Storyteller

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While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee, from the American Revolution era. The lives of these two girls echo one another as each finds her own strength, in this beautifully crafted, affecting novel.
Curriculet Details
44 Questions
44 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in fourth 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 grammar. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of theme, characterization, and vocabulary. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

Story Introduction: This story is about two girls, Elizabeth and Zee. The girls’ lives intertwine as Elizabeth’s present-day story alternates with Zee’s, which takes place during the American Revolution. As you read the story, notice the similarities between Elizabeth and Zee. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why does Elizabeth not want her father to go to Australia? 
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? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Elizabeth hunches her shoulders against the cold, against Pop, as Libby opens the door.Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of hunches. Which definition fits the context of the sentence? 
Why is Elizabeth crying under the quilt? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
What similarity does Elizabeth notice between herself and Zee? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

Make Connections: Have you ever felt like Zee? How do you feel when you know you have disappointed someone? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why is Zee's father upset? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Elizabeth compare herself to an orphan? 
Why does Elizabeth want to know about Zee? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea, or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Read the highlighted sentence. How do you know that personification is used in this sentence? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
It had been drawn on a mushroom with a nail, and showed her irritable face. That cat was always angry.Which context clue helps the reader better understand the definition of irritable? 
What does Zee realize about the henhouse? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why is John going off to fight in the war? 
How does John feel about Isaac? What evidence from the text supports your answer? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.6
From which point of view is Elizabeth's story written? 
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. Watch the video to learn more about point of view. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Elizabeth want to "think of something else" after she sees Zee's picture? 
What artifact from the past could Elizabeth take to school? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Zee feel she must get soap from Mistress Patchin? 
How do you suppose Zee knows that Isaac Patchin likes her face? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
How does Zee know something is wrong when she enters the Patchins' house? 
A cliffhanger, or cliffhanger ending, is a plot device which features a character in a precarious or difficult dilemma. A cliffhanger is used to ensure that the reader will continue reading to see how the character resolves the dilemma.  

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

Why does Elizabeth think she is going to be sick? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Elizabeth see her Pop's face in her mind and feel a sudden panic? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Ammy warn Elizabeth to leave? 
Why is Zee and her family in danger? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

Why does Elizabeth think about the book her father read to her? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Based on the details in the highlighted text, what do you realize about Elizabeth? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Elizabeth have mixed feelings about leaving Libby? 
Onomatopoeia is the use of sound words in order to make the text more interesting. Can you identify the onomatopoeic words in these sentences? 
Quiz 1 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

Why does Zee get a fierce feeling when she thinks of all of their belongings? Is she afraid someone will take it away from them? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of sentinel. Which of the following words could replace sentinels without changing the meaning of the sentence? 
Dialogue is the conversation between two or more characters in a story. What do you learn from dialogue in a story? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Which of the following bothers Zee the most about what happened at their cabin? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why does Zee have strange dreams as she sleeps against the door of their cabin? 
Why does Zee decide to be different? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

What does Elizabeth realize about the Revolutionary War as she talks with Libby? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why was there no antibiotics or medical help to treat Zee's burns?  

Zee: Eighteenth Century

Historical fiction is a literary genre in which all or some of the plot and setting is located in the past. Watch the video to learn more about historical fiction.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5
Which element in this story makes it historical fiction? 
Can you recall which figure of speech gives a thing, an idea or an animal human attributes? Yes, it is personification! (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Leaves on a low bush quivered.Why is this sentence an example of personification? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of bodice. According to the definition, a bodice is ______________________. 
Why is Zee getting everything ready? What are her plans from here? 
What does Zee think it is alright to go into the cabin? What signs does she look for to determine if anyone lives there? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Based on the details in the text, what can you conclude about the cabin? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

Can you picture what Elizabeth sees? As you read, visualize the events in the story. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Where does Elizabeth know the triangles from? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

Zee remembers a time when she and Isaac are younger. Memories and dreams are examples of flashback. Watch the video to learn more about flashback. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why do you think Zee lies about her family being behind her? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

What does Zee mean by "the days ran into each other"? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
How does Zee keep up with the time of day as she heads north? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

Similes and metaphors compare two distinct objects. Similes make the comparison using "like" or "as." Metaphors make the comparison by saying an object is something else. Watch the video to learn more about simile and metaphor.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Which sentence from the highlighted text is an example of simile? 
Why do Libby and Harry look at Elizabeth? Why might they be interested in the map on the back of Zee's drawing? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of impenetrable. Which of the following is an antonym (word with opposite meaning) for impenetrable? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Elizabeth feel connected to the land Harry is showing her and Libby? 
Why will Elizabeth be gone? Where is she going? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Zee cry even though she is safer now than she has been in weeks? 
Who do you suppose is behind Zee? Could it be her father or her brother? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why is Elizabeth crying? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 
What do the details in the highlighted text reveal about how Libby feels about Elizabeth? 
Quiz 2 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

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. Watch the video to learn more about imagery.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Which word BEST describes Zee when she sees Miller? 
Watch the video to learn about character traits. Then, as you read, pay attention to the different traits each character possesses.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Zee's father is surprised that she was able to make the long, difficult trip by herself. What does this reveal about Zee's character? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
I hobbled along until two men leading the last cart heard me.Using context clues, which definition of hobbled makes the most sense in the sentence? 
How does thinking of Old Gerard help calm Zee's fears? 
Why does Zee not talk back to her father? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Which of the following is the BEST definition of headstrong? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Based on the details in the text, which word BEST describes the rain? 
Why does Elizabeth NOT want Harry to turn back and forget the trip?  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
How does Harry try to help Elizabeth see the war more positively? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 
What do you suppose the bundle of sticks in Zee's drawing represent? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why are the details in the highlighted text significant to the story? 
Why is the ravine not a good place for the men to be? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
Why does this "someone" want Zee to go back to Fort Dayton? 
Do you think Zee will stay with Miller or go back to Fort Dayton with the boy? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

Make Connections: Have you ever felt like you can not do anything good or right? Can you relate to how Elizabeth feels? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4
Use the DEFINE feature to read the definition of makeshift. Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for makeshift? 

Zee: Eighteenth Century

How does Miller plan to help in the war effort? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1
According to the details in the text, how will Miller draw Zee without her cap? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Zee feel a "burst of happiness" when someone recognizes that she likes to tell stories? 
How does this drawing of Zee indicate what happened in her life when she was older? 

Elizabeth: Twenty-First Century

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Why does Libby have tears in her eyes? 
Why is Elizabeth willing to come back and look for the caves with Harry even though they probably will not find anything? 
Quiz 3