The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

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Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can't hear what's going on, but he's a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will's interested in more than just murder . . .) Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut.
Curriculet Details
53 Questions
54 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in seventh grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining figurative language, character traits, and plot. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about making inferences, and summarizing. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of textual evidence, genre, and conflict. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension. Teachers, please be aware that this novel contains explicit language, sexual references and the issue of teen pregnancy. Please read this novel prior to allowing students access to it.

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Homework #5

The setting of this book is a 

Homework #6

Authors write best about what they know; however, unlike the main character in this book, Josh Berk is not deaf. In order to make this story authentic, he had to complete a lot of research about being hearing impaired through interviews, reading blogs and books, and consultations with experts.  
Which statement is textual evidence to support Will's feeling of isolation? 

Homework #7

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. Try it right now to look up the word copious.  
Finger-spell is the sign language where each letter in the word is illustrated. It is a much slower than using one sign for whole words and phrases.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #8

Sometimes the dictionary definition of a word uses the word in the definition and does not help you understand the word very well. In these cases it is helpful to use context clues to figure out the meaning. Using context clues, what is the best synonym for thwarted? 
The author uses detailed imagery in this passage so the reader will understand the experience of a deaf person in busy environment. Can you clearly understand how Will is overwhelmed by all the action in the cafeteria? 

Homework #9

Which type of figurative language is used in the highlighted sentence? 

Homework #10

Character traits are all the elements of a person’s behavior and attitudes that make up that their personality. Everyone, even a character in a book, has both good and bad character traits. We use descriptive adjectives like jealous, elegant, or nervous to describe character traits. In order to discern a person or character’s traits, we look at what they say, what they do, and what other people say about them. In this passage, Will is using his character trait of being observant to describe the students on the bus by looking at their expressions and actions.  
Which character trait is not shown by A.J. in this scene on the bus? 

Homework #11

The text structure of the plot is  
Theme is a main idea of a book that is repeatedly addressed as the plot progresses. In this book, the theme of belonging is developing the plot of the book. Many of the actions Will takes are motivated by his desire to feel like he belongs to his peer group. First, he leaves the school for the deaf to attend the regular high school. Also, Will is exasperated with the deaf child sign outside his house because it makes him feel different from the rest of the world. Can you think of another example in the book where Will feels like an outsider? Pay attention to how this theme is developed throughout the rest of the book.  

Homework #12

Authors work hard to choose just the right word to give the reader a clear understanding of exactly what they mean. The word slink gives you a clear picture of how Will enters the class. If the author had chosen a different word like sauntered or walked, you would get a totally different picture than what the author really means.  

Homework #13

Explain what Will means when he says, "I guess we all enjoy having someone to make us feel better about ourselves". 
The introduction of Will Halpin, the miner, adds to the suspense of the book. It leaves you wondering if there is some connection between teenage Will and the miner and why his parents have never said anything about him. 
Will's action of ordering the newspaper obituary shows that he  
Authors use foreshadowing to give an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. It may appear in the form of dialogue between characters, an event in the story which hints at a later event, or even the title may give clues about what is to come. Foreshadowing creates suspense to keep the reader wanting to know more about what will happen. In this book, you already know this party is very important to the teens and this statement hints that something bad may happen in the future.  

Homework #14

All of the statements are textual evidence that Ken is not very involved with Will EXCEPT 
Will's statement that he is "tired of being protected" gives you insight into his internal conflict of wanting to be treated as a typical teenager, not someone who needs to be insulated from the world. His choice to go to bed without dinner indicates actions of a typical teen who punishes himself to make a point. Have you ever punished yourself like this to make a point to your parents? 

Homework #15

How does the flashback on the previous page add to the development of the plot? 
An allusion is a literary device that that helps the author to explain or describe and the reader to visualize or imagine. In order to understand an allusion, the reader must already know about the reference. Allusions are commonly made to the Bible, nursery rhymes, myths, famous fictional or historical characters or events, and Shakespeare. In this story Will uses the allusion to the story of King Arthur who pulls the sword Excalibur from a stone to illustrate his feat of dislodging the metal sign.  

Homework #16

Explain how Will comparing himself to a ghost relates to the theme of belonging.  
Good readers make connections to the text. The author shows that Will cannot understand what someone says unless they are facing him. Think about times when you have a hard time understanding someone: when they mumble, when the music is too loud, when you are too far away from them. Imagine if you were deaf and had this problem all the time. How would you handle it? 

Homework #17

The figurative language used in this sentence is a(n) 

Homework #18

Good readers focus on important ideas, ask questions as they read, and predict what will happen next. Here is one example of a good reader's thoughts as he reads. Will's keen observations allow him to assess the personalities of everyone he encounters and his skill with technology aids in supporting his observations with facts. How will these talents come together in the rest of the book? Will Pat's father have anything to do with the plot as it continues? Will any of the students really get to know Will and befriend him? 
The author's use of the word cliche adds to  
The fact that Devon writes messages with correct punctuation and grammar and uses words like "chap" and "good man" adds to  
Quiz Chapters 1-14 
Notice how the dictionary definition of the word swift does not give an exact meaning for how the word swift is used in this sentence. Some words have multiple meanings and a good reader must use clues to decipher how the word is used in the sentence. View this video to learn more about multiple meanings of words.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #19

The incident between Travis and Will is an example of  
The imagery used to describe the setting encourages Will to calm down and assess his situation.  

Homework #20

Explain what Will means by comparing the bridge to nowhere to his life.  

Homework #21

The author uses sarcasm here to emphasize the uncomfortable feeling Will has with his parents. Sarcasm is a cutting remark that is opposite what the speaker actually means in order to show bitterness. Think of it as verbal irony with a dash of contempt. 
The author adds the details about Will using the computer without even thinking about it to emphasize the amount of time he spends on the computer.  
Which statement is the best comparison of Will and Leigha? 
Explain what typical teenage problems Leigha, Will and Purple have in common.  

Homework #22

Deadpan is to say something amusing in a very serious manner. Will acts like he has no idea where the dog came from, when obviously he does. Do you think this will work on his parents? 

Homework #23

What does Will's grimace indicate about his feelings of being paired with Devon on the field trip? 

Homework #24

Will handles Purple's angry look with humor thereby diffusing the situation.  
Emily Dickinson’s poem appeals to Will because he is one of the nobodys she refers to. Once there is a pair of nobodys, she is content. The speaker in the poem does not want to be a somebody, who only speaks to hear their name all the time like a frog croaking to the other frogs in the swamp. Will knows the popular people in his school are not really happy and just wants to have some good friends.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #25

Why doesn't Devon tell on Pat for flushing his shorts down the toilet? 
A good reader can summarize main points in a story. How would you summarize the scene with Purple? View the following video to learn more about summarizing.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #26

Summarize the events on the bus.  

Homework #28

You can tell Will is being sarcastic in his declaration of enthusiasm for the field trip because it would not be fun to be in a dark, small mine with people who bully him.  
Why does Will decide to write notes instead of sign on the bus? 
Good readers use details in the story in order to fully understand the meaning. This is called making an inference. Will notices the details of Leigha's appearance to infer something bad may have happened to her. Watch the video below to learn more about making inferences.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is the author's purpose in describing how Pat hands out the remaining invitations? 

Homework #29

A pun is the humorous use of a word or phrase to emphasize different meanings; a play on words.  
The tense mood of the scene in the mine is indicated by all the following words EXCEPT 

Homework #30

The mine selling coal as future diamonds is actually false advertising. Real diamonds do not come from coal, but pure carbon. Coal is formed by plants, but diamonds were being formed before plants existed on earth; therefore, coal does not make real diamonds. Click the title of the article below to read more about how diamonds are formed.  (This annotation contains a link)
What details does Will use to infer that Leigha has not been with Pat? 

Homework #31

The first part of the book focuses on the characters Will meets during the first week in the new high school. The plot has now turned to include a mystery. Learn more about the mystery genre in this video.  (This annotation contains a video)
Use details from the text and what you already know of Will's father to explain the relationship between Will and his father.  

Homework #32

Authors use words to convey their attitudes about a subject. The author of this article is paranoid about government involvement in Pat's death. Learn more about the difference between tone and mood in the following video.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #33

How is the figurative language used in the highlighted sentence? 
This scene with the interpreter and the detectives could be really tense and dramatic; however, the author adds comic relief of the banter between Melody and Will to lighten the mood.  
Chapters 15-28 

Homework #34

Will's comparison of himself and Devon to the Hardy Boys is an example of a(n) 
Will notices Devon is taking on some of his characteristics, which usually happens between friends. Have you ever picked up a behavior, good or bad, from a friend? 
Why does Devon look nervous? 

Homework #35

A conspiracy is a secret plan to do something harmful. The World Trade Center was a complex of buildings that housed global financial businesses. A group of Islamic terrorists with connections to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, conspired to bomb the North Tower in 1993 killing six people. On September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda succeeded in destroying both towers of the World Trade Center. Below is a picture of the World Trade Center Twin Towers before the September 11 attack.  (This annotation contains an image)
What do the police learn about bituminous coal that leads them to believe Pat was murdered? 
Which word is a synonym for fetish? 

Homework #36

Will and Devon's keen observation skills are advantageous for analyzing possible suspects and motives for Pat's murder. Based on what you know about each character, predict who you think killed Pat.  

Homework #37

Devon discovers all these facts about Jimmy Porkrinds EXCEPT 
In this scene Will is having a memory, not a flashback. A flashback is presented as a live action scene, but a memory only retells details from the scene.  
Write a sentence that includes a simile describing Will and Devon in their disguises.  
Will and Devon use the details in the description of Jimmy Porkrind's house to speculate possible reasons for all the security.  
Good readers adjust the pace of their reading to match the emotion of the text. In this scene the pace of the action increases as the kids are under attack, which cause the reader to increase their speed of reading. 

Homework #38

Devon is able to figure out Pat's password because 
Why does Will plan to tell the police about Pat's website anonymously? 
Will and Devon make the decision to inform the police about Pat's behavior. Do you think this was the right thing to do? Have you ever felt the need to report someone's bad behavior? 

Homework #39

What does Will mean when he says he is in deep? 

Homework #40

Will and Devon continue to put together clues as part of the rising action in the book. Do you think Jimmy Porkrinds is involved in the murder? 
The police suspect _____ in the murder because Pat called him fat.  
As their investigation continues, Will and Devon enlist Ebony's help. As you continue to read, notice how the events in the rising action are leading up to the climax, the point where the main character makes a major decision.  
This sentence contains many unfamiliar words. Use the define function to look them up and then choose the sentence which correctly restates the meaning of the original sentence.  
Lou Ferrigno is a former Mr. Universe (1973) body builder turned actor. He played the Hulk on The television series "The Incredible Hulk" from 1976-1977. As a child he suffered multiple ear infections which resulted in 75% hearing loss. This impairment did not deter him, but inspired his determination to succeed. In addition to his bodybuilding titles and acting career, he is an author and runs a line of fitness programs.  (This annotation contains an image)
Ebony refers to the Nancy Drew mystery novels that appeal to teenage girls just as the Hardy Boys books appeal to teenage boys. The 175 Nancy Drew novels were published from 1930 to 2003 and written by many different writers all under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. No doubt, Will, Devon and Ebony feel like Nancy, Frank and Joe as they are investigating the murder of Pat Chambers.  

Homework #41

The fact that Ebony quickly accepts Will's request for help with investigation and is excited as she meets Devon indicates she is  
The figurative language used in this sentence is  
It is ironic that Ebony, whose name is itself a color, does not recognize that others can have names that are also colors.  
Why is Will angry that Ebony is speaking to Devon? 
Good readers often pause and reflect during reading to reflect on the accuracy of previous predictions and clear up any confusion about the story. Will discovers many clues as they are viewing the security tapes: Devon doesn't want them to see his interview, Leigha is pregnant, and Dwight Carlson appears in the basement on a teacher workday. Some possible questions to ponder are: Why doesn't Devon want his interview seen? Did Leigha kill Pat because of her pregnancy? Does Dwight have anything to do with the murder? What are your answers to these unanswered questions? 

Homework #42

Will is concerned that his notebook containing personal thoughts about everyone he has encountered at school could be revealed. Do you keep a diary or journal that you would not want anyone to read? 
The word saunters indicates 

Homework #43

The idea that if you lose one sense others will strengthen is becoming a scientific fact. An article in The Journal of Neuroscience states that the brain rewires itself to use the parts originally meant for processing hearing into the process for touch and sight. So, Will may not have super powers, but he may be able to notice some clues that hearing people miss.  
Why would Will feel claustrophobic in the back of the police car? 
The words menacingly, intensity, and intently indicate  
Will discovers a secret tunnel in the mine. How could this discovery help Will solve the murder? 

Homework #44

Which sentence accurately changes the simile in this sentence to a metaphor? 
Will wants so much to believe he has discovered that Dummy Halpin is alive that he overlooks an obvious explanation for the initials on the mine walls. Devon eliminates this excitement by pointing out anyone could have written those initials.  

Homework #45

The author adds foreshadowing here to hint that Will may eventually figure out where he has seen Dummy Halpin's face.  
Explain why the author uses the specific word flee instead of leave in this sentence.  
Notice in this paragraph Leigha reacts with fury and fear to Will's knowledge of her secret. The obvious secret is her pregnancy, but everyone will know that soon enough. What other possible secret could Leigha be hiding? 

Homework #46

Will is feeling glum for all the following reasons EXCEPT 
Explain the internal conflict that causes Will to call Devon and his parents stupid.  
The scene between Will and his father is the climax of the book. Will's major conflict has been his sense of isolation and lack of belonging. Once his father explains the family history, this conflict is resolved. Will's relationship with his father will become stronger. Also, Will makes a major decision to reveal the murderer. The last sentence in this chapter indicates that resolving his internal conflict allows Will to rest easy.  

Homework #47

The events after the climax are included in the falling action. The remaining problems will be solved. Notice how the majority of events are in the rising action of the plot. The climax usually happens near the end of the book and the events of the falling action happen quickly afterwards.  
Will and Devon eliminate all of the suspects EXCEPT 
Words can have many synonyms, but not all of them fit the meaning of a sentence. Of the following synonyms, which one is the most appropriate for dubious as it is used in this sentence? 

Homework #48

Detective Hawley has taken Devon in again for questioning. Can you recall any evidence that would lead him to believe Devon is the murderer? 
Will has referred to himself as a ghost throughout the book. With his inner conflict resolved, he now has the confidence to assert himself. Will he be able to prove Devon's innocence? 

Homework #49

Detective Hawley lists all the evidence against Devon EXCEPT 
Quiz Chapters 29-44 
Will has provided the proof that Leigha is the murderer and cleared Devon of the crime. Did you predict correctly? This final event solves all the problems and ends the falling action of the plot. Read on for the Epilogue.  


Will's revelation that Leigha is the murderer leads to all the following EXCEPT 
An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging letters in another word or phrase. Unscramble the letters in Dummy Halpin and see if you get Andy Phimmul.  
Will has changed through the course of the book in all the following ways EXCEPT 
The Epilogue finishes the story as the resolution of the plot. The main character has changed over the course of the story, any conflicts are completely solved, and the story ends. How do you think Will would sum up his experience at the public high school?