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Activities and Fireworks for Words

March 4 - 8

The Phantom Tollbooth, Chapters 3-8

Workshop Activities

1. Craft – Character Collage

2. Key Points – Word Market

3. Collaborative – Exchanging Words

4. Writing – Synonyms

5. Math/Logic - Popular Letters

6. Genius Principle – Debate

7. Big Activity - Square Meal

8. Movement - Words to Move By

Minecraft Activities

  1. Parts of speech

  2. Aphorisms

  3. Speeches for the royal banquet

  4. Build challenge: concrete poetry

Upcoming Events

  • Weekly teen hangouts in Santa Ana

  • Disneyland meetup: March 6 - Worlds of Words and Numbers

  • Field trips – Trips are currently being scheduled! New trips posted here:

  • 4/10 Celebration: Milo's Homecoming


Read through the fireworks and choose about five that you think might interest your child. Allow him or her to select 1-3 of them.

  • How much toll do you think Milo paid to go through the tollbooth? Take a look at the toll schedule for a local toll road: How much would you pay right now if you were traveling westbound on the 91? If you paid this toll with coins only, how many quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies would you use? Repeat this scenario based on you traveling eastbound in three hours.

  • Milo was sentenced to six million years in jail. Go here to see what a million looks like:,000,000

  • Milo said he can count to a thousand. Can you do it?

  • Here's what King Azaz ordered at the banquet: Pate de foie gras, soupe a l'oignon, faisan sous cloche, salade endive, fromages et fruits et demi-tasse. What do all these words mean? Translate these into English. Try some of these foods.

  • Eat some foods that are homonyms: pear (pare/pair), tea (tee), pie (pi), pudding (putting), root (route).

  • Compare Milo's trial (page 62), to the trial in Alice's Adventure in Wonderland.

  • Eat some of these play on words foods from the story:

  • light meal 86

  • square meal 86

  • somersault 89

  • rigmarole 89

  • ragamuffin 89

  • synonym bun 89

  • just desserts 89

  • This is the coat of arms for Dictionopolis:

  • Notice the various symbols on the image. Design your own coat of arms. You can include personal things such as a family tradition, your heritage, favorite patterns and symbols, hobbies, sports, teams, pets, etc.

  • Watch all the Schoolhouse Rock Grammar videos:

  • King Azaz asked Milo if he could sing songs, tell stories, compose sonnets, juggle plates, or do tumbling tricks. How many of these things can you do?

  • Compare the banquet in The Phantom Tollbooth to a banquet in the Odyssey.

  • Make a collection of idioms from the book. Put each idiom on its own 3x5 card. Illustrate each card to show the meaning of the idiom. Perhaps turn this into a matching game. Idioms from the book and their page numbers:

  • bore no ill will 32

  • bee in a bonnet 52

  • sowing confusion 62

  • upsetting the applecart 62

  • wreaking havoc 62

  • mincing words 62

  • return of rhyme and reason 70

  • warp and woof 77

  • beside themselves 77

  • it goes without saying 79

  • step lively 80

  • make mountains out of molehills 86

  • splitting hairs 86

  • make hay while the sun shines 86

  • leave no stone unturned 86

  • hanging by a thread 86

  • don't bite off more than you can chew 89

  • in one ear and out the other 89

  • if it isn't one thing, it's another 89

  • out of the frying pan, into the fire 89

  • bite my head off 89

  • half-baked ideas 89

  • swallowed that one 89

  • compliments to the chef 93

  • Prepare brief reports on the history of a few letters of the alphabet.

  • Make your own words tiles.

  • Create a character grid:

  • The Humbug's scientific name is insecticus humbugium. Create a list of your favorite animals and their scientific names.

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