There’s A Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom
Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. . . . Winner of 19 Children’s Choice Awards
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There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom, by Louis Sachar, is the story of Bradley Chalkers, a fifth grader who has trouble getting along with his classmates until he meets Carla, a new school counselor. As you read, think about a time when you had trouble fitting in.
What is the meaning of the phrase, "He (Bradley) was an island? "
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Why is Bradley confused by Jeff?
As you read, think about the characters in the story. What personality traits do they have? How are they feeling? The following video will explain how to identify character traits. (This annotation contains a video)
Bradley's conversations with his toy animals reveal that he is ________.
Bradley does not want his mother to attend the parent teacher conference. Think about the reasons why he does not want Mrs. Ebbel to speak to his mother.
Bradley is telling many lies to his family. Describe the things he is lying about and explain why he is lying.
Think about Bradley's conversations with his animals. He has trouble making friends, so he imagines his animals are alive and are his friends.
Bradley's behavior makes Mrs. Ebbel feel _________.
Have you determined who is narrating the story? As you read, pay attention to the ways in which your own point of view differs from the point of view of the narrator or characters.
Why does Bradley brag to Jeff that he is the smartest kid in the class?
As you read, think about the meanings of words and phrases in the text, including literal and non-literal (figurative) language. The following video will explain the difference between literal and figurative language. (This annotation contains a video)
Summarize the event that leads to the book's title, There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom.
Read the highlighted passage and think about what friendship is and what it means to you.
Read the highlighted passage. When Jeff covers his face with his hands, he is feeling ________.
Read the passage about Bradley's map of the United States and the study the image below to see where the states are located. Why do you think Bradley purposely messes up his map? (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following explains why Carla is likable and why Jeff thinks Bradley will like her.
Think about the way Bradley treats his classmates. It is easy to see why no one wants to be his friend. Have you ever had a classmate like Bradley? What advice would you give Bradley to help him make friends?
After meeting Carla, which of the following explains how she is different than Bradley had expected?
As you read, think about the sequence of events in the story and how the actions of the characters contribute to the sequence. For example, Bradley's poor behavior in class leads to his visit with Carla. The following video will explain the importance of the sequence of events in a story. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe Carla's character traits and her methods of attempting to get Bradley to trust her.
Pay attention to the highlighted sentence. Does it contain literal or figurative language?
Why does Bradley want to go in the girls' bathroom?
Jeff is friendly and polite and Bradley is rude and a bully. Why do you think Jeff is friends with Bradley? What traits do they have in common?
Why does Bradley dislike Carla?
Read the definition for the word, "manure." Since Bradley thinks homework is like manure, how does he feel about homework?
Describe the problem that Colleen is having about her birthday party and explain why she is having this problem.
In Chapter 13, we learn that Bradley does not want Jeff to have any other friends, and he is proud of the fact that other kids won't like Jeff because he is friends with Bradley. Do you think Jeff will continue to be friends with Bradley? Make a prediction.
Why does Bradley want to beat up the girls?
Bradley's decision to beat up the girls was not a good idea because he ended up being the one to get hurt. Think about a time when you made a poor decision. What should you have done instead? What should Bradley have done differently?
What is the meaning of the phrase, "just in the nick of time?"
Have you noticed a central message or theme developing in the story? The following video will show you how to determine a theme or central message in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Bradley feel about his black eye?
When Bradley blamed Jeff for giving him the black eye, he was trying to get him in trouble. Instead, it caused other kids to want to be friends with Jeff because they think it is great that he gave Bradley the black eye. This is an example of how Bradley's actions contribute to the sequence of events in the story. Do you think Jeff will make some new friends?
Think about the events in chapter 17. How does Jeff really feel about Bradley? Include evidence from the text to support your answer.
Think about the personalities Bradley has imagined for each of his animal friends. Did you notice how they behave like Bradley?
Jeff feels _____ because he has eight new friends.
Read the highlighted passage. The theme of pride and self esteem is portrayed throughout the text. Bradley has such low self esteem that he treats others poorly, and he is too proud to admit that he is lonely and he wishes he had some friends. Do you think Carla will be able to help him with his problems?
Bradley is reluctant to talk to Carla, but he is beginning to __________.
Now that the other kids know Bradley was beat up by Melinda, they are no longer afraid of him.
Pay attention to the topics on Bradley's list. Which topics relate directly to Bradley and his problems?
Think about the relationship between Bradley and Claudia. How do they treat each other? Are they close? Are their personalities similar or different?
Why does Bradley think that Carla doesn't really like him, and only pretends to like him?
Read the highlighted passage and think about the ways in which Bradley is like the monster that Carla is describing.
What advice does Carla give to Bradley so that others will stop treating him like a monster?
Have you thought about the setting of the story? Where and when does the story take place? The following video will explain the importance of setting. (This annotation contains a video)
Melinda can be described as ________.
Have you heard a laughing hyena laugh? The following video will show you what they sound like. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe Bradley's actions when he tries to be good.
Think about the description of the girls' bathroom and how it looks different from the way Bradley had previously imagined it to look.
Which of the following events happen to both Bradley and Jeff?
In the highlighted passage, Bradley is feeling discouraged because he is trying to be good but no one will give him a chance to prove he has changed his ways. Think of a time when you wanted a chance, and others wouldn't give you one. What advice would you give to Bradley?
Read the highlighted passage, and think about how Bradley is feeling. Which of the following is a theme in the story that is revealed by Bradley's words and actions?
Have you learned about fractions in school? Pay attention to Bradley's math homework to see if it is a math lesson you have learned in school.
How is Bradley feeling when he is doing his homework with the help of his animal friends?
Think about Bradley's relationship with his father and why Bradley can't believe that his father is willing to help him with his homework.
Which of the following words has the same meaning as the word, "arithmetic?"
Read the definition of the word, "squiggles." The following image shows a shirt with squiggles, like the one Carla is wearing. (This annotation contains an image)
Describe Bradley's thoughts and feelings when it is time to turn in his homework. Include references from the text to support your answer.
Think about the book Bradley is reading. Does it sound like a book you would enjoy reading?
Which of the following is not an example of how Carla is helping Bradley?
The Concerned Parents Organization is holding a meeting about Carla and she also had to meet with the school board president. She appears to be in trouble with the school, although the reason why has not yet been revealed. What do you think it could be?
Bradley thinks that Carla might be in trouble for ___________.
Read the definition for the word, "dumbfounded" and think about why the boys are feeling dumbfounded.
Which of Bradley's actions leads to the boys inviting him to play basketball?
Read the definition for the word, Zen. The following image shows what a Zen monastery look like. (This annotation contains an image)
Describe how Bradley's change in behavior causes him to start making friends.
Bradley is learning how to dribble a basketball so he can play basketball with his new friends. Do you know how the dribble? The following video will show you how. (This annotation contains a video)
The book Bradley is reading can be described as ________.
Have you ever played the birthday party game, "Pin the Tail on the Donkey?" The following video will show you how it is played. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Bradley feel nervous about going to Colleen's birthday party?
A school board is responsible for making decisions about school programs. School boards incorporate their community’s view of what students should know and be able to do. Their job is to ensure that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent.
Explain why the school board and the Concerned Parents Organization have concerns about Carla and the way that she counsels students.
Bradley does not know what the word, "essence" means. Read the definition of "essence" so you will understand what it means. Can you use it in a sentence?
How does Bradley feel when Carla tells him she has to leave the school?
Think about a time when you were angry at someone when they disappointed you. How did you handle the situation? Did you make the best of it or behave badly, like Bradley is doing.
Read the definition for the word, "bizarre." Choose the word that means the same as bizarre.
Bradley hates Carla for leaving the school. However, Carla is not leaving by choice. The meeting of the school board and Concerned Parents Organization has resulted in her being assigned to a new position at another school. Do you think it is fair that Carla has to leave her job?
Bradley's thoughts reveal that he is thinking about ________.
A barbershop is one of the places where people, usually males, go to get their hair cut. You might visit a barbershop at the beginning of every summer to get a short crew cut. While some hair cutters call themselves stylists and the places where they work salons, others are barbers who trim hair and shave necks in barbershops. The following image shows a modern barbershop. (This annotation contains an image)
Describe the ways in which Carla has helped Bradley and why she is a good counselor.
Pay attention to the letter that Carla writes to Bradley. How does she feel about him? What do you think Bradley will think of the letter?
Many of the girls at Colleen's party are _______ that she invites boys.
Have you ever run a three-legged race? A three-legged race is a game of cooperation and speed. It involves two partners trying to complete a short race with the left leg of one runner strapped to the right leg of another runner. The object is for the partners to run together without falling over, and beat the other contestants to the finish line. The following video shows a three-legged race. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Bradley rip his pants?
Think about all of the things you know about birthday parties. What would you tell Bradley about parties? What advice would you give him about how to behave at parties?
Which of the following is not something Bradley does at Colleen's party that causes him to be self-conscious?
Everyone at the party is being helpful and friendly to Bradley. Friendship is a central message in the story that is revealed by the characters' actions at the birthday party.
As the party continues, Bradley becomes more comfortable with his new friends and he has greater __________.
Read the definition for the highlighted word, "unison." Think about how moving in unison is important in a three-legged race. Do you think Jeff and Bradley will win the race? Make a prediction.
Describe how Bradley's life has changed for the better since the beginning of the book. Include examples from the text to support your answer.
Think about the highlighted passage. Bradley takes Carla's advice and gives Colleen a present of a heart, because she told him to give a gift that comes from the heart. The heart can be taken apart and put back together, just like Bradley's heart has been put back together, now that he is no longer a sad, lonely misfit.
Why is Bradley willing to part with one of his beloved toy animal friends?