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Mudshark is the go-to guy for any mysteries that need solving. Lost your shoe? Can't find your homework? Ask Mudshark. That is, until the Psychic Parrot takes up residence in the school library and threatens to overturn Mudshark's position as the guy who knows all the answers. The word in school is that the parrot can out-think Mudshark. And right now, the school needs someone who's good at solving problems. There's an escaped gerbil running rampant, an emergency in the faculty restroom, and all the erasers are disappearing from the classrooms. When Mudshark solves the mystery of who's stealing the erasers, he discovers the culprit has the best of intentions. Now he has to think of a way to prevent the Psychic Parrot from revealing the eraser-thief's identity. With a bit of misdirection and a lot of quick thinking, Mudshark restores order to the chaos . . . just for the moment. From the Hardcover edition.
Curriculet Details
15 Questions
17 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring character traits and summaries as well as annotations describing the effects of the author’s word choice, inferences, and pictures of animals. Students will explore the themes of determination and the power of problem solving. 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

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. Try this feature now by looking up the highlighted word, "faculty." 
Who is the Mudshark? 
According to the Mudshark, what makes someone cool? Do you agree or disagree with Mudshark's definition. Explain why.  
Watch the short video on exposition. Chapter One is an example of exposition because we learned background information about Mudshark's character. What do we know about him so far? (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 2

Which word below would best describe Death Ball players when they are not playing based on the highlighted text? 
Read the definition of personification below. This type of figurative language is used in the highlighted text because a shoe (an object) cannot escape like a human. While Paulsen, the author, does not literally mean that Risdon's shoe escaped, the image creates a humorous feeling or mood in readers.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 3

So far, each chapter has started with an announcement from the principal over the intercom for the school to hear. These announcements are humorous because they contain unusual requests and directions. They also give the impression that the administration may not have a lot of control.  
Below is a picture of a crayfish. (This annotation contains an image)
Give one positive and one negative effect of the crayfish experiment. 
Below is a picture of an armadillo. Are you wondering why this animal is referred to as "amazing" in this novel? (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 4

Below is a picture of a gerbil. We know from the previous announcements that the gerbil likes to escape! (This annotation contains an image)
The word nocturnal means "primarily active at night." Using your knowledge of the word, choose the answer below that indicates that Sparky is not acting like a nocturnal animal. 
Why does Mudshark say his "family has an appreciation of the multiple-birth phenomenon"? 
Quiz One 

Chapter 5

Watch the short video on setting. In the highlighted text, we see that the setting is in the library. What other details have we encountered throughout the first five chapters that indicate that the setting of this novel is primarily at school? (This annotation contains a video)
Why do the students believe that the parrot is psychic and may be able to out-think Mudshark?  

Chapter 6

Who or what appears in multiple announcements by the the principal? 
Watch the short video on character traits. In the highlighted text, we can infer that Mudshark is calm under pressure because it says he "never missed a bite" even as he is catching food flung by his sisters. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the highlighted text, what will Kyle's father do to him if he ever does something similar to making the car disappear again? 

Chapter 7

Below is a picture of a personal flotation device or life jacket. Why might the custodian need one of these? This detail once again creates a sense of humor.  (This annotation contains an image)
Read the definition of onomatopoeia below. The highlighted text is an example of this type of figurative language. Its purpose is to help us to hear what the parrot sounds like.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does Mr. Wagner want Mudshark to do? 
Watch the short video on tone versus mood. In the highlighted text, the tone is angry or outraged. The dialogue and action of stomping help to convey the tone. On the other hand, the mood can be described as empathetic or compassionate because we understand Tara's frustration.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 8

Which word would not be used to describe the tone of the highlighted text? 
Watch the video on summaries below. Which details would be most important to include in a summary starting from when Mudshark enters the custodian's room to now? (This annotation contains a video)
Summarize what is beautiful to the custodian versus what is beautiful to Mudshark. 
Quiz Two 

Chapter 9

Use the define feature to read the definition of a vegan. Which food listed below would a vegan be most likely to eat? 
We have to wonder why Mudshark is so happy and excited in the highlighted text. What could he be planning? 

Chapter 10

Below is a picture of a hazmat crew. What could be going on in the faculty restroom? It is hilarious because there is never any other mention of this "huge" problem in the chapters except for the principal's announcement. (This annotation contains an image)
Choose one character trait that best describes Kyle/Mudshark based on the events in Chapter Ten. Be sure to support your trait with an example from this chapter. 

Chapter 11

Watch the short video on making inferences below. In the highlighted text, we can infer that athletics and a new athletic center are prized or considered more valuable than providing a new library. Do you think this is right? (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the highlighted text, what can you infer about Ms. Underdorf? 

Chapter 13

Based on the highlighted text, we can infer that the school is much more peaceful and orderly now that the mystery has been solved. 


Quiz Three