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Activities and Games with Maniac Magee

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 4/5/2012

Maniac astonished John McNab, the little league strike-out pitcher, by hitting every pitch. He even hit a frogball! Play baseball with your students to review book facts. Then try a meaningful segregation activity.

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    Maniac Magee games and activities will help you round out a unit on this popular Newbery winner. Play a baseball game to review story details and then try a segregation activity with your students. How will they feel if they can't talk to anyone in an orange shirt?

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    Let's Play Ball!

    Maniac Magee was considered a legend for his athletic ability. Find “legends" in your own class by playing Maniac Magee baseball to review facts in the book.

    Preparation:

    1.Create a small baseball diamond in the classroom if you have the space. Clear an area and use carpet squares, tape or student chairs to mark the bases. If you do not have space in the classroom, draw a baseball diamond on the board.

    2. Use a blank game spinner and mark four sections on it. Write one word in each section: single, double, triple and homerun.thumbnail-1.aspx 

    3. Find an area on the board to keep score.

    4. Divide the class into two teams.

    5. Print off game questions.

    Play Ball

    Ask a question to the first player from the starting team. No other team member can help with the answer. If answered correctly, the player spins the spinner to find out the type of hit and moves to that base. Team continues until there are 3 outs (3 incorrect answers). You may change the number of outs to one or two to keep the game moving back and forth. Then the other team is up to bat. Decide ahead of time the number of innings you will be playing.

    Questions:

    1. What is Maniac’s real first name? Jeffreythumbnail-2.aspx 

    2.How old was he when his parents died? 3

    3. Who did he live with when his parents died? aunt and uncle

    4.Why did he run away from them? They did not get along. Everything was separate.

    5. To what town did he run? Two Mills

    6. How did his parents die? trolley accident

    7. Who was the first person to actually talk to Maniac in Two Mills? Amanda Beale

    8. What did she have that was of interest to Maniac? bag of books

    9. Why did she carry the books with her? Her younger siblings kept coloring in them.

    10. The town was racially divided, the east end was for ____? blacks

    11. In what sport did Maniac first show up and disrupt the game? football

    12. The ball was supposed to be thrown to whom? “Hands" Down

    13. Four high school bullies threw a young boy into the Finsterwald’s______? backyard

    14. How did Mrs. Pickwell alert her children that it was time for dinner? She whistled.

    15. Who struck out 16 batters in a row to break a record? John McNab

    16. What did he pitch to Maniac that wasn’t a baseball? a frog

    17. Where did Maniac sleep when he first arrived in town? The zoo (in the deer shed)

    18. Who offered Maniac a bite of a candy bar? Mars Bar Thompson

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    19. How did Maniac take a bite of the candy that surprised the boy? Maniac(white) bit off the candy right where the other boy(black) had eaten.

    20. When Mars tore a page from Maniac’s borrowed book, who broke up the fight? lady with a broom

    21. What home in Two Mills did Maniac stay in first? The Beales (Amanda’s)

    22. Why did Maniac have to move away from the Beales? Someone was harassing them for having a white boy living with them.

    23. What was Maniac allergic to? pizza

    24. What did Maniac do that made Mrs. Beale mad? trash talk

    25. What contest did Maniac win at Cobble’s Corner? he untangled a huge knot of string

    26. What prize did he win? a year’s worth of Pizza Hut Online

    27. What was the old man’s name that Maniac befriended at the zoo? Grayson

    28. What did the old man do when he was young? played minor league baseball

    29. What did Maniac teach the old man? how to read

    30. After what holiday did the old man die? Christmas.

    31. Who did Maniac find when he was sleep in a cabin at Valley Forge? The little McNab boys

    32. The McNab boys were running away to______? Mexico

    33. What did the McNabs build with cinder blocks? a pillbox or a small fort

    34. Who saved the Mcnab boy when he was stuck on the trestle? Mars Bar Thompson

    35. In the end, where was Maniac going to live? With Amanda Beales family

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    Segregation Activity

    Color Activity

    Two Mills was racially divided. The east side was inhabited by blacks and the west side by whites. Maniac did not understand why color should matter. To help your students understand how it feels to be divided by color, try the following activity.

    Divide students in two groups. Try to break up cliques, etc. Assign each group a color like orange and green. Have the students wear a shirt of their group’s designated color on the activity day. On the activity day here are the rules:

    1. No one can talk to someone from the other color group.

    2. Students can only sit with their own color group. Move desks into two groups by color.

    3. Students may only sit with their color group in the cafeteria.

    4. Students may only play with their color group at recess.

    At the end of the day, allow enough time for the students to discuss their feelings about this segregation. What specific things happened?

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    Maniac Magee games and activities can be used as a fun review and as an enlightening experience when dealing with segregation.

Maniac Magee Study Guide

Use this series of articles to assist you with a unit on Maniac Magee. Included are vocabulary words, short answer questions, character analysis activity, additional books with common theme and a classroom activity.
  1. Create a Unit on Maniac Magee
  2. Activities and Games with Maniac Magee
  3. Lesson Plan for Maniac Magee