Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree bundle

Section 1: Chapters 1-9

  1. blurt: to say something suddenly and without careful consideration
  2. exasperate: to irritate intensely; infuriate
  3. guzzle: eat or drink (something) greedily
  4. humiliate: to make someone feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, especially publicly
  5. optimist: a person who tends to be hopeful and confident about the future or the success of something
  6. trudge: to walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions
Comprehension Questions
  1. Ally thinks that teachers are like machines that take quarters for bouncy balls because, “you know what you are going to get. Yet you don’t know.” (Pg. 12)
  2. Ally writes, “Why” from the top to the bottom of her page because she knows she has to keep the pencil moving; it’s a word she knows how to spell and she’s hoping that someone will finally give her an answer. (Pg. 15, 16)
  3. Reading for Ally is like trying to make sense of a can of alphabet soup that has been dumped onto a plate. (Pg. 21, 22)
  4. The strangest, craziest, and most unbelievable thing Ally could draw is herself doing something right. (Pg. 24)
  5. The impossible things that Ally can imagine drawing about ice cream are rivers of melting ice cream and a man with a cone shaped head rowing in a banana split. (Pg. 30)
  6. Travis says that being dead would not be good for his business. (Pg. 39)
  7. Grandpa loved the dustiest stores the best because they had hidden in their safes old unopened rolls of coins, which they exchanged for new bills. When opened the rolls often had old Indian head pennies, buffalo nickels and Mercury dimes. (Pg. 43)
  8. Ally always feels heavy on a Sunday night as she thinks on another week of school and the difficulties she will have. (Pg. 48)
  9. Before you make the final move in chess you must be super sure of the move. (Pg. 53)
  10. Keisha used a special dough in her batter’s cupcake to spell the word “yum.” In the middle. (Pg. 60)
  11. Suki describes American food as bland. (Pg. 62)

Section 2: Chapters 10 – 22

  1. delirious: in an acutely disturbed state of mind resulting from illness and characterized by restlessness, illusions and incoherence of thought and speech
  2. fidget: to make small movements especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience
  3. illogical: lacking sense or clear, sound reasoning
  4. inquire: to ask for information from someone
  5. predictable: the ability to foresee an outcome
  6. squelch: to make a soft sucking sound, like that made by walking through mud
Comprehension Questions
  1. Mr. Daniels promises to never correct or grade the new daily writing journal that he gives them as it is a place for self expression and communication not measurement. Pg 68)
  2. Mr. Daniels says he is glad Ally is not invisible because the class wouldn’t be the same without her. (Pg. 71)
  3. Ally imagines that a dragonfly is inside the train problem that Albert describes. (Pg. 82, 83)
  4. Flower bouquets are donated to the holiday concert, but the bad news is the donation is made by Shay’s father and she brags about it all day. (Pg. 87)
  5. When Mr. Daniels gives Ally a high five for her thinking it is the first time a teacher has ever done that to her. (Pg. 96)
  6. One of Ally’s favorite mind movies is of herself flying. (Pg. 105)
  7. Albert gets prepaid lunches from school. (Pg. 108)
  8. Albert’s shirt looks the same everyday because it is one of five identical shirts he has that refer to a Star Trek character he relates to. (Pg. 114, 116)
  9. Ally’s mom allows her to have ice cream once a week. (Pg. 117)
  10. Ally’s mom says mean people should be ignored because they are trying to get a rise out of you. (Pg. 128)
  11. Ally can only think of good comebacks to say to Shay the next day over a bowl of cereal. (Pg. 137)

Section 3: Chapters 23 – 37

  1. crinkle: to form small creases or wrinkles in the surface of something, especially the skin of the face as a result of facial expressions
  2. flicker: to shine unsteadily; vary rapidly in brightness
  3. flustered: to be agitated or confused
  4. miserable: wretchedly unhappy or uncomfortable
  5. razz: to tease playfully
  6. scoundrel: a dishonest or unscrupulous person; a rogue
Comprehension Questions
  1. Ally is an expert on the words, alone and lonely. (Pg. 139, 140)
  2. Before Ally reveals the character she admires she asks everyone in the class what their favorite color is. (Pg. 147)
  3. Ally would rather be in charge of teaching cats to play hockey than the recipe book. (Pg. 159)
  4. If Ally will learn to play chess Mr. Daniels will excuse her from homework on the days she stays to learn. (Pg. 164, 165)
  5. Mr. Daniels says that dyslexia means that it is hard for a person to read, but they are not dumb, the brain just figures things out differently. (Pg. 174)
  6. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree “it will spend it whole life thinking that it’s stupid.” (Pg. 176)
  7. Ally cannot play chess with Mr. Daniels on Tuesdays or Thursdays because those are the days that Mr. Daniels takes classes for a degree in special education. (Pg. 183)
  8. Albert’s mother’s voice sounds funny when she offers food to Ally and Keisha because she is offering something that they don’t have. (Pg. 197)
  9. The single most positive thing that can happen in space is the birth of a star. (Pg. 198)
  10. Ally’s grandpa told her to be careful with eggs and words because if they are broken they can never be fixed. (Pg. 202, 203)
  11. Ally thinks life with Shay is like playing chess as she is the queen with all the power and she is always looking for people’s weaknesses. (Pg. 209)

Section 4: Chapters 38 -51

  1. catalyst: a person or thing that precipitates an event
  2. smug: having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements
  3. sputter: to make a series of soft explosive sounds; speak in a series of incoherent bursts as a result of indignation
  4. surefire: certain to succeed
  5. tattered: old and torn; in poor condition
  6. tromp: walk heavily; trudge
Comprehension Questions
  1. Since Mr. Daniels announced the election Shay made known that if anyone runs against her they will regret it. (Pg. 216)
  2. It takes Ally an hour and a half to write two paragraphs. (Pg. 218)
  3. If elected president Shay promises extra recesses, longer snack times and larger lockers. (Pg. 222)
  4. After Ally becomes class president, Max says that they should have a party. (Pg. 226)
  5. When Ally finds the note in her desk she feels happy and mad. Happy about the note and that Max might like her and mad because she can’t read it. (Pg. 230)
  6. Mr. Daniels says that Oliver has one of the kindest hearts he knows. (Pg. 240)
  7. Ally, Keisha and Albert wear matching shirts that say, “flint,” “steel,” and “magnesium,” because these elements are common fire starters and they are going to set the world on fire. (Pg. 241, 242)
  8. Before Albert really knew Ally he used to call her “the Flying Tiger.” (Pg. 250)
  9. Albert called Keisha the Baby because when she is quiet she is taking things in, but when she wants something she is very loud. (Pg. 252)
  10. When Mr. Daniels says that the students can shout out their answers rather than raise their hands Ally believes he is breaking the biggest teacher rule ever. (Pg. 254)
  11. Mr. Daniels gives Ally a paperweight that has the quote, “Never, never, never quit,” by Winston Churchill. (Pg. 260, 261)
  12. The poster on Mrs. Silver’s wall says, “ SOMETIMES THE BRAVEST THING YOU CAN DO IS ASK FOR HELP,” C. CONNORS. (Pg. 280)