Al Capone Does My Shirts Pre-Reading Activity Directions: Research and answer the questions below.
1. What was happening in the world in 1935?
Use the internet to search what each of these countries was doing during 1935. What were some highlights? Write your answers in the space below.
2. Describe a typical American family during this time.
What types of jobs were common to the middle class?
What was America’s favorite sport?
What is the difference between White Collar workers and Blue Collar workers?
ACDMS Comprehension Questions
Chapter 1 Does the main character want to be on Alcatraz? What kind of metaphor does he make?
What type of school does his sister attend?
Does he approve of this school? Why or why not?
What adjectives would you use to describe a Moose? After reading about Moose, does the name fit?
Why would Moose and his friend Pete call it the “Devil Island?”
Do you think Moose is scared of the island?
Chapter 2 What does “affliction” mean?
How does Natalie know the exact answer? Do you think there is anything wrong with Natalie? How can you tell?
What does “haze” mean?
Can you smell weakness? Explain in terms of how a predator might “smell” its prey. (Minimum 5 sentences)
Does Moose then let her outside? Would you let Natalie outside if you were in Moose’s place?
What does Natalie do once she is outside on the swings? Who carries her home?
What does Moose’s Dad do once Natalie is in bed?
Why does Moose’s Dad start to tear up?
ACDMS Comprehension Questions
Describe Moose’s mom’s reaction when she comes in.
What does Moose’s father want to talk to her about?
How does Moose’s mother describe him during the argument?
Explain this quote, “She’s so peaceful when she sleeps. So normal. This is the sister I might have had. I see now the person we missed.” Use a minimum of 5 sentences.
Complete the simile: “As the day of Nat’s interview approaches, my mother behaves as if _________________________________________________________________.
Find the definition of a simile on the computer and write it in the space below.
What is Natalie’s new obsession? Why is it so unusual for her?
Who is at the door and what does she want?
Do you think Moose likes Piper now? Find a quote that explains this feeling and write it in the space below.
Why is Natalie “teetering on the edge”?
Where does Natalie go and why does it have Moose afraid and worried?
Explain Moose’s reaction, “This is terrible. This is good.”
What number does Moose’s mother have on the cake? What about this is wrong?
Who is at the party for Natalie?
What does it mean to “Contrast” different settings? Read the last paragraph on page 190 and explain how the author contrasts the view of the night to the view of the cell house.
ACDMS: Comprehension Questions
Chapter 35- 40
What does Moose see when he comes in the room. Describe how he views this scene.
Why doesn’t Moose’s mother want to have the conversation about Natalie’s age?
What is Moose’s father’s reaction when he comes in and hears Moose and his wife arguing about Natalie’s age?
Do you think Moose’s mother feels betrayed by Moose and her husband?
What is Moose’s father proud of? How does his pride differ from the emotions of Moose’s mother?
Natalie makes a joke with Mr. Purdy. What is the significance of this?
Moose’s mother explains how Moose reacted and how he didn’t care about his mother’s feelings. Do you think she is right? Do you think Moose cared if he hurt his mother?
What happens to the family when Mrs. Caconi calls? Describe the reactions of each one of the family members.
What is the decision of the school?
Name three of the things Moose’s mother has done to help Natalie.
Out of all of these things, what seems to have helped Natalie the most?
What does he talk to Mrs. Kelly about? How does Mrs. Kelly keep Natalie in the present and away from her personal world?
Explain this quote, “Now I understand. When you love someone, you have to try things even if they don’t make sense to anyone else.”
Why does Moose go to see the Warden?
Who does Moose come up with as a possible influential person to help Natalie?
What is the Wardens response?
Describe Natalie’s reaction after the interview with the school.
What one sentencerevolves in Moose’s head?
What plan does Moose come up with in order to contact Al Capone?
What kind of plan did Piper come up with to contact Al Capone and what did she ask for?
Summarize the last chapters of the book. Use correct paragraph form with topic sentences and evidence from the book.
Al Capone Does My ShirtsActivity #1 Directions: Create a timeline for Moose that details all of the positive and negative events that have happened to him up until Chapter 20 in the book.
Create 2 columns on a sheet of paper. Each column needs to have a title that tells the reader what the column is about. Be creative with your title and your descriptions of Moose’s ups and downs.
Find examples of events from the book that have happened to Moose and that fit into each category. Include the day and date for each event.
On another piece of paper, find pictures that depict Moose’s events and create a collage. The pictures can be found in magazines, newspapers, and off the internet.
Student Activity 2
Character traits: In this activity you will choose your favorite character from the book and analyze the traits of this character and how you connected with this character by creating a trait flip book.
What you’ll need:Copy of Common Character Traits sheet, 2 sheets of 8 ½ x 11” white construction paper, scissors, stapler, markers or colored pencils.
Choose a character from your reading and pick three traits (use the Common Traits sheet for ideas) that the character displayed in the story.
Take two sheets of white construction paper and fold them in half lengthwise. Crease them well at the top and put three staples across the top. You will now have four pages.
You now need to cut the second, third and fourth pages into thirds about a ¼ inch from the top of you flip book. You will now have three equal squares to your book.
The cover of the flipbook must include the title of the book, the author, the character’s name + Trait Flip Book. (Ex. Moose’s Trait Flip Book”)
The second page will display each of the three traits you chose in each square.
The third page you will draw the character displaying these traits and you will show support for this trait by using an example from the story.
The last page will be a drawing of you and a description of you following the same trait as the character from the book.
Trait flipbook is completed
accurately according to directions given. 15 Points
Trait flipbook displays three traits
that are related to character from the
book. 10 Points
Traits are supported with evidence
from the story. 15 Points
Traits are connected to self well. 10 Points
The jury took nine hours to
convict Capone on 5 counts of
income tax evasion.
Common Character Traits
Student Activity 3
In this activity you will visit different web sites to read more about autism OR Alcatraz. You will record your information on the “Outline for Writing” page and write an essay on the information you collected. For proper expository essay form writing please visit the following websites:
In addition to this written report, you are going to create a poster board with pictures of your gangster and factual information about him in bullet point format. Take notes on how to format your paper in the space below.
Your Gangster is __________________________________________.
Student Activity 6
Friendly Letter: If Moose believes that Al Capone is responsible for Natalie’s admission in the school, how would he thank him? Write a thank you letter from Moose to Capone, following proper friendly letter format.
Make sure when you are writing the thank you letter you consider the first letter Moose wrote to Al Capone on pages 209-210 to set the tone of the thank you letter. Also, when creating the letter think about how Moose is feeling that Al Capone helped to get his sister into the school and make sure that is conveyed in the letter.
Here are some sites to help in writing a letter in proper friendly letter format: