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Across Five Aprils Discussion Guide

by Irene Hunt
Across Five Aprils

Jethro Creighton is nine years old in April 1861, when the Civil War begins. His southern Illinois farming family is torn apart when his brothers, cousin, and a close family friend leave to fight in the war. Jethro is forced to grow up quickly and tracks the progress of the war through letters and newspapers. Finally, four years later, the war is over and all are relieved. But then President Lincoln is assassinated. Suddenly, the future becomes frightening and uncertain once again.

Enrichment Activities
Books by Irene Hunt



Enrichment Activities

  • Compare and Contrast
    Use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast Jethro's life before and after his relatives leave to fight in the Civil War.

  • Comprehension Checks
    Check your students' comprehension of Across Five Aprils with Test A, Test B, and Test C. Use the Answer Keys for correcting.

  • Culminating Projects
    Have students choose from a selection of six motivating and thought-provoking projects. Project types include report writing, creating a timeline, and model building. Use the Across Five Aprils Project Ideas sheet.

  • Emancipation Proclamation
    On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves. Read and analyze the entire speech with your students, as a whole class or small group activity.

  • The Gettysburg Address
    Read this famous speech with your students. Then, on the blackboard, create a list of instances in Across Five Aprils that relate directly to the words of President Lincoln.

  • Integrate Art
    Contact your school's art teacher and brainstorm ideas that would integrate art and the book Across Five Aprils. Some suggested materials include clay, pastels, or paper collage.

  • The Underground Railroad
    Students take a cyber-journey on the Underground Railroad – the path to freedom for slaves in the 1850s.

Books by Irene Hunt

Across Five Aprils
Claws of a Century
Everlasting Hills
The Lottery Rose
No Promises in the Wind
Trail of Apple Blossoms
Up a Road Slowly
William

Highlights

Teaching Racism & Discrimination in America
The issues of racism, prejudice, and discrimination have plagued the United States since it was founded, and racially motivated killings still occur with frequency today. Help your students understand the historical contexts of racism—with references on slavery, immigration, and the civil rights movement—to frame your conversation on modern instances of prejudice.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

July Calendar of Events
July is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Canada Day (7/1), Independence Day (7/4/1776), World Population Day (7/11), Bastille Day in France (7/14), National Ice Cream Day (7/19), First Moon Landing (7/20/1969), World War I Began (7/28/1914), Author J.K. Rowling's Birthday (7/31/1965). Plus, celebrate Read an Almanac Month and Recreation and Parks Month all July long!

Videos
Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, and the environment. Enjoy!


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