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Estimated Time Needed

5 days, 45 minutes per day

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Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World
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  • Culminating Assignment
    • Justin’s inability to complete household chores leads him to feel bad about himself and deem that kind of work to be “women’s work.” With his grandpa’s help, Justin learns that chores become easier the more you practice doing them and that boys and girls, grown-ups and children all experience many of the same emotions. Using specific examples from the story, write one well-developed paragraph that explains how Justin’s grandpa helps him come to these realizations.


      Possible answers:

      After hearing complaints from his sisters and mother about the way he does his chores, Justin feels as though he can’t do anything right. His friend Anthony refers to these chores as “women’s work,” and after hearing the things his family says, he begins to think that this characterization is true. This all changes after Justin visits his grandfather’s ranch. Justin watches his grandpa cook breakfast, wash dishes, and sweep the floor — all things he previously thought to be women’s work. His grandpa even helps him make his bed and fold his clothes. According to Grandpa, “Everything’s easy when you know how.” This statement helps to show Justin that maybe he couldn’t complete his chores to the best of his ability because he didn’t really know how to do them in the first place. Another example of Justin not really knowing or understanding something is when he brings up the idea that his grandpa probably thinks he is a baby because he saw him crying. Grandpa responds by saying, “We all cry sometime.” Then, he goes on to tell Justin the story about how he cried the day Justin was born because he was so happy. After this, Justin looks at his grandpa and a “warmth spread over” him. This warmth is a signal that Grandpa’s words have had an effect on Justin. He is starting to understand that it’s okay to cry. Justin would not have learned these things about cooking and cleaning or even his emotions if it were not for Grandpa and his guidance.

  • Additional Tasks
    • •    Replace suggested writing prompts on T96 and T97 with the following from T143:

      Compare an animal that lurks with an animal that runs. What noises resounded across the prairie as Justin and Grandpa rode through the tall grass.
      Describe how Grandpa prepared to cook lunch.
      Why doesn’t Justin think Grandpa is a real cowboy?
      By the end of the story, what important lessons did Justin learn from Grandpa?
      •    Make a word web of words in the story that relate to ranch life or being a cowboy.
      •    Draw pictures or explain the meaning of phrases from the story, such as “snug a bug,” “rein the horse,” “riding fence,” “razor sharp,” “a well made bed can be a warm welcome,” “break horses,” and “tighten the cinches.”

  • Notes to the Teacher
    • Oral reading — the Lexile is 620 (2nd-3rd grade). Students can read the story aloud with a focus on fluency, beginning with the top of column one through the bottom of column two. Use activities to increase the complexity of the task.

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