Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World

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Ten-year-old Justin hates that his sisters and his mama are always fussing at him. They make him feel stupid because he can't clean his room or cook. But why should he? He'd rather be outside playing. After all, cooking and cleaning is just “women's work.” That's why Justin is glad when his grandfather invites him back to his ranch for the summer. Justin is sure he can get away from all the women and do some actual “men's work,” such as cleaning fish, mending fences, and riding horses. But back at the ranch, Justin learns some unexpected lessons and soon realizes that anyone can do anything once they learn how.

Curriculet Details
39 Questions
35 Annotations
2 Quizzes

Designed for students in 4th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining grammar and literary devices. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about imagery and personification. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and take quizzes related to textual evidence and inference, story structure, and diction. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Based on the details in the highlighted text, we can infer that Justin is playing _________________. 
A protagonist is the main character in a story. The antagonist is the character who is in conflict with the main character. As you read, identify the protagonist and the antagonist. 
What time of the day is it at this point in the story? 
The phrase "gets away with murder," is a figurative expression that means 'to avoid responsibility for your actions.' Evelyn is saying that Justin never gets in trouble for anything he does wrong. 
Why does Mama have Justin do the dishes? 
Who is the antagonist in the story? 


This detail suggests that Evelyn does not have a lot of weaknesses, therefore she must be a strong person. 
In Chapter 1, we learn that Justin and Hadiya look similar to each other. We also find out that Justin has a messy room. How are Justin and Hadiya different in the way they keep their bedroom? Use details from the text to support your answer. 
Notice that the two boys consider washing dishes, cleaning up, and folding clothes to be "women's work." Do you feel the same way? 
How did Justin's father pass away four years ago? 
What kind of friend is Anthony? Would you be willing to help a friend out like he helps Justin? 
How does Justin feel about his efforts to get his room clean? 
Justin does not want to admit that he can not handle "women work." Yet, he is not interested in that kind of work either. Do you think that Justin doesn't want to do chores because he is lazy or because he is not interested in it? 


Hadiya equates cooking to ___________. 
Use the annotation below to answer the question. What is the referent pronoun in this sentence? 
Referent Pronouns: A pronoun is a word used to stand for (or take the place of) a noun. A referent pronoun is a pronoun that "refers" back to an earlier noun or pronoun in a sentence. Look at this example: Rachel delivered her speech at the ceremony. "Her" is the referent pronoun because it refers back to Rachel. Now, read the highlighted text and see if you can identify the referent pronoun. 
Justin's mother does not realize that he has been trying to clean his room but his efforts have not paid off. 
How does Justin feel with everyone staring at him in his messy room? 
How difficult do you think it must be for Justin to live in a house with only girls? Remember, his father died, so he has no male role models other than his grandpa. 
Make Connections: Have you ever been in a similar situation as Justin? Have you ever been told by a parent that you could not go somewhere until you clean your room? If so, how did you handle the problem? 
What is Justin's solution to cleaning his room so he can go to the ranch with Grandpa? 


Cause/effect text structure: A cause is why something happens. An effect is what happens. This structure is used to show how one thing causes another. 
What is the cause of cowboys no longer being needed to drive cattle? 
Why does Grandpa call his truck an "Iron Pony?" 
Imagery: The author's use of imagery creates a beautiful picture of the lake and the sounds surrounding it. (This annotation contains a video)
Why do Grandpa and the man laugh at this statement? 


At home, Justin feels like he does not know how to do women work. But notice here, he also realizes he can't do something that boys and men are supposed to know how to do. 
How has Q-T Ranch changed over the years? Cite textual evidence to support your answer. 
Why does Justin want to hear the story of how his family went from Tennessee to Missouri? 
Click on the link to view more information about the Homestead Act.  (This annotation contains a link)
What does "ride fence" mean? 
Who taught Grandpa how to make his bed? 
The "winds whispering in the trees" is an example of personification. A human quality (whispering) is given to a non-human object (winds).  


How does Justin feel about learning how to make his bed? 
Do you have someone in your life who teaches you how to do things? If so, how do you feel about that person? 
Animals can sense when humans are upset or nervous. What can you infer is the reason why Black seems uneasy? 
Justin has a good imagination. He likes to pretend he is a cowboy rounding up cattle on the plains. Why do you think Justin thinks about cowboys and horses? 
Quiz 1 


Do you think Justin thinks that cooking is "women work?" He has a hard time believing that men are good cooks. 
Why is Justin doubtful that "some of the best cooks in the world are men?" 
Why does Justin ask Grandpa this question? What do you think? Do you think housework is just for women? 
What does Grandpa tell Justin about work? Use details from the text to support your answer. 
Justin realizes a lot about his grandpa on this trip. Pay attention and see if Justin's perspective changes as he learns from Grandpa. 


What is Justin looking forward to? 
Based on this detail, how important is family to Grandpa? Do you think Grandpa has a special regard for family heritage, tradition, and customs? 
Why do you think Justin likes the book? Is it because there is a lot of family heritage in it? 
What causes Justin to do the supper dishes for Grandpa? 
The word exodus means 'the act of departing (or leaving).' The slaves who were leaving the East and heading West were called exodusters. 
After reading his great-great-grandfather's book, how does Justin feel? 


This detail reveals that slaves were more concerned about getting to freedom than they were about taking anything with them.  
Why did the horses have to be given away? 
How does the slaves leaving the South (their exodus) resemble the exodus of Moses and the Israelites in the Bible? How is it alike? How is it different? 
What is the significance in what Grandpa tells Justin in this part of the story? 


Make Connections: Have you ever been to a town festival or rodeo? If so, how was the atmosphere similar to the one in the story? 
Based on what Justin thinks about the model airplane, blue ribbons must be awarded for _______________ prize. 
Why does Justin clap for this young girl? Do you think she reminds him of Hadiya? 
Why do all the ladies crowd around Grandpa at the dance? 


A majorette is a person who performs choreographed dance or movement, primarily baton twirling associated with marching bands during parades. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following events is Don NOT going to participate in? 
Why do you think Justin does so well at the bean-bag toss and the horseshoe throw? How do his basketball skills help him in these events? 
Why does Justin wonder what Evelyn will say when she sees his ribbons? (Hint: Earlier in the story, she said he can't do anything right.)  
The highlighted text is an example of a/an _______________________. 
The highlighted text contains examples of a ______________________. 
Parallelism is the use of components in a sentence that are grammatically the same. They can be similar in their construction, sound, meaning or meter. Here, "jumping, spinning, and shaking" are all similar in construction, all ending in -ing. 
What is the prize for the winner of the calf roping contest? 
Do you think Justin will participate in this event? Let's keep reading to find out. 


Which chore has Justin not learned how to do yet? 
Do you think this is good advice from Grandpa? 
The highlighted text is an example of a ___________________. 
How has Justin changed? 
Static and Dynamic Characters: Static characters remain the same throughout a novel. A dynamic character is one who experiences an important, internal change due to the action in the plot. Does Justin experience change in this story? Is he different at the end than he was at the beginning? Yes, he is. Therefore, he is a dynamic character. 
Which items do you think mean more to Justin, the sports ones or the ones from the festival? 
Why does Justin quickly wash the bowl and spoon? 
Look at the picture on this page. What does the atmosphere around the table appear to be?  
Look at the picture. How does Justin look with his mama and sisters now? How does this differ from the beginning of the story? 
Quiz 2