from Spellbinder: The Life of
Harry Houdini
Day 1
Can you BELIEVE your eyes?
• Warm up- p. 850
Media Smart
• Watch first two documentary clips
1. Introduction
2. First Viewing
• P. 852-856
Read p. 851- Main Idea and Details
• Copy resource manager Unit 7 p. 93 to fill in
after reading w/ partner
Day 2- Friday
• Warm up
• Collect HW packet
• REV quiz (10 minutes)
– Silent read once finished.
Writing Assignment
• You will be given a short passage to examine from
the text and will rewrite it in first person point of
• The biography is written in third person point of
view, so be sure to change the passage to first
person and incorporate personal
• Use words like – I, me & my (give sensory
details/imagery/5 senses)
Miss Sardo’s example:
Nik’s Biography to Autobiography
Nik strolled back onto the dance
floor swaying to the loud and energizing
rap music. He wore a white button
down shirt that looked as if he had just
jumped into a pool. It was apparent
that all of the dancing was making him
very hot.
He had a huge smile on his face
and grabbed one of his friends who was
sitting at a table eating dessert to come
join him. It was evident that he was
having a great time at the wedding
because of his friendly smile
(and wet shirt ) that had told it all.
What’s the difference between these
Underline the obvious…
Take notes on major and even minor
I strutted back onto the dance
floor as I swayed my body back and
forth. I loved the DJ’s choice of music,
especially this new rap song! The beat
was bumping and vibrating in my ears,
but I didn’t care, this was one of the
greatest dancing songs ever!
Even though my shirt was sticking
to my body, I didn’t mind. I was having
such a wonderful time. I called over to
all of my friends who were sitting at our
table eating wedding cake. I grabbed my
girlfriend Allie by the hand to come to
the dance floor and dance the
remainder of the night away with me. I
was smiling, laughing and obviously
sweating. I felt so happy and joyful to
be around all of my closest family and
Think about how the events described in the
story might be different if told from Houdini’s
point of view.
Directions- Rewrite lines 95-109 of the
selection from Houdini’s perspective. Assume
that you are Houdini and think about what
information you would or would not share
that were included in this biography.
Working with your assigned small group
members, you will go to the appropriate basket,
retrieve your questions and work together but
ALL will independently write your answers on
your own sheet of paper.
Your answers need to be written in complete
sentences and will be turned in.
Group 1
1. Recall: What names did Harry Houdini perform under before
becoming famous as “The Knight of Handcuffs” ?
2. Can you BELIEVE your eyes? In what way did audience
participation improve Metamorphosis?
3. Identify Main Idea: Reread lines 74-77. What is the main idea
of this paragraph?
Group 2
Can you BELIEVE your eyes?
Why was the East Indian Needles illusion an excellent addition
to Houdini’s act?
2. Can you BELIEVE your eyes?
In what way did audience participation improve
Identify Main Idea and Details: From 1894 to 1899, Bess
Houdini performed in vaudeville with her husband. Along
with Harry, Bess struggled to make ends meet. For the
straightjacket trick, Bess restrained Houdini seven times so he
could devise an escape method. Bess was often part of the
Metamorphosis illusion. What main idea about Bess Houdini
might these details imply?
Group 3
1. Can you BELIEVE your eyes?
Why was the East Indian Needles illusion an excellent
addition to Houdini’s act?
2. Clarifying the Main Idea: What do you feel is the main idea
of the entire selection? List details from the selection to
support your answer. Then, write a brief summary of the
main idea and supporting details you have chosen.
3. Readers circle: With your small group, discuss which was
most useful to Houdini during his early career- his
personality, his skills, or the help of people around him. Use
examples from the selection to support your opinion.
-What was the key to Harry Houdini’s success?
Extension Activity
• If you finish early, take a Jr. Scholastic and readCuba: In the Shadow of Castro (page 12)
• You will independently read the article and then assume
the role of any one of the people from the article- a worker, Jonathan, Castro, Chavez, or a homeless
• (change the text from third to first person point of view
and include your personal thoughts and feelings)

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