Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Flying Lessons

Teacher’s Guide for

Flying Lessons by Kezi Matthews

Prediction Guide:

Just by reading the cover of the book you can know the time period of the story and all the main character’s names. Make a bookmark with these details to help you dive right into the story.

Chapters 1-3

  1. Will LaMarr get a letter from Charmaine?
  2. Will she like her Uncle and Aunt Conroy?
  3. Will LaMarr ever see the spooky boy on the bus again?
  4. LaMarr says on her first meeting of Mrs. Conroy, “I’m afraid she wasn’t going to find much about me to like.” Will this be true?

Chapters 4-7

  1. How will LaMarr adjust to such an ordinary life?
  2. Will things get better or worse with George McClendon?
  3. How about with Japonica and the Conroys?
  4. Will LaMarr’s presence continue to cause fights between the Conroys? What makes you thinks so or not?
  5. Will Truly and LaMarr become friends?

Chapters 8-10

  1. Will LaMarr ever hear from Charmaine?
  2.  What do you think Mrs. Conroy means with “putting the name onto the child”
  3. Will Truly come home with LaMarr? Why or why not?
  4.  What will LaMarr do with her newfound knowledge about her name and father?

Chapters 11-15

  1. Will LaMarr confront her father?
  2.  How will LaMarr handle the news of Amelia Earhart?
  3.  Will Uncle Conroy, do as he says, better for LaMarr than they did for his sister, Charmaine?
  4.  Will LaMarr ever accept the truth about Charmaine?

Comprehension Guide/ Quiz Questions


  1. Describe each of the main characters.
  2. Find one quote that best represents that character, and write it down next to their description.


  1. Summarize the five to ten main events in the story.
  2. Give examples of how you know that the Conroy’s do in fact love LaMarr.


  1. Extend the book ten  years into the future. How do you think LaMarr turned out?
       2.What does she do for a living? Is she more like the Conroys or her mother?


  1. Compare and contrast the Conroys. How are they alike? How are they different from each other?
  2. Reread the sections with Truly in it. After knowing the truth about him, do you see any hints about it beforehand?


  1. Explain how would this story be different if Charmaine wasn’t dead, but had just abandoned LaMarr?
  2. Compile a list of your favorite descriptions throughout the narrative. Then, illustrate at least three of them.

Multiple Intelligence Projects for
Flying Lessons by Kezi Matthews

Verbal/ Linguistic

Write at least 8 letters to Charmaine from LaMarr. Try to slip inside the skin of LaMarr and sound exactly as she would. Be sure to write the letters in such a way that proves you read the entire novel.


Create a chart that includes: all the major characters going down one column, and at least 8 major events going across the top. Where the two intersect, tell how that character contributed to the scene (whether present in it or not) and use it as a study guide for the quiz.

Visual/ Spatial

Explore the art of the time period of the book: The 1930’s. Then, create a poster that is in the same style to promote it. Be sure to have the title and author somewhere on the piece. You can use any type of materials you like: paint, markers, etc. but be sure that the colors and style remain true to the period.


Find your favorite scene in the book, and rewrite it as a short one-act play. Use the dialogue, as it is written, but include stage directions and descriptions as needed to set up your scene. Act it out!

Musical/ Rhythmic

The Big Band sound was really popular during the time period of this book. Explore some of the songs LaMarr might have heard at:
and write a short journal about which tunes you liked.


Group Projects: Research some aspect of the time period that Flying Lessons take place. For the final project, each group must have a poster explaining their topic, three websites related to it, and a bibliography of their research.

Big Bands of the 1930’s: Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, and Glenn Miller

The Great Depression

The Photographs of Dorothea Lange or Walker Evans

The history of flight

The Movies during the 1930’s

Political or Historical events during the 1930’s

Scientific discoveries during the 1930’s


Metacognition reading technique:

Reread your favorite chapter, and as you do so, keep an index card handy. As you read, write brief notes as to what reminds you of something in the text. Perhaps a description reminds you of someone you know, or a line of dialogue sounds like something you heard in a movie, what was it? Keep a running tap of the things your mind comes up with during the actual reading. When you’re finished, write a brief journal about your discoveries. Think about these questions: Do these memories interfere with your understanding of the text or enrich it? What types of things distract you as you read? How does what we already know about an era change the way we read about it?