Virginia Lee Burton

Week 1: Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel

  • beautiful: very pretty
  • furnace: a machine that makes heat
  • sundown: the time of day when the sun sets
  • cellar: an underground room used for storage
  • canal: a man made waterway
  1. My family keeps out camping equipment stored in the cellar.
  2. A canal was built so big ships could travel their route faster.
  3. It is not good to have a broken furnace in the winter.
  4. Mindy was dazzled by the beautiful roses blooming in her garden.
  5. At sundown they would be done with their gardening.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Mike Mulligan believed that Mary Anne could dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week. (Pg 3)
  2. Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne dug faster when people stopped to watch. (Pg 13)
  3. When gasoline, electric, and diesel motor shovels came along Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne were very sad. (Pgs 14/15)
  4. Mary Anne would never be sold for junk because Mike loved her. (Pg 16)
  5. Mike Mulligan took Mary Anne to Popperville to dig the cellar of the new town hall.(Pg 20)
  6. Mike Mulligan convinced Henry B. Swap to give them the job of digging the cellar saying they could dig the cellar in just one day. (Pg 20)
  7. Mike Mulligan promise that if he and Mary Anne did not keep their end of the bargain they would dig the cellar for free.(Pg 20)
  8. Because the little boy, Mrs. McGillicudy, Henry B. Swap, and the Town of Constable stayed to watch, Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne worked faster and faster. (Pg 24)
  9. The little boy helped Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne by running and telling all the town’s people to come and watch them dig the hole. (Pg 26)
  10. Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne dug the cellar in one day but they forgot to leave a way out. (Pg 37)
  11. The little boy came up with the good idea to build the new town hall above her so that she will be the furnace. (Pg 39)

Week 2: Choo Choo

  • clamber: to climb
  • tender: a train care that carries coal and water
  • drawbridge: a bridge that raises up and down
  • frighten: to scare someone
  • express: fast or direct
  1. When the sailboat went under the drawbridge, it almost touched.
  2. The train’s tender was empty and needed to be filled.
  3. To get to the top floor quickly, Chad took the express elevator.
  4. A monkey will clamber up a tree when a lion approaches.
  5. The loud noise might frighten the sleeping baby.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Choo Choo had a bell that sounded when she came to the station.
  2. Because Jim would shine, polish, and oil Choo Choo regularly, she looked like new and ran smoothly.
  3. Oley fed Choo Choo coal and water.
  4. Because Archibald had a big watch, Choo Choo kept on schedule.
  5. Choo Choo ran back and forth from the little town to the big city.
  6. When Choo Choo decided she was tired of pulling coaches she ran off by herself so that everyone would stop and look at her.
  7. Choo Choo caused accidents at the crossings because she whizzed by the crossings without stopping.
  8. Choo Choo jumped because the drawbridge was up.
  9. After choosing the old track that hadn’t been used for years, Choo Choo tired, stopped and there she sat alone.
  10. Jim, Oley, and Archibald flagged down a streamliner engineer to help them catch the runaway engine.
  11. Jim, Oley an Archibald were so happy to have found Choo Choo that they danced a jig together.
  12. Choo Choo decided she would never run away again because it wasn’t much fun.

Week 3: Maybelle

  • polite: showing good manners
  • fare: what you pay to take a trip
  • rear: the back of something
  • ballot: a piece of paper for voting
  • fumes: smelly vapors
  1. You must fill out a ballot to have your vote count.
  2. Scoty was polite when he met his new teacher for the first time.
  3. In order to ride the bus, you must pay the fare.
  4. The farmer parked his tractor at the rear of the house.
  5. When my mom fills her car with gas, I can smell the fumes
Comprehension Questions
  1. Maybelle was a cable car. (Pg 1)
  2. Maybelle could not slip because she had a grip and three kinds of brakes. (Pg 2)
  3. In the city of San Francisco, the hills are very steep. (Pg 3)
  4. All day, Maybelle rang her gong and sang her song. (Pg 6)
  5. During the night, Maybelle rested in the big green barn. (Pg 7)
  6. Maybelle and her sisters did not like to remember the terrible fire that destroyed the City overnight. (Pg 12)
  7. The City’s cable cars were in need of a new coat of paint. (Pg 15)
  8. Visitors from all over the world love to ride on a little cable car. (Pg 18)
  9. Big Bill boasted about buses by saying they are “bigger, and strong and newer and faster and more economical.” (Pg 19)
  10. Because Big Bill discouraged Maybelle, the rest of that day seemed long and dreary. (Pg 23)
  11. Some of the people of San Francisco were unhappy about loosing the cable cars so they called a public meeting and formed THE CITIZEN’S COMMITTEE TO SAVE CABLE CARS. (Pg 25)
  12. When Big Bill tried to stop halfway down the hill he slipped and slid and turned around. (Pg 33)
  13. After the vote to save the cable cars, Bill heard there would be a special day each year to celebrate cars. (Pg 41)

Week 4: The Little House

  • blossoms: the flowers on a plant
  • evening: the early part of the night
  • survey: to measure a piece of land
  • traffic: the movement of cars
  • shabby: run-down looking
  1. When evening came it was time to eat dinner.
  2. The building in the ghost town all looked shabby.
  3. The apple tree was filled with fragrant blossoms in the spring.
  4. The survey was done in preparation for the new road.
  5. Because of the bad traffic it took us two hours to get to grandma’s house.
Comprehension Questions
  1. The Little House happily sat on a hill in the country. (Pg 2)
  2. At night, off in the distance, the Little House could see the city lights. (Pg 4)
  3. As time passed the Little House watched the world around her changed. (Pgs 6/12)
  4. Not long after the Little House saw the first horseless carriage coming down the country road, a larger road was built. (Pg 14)
  5. The Little House wondered what it would be like to live in the city. (Pg 4)
  6. After the road was built, the Little House notice things moved much faster than it did before. (Pg 16)
  7. Since the Little House could not be sold for gold or silver, she just stayed there and watched. (Pg 18)
  8. Because the city was loud and the air was filled with dust and smoke, the Little House thought the seasons all seemed the same. (Pg 24)
  9. Although the Little House could not see the subway, she could feel and hear it. (Pg 26)
  10. After the skyscrapers were built the Little House could not see the moon or stars at night. (Pg 30)
  11. When the great-great-granddaughter of the man who built the Little House recognized her, she decided to move the Little House to the country. (Pg 37)
  12. Once the Little House was settled on her new foundation, she never again wanted to live there in the city. (Pg 40)

Week 5: Katy and the Big Snow

  • proud: feeling good about something
  • patient: a person in hospital
  • repair: fix
  • drizzle: to rain lightly
  • steady: stable and balanced
  1. Kyle needed to repair his glasses after he sat on them.
  2. After a lot of practice I felt steady on my bicycle.
  3. Alison’s parents were proud when she won the spelling bee.
  4. When I went outside I could feel the cold drizzle on my face.
  5. The nurse had to give the patient his medicine every day.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Katy was very big and strong.
  2. She was a tractor with a bulldozer and a snow plow.
  3. Katy repaired the roads in the summer and cleared the snow in the winter.
  4. Because Katy pulled the steamroller out of the pond, the city felt she was unstoppable.
  5. When the snow was ten inches deep, the Highway Department sent Katy out.
  6. Katy said, “Sure follow me,” whenever someone needed help.
  7. When the plane signaled for help, Katy was beginning to get a little tired, but she wouldn’t stop.
  8. Katy cleared the runway so the airplane could land safely.
  9. Katy cleared the side street so traffic could move in and out and around the city.
  10. When Katy completed all of her work she went home to rest.