Noodles Makes a Boo-boo, Online Activities Guide

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Story Written by:
Marcia Thornton Jones & Debbie Dadey

Activities Written by:
Reta Broadway & Terri Darr Mclean

Illustrated by:
Chris Ware

Cover Design & Titling by:
Pyrographic Media


Chapter 1 - Fastest Brain
in the West

Beginning Activities

  1. A story that is created from the writer’s imagination is called fiction. "Noodles Makes a Boo-Boo" is an example of fiction. Marcia Thornton Jones and Debbie Dadey wrote this story using elements that are partly or entirely make-believe.

    Non-fiction is factual writing about real-life situations. Can you think of an example of non-fiction? If newspapers come to mind, you’re right on target. Newspapers are filled with stories about real-life situations.

  2. Compare fiction writing to non-fiction writing. Look on the front page of your newspaper for a non-fiction story. How is that story different from this first chapter of "Noodles?" Which one is written to entertain? To inform?

  3. The characters in a story are the humans, animals or other "beings” created by the author to describe actions and ideas. In the first chapter of "Noodles" you are introduced to three characters: Noodles, Danny and Bailey the dog (You’ll meet more characters as the story continues).

  4. Developing characters is not always easy. Some authors write complete character sketches first so they will have background information to us as they write about their characters’ actions in the story.

  5. Try your hand at writing a character sketch. Turn to the comics section of your newspaper. Select one character from your favorite comic strip and think about how the creator of the comic strip might have developed the character. Write a brief character sketch that makes the cartoon character come to life.

  6. Well-written characters evoke emotions: love, hate, respect, etc. As you read each chapter of "Noodles," write down the emotions you feel about the individual characters. Don’t be surprised if your feelings change from chapter to chapter!





Real Science!

Science fair projects require imagination, effort and, most important, time. Pulling together a project involves much more than you might expect. The earlier you get started, the more time you’ll have to develop an idea, test it, write a report and make a display for the fair.

As you read this story see how Noodles’ science fair project stacks up. Does it have imagination? Does it take effort? And is there enough time to pull everything together?

Challenging Activities

  1. Authors use descriptions to create interesting stories that paint a picture for the reader. "I scratched my dog’s floppy black ear" is a good example. The words floppy and black give us a picture of the dog’s ear and create an image in the reader's mind of what this dog might look like. As you read the story, underline descriptive words and phrases that paint a mental picture of what is happening.

  2. What is Noodles’ real name?

  3. How did she get this name?

  4. Who is telling the story? How is this person related to Noodles?

  5. Why does Noodles want to work on her science project by herself?

  6. Who is Bailey?

  7. Noodles gives us a great definition for invention. What is this definition?

  8. Why hasn’t Noodles won a single thing in her entire life? What does she say about rules? Do you agree with Noodles’ opinion on rules? Why?

  9. Now that you have read Chapter 1, you know what Noodles is planning to create for her science project. Based on the following paragraph from the story, what do you think is going on in her computer lab? "Bing. Bang. Bong. I was used to strange noises coming from Noodles’ laboratory, but these noises sounded stranger than ever. Zing. Whing. Bongzingzang. Bing. Bang. Bong."

For the Advanced Reader

  1. The first few lines of text may set the theme of a short story. Re-read the first few paragraphs and summarize the theme that you, the reader, expect to see throughout the story. Identify the clues that help you come to this conclusion.

  2. What is your interpretation of the phrase, "the fastest brain in the West strikes again?"

  3. Why does the nickname Noodles equate to disaster or ending up in a messy plate of trouble? What do you anticipate from a character with this nickname?

  4. Describe Noodles using information from this chapter. Include her appearance and personality in the description.

  5. Why does Danny worry that "this robot is a bad idea?" Why does he feel afraid?

  6. How are inventions associated with making life easier? How would Noodles’ robot help her and Danny? Think about other inventions: toasters, microwaves, computers, telephones, CD players, etc. Make a chart with three columns. Use the first column to list inventions and the second column to identify the decade (10-year period) in which each item was invented. Use the final column to show what the invention replaced. For example, an electric can opener replaced a manual can opener. Be sure to give each column an appropriate heading or name.

  7. If you were going to invent a robot to pick up toys and help do other chores, what would you name it? What name do you think Noodles will give her robot.




Noodles lab.


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