A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt

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Eleven-year-old Margo Bandini has never been afraid of anything. Her life in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, with Mama and Papa and her little brother, Charlie, has always felt secure. But it's 1933, and the Great Depression is changing things for families all across America. One day the impossible happens: Papa cannot make the payments for their house, and the Sheriff Sale sign goes up on their door. They have two weeks to pay the bank, or leave their home forever. Now Margo is afraid--but she's also determined to find a way to help Papa save their home.
Curriculet Details
24 Questions
27 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 3rd grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining textual evidence, inference and summarization. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about literary devices and author's craft. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of characterization, point of view, and theme. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Margo is seeing the stars _____________. 
Charlie's stay in the hospital probably cost his parents a lot of money. Keep this in mind as you continue to read!  
How does Miss Penton seem to feel about Italian immigrants? What specific evidence in the text helps you make that inference? 
Make a prediction! What does this detail suggest about Margo's life? 

Chapter 2 - MAPLE AVENUE, 1933

1933 is right in the middle of the Great Depression. Have you learned about the Great Depression in school? Below is a video that will help you learn important background information about this time period so that you can better understand this story.  (This annotation contains a video)
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?  


Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of nuisance. Which of the following is a synonym (word with similar meaning) for "nuisance"? 
Imagery is the use of figurative language to create visual representations of actions, objects and ideas in our mind in such a way that they appeal to our physical senses. Which of your five senses does the author appeal to in the highlighted text? Learn more about imagery by watching the video below!  (This annotation contains a video)
What does this detail suggest about Mrs. DiLuso? 
Where do you suppose Charlie is? What do you think happened? 

Chapter 4 - CHARLIE

Why is Rosa upset? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 
Why does Margo wish she had listened to Mr. Frappa at the store earlier? 
Margo is about to share a memory about Charlie. Memories in literature are called flashbacks. Flashbacks are interruptions that writers use to insert past events in order to provide background or context to the current events of a narrative. By using flashbacks, writers allow their readers to gain insight into a character’s motivation and provide a background to a current conflict.  

Chapter 5 - THE SEARCH

Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of clenched. Complete this sentence with the correct meaning of "clenched" from the options below. Papa's hands were _______________ at his sides. 
Do you think Charlie will be found? Why or why not? 


A cliffhanger (or cliffhanger ending) is a plot device in which the main character is in a difficult dilemma. A cliffhanger is used to ensure the audience will return to see how the character resolves the problem. What are you left wondering about Charlie and Margo at the end of Chapter Six? 


Why was the man chasing Margo up the hill? 
A simile is a figure of speech that makes a direct comparison showing similarities between two different things. Unlike a metaphor, a simile draws resemblance with the help of the words “like” or “as." Why is the highlighted text an example of simile? Watch the video to learn more about similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Papa feel about finding Charlie asleep under Margo's bed? 
Quiz 1 

Chapter 8 - THE LADY

The Empire State Building is a 103-story skyscraper located in Manhattan, New York City. Take a quick tour through the Empire State Building.  (This annotation contains a video)
"Clickety-clack, clickety-clack" is an example of _______________. 

Chapter 9 - DOMINOES

How does the arguing at Rosa's house make Margo feel? What evidence from the text supports your answer? 
According to Margo's father, why is Mr. Meglio angry? 


What does Margo mean by "the whole day passed in slow motion"? 
Point of view is the mode of narration that an author uses to let the reader “hear” and “see” what takes place in a story. This story is told in first person point of view, from the point of view of Margo. Watch this video to learn more about the different types of point of view.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 11 - BAD NEWS

What do the details in the highlighted text reveal about Rosa's family? 
What difference does Margo notice between her mother and Rosa? 

Chapter 12 - VICTORY MEDAL

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. 
Who will Margo most likely write a letter to for her assignment? 

Chapter 13 - TUESDAY

Which word is a synonym (word with similar meaning) for assignment? 
President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats were some of the most important parts of his presidency. You can watch a video about them in the link below.  (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 14 - THE LETTER

A peddler is ______________________. 
Why are the men who were engineers, bankers and mechanics now selling apples? 
Quiz 2 

Chapter 15 - WEDNESDAY

Watch the video to learn about dynamic and static characters. Then, answer the question below. (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following characters are dynamic? 
What does it mean to be courageous?  
Make a prediction! What do you suppose Margo will do with her father's medal? 

Chapter 16 - THE DELIVERY

Why do you suppose Miss Dobson is concerned about Margo's family? 
What does this highlighted detail reveal about Margo? 


What do the details in the highlighted text reveal about Margo's mother? 
Margo is ________________ that Mrs. DiLuso does not visit them as often as she did before. 

Chapter 18 - A VISITOR

Where is Johnstown, Pennsylvania? (This annotation contains an image)
Why is the bulletin board the "main attraction" each day at school? 
What is Rosa's reaction to seeing the sheriff at Margo's house? 
What is the most likely reason that the sheriff is at Margo's house? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 

Chapter 19 - THE REPLY

How would Margo's family's home situation been different if she had not written the letter to Mrs. Roosevelt? 
How does Margo's family feel about the news from Mr. Lockhard? 

Chapter 20 - E. D. KIRBY

Do you remember the gray hat lady from earlier in the story? Is Miss Dobson the lady who rides the train? 
Miss Dobson is __________________. 

Chapter 21 - CELEBRATION

Theme is the main idea or the underlying meaning of a story. It may be stated directly or indirectly. Watch the video to learn more about theme. (This annotation contains a video)
After you finish Quiz Three, continue through the next several pages. The Author's Note at the end of the book tells the author's inspiration for this story. 
Quiz 3