reluctant (adj.)
when a person doesn't want to do something
surge (n.)
a particular feeling, felt suddenly and strongly
inspecting (v.)
looking at something very carefully
taut (adj.)
something that is pulled or stretched tightly
untangled (adj. or v.)
untied knots or something that has been straightened
resounded (v.)
became filled with sound
lurked (v.)
waited quietly or hidden, usually before doing something bad
rumpled (adj.)
wrinkled or messy
He thinks that he can't do anything right.
What is Justin's main conflict with himself?
He was tired of the complaints he was getting on his chores at home
Why do you think Justin is eager to spend some time on Grandpa's ranch?
He does it neatly and carefully
How does Grandpa make chores look easy?
His un-made bed and his pj's on the ground
What bothers Justin when he goes into his bedroom?
He finally understands how to do it.
What important idea does Justin understand after Grandpa shows him how to fold his shirts?
He only packed flour, raisins, and chunk of smoked pork.
Why do you think Justin is surprised at what Grandpa packs for their lunch?
He said those make the best fuel.
Why do Grandpa and Justin make a fire from twigs and cowchips rather than wood?
He puts raisins into a pot with water, puts flour in a separate pan, and puts the chunks of smoked pork in a skillet
What does Grandpa do with the 3 ingredients he brought from home?
To tell us about a boy and his Grandpa
Why do you think the author wrote this story?
Justin meant a cowboy who rides bulls.
Why doesn't Justin think Grandpa is a real cowboy?
He feels bad.
How does Justin feel when Grandpa says that they should get back to their men's work?
If you try, you will know how to do it. Chores become easier the more you practice and that both boys and girls, grown-ups and children experience many of the same emotions.
By the end of the story, what important lessons does Justin learn from Grandpa?
People can do any job if they put their mind to it.
Which sentence below is a good theme for the story?
He feels as though everyone complains about the way he does things; he can't do anything right - at least not the things his friend Anthony calls "women's work."
At the beginning of the story, while Grandpa is visiting, Justin gets so upset he begins to cry. What caused Justin to have this reaction?
Justin had been reluctant to do his chores because he couldn't do them well. Grandpa showed him how to wash and dry dishes, make his bed, and fold his clothes. Grandpa was patient with him and encouraged him to do a good job.
On pages 190-191 Justin moved from being reluctant to saying, "...That was easy, Grandpa." and Grandpa responded, "Everything's easy when you know how." What led to Justin feeling a "surge" or a sudden strong burst "of love for his grandpa"?
To reveal means to show something that you haven't shown others before, and doubts are feelings you have when you're not sure about something. The author was showing us that Justin wasn't totally convinced that men can be good cooks (he remembered the egg on the floor and his rice burning). He still has doubts about whether or not Grandpa is right.
On page 198, the author writes, "The look he [Justin] gave Grandpa revealed his doubts."? Based on clues in the text, what do the words "reveal" and "doubt" mean? What does this sentence tell us about Justin and how he felt about what Grandpa was telling him? (p. 198)
Grandpa and Justin are both African American, and Grandpa was sharing stories about other prominent African Americans in which Justin might be interested. For instance, he asked Grandpa, "Were there lots of Black Cowboys?"
What do the facts about black cowboys have to do with the characters in this story? How do the illustrations help us to understand why Grandpa might have told Justin about these people? (pages 199-201)
Grandpa said we all cry sometimes. He told Justin that he had cried when Justin was born. He was "flooded with joy" at the sight of the baby. Grandma had just died and he knew she would never be able to see the beautiful boy.
On page 202 Justin said, "I bet you don't like boys that cry like babies." What was Grandpa's response, and why did he tell Justin about the time he cried?
This circles back to the doubt that Justin was still harboring over men being cooks and reinforces the questions about crying. Justin is still unsure about what is and is not "okay" for him to feel or do. He didn't think men cook and he didn't think men should cry. He thought crying made him look like a baby. Therefore, we can infer that Justin either thinks he shouldn't talk about his love because he is a boy or because it would make him look like a baby. He still has a lot to learn from his grandpa.
In the final lines of the story, the author writes, "A warmth spread over Justin and he lowered his eyes. He wished he could tell his grandpa all he felt, how much he loved him." Based on what we know about Justin, what inferences can we make about why he didn't tell his grandpa how much he loved him