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This nonfiction book has been faithfully adapted for young readers from the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Marley & Me by John Grogan!

Marley, a lovable Labrador retriever, is always getting himself into trouble. Some may say he is the world's worst dog. But those who know and love Marley understand that nothing can stop his loyalty, exuberance, and passion—not even the Grogans' screen door! How this big, rambunctious dog becomes the heart of the Grogan family is the story of Marley.

Curriculet Details
52 Questions
57 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in fifth grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining popular references and literary devices, and asking students to make personal connections with the text. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about figurative language and allusions. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of plot elements, comparing and contrasting characters and main events in the story. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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What quote from the highlighted paragraph tells us which dog the author will probably choose? 
Since we know the book is about a dog named Marley, this paragraph is the author's way of setting the reader up for reading about Marley's un-saintly behavior. It is a technique called foreshadowing. Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 1

Labrador retrievers are known for being well-behaved around children and the elderly. They are even-tempered, athletic, and playful, which makes them the most popular breed of dog in the U.S. (This annotation contains an image)
How is Clearance Dog's behavior different from Saint Shaun's? 
Notice the humorous details the author includes when describing Clearance Dog's father. 

Chapter 2

The highlighted phrase is an example of a type of figurative language known as a simile. Watch the video below to learn more about similes and their close cousins, metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Marley so upset about his sleeping arrangements? 
This is the beginning of a recurring idea in the novel-giving in to Marley. 

Chapter 3

The phrase "she threw herself into him" means that ___________________. 
The video of a Slinky below gives you an idea of how Marley would wiggle his entire body. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted sentence is an example of which literary device? 

Chapter 4

List three ways that Marley has changed since he was a puppy. 
What does the phrase "he stared at the stick as if he were a starving man staring at a loaf of bread" mean? 
Below you can see a retriever like Marley in action. (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how the narrator gets Marley to release his stick. 
The author is using a technique called "conditioning" to train Marley. Conditioning is where animals learn that if they perform a certain action, they will receive a reward. 

Chapter 5

Based on the author's description of how Marley behaved with the other dogs, what is the instructor probably thinking? 
"Alpha male" is a term used to describe the animal with the most power in its social group or pack. In this case, dogs see their owners as part of the dog pack, so the owners will only be able to control the dog if the dog sees the owner as the pack leader. 
It sounds like Marley is wearing a common training tool called a "choke chain" as pictured below. The leash attaches to the large metal circle that's been pulled through the other metal loop. As the dog pulls on the leash, it's actually tightening the collar around its own neck. The collar releases quickly once the dog stops pulling. (This annotation contains an image)
The instructor claims that she's kicking Marley out of obedience school because he's too young, but she's really doing it because she 
Notice the details the author, John Grogan, uses to paint the picture of Marley during training. By describing Marley as "quaking with anticipation," similar to "a volcano ready to blow" with muscles bulging, the reader can feel the suspense of the situation. 
What can you tell about Marley's owners from how they react to Marley's misbehaviors? 

Chapter 6

Getting a dog "fixed" means getting it neutered. It's a quick surgery that sterilizes the dog and prevents him from fathering any puppies. It can also make a dog calmer and less likely to get certain diseases. 
A well-known image of a World War I flying ace is the cartoon character, Snoopy, pictured below seated on the roof of his dog house. (This annotation contains an image)
Throughout the scene of Marley in the car, what are three details the author uses to create humor? 

Chapter 7

Below is an image of a mango tree, heavy with fruit. (This annotation contains an image)
What happened to the speaker cover? 
Which phrase below is an example of a simile? 
The highlighted word is an example of a type of figurative language called "onomatopoeia." An onomatopoeia is a word that represents a sound. You can almost hear Marley's satisfaction with eating the necklace! 
Why does John say they should open a jewelry-cleaning business? 

Chapter 8

Remember that the family got Marley in 1991. 
The highlighted phrase is an example of which type of figurative language?  
What emotions is the author attributing to Marley, even though Marley can't speak? 
Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level in the world. It is part of the Himalayan mountain chain between India and Nepal, and towers 29,029 feet above the earth. (This annotation contains an image)
Part One 
"We Are the Champions" is a song by the band Queen. You can listen and read the text below. Why would John be singing this song on the way home? (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 9

What is the meaning of "tough-love time" as it is used in this sentence? 
Here we can see that much of the conflict of trying to gain control of Marley has been resolved. 
Here we can see a theme of friendship emerging. Even though Jenny was furious with Marley, she eventually forgave him and went back to having a happy relationship with him. 
What evidence is there that Jenny has forgiven Marley for tearing up the couch? 

Chapter 10

"Catching someone's eye" is an example of a type of figurative language known as an "idiom." An idiom is an expression where the meaning of the whole saying is different from the literal meaning of the words. For example, if you see the phrase "it's raining cats and dogs," you might think that animals are literally falling from the sky. However, this idiom's figurative meaning is that it is raining really hard. 
List three details about Marley's entrance that shows his excitement at meeting Colleen. 
You can watch the trailer for the movie below. Unfortunately, Marley does not make an appearance. (This annotation contains a video)
The phrase "he barked" means that the policeman was  ________________. 
After all you know about Marley, do you think this scene will go as smoothly as John thinks? 
What does Marley not do in one of the takes? 

Chapter 11

"Raw footage" is the term for the unedited film recorded for a movie or TV show. 
How does the director's perception of Marley's behavior differ from John's perception? 
Blockbuster was a store where people used to go to rent movies on tape or disc. 

Chapter 12

Why does the author compare swimming with Marley to swimming with an ocean liner, or large boat? 
What evidence of the theme of friendship do you see in this episode with Marley and his reaction to the storm? 
The cage pictured below would be the type of cage the Grogans got for Marley. You can see the two latches on the top and bottom of the front gate. (This annotation contains an image)
In the early 1900's, Harry Houdini was an illusionist and stunt performer famous for his amazing escapes. (This annotation contains an image)
What evidence is there that the cage is not effective in containing Marley? 

Chapter 13

A sumo wrestler is pictured below. Compare his size (about 400 pounds) to the size of an average ballerina (100 pounds) and you can see how Marley would stick out among the small dogs in his neighborhood. (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted paragraph is an example of 
What detail shows that the other diners are shocked at Marley's behavior? 
This sounds like another bit of foreshadowing. What do you think Marley will do next? 

Chapter 14

How does the perspective of the older couple differ from the perspective of John and Jenny in the highlighted section? 
That is a danger sign! If you can feel tingles or your hair stands up during a storm, it means positive charges are rising through you, reaching toward the negatively charged part of the storm. Lightning is about to strike. Your best bet is to get yourself immediately indoors. 
What just happened to John? 

Chapter 15

Old Faithful is the name of a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. The image below shows the geyser in full spray. (This annotation contains an image)
Using context clues, what is the meaning of the word "breaker" in the highlighted sentence? 
Drinking salt water is dangerous. Because there's more salt in the water than in the composition of your body (or a dog's body), salt water actually dehydrates you, which can then cause headaches, vomiting, and eventually, death if you drink too much of it. 
List three details that the author includes to create suspense in the highlighted section. 
Notice how much detail the author uses to tell this story. He relates events in slow motion so that the readers can picture the whole scene in their heads. It's easy to imagine how this scene would look in a movie. 

Chapter 16

Based on the highlighted section, what can you conclude about the Grogan family? 
Do you understand why the author says, "...they fully expected her to start howling at any moment"? Picture a woman crawling all over on her hands and knees. She would look like a dog! 

Photographic Insert

How does seeing these photos of Marley help you understand the story in a different way? 

Homework #23

Larger pets travel in the cargo section of the plane, located below the cabin, which is not accessible by people during the airline flight. The pet cargo area normally has the proper ventilation, air pressure, and heating or cooling that is required for safe animal transport. 
Part Two 

Chapter 17

The highlighted phrase is an example of a(n) 
Notice the metaphor the author uses to describe the snow cover as "a white blanket." As you examine the image below, can you see how the layer of snow covering the roofs and fences looks like a thick, white blanket? (This annotation contains an image)
What details tell you that Marley and the children are enjoying the snow? 
A tobaggan is a long sled, traditionally wooden, that is made for multiple people to sit on at once. (This annotation contains an image)
Scooby Doo is a dog in an old cartoon series. Watch the introduction to the show below to see the silly type of animated action the author is referring to. (This annotation contains a video)
What evidence of the theme of friendship is mentioned in this last paragraph? 

Chapter 18

Chickens lay an egg about every day, and will keep laying until their nests are full. (This annotation contains an image)
What is making the noise that John hears? 
Notice how throughout the story the author attributes human thoughts and emotions to his dog. It makes the reader form a stronger emotional connection to Marley. 
Why does the author compare Marley to a "high-kilowatt electric plant"? 
List two details the author uses to create suspense in this situation. 
Sadly, here's another sign that Marley is getting old. He won't even chase birds. 

Chapter 19

List three details included by the author in the highlighted section to show the humor of the situation. 
Which phrase from the highlighted section is an example of figurative language? 
Arthritis in dogs is common and can be alleviated with treatments similar to those used on people. However, you should never give a dog medicine made for people! 
Remember that John and Jenny first got Marley in 1991. 
The phrase "a worthy shrine" is what type of figurative language? 
Here we see the beginning of a new conflict for the Grogans. How much longer will Marley be healthy enough to stay with them? 

Chapter 20

The highlighted text is an example of which literary technique? 
The diagrams below show what happens when a dog's stomach flips and becomes bloated. (This annotation contains an image)
Why do John and Jenny make the tough decision to put Marley to sleep if he doesn't recover? 
Mount Olympus is a real mountain in Greece. It is regarded as the home of the gods and goddesses of myth. (This annotation contains an image)
Do you have a pet with whom you have a strong bond like John and Marley? 

Chapter 21

What are three ways Marley's behavior is the same as it was before he was sick? 
Mr. Magoo is a cartoon character from the 1950's. He was known for his terrible eyesight, as you can see in the introductory clip below. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted sentence is an example of a(n) 

Chapter 22

The highlighted phrase is an example of a type of figurative language called "personification." Watch the video below to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
The author James Herriot is known for writing stories about animals. Follow the link below to read the first chapter from one of his books filled with dog stories, then answer the following question. (This annotation contains a link)
What similarities do you see between Herriot's experience as a dog owner losing his two canine pals and John's experience, as his friendship with Marley begins to come to a close? 
The phrase "My heart sank" is another idiom. His heart is not actually sinking in liquid; it means he feels really sad. 
This portion of the story would be the climax, where the reader doesn't know if Marley will make it or not. 
Why would John ask for time alone with Marley? 
The article at the link below is about another writer's experience losing his best dog friend. That author talks about how he managed to cope with his grief, and he says, "I’m a writer, and I need to process my grief by writing, so that’s what I’m doing. " That sounds like exactly what John Grogan did by writing this book. (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 23

What does the highlighted sentence mean? 
This type of story telling is a common way for people who are grieving to keep those they've lost close to their hearts. 
After watching the movie trailer for the story, how well does it match your idea of Marley and his antics? What differences did you notice? 
John is reflecting on the meaning of his relationship with Marley. Watch the trailer below for the "Marley & Me" movie to see another version of that relationship, and then answer the question that follows. (This annotation contains a video)
This passage is the essence of the friendship theme in this book. Can you think back to some examples of how Marley taught John these lessons? 

Chapter 24

List three ways life is different without Marley around. 
Make a prediction: do you think the Grogans will take in this new dog? Why? 
Part Three