Maniac Mageeby Jerry Spinelli
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- Authors Live Interview with Jerry Spinelli
Use this interview transcript of TeacherVision's Authors Live with Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Spinelli. Share with your class the questions that students from around the country asked Mr. Spinelli.
- Character Traits Chart
There are many notable characters in this story who possess exceptional traits. Construct a chart that lists the traits of the main characters in Maniac Magee: Amanda Beale, Maniac Magee, John McNab, Earl Grayson, Mars Bar Thompson, Russell and Piper McNab. Use the character traits chart as a word bank.
- Home Sweet Home
Maniac is searching for a home. Explore the meaning of "home" with your students. Have them create a shape poem, a recycled poem, a poem of alliterations, an acrostic poem, a limerick, a haiku , or other type of poem that reflects how they feel about their home.
- Hyperbole Hunt
There are numerous examples of hyperbole (extravagant exaggeration; example: "arms and legs pistoning to a blur") in Maniac Magee. Break your class into teams of three students, hold a Hyperbole Scavenger Hunt, and see which team can come up with the most finds. It is fun to have the students illustrate the hyperboles' literal meanings.
- Maniac for Mayor
Pretend that Maniac is running for mayor of Two Mills. Have your students design an election poster and campaign slogan for him. Then, assign them to write and deliver endorsement speeches in favor of Maniac for Mayor.
- Oral History
Maniac Magee learns about Grayson from the tales the old man tells. Have your students learn more about a significant elderly person in his/her life. Use this worksheet to help the students and the interviewed person get started.
- Tall Tales
Maniac Magee has many of the elements of a tall tale:
- A superhuman main character who has a unique mission to accomplish
- A problem that is often resolved humorously
- Frequent use of hyperbole and exaggeration
- Characters who appear normal in most respects
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