Context Clues
Main Idea
Story Elements
Name the POV

"No matter where you go, the Internet is following you. Almost every portable device is being made with an Internet connection. Most new TVs and many other appliances come with Internet connections as well. The Internet is truly ubiquitous."

What does ubiquitous mean?

a. it is fuzzy and will bite you

b. it is everywhere

c. it costs too much money

d. it causes rashes

b. it is everywhere


It's hard to imagine what things were like before there was money, but such a time did exist. During these times people exchanged goods using the barter system. The word barter means to trade. People using the barter system traded things instead of buying and selling them. So if you were a rice farmer, you would trade your rice with many people to get all the things that you wanted or needed. Unfortunately, the people from whom you needed things might not want your rice. Isn't it nice to just go to the store and buy candy instead of having to trade rice for it?

People used to trade things for other things instead of money, but money makes it much easier.


If you don't get close to anyone, then you can't lose anyone—so he stays away from everyone.

Find a piece of text evidence to support this.

Max's grandparents let Max stay in the down under.

Max has no friends.

Max lost his mom and says no one wants to be around him.

Max does not talk to show people how smart he is.


What are characters?

The characters are the individuals that the story is about.

Bonus: Name three characters in FTM.


Name the character speaking and what he's talking about.

"I like it in the down under, got the place all to myself and no fear of Gram sticking her head in the door."

Max talking about his room.


"Speaking rudely to the judges was rash behavior. You really hurt your chances of winning!"

In the above context, what does “rash” mean?

a. an itchy skin condition

b. funny

c. trying to hide or disguise a piece of cheese

d. with little thought or consideration

d. With little thought or consideration


Money is pretty old but nobody knows exactly how old it is. Perhaps the oldest evidence of people using money is in the Code of Ur-Nammu. The Code of Ur-Nammu is a system of laws written around 2050 BC. That's like 4,000 years ago! Many of Ur-Nammu's laws carry fines, such as one stating that if a man is proven innocent of sorcery, his accuser must pay 3 shekels. This ancient document shows me two things: Ur-Nammu didn't tolerate false witch-hunts, and money is very old.

We know money is at least as old as 2050 B.C. because it was referenced in the Code of Ur-Nammu, which said you had to pay money when you broke a law.


Appearances can be deceiving.

Support this with evidence from the text.

Everyone thinks he's going to be exactly like his dad just because he happens to look like him.

Freak is a little guy with a huge personality.

The two main characters are able to see past the outward appearance to what is inside: a big brain (Freak) and an even bigger heart (Max).


What is setting?

The setting is the location AND time of the action.

Bonus: Give the setting for FTM.


Name the character speaking and what he's talking about.

"What she means is, you're a spitting image of your old man."

Freak talking about Gwen's surprise at what Max looks like.


"Some people are always bashing the president just like others bashed the one before him. Wouldn't you think that everyone could find something to praise him for, at least once in a while? What does “bashing” mean in the above selection?"

a. hitting hard with a heavy tool

b. going to too many expensive parties

c. speaking or writing harshly about

d. voting for a different candidate

c. speaking or writing harshly about


Sir Isaac Newton was contemplating the universe in his garden one day in 1665 when he noticed an apple fall from a tree. Newton wondered to himself, “Why should the apple always fall to the ground? Why does it not go sideways or upwards but directly toward the Earth’s center?” After much contemplation Newton concluded that objects are pulled to the Earth through a force that he called gravity, which means heaviness in Latin. On July 5th, 1687 Newton formally expressed his law of universal gravitation in series of books called The Principia.

Isaac Newton first started thinking about gravity when an apple landed on his head.


Family is not always there for you, but friends are.

Support this statement with evidence from the text.

Both main characters have sweet moms, but some majorly absent fathers.

Max's grandparents love him, but he doesn't give them a chance.

Freak is almost like a father figure to Max.


What is plot?

The plot is the actual story around which the entire book is based.

Bonus: Give the plot for FTM.


Name the character speaking and what she's talking about.

"I never saw much of your mom after they got married. He made it difficult for your mother to have any friends."

Gwen talking to Max about his mom.


Wherever he goes, the esteemed Dr. Sanchez is applauded for his life saving research.

What does “esteemed” mean?

greatly admired


Marie Curie not only the first woman to have won a Nobel Prize, she is also the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. Most notably, however, Marie Curie discovered radiation. She was also the first person to use radiation to treat tumors. Curie experimented extensively with radioactivity during her scientific career. Unfortunately the damaging effects of radiation were not known then. Her exposure to radiation most likely was the cause of her blindness and early death. Still today her scientific papers are considered too dangerous to handle without protective equipment. These documents are stored in lead-lined boxes. Even her cookbook is radioactive. She must have made some really hot food in her lifetime.

Marie Curie discovered radiation. We did not know how dangerous radiation was; it killed her and made all of her belongings dangerous to handle.


You don't have to be Freakishly brainy to be smart.

Freak is able to help Max in school because he understands him better than his teachers do.

Max proves his intelligence to himself and to others.

Both characters are smart in their own ways.


What is conflict?

Conflict is the problem the story is trying to solve.

Bonus: Give the conflic for FTM.


Name the character speaking and what he's talking about.

"I bet they haven't even missed you," he says. "Kept you down in that cellar like an animal, how would they know?"

Kenny Kane talking about Grim and Gram.


I believe that if you lower taxes so that people can keep more of the money they earn, it will be an incentive for them to work harder.

What is the meaning of “incentive”?

a reason to do something


Yellowstone National Park is mainly located in Wyoming, although three percent is located in the state of Montana. The Continental Divide of North America runs diagonally through the southwestern part of the park. The park sits on the Yellowstone Plateau, which is an average elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level. This plateau is bounded on nearly all sides by mountain ranges. There are 290 waterfalls that are at least fifteen feet in the park, the highest being the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, which falls 308 feet.

This paragraph is about the physical features of Yellowstone.


The less time we have on earth, the more we value the time we have.

Freak tries to remember everything—even things that never actually happened. 

Max is so haunted by his memories of the past that he tries to totally block them from his mind.

Freak knows he won't get to make memories for long, so he relishes the ones he has.

What is resolution?

Resolution solution to the problem is the way the action is resolved.

Bonus: Give the resolution for FTM.


Name the character speaking and what he's talking about.

"The boy is like him, we'd better watch out, you never know what he might do while we're sleeping."

Grim talking about Max.

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