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Before you begin reading, watch the book trailer. It gives a brief introduction to the book. (This annotation contains a video)
This book may be structured unlike any other you have read. This novel is written as a series of free verse poems. As you read, think about why the author chose to write the book in this way.
This detail suggests that ______________.
Why does Ma want May to go to the Oblingers to live?
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?
How does May feel about living with strangers?
Using context clues, what is a soddy?
A "soddy" is a sod house. This image shows the inside of a soddy. (This annotation contains an image)
Name three items May packs for her trip to the Oblingers.
May has a learning disability. As you continue to read, pay attention to see if you can identify what type of learning disability she has.
"Smallest" is a superlative adjective. A superlative adjective is used to compare three or more objects, people, or places. Using the superlative form takes a comparison to the highest degree possible. When forming superlative adjectives, add -est to the end of one syllable words and add "most" before multisyllabic words. Watch the video to learn more about superlative adjectives. (This annotation contains a video)
What kind of relationship does May have with Hiram?
Imagery is the use of figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses. Think about your senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. How does the author's use of imagery appeal to your senses?
Which of your five senses does the author appeal to in the highlighted text?
May B. is a historical fiction story. Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the action takes place in the past. (This annotation contains a video)
Compare and contrast May's soddy to Mr. Oblinger's soddy. Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
This detail suggests that Mr. Oblinger pays Pa in advance for the work May will do while she stays with him and his wife.
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of provisions. Which of the following is a synonym (word with similar meaning) for provisions?
Point of view is the mode of narration that an author employs to let the readers “hear” and “see” what takes place in a story, poem, essay etc. Watch the video and then answer the question below. (This annotation contains a video)
From which point of view is the story written?
May's purpose for being at the Oblinger homestead is to help out with chores and earn money. As you read, notice what chores she is responsible for doing. How are May's chores different from chores that you are expected to do at home?
What contribution does Mr. Oblinger make to the meal May is preparing?
What does May do after her daily chores are complete?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of division. Which of the following definitions fits the context of the sentence?
May says she walks "slowly enough to study sky and sweep of land." Do you think May enjoys being outside?
What is May referring to when she says "that closed-in space"?
Flashbacks are interruptions that writers use to insert past events in order to provide background or context to the current events of a narrative. By using flashbacks, writers allow their readers to gain insight into a character’s motivation and provide a background to a current conflict. Dream sequences and memories are methods used to present flashbacks. May's memory of Hiram grabbing the bacon is a flashback.
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of beeline. Write the correct definition below as it pertains to the context of the sentence.
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of 'puncheon.' Based on the definition, what type of flooring is Mr. Oblinger going to install at their place?
How does Mrs. Oblinger respond to her husband saying they will work on the floor next week?
Why does Hiram read to May? How does she respond to his teaching?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of unfathomable. Which of the following is a synonym (word with similar meaning) for unfathomable?
How does Mrs. Oblinger respond to her husband asking if she needs anything from town? What does this suggest about Mrs. Oblinger?
Why do you think Mr. Oblinger pulls May aside? What might he want to tell her?
How does Mrs. Oblinger feel about prairie living?
A mail-order bride is a woman who lists herself in catalogs and is selected by men for marriage. In nineteenth-century America, mail-order brides came from well-developed areas in the East to marry men in Western frontier lands. See the old ads below. (This annotation contains an image)
Do you think May will be able to help Mrs. Oblinger learn to love the prairie?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of collapse. Which of the following is a synonym for collapse?
Although May is younger than Mrs. Oblinger, she seems to know more about how to take care of herself and others.
Why is Mrs. Oblinger under the table with her boots on?
"Fare" is a homophone. Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different meanings. Usually they are spelled differently, but they can also be spelled the same. Fare/fair are homophones. The words are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings. Watch the quick video about homophones. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does May tell Mr. Oblinger that his wife is tired?
Do you think Mr. Oblinger knows that his wife does not like prairie life? If not, how long will May be able to keep it a secret?
'Fuller' is a comparative adjective. Comparative adjectives are used to compare two nouns. Mr. Chapman's beard is compared to Mr. Oblinger's beard. Watch the video to learn more about comparative adjectives and how to form them when writing. (This annotation contains a video)
What does May mean by "seems like all the folks west of home are new"?
Make a prediction: Do you think Mrs. Oblinger plans to come back home? Or is she leaving for good?
Which of the following is NOT something May does during the day?
Adding '-ness' on the end of the adjective makes the word into a noun. A noun ending in 'ness' means the 'state' of the original adjective. For example, 'weakness' means the state of being weak.
Did you predict that Mrs. Oblinger was leaving the prairie?
How does May know that Mrs. Oblinger planned to leave ahead of time?
Make a connections: Have you ever felt like May? Alone and afraid? How did you cope with fear?
Why does May say that her chores can wait?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of horizon. Which of the following is the correct definition as it is used in the context of the sentence?
May is waiting for the Oblingers to return. Do you think they will come back?
Do you think May hears someone outside?
Why is May ready for morning to come?
It has been four days since the Oblingers left. It is the month of August. As you continue to read, notice how the author paces the events of the story.
How does May feel when she realizes the Oblingers are not going to return? What does this mean for her?
Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer. Why might the author have chosen to repeat "and run" in the story?
How does the openness of the prairie contribute to May's loneliness?
Part 1 Quiz
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of linger. Which of the following best defines linger?
Do you think May will enjoy the freedom of being by herself?
This is the first time we "listen" to May while she reads. Notice how she has trouble with forming the words. She has dyslexia. Dyslexia is a reading disability that occurs when the brain does not properly recognize and process certain symbols. Watch the video to learn more about dyslexia. (This annotation contains a video)
How does May feel about NOT being able to read?
Why does May feel stupid?
This story is told from first-person point of view. First-person point of view is narrated by one character at a time, speaking for and about themselves. (This annotation contains a video)
How would this story be different if the author had chose to write from third person point of view?
May's memory of Hiram is an example of _________________.
Why does May dare Hiram to cut her hair?
How does May feel about being alone? What evidence from the text supports your answer?
What does May mean by "Have Hiram and I been wasting time"?
How is being alone affecting May?
Why is May uninterested in taking care of herself?
What theme is emerging now that the Oblingers are gone and May is on her own?
All of the responsibility falls on May to get the work done.
May continues to hear the remarks her teacher has said to her. These remarks have hurt her self esteem. Do you think her teacher understands her dyslexia?
In what ways has May tried to do well with her schoolwork?
Why does May "yell into the morning" at Mrs. Oblinger? What emotion would cause her to do that?
Why do people think May is stupid because she has a reading disability?
How does May know something was at the door? Cite textual evidence to support your answer.
What causes May's pulse to surge through her fingertips? Do you think she is afraid?
Similes and metaphors both compare two distinct objects and draw a similarity between them. The difference is that simile uses “as” or “like” while metaphor does not. Watch the video to learn more about similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
Why do you think Mrs. Pritchard left the dead wolf at the door?
Which of the following items from the garden will May NOT be able to eat?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of 'withered.' Based on the definition, do you think May will be able to eat the string beans?
Do you think it is safe for May to be traveling alone? Why or why not?
Based on the details in the text, what time of year is it in the story?
How effective is a broom as a weapon? Is it enough to protect May on her journey?
Where is May running back to?
In what ways has May let herself go since the Oblingers left her?
How do you think May feels about seeing the "dirty girl"? How would her Ma feel about May's appearance if she could see her?
An outhouse is a small structure, separate from a main building, which covers a pit toilet or a removable container. The outhouse is an icon of the American West. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of devious. Which of the following is an antonym (word with opposite meaning) for devious?
Make a prediction: Do you think May will be trapped at the Oblingers for the winter?
Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. Here, wind is given the human characteristic of being able to "run." (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted sentence is an example of _________________.
Imagery is the use of figurative language to represent objects, actions and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses. Watch the video to learn more about imagery. (This annotation contains a video)
What is May trying to find in the stream?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of 'arithmetic.'
May seems to be good at arithmetic and history. Why does she avoid reading?
A hyperbole is a figure of speech which involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis. Here, the words do not actually "swim" on the page of the book. The hyperbole is used to exaggerate the fact that May's dyslexia causes the words to look like they are moving around.
How does May do when she reads the words more slowly?
Why is May being careful with her food?
Why does May think her voice sounds funny?
How is Teacher different from Miss Sanders?
May has to have others read with her. Then, she is able to read from memory.
Do you think Hiram is embarrassed by May's inability to read?
Teacher makes May sit with the younger kids because ____________________.
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of dismissed. Decide which definition correctly fits the context of the sentence and type it below.
'Farthest' is a superlative adjective. A superlative adjective is used to compare three or more objects, people, or places. Using the superlative form takes a comparison to the highest degree possible.
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of budge. Which of the following is a synonym (word with similar meaning) for budge?
Make a prediction: Do you think May will be able to get the door to open?
Why does May hear the words of her teacher whenever she does something stupid?
What causes May to burn the pages of her reader?
Why does Teacher want to make a fool of May?
What is May's consequence for refusing to read for Teacher?
This detail reveals that ______________.
How might Miss Sanders respond to May's question?
'Crackle' is an onomatopoeic word. Onomatopoeia is defined as a word which imitates the natural sound of a thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing being described, making the description more expressive and interesting. Read the poster below for more examples of onomatopoeia. (This annotation contains an image)
Does this way of thinking mark a turning point for May?
This is a reference to the story of Samson and Delilah from the Bible. Delilah cut off Samson's hair, which took away his power.
Which literary device is used in this sentence?
Notice the ways in which May has neglected her chores in the soddy. What has caused her to stop doing her chores?
Why is the sourdough starter so important to May?
"The cold bites through my mittens" is an example of _______________.
How does May feel about Miss Sanders? What evidence from the text supports your answer?
Which of the following words could be used to describe Miss Sanders?
Which literary device is used in the highlighted text?
Do you suppose May will find things "left as they were" before the blizzard came?
Remember that similes compare two things using "like" or "as".
What does May mean by "I'm as hollow as a washtub"?
Were May and Mrs. Oblinger different? If so, how?
How does May try to keep herself warm? Cite textual evidence to support your answer.
Which poem do you think May will try to read?
Which poem can May most closely relate to?
How does May feel about reading the poem?
How might May be able to relate to this stanza of the poem? What words or phrases might describe how she feels about being stranded at the Oblinger's home?
Part 2 Quiz
Make a prediction: do you think May's Pa will make it in time to save her from the cold?
At the end of Part 2, May said "it's my turn to make my own ending." What has May decided to do? Survive or give up? Explain your answer.
In this poem, May seems _____________.
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of "blister."
May's determination pays off. She finally breaks through the snow ceiling and is able to see the blue sky. How might this affect her mood?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of parched. Which of the following is an antonym (word with opposite meaning) for parched?
Using context clues, what does dainty most likely mean in this sentence?
Why are paw prints in the snow important to May?
A chemise is a loose, shirt-like undergarment worn by girls and women. (This annotation contains an image)
This detail reveals that _____________.
Why does May refer to the Oblinger's house as a "prison"?
How does the author's use of imagery help you understand how tired and uncomfortable May is?
Do you think May really hears someone or is it her imagination?
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of unfurls. Type the correct definition below as it relates to the context of the sentence.
Do you recall how May knows this man?
Who is John Chapman?
Do you think Ma and Pa would have been able to get to the Oblinger's house to get May?
Who seems to be the only one who thought of May?
Dialogue is conversation between two or more people in a story.
The conversation between May and Mr. Chapman is an example of ____________.
How does May know they are getting near her home?
Why do you think May runs to her house?
Static characters do not change over the course of a story, while dynamic characters do. Watch the video below and then decide if May is a static or dynamic character. (This annotation contains a video)
Pa and Ma's reactions to May's homecoming reveal that __________________.
Which of the following words describe May Betterly?
Once you finish Part 3 Quiz, continue reading the next few pages. You will learn how this book came to be and even about the author who wrote it. You can visit the author's website at www.carolinestarrrose.com. (This annotation contains a link)
Part 3 Quiz