Sideways Stories from Wayside School Comprehension Questions

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

'Sideways Stories from Wayside School' by Louis Sachar is a fun read for students. Beyond the silliness lies a storyline of how to communicate in school, tolerate others' differences and tackle challenges. This lesson confirms students read the book and enhances their literary and analytical skills.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Teachers, Sideways Stories from Wayside School is the wackiest book I have ever assigned to my students. Trying to find an educational purpose for reading this book besides enhancing students' reading and recollection skills can be difficult. However, these questions prompt students to not only recall specific information from the storyline but to analyze characters, discuss the book's themes and encourage their opinions on important topics such as bullying and life's challenges.

Questions About Wayside School

  • Explain the original building plans of Wayside School versus how it was actually built. Do you think it would be cool to have a school built in a similar way? Why or why not? What would be some advantages and disadvantages?
  • Compare and contrast Mrs. Gorf's classroom with yours. Would you be able to learn in her class? Why or why not?
  • What was the purpose of Saturday school in the book? Does your school offer Saturday school? If so, do you think students are productive in Saturday school? If not, do you think Saturday school would be effective at your school? Why or why not?
  • Is it possible to receive a good education at Wayside School? Why or why not?
  • Discuss the weirdest thing about Wayside School.

Questions About The Teachers

  • Describe Mrs. Gorf as a teacher. Does she like children? Explain why or why not.
  • What floor does Mrs. Gorf teach on?
  • What magic does Mrs. Gorf perform to each student in her classroom? Why?
  • What happens when she leaves them overnight? How do their parents respond? How would your parents react if you did not come home after school?
  • How many kids did Mrs. Gorf turn in twelve days? What was her overall motivation?
  • What is Mr. Louis's role at the school? Do you think he does a good job? Why or why not?
  • When Mr. Louis enters Mrs. Gorf's classroom and sees the apples and only a few students, what are his thoughts?
  • What prompts Mrs. Gorf to turn the students back to real kids?
  • What happens when Mr. Louis sees a shiny apple on Mrs. Gorf's desk?
  • How do Mrs. Jewls and Mrs. Gorf differ as teachers? Do they have any similarities? Explain.
  • Do you think teachers know everything? How does the author prove to us that sometimes teachers make mistakes with the interaction between Mrs. Jewls and Allison?
  • How does Mr. Louis handle students who did not have good sportsmanship? Do you think teachers sometimes want to do this in real life?
  • What heroic act does Mr. Louis perform that relates to Sharie?
  • Why do you believe Mr. Louis shared stories of normal kids and normal schools with the Wayside students?
  • How does Mrs. Jewls initially see cute kids? What brings her back to reality?
  • Mrs. Jewls recognizes students have different learning styles. How does she account for those differences?

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