It's Not the End of the World
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It's Not the End of the World is the story of a girl who tries to prevent her parents from getting a divorce. Judy Blume wrote the story in the early 1970's and during that time it was a long and difficult process to get a divorce in many states. Today divorces are easier to obtain and more common. If you've experienced divorce in your family you will relate to the feelings of pain and confusion that Karen faces in the story. If you have not experienced divorce, then the story will help you better understand how your friends feel when their parents divorce.
Why does Karen never want to get married?
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?
Why does Karen keep a record of her parents' fights?
The highlighted passage reveals that the marital troubles between Karen's parents are getting worse and not better. As you read, think about how this paragraph contributes to the development of the plot. Watch the following video to learn about how a story's plot develops. (This annotation contains a video)
From the highlighted passage and other details you've read in the text, you can infer that _____________.
A potbellied stove is a wood-burning stove that is round with a bulge in the middle. The name comes from the resemblance of the stove to that of an overweight person's pot belly. They were designed to heat large spaces and were often found in railroad stations or schoolhouses. (This annotation contains an image)
In the highlighted passage, Jeff is certain that his parents are separating and Karen __________.
As you read and answer questions about the text, it's important to understand how to cite evidence to support your answers. Watch the following video to learn about text-based evidence. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe the evidence from the text that indicates that Karen's parents are about to split up. Include quotations from the text to support your answer.
As you read the story, pay attention to important sentences, paragraphs, or chapters that contribute to the development of the plot. For example, in the highlighted passage we learn about Karen's Aunt Ruth who is unexpectedly coming over on a Sunday morning. Why do you think she is coming over? What predictions can you make about events that will take place in the chapter?
Which of the following is Karen's explanation for her father's absence?
Reread the highlighted sentence. Think about the meaning of Aunt Ruth's words of encouragement to Karen's mom. What do you think will contribute to Ellie becoming happy again in the spring?
Which of the following describes Karen's feelings when she learns that her father is moving out?
The highlighted passage is important because it reveals the thoughts and emotions that Karen is feeling about her parents' separation. If you've experienced the divorce of your parents, did you have similar thoughts and feelings?
Describe how Karen is handling her parents' divorce. Cite evidence from the text to support your description.
As you read, you will be asked to determine the meaning of words and phrases in the text. If you come across an unfamiliar word, you can use context clues to help you determine the meaning. The following video will show you how to do this. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is not a reason why Karen's parents have decided to divorce?
Reread the highlighted sentence. At this point Karen feels like the divorce of her parents is the end of the world. As you continue reading the story, pay attention to whether or not Karen continues to feel this way.
How does Karen feel when she learns that Aunt Ruth tells Debbie's mom about the divorce?
Karen is still feeling sad and confused about her parents' divorce and her best friend Debbie can't cheer her up. What advice would you give to Karen?
Explain how Karen's grandfather feels about divorce. How is he trying to prevent Karen's parents from divorcing?
Karen's grandfather thinks that Ellie and Bill can work out their marital problems if they take a vacation together. Since Ellie and Bill refuse to go on vacation together that idea will not work. Now Karen is going to try to help her parents get back together. What do you think she will do to accomplish this?
Why is Karen angry at Aunt Ruth?
Karen keeps finding more worries regarding her parents' divorce. In Chapter 10, she worries about her mother's health, her parents dating other people, and her mother not having enough money to take care of her and her siblings. She also is concerned other people will find out about the divorce. All of these worries show the impact a divorce has on children.
The highlighted sentence contains an example of figurative language that is a _________.
As you read, pay attention to the personality traits, feelings and behaviors of the characters in the story. Also pay attention to the ways in which the characters change as the story progresses. The following video will explain how to identify character traits in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Karen's mom feeling happy again?
Karen's mom believes that Karen will be much happier with her parents being divorced rather than living together and fighting all the time. Do you think this is true?
What does the word alimony mean?
The "New York Times" is an American daily newspaper, founded and published in New York City since 1851. "It's Not The End of the World" was written in the 1970's before computers and the Internet were household fixtures. Back then people read the daily newspaper to find out what was happening in the world. The image below shows the first "New York Times." (This annotation contains an image)
Describe Val's character traits and discuss why or why not you think she will be a good friend for Karen.
Karen thinks the Viking ships are great. What do you think? (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Karen's mother going back to school?
Jeff is not happy about his mother going back to school and getting a job. In the 1970's many women were housewives and did not have careers outside the home. Today, it is more common for both parents to work outside the home.
Why is Karen trying to get sick?
Auth Ruth is trying to talk Ellie out of getting a job. She feels that it will be too much responsibility for Ellie to take care of her children, run a household, and keep a job.
Describe the relationship between Karen and her brother Jeff. Include evidence from the text to support your description.
Have you determined who the narrator of the story is? As you read, it's important to pay attention to the point of view. For example, read the highlighted passage and think about how Karen's point of view about sending an anniversary card to Bill and Ellie differs from Aunt Ruth's point of view.
Karen feels that __________ is the reason her parents started fighting many years ago.
As you read, you are asked to summarize the text, focusing on important details. The following video explains how to summarize. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe how Karen's mother and father react when they receive the anniversary card from Karen.
In the highlighted passage, Amy is upset because she wants a doll with growing hair. This type of doll was a popular toy in the 1970's. The video below is a commercial for this toy. (This annotation contains a video)
Who is the narrator of the story?
Read the definition for the word "trundle." The image below shows a trundle bed. Have you ever slept on one? (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Val believe her father doesn't love her?
The highlighted passage reveals why Karen's father plans to get the divorce in the state of Nevada rather than at home in New Jersey. In the 1970's, Nevada had easier divorce laws that New Jersey.
Read the highlighted passage. How is Karen feeling about her plans to stop her parents from getting a divorce?
Can you recall a time when you made a diorama at school? The image below shows a Viking diorama like the one Karen has on display at school. (This annotation contains an image)
Summarize the actions Karen has done throughout the story to stop her parents' divorce.
Have you determined a theme in the story? As you read, pay attention to the details in the text that reveal the theme or central message. The following video will explain how to identify a theme in literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following events in the story is important to the plot?
Karen's mother has been reluctant to call the police to help find Jeff. Do you think she should have called the police immediately?
Which of the following is not an action Karen's family takes to find Jeff?
The highlighted passage is important because it reveals the main reason why Ellie has become unhappy with Bill. She feels like he cares more about work than her and the family. Think about how this passage contributes to the theme of the story.
Reread the highlighted passage. Explain why Karen now feels that her parents are never going to get back together. Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.
Do you think you know where Jeff is?
Karen's desperation to get The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce reveals that _____________.
The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce is a real book that was published in 1970. The image below shows the book's cover. Have you read this book? (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is not something that Karen reveals to Garfa in the letter she sends to him?
In the highlighted sentence, Karen reveals her fear that Jeff is dead. Do you think Jeff will be found alive? Make a prediction.
Based on evidence in Chapter 27, you can infer that _____________.
Have you determined the genre of the story? If you think it is realistic fiction, you are correct. This video reviews this genre of literature. (This annotation contains a video)
Describe how Karen's feelings about Petey Mansfield have changed since the beginning of the story. Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.
When Mrs. Singer tells her students that they haven't had a "real sixth-grade day all year," she is telling them that they are not mature enough to go to junior high. When you determine the meanings of words and phrases in the text, pay attention to both figurative and connotative meanings. The following video will help you distinguish between the two. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following reasons does Karen use to discourage her mother from moving out of state?
In the highlighted passage, Garfa points out that Karen is dependable. In what ways has Karen shown that throughout the story?
Discuss how the theme of friendship is evident in the final two chapters of the story.