Chapters 1 to 5

The Schwa was Here
Questions and Activities over Chapters 1-5
About the Author
Neil Shusterman was born
and raised in Brooklyn,
New York. He began writing
at an early age. He has degrees in
both psychology and drama. His
professional writing career began shortly after his
graduation from college. At 22, Mr. Shusterman became
the youngest syndicated columnist in the United States
when he was picked up by the Syndicated Writer's
Group. Besides just writing novels, he spends his time
directing films, writing stage plays, and writing music. He,
also, was a celebrity judge for Hasbro's Real American
Hero Search. His books have won many awards.
The Schwa was Here
1. Where did Neil Shusterman’s inspiration
for the story come from?
2. How does Mr. Shusterman describe the
narrator, Antsy?
Chapter 1 Questions
1. What is Antsy's real name in the novel?
2. Of what heritage is Antsy's family?
3. Where does Antsy's family live?
4. What is the name of the company where
Antsy's father works?
5. What product does the company make?
6. What is the Schwa's first name?
7. Who is very unfriendly to the Schwa in his
first appearance? Why does he act this way?
On Your Own… Answer:
1. How did Antsy get his nickname?
 2. How did the Schwa get his nickname?
 3. Ira says the Schwa is 10 foot pole
material. What does this mean?
 4. A euphemism is using a gentler term for
describing something. Example: passed
away instead of died. What euphemisms
does the author use for describing the
characters? Find two.
Brooklyn, NY
 Most populous of 5 NY boroughs
 2.6 million people live here
 Independent city until 1896
 Highlights: Brooklyn Nets, Prospect Park,
Coney Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn
Botanic Garden
 Author grew up in Brooklyn
Chapter 2 Questions
1. Where do the boys meet to discuss the
 2. What was apparently the original name
of the Schwa family in the Old World?
 3. Of what heritage is Ira in the novel?
 4. What is special about the Schwa’s eyes?
Chapter 3 Questions
1. Who points out the Schwa when he raises his hand
in class?
2. Who suggests an experiment involving the Schwa?
3. What is the Schwa effect?
4. How many students notice the Schwa in a
5. What do Antsy and his friends get the Schwa to
wear in the boys' bathroom?
6. What do Antsy and his friends get the Schwa to do
in the boys' bathroom?
7. What is the third experiment that Antsy and his
friends carry out with the Schwa in Chapter 3?
Chapter 4 Questions
1. A girl agrees to pay to see the Schwa do what?
2. How much do the student officers agree to pay a week to
keep the Schwa on retainer?
3. Old Man Crawley is famous for an incident in which he took
revenge on children for_________.
4. Who dares the Schwa to sneak into Old Man Crawley's
5. What does Old Man Crawley live above and what is just
below his apartment?
6. What kind of dogs does Old Man Crawley have?
7. What has he named his dogs after?
8. What is the Schwa dared to bring back from Old Man
Crawley's home in Chapter 4?
9. Old Man Crawley owns what kind of business?
Again I Go Unnoticed- Dashboard Confessional
Write your questions stems and be ready to
complete them with the correct answers. The
song moves quickly, so LISTEN!
 1. What is the complaint of the singer?
 2. What is wasted?
 3. What is the tone (attitude of writer) of
this song?
 4. What is the mood (feeling) of this song?
How does it feel to go unnoticed? Draw
from your own experiences or from the
characters in The Schwa Was Here to
explain what being unnoticed is like.
Chapter 5 Questions
1. Why is the Schwa unable to steal a bowl from Old
Man Crawley's home?
2. When Antsy and the Schwa are found in Old Man
Crawley's home, he comes at them with what
3. Where is the Schwa hiding when Old Man Crawley
discovers him and Antsy in his home?
4. Whose heritage does Old Man Crawley insult,
saying his 'breeding' is bad?
5. Old Man Crawley tells Antsy and the Schwa that
they will have to do what to make amends?
6. What does Old Man Crawley say he will do if the
boys do not turn up each day after school?