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Freak the Mighty. Describe the pictures. What might this story be about?. From the Author. Question: “When did you start writing?”

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freak the mighty
Freak the Mighty

Describe the pictures. What might this story be about?

from the author
From the Author

Question: “When did you start writing?”

Answer: “I started writing short stories in the 6th grade. I never told anyone in school that I was a writer - it didn't seem like something that would make a boy popular, and I desperately wanted to be popular. Not that I ever was! I wrote many stories, all of which were rejected, and managed to finish a novel in the 11th grade. That, too, was rejected. All in all I wrote eight or ten novels before one was finally accepted.”

Hmmmm….who in our class will be a published author in ten years?

kids who are different by digby wolfe
Kids Who Are Differentby Digby Wolfe

Here’s to the kids who are different,

The kids who don’t always get “A’s”,

The kids who have ears twice the size of their peers,

And noses that go on for days…

Here’s to the kids who are different,

The kids they call crazy or dumb,

The kids who don’t fit, with the guts and the grit,

Who dance to a different drum…

Here’s to the kids who are different,

The kids with the mischievous streak,

For when they have grown, as history’s shown,

It’s their difference that makes them unique.

kids who are different
Kids Who Are Different

How does this poem make you feel? Do you think difference among people is good? Why or why not?

Look around the room, how many of you look exactly alike? What would it be like if you were all the same?

kids who are different1
Kids Who Are Different

How does this poem make you feel? Do you think difference among people is good? Why or why not?

Look around the room, how many of you look exactly alike? What would it be like if you were all the same?

Mrs. Mays: This poem always makes me feel happy! 

I love that the poet celebrates our differences. When I look around the room, I see wonderful and unique children. You are all part of God’s plan!! (He doesn’t make mistakes!)

theme friendship

A central theme to this novel is friendship.

Think about your own friends for a moment. Why do you like them?

Do you have a “best” friend? What makes that person special to you?

theme friendship1

A central theme to this novel is friendship.

Think about your own friends for a moment. Why do you like them?

Do you have a “best” friend? What makes that person special to you?

My best friend, April, has been my friend since we were in the ninth grade. (If you do the math, that’s more than twenty years!)

We laugh together and cry together. We respect our differences, but become stronger when we are together. We pray together. We talk. And talk, talk, talk. About everything from politics to books. (She loves The Hunger Games too!)

theme friendship2

A central theme to this novel is friendship.

If you wrote a novel about your friendships, what would your book include? Would it be about one really good friend? Or would it be about a group of friends? Would it be funny? Sad? An adventure story?


The characters in this novel have nicknames. Some of the nicknames are ones that the characters like. Others…not so much.

Here are some of mine. Who do you think gave me these nicknames?






Ammazzzing Amanda! 



Mandy-Pandy-Pumpkin Pie

Mandy Bookworm


“Meet Maxwell Kane, narrator of Freak the Mighty. He’s a timid soul stuck in the body of a teenage giant with size 14 shoes. Haunted by a dark secret in his past, he hides out in his basement room, avoiding the world. But when a new kid moves in next door, Max’s life changes forever. The two outcasts from the ‘normal’ world team up to become “Freak the Mighty.”Like knights of old they defend the weak, right every wrong–and solve the mystery of Max’s past. Proving once and for all that courage comes in all sizes.” From Random House


Vocabulary, Pgs. 1-9 (Before Reading)


To defeat

Undefeated; remains


L.D./Learning Disabled

A condition that interferes with a person’s ability to learn; makes it difficult to process or retain information.

Let’s take a closer look at learning styles and learning disabilities!


We all have our own preferred ways of learning.

Do you learn best by listening? Seeing? Doing?

How can you best express your knowledge?

Is it by telling? Writing? Drawing? Singing?

learning disabilities
Learning Disabilities

When something interferes with the ability of a person to learn, we call it a learning disability. It does not mean that a person is less intelligent. People with learning disabilities are just as intelligent, but have more obstacles in learning and expressing their knowledge.

If you have a learning disability, you will always have it. However, there are ways to compensate and make learning easier.

For example, a person with an auditory learning disorder will find it very difficult to learn through lectures alone. What do you think they might do to make learning easier?


The main character of this book, Max, has a learning disability.

He has been passed from grade to grade mainly so that the teachers don’t have to have him in their class again.

Max has never had a “good” report card.

How do you think this would affect the way he feels about himself?

questions pgs 1 9 after reading
Questions-Pgs. 1-9 After Reading

1. Who is the narrator of the story?

2. What person is the story written in? How do we know?

3. Describe how Max communicated with people before meeting Freak.


Who is Him? What can we infer about this person?

  • Describe the “down under”. Does the location of the room affect the way Max feels about himself?
  • Is Max a confident person? Explain.

7. Why doesn’t Max stay and chat with Freak when he is moving in?


Vocabulary Pgs. 10-20,

Before Reading


Aircraft such as a helicopter

Force that pushes or drives forward (For example, wind is the propulsion for a sailboat.)




Outward behavior or appearance


An addictive drug such as opium or cocaine


questions pgs 10 20 after reading
Questions Pgs. 10-20, After Reading
  • Max helps Freak retrieve the ornithopter, even though the day before Freak yelled, “Die Earthling!” Freak doesn’t ask for help, Max just sees that he needs it. What does this tell us about Max?
  • How does this contradict his perception of himself? His grandparents’ perception?

2. Tell about the name “Fair Gwen of Air”-how is this a play on words?

pgs 10 20 continued
Pgs. 10-20, Continued

3. What does Freak mean by “Television, the opiate of the masses.”? Do you agree or disagree with him?

4. Explain “Books are like truth serum…”

5. How does Gwen react to Max?

vocabulary pgs 21 40 before reading
Vocabulary Pgs. 21-40, Before Reading

An exact copy or replica. A person who looks just like another person.

Spitting Image

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind: This was the title of a movie where people had encounters with alien life form.

Mutt and Jeff:

  • Boomers: M80s/Cherry Bombs

pgs 21 40 after reading
Pgs. 21-40, After Reading

How does Max try to escape from the world? Where does he go? What does he do?

Describe the interaction between Freak/Max and Tony D. and his gang.

How is it that “Freak the Mighty” came to be?








Tony D.



This activity has us evaluate characters based on:

Speech: What the character says

Actions: What the character does

Description: How the author describes the character

Drawing: How we imagine the character

Reactions: How others react to the character



Speech: Give an example of something Gwen says. Tell what it shows us about her.

Action: Give an example of an action of Gwen’s. Tell what it shows us about her.

Description: Tell how Gwen is described in the book. (Not just physical characteristics.)

Drawing: Draw what you believe Gwen looks like, in a scene from the book.

Reactions of Others: Describe how other characters react to Gwen.


SADDR:Gwen-Sample Responses in Black

Speech: When Max goes to Gwen's house for dinner, she talks so fast he can hardly understand her: "Inever. . . couldabidethatmanIalwaysthoughthewascrazyand. . . scaryisitokaytosaythattoyou?" Why does Gwen speak so quickly? Why would she ask if it was okay to say that to Max?

Action:Gwen does not flinch when Max hands her a knife. This tells me that she trusts him, and it tells me that Max isn’t used to being trusted. What does the character do? What does this tell you about the character? What does this tell Max (and you) about her?

Description: Gwen is described as "beaming at me, bouncing around the kitchen and talking a mile a minute." She seems very happy. What does the author say about the character? What does that description tell you about the character? What type of person acts like that?


Reactions of Others:Max is shocked that he is accepted so easily by Gwen. How do other characters in the story react to Gwen? (Max or Freak)

vocabulary pgs 41 62 before reading
Vocabulary Pgs. 41-62, Before Reading

Quest: A search or pursuit made in order to find something-often a treasure.

Freak is obsessed with knights and the quests that they went on!

pgs 41 62 after reading
Pgs. 41-62, After Reading

Explain how the scene at the mill pond changed the way Max was viewed by his grandparents.

Why does Freak like knights so much?

How does Freak affect Max’s summer?

When the two journey to the medical research lab, what secret does Freak share with Max? How does Max react to this secret?


It’s time to evaluate conflict!

Give an example from the book of:

Man vs. Man

Man vs. Nature

Man vs. Self

Man vs. Society

vocabulary pgs 63 79 before reading
Vocabulary Pgs. 63-79, Before Reading

Damsel: A young lady, often of noble blood.

Tenements: Apartment buildings-usually refers to run-down, poor apartment buildings.

Damsel in distress

Damsel of distress

How does the change in preposition change the meaning of the phrase?

pgs 63 71 after reading
Pgs. 63-71,After Reading

What is ironic about the following excerpt? “Iggy,” she says out of the side of her mouth, “come here and tell me is the circus in town or what?”

Why are the boys so nervous around Iggy and Loretta Lee?

pgs 71 79 after reading
Pgs. 71-79,After Reading

Describe the first day of school. 


Iggy Lee

Loretta Lee

Mrs. Addison

saddr iggy or loretta lee
SADDR-Iggy or Loretta Lee

We will start this in class-it will be due the following day. Following is an example of the SADDR.


Chapter 11 introduces two new characters; Loretta Lee and Iggy. Choose one of them and complete a "SADDR" analysis of the character.

Speech: What is a good example of what this character says? What does this tell you about the character?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Action: What does the character do? What does this tell you about the character? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Description: What does the author say about the character? What does that description tell you about the character? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Drawing:Draw the character in an important scene. Include at least three details (either about the character, or the rest of the picture) that tell you what is happening.

Reactions of Others: How do other characters in the story react to this character? If you're describing Iggy, how does Loretta Lee react to him? If you're describing Loretta, how does Iggy react to her?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

vocabulary pgs 80 99 before reading
Vocabulary Pgs. 80-99, Before Reading

Parole Board: A committee who determines whether an inmate can be paroled or released before his/her sentence is completed.

pgs 80 99 after reading
Pgs. 80-99,After Reading

Think about the way Max reacts when the principal talks about his father. Based on Max’s reaction, we can infer….

What do you think the principal was going to tell Max?

When Max sees the nurse crying, he infers….What actually happened?

At the end of the chapter, why does Mrs. Addison say, “You’re going to be okay, Maxwell Kane. I’m sure of it now.”?

pgs 80 99 after reading1
Pgs. 80-99,After Reading

How does Gram react when Max gives her his present? What does he think about her reaction? What does this tell us about Gram?

Freak gave Max a dictionary. But it’s not just any dictionary! How is it different?

Look up the Zs in the dictionary at the back of the book. What is the definition for zoo?

At the end of the chapter, what happens?

thinking ahead
Thinking Ahead

Next week, we are going to create our own dictionaries!!!

Over the next few days, start thinking about really cool words. Such as lackadaisical. It just sounds nifty! You will need seven-eight cool words like that.

Don’t forget alternate definitions! For example, Freak’s definition of zoo: An eighth grade English classroom. You will need seven-eight words like that.