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Franklin Delano Donuthead is a fifth grader with a lot of problems: For starters, his last name is Donuthead. He considers himself handicapped because one arm and leg are shorter than the other (by less than half an inch), his mother is trying to poison him with non-organic foods (like salami), he doesn't have a father, and Sarah Kervick, the new girl, who's mean and totally unhygienic, is attached to him, warts and all, like glue. This is a hilarious and touching novel featuring a neurotic, scared boy and a tougher-than-nails girl who each help the other in more ways than they can imagine. Sue Stauffacher has crafted characters full of wit and sensitivity, with a little anti-bacterial soap thrown in for good measure.
Curriculet Details
36 Questions
38 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring summarizing and point of view, as well as annotations describing figurative language and asking questions. Students will explore the themes of friendship and overcoming fears. 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 ONE: Just the Facts

The author of this novel, Sue Stauffacher, lives in 150 year old farmhouse in Michigan. She enjoys writing books, cooking and gardening. Do you want to learn more about Sue and her books? Here is her website.  (This annotation contains a link)
According to Franklin, what is a problem he has to face daily? 
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? 
Where is Franklin's father? 

CHAPTER TWO: A Day at the Farm

Determining the point of view when reading will help you understand the characters. This video explains point of view.  (This annotation contains a video)
From which point of view is this story told? 
Even though Franklin has just met Sarah, there are some major differences between the two characters. Sarah likes to speak her mind and stand up for herself. Franklin prefers to stay quiet and allow others to pick on him. As you read, pay attention to the similarities and differences between these two characters. 
What realization is Franklin making about Sarah's fight with Marvin? 
Franklin's description of Sarah's laugh shows his confusion. He is unsure what to make of this new girl. 

CHAPTER THREE: The “Out Back” Beauty School

Use the Define feature to determine the definition of incident. Which word below is a synonym for incident? 
Franklin is going back to tell you the events from yesterday. When a character in a novel tells you about events that happened in the past, this is called a flashback. 
Why is Franklin discussing decoding rings with his teacher? 
Based on Franklin's reaction, he thinks Sarah is going to do something really bad to him. Do you think that is why Sarah wants to meet him? Read on and find out. 
Why does Franklin say, "This truly is a world of wonders"? Use details from the passage to support your answer. 

CHAPTER FOUR: A Life of Crime

You are beginning to learn more about the main characters, Franklin and Sarah. As you read, think about some traits that would describe these characters. This video helps explain character traits.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Franklin uncomfortable discussing the game he plays with Bernie? 
Franklin's mother is curious about Sarah, but she does not want to push her too hard. This shows you that his mother is a caring woman who respects others. 
Why does Franklin cross his mother off of this list of 'decent friends'? 
Sarah's actions show she is very excited to have her hair knot-free. Why do you think she let it get so knotty to begin with?  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Franklin plan on getting the wart remover? 
Knowing Franklin's fear of everything, especially diseases, he probably has never been in this section of the store. 
After the conversation between Franklin and Sarah on the walk home from the store, what character trait best describes Sarah? 
Based on Franklin's reaction you can tell he has never considered why he has no friends. He has always thought the right person has not come along, but now he is realizing maybe he has something to do with it. 
Quiz for Section 1 

CHAPTER FIVE: I See Patterns

Franklin's love of statistics is a good example of how intelligent he is. He not only enjoys looking up the data, but he remembers it as well.  (This annotation contains an image)
Franklin is trying hard to find a friend. He is even talking to Gloria on the phone about it. On the site below there are descriptions of various characters from the novel "Holes." Read the character descriptions and decide who would be the best friend for Franklin.  (This annotation contains a link)
Which character from the novel Holes would be a good friend for Franklin? Why? 
Which word below is an antonym for desperate? 
Franklin acted before he thought things through. This is a first for him, and now he seems to be questioning his decision. 
Why is Franklin so shocked by Mrs. Boardman and Sarah's friendship? 
Sarah has intrigued Franklin's interest so much so that he is willing to let go of some control. This is a big step for Franklin. 
What is happening to Bernie? 
Sarah is trying to involve Franklin in the argument. She is trying to show him how to stand up to a bully. 
How does Sarah manage to hit Marvin first? 
Franklin may not have hit either boy, but he stayed when he wanted to run. He is showing his support of Sarah. 

CHAPTER SIX: Spring Training

Why does Sarah "nearly leap off the step"? 
Several themes are emerging in this novel. A theme is a centeral message contained in the story. This video explains theme.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does the author use the word fleeting when describing how many days have passed? 
Franklin compares the jacket to Cinderella's ball gown to show you how special the coat is to Sarah.  (This annotation contains an image)
Franklin's mother states she wants to call Sarah's parents. How would you describe Sarah's reaction to this news? 
Franklin's mother is having a hard time getting Franklin and Sarah set for baseball. Can you picture this scene in your head? Good readers visualize, or make a picture in their head, as they are reading. If you do not have a good picture of this baseball scene, reread the page. 
What do readers learn about Sarah during the conversation she has just had with Franklin? 
One of the basic rules of baseball is to keep your eyes on the ball. In this paragraph Franklin admits to closing his eyes each time the ball is pitched. When he finally keeps them open until the ball hits the bat, he makes contact. 
Symbiosis is the interaction between two species. Both species get an advantage from the interaction. This video gives an example of symbiosis in nature.  (This annotation contains a link)
Explain how Franklin and Sarah's relationship is a form of symbiosis. Include evidence from this chapter and the video in your answer. 

CHAPTER SEVEN: Skating on Thin Ice

Sarah flinches when her father bangs his fist and ducks when he raises his hand because  
Sarah's father and Franklin's mother are very different from each other. Can you make a connection with either type of parent? Who is your parent more like? 
Using the clues Sarah's father, what is Sarah's secret dream? 
Everyone is afraid of something. Up until now, though, it appeared there was nothing Sarah was afraid of. Now Franklin knows Sarah has secret dreams that she does not want to share with anyone. 

CHAPTER EIGHT: Mrs. Boardman Breaks a Rule

Why does Gloria want to know Sarah's shoe size? 
Franklin has many difficulties, or conflicts to face in this novel. This video explains the different types of literary conflicts. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Franklin pushing Sarah about not being able to read? 
Sometimes when you read, it is necessary to reread some paragraphs to make sure you understand them correctly. Do you need to reread the highlighted paragraphs to understand Franklin's realization? Sarah wants to learn to read, but if her father will not allow her to be tested for a learning problem she cannot get help from school. 
Quiz for Section 2 

CHAPTER NINE: A Historic Day

Comparing Sarah's speed to liquid fire is an example of a simile. Similes are a form of figurative language. When using a simile an object, action, or person is compared to something else using like or as. Writers use similes to help create a vivid picture in their readers' minds. 
Which of the sentences below contains a simile? 
The coach does not seem very happy with a girl wanting to be on his baseball team. Do you think girls and boys should both be allowed to be on sports teams? 
What do you think is going to happen during this first practice? Write three predictions based on what you know about Franklin, Sarah, the Coach, and Franklin's mother. 
Franklin is able to tell before the ball is hit where it will probably go. That is an amazing talent to have for a baseball fielder. Do you think Franklin's talent will help him start to like baseball? 

CHAPTER TEN: Sarah Kervick Finds a Home

Foul is a multiple meaning word. What does foul mean as it is used in this sentence? 
Writing a summary of a chapter or novel shows your understanding of the story. This video explains what to include in a good summary.  (This annotation contains a video)
What new idea is Franklin trying to understand on this page? 
Franklin is impressed with the goalie's uniform. Can you visualize him wearing it while playing on the playground? Do you think he will like the uniform so much that he would want to be an ice hockey goalie?  (This annotation contains an image)
Write a summary of Chapter Ten using what you learned in the video. 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Sarah Kervick’s Show-Stopping Hit

After reading the pitcher's comments, you can infer that his baseball team does not have girls on it. 
What does the expression "clean his clock" mean? 
Franklin has found a way to use his skill of reading a batter with Sarah's skill of hand-eye coordination to catch the ball. They are proving to be a great team. 
Why is Franklin's imagination a hinderance to him? 
When you began reading this chapter titled "Sarah Kervick's Show-Stopping Hit" you probably predicted Sarah would hit a home run or a grand slam. The show-stopping hit was actually a fight to defend Franklin. 

CHAPTER TWELVE: Strange People Who Do Wonderful Things

When an author puts words in italics, she is letting you know that the character is  
Reread the "Dreams" poem Gloria sent. Now listen to another poem titled "Hope is the Thing with Feathers." (This annotation contains a video)
Compare the two poems. Explain how each poem relates to Sarah and her dream. 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: The Things Money Can’t Buy

Paul is the man Franklin's mother has been going out with as a friend. It appears many people want to help Sarah realize her dream. Do you think Franklin will be grateful to Paul, or feel jealousy towards him? 
Based on this paragraph, you can infer that  
Franklin's mother wants to make him as happy as Sarah. Franklin was beginning to think his mother was concerning herself with just Sarah, but this proves she is not. 
What is the most important event in this novel and why? 
Quiz for Section 3