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The Four-Story Mistake - Part 4

This is a mini-unit for chapter four of Elizabeth Enright's delightful story for children, "The Four-Story Mistake". Read the instructions for using this unit, if you haven't done so already.

Chapter Four: "Back of the Bus"

Vocabulary Words:


Nature Study:

Some of the houseplants in Mrs. Wheelright's house:

red geraniums
fuschias "whose blossoms hung from their stems like costly earrings"
calceolarias "all covered with little speckled calico pocketbooks"
ivy (ivies)
rubber plants

Metaphors and Similes:

Randy "was flying, skimming effortlessly, like a swallow near the Earth".

Correcting Poor Grammar:

A man said, "The victim don't wanna lay down!"

A woman said, "My, ain't she brave!"

Mrs. Wheelright:  "...just like there wasn't no modern conveniences in the place".

Science, Math or History Extras:

Science:  (Medicine)  Learn First Aid.  Contact your local Red Cross or community education program to find out about upcoming classes.  Consider learning CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) as well.  These are important skills -- and who knows -- you might even save a life!

History:  (Medicine)  Keeping the victim of a head, neck or back injury immobilized is still an important First Aid step recommended today.  Research online to find out what else should be done first for someone who has had an injury like this.  (Hint: There are some questions that should be asked of the victim.)

Questions to Think About:

Mrs. Oliphant says The Motor "may give up the ghost at any minute".  What does she mean?

Did your mouth water at the thought of a frosted donut and a rootbeer?  Discuss the "power of suggestion" and think about other times when just the thought of something (eg. the smell of popcorn at a movie theater) made you think you were hungry.

Mrs. Wheelright said to Randy, "You poor little mite!"  What is a mite... and why would she call Randy one?  Think of some other funny sayings like that!

Suggested Activities:

Does your house have a name?  Back when we had chickens, we called our house and 10 acres in the country "Happy Hen Farm".  Think of a name for YOUR house!

Elizabeth Enright doesn't overuse a literary device called "alliteration" (using words together that have the same first sounds, usually consonants).  In Chapter 4, I heard one -- "p
ictures and pennants".  As you listen to the rest of the story, see if you can hear more!

Links to More Info and/or Pictures/Definitions:

Picture of 1940's 2-wheeler
Michaelangelo and the Sistene Chapel
First Aid for treating a head wound victim
Picture of a 2 foot long alligator in a bathtub
Picture of the "bead portieres" in Mrs. Wheelright's doorway

"Dance like Baranova; draw like Botticelli" --

Irina Baranova was a famous Russian ballerina.  She just died in 2008 at the age of 89.  Here is a picture of her in 1939 in costume for Swan Lake.

Sandro Botticelli was a famous artist of the sixteenth century.

Click here to go on to chapter 5.


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