Bayfield Middle School

Across Five Aprils



ACTIVITIES: Below is a list of activities to choose from. Each activity is assigned a certain point value. You need to choose and complete the activities that will give you a total possible score of 100 points. The points you receive out of 100 will be multiplied by two making the final project worth a total of 200 points. All projects will be briefly explained and presented to the class. All assignments requiring research must include a bibliography (noted below with a “B”) as well as in-text citations on all reports (noted below with an “I”). All work must be written in your own words. If you are quoting directly from the book, it must be in quotations and cited. If you are summing up information from any source, you must cite it. Plagiarism will not be tolerated in any way. The length of each written assignment must be long enough to cover the subject INDEPTH and reflect the point value assigned.
You may complete other activities if you would like to receive more than the 100 percent possible. However, you may enrich your score no more than 30 points.

____ Write a song that you think might appeal to soldiers camped at the battlefront. Your song should have at least five verses and one chorus that repeats two times. Your song also needs to contain facts from an actual battle. (10 points)

____ Jethro explains Copernicus’s revolutionary idea to his mother in such a way as to make it familiar and understandable to her (see pages 5–6). Imagine that you have been asked to explain a simple scientific concept to a group of first-graders. Choose a concept and write a brief story that presents this idea in the format of a children’s book. If you wish, you may personify the objects, animals, or forces of nature involved in what you are explaining—that is, you can give them human qualities. (50 points)

____ Chapter 9 ends with President Lincoln’s response to Jethro’s letter. Use this response, as well as other information in the chapter, to try to imagine what Jethro wrote in his letter. Then write your own version of Jethro’s letter to Abraham Lincoln. Before you begin, jot down the main points Jethro wanted to make. Include a description of Eb’s situation as well as a request for the president’s advice. Be sure to use the proper form for a business letter. The letter must be a minimum of 4 paragraphs. (30 points)

____ In your local library or on the internet, do some research to find letters, diary accounts, and photographs from the Civil War era. Try to find materials that help you better understand what the war experience was like for soldiers and for the loved ones they left behind. Then, use your materials to create an “up close and personal” view of the war—or if you wish, of a particular battle--by creating a collage with these materials. (10 points)

____ Imagine that you are Shadrach Yale. You are writing to Matt and Ellen to request permission to take Jethro back East with you and Jenny. Your plan is to help Jethro get a good education. List reasons that are likely to convince the Creightons to agree to your plan. Note how your plan is likely to benefit not only Jethro but other members of the Creighton family as well. Anticipate objections that the Creightons may raise and respond to each possible objection in your letter. The letter must be a minimum of 4 paragraphs. (30 points)

____ Research one of the Civil War battles in your library or on the internet. Then, write the script for an in-depth news report on this event. You may include accounts provided by eyewitnesses to these events, but these accounts must be historically accurate. Present your news report to the class, or videotape it and play the tape for your classmates. B (40 points)

____ Draw a character sketch of Jethro. Then, in some clear manner whether charting or describing, show how Jethro changes from the beginning of the novel to its end, emphasizing the episodes that contribute most to Jethro’s growth. (20 points)

____ Several people in Across Five Aprils make decisions that violate the law. Matt Creighton, Bill Creighton, and Jethro are a few examples. Imagine you are one of these characters’ defending attorney and write your closing argument for the jury. Be sure to include the charge or charges, facts about the case, and why the character is innocent. B (40 points)

____ In chapter one, Ellen states, “He’s like a man standin’ where two roads meet, Jethro. . .and one road is as dark and fearsome as the other; there ain’t a choice between the two, and yet a choice has to be made.” Write a research paper using facts from books or the internet detailing the many difficult choices President Lincoln had to make during the Civil War. Include answers to why his choices were so difficult and what might have happened had President Lincoln made different choices. The paper must be a minimum of 5 paragraphs. B & I (100 points)

____ Examine how the conceptions of growing up differ from culture to culture and from one generation to another. Some cultures require a rights of passage while others believe it happens at a certain age or accomplishment. Describe and discuss several of these concepts and the importance of having them in an essay. The essay must be a minimum of 5 paragraphs long. B & I (100 points)

____ Create a timeline of the Civil War. Briefly describe each event in your own words and include pictures. B (20 points)

____ Pretend that you are a soldier in the Civil War and create a journal from your personal point of view. Be sure to include facts and details from actual battles. The journal must be a minimum of 4 paragraphs. B (30 points)

____ Choose an important person from the Civil War (the president, a general, an abolitionist, etc.) and write an autobiography about that person. (Remember, autobiography means that the person writes the story about themselves, so you must pretend to be that person and write it from their point of view). Include actual events and facts. The “autobiography” must be a minimum of 6 paragraphs in length. B (100 points)

____ Reread the description of Shadrach’s room that had been added onto the school. Make a model of this room and use miniatures to decorate it correctly (10 points)

____ Make a word search using the names of generals and battle sites of the Civil War. (10 points)

____ Write an essay on the theme of Across Five Aprils using quotes to support your ideas. The essay must be a minimum of 5 paragraphs in length. I (100 points)

____ List and explain the usual daily tasks of each of the Crieghton family members. Compare and contrast these tasks to that of a modern day or your own personal family. (30 points)

____ Cooking meals for the family during the Civil war era was much more difficult than it is today. Most everything was made from scratch including the butter, bread, deserts, and so on. Research recipes and how food was cooked from this era then cook a typical familly meal and bring it in for the class to sample. Write a minimum of three paragraphs that discuss your findings and compare them to how we cook today. B & I (30 points)

____ Prices and wages have drastically changed over the centuries. Research then chart or graph the average prices of items needed to survive and wages from Jethro’s time as compared to today. B (30 points)

____ Write an alternate ending for the novel. The ending must be equivalent to a minimum of 4 paragraphs. (30 points)

____ List five conflicts from the book. Describe the conflicts, what created them, and what the effects were. Provide a solution for each problem. (40 points)

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