A Tangle of Knots: Are You Up to the Challenge?

A Tangle of Knots
by Lisa Graff

Get ready for some high adventure! 


This is a great Read Aloud for middle schoolers.

Take some time and pay attention to details . . .

or you might not be able

to untangle all the knots

in this book!

***If you’re a teacher and would like the complete study guide, please email me at sendtotutor@gmail.com

Here is a sample of some study guide activities:

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Homework: Fun With Writing

Change a Fairy Tale into a Tall Tale


For your writing homework:

  1. Find a copy of your favorite children’s fairy tale.  You can look online or in your personal library.

  2. Make a list of all the verbs and see if you can change them into more exciting, vibrant verbs.  Use your vibrant verb list.

  3. Next, think of how you could use exaggeration to change the actions of the villains and heroes in the story and rewrite the story.

    For example, in the story of The Three Little Pigs, the wolf could be Wonder Wolf.  He could huff and puff and create a terrible tornado!  The third little pig could be a Genius Builder (with a Ph.D. in chemistry) who creates a chemical that makes his house —



    doctor-a / Pixabay

Homework: Fun with Hyperboles

 “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!”

Have you ever heard or read this phrase?  Of course, we hope that no one would really ever want to eat a horse. The speaker or writer is just trying to emphasize the fact that they are VERY HUNGRY.

Writers use hyperboles like this to emphasize important points and to make their stories more interesting.  If someone reads this phrase or a phrase like it in a story, they will automatically “see” a picture in their mind that is humorous and very memorable. They will want to continue reading the story!

For Your Homework:  

Create a Tall Tale Hero of your own in ChatterPix.  Make a list of his/her special abilities.  Next, create some dialogue for your hero or heroine in which they describe one of those powers in one sentence which uses hyperbole.

For example, “I’m so strong that I can move mountains with my little toe!

***The character you create will be the hero in an original Tall Tale which you’ll write in the future.

Homework: Find out about a Texas Hero!

Pecos Bill

Pecos Bill is a fictional character brought to life in some folktales about Texas and the Old West.  He is another American folk hero just like Paul Bunyan.  The people who told stories about Pecos Bill really liked to exaggerate, too.  They made up some very exciting stories!

Click below to watch some movies about him:

The Adventures of Pecos Bill

More Adventures of Pecos Bill


For Homework, pick your favorite part of the movie and retell it in a paragraph or two.  Remember to use vibrant verbs!!!

Why do you think people made up stories like these? Why were these stories called “tall tales”?  Write your ideas in the Comment section for this post.

Homework for June 12-19

June 28th is Paul Bunyan Day!

Paul Bunyan is an American folktale hero. There are many stories about this legendary lumberjack and his blue ox, Babe.  The stories about Paul are filled with exaggerations about how big and strong he was and what he did.

Watch the Walt Disney movie about Paul Bunyan by clicking the link below:


For your homework:

Write about the part you liked best. Use some vibrant verbs to retell your favorite part of the movie.