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Best Friends Forever

There are lots of children on Hill Street, but no little girls Betsy's age. So when a new family moves into the house across the street, Betsy hopes they will have a little girl she can play with. Sure enough, they do—a little girl named Tacy. And from the moment they meet at Betsy's fifth birthday party, Betsy and Tacy becoms such good friends that everyone starts to think of them as one person—Betsy-Tacy.

Betsy and Tacy have lots of fun together. They make a playhouse from a piano box, have a sand store, and dress up and go calling. And one day, they come home to a wonderful surprise—a new friend named Tib.

Ever since their first publication in the 1940's, the Betsy-Tacy stories have been loved by each generation of young readers.

Curriculet Details
23 Questions
26 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in the 3rd grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining unfamiliar terms and necessary background knowledge. It also contains videos that support comprehension such as videos about text based evidence and genre. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to character, point of view, and vocabulary. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension

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There is a series of Betsy-Tacy books. They were written by Maud Hart Lovelace. The stories are fiction, but they are based on the author's memory of her childhood. The stories take place long ago, before the automobile, television, and other electronics existed. This is a photo of the author.  (This annotation contains an image)
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. Is there a word on this page you need to look up?  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Mrs. Ray allow Betsy to go outside? 


The Betsy-Tacy stories take place in Deep Valley, Minnesota. Winters in Minnesota are especially harsh. Deep Valley is a fictional town that is based on Mankato, Minnesota. Mankato is where the author grew up. The photo is of the author's childhood home that is used as the model for Betsy's home in the book. The home is now a museum.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does it mean that Betsy "felt herself growing warm"? 
It used to be considered entertaining to "speak pieces" or recite from memory poems or parts of stories.  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Betsy choosing Tacy for her partner during the birthday march change the story? 


What is true of Betsy and Tacy? 
Have you ever kept a fun secret with a close friend? It can make a friendship even more special!  (This annotation contains an image)


How does the illustration on the top of the page contribute to the story? 
Here is a video of a phoebe like the one that Betsy and Tacy hear on the hill. Can you hear it saying, "Phoebe"?  (This annotation contains a video)
How do Betsy and Tacy accomplish their goals? 
What is Julia's and Kate's point of view regarding Betsy's and Tacy's hill climbing? 


Long ago, it was common for children to walk to school. Their parents would not have taken them to school, even on the first day! Older brothers and sisters were expected to look after their younger siblings.  (This annotation contains an image)
The term "Baby Room" is no longer used, but it was similar to kindergarten.  (This annotation contains an image)
Based on what you have read in the text, why does Tacy not like sitting near Miss Dalton? 
Are you surprised to read that boys and girls used to have their own playgrounds? During recess, boys only played with other boys and the girls with the girls! Here is a photo of a girls' playground that was taken about the same time of the Betsy and Tacy story.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 1 


At the time of Betsy and Tacy, people had their milk delivered by a milkman. He would leave milk in glass bottles and pick up the empty bottles from his previous delivery.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do Betsy and Tacy like the idea of the milkman having a stove inside in his wagon?  
Have you ever had a warm, homemade doughnut? There is nothing quite like it!  (This annotation contains an image)


As you read earlier, Betsy-Tacy is historical fiction. Now, watch this video on historical fiction. After you watch the video, pay attention to all of the clues in this chapter that let you know you are reading historical fiction.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why do Betsy and Tacy make the five-year-olds the "most important" members of the family? 
The Vanderbilts and the Astors were very wealthy families that lived during the time of the Betsy-Tacy stories. The photo shows the Biltmore mansion that was built by one of the Vanderbilts.  (This annotation contains an image)
Look carefully at the illustration as you will be asked to answer a question based on it.  (This annotation contains an image)
What can you tell from the illustration? 


It is a sad fact that before modern medication and advanced health care, it was not unusual for children to die from ordinary childhood illnesses. Fortunately, this rarely happens anymore.  (This annotation contains an image)
Read this from the text."...and she stole down the stairs without waking her father and mother..."Which of the following statements uses stole as the same way that it is used in the text? 
Most people have different ideas about heaven. However, one idea that most people share is that whatever it is, heaven is the most wonderful place of all.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is the most likely reason that Betsy is so determined to reach the nest? 


Watch this video on text based evidence. Later in this chapter, you will be asked to type an answer using evidence in the text.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why do Betsy and Tacy use the cracked cups without handles? 
Why are Betsy and Tacy not upset when Katie and Julia stop helping with the sand bottles? Make sure that you use evidence found in the text when you answer the question.  
At the time of the Betsy-Tacy story, five cents would have been a generous amount of money for the bottles of sand! The photo shows what a nickel looked like in 1900.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does George suggest that the girls eat up on the hill? 


Long ago, "calling on" someone meant that you were going for a visit. For most of our history, sitting and making conversation was considered an art! This has been done away with by modern technology and busy lives.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following statements best describes Mrs. Benson? 
It was very common for people to call on one another at the time this story takes place. Now, times are different, and you should never "call on" someone you do not know or without an adult's permission.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 2 


A buggy shed was much like a garage. It is where the buggy was kept when not in use. Some older homes still have the buggy shed in their yards. This photo shows an old buggy shed that has been changed into a garage.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is something that Betsy and Tacy have in common? 
Before the automobile, it was very difficult to travel long distances. Therefore, most people never left their hometowns. This is why the girls picture Milwaukee in such a colorful way.  (This annotation contains an image)


Why is Betsy having a difficult time knowing what to say? 
Do you have a close friend that helps you when you are feeling down? Maybe, you are even that friend for someone!  (This annotation contains an image)
What can you tell from the statement that Betsy and Tacy "skipped down to the house"? 


Have you noticed the illustrations in Betsy-Tacy? These were done by Lois Lenski. She attended the Westminster School of Art in London, England. Lenski would later write her own children's books, including the award- winning "Strawberry Girl."  (This annotation contains an image)
When Betsy and Tacy climb the hill, what does it reveal about their characters? 
Long ago, it was customary for men and women to have "calling cards" to leave with the host when they went to visit. The photo shows an old calling card.  (This annotation contains an image)


Why does Betsy want to see the white lace dress? 
Large older homes used to have front stairs for the family and guests to use and back stairs for the servants and hired hands to use. In this photo, you can see the back staircase that would have been used by the maid.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is the most likely reason that Tib has not noticed the colored glass and tower? 
Quiz 3