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This is a short story written by Elizabeth Spangler, the inventor of Spangler's Scrutiny. At the bottom of the page you will find a sample of types of questions and answers that are typical in Spangler's Scrutiny. PLUS you will also find some other FREE STUFF!


Summer School

Kat just knew she was going to be bored to tears. All summer long, she had been
reading a novel for summer school. There had been papers to write, inferences to be
made, and things to discuss. As she sat in room 45, she dreaded the inevitable long
review Mrs. Parker had surely designed for them. Kat just knew Mrs. Parker liked to do
things the hard way.
While Kat was waiting for class to begin, she said to Marcy “Do you think it will
take her all period to go over all this stuff?”
Kat tapped the novel lightly as Marcy replied “I sure hope not. Going over
questions and answers is so dull. Besides, I’ll never remember this by tomorrow because
I’ll be too busy sleeping through it today.” Kat nodded. She knew that memorizing facts
like this was not her style. She intended to try her best though because she knew she had
to pass summer school in order to get to 7th grade.
Mrs. Parker came inside and shut the door. She opened a bag onto the table in the
front of the room. She began talking about how today was review day while she took out
a “jeopardy” board. She then began inserting question cards into the pockets. There were
4 different categories and each category was a different color. Maybe Mrs. Parker wasn’t
so bad after all!
“ today it is important that you pay careful attention as we play this review
game.” Mrs. Parker was instructing.
“Cool! A game!” Kat thought. “This will be much easier to pay attention to.”
Mrs. Parker divided the class into 5 teams of 4 people. For each round, each team had to
send 1 representative to the front of the room to try and answer a question. One person
picked the category and the number of points. Mrs. Parker read the question. They
buzzed in by saying their name. The first one to say their name was allowed to answer
the question. If they got it right, then their team got the number of points that the
question was worth. The questions were from a set called Spangler’s SCRUTINY and
were based on these 4 categories: setting, characters, plot and theme.
As they played, Kat began to really understand those 4 story elements. She had
reviewed them before when they had to write a summary using all 4 elements but now it
all made sense.
“Finally!” said Kat, “Now I really get it.”
“Me, too!” announced Marcy who wasn’t sleeping or even looking drowsy.
“This is fun, Mrs. Parker.” added Kat.
“I think so too.” replied Mrs. Parker. “I like the game because it uses critical
thinking skills that you need to be a successful student, but it is so interesting that you
really pay attention and get a better education.” Kat thought about that. She wasn’t sure
what Mrs. Parker meant by critical thinking but she did know that she felt like she would
be more successful. That’s for sure since now she really had a handle on the material.
They finished the game and the second to last day of summer school.
On the final day of summer school, the exam was a breeze for Kat. She
remembered a lot from the game. When she took her test to Mrs. Parker, she knew that
she had passed. She felt confident and proud that summer school was definitely behind

1. Identify the teacher’s name.

Ans.: Mrs. Parker

2. Tell the room number of Kat’s classroom.

Ans.: 45

3. Decide what season it is.

Ans.: Summer


1. Characterize Mrs. Parker.

Ans.: A caring, cool teacher

2. Assess what grade Kat was in at the beginning of the story.

Ans.: 6th

3. Describe Marcy.

Ans.: 6th grader, lazy until inspired

1. What was Kat worried about?

Ans.: Being able to pass summer
school even after a boring

2. Outline what the game reviewed.

Ans.: Setting, characters, plot and
theme for 1 novel.

3. We can conclude that Kat passed summer school because

Ans.: The game
helped her
to remember
what she

1. We can conclude that the game did what for the students?

Ans.: The game
to learn.

2. Summarize Mrs. Parker’s feelings about the game.

Ans.: She liked
it because she found
it to help students to
be successful.

3. Explain how the game helped the students to learn.

Ans.: It reviewed the keys to
as the 4 story

This is a short example designed to give you the flavor of the complete Spangler's Scrutiny!

ęCopyright 1999 Elizabeth Spangler

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ęCopyright 1999 Elizabeth Spangler