The Scarecrow and His Servant
A tattered scarecrow stands in the middle of a muddy field, taking no notice of the violent thunderstorm around him. But when a bolt of lightning strikes him, fizzing its way through his turnip head and down his broomstick, the Scarecrow blinks with surpriseand comes to life. So begins the story of the Scarecrow, a courteous but pea-brained fellow with grand ideas. He meets a boy, Jack, who becomes his faithful servant. Leaving behind his bird-scaring duties, the Scarecrow sets out for Spring Valley, with Jack at his side. As the valiant Scarecrow plunges them into terrifying dangersbattles, brigands, broken hearts, and treasure islandshe never realizes he's being followed by the one family who desperately wishes he'd never sprung to life. Will the Scarecrow discover the secret to his past before the crooked Buffalonis close in on him? From the Hardcover edition.
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Chapter One - Lightning
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. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the author mean by "all his molecules and atoms and elementary particles and whatnot were lined up in exactly the right way"?
Watch this video on the fantasy genre. After you watch the video, be on the lookout for clues that let you know The Scarecrow and His Servant is a fantasy tale. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what you have read in the text, why does the boy accept the job?
Peter Bailey is the illustrator of The Scarecrow and His Servant. In this book, he uses a technique called black and white line drawing. He began showing an interest in art when he was a young child. He would practice drawing in the reading books that his parents had bought for him! The photo is of Peter Bailey. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the lawyer showing up asking for the missing scarecrow contribute to the plot of the story?
Chapter Two - The Brigands
If you are not familiar with this word, this might be a good time to use the define feature! (This annotation contains an image)
What does the old woman mean when she says that the brigands have "political protection"?
Learning to make predictions can make a story more interesting to read as you anticipate what might happen next. Do you have an idea about who all the treasure in the cave might belong to? (This annotation contains an image)
The Scarecrow's point of view can be understood through his words and actions. Why does he scold Jack and look down upon the owl parents?
Do you think this is the kind of strategy that Jack had in mind? (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter Three - A Story by the Fireside
Based on what you read in the text, why does Jack stand up and address the chief brigand?
This idea of "tell us a story" shows up in other works. One of the most well-known examples is the book The Arabian Nights. In that story, a young lady spares her own life by telling her evil husband a story each night. She ends each tale at its most exciting part so that she will be kept alive in order to finish it the next night. It is not unusual to find shared themes and central ideas among works of literature. (This annotation contains an image)
How does this drawing contribute to the text?
Watch this video on summary. Later, you will be asked to summarize what you have read of The Scarecrow and His Servant. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter Four - The Traveling Players
Consider the scarecrow's point of view, why is he assaulting the sign?
How do you feel about this statement? Is it "dishonorable" to cage birds and keep them as pets? (This annotation contains an image)
What does Signor Rigatelli believe that Jack is doing?
Based on what you know about the scarecrow, do you think he is going to stay silent during the play, or do you anticipate him disrupting the entire performance? (This annotation contains an image)
Why is the young actress playing Queen Dido threatening Jack?
Have you ever plucked the petals off of a daisy asking this same question? This is a very old children's game. Instead of saying, "He loves me... he loves me not," some people prefer, "He loves me... he loves me lots." (This annotation contains an image)
You can learn about a character through his actions as well as his words. Even the smallest details can reveal much about a character. What does the Scarecrow releasing the caged birds tell you about him? (This annotation contains an image)
Earlier you watch a video about summary. The narrator of the video told you that a summary only includes the major events of the story. Reflect on what you have read so far, and write of summary of The Scarecrow and His Servant.
Chapter Five - Scarecrow for Hire
What does the scarecrow mean when he says, "... we are full of enterprise and both in the pink of health"?
Did you know that goats are not picky and will eat almost anything? Now, that you have read that the goats are eating the scarecrow's clothing, what do you think happened to the food bag? (This annotation contains an image)
How do Jack and the scarecrow differ when recalling their adventures?
The illustrations of a story can contribute greatly to the enjoyment of reading. Look at the details in this drawing. Do you see the little faces on the farm tools?
Chapter Six - A Serenade
Can you "hear" this conversation as you read it? What does the farmer want to know without coming out and asking? (This annotation contains an image)
What does the scarecrow mean when he says that the "moonlight would show me to advantage"?
Being able to visualize what you are reading is an important skill. It makes reading even more enjoyable if you can picture what you are reading. Can you "see" the scarecrow waltzing with the broom in the moonlight? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does the farmer say, "I told you"?
Notice the scarecrow says that being able to express feelings "distinguishes US from the animals"? Do you think the farmer's wife sees the scarecrow as someone she has something in common with? (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter Seven - The Misty Cart
How does the scene in which the farmer's wife finds the scarecrow dancing with the broom contribute to the plot of the story?
Years ago, traveling medicine shows and mystics would roam the countryside performing. They would typically stay in an area just for a night or so before pulling out and heading to the next town. These caravans charged for their services and were not known for their honesty. The photo shows a medicine show wagon. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on his reaction, what is Jack's point of view regarding the coin?
What do you think about these fancy words the mystic is using? Do they really mean something or is he trying to impress the scarecrow? (This annotation contains an image)
How does this illustration contribute to the text?
The appendix is considered a vestigial organ. This means it is no longer needed. At one time, in the early years of human existence, the appendix most likely had a function. It no longer serves any purpose. Wisdom teeth are another example of a vestigial organ. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter Eight - The Pride of the Regiment
How do Jack and the scarecrow differ regarding the army?
Why do you think the scarecrow mentions food to Jack? (This annotation contains an image)
A chitty is required by the military in order to eat. Think of a chitty as a ticket. The photo is of a chit from World War II. (This annotation contains an image)
"... eating braised beef... which was rich and hot and peppery and had little oniony things..."Which of the following sentences uses rich in the same way that it is used in the text?
How does the scarecrow becoming a soldier mostly contribute to the story?
Are you noticing a shift in Jack's and the scarecrow's friendship? Does Jack seem to be taking care of the scarecrow more than the scarecrow is looking after Jack? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Mr. Cercorelli warn the mystic that he can get into trouble for practicing without a license?
Chapter Nine - The Battle
Pay attention to the title of this chapter. It gives a possible clue about upcoming events. (This annotation contains an image)
What is meant by "Jack decided not to puzzle anymore"?
This type of humor is called slapstick humor. Slapstick humor involves physical components like the ones described in this scene. If you have ever seen "The Three Stooges," then you have seen slapstick humor. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the main difference between the sergeant and the colonel?
At this point, do you have much confidence in the leaders of the troops? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jack most likely mention the broom?
Chapter Ten - Shipwreck
Mr. Cercorelli stays one step behind the scarecrow and Jack. Do you anticipate that eventually he will catch up with them, or do you think they will stay just out of his reach? (This annotation contains an image)
Based on what you read in the text, why is the scarecrow excited to be at sea?
This quote from the scarecrow could be a hint from the author about how the tale is going to end. Even the smallest details in a text can have great meaning. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the setting of the island contrast with the other places the scarecrow and Jack have had their adventures?
The salt in ocean water is very dehydrating. It is one of the biggest dangers of being lost at sea. The heat combined with the salty water makes a deadly combination. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch this video on theme. As you watch, consider some possible themes for The Scarecrow and His Servant based on what you have read so far. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Jack not finding water add to the story?
Do you suspect that finding the treasure is going to lead to the trouble for the scarecrow and Jack? (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter Eleven - An Invitation
Read this text again. Can you guess who is doing the talking? (This annotation contains an image)
What does the scarecrow mean when he says, "hostilities are suspended"?
If this is a word that you do not know, remember that you have a define option. (This annotation contains an image)
What is depicted in this illustration?
Most scientists suspect that birds are descendants of dinosaurs. In fact, there have been many dinosaur fossils found that show some dinosaurs were covered in feathers. The photo is an example of one such fossil. (This annotation contains a link)
Chapter Twelve - The Grand Congress
What was the soft pile of leaves with berries nearby that Jack awoke to?
A chaffinch is small bird that is a member of the finch family. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the point of view of the birds regarding the "stealing"?
Jack has solved the conflict between the birds and the scarecrow by being the middleman or the "go-between." (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jack feel that they will "need a good interpreter" for sometime to come?
An inner conviction is what compels a person to know the difference between right and wrong. It is what gives a person his or her worth. It is not something that is written on paper. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Granny Raven mean when she tells Jack "don't push your luck"?
Chapter Thirteen - The Assizes
Does the scarecrow have an accurate picture of himself? Do you see him as "silent and mysterious"? (This annotation contains an image)
How do the residents view the Buffaloni family?
Will Jack be able to get the scarecrow out of this situation? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Jack want to withdraw the case?
"Leading the witness" means that an attorney is helping the witness answer the questions in court case by saying just the right thing. A witness must answer truthfully on his own. This is a very funny line in the book because obviously a witness should at least know his own name. (This annotation contains an image)
How has the Scarecrow's inner conviction led to this point in the book?
Do you believe this is a legal term or something that Jack made up? Read it slowly and see if you can figure out the last couple of words. (This annotation contains an image)
What is meant by "being of sound mind, but not very well in the legs"?
Now it should be clear why the lawyer was so eagerly searching for the scarecrow. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter Fourteen - A Surprise Witness
Consider the lawyer's point of view. Where is he heading with this line of questioning?
Is this how the judicial system works? Does a judge tell the jury what to decide? (This annotation contains an image)
Can you decipher what the blackbird is saying here? It's something along the lines of: The scarecrow was hitting himself on the head and something fell out. Then, the little boy bent over to see what it was. (This annotation contains an image)
Think about the characters of Granny Raven and Bernard Blackbird. Write a response in which you describe how these two birds are different. Make sure you use evidence from the text in your response.
Make sure that you look at the illustration on the next page carefully as you will be asked a question about it.
What scene from the text did the illustration on the previous page depict?
Do you believe that the Buffalonis had a change of heart, or do you think they are up to something? (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter Fifteen - A Medical Mystery
This is very clever writing by the author. Look at the scarecrow's response to the doctor offering to "take his temperature." The author of this book is Philip Pullman. If you have enjoyed The Scarecrow and His Servant, you might want to read some other books by the same author. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the doctor mean when he asks Jack if he took him for a "quack"?
Why do you think Granny Raven says the scarecrow needs a carpenter and not a doctor? (This annotation contains an image)
How does the arrival of the old ladies contribute to the text?
Chapter Sixteen - Spring Valley
This is the final chapter of The Scarecrow and His Servant. In this chapter, all of the conflicts from the story will be resolved. This is called the resolution. (This annotation contains an image)