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Teachers: Get the most from your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for Irene Hunt's award-winning novel about the Civil War, Across Five Aprils. In addition to providing rich historical and political background, this lesson plan will help you and your class explore Hunt's primary themes, including power, redemption, and forgiveness. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- Describe Ellen from Across Five Aprils. Ellen was a hard-working woman who did not miss or value her long-lost beauty. She had borne twelve children and had survived through thirty years of sickness and poverty.
- Identify Jethro. Jethro is Ellen's nine year-old son, the youngest of twelve children. Being the youngest, because he had survived through the illness which had claimed the lives of several of his siblings, and because he showed some special talents, he was indulged more than the other children were.
- What kinds of things were troubling the adult world on that April morning? The adults were troubled by chinch bugs, grasshoppers, drought, elections, slavery, secession, and talk of war.
- Identify Jenny from Across Five Aprils. Jenny is Ellen's fourteen-year-old daughter who helps with the cooking and other household work. She is in love with Shadrach Yale.
- Who is Shadrach Yale in Across Five Aprils? He is the school teacher. He is very close to the Creighton family, is in love with Jenny, and sees great promise in Jethro.
- How did Tom and Eb feel about the prospects of war in Across Five Aprils? They thought it was exciting; they were looking forward to getting the war underway and joining up in the military to fight for the South.
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