Ben and Me

Section 1: Foreword-Chapter 4

  1. chamber: a room where members of a government meet
  2. decipher: to find the meaning of something that is difficult to read or understand
  3. despondency: the state of being despondent; very sad and without hope
  4. hearthstone: stone forming a hearth
  5. hoax: an act that is meant to trick or deceive people
  6. lament: to express sorrow, regret, or unhappiness about something
  7. manuscript: the original copy of a play, book, piece of music, etc., before it has been printed
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. It is not always easy to decipher the best way to resolve a conflict.
  2. The busy toddler did lament the fact that she had to stop playing and take her afternoon nap.
  3. One of his favorite memories of Thanksgiving was sitting on the hearthstone, listening to his grandfather recall everything he was thankful for that year.
  4. It took JRR Tolkien twelve years to complete his Lord of the Rings manuscript.
  5. Ethan’s father did not appreciate the April Fool’s hoax his children played on him by putting salt in his toothpaste.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Amos thinks that Ben is undeniably stupid at times. (pg. 4)
  2. The first thing Amos remembers clearly is being in a kitchen and smelling cheese. (pg. 6)
  3. Amos settles on the sneezing room, and decides to sleep inside Benjamin Franklin’s cap. (pg. 6)
  4. Amos’ inspiration for the Franklin stove is his own experience of being warmed by the chestnuts dropped by the Hot-chestnut Man. (pg. 11-12)
  5. Ben gathered different materials such as an iron oven, screws, bolts, and an old broken sword to make the prototype stove. (pg. 12-13)
  6. Amos says thanks for Ben using the word “we” regarding the stove. (pg. 16)
  7. Ben agrees to compensate Amos with food, clothing, and a fur cap. (pg. 18-19)
  8. Amos is able to help Ben keep from falling into a puddle or running into a cart while sitting in his cap. (pg. 20)
  9. Ben always wears a cap because he is dependent on Amos’ advice. (pg. 22)
  10. Amos thinks swimming is dangerous, unsanitary, and barbarous. (pg. 23)
  11. Ben chases the dog because he took his cap. (pg. 25)
  12. The tokens think Ben has drowned when they find his watch on the riverbank. (pg. 26)
  13. Ben is despondent because he can’t find Amos. (pg. 30)
  14. Ben discovers Amos is safe and sound when Amos bites his thumb. (pg. 30)

Section 2: Chapters 5-8

  1. apparatus: a tool or piece of equipment used for specific activities; the organization or system used for doing or operating something
  2. brooding: to think a lot about something in an unhappy way
  3. contempt: a feeling that someone or something is not worthy of any respect or approval; speech or behavior that does not show proper respect to a court or judge
  4. contrive: to form or make something in a skillful or clever way
  5. epoch: a period of time that is very important in history
  6. maxim: a well-known phrase that expresses a general truth about life or a rule about behavior
  7. vanity: the quality of people who have too much pride in their own appearance, abilities, achievements, etc.; the quality of being vain
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. Jacob felt contempt toward the people who stole his mother’s purse.
  2. The brothers did contrive a plan to use Lego stop motion animation to share their favorite stories with family and friends.
  3. Ellen enjoyed trying to figure out the meaning behind the famous maxims of Benjamin Franklin.
  4. Clara was brooding over the argument she had with her sister.
  5. The little girl smiled with vanity when her grandma complimented her princess costume.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Ben thinks that the dissemination of man is man’s highest calling. (pg. 31)
  2. Amos had injured his tail in one of the presses in Ben’s print shop. (pg. 33)
  3. Poor Richard is someone that Ben made up. (pg. 34)
  4. Amos makes improvements in the risings and settings of the moon in the Tide Table. (pg. 34)
  5. The result of Amos’ changes to the Almanac causes the ships in the harbor to be aground. (pg. 35)
  6. Ben is inspired to study electricity after he rubs a tube and then touches Amos’ tail to cause a shock. (pg. 40)
  7. Ben claims he will tear the lightning from the skies and harness it to do the bidding of man. (pg. 41)
  8. Amos helps Ben prepare for his electrical demonstration by checking the wires and apparatus with Ben’s diagrams and descriptions. (pg. 44)
  9. The Governor’s hair stands straight up and his clothes are burned from Ben’s demonstration. (pg. 46)
  10. Ben responds to the lightning storm with fright by hiding under his bed covers and pillows. (pg. 53)
  11. Amos determines that lightning is electrical after being shocked over and over again while holding on to the kite during the rain storm. (pg. 61)
  12. Ben agrees to give up his electrical experiments because it was not part of their written agreement. (pg. 62-63)
  13. Ben asks Amos to join him in fighting for the sacred cause of Liberty. (pg. 63)
  14. Ben sails to England alone after Amos discovers he brought lighting rods for more experiments. (pg. 65)

Section 3: Chapters 9-11

  1. agile: able to move quickly and easily; quick, smart, and clever
  2. bereft: sad because a family member or friend has died
  3. eloquent: having or showing the ability to use language clearly and effectively
  4. foray: an attempt to do something especially for the first time; a short journey
  5. quaint: having an old-fashioned or unusual quality or appearance that is usually attractive or appealing
  6. solemn: very serious or formal in manner, behavior, or expression; sad and serious
  7. thwart: to prevent someone from doing something or to stop something from happening
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. Lucy was an agile soccer player and enjoyed outsmarting her opponents.
  2. Mateo gave an eloquent oral report about his favorite political figure from history.
  3. Anna was bereft when her ninety-year-old grandmother passed away.
  4. The doctor prescribed antibiotics in order to thwart the infection from getting worse.
  5. He made a quick foray to see the Grand Canyon, before returning home to California.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Amos describes the War of the Revolution as being nothing but committee meetings. (pg. 67)
  2. The most important committee’s task is to write the “Declaration of Independence.” (pg. 67)
  3. Amos says that Red is the one who really controls Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. (pg. 67)
  4. Red was in a fury because they copied his “Manifesto” and changed the words from “mice” to “men.” (pg. 69)
  5. The man who impressed Amos the most was General George Washington. (pg. 71)
  6. Amos likes George Washington because he is a magnificent man and soldier, and also because he grows the best wheat. (pg. 71)
  7. Amos persuades Ben that he should appeal to France because of their pastries, wines, and beautiful ladies. (pg. 72)
  8. George Washington asks Ben to go to France to ask for foreign aid to help plead their cause. (pg. 72)
  9. Ben is well and active, but Amos is seasick on the voyage to France. (pg. 74)
  10. Ben is very popular with the French people. (pg. 77)
  11. Ben and Amos are surrounded by scholars, scientists, writers, and French ladies. (pg. 77)
  12. Ben gains a reputation as a brilliant diplomat by thwarting every plot against him. (pg. 78)
  13. Amos’ nerves are on end at Madame Helvetius’s house because of all of her cats. (pg. 79)
  14. A beautiful white mouse named Sophia lives in the towering headdress of Madame Brillon. (pg. 80)

Section 4: Chapters 12-15

  1. erratic: acting, moving, or changing in ways that are not expected or usual; not consistent or regular
  2. frivolous: not important; not deserving serious attention
  3. providence: divine guidance or care
  4. motley: made up of many different people or things
  5. opulent: very comfortable and expensive; very wealthy
  6. stalwart: very loyal and dedicated; physically strong
  7. succumb: to stop trying to resist something
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. Anabelle’s dog was being erratic just before the earthquake happened.
  2. Olivia believed it was providence that allowed her to find her missing cat.
  3. The opulent hotel bragged of marble floors and ocean views from every room.
  4. Margaret was trying to eat healthier, but eventually succumbed to the delicious apple pie that was left on the counter.
  5. Amos Fortune was stalwart in his fight for freedom.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Amos and Ben receive the news that the war is over and the colonies are free. (pg. 85)
  2. Amos detests the foreign ways of the French. (pg. 85)
  3. The King and Queen give a great ball in honor of the 4th of July. (pg. 86)
  4. Ben is sad that Thomas Jefferson is coming to France because he is no longer needed there. (pg. 87)
  5. Amos is happy because he might see Red Jefferson again. (pg. 87)
  6. The Slum Mice and Sewer Rats are ripe for revolution because they are starving, oppressed, and they don’t have a leader. (pg. 89)
  7. Twelve peasant mice occupied Ben’s fur cap. (pg. 95)
  8. Amos shouts in his loudest voice, “UP AND AT ‘EM!” (pg. 97)
  9. The King and Queen faint, and the ladies of the court run away when they see the mice. (pg. 97)
  10. Amos, Red, Sophia and her children, are in Ben’s cap at the end of the evening. (pg. 102)
  11. The guard is rude to Ben because of the mice he “shed.” (pg. 105)
  12. Amos can tell he is getting old because he can stand being at the dinners, and he falls asleep while Ben keeps talking. (pg. 107)
  13. Amos gives Ben a new beaver hat for his eighty-first birthday. (pg. 110)
  14. Ben is worried because there is no place for Amos in his new hat and he doesn’t know what he will do without him. (pg. 113).