Literature Unit: A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a classic tale written by Madeleine L 'Engle. A child's level fantasy book about time travel, courage, and more. The story line is suspenseful and thought provoking. The story concept continues through four other books as well.

Book Summary:

Two children become embroiled in saving, not only their father, but the universe. They bring a friend along for the ride. For a lengthy synopsis of the book that explains the complex plot, check Amazon.com.

About the Author:

Madeleine L'Engle Camp was born in 1918 in New York. She started writing at the very young age of five, influenced by her exposure to artistic people and interesting places by her parents. She pursued an artistic lifestyle, including acting, until meeting and marrying Hugh Franklin. They moved to Connecticut to run a grocery store and raise three children. Through out it all, Madeleine continued to write. When she reached the age of 40, her writing began to sell. She won the Newbery Medal for A Wrinkle in Time in 1963.

Suggested Vocabulary:

A Wrinkle in Time is a great opportunity to expand a child's vocabulary because though it is written primarily for children, the words used are more substantial than the average modern children's story.

antagonistic
assimilate
avid
dilapidated
dubiously
frenzied
gamboled
indignantly
intoned
morass
placidly
prodigious
resentment
ruffled
serenity
supine
vulnerable
warily
wraithlike

Suggested Questions and Activities:

1. Write a one paragraph summary of the major events in each chpater of the book.

2. Describe Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. Use lots of adjectives so that someone who has not read the story can picture the characters.

3. Are you more like Meg, Dennys, Charles Wallace, Calvin, Mr. Murry, Mrs. Murry, Mr. Jenkins, or the postmistress? Explain who and why.

4. Charles Wallace Murry is not a typical five-year-old. Compare Charles with other five year olds that you know. Explain how he is different and how he is similar.

5. Meg has a self-esteem problem. She is greatly affected by what others think and say about her and her family. If you were Meg's friends and try to help her build a positive self-image what could you do to help her? Name three good things about Meg and why you think she should be proud of them.

6. Mrs. Murry conducted experiments of science as much as her husband. Participate in one or more science experiments. You may want to get some ideas for simple, yet fun, science experiments at EasyFunSchool's Science Index.

7. To the best of your ability, explain what a tesseract is.

8. What does the Happy Medium show the children about Earth that frightens them?

9. Who are the fighters from Earth? Do yo uagree with the children's choices? What fighters would you add to their list? Explain your answers.

10. In one well-written sentence, characterize the man with the red eyes.

11. Explain what you might do if you were told that someone else would be controlling your mind for the rest of your life.

12. Mrs. Whatsit gives each of the children a special talisman to help them confront the Dark Thing. Each talisman is based on a quality that already exists in the child's personality. What were the talisman's and what did they each represent?

13. What happens to change Charles Wallace?

14. List two things that exist on Earth that do not exist on Camazotz.

15. What is the difference between the reactions of Charles Wallace and Meg when they see their father?

16. What object helps release Mr. Murry from his transparent column?

17. What is CENTRAL Central Intelligence? What is different about the doors there?

18. Older children may wish to debate the pros and cons of the society on Camazotz. (there is no deformity, there are no differences, there is no unhappiness, there is no real happiness, there are no wars, there are no individuals, there is no disease, etc.).

19. IT is a giant brain. Its pulsing controls all who feel the rhythm. As a mini health unit, you may wish to study the brain and its job(s) within the human body.

20. Describe the planet of Ixchel.

21. What do you think happens after "A Wrinkle in Time" is over? What direction do the main characters take in their lives? How are they better for having gone through the story?

Other Books by Madeleine L'Engle:

A Wind in the Door
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Many Waters
A Ring of Endless Light
A Circle of Quiet
The Moon By Night
Dragons in the Water



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