Now on Broadway! Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she's just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a menacing, kid-hating headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It'll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it! Here is Roald Dahl's original novel of a little girl with extraordinary powers. This much-loved story has recently been made into a wonderful new musical, adapted by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.
The curriculet is being added to your library
In this opening scene, Matilda is being blamed for something she did not do. Her principal yells at her and calls Matilda terrible names. It can be scary when adults yell, but Matilda is use to it...and she has a plan! Watch the link the movie trailer for "Matilda" below and make a prediction on what you think this novel is going to be about. (This annotation contains a video)
The Reader of Books
How does the first illustration relate to the title of the first chapter and the title of the novel?
What kind of figurative language device did the speaker use to compare Fiona to an iceberg?
The comparisons used to describe the children are literary devices called simile and metaphor. Watch the clip to learn the difference. (This annotation contains a video)
A bunion is a foot ailment that is caused by the big toe leaning in towards the other toes. (This annotation contains an image)
What is remarkable about Matilda in comparison to other children? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Notice the illustration of Matilda reading a big book. Why do you think the illustrator, Quentin Blake, draws so many pictures of Matilda reading?
Why is Mrs. Phelps fascinated with Matilda? Use textual examples to support your response.
The use of "mad" means which of the following?
Aylesbury is a town located in England. (This annotation contains an image)
The stack of books Matilda reads are written for adults. They are very thick and should be hard for a young child to understand. Not Matilda! (This annotation contains an image)
Based on what you know about Matilda's parents, explain why it would be a bad idea for Mrs. Phelps to contact them about Matilda's love of reading. Use textual examples to support your response.
Matilda loves to read so much because with a book, her imagination takes her any place in the world in the past, present or future. Look at the map of the world below. Where do you want to go? What book can take you there? (This annotation contains an image)
Mr Wormwood, the Great Car Dealer
Compare Mr. Wormwood's treatment of Matilda to how Mrs. Phelps reacts to her. Use textal evidence to support your response.
Why is Mr. Wormwood altering the milage on the used cars he sells?
An inference is when you use clues from the text and your own knowledge to make a guess. Can you infer what "jug" means?
What do you notice about Matilda's relationship with her family? Use textal examples to support your response.
The Hat and the Superglue
To "save face" is an idiom. It tells the reader that Mr. Wormwood is embarrassed and doesn't want his staff to notice.
Why does Mr. Wormwood look at Matilda with suspicion?
Notice how Mr. Wormwood "jumped" and "spluttered" when Matilda mentions the boy. These actions reveal Mr. Wormwood is scared of his situation. Can you infer why Mr. Wormwood is afraid?
What does Mr. Wormwood's reaction to his new appearance tell you about his character?
Matilda hasn't cured her father of his meanness quite yet. Think about how sentence might hint at what is to come later in the novel.
"As dark as a thundercloud" is an example of which of the following?
Matilda is set in England, but John Steinbeck is an American author. In this section, Mr. Wormwood is upset with Matilda reading a book, especially because she is reading a novel written by an American instead of an English author. (This annotation contains an image)
Can you explain how seeing Matilda reading affected Mr. Wormwood? Why did he react this way?
Compare Matilda's maturity and reasoning to her father's. How is Matilda different?
Matilda hides the Chopper the talking parrot inside the chimney. Her family won't see the bird, but they will be able to hear it. Predict what you think Matilda is hoping will happen. (This annotation contains an image)
Mr. Wormwood boasts about himself to whoever will listen, but when he is faced with a challenge he does not live up to his reputation.
The illustration shows Mr. Wormwood crouching in fear, but the quote says Mr. Wormwood was "greatly relieved" no one was in the room. How does the illustration and the highlighted quote connect? Use textual evidence in your answer.
Why is it so hard for Matilda to put up with her parents?
"Going round the bend" is an expression that means "to go crazy" or become frustrated. This statement tells the reader that Matilda is playing the pranks to keep herself sane. Below is a picture from the movie "Matilda" of Matilda planning another prank. (This annotation contains an image)
Mr. Wormwood's statement is an example of situational irony. Watch the clip below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
What is Mr. Wormwood not noticing about Matilda?
How did Matilda solve the equation?
Mr. Wormwood assumes that Matilda is a cheat and liar instead of recognizing her intelligence. Matilda's ability angers her father because he is jealous of her.
The Platinum-Blond Man
The sentence states Mr. Wormwood's hair is black, but the chapter title is "The Platinum-Blond Man" that hints at future events. Can you predict what Matilda's next punishment will be for her father based on this information? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Matilda reveals Mr. Wormwood's stupidity and insecurities through teasing and simple conversation. She compares her father to William Shakespeare, a famous English writer. Below is a picture of a book about Shakespeare. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Mr. Wormwood enters the room so loudly?
The use of imagery in this sentence allows the reader to visualize Mrs. Wormwood's reaction. How does the illustration help you visualize Mrs. Wormwood's reaction?
Peroxide is used to disinfect cuts or used to clean. Mrs. Wormwood says peroxide is "put down the lavatory" which means to clean the toilet. When peroxide is added to hair, it changes the hair color like in the picture below. (This annotation contains an image)
Besides the change in color what else is Mr. Wormwood afraid of happening to his hair?
Note the vocabulary used to describe Miss Honey and Miss Trunchbull. How do these words bring the characters to life?
Compare how different Miss Honey is to Miss Trunchbull. Use textual evidence to support your response.
Below is an image of Miss Trunchbull, Miss Honey and Matilda from the movie. In the novel, Miss Honey warns her students about Miss Trunchbull. What words describe Miss Trunchbull? What should Matilda expect when she meets Miss Trunchbull? (This annotation contains an image)
Matilda's intelligence is emerging in a safe place. Miss Honey is already captivated by Matilda's ability to multiply.
What does facility mean in this sentence?
Miss Honey assumes Matilda's parents taught her to multiply because that is the first logical reason for Matilda's ability. How does that compare to how Matilda's parents really act?
Mozart was a famous composer who play many instruments and wrote symphonies. He was a prodigy like Matilda. Both showed great ability at a young age. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Miss Honey realize about Matilda?
Limericks are harder to write because they are funny poems with a strict rhyme scheme. Roald Dahl, the author of Matilda, loved to read funny works of literature and includes other books and poems in Matilda like Mrs. Phelps's reading list and this limerick. Below is a picture of Roald Dahl with two of his dogs. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Miss Honey smiling?
Chapters 1-7 Quiz
Explain how Matilda has affected Miss Honey. How does this statement show the change in Miss Honey?
Word choice is vital in the description of Miss Trunchbull. From the author's the description we know that Miss Trunchbull is not a nice, sweet character. (This annotation contains an image)
Notice the irony of this statement. Miss Trunchbull says Mr. Wormwood is a "pillar of our society" which means she thinks Matilda's father is honest and fair. What do we know about Mr. Wormwood that proves he is not an honest man? (This annotation contains an image)
How are Miss Trunchbull and Mr. Wormwood similar?
Miss Trunchbull is referring to using birch branches or a belt to hit students.
Compare Miss Honey's expectation of Matilda's parents to how they actually think and act.
Notice how Miss Honey is beginning to stand up for herself. Taking a stand against bullies is an important theme. Keep track of this throughout the book. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Miss Honey startle Mr. Wormwood into listening?
Autocar and Motor are car magazines, not books. How do they compare to what Matilda reads? (This annotation contains an image)
What is Mrs. Wormwood's explanation for not being interested in Matilda reading? How does she insult Miss Honey?
Throwing the Hammer
This statement uses a _________ to describe the flurry of chip crumbs flying from Hortensia's mouth.
A boil is like a pimple. Hortensia has a large pimple on her nose.
Why does Hortensia assume Matilda is lying? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Knickers is an British English term for women's underwear.
Why is Hortensia enthralling to the girls, especially Matilda? Use textual evidence to support your response.
Hortensia is referring to the sport of hammer throws. This involves throwing a heavy ball attached to a wire as far as possible. (This annotation contains an image)
How is the narrator's description of Amanda different from Miss Trunchbull's feelings?
Blancmange is a dessert that jiggles like jello. Amanda's shaking is being compared to the wobble of the dessert. (This annotation contains an image)
What did Miss Trunchbull do with Amanda?
Bruce Bogtrotter and the Cake
What does Matilda learn from Lavender about why the Trunchbull is able to get away with picking on the students?
Amanda will cut off her braids in order to keep herself safe from the Trunchbull. (This annotation contains a video)
How does the use of imagery and word choice enhance the description of Bruce Bogtrotter? Explain your answer using examples form the text.
A brigand is a robber who attacks people in the woods or mountains. Why is Miss Trunchbull comparing Bruce Bogtrotter to a brigand? (This annotation contains an image)
How does the change in Miss Trunchbull's tone illustrate the danger of the situation?
Notice that the cook is the opposite of the Trunchbull in physical appearance. What does the narrator's description reveal about the cook?
Although her voice is described as gentle, the change in tone reveals how dangerous Miss Trunchbull actually is.
How does the Trunchbull's request affect Bruce's thinking?
What does Miss Trunchbull want Bruce to do?
The Trunchbull uses her power to scare and control the students. Acts that she cannot control, like Bruce burping, enrage her.
Watch a clip from the movie adaption to see the audience cheer on Bruce. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Miss Trunchbull lose control of the audience? How does Bruce reverse the intended outcome of the cake challenge?
Why is Lavender so motivated to trick the Trunchbull?
The Battle of Waterloo defeated Napoleon and ended a long history of violence in Europe. In Lavender's mind, she is preparing to battle Miss Trunchbull. (This annotation contains an image)
A newt is a small, lizard-like creature. It is not a reptile like a turtle or snake. It is an amphibian like a frog. Predict why you think Lavender is looking for a newt. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Miss Honey ask Lavender how she is feeling?
The Weekly Test
In Greek mythology a Gorgon is a female monster that turned people into into stone when they looked at her. Medusa was a Gorgon. Watch the clip from the movie "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" to see how Nigel imagined Miss Truchbull. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Nigel punished and told to stand in the corner?
The narrator reveals Miss Trunchbull doesn't care about the song by saying her voice dripped with sarcasm.
What is Miss Trunchbull's true purpose in testing the students?
Pantomime is a performance without words that is usually humorous. Mimes do pantomime and playing charades is pantomiming. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Miss Trunchbull says she was never a small person? How does this connect to her dislike for children?
How do you think Miss Trunchbull knows that the boy's ears won't come off?
Compare Miss Trunchbull's method of teaching to Miss Honey's. How are they related to each character's personality?
Pixies are mystical creatures with long, pointed ears. (This annotation contains an image)
The First Miracle
Miss Trunchbull's ideal school would not include which of the following?
It is ironic that Miss Trunchbull is now shaking like a blancmange because she is scared since she has intimidated and scared so many of her students.
Matilda is bullied by her parents and now by Miss Trunchbull. Matilda is unable to hold in her anger anymore.
Explain how being wrongly accused by Miss Trunchbull affects Matilda. Use textual evidence to support your response.
Why is Matilda feeling serene and confident?
Notice how Matilda's tone has changed. She has gone from being furious to speaking very calmly. What could this change in tone signify?
Chapter 8-14 Quiz
The Second Miracle
How does the use of "exalted" illustrate how Matilda looks sitting at her desk?
Miss Honey believes that if she tests Matilda she will prove that the girl is just making up the story.
Why is it an important moment when Matilda tips the glass without touching it? How might this change the story's plot?
A seraph is a heavenly creature that is painted with wings like an angel. Miss Honey is describing Matilda as having an angelic quality as she recovers from her daze. (This annotation contains an image)
Miss Honey’s Cottage
Compare Matilda's and Miss Honey's reaction to the "phenomenon." Use textual examples to support your response.
Miss Honey is amazed that Matilda is not boasting of her ability or acting self-absorbed.
Old Man's beard is a type of plant that looks like a fuzzy beard. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Matilda surprised about where Miss Honey lives?
The cottage reminds Matilda of a fairytale, but this is ironic because Matilda's life is like fairytale. Which of the following matches the characters in Matilda?
Margarine is imitation butter that is cheaper than real butter. When Miss Honey serves margarine, why does it make Matilda think she is poor? (This annotation contains an image)
Matilda is both smart and kind. How does this relate to how she reacts to Miss Honey's lifestyle.
Why is it significant that Matilda notices Miss Honey is comfortable using the boxes as her chairs and table?
Miss Honey’s Story
The use of "sharply" tells the reader that Miss Honey is self-conscious of where and how she lives. (This annotation contains an image)
Explain why Miss Honey feels comfortable enough around Matilda to reveal her story.
Notice that Miss Honey is still unsure of how her father actually died.
Miss Honey is drawn to Matilda because she has "a strong character." Matilda carries herself with confidence. (This annotation contains an image)
How is Miss Honey's childhood similar to Matilda's? Use text examples to support your response.
Why is it significant for Matilda to ask the highlighted question?
Miss Honey eats her biggest meal at school where she can eat for free. How does this information change the relationship between Matilda and Miss Honey? (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Miss Honey suddenly a heroine to Matilda?
How might Matilda involve herself in helping Miss Honey get her house back?
Matilda sees that Miss Honey needs help in order to restore her life and Matilda realizes she can use her gift to help Miss Honey get back what is rightfully hers.
It is ironic how Miss Honey warns Matilda not to "do anything silly" since the narrator has already revealed the tricks Matilda has played on her own family.
Matilda is amazed that she was able to move the cigar so ______.
Why do you think Matilda is so determined to lift the cigar?
Matilda is using all her energy to practice lifting the cigar. She is exhausted after trying so many times.
The Third Miracle
The phrase "she has muscles like steel ropes" is an example of _______.
Miss Trunchbull asks the students to do impossible tasks to ensure she is always in control.
The students cannot answer Miss Trunchbull quickly because they are afraid of being punished. Their fear makes them spend more time thinking which makes Miss Trunchbull angrier.
How will Matilda's use of her power influence the resolution of the novel?
Why is Miss Trunchbull so upset with the message on the board?
Find the illustration showing how Miss Trunchbull reacts to the "ghost of Magnus." How does Miss Trunchbull look like a halibut, or a fish, out of water?
What can you infer about why the teachers reacted so happily to seeing Miss Trunchbull on the floor?
Matilda punished Miss Trunchbull for her poor treatment of Miss Honey. Miss Honey is thankful for Matilda's help.
A New Home
This picture below is an example of a "Georgian" style house. It shows what the "The Red House" looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize Miss Honey's explanation of why Matilda's powers disappeared. Use textual examples to support your response.
Explain why Matilda and Miss Honey get along so well. How does their relationship change after the Trunchbull leaves?
Why does Matilda run to Miss Honey's house?
The phrase "that would be heaven" is an expression that means something is wonderful. In this scene, Miss Honey expresses how happy she would be if Matilda lived with her.
What do Matilda and Miss Honey plan on asking the Wormwoods?
In British English, the boot of a car is the trunk.
What is appealing to Mrs. Wormwood about Matilda staying with Miss Honey?