Marley & Me

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The heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family and the wondrously neurotic dog who taught them what really matters in life.

Now with photos and new material

Curriculet Details
94 Questions
100 Annotations
3 Quizzes

In this 9th and 10th grade digital curriculum, annotations explain the characteristics of a memoir and the use of characterization and point of view. Interactive videos explain foreshadowing, verbal irony, and figurative language. Video and visual annotations aid students in understanding the significance of references to particular sites and individuals. Students will explore the themes of family, the bond between individuals and their pets, coping with birth and death, and the lessons learned through these interactions. Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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"Marley and Me" is a memoir. A memoir is a literary nonfiction genre. It is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the author's life. 
According to John's father, he must pick a dog that is 
The point of view of a narrative is the perspective from which it is told. In a memoir, the author is the narrator, so the story is told from first-person point of view. The video will help you understand point of view. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 1: And Puppy Makes Three

What does John do for a living? 
The image shows a dieffenbachia plant similar to the one the narrator buys his wife. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jenny want to get a dog? 
John's living room may have looked similar to this room. (This annotation contains an image)
John and his wife have to choose from nine labrador retriever puppies like the ones shown below. (This annotation contains an image)
What is a backyard breeder? 
Lori is a responsible breeder who selects and screens homes for her puppies. 
John feels a bit queasy when he realizes that he has probably just glimpsed his puppy's father. This is an example of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing gives hints or "shadows" what is going to happen later in the narrative. The video explains how writers use foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 2: Running with the Blue Bloods

What do John and Jenny argue about? 
What is the purpose of House of Marley? 
Bob Marley had a profound experience on many people. (This annotation contains a video)
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 

Chapter 3: Homeward Bound

“The Far Side” is a single-panel comic created by Gary Larson and syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the "Define" feature to find the meaning of the word "caveat". What does " caveat" mean in this sentence? 
John reads about the importance of genetics to a Labrador retriever's temperament. This makes him concerned about the behavior of Marley's father. 
Why does John feel better about choosing Marley as a pet? 
What figure of speech does John use to describe Marley's behavior in the car? 
Why does Marley cry when John places him in the box in the garage? 

Chapter 4: Mr. Wiggles

How does caring for Marley affect Jenny? 
John describes Marley through his physical description and his actions. This is called indirect characterization. The video explains how to find out about characters through the use of indirect characterization. (This annotation contains a video)
How do John and Jenny try to deal with Marley's behavior? 
Endometriosis is a female health disorder that occurs when cells from the lining of the womb (uterus) grow in other areas of the body. This can lead to pain, irregular bleeding, and problems getting pregnant. 
How does Marley get fleas? 
John and Jenny attack the fleas as if they are an enemy. Jenny's efforts are rewarded, and they are able to rid the house and Marley of fleas. 

Chapter 5: The Test Strip

What news does Jenny share with John? 
John and Jenny are nervous about the results of the pregnancy tests but pretend they aren't. 
Jenny's concern about the pesticides is an example of  

Chapter 6: Matters of the Heart

John notices that Marley is changing. 
John uses ________________ to describe the changes in Marley. 
How is the community changing? 
Why do Jenny and John take a blank tape to the doctor's appointment? 
The nurse's reaction when she does the sonogram alerts John and Jenny that something is wrong. 
What steps does Dr. Sherman take when he determines Jenny has had a miscarriage? 
Who comforts Jenny after the miscarriage? 

Chapter 7: Master and Beast

Marley senses that Jenny is upset and tries to comfort her. 
How does John know that the information about Labrador retrievers is reliable? 
Marley's skills at retrieving are remarkable; however,he does not relinquish the objects he retrieves. What other characteristic of Marley's does John recognize? 
What figure of speech does John use to emphasize that Marley is not the smartest of dogs? 
What does the fetching exercise accomplish? 
What happens to the floral arrangement John buys Jenny? 

Chapter 8: A Battle of Wills

John realizes that Marley's behavior is not normal. 
Why does the instructor insist that only one of Marley's owners participate in the training? 
The instructor embarrasses John and Jenny with snide remarks about Marley's behavior. 
Miss Dominatrix uses the choker collar to teach dogs to heel. View how this dog trainer teaches a dog to heel. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Victoria Stillwell's method of teaching a dog to heel differ from the method Miss Dominatrix uses? 
What happens when the instructor attempts to get Marley to heel? 
Why does the instructor ask to see John at the end of the class? 
Why does John begin his training sessions with Marley? 
Marley is afraid of thunderstorms. He destroys the garage in an attempt to get out during a violent storm. 
Marley's behavior, as John and Jenny clean up the garage, attests to his  

Chapter 9: The Stuff Males Are Made Of

Why do the Grogans choose Dr. Jay as their veterinarian? 
Dr. Jay suggests that neutering Marley will help to make him calmer.  
What other reasons might Dr. Jay have for suggesting that Marley not have any offspring? 
What theme does John's tension with his wife illustrate? 
Why doesn't John's romantic encounter go as planned? 
Why does John finally decide to have Marley neutered? 
This video from the movie "Marley and Me" shows Marley as he makes his escape from the car. Can you see why the mechanics think the scene is funny? (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 10: The Luck of the Irish

What lesson is taking care of Marley teaching John and Jenny? 
Why does John create a very detailed list of instructions for Kathy? 
What does the Marley Memo illustrate?  
John's list looks intimidating. 
Use the "Define" feature to find the meaning of bucolic. Its use in this sentence means 
John uses humor to describe the bedrooms in the homes where he and Jenny stay while they are in Ireland. 
What does Jenny's conversation with Kathy suggest about Marley's behavior? 
Quiz One 
What does Jenny mean by her remark? 

Chapter 11: The Things He Ate

In the military, D-Day designates the day on which an operation or combat attack is to be initiated when the day has not yet been determined or where secrecy is essential. The best known D-Day is June 6, 1944 - the day of the Normandy landing – initiating the Western Allied effort to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II.  
What precautions do Jenny and John take during Jenny's second pregnancy? 
Jenny has cravings and mood swings during her pregnancy. John does his best to make her happy. 
Verbal irony is saying the opposite of what is meant. This is also a method of creating humor in a narrative. The video explains the three types of irony. (This annotation contains a video)
Use the "Define" feature to determine the meaning of the word incorrigibility. Which definition describes Marley's behavior in the highlighted sentence? 
How does Marley indicate that he has done something wrong? 
How does John know that Marley has Jenny's necklace? 
Why does John go through the effort it takes to retrieve the necklace? 
What does John notice about the necklace when Marley expels it? 

Chapter 12: Welcome to the Indigent Ward

John wants the best for his baby so he chooses to pay for the extra amenities. The ad below shows the comforts the luxury birthing suite offers. (This annotation contains an image)
Why doesn't the nurse take Jenny to the luxury suite? 
The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence states:We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.Explain how the Mexican women's experience in the hospital supports (or does not support) the truths set forth in the Declaration of Independence. 
John is struck by the fact that Jenny is able to receive an epidural for pain because she has hospital insurance, while the Mexican women who have no insurance must bear the pain of childbirth. 
How do Jenny and John prepare Marley for the new baby? 
Marley gets acquainted with Patrick. 
Why is John confident that Marley will not harm Patrick? 
John feels he and Jenny have everything they could ask for. What things are important to them? 

Chapter 13: A Scream in the Night

Why do John and Marley go to the convenience store late at night? 
John's neighborhood is changing, and not for the better. 
Why do John and Jenny feel safe even though there is more crime in their neighborhood? 
What happens in the neighborhood? 
What does Marley's behavior prove to John? 
What does John think should have been included in the news article about the stabbing incident? 
How does John's relationship with Lisa change after her attack? 

Chapter 14: An Early Arrival

Why is John nervous when Jenny tells him the baby is coming? 
John takes care of the household duties while Jenny is in the hospital. 
How does the household routine change when John is in charge? 
Being confined to bed is difficult for Jenny. Marley seems to understand and tries to comfort her. 
How is this delivery different from Jenny's first? 
Donald Trump and girlfriend Marla Maples have a baby girl on the same day Jenny and John have their second child. The image below shows Mar-a-Lago. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 15: A Postpartum Ultimatum

Many new moms experience the "baby blues" after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings and crying spells that fade quickly. But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression.  
Who becomes the main target of Jenny's frustration? 
Jenny reaches the breaking point one night when Marley gouges the fabric out of one the sofa cushions. She takes out her frustration by beating Marley with her fists. 
What does Marley's reaction to Jenny's blows reflect? 
How does John identify with Marley? 
Why does John find it difficult to give up on Marley? 
How is Marley's second enrollment at obedience school different from the first? 
How does John break Marley's habit of jumping up on him? 
John is pleased that he is able to break Marley's habit of jumping on people. What else happens to make him even happier? 

Chapter 16: The Audition

Marley gets a(n) 
Colleen and her crew take pictures of John and his family because they want to understand the interactions of the typical heterosexual family. Is John's family representative of the typical heterosexual family? 
John continues to use humor and irony when he describes Marley. The video explains how authors use verbal irony. (This annotation contains a video)
What change does John notice in Marley in the days before the shooting? 
The family is treated like royalty because Marley has a role in the movie. 
How does Marley behave during filming? 
John knows that the cast and crew are exasperated with Marley's behavior. He is not surprised when he is told not to bring Marley back the next day unless he gets a call from them. 
What special treatment does Marley receive while working on the movie? 
John finds a video of "The Last Home Run" at Blockbuster's. The family is proud of Marley's performance. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 17: In the Land of Bocahontas

What forces John and Jenny to look for a new home? 
Why does John poke fun at Boca Raton? 
What does John's attack on the superficiality of Boca Raton illustrate?  
The new house does not have the charm of the old house. What does the family enjoy about the new house? 
What concerns John and Jenny about Marley's panic attacks? 
John is appalled at the damage Marley causes in the garage, but also understands that Marley cannot help it. 
Why are John and Jenny able to enjoy the family outing? 
Marley proves his ingenuity when he manages to unlock the door of the cage. He thwarts John's attempts to confine him by twisting and bending the frame of the cage in his attempts to escape. 

Chapter 18: Alfresco Dining

Why do Marley and John not fit into the Boca Rotan scene? 
John's plan to fit into the Boca Raton Sunday afternoon routine is undermined when Marley spots a French poodle. 
What is Barbara Woodhouse's assertion in her book "No Bad Dogs"? 
What solution does Woodhouse recommend for dogs that are subnormal? 
What does Marley proudly place on the sheets of John and Jenny's bed? 

Chapter 19: Lightning Strikes

John and Jenny enjoy being parents. They also recognize how quickly their children grow up. 
What completes Jenny and John's family? 
John uses figurative language to paint a picture of what is happening in the narrative. The video explains the use of figurative language? What figure of speech does John use in this text? (This annotation contains a video)
What life lesson does Marley teach John? 
As John turns forty, he realizes that though Marley is also getting older, he has not lost his vitality.  
Why does Jenny really want John to come home? 
John and Marley experience the effects of a lightning strike.  
What lesson does the lightning strike teach John? 

Chapter 20: Dog Beach

John's job gives him the freedom to pursue different topics that are of interest to him.  
Lake Okeechobee is Florida's largest lake. This map shows its location. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does John decide to write about Dog Beach? 
John is apprehensive about the pit bull terriers that approaches him and Marley. He knows that pit bulls are known for their aggression and is not sure how Marley will react to the other dog. 
Why does Killer's owner disregard the leash ordinance? 
How does Marley break the rules of Dog Beach? 
How does John react to Marley's behavior at the beach? 
Quiz Two 

Chapter 21: A Northbound Plane

What is the back-to-the-earth movement? 
What does John notice about "Organic Gardening" magazine? 
Why is Maria Rodale interested in John for the position at the magazine? 
What problem does the family have at the airport? 
How do Jenny and John react when they hear Marley's howls? 

Chapter 22: In the Land of Pencils

The family's move to Pennsylvania is a turning point in their lives. 
How does the Grogan's life in Pennsylvania differ from their life in Florida? 
John and Jenny convince the boys that in Pennsylvania they will have a white Christmas as shown in the Christmas card print by Currier and Ives, a successful American printmaking firm headed by Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives.  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Marley react to the snow? 
A toboggan is a long, light sled that has a curved front and is used for sliding over snow and ice. Like the people in the image below, John and Marley enjoy their ride until it gets out of control. (This annotation contains an image)
In his interview, what reason does John give for writing the book Marley and Me? 
John Grogan explains his feelings about Marley in this interview. Click on the link to watch below to watch the video. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 23: Poultry on Parade

Why do John and Jenny decide to raise chickens? 
Why is John upset when Jenny and the children name the chickens? 
Marley's failure to react to the racket of the roosters crowing alerts John that something is not right. He realizes that Marley is going deaf. 
Why is Marley thinner than most Labs? 
Why is John sad when he realizes that Marley really is going deaf? 
Marley's ability to get along with the chickens demonstrates his 

Chapter 24: The Potty Room

As Marley ages, he reminds John and his family that they are not immortal. 
Why doesn't John punish Marley when he finds him? 
Marley suffers from arthritis in his hips which makes it extremely painful for him to climb stairs. Why does Marley continue to attempt the stairs at night? 
How do the changes in Marley affect John? 
Why does John leave his job at "Organic Gardening"? 
How does John handle Marley's problems with aging? 

Chapter 25: Beating the Odds

Authors structure their books in different ways. The video will help you understand how others use structure. What structure does John use in this narrative? (This annotation contains a video)
Marley continues to show signs of aging. What is the latest problem that plagues him? 
Why does the vet call John? 
What difficult decision does John have to make? 
What message does Marley's bout with bloating send to John and the family? 
What does John think about as he lies on the sleeping bag beside Marley? 

Chapter 26: Borrowed Time

Why do Jenny and John refuse to acknowledge the changes in Marley? 
John reflects upon on the events of September 11, 2003. What moves him emotionally as he sits at the crash site? 
Why does Marley finally calm down? 
Marley's body continues to betray him. He is unable to manage the steps so he can relieve himself outside. 
How does Marley surprise John? 

Chapter 27: The Big Meadow

There is a special bond between John and Marley. They enjoy each other's company. 
What news does John receive about Marley on the way back from Disney World? 
What do John and Jenny understand? 
What does John want Marley to know before he dies? 
John and Jenny grieve the loss of their beloved Marley. 

Chapter 28: Beneath the Cherry Trees

Where does John decide to bury Marley? 
Sharing stories about Marley helps the family deal with their grief. 
Why does John want to write a farewell column to Marley? 
John wants to share with others the lessons that Marley taught him. 

Chapter 29: The Bad Dog Club

The movie trailer of the movie "Marley and Me" captures Marley's energy and enthusiasm. Can you see why John calls Marley the world's worst dog? (This annotation contains a video)
Why does John receive so many emails? 
People dispute John's claim that Marley was the world's worst dog as they share their dog stories. 
What technique does John use in this text to deal with his loss? 
John reflects upon his time with Marley. He recognizes that Marley was an integral part of his family's life. 
What strikes Jenny and John about the photo and resume' of the dog in the paper? 
Quiz 3