A Series of Unfortunate Events #5: The Austere Academy

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As the three Baudelaire orphans warily approach their new home Prufrock Preparatory School : they can′t help but notice the enormous stone arch bearing the school′s motto Memento Mori or "Remember you will die." This is not a cheerful greeting and certainly marks an inauspicious beginning to a very bleak story just as we have come to expect from Lemony Snickett′s Series of Unfortunate Events, the deliciously morbid set of books that began with The Bad Beginning and only got worse.

Ages 10+

Curriculet Details
21 Questions
21 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 7th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining motif, Emperor Nero, and situational irony. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about foreshadowing and imagery. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of diction, structure, and character development. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter One

Moss is the common name for the Bryophyta, a botanical division of small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What else have we learned about Violet from prior stories?  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Which of the mentioned things that the buildings look like, a gravestone or a thumb, would match or fit in with the book series' tone? Why? 
The odd shaped buildings and the school's motto are creating a motif for this book in the series. Here is a short video to explain motif. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter Two

This highlighted section is an example of the author's use of imagery. Here is a short video about imagery.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
How would you describe Vice Principal Nero? 

Chapter Three

The expression mentioned is a cliche. A cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, Some cliches are literal and some are figurative language. Here is a short video on these language phrases.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What is the highlighted passage creating in literary terms? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
The phrase "in a bowl the size of a pickup truck" is an example of what type of language? 
Carmelita does not seem like she is going to get along with the orphans, based on the way she's treated them. The orphans are always the protagonists of the Lemony Snicket book series. Here is a short video about protagonists and antagonists. (This annotation contains a video)
The phrase "bussed their trays" means to clear all dishes and trays from the table.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Are the Quagmire triplets the antagonists of this book? Why or why not? 

Chapter Four

Before 2002, postage stamps were not made self adhesive, like decorative stickers. Postage stamps used to be made with a dry glue on the back of the stamp that you had to wet with a sponge or lick in order to make them sticky enough to adhere to an envelope.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
The highlighted passage is an example of what in literary terms?  
Quiz 1 

Chapter Five

The Baudelaire's new friends are named, like many things in the Lemony Snicket series, after a specific term that adds meaning to the story. The word "quagmire" means an awkward, complex, or hazardous situation.  (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted text is an example of foreshadowing. Here is a short video that talks about this literary term. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
When foreshadowing occurs in A Series of Unfortunate Events, what type of event is usually alluded to? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What literary term is the highlighted passage an example of? 

Chapter Six

Like most characters, the Vice Principal's name has another meaning as well. Nero was a Roman emperor. Nero's rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance. He is known for many executions, including that of his mother and the probable murder by poison of his stepbrother Britannicus. He is infamously known as the Emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned" and as an early persecutor of Christians.  (This annotation contains an image)
In the Baroque period, a sonata was for one or more instruments. After the Baroque period, most works designated as sonatas are performed by a solo instrument.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Would the Quagmires and the Baudelaires be as good of friends as they are if they had met one another before their families had the horrible fires? Why or why not? 

Chapter Seven

The orphans have been thinking a lot about their meeting with Count Olaf. This is an example of internal conflict. Here is a short video about internal and external conflict. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
What does the phrase "up to" mean? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What literary term is the highlighted passage an example of? 
Luminous paint or luminescent paint is paint that gives off visible light through fluorescence, phosphorescence, or radioluminescence.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter Nine

This symbolism is not uncommon in the book series. Here is a short video that describes symbolism as well. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
What do you think the luminous zero symbolizes in this story? Why? 
This book series is full of both static and dynamic characters. Here is a short video to help you tell them apart. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What type of character is Vice Principal Nero? 
Quiz 2 

Chapter Ten

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
Has Sunny's language stayed the same or changed significantly through the progression of this book? How can you tell?  

Chapter Eleven

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
What is the highlighted text an example of in literary terms?  
A masquerade ball is an event which the participants attend in costume wearing a mask. Masquerade balls were sometimes set as a game among the guests. The masked guests were supposedly dressed so as to be unidentifiable. This would create a game to see if a guest could determine each other's identities.  (This annotation contains an image)
The highlighted text is an example of personification. Here is a short video to explain this literary term. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
What literary term is the word "roger" an example of in this context? 

Chapter Twelve

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
Why doesn't Vice Principal Nero expel the Baudelaire children without the exam if he is so keen to expel them? 
This chapter about the exams is an example of situational irony. Here is a short video that describes this literary term. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter Thirteen

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
Which of these characters seem to be more fair and sympathetic? 
Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
The highlighted text is an example of what literary term? 
Tying a turban correctly takes some practice. Here is a short video showing one way to tie a turban properly. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
What is the highlighted text an example of in literary terms? 
Quiz 3