Powerless

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Superheroes soar in this promising debutand they're kids! Twelve-year-old Daniel, the new kid in town, soon learns the truth about his nicebut oddnew friends: one can fly, another can turn invisible, yet another controls electricity. Incredible. The superkids use their powers to secretly do good in the town, but they're haunted by the fact that the moment they turn thirteen, their abilities will disappearalong with any memory that they ever had them. Is a memory-stealing supervillain sapping their powers? The answers lie in a long-ago meteor strike, a World War IIera comic book ( Fantastic Futures,starring the first superhero, Johnny Noble), the green-flamed Witch Fire, a hidden Shroud cave, andpossibly, unbelievably"powerless" regular-kid Daniel himself. Superhero kids meet comic book mystery in this action-filled debut about the true meaning of a hero.
Curriculet Details
54 Questions
57 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum designed for 6th grade students contains interactive videos exploring irony, foreshadowing and different forms of figurative language as well as annotations describing characterization and conflict. Students will explore the themes of friendship, bravery and coming of age. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Prologue

A prologue is an opening to a story that establishes the setting and gives background details; it can also be an earlier story that ties into the main one. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Why does Michael give himself a weak smile in the mirror? 
If you click your mouse or press down with your finger (touch screen users) for a second, you can define words within the text, such as the word 'scowling.' Try it now - what does 'scowling' mean? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
What does Michael think caused him to see Mollie floating in his yard? 

Chapter One - The New Kid

We can see from the highlighted text that Daniel is both unique and strong minded. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Which type of figurative language is present in the highlighted phrase? 
The highlighted text explains Daniel's feelings in third person. Please watch the video below for an explanation about the two types of third person point of view. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
From which point of view is this story told? 

Chapter Two - The Bus Stop

When Daniel refers to himself as a sleuth (detective), he uses his deductive reasoning to come up with three explanations as to how Mollie could have saved his brother so quickly. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
How does the narrator describe the way Bud smells?  Mention specific examples from the text to support your answer. 
Notice how the author goes into vivid detail to describe Bud's stench. When an author uses this type of description, it is called 'imagery.' Please watch the video below for a more detailed explanation of imagery. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted text is an example of figurative language. The character's mom will not literally kill him. Please watch the video below for an explanation of this type of figurative language. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
What type of figurative language is illustrated in the highlighted text? 

Chapter Three - The Bridge

As we can see in Daniel's interaction with Rohan, he is very good at picking up on social cues to determine that Rohan is hiding something from him. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
How does Daniel determine that Mr. Snyder is a bully? 

Chapter Four - The Incident at the Observatory

The author uses indirect characterization to show us that Daniel is suspicious of his new friends. He does not state this directly by using the adjective 'suspicious,' but instead shows us indirectly through Daniel's actions. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
How does Daniel get past Clay and Bud? 
It's amazing that even when Daniel thinks that he is facing certain death, he still cannot escape his inquisitive nature as we can see in the highlighted text where he wonders if his death will be painful. 

Chapter Five - The Children of Noble’s Green

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Use the Define feature and read the definition for reassuring. Which of the following behaviors might reassure someone? 
It appears that Daniel is having a hard time accepting that his new friends have super powers because he is so used to applying logic and rational thinking to his own understanding of the world. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What is the fourth rule that is passed down from generation to generation of special children? 
At this point it is not clear if Johnny Noble is considered a real super hero because of his actions or because his actions are described in old comic books. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Why does Daniel think that it must be terrible to be special and not know why?  Include specific reasoning from the text to support your answer. 
Mollie's reaction to Daniel's decision shows that her character is more complex than the other super children. She does not show her feelings as openly as them. 

Chapter Six - Flight

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Why does Eric not consider Bud a threat? 
Even though Daniel appears nervous, the tone in these highlighted sentences is humorous, especially when Daniel's unremarkable abilities are compared to bread. Please watch the video below to see how to distinguish tone from mood. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
Why might it be problematic for a twelve-year-old boy to possess such power? 

Chapter Seven - Hide-and-Seek

When people have cancer, they often use a treatment called chemotherapy in order to kill the cancerous cells in their bodies. Traditional chemotherapeutic agents act by killing cells that divide rapidly like most cancer cells. This means that chemotherapy also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances such as cells in the digestive tract, and hair follicles. This results in the most common side-effects of vomiting and hair loss. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why do Daniel and the Supers suddenly end their game of hide-and-seek? 
It will be interesting to see if Daniel's lack of super powers will put a strain on his friendships with the Supers. Make a prediction. What do you think will happen?  

Chapter Eight - Moon-Gazing

It's ironic that Rohan has super human vision yet needs glasses to read. Please watch the video below for a more detailed explanation of irony. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Rohan has the ability to see the craters on the moon, but he needs glasses to read. This is an example of 
It seems evident that Daniel and Mollie like each other, but they do not know how to express themselves so their interactions are awkward. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What upset Mollie the most about Michael turning thirteen? 
This is Daniel's opportunity to use his ordinary nature as a super power to try and save his friend. 
Powerless Quiz #1 

Chapter Nine - Simon’s Birthday

Simon's reaction is interesting. There could be several possible motives behind his resentment. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Why does Daniel feel a tight ball of guilt form in his stomach? 
This is the first time that Daniel empathizes (puts himself in Simon's shoes) with Simon and sees his actions from Simon's perspective. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
What do Daniel and Simon see in the darkness? 
The imagery in the highlighted text really builds up suspense as we wonder what might have happened to Mollie. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What does Daniel see when he peers through Simon's window? 
The author's description of the creature resembles the Grim Reaper, but instead of taking souls, it feasts on super powers. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter Ten - Welcome Guests

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
According to Rohan, what is Daniel's super power? 
Rohan expresses a stereotype when he assumes that Daniel's nurse is female and asks if she is pretty. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
How does Rohan manage to surprise Daniel?  Mention specific details from the text to support your answer. 

Chapter Eleven - Written and Drawn by Herman Plunkett

Daniel is internally conflicted about lying to his parents. On the one hand, he wants to tell them the truth, but on the other hand, he knows that he cannot because of the stress it would cause. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why was Louisa so happy when Daniel joined the Supers? 
The highlighted text shows us that Daniel is very much like a detective. He can't just make decisions based off hunches; he needs actual evidence or proof. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What is the nurse worried that Daniel will do to Mr. Plunkett? 
The highlighted text might be an example of foreshadowing where the author could be hinting at something that will happen later in the story. Please see the video below for a more detailed description of foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
How did Mr. Plunkett come up with his character Johnny Noble? 
A 'shroud' usually refers to an item, such as a cloth, that covers or protects some other object. The term is most often used in reference to burial sheets that cover bodies for burial.  

Chapter Twelve - Mollie’s New Plan

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Use the Define feature to look up the definition for 'mundane.'  Which of the following words would be a synonym (similar meaning) of that word? 
Daniel is so surprised to see Mollie ashamed because this is something that he has never seen before in his friend. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
Why is it questionable that Plunkett would be involved with the Shroud? 
It appears that Daniel interrupting the Shroud caused an even greater memory loss for Simon. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Where are Daniel and Mollie going after school? 

Chapter Thirteen - The Old Quarry

The highlighted text is any example of personification because the trees are given the human ability to reach. Please watch the video below for a more detailed description of personification. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What used to be mined at the Old Quarry? 
Daniel is using his deductive reasoning to infer that somebody recently has cleared the area in the north end. But who? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
What does Daniel figure out when Mollie flies him over the sinkhole? 
The picture below is an actual cave in a quarry; it is very similar to the one described in the text. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Who is the author of the Rules? 
Daniel's actions in the highlighted text illustrate two important themes in the story. He shows bravery by standing up to the Shroud, and he clearly values Mollie's friendship when he sacrifices his own safety to protect her. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5
The highlighted text is an example of which type of figurative language? 
Daniel still sees himself as an ordinary boy even though his actions and thoughts show that he is remarkable: a superhero without super powers. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
How do Mollie and Daniel escape from the Shroud? 

Chapter Fourteen - Journey Home

The father's calm demeanor probably means something else has happened that is even worse than Daniel coming home two hours late. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Why has Daniel's mother been crying? 

Chapter Fifteen - Flowers and Casseroles

It appears that Daniel's pessimistic (negative) view on the guests and food is caused by his grief over loosing his grandmother. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Who is the girl that Daniel does not recognize? 
The negativity that he directed earlier at the well-wishers and then his friends is now directed at himself. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
How do you think Daniel's mother's words will affect him and influence his decision to help Eric? 
This appears to be a turning point in the story. Daniel is not going to tell Eric everything and shatter his dreams. Daniel will need to be the one to save the superhero. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
After talking to Eric, what does Daniel decide to do? 

Chapter Sixteen - Plunkett’s Story

The highlighted text is an idiom - an example of figurative language not meant to be taken literally. Please view the idiom video below for further clarification. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What does Daniel see in Plunkett's briefcase? 
If Plunkett is telling the truth, it makes you wonder why Eric said the Supers have been going on for generations. What could be his motivation for lying to his friends? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Examine Plunkett's questions highlighted at on this page. Who is the only Super that could be the Shroud? 

Chapter Seventeen - About Eric

It's comical and ironic that Rohan has super senses but does not notice Daniel when he is right in from of him. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
If Eric is the Shroud, the halo that follows him would be an example of which literary device? 
Powerless Quiz #2 

Chapter Eighteen - Briarwood

Rohan and Mollie's reactions are polar opposites. Rohan looks at things with logic and reasoning whereas Mollie reacts with pure emotion. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
According to Rohan, why would Eric wait until Supers turn thirteen before taking their powers? 
Daniel seems internally conflicted; he wants Eric to be innocent, but he is also looking for evidence that proves his guilt. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Why does Mollie take off at the end of the chapter? 

Chapter Nineteen - Grounded

At this point, Daniel has to wonder if Eric has figured out that he knows his secret. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
With the Sheriff and his dad pressuring him and two of his friends missing, why doesn't Daniel tell the truth?  Include details from the text to support your answer, 
Eric's reaction is interesting. It makes you wonder about his personality. Is he really innocent? Is he a very good actor? Or is he suffering from a split personality? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why does the Shroud leave Eric alive? 

Chapter Twenty - Strange Alliances

You almost have to feel sorry for Bud with his wicked odor and low self esteem. If he was confident in himself, he would not need to write "Bud Rules" everywhere. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
"His face was turning green with the effort" is which type of figurative language? 

Chapter Twenty-one - Back to the Mountain

It seems likely that Clay is acting cocky to hide his fear. Have you ever done that? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
Examine the highlighted sentence and use the Define feature to assist you if necessary.  What does Rohan mean when he says "use my religion as a derogative"? 
This might be a turning point in the story for Daniel's character. Maybe with the encouragement of Mollie, he will start to see himself as empowered. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6
Daniel's worrying about his friends after the impact instead of himself shows that he is 

Chapter Twenty-two - The Cave

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What does Plunkett think is hardwired in our DNA? 
It appears that Plunkett was infatuated with Gram. This might have also been why he said that Daniel was not ordinary. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why does Plunkett take Eileen's power? 
The highlighted text is a reference to when Plunkett and Daniel first met. The author in that earlier chapter was foreshadowing this current encounter. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
What was Plunkett looking for in the quarry? 

Chapter Twenty-three - Reichenbach Falls

Bud is depicted (described) as the typical bully. He picks on kids weaker and smaller than him because he is really a coward. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3
Why does Daniel turn his back on the battle and walk back into the cave? 
The highlighted text really shows the importance of friendship as a theme. Eric comes to his friends' aid even though he is weak and his friends doubted him. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Why do most of the Supers leave the quarry while the Shroud and Eric are fighting? 
The color black is a common symbol in literature; it can represent evil or the unknown. 

Chapter Twenty-four - The Way Home

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2
Where is Plunkett? 
The highlighted text shows a couple examples of hyperbole: when Mollie says that her mom will kill her and Daniel when he describes himself as an outlaw. Do a quick check: do you remember what the definition of hyperbole is? 

Chapter Twenty-five - The Legacy of Johnny Noble

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4
When the group of friends turn up at the police station, how do their parents initially react? 
Eric completely changes his perception of Johnny Noble. He used to look up to him as a hero or even a substitute father, but now he sees him as deadbeat dad. 
Who is the well-dressed man standing under the streetlight outside Daniel's window? 
Daniel comes of age in this novel that is he transitions from childhood into adulthood. He now realizes his own strengths and recognizes that he is not just an ordinary boy. 
Powerless Quiz