The Wish Giver

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When a strange little man comes to the Coven Tree Church Social promising he can give people exactly what they ask for, three young believers-in-magic each make a wish that comes true in the most unexpected way.

Curriculet Details
35 Questions
37 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring character traits and cause/effect, as well as annotations describing how to visualize and ask questions. Students will explore the themes of friendship and cooperation. 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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Bill Brittain was an American writer. He is best known for this book, The Wish Giver, which won him a Newberry Honor. If you enjoy this book, he wrote three more that take place in Coven Tree. 
Who is telling the story? 
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? 
Use the Define feature to determine the meaning of crick. Crick is a _____. 
This paragraph gives you some clues to the setting of the story. Setting is where and when a story takes place. Polly says her ma worked hard to give her fifty cents. In the present day, fifty cents will not be too hard to get and it will not buy you much. This story must take place in the past, when fifty cents will buy more. 
How old do you think Stew Meat is? Use details from this chapter to support your answer. 


Bill Brittain, the author, uses great descriptions in this paragraph to help you visualize what you are reading. This video explains this reading strategy, as well as some others, to keep in mind while you read.  (This annotation contains a video)
After reading this paragraph, your classmate does not understand if Lenora is a friend or enemy of Polly. Your classmate decides to reread the paragraph to check her understanding. Which reading strategy is she using? 
Lenora and Leland seem to have a good way of handling Polly's rudeness. They ignore her until she apologizes. Do you think this strategy will help Polly change her ways? 
What does "...gone fuzzy in the head" mean? 
Usually, when an author has a character repeat words, it is because the character cannot think of what to say. It could be the character is embarrassed, confused, or shy. Why do you think Polly is at a loss for words? 
What time of day is it in the story? 

Homework #7

Onomatopoeia is when a word is formed using the sound the word makes. "Jug-A-Rum" is an example of onomatopoeia because it is the sound bullfrogs and Polly, make. 
How does Adam know Polly? 
If your classmate croaked like a bullfrog, would you laugh as Polly is predicting? Or would you be sympathetic? 
Why does Bill Brittain compare Polly's face to a "snake with a toothache"? 
Comparing the students' movement to stones is an example of a simile. A simile is when you compare two things using like or as. Similes are used to help a reader better visualize action in a novel. 
What do you think is causing Polly's croaking? 

Homework #8

What genre is this novel? Watch this video about the different types of novel genres and see if you can figure it out.  (This annotation contains a video)
What genre is this novel? 
Lenora is being very honest with Polly, but it is for Polly's own good. A true friend will do that, even if it hurts your feelings. 
Why does Miss Morasco have Polly recite a tongue twister? 
The illustration above shows how Polly is able to stay hidden, but still hear what Agatha and Eunice are saying. 
Why is this invitation significant? 

Homework #9

Here is a picture of a dress similar to the one worn by Olivia. During the time period of this story, people made most of their own clothes.  (This annotation contains an image)
Polly's mother has an interesting reaction to the idea of tea with Eunice and Agatha. What is the mother's opinion of the girls? 
Polly's "thin smile" indicates she wants to say something rude to Agatha in response, but she is trying to contain herself. 
What is Polly learning from the conversation with Eunice and Agatha? 
Polly has learned a lesson from this visit with Agatha and Eunice. If you did not understand the lesson, reread this paragraph. 
Polly's wish came true, but the results were not what she expected. What did she learn about herself from this experience? 
Quiz for Section 1 

The Tree Man

This chapter starts Rowena Jervis's story. Keep reading to see how she uses her wish card. 
How does Rowena's mother feel about Henry? 
When learning about a character, look for clues to help you determine a character's traits. This video explains what character traits are. (This annotation contains a video)
What word below best describes Rowena? 
Tweaking a nose and calling a person a "silly goose" is usually used when referring to a younger child. Henry's actions give no reason to believe he is romantically interested in Rowena. Unfortunately, Rowena cannot see this. 
"Putting down roots.." has two different meanings. Rowena means she hopes Henry _________. 

Homework #11

It seems Rowena has gotten her wish. Henry is literally stuck to the ground like roots. 
Rowena is unsure if her day is a dream or a nightmare. This tells you she is starting to change her feelings about Henry. 
"Oww" is an example of ___________. 
If Sam has blood on his blade, he did indeed cut Henry. How is that possible? 
Why is Rowena crying? 

Homework #12

It is interesting that Henry does not want Sam to open his bag. Do you think he is hiding something? 
What word below best describes Henry Piper? 
Do you think Rowena keeping Henry's tree situation from her mother is the right thing to do?  
Think about how Polly and Rowena's wish turned out. Do you think Adam's wish for water is going to work out for him? 

Homework #13

Sometimes trees can look like people, as in this picture below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Sam's willingness to research Rowena's problem shows that he is a ________ person. 
A novel's theme is the idea the author is trying to express to his readers. This video explains how to find the theme.  (This annotation contains a video)
What theme is emerging in this book? 
Do you know where Rowena is going to go? She is giving you clues on this page. See if you can reread the page to figure out the solution to her problem. 
Quiz for Section 2 

Water, Water, Everywhere

Adam may be doubtful that Uncle Poot can find water, but he will be happy if it works. 
Why does Bill Brittain keep mentioning the other children, in this case Rowena and Polly, even though it is Adam's story being told? 
Here is a picture of a dowsing rod.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which word below is an antonym for heap? 
The author wrote these words in italics, or slanted letters, to indicate these were the words on the sign. 

Homework #15

Why do you think Adam's wish is not coming true? 
Some events that happen have a cause and effect relationship. This video explains cause and effect.  (This annotation contains a video)
Because the dowsing rod bent and shook, what should the effect be? 
The illustration shows the amazement and confusion the family is feeling. 
The two girls' wishes had negative consequences. What bad effects do you predict Adam's wish will have? 

Homework #16

The water must be spouting really high to hit the roof and cause it to leak. 
Which word(s) below best describes Pa? 
"Talking until you are blue in the face" is an expression that means you can talk all day long. 
Why does Bill Brittain use the words "vant," "dem" and "dat" when he has Sven talking? 
Once the cellar fills, the house will be unsafe to live in. 

Homework #17

Why does Pa use the words "Ahoy" and "...coming into the harbor"? 
While a cookstove may not be as large as an oven today, it is still big and heavy.  (This annotation contains an image)
The villagers want to help the Fiskes, but Pa declines. This is because Pa is too ___________. 
Adam seems to have figured out a solution to his problem. Do you know what the number found means to him? 


Why does Bill Brittain include this paragraph in the novel? 
All three children make wishes that come true in ways they do not expect. Reword one of the wishes in a way that Thaddeus Blinn could not misinterpret it. 
Henry has disappeared. Do you think he will be back? 
Quiz on Section 3