February/March 2014

The Mystery of the Snake Egg

Jeremy suspects something is amiss in his uncle’s pet store when Zimmerman, an African grey parrot, starts acting odd. With the help of his friend Molly, Jeremy uncovers an illegal pet-smuggling operation.

Download the story to project on your whiteboard.

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Teaching Objectives:

This lesson will help your students identify the conflicting motivations of Jeremy and the animal smugglers.

Featured Skill:

Characters’ motivations

Other Key Skills: vocabulary, close reading, text evidence, key details, author’s craft, foreshadowing, inference, connecting texts, research, expository writing


Quizzes and Activity Sheets

Research/Connecting Texts

This activity will help your students make connections between “The Mystery of the Snake Egg” and this month’s nonfiction article “Saving the Great White Monster.”

Characters’ Motivations

Students explore various characters’ motivations throughout the story.

Close-Reading and Critical-Thinking Questions

Constructed-response questions that touch on a range of skills. These also appear in your printed Teacher’s Guide and can be used for discussion. Click here for the questions only, without lines for writing.

Interactive Reading-Comprehension Quiz

A test-prep essential! We formed these multiple-choice questions based on state assessments. Need help with interactive PDFs? Visit our FAQ page.

Noninteractive Reading-Comprehension Quiz

A printable version of the quiz above. Includes constructed-response questions as well.

Contest Entry Form

Students write two well-organized paragraphs about what motivates Anthony to commit a crime and what motivates Jeremy to help solve it. To learn more about our contests, click here.

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Answer Keys:

Click on the links below to access this issue's answer keys.


Complexity Factors


Skills and Standards


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