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The Four-Story Mistake - Part 5

This is a mini-unit for chapter five 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 Five: "Rock-A-Bye Rush"

Vocabulary Words:


Nature Study:

See how many you can look up in The Handbook of Nature Study!

Trees:  Oak, Birch, Hickory, Elm, Pine, Beech, Norway Spruce, Black Walnut, Apple
Fruits/Nuts:  Black walnuts, butternuts, apples
Birds:  Sparrows, Starlings, Tanagers, Fox Brown Thrushes, Cardinals, Blue Jays


Metaphors and Similes:

"It bucked and leaped like a ship at sea whenever the wind was strong."

"The cool, white walls stared back at him indifferently."

Here is an example of something new -- "personification":

Can walls really "stare"?  That is a not a trait of an inanimate object, so the object is said to be "personified" or given a personality and attribute of an "animate" creature, like a human being or animal.

Look for more examples of "personification" as you enjoy the rest of the story!

Literary Allusions:

"A sailing down the coast of high Barbary..."

Correcting Poor Grammar:

Willy: "Can't nuthin' much shake down that little roost without it's a hurricane."

Cuffy:  "I don't want no broken collar bones."

Science, Math or History Extras:

Science/Math (Architecture):  Treehouse building.

There is quite a science to treehouse building!  Read Rush's description of his "perfect" tree:

"It had to be tall, had to have widespread branches not too near the earth, and it had to be strong.  Also, it had to grow on a hill."

And the treehouse he built:

"It was a square, broad platform, anchored to boughs twenty feet above the earth; there was a railing 'round it and wires were bound from the corner posts about the branches beneath."

Learn about building treehouses and design one of your own.  Sketch it out on paper.  Do you have a tree that would work for a treehouse like Rush's?  Here are some good websites and books about building treehouses:

Tree Houses You Can Actually Build
Treehouses & Playhouses You Can Build

Build the Ultimate Tree House - A step-by-step guide from FamilyFun
The Definitive Treehouse Resource

Questions to Think About:

"The answer was a pillow in a lifelike lump under the covers of his bed."  What was the question?

Rush was deceptive in fixing his bed so that it looked like he was still in it asleep.  What lesson did he learn from his lie?

What do you think Rush meant when he said he thought he might have "heard the Angel Gabriel"?

Suggested Activities:

Read these fun picture books about secret treehouses and forts:  "Andrew Henry's Meadow" or "The Summerfolk" by Doris Burn.

Rush liked to sing pirate songs.  Learn an old sailor song chorus and a verse or two!

Links to More Info and/or Pictures/Definitions:

Here is a picture of a dumbwaiter.  Research the history of this invention and also take a look at modern day versions.

Click here to go on to chapter 6.


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