Liesl & Po

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Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable

Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.

Curriculet Details
113 Questions
43 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining similes, metaphors, alliteration, and idioms. It also contains interactive links that support comprehension, such as related stories and myths. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of diction, textual evidence, and point of view. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Homework #6

This sentence is an example of figurative language. This is a simile, a comparison which uses the words like or as (or as though). The author compares two seemingly different things which helps the reader understand the ways they are similar. The darkness is very thick and is being compared to cookie dough, and the ghost is being compared to a cookie cut from the dough with a cookie cutter.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Liesl is asking what Po was before. What do you think she means when she uses before? 
This sentence contains another example of figurative language. Since the word 'like' is used in a comparison, this is a simile. The author is comparing the two worlds to two mirrors that are facing each other.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What kind of figurative language is used in this phrase? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.9
Liesl's life sounds very similar to several famous fairy tales. She has a stepmother who seems to not care for her. Liesl lives in an attic. Liesl has lost her father. Can you think of one fairy tale that has a similar plot to Liesl's story? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does Liesl say earlier in the story about saying good-bye? How do we know Po cares about Liesl's feelings about saying good-bye? 

Homework #7

Alchemists were like early chemists in that they believed that putting certain substances together would cause them to transform into another substance. Many alchemists were trying to transform cheap materials into gold in order to become rich. Alchemy was a blend of science and magic. 
The author is now telling the story from Will's point of view. In the last chapter, the story was told from Liesl's and Po's points of view. Telling the story in this way is called third person point of view. This type of point of view allows the author to share the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters with the reader. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Who is the girl Will is watching? What clues from the text lead you to believe this? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What two things are being compared in this simile? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What item is not included on the alchemist's list? 

Homework #8

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why is Mr. Gray so annoyed?  
Urns are decorative containers used to hold the ashes of cremated dead people. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
To what animal does Mr. Gray compare children? 
An atelier is a workshop. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.9
Of what fairy tale does Will's dream remind you? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why is it strange that Will is dreaming of a flying train? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
What events in the story seem to be bringing the characters together? 
A plot is the action of a story. The author is describing a plot. 

Homework #9

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What simile does the author use to describe light on the Other Side? 
When words are used to make sounds, it is called onomatopoeia. This is another type of figurative language. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What are the two similes used in the passage? 
Authors sometimes give hints about things that will happen later in the story; this is called foreshadowing. Somewhere later in the story, a train will be important. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Liesl's father hasn't gone Beyond. What reason does Po give for Liesl's father being on the Other Side? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
In the dictionary, a dirge is a funeral song. How does the name of the town, Dirge, relate to the plot of the story? 
A metaphor is a comparison of two things, but there are no comparative words as there are in a simile. Here, Liesl is comparing the amount of time she was in the attic to a tower that got taller and taller as time went by. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
How long has it been since the sun has shone? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What lie did Po tell Liesl? 

Homework #10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What simile is used in this passage? 
The alchemist will rise up, or ascend, to Official alchemist. He thinks he will rise above all other alchemists because of the great magic he has created. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
The alchemist would like to fly. What ingredient does he need to grow good wings? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
How are alchemists and magicians different? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Which ingredient is not needed to make the Most Powerful Magic in the World? 
The alchemist is the reason the sun has not come out in 1,728 days. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What will the alchemist get when he becomes Official? 

Homework #11

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Explain why Mo's name is probably an insult. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.6
Which character's point of view is the author using in this chapter? 
Alliteration is the repetition of a beginning consonant sound. The words sandwich, satisfied, slurp, settled, and slumped all begin with S. The repetition of the S sound makes the reader feel the soft, sleepy feeling that Mo feels after he's eaten and had his hot chocolate. 
There is a theme of personal loss in this story. All of the characters have lost something or someone. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
About whom does Mo dream? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What does the author use to make the reader think of a snake in this description? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What comparison does the author make? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
In this metaphor, the Lady Premiere is compared to  
Words play an important part in this story. Liesl uses the word ineffable to help her feel calm and happy. The alchemist uses the word useless to describe his apprentice. The words the characters use help to show their personalities. 
Along with the theme of loss that all the characters suffer, there is this darkness that is mentioned over and over again. Darkness and loss seem to go together. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What type of figurative language is used here? 

Homework #12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What simile is used in this passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
In this simile, to what does Po compare Bundle? 
Imagery is the use of language to paint a picture in the reader's mind. Words like glowing, moonlit, black, soft, pillowed, cloudy, and secluded help the reader see the place to which Po and Bundle have gone. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why do clothes fad so quickly on the Other Side? 
"Beating around the bush" is an idiom. This is another type of figurative language. Po means that there is no point in wasting time...beating around a bush is wasting time. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What things do Po and Bundle remember while Henry is speaking sternly to them? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Henry says that he shouldn't have eaten the soup. What do you think might have happened to Henry? 

Homework #13

The author uses point of view to structure the story. In each chapter, the author tells the story from a different character's point of view so that the reader can see how the lives of the characters are coming together. This structure helps support the plot. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why can't Will go back to the alchemist's home? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What similes are used in this passage? 
The train foreshadowed in Liesl's drawing and in Will's dream is now appearing in the plot of the story. 

Homework #14

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
The point of view has changed again in this chapter. How does this structure in the story help the plot? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What disturbs Po? 
This is another example of alliteration. People, push, pull, poke, and probe are all words that begin with P. The use of all these short P words helps the reader feel Po's discomfort at having felt something at Liesl's touch. 
Once again, there are these fairy tale elements of a princess locked away by her wicked stepmother. 

Homework #15

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.6
The author has used the structure of the story to change the point of view again. From whose point of view is the story now told? 
The author uses an idiom in the simile "like bats in the belfry." This idiom typically is used to describe someone as crazy, but here it may be that Milly is talking about the real bats that roost in the bell towers of churches. Either way, Milly believes that little girls shouldn't be locked up. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What happened to the sun? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
How is Karen  feeling about keeping Liesl locked up? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
How did Liesl escape? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why is Liesl afraid? 
Part I Quiz 
"Off her rocker" is another idiom. Milly thinks that Karen is crazy. 

Homework #17

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
In this metaphor, to what is Liesl comparing herself? 
Once again, Liesl's drawing of the flying train has foreshadowed a character's relationship with a train. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does the guard think about Liesl? 
When an author continues a metaphor and uses it for a long time, it is called an extended metaphor. The author uses the comparison of Liesl and the sparrows for the whole chapter. 

Homework #18

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
The comparison of Mo's brain to Swiss cheese is  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
"Curiosity killed the cat" is an example of what type of figurative language? 
This is an example of a proverb. A proverb is a life lesson. This proverb means that teaching a person to accomplish something is better than just giving him or her charity. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What is Mo planning to do? 

Homework #19

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What is life compared to in this simile? 
Liesl's train drawing has foreshadowed Will's arrival at the train station. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What alliteration and descriptive words are used to create imagery, a picture in the reader's mind? 
All of the characters are beginning to come together in the same location as the plot moves forward. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
On what train are Liesl, Will, Po, and Bundle? 

Homework #20

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does the old woman with the cane think of Liesl? 
Potatoes keep showing up as a main food source in the story. Potatoes grow underground with very little sunlight required. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Where has the old woman with a cane gone? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What figurative language is being used here? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why have things stopped growing? 

Homework #21

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What place does Liesl remember? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What figurative language does Po use to describe the Other Side? 
The omniscient point of view is allowing the author to keep track of all the characters for us. 

Homework #22

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Who ended up with the potato Augusta threw out the carriage window? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does August think of Liesl's mother? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What did Augusta do to Liesl's father? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What does this passage suggest about the Lady Premiere's past? 
Both the alchemist and Augusta want ascension. They both wanted to be respected and envied. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does Augusta plan to do with Henry's ashes? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does the alchemist think Liesl has done? 
Concoctions are a mixture of various ingredients.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
The repetition of all the words beginning with the letter C is an example of what figurative language? 
In cahoots, in collaboration, in cooperation, and in collusion all mean working together. 
Trompe l'oeil is an art form where the drawing or painting looks real. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Imagery is a literary device writers use to create a picture in the reader's mind. What words in this paragraph help create imagery? 

Homework #23

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What is the name of the city of smoke and fire? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What type of figurative language is being used? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why does the old woman want to lock up Liesl? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
How does Will escape the old woman, policeman, and Mo? 

Homework #24

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why is Will worried about Liesl? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What do the two men need? 
This is an example of exaggeration. The rats would have to be very big to wear boots, and they'd have to be very smart to need a watch to tell time. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What word does Will argue about with Liesl? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What does Will think of Po and Bundle? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What lies does Will tell Liesl? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
How did Will's parents die? 
Influenza is normally shortened to flu. There are many types of influenza, and some forms were quite deadly in the days before modern medicine. (This annotation contains an image)
Part II Quiz 

Homework #26

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Mrs. Snout lives on Crooked Street. What might this foreshadow about Mrs. Snout? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What did Mrs. Snout feed the children? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why did Mrs. Snout help the children? 
"Desperate times call for desperate measures" is a well known saying that means when life is tough a person has to be tougher and make hard decisions. Mrs. Snout makes the decision to turn the children over to the Lady Premiere because she needs the money. 

Homework #27

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why is Po feeling left out? 
Sticky may have earned his nickname from the term "sticky fingers." Someone with "sticky fingers" is a thief. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What happened while Will and Liesl slept? 

Homework #28

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why are Po and Will fighting? 

Homework #29

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What is in the box Sticky stole from Liesl? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What happened to the magic dust? 

Homework #30

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What is the simile in this passage? 

Homework #31

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does the Lady Premiere think happened to the magic? 
Click on the link below to read the story of Sleeping Beauty. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Why does Liesl's father want to be buried by the willow tree? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why doesn't Po want Liesl to eat the soup? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What are the simile and metaphor used in this passage? 

Homework #32

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
How does Liesl plan to escape? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does Liesl not think about to help her break back through to the Living Side? 
In literature, there have been many stories of characters going to the land of the dead. The Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice is about a hero going to the land of the dead to find his wife. Click on the link below to read the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.  (This annotation contains a link)

Homework #33

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does Liesl do when she finds out Will had made a ladder to try to rescue her? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What is happening as the magic spreads? 

Homework #34

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What words and figurative language help produce imagery in this passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What figurative language is used most often in this passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
In this metaphor, to what does Liesl compare herself? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What simile is used in this passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Who was the two-headed demon? 

Homework #35

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What alliterations are used in this passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Which of the following is not an alliteration? 

Homework #36

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What does the alchemist do to make everyone think the magic is working? 

Homework #37

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What did Po do to make everyone believe the alchemist's magic was working? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
How did the house catch fire? 
Repetition is using a word over and over for emphasis, "burning, burning, burning." 

Homework #38

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Why is Liesl filled with joy and relief? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What happens when the magic finally works? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What is the greatest magic in the world? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What type of figurative language is used here? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
What happens to Po and Bundle? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
In this metaphor, Augusta is compared to 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Who is the Lady Premiere? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
What alliterations appear in this passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
What happens to Liesl and Will? 
The theme of this story is contained here in this one sentence. The theme is that even with death life will continue. 

Author’s Note

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
How does the author's experience relate to the theme of the book? 
Part III Quiz