Story Written by:
Marcia Thornton Jones & Debbie Dadey
Activities Written by:
Reta Broadway & Terri Darr Mclean
Cover Design & Titling by:
Chapter 3 - Disaster
Just as all stories have characters, all characters have problems. These
problems are known as conflict. There are five types of conflict:
Human vs. Human - A character has a problem with one or more
of the other characters.
Human vs. Society - A character has a problem with society (e.g.,
Woman vs. herself - A character struggles with herself and her decisions.
Humans vs. Nature - A character is in conflict with some element
of nature (e.g., bad weather).
Humans vs. Fate - A character is in battle against a problem
that seems too big to control.
In chapter 3, there are definitely problems! What type of conflict is
Noodles faced with? Danny? Boo-Boo?
- Now turn to your newspaper’s comics. Find comic strip characters
that are faced with each of the five types of conflict. Bonus activity:
Turn to the main news section of the newspaper and find real-life examples
of conflict. Discuss your examples with the class.
- The point during which various problems, or conflicts, arise in a
story is called the rising action. Rising action is important to a story
because it creates suspense and makes the reader want to read more.
The rising action is one of several elements that contribute to a story’s
- Discuss the problems that arise as the plot thickens in "Noodles."
Then, with a partner, look in your newspaper for interesting plots.
For example, look for events that change a person’s life. Share
one example with the class.
Science is all about making predictions and testing to see if your predictions
are correct. When you conduct an experiment, for example, you change one
thing (or variable) and then observe and record how that change affects
another thing. You predict what you think will happen (In science, this
is called making a hypothesis). Then you observe the results of your experiment
to see if your prediction was correct.
- In "Noodles," Danny says Boo-Boo is dangerous. Do you predict
Danny is right? Read on!
- At the beginning of this chapter, Danny is frustrated with Noodles
and her invention. Identify words and phrases that let you know how
he is feeling after Boo-Boo picks up all the toys and then dumps them
in the floor.
- Why does Noodles put her hands over Boo-Boo’s belly button?
How does Danny react when she does this?
- What is Dad’s rule about toys? Why does he think Danny is lying
about who made the mess?
- How do you think Dad is feeling when he leaves Danny and Noodles
to go to his basement workshop? How do the authors let you know what
he is feeling?
- Danny wants Noodles to help pick up the toys but she doesn’t
plan to help him. What reason does she give Danny for leaving him to
clean up by himself? How would you feel if you were Danny?
- At the end of the chapter, Noodles is back in her lab working on
the robot and the strange noises have started again. Imagine that you
are building a robot. Make up several words to describe the noises you
might be making.
For the Advanced Reader
- Why does Noodles blame Danny for Boo-Boo’s condition at the
beginning of the chapter? Do you think Noodles really believes that
Danny can hurt Boo-Boo’s feelings? Do you think Noodles really
believes that Boo-Boo has feelings?
- Both Danny and Noodles are feeling some anger and frustration in
this chapter. Use a Venn diagram or a T-chart to show the ways in which
each of the twins shows frustration. Look for specific behaviors and
words that show these feelings. Summarize the ways in which the twins
are similar and different in this chapter.
- When Dad sees all the toys on the floor, he gives Danny a choice.
What is this choice? What does Danny decide to do? Do you think it is
hard for Danny to make his decision? Think of a time when you had to
make a choice. Was it a difficult choice? Would you make the same decision