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Discover the astonishing true stories—that will make readers laugh, cry, and gasp—behind the headlines: Salem Witches, Saving Grand Central, Yellowstone Wolf Gunned Down, Redwood to Get Ax, Snaggletooth Killer, DogTown, and more.
Curriculet Details
20 Questions
19 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 5th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining textual evidence, summarization and author's purpose. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about media connections and print analysis. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of recalling facts, cause/effect, and vocabulary. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1: Accused of Witchcraft

The city of Salem is found in the state of Massachusetts as seen below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Giles Corey placed under heavy stones and crushed to death? 
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 the word confess. Which definition below uses the word confess the same way that it's used in the sentence? 
What do you think? Was Giles Corey wrongfully accused?  

Chapter 2: Saving Grand Central

What do these two events have in common? 
Watch the video to see the inside of Grand Central and learn a few of its secrets.  (This annotation contains a video)
List three interesting facts about Grand Central Terminal. Use complete sentences to cite details from the text and video.  
The highlighted text is an example of a subheading. Subheadings provide organization to informational text and also provide the main idea of the upcoming section of text. Look for more subheadings as you read. 
Why do the owners think building a bigger building is the best plan? 
'Team' is a collective noun. Collective nouns name a group of people, animals, or things. Look at the poster for more examples of collective nouns.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 1 
What text feature is highlighted beneath the map of New York City? 

Chapter 3: Yellowstone Wolf Gunned Down

Yellowstone National Park is a national park located primarily in the state of Wyoming; however, the park also extends into Montana and Idaho. The image below shows a waterfall located in Yellowstone National Park.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why are wolves needed in Yellowstone National Park? 
Why did people kill wolves? What evidence from the text supports your answer? 
Why are wolves important to the cycle of life? 
Which type of text feature is used in the highlighted text? 
Why do the scientists help Number Nine raise her pups? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 
How do scientists feel about the wolves living in Yellowstone National Park? Are they hopeful that the wolves will be alright? 

Chapter 4: Redwood Slated to Get the Ax

What is the main reason Pacific Lumber Company wants to cut down the redwood trees? 
Below is an image of a redwood tree. Could you imagine standing next to one of these giant trees?  (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the short video of a man visiting Julia in her treehouse? Would you like to have a treehouse like Julia's?  (This annotation contains a video)
What quality must a person have in order to sit in a tree for more than two years? 

Chapter 5: DNA Frees Snaggletooth Murderer

How many years pass between the time Krone is jailed for murder and when he is freed? 
This detail reveals that _____________. 
What is the purpose of the highlighted subheading? 
Why do the police think that Krone murdered Kim Ancona? 
Do you think the video provides enough evidence to convict Krone and sentence him to death? Why or why not? 
Why is DNA testing important for solving crimes? 
Quiz 2 

Chapter 6: The Innocence Project

How does being African-American, Latino, or poor affect a person's chances for true justice? 
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of overzealous. Type a synonym (word with similar meaning) for overzealous. 

Chapter 7: Endangered Species of the Gulf

What do these events have in common? What evidence from the text supports your answer? 
Name two facts about the piping plover. 
What role do environmental workers play in the aftermath of an oil spill? 
How are bottlenose dolphins affected by an oil spill? 

Chapter 8: DogTown

Michael Vick is an NFL quarterback for the New York Jets.  (This annotation contains an image)
Write a sentence using the word aggressive correctly in context. 
What effect does a guilty plea have on Michael Vick? 
Watch the DogTown video which features the Best Friends Animal Society facility. (This annotation contains a video)
Quiz 3