Caleb's Story

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Anna has done something terrible. She has given me her journal to fill.

In Anna′s journal the words walk across the page like bird prints in the mud. But it is hard for me. It is hard for me to find things to write about.

"It′s your job now," Anna says as she hands Caleb her journals, asking him to continue writing the family story. But Sarah, Jacob, Anna, Caleb, and their new little sister, Cassie, have already formed a family, and Caleb fears there will be nothing left to write about. But that is before Cassie discovers a mysterious old man in the barn and everything changes. Everyone is excited about the arrival of a new family member except for Jacob, who holds a bitter grudge. Only the special love of Caleb, and the gift he offers, can help to mend the pain of the past.

Caleb′s Story continues the saga begun by the Newbery Medal-winning Sarah, Plain And Tall and its sequel, Skylark, spinning a tale of love, forgiveness, and the ties that bind a family together.

Ages 8-10

Curriculet Details
18 Questions
20 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring summarizing and theme, as well as annotations describing characters’ feelings and asking questions. Students will explore the themes of family and overcoming differences. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Homework #5

When you see the italics, or slanted writing, you will know that it is Caleb's journal entry. 


Based on what you have learned on the past few pages, how does Caleb know Sarah? 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 


Think about the chores being done by Cassie and Caleb. What is the setting of this story? 
Genre is the type of stories you read. Watch this video and determine the genre of this novel.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is the genre of this novel? 
While Caleb may think the man is mysterious, he does not think he is dangerous. Something about the man must make Caleb and Sarah comfortable. 


Why does Caleb want John to know he is writing about him? 
Caleb's journal entries let you know what he is thinking. He thinks John does not read the journal because he is afraid. What do you think? 
Which words from the chapter give you more information about the setting? 


Good readers ask themselves questions. In this part of the story, you might be asking yourself 'Why is John being secretive about his pills?' 
Quiz for Section 1 


Who is telling this story? Determining the answer to this question will let you know this novel's point of view. If you need help, this video will explain.  (This annotation contains a video)
From which point of view is this stoy told? 
Papa is trying to explain to Caleb why he feels anger towards his father. Caleb is a child, so he has not had to experience the hurt that Jacob has. Therefore, he is unable to relate to his father's feelings. 
Use the Define feature and read the definitions for sharp. You see that it is a multiple meaning word. Which definition below shows how sharp is used in the passage? 
Grandfather tells Cassie he does not like children. Are you as surprised as Cassie with this declaration? 


Explain Caleb and Sarah's relationship. Use details from the novel to support your answer. 
Grandfather seems indifferent to Caleb's journal writing, but he is giving Caleb many things to write about. 
Which word below is a synonym for meddle? 
Caleb is telling John about Sarah and Jacob's relationship. He wants his grandfather to know how helpful and kind Sarah is. 


Why is Anna curious? 
Anna sees her Papa's independence and stubbornness in her Grandfather. 
Why is Caleb saying 'What eyeglasses' in his head? 
It is difficult for Caleb to mention his Grandfather's inability to read, but he knows he has to. Now he can offer his help. Hopefully, Grandfather will accept it. 


What does Grandfather mean when he says "You always love what you know first..."? 
When reading literature, it is important to find the theme. This video explains theme.  (This annotation contains a video)
Quiz for Section 2 


Setting a broken bone is painful and should be done by a doctor. Getting a doctor is not an option for Jacob, though, because of the snowstorm. This picture shows what John and Sarah have to do to set Papa's leg.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which words below does Patricia MacLachan use to show that setting Papa's leg took a long time? 


Caleb has been working hard teaching his Grandfather to read. There are adults today who cannot read. This website gives you seven steps to teaching an adult to read.  (This annotation contains a link)
Think about how Caleb is teaching Grandfather to read and think about the seven steps to teaching reading from the website above. Which of the steps is Caleb using?  
Here is a recording of the folksong Grandfather sang.  (This annotation contains a video)
How does the song help you better understand Grandfather? 


Sometimes you are asked to write a summary of a chapter or novel. This video reviews summary writing.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Caleb compare his heart to the cold wind outside? 
Write a summary of Chapter 11. 


This statement is a great life lesson for the characters in this story and people in real life too. 
It is taking courage for Grandfather to admit that he could not read, but his son deserves to hear the truth. 
What is the most important event in the story? Why? 
Quiz for Section 3