Sunday, March 15, 2009

Phineas L. Macguire... Erupts! by Frances O'Roarke Dowell

Phineas L. MacGuire... Erupts!
by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Parent-Child Book Discussion
Grades 2-3
March 2008

snack: red or green jello, gummy worms, marshmallows

1. In the beginning of the book, Mac's best friend moves. Have you ever had a best friend move (or had to move yourself?) What was it like?

2. Mac loves science and tries experiments all the time. If you could do a science experiment or research project, what would interest you?

3. Mac's refrigerator is a gold mine for mold. What's the nastiest thing you've ever found in your refrigerator? How long/under what conditions would make a rotten egg? (temperature, boiling them, cracks, etc. share how you can tell if an egg is spoiled-- it floats in water.)

4. p 63-- Mac R's dad says he can't be an artist because only girls do arts and crafts. Are there some jobs that only women or men can do? (Professional football, preschool teachers, librarians, construction workers, etc.) Are there some jobs that have more men or women in the field?

5. p 66 How did Phineas get his name? Cadbury Adams invented clove chewing gum. Could not find a record of any Phineas in Niagara Falls daredevil history. No Phineas Macguire on record in Cleveland Indians history... Do you know the names of the Indians' farm teams?
--AAA is now the Columbus Clippers!
--AA is Akron Aeros
--upper A is Kinston Indians (Kinston, NC)
--lower A is the Lake County Captains (Eastlake Ohio)

6. p 77 Have you ever been in an obnoxious mood, known it, but couldn't stop? (this happens a lot with siblings...) What did you do? Why did you stop?

7. p 100. What is Mac allergic to? (full list on page 2) What are you allergic or "allergic" to?

8. p 112. Ben notices that people look like their pets. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? If it WERE true, what sort of pet would you have?

9. p 116. Mac gets a nose bleed in class. Why does the school nurse think he has a nose bleed? (picking his nose). Is it true you could bleed to death from picking your nose? Very rare-- but apparently it "could" happen-- branch of the maxillary artery-- would be impossible to "pick" the major artery looking at the diagram.

10. Have you ever had to work on a group project? Do you like working by yourself or with others better? Why?

11. What did you think would happen when Ben forgot to bring the vinegar? Why do you think Aretha helped?

12. At the end of the book, Aretha Mac and Ben begin planning for next year's science fair. What has changed? Why does Aretha like Ben now? Why isn't Mac allergic to girls? What do you think will happen next?


Try it!
you'll need paper bowls, small dixie cups, baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar.
Test the lemon juice and the vinegar. Which one works better? Why? Make sure you use equal amounts of baking soda in both and the same amount of juice and vinegar so that you control the experiment.

Try it!
Microwave a marshmallow. It's cool. (Parents help!)

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