The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech

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Zit monster. Puberty Werewolf. Potty Boy. Doo Doo Rules! I'm Duane. Duane Homer Leech. Don't ask. I'm 12. And one week. What I want to know is, where is this whole puberty thing going? So far it's just something put on earth to destroy me. And I don't have a clue what's coming next.
Curriculet Details
21 Questions
23 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring point of view and comparing, as well as annotations explaining figurative language and asking questions. Students will explore the themes of puberty and overcoming obstacles. 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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Gary Paulsen is one of America's most popular writers for young people. Three of his novels were Newberry Honor books. To learn more about Gary and his books, visit his site below.  (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 1 - Day One

Why is Gary Paulsen capitalizing the word ELBOWS? 
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? 

Chapter 2 - Day Two

Using the Define feature, determine the meaning of slight. Slight has several definitions. Which definition below best describes how slight is used in this sentence? 
If Duane were in your class, would you call him by his nickname Doo-Doo? 

Chapter 3 - Day Three

Is Duane really seeing "ELBOW" on the cereal box? 
Do you know how to make an inference, conclusion, or generalization? These are all reading strategies that you may be asked to use. This video explains how to use these strategies when you read.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 4 - Day Four

Based on the conversation at the breakfast table, what can you conclude about the zit? 
Even though Duane does not like having a zit, you can tell from the conversation with Nick that the problem is common for kids his age.  

Chapter 5 - Day Five

Why does Duane envy the bird? 
Duane's voice changing is another sign that he is going through puberty. Puberty is a real event that middle-school aged kids go through. Duane, though, is a fictional character. That makes the genre of this novel realistic fiction. This video will explain more about this type of story.  (This annotation contains a video)
What elements below are necessary in a realistic fiction novel? 

Chapter 6 - Day Six

Do you have any older siblings? Do you think they would have said something if you walked downstairs smelling "like you rolled around in a trailer trash hair salon..."? 
Quiz for Section One 

Chapter 7 - Day Seven

Duane seems to be at a point where everything that could go wrong is. Do you ever feel that way? If you were Duane's friend, what advice would you give him? 
Here is a picture of a warthog. Is the narrator making a pleasant comparison? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Duane think he looks like a warthog? 

Chapter 8 - Day Eight

Determining who is telling the story means finding out the point of view which it is told from. This video explains point of view.  (This annotation contains a video)
From which point of view is this story told? 

Chapter 9 - Day Nine

Do you think logging "Duane's Self-Destruction" in a three-ringed binder is a good idea?  (This annotation contains an image)
What is significant about the point of view the author uses in this text? 
Duane is realizing that even though he is looking forward to growing up, he can never be a little boy again. 
Why doesn't Duane tell Willy the truth about his conversation with Rachel? 

Chapter 10 - Day Ten

Sometimes you are asked to write a summary of a chapter or novel. This video explains summary writing.  (This annotation contains a video)
Write a summary of Chapter Ten. 

Chapter 11 - Day Eleven

Comparing the serve to a cannonball is an example of a simile. A simile is a type of figurative language that compares two objects or events using "like" or "as". Writers use similes as tools to help you visualize. 

Chapter 12 - Day Twelve

If this story were told in third person omniscient (all-knowing) point of view, how would the story change? 
This is probably what the bird looks like now.  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Duane help you understand Willy? 

Chapter 13 - Day Thirteen

Read the article below about ringworm. It will help you answer the next question. (This annotation contains a link)
Based on what you read in the article above, did the school administration make the correct decision in testing every student? Include evidence from the article to support your opinion.  
Quiz for Section Two 

Chapter 14 - Day Fourteen

Are you as surprised as Duane is by Willy's reaction? 
Why does Willy want Duane to do something good at school? 

Chapter 15 - Day Fifteen

Do you have a similar shoe lace problem? If so, you can make a text-to-self connection with Duane. (This annotation contains an image)
How does this final sentence contribute to your understanding of the scene? 

Chapter 16 - Day Sixteen

Comparing and contrasting is an important reading strategy. You can compare characters, events, and settings. This video reviews compare and contrast.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 17 - Day Seventeen

How is Willy different from Duane? 
Do you think a different name would make Duane's life turn out differently? 

Chapter 18 - Day Eighteen

How is today different from Duane's other school days? 
Theme is the underlying message in a story. What theme is emerging in this story? Watch this video to learn more about theme.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 19 - Day Nineteen

Based on what you have learned about Duane, how is the highlighted sentence going to alter Duane's day? 
Duane is down-playing the library incident. He does not want his parents getting too upset with him. 

Chapter 20 - Day Twenty

Even though Duane did not have a chance to pack his lunch, he considered it. What does that tell you about him? 
Below is a video book review of "The Amazing Life of Birds."  (This annotation contains a video)
In the video book review, the reviewer told some of the good parts of this story without giving away the ending. Now, it's your turn! Write your own book review of this novel. Be sure to include some interesting parts, but do not give away the ending! 
Quiz for Section Three