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Estimated Time Needed

5 days, 45 minutes per day

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Prudy's Problem and How She Solved It
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  • Culminating Assignment
    • Throughout most of the story, Prudy refuses to admit that she has a collecting problem. Many times, her family and friends suggest that she take her collections to the thrift shop, the dump, or even to the moon. Only after her room explodes does Prudy say, “Holy smokes, I guess maybe I do have a little problem.” Describe the ways in which Prudy uses creativity in order to solve her problem (after finally admitting that she does, in fact, have one). Construct a well-written, multi-sentence paragraph that uses details from the story to support your response.

      Possible answer:

      Prudy considers many sources of inspiration before finally adapting one to fit her situation. Since Prudy has a collection of every picture she has ever drawn, she visits an art collection. She also visits a fish collection and a rock collection. After these visits and after spending time in the library looking for ideas in books, she comes up with a brilliant plan. With the help of her family and friends, Prudy builds the Prudy Museum of Indescribable Wonderment. Inside the museum, Prudy's collections are neatly displayed and appreciated by everyone. This is a very creative solution to Prudy's problem of having too many scattered collections.

  • Additional Tasks
      • Think about the character of Prudy in “Prudy’s Problem” and the character of Francisco in “A Day’s Work.” Create a Venn diagram showing how Prudy and Francisco are alike and different. In a multi-sentence paragraph write about how Prudy and Francisco are alike and different using the information from the Venn diagram you created.

        Possible answer: Prudy and Francisco are different in that Prudy is a character in a fantasy, whereas Francisco is a character in a realistic story. Prudy and Francisco are similar because they are both quick thinkers and both make a mistake. Both characters work hard to correct their mistake. We learn something from both characters. From Francisco, we learn to always be honest. From Prudy, we learn to share things with others.
      • Ask students if they (or anyone they know) have a collection. Have a “show and tell” day, where students bring in their collections. If they do not have their own collection, they can perhaps borrow a friend’s collection or create a poster depicting a collection they would like to start one day.
      • The author has used humor throughout the story, both in the text and the illustrations. List four examples of the author using humor in this story and cite the page number.

        Possible answers:
        1. Prudy has 614 stuffed animals in different unnatural colors.
        2. The illustration of Prudy upside down.
        3. Prudy’s father’s expression.
        4. The dog’s expression.
        5. Prudy’s mom’s facial expression.
        6. The mouse resting on the pillow and the other mouse fanning.
        7. The room exploding.
      • The setting is where a story takes place. What is the setting in the story at the beginning and then at the end? Explain why the change in the setting is important to the story.

        The setting at the beginning of the story is Prudy’s home. At the end of the story, the setting changes to the museum. This setting change is important to the story because now Prudy has a suitable place for her many collections.


  • Notes to the Teacher
    • Idioms are used in the story. For example: Everyone pitched in to gather Prudy's scattered collections. Teachers may want to spend some time on these with students.
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