Satch & Me

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"You wanna know who threw the fastest pitch ever?"

Many baseball players claim that Satchel Paige was the fastest pitcher in the history of the game. Stosh and his coach, Flip Valentini, are on a mission to find out. With radar gun in tow, they travel back to 1942 and watch Satch pitch to power hitter Josh Gibson in the Negro League World Series. They soon learn that everything about Satch is fast—whether it’s his talking, driving, or getaways. But is he really the fastest pitcher who ever lived?

This baseball card adventure is a whirlwind of excitement, drama, and curveballs—starring one of the liveliest athletes in the game!

Curriculet Details
30 Questions
32 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring point of view and making connections, as well as annotations describing figurative language and asking questions. Students will explore the themes of tolerance and trust. 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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Chapter 1

In 1978, Dan Gutman started his career writing humorous essays. 15 years later, his fiction books for kids finally made readers laugh. His first novel, They Came From Centerfield, was followed by the Baseball Card Adventure series. This novel is book seven in the series. Here is Dan Gutman's website where you can read more about him and his books.  (This annotation contains a link)
Why is Stosh planning on not swinging for the first pitch? 
Determining who is telling the story is an important part of comprehending a novel. This video will explain the different points of view authors use.  (This annotation contains a video)
From which point of view is this novel told? 

Chapter 2

In this scene the roles are reversed. Usually the adults tell the kids "It's just a game", and "We'll get them next time." This time it is the kids trying to convince the adult of this. 
Why does Flip bring a radar gun for the boys to see? 
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

Because of Joey's ability to travel back in time, the genre of this novel is __________________. 
Flip is a member of the SABR, which is a real organization for baseball research. Their website has numberous facts and figures on baseball players from the past. Here is the link to their biography page. Look up your favorite past player and see what information you can learn.  (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 4

Flip is getting a book for Stosh that has yellow post-it notes already in it. What does this tell you about Flip? 
While you are getting to know the main characters, start thinking about traits that can describe them. Are you unsure what a character trait is? This video will review it for you. (This annotation contains a video)
Which word below best describes Joey? 

Chapter 5

"Over the hill" is a type of figurative language called an idiom. An idiom is an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from the words individually. In this case, Paige is not literally over a hill. The idiom means he is over the age when he was a great pitcher. This website has more example of idioms. See if you can use some in your conversations.  (This annotation contains a link)
How does the photo postcard illustration above help you better understand this section of the story? 
The space below is used by authors to indicate a change in setting. The change could be in the time of the story, place, or both. Read on to find out how this story's setting has changed. 

Chapter 6

Why is Flip dressed in old time clothes and talking strangely? 
Joey refers to previous travels that he has had. Remember, this is book seven in the Baseball Card Adventure series. The other books have the same characters, but each book is its own adventure. You do not have to read the adventures in order, or read all of them, to understand this story. When you finish this story, you can read the other adventures. 
Based on what Stosh shares about his previous adventures, what can you predict about this adventure? 
Quiz for Section 1 

Chapter 7

Sometimes you will be asked to write a summary of a chapter or novel. Here is a video reviewing the parts of a summary.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Satchel Paige not going to be found in the diner? 
Flip is a healthy eater in present day. You know that people pay attention to their carbohydrates, sugar, and other areas if they are eating healthy. In the 1940s, those ideas were not common knowledge. 
Use the Define feature and read the definition for disgusted. Which word below is an antonym for disgusted? 
"The guy was like a mountain" is an example of a simile. A simile is a form of figurative language where something is compared using 'like' or 'as'. In the example on this page, the guy is huge and towering like a mountain is huge and towering. 
As Joey mentions, Jackie Robinson is the first black baseball player in major league baseball. He plays his first game in 1947, five years after the time Joey and Flip are in right now. This website shares Robinson's biography. Pay attention to the section "Breaking the Color Barrier".  (This annotation contains a link)
When Jackie Robinson plays for major league baseball in 1947, does he face discrimination like the players on this bus face? 

Chapter 8

Asking questions as you read is a good way to understand the story. It also will keep you interested. Do you agree with Flip that they should stay and wash dishes? Or do you agree with Joe that they already paid (with a $20 that is of another decade) and they should use the cards to get out of the 1940s? 
Why does Laverne give Flip her money? 
Do you agree with Flip and Joe's decision to give up? Do you think they should try something else before going home? Read on to see what twist happens next. 

Chapter 9

"When we shook hands, his fingers wrapped around mine like an octopus" is an example of what type of figurative language? 
It is a little surprising how easily Satch believes they are from the future. He must be an easy-going guy. He does not question the time travel part of their presence, but mainly wants to hear about the radar gun!  

Chapter 10

What is a pennant race? 
There are some articles written about the Negro League starting in 1945. Here is a website that complies the articles. If you click on oldest under the title "Articles About the Negro Leagues" you can see some of the articles from the 1940s. See if you can find any articles about Satchel Paige or other players mentioned in this novel. (This annotation contains a link)
Which word below would best describe Satch? 
Satch is trying to explain how he feels about playing baseball. You can make inferences to help you understand Satch a little better. This video explains making inferences. (This annotation contains a video)
Summarize the events of Chapter Ten, On the Road. 

Chapter 11

Pitching from a mound, or small hill, gives the pitcher a little more momentum. When he steps down as he throws the ball, the ball picks up a little more speed. Satch wants his fastball accurately assessed, so he finds a mound in the field that is similar to a baseball mound. 
What can you infer about Satch during this pitching session? 

Chapter 12

Below is a map to show the distance between Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These days it takes about six hours to get from point A to point B, but there are many highways available now that were not present in the 1940s. It will take Satchel much longer to reach his final destination. (This annotation contains an image)
What 'green' is Satchel referring to? 
The Clowns are a baseball team that was formed for strictly entertainment purposes. They would be what the Harlem Globtrotters are for basketball now. The clowns decide to put away their clown suits and become a member of the Negro American League in 1943. 
What surprises Joe most about the Indianapolis Clowns? 
Quiz for Section 2 

Chapter 13

Theme is the underlying message found in a story. This video explains how to find a theme of a novel.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why are the Clowns willing to 'clown around' instead of playing a normal game of baseball? 
The word 'jam' has many meanings. Satch being 'in a jam' does not mean he has jelly on him. It means he is in an akward situation. 
Do you think Satch's choice shows confidence or bad decision making? Use examples from the novel to support your answers. 

Chapter 14

Flip told Stosh he was a good ball player, but Stosh has never seen it for himself. Do you think Stosh is volunteering Flip because he does not believe him or because he does believe in him? 
Why is Flip unable to get any players out? 

Chapter 15

Laverne is not eighteen yet, so her father does not have much time to get her home. Once she does turn eighteen she is considered an adult according to the law and can make her own choices. 
Even though Flip is older, Stosh is trying to teach him a lesson. What theme is emerging? 
Satch doubled the amount of the fine. He is telling the policeman he is not planning on slowing down and will probably speed again tomorrow. 
Based on the information from Satch, what can you infer about The Pittsburgh Courier? 
This website explains in more detail the day Babe Ruth hit his famous home run.  (This annotation contains a link)
Compare and contrast Josh's batting practice to the batting practice of Babe Ruth in the article above. Include examples from both sources in your answer. 

Chapter 16

Because Satch loaded the bases, he gets to pitch to Josh. This was his intention all along. These series of events are called cause and effect. This video will explain this strategy in more detail.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is going to be the effect of the gun not working? 

Chapter 17

Are you surprised that Laverne keeps showing up? Do you think there is a reason she keeps coming back? Read on to find out. 
A pitch in the 90s is very impressive. Earlier in this novel you were told that professional ball players throw pitches in the 90s. This confirms that in this younger years Flip was excellent at pitching. 
Why is Stosh in the bathroom trying to get home? 

Chapter 18

Satch gave Flip advice earlier, and now Flip is returning the favor. His advice must have worked because Satch is back pitching. 
Why is Chapter 18 titled The Moment of Truth? 

Chapter 19

By leaving Flip in the past, Stosh changed his history. Do you think that was the right decision? 
What positive effect happens because Stosh kept Flip in the past? 
Quiz for Section 3