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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

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Book Summary Novel Activities Vocabulary Words Writing Activities Discussion Topics Online Test

 

 

 

Book Summary

 

Meg Murry desperately wants to fit in, but everything about her seems to make her an oddball. From her father’s mysterious disappearance while studying time travel, her prodigious mind-reading younger brother, her lack of success at school despite having brilliant parents, to her wild hair, glasses, and braces, Meg just feels like an outsider. Everything changes one stormy night with the arrival of a visitor who mutters a shocking word…tesseract. Now Meg, her new friend Calvin, and her little brother Charles Wallace, must embark on a wild adventure through space and time in order to rescue her father, and possibly the planet, from an evil force. Along the way Meg sees firsthand the dangers of a world that has no “oddballs,” and learns that she needs to find a happy medium between fitting in and being unique. Perhaps being just like everyone else isn’t as great as it sounds, and maybe, just maybe, experiencing unhappiness in your life is the only way to truly appreciate happiness when it comes your way.

 

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Novel Activities

 

1. Tessering is the mode of travel through space for the characters in A Wrinkle in Time. Describe the experience of tessering based on Meg’s descriptions in sequential order. Include sequence words and illustrations.

2. Upon landing on Camzotz, the children are asked several times about having the proper papers to be there. In chapter six, Calvin even jokes that they should have space travel passports since the people of Camzotz are so serious about having things in proper order. Create a passport for space travel for one of the main characters in the story.

3. One of the underlying themes of this book is the power of love. The author drops clues throughout the novel. As you read the story, look for these love details. Each time you find one, record it.

 

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Vocabulary Words

 

serenely probe intoned dilapidated
spectacles tangible inexorable virtue
obscure writhe myopic resilience

 

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Writing Activities

 

Sensory/Descriptive: On the planet Ixchel, lightness and darkness are foreign words because the beasts cannot see. Meg finds it challenging to describe common things to the beasts because they do not understand any language that appeals to the sense of sight. Write descriptions of the moon and sunset using sensory language.

 

Imaginative/Narrative: Meg often feels like an oddball, not only at school, but also within her own family! She desperately wants to fit in with others. Make a connection with Meg by writing a personal narrative about a time you wanted to fit in or a time you felt like an oddball.

 

Analytical/Persuasive: On Earth, people have the freedom of choice. We also face both happiness and unhappiness in our lives. On Camzotz, people do not have to make any choices for themselves. Therefore, they never have to experience unhappiness or happiness. Which situation is better? Write a persuasive essay to the people on Earth to convince them which lifestyle they should accept.

 

Practical/Informative: Imagine IT has prepared a speech for the humans on Earth. The purpose of the speech is to inform humans how life would change for us, including how IT could get rid of all unhappiness in the world, what this would involve, and how it would work. Write IT’s speech.

 

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Discussion/Journal Topics

 

Chapter One: “I hate being an oddball,” Meg said. “It’s hard on Sandy and Dennys, too. I don’t know if they’re really like everybody else, or if they’re just able to pretend they are. I try to pretend, but it isn’t any help.”

Chapter Four: “The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.”

Chapter Eight: “Maybe if you aren’t unhappy sometimes you don’t know how to be happy.”

 

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Online Test

 

Your students can take an online test with immediate results at:

A Wrinkle in Time Online Test

 

The Professional Development Institute has a complete literature unit for this novel. For more information, click the link below.

A Wrinkle in Time Literature Unit (Check out the sample pages!)

 

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