Villain's Lair

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Dave Sanchez is an average boy with an after-school job and a pet gecko named Sticky. All very normal-until the day Sticky talks. Sticky tells Dave a wild tale of a former life of crime, searching for Aztec gold with a treasure hunter named Damien Black, and of a magical Aztec wristband with shiny gold power ingots that will give the wearer super powers. Dave doesn't believe a word-until Sticky shows him the wristband. But while Sticky managed to escape with the wristband, Damien Black has the power ingots. So the lizard and treasure hunter each have something the other wants . . . very badly. Filled with outrageous adventures, over-the-top characters, snappy-funny dialogue, and a tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek narration, this new series is sure to be a hit with young superheros everywhere. Wendelin Van Draanen spent many years as a teacher before devoting herself to writing full-time. She lives in Central California. From the Hardcover edition.
Curriculet Details
30 Questions
34 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring cause/effect and summarizing, as well as annotations describing making predictions and asking questions. Students will explore the themes of unique friendships and adventure. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Chapter 1 - The Oozy Stinky Cave

Wendelin Van Draanen is a married American author who lives in California with her two sons. Van Draanen has written numerous books including the Sammy Keyes series. This adventure mystery, The Gecko and Sticky Villian's Lair, is the third in another series of books Wendelin has written. This series is called 'Gecko and Sticky'. 
This novel has some Spanish words that you may not know. Wendelin Van Draanen includes a Guide to the Spanish terms in the last section of this book. If you need to refer to this guide, click on the 'C' in the top left hand corner. Click on Table of Contents, then scroll down and click on the guide at the end of the book. For you to get back to your chapter, click on the 'C' again and click on the chapter where you stopped. Try looking up the word 'hombre' in the guide. 
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What information do you know about Sticky? 

Chapter 2 - Perhaps You’Re Wondering…

This story has a talking gecko, so what genre is it? Watch this video on the different genres in literature and see if you can decide what this novel is.  (This annotation contains a video)
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What genre is this novel, The Gecko and Sticky: Villian's Lair? 
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 - Dave Freaks Out

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Using the Spanish guide in the back of this novel, what does senor mean? 
'Stickynese' is Van Draanen's own word. She uses it to desribe Sticky's unique phrases and explanations. If you do not know 'Stickynese' do not worry, the words are explained in the guide at the back of this novel. 
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Use the Define feature and read the definition for scurried. Which of the words below is a synonym for scurried? 
Van Drannen explains how Sticky and Dave meet in the last two chapters. This is a flashback because it is telling you events that happened previously in the characters' lives. The next chapter will be back in current time. It will continue from where Chapter One left off. 

Chapter 4 - Crunchy, Slooooopy Gross, and Goopy

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Which words are used by Wendelin Van Draanen to make the cave seem creepy? 
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What clues are written in the sentence to let you know the meaning of stalagmite? 
Van Draanen likes to keep you in suspense at the end of her chapters. This makes you want to keep reading. Do you think this is an effective writing strategy? 

Chapter 5 - The One Way Out

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Why does Dave kick one of the doors? 
As Dave is walking, he realizes the door opens like a teeter-totter because it is supposed to catapult someone or something in the air. This is an example of cause and effect. The video below will explain this reading skill.  (This annotation contains a video)
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The cause is pushing the UP button. What is the effect? 
This picture clues you in on what is on the other side of the door. Do you know what animal it is? 

Chapter 6 - Confusing, Confounding,: and Just Plain Creepy

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Why is Sticky concerned about seeing Rosie? 
Rosie shows her teeth at just the right time. Sticky says she cannot talk, but do you think she understands what Sticky and Dave are saying? 
Do you think hiding in Rosie's thorny weeds is a good idea? Do you think Damien Black will catch them? Read on to see if your predictions are correct. 

Chapter 7 - The Dastardly, Demented Damien Black

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How does Damien plan on catching Sticky? 
Hearing the men's conversation is making Dave second guess Sticky. He is beginning to wonder if Sticky has been honest with him, or if he is treating him like he treated the other men. 
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Damien is lying when he says "Yes." What is the truth? 
Quiz for Section 1 

Chapter 8 - The Dungeon

Sometimes you are asked to write a summary of a chapter or book. This video reviews summary writing.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Which word is an antonym of crevice? 
Dave was correct when he thought something was wrong. Damien did hear them coming (Sticky's constant talking did not help). The decision to hide in the crevice is very wise. 
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Summarize this chapter, The Dungeon. 

Chapter 9 - The Pit of Doom

While this story is fiction, the facts on this page about the Komodo dragon are real. This site will give you more information about this interesting creature. Do you think Dave and Sticky should be fearful of this dragon?  (This annotation contains a link)
Listen to this song and think about how it relates to the Bandito Brothers.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Compare the song lyrics to the Banditos' feelings as they are hanging in the cages. Include evidence from the song and this novel in your answer. 

Chapter 10 - Doomed!

From the three bandito's dialogue, you can learn about their character. Pablo is afraid of the dragon and Angelo is too. Tito is a little crazy. He thinks the dragon is cool and starts to approach it! 
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If you were Pablo or Angelo, why would you keep Tito in your group? 
If Sticky had not spoken, do you think Dave's plan of making a mad dash would have worked? 
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What words on this page let you know that Damien is a villian? 

Chapter 11 - Crouching Dragon, Lying Boy

"Ay-ay-ay..." is a type of figurative language. Watch this video and determine what type of figurative language these sound words represent.  (This annotation contains a video)
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"Ay-ay-ay..." and "Bwaa'ha'ha..." are examples of _________________. 
What do you think would be worse, handling a deadly dragon or dealing with a frantic Mom? 
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What part of Dave's story is a lie? 

Chapter 12 - Enter the Cat

Do you have a pesky little sister? If you do, you can relate to Dave. Connecting to a character and how they are feeling is called making a connection. If you have a little sister that you feel is pesky, you are making a text-to-self connection. 
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Whose fault is it that Dave can only climb walls? 
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"There went Topaz, like a bolt of fuzzy, squooshy-faced lightning!" is an example of ____________________. 
Sticky uses Dave as a convenient hiding place. There is no way Topaz can get Sticky when he is inside Dave's clothes. 

Chapter 13 - Meanwhile, Back at the Mansion

Sometimes readers ignore the titles of chapters and dive right into the story. Be careful not to do that, especially in this book. The chapter title here tells you the setting has changed in the story, and the characters you are reading about have changed. If you skip the title, you may be confused. 
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Why do townspeople not notice Damien's house? 
Van Draanen includes specific details of the house in this paragraph. She does this to show you how unique and interesting Damien's home is. 
Quiz for Section 2 

Chapter 14 - Delivery Boy

Authors give readers clues to characters traits, or distinguishing characteristics. Sometimes the clues are found in the dialogue, the actions, or the interactions of a character with others. This video explains character traits.  (This annotation contains a video)
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What band is Dave hearing? 

Chapter 15 - The Disguise

Do you agree with Dave's decision not to use the powerband?  
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Sticky mentions that Dave's shoes are what make him stand out. What trait does Sticky show here? 
Can you predict a problem with Luis having Dave's things? Do you think your prediction will come true? Read on to find out. 

Chapter 16 - Mariachi Spies

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Why do Pablo and Angelo not belive Tito? 
Do you know where Damien's shortcut is? The clues given are: beneath the dungeon, under the city, wet, and stinky. Read on to find out. 
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How does Luis know he is being followed? 

Chapter 17 - Over the Edge

Setting is important in a novel, and it has changed several times in this story. This video explains setting.  (This annotation contains a video)
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Why does Van Draanen repeat the word 'up' several times? 
Damien is showing just how devious and diabolical he is. Dangling a child over the edge of a tall building is very dangerous, and something only a dastardly villian like Damien would do. 

Chapter 18 - Extreme Gravity

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Dave lives in an urban area. How has this setting helped him stay away from Damien? 
Dave is used to staring at Lily and feeling dorky. This time, though, he has to pretend to be feeling this way so he can blend in. 
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Who do you think is going to help Luis? 

Chapter 19 - A Take-Ten-Paces-and-Shoot-Situation

After going to the link below, find the story titled 'The Hero'. It is in the 4th grade section. Read it and think about how it relates to Dave.  (This annotation contains a link)
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Compare and contrast the events in this chapter with the passage The Hero. Be sure to site evidence from both stories in your response. 
Dave must have a real talent for making his voice sound like others. He used the skill in the dungeon and fooled the banditos then too. 

Chapter 20 - The Capped Crusader

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What steps does Dave do to ensure his identity remains a mystery? 
People think Dave is a superhero (even know they do not know Dave is the Capped Crusader.) Do you think he is? 
Quiz for Section 3