §   Did Billy collect on the bet? How do you know?
      §   Why is Alan "at the store"?
      §   Why don't the other guys want to trade lunches with Billy?
      §   Did you enjoy this book? What was the part you liked best?



**For MORE ideas, be sure to check out:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/9893/friedwormsideas.htm [Teaching ideas]
http://www.mce.k12tn.net/reading/fried_worms_unit.htm [Unit]
http://www.teachervision.com/lesson-plans/lesson-6114.html [Project Ideas]




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6 Grade TreasureTrove                                      http://www.occdsb.on.ca/~proj1615

				
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