The Acorn People

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Even though he knows the camp is for disabled children, Ron Jones anticipates sunny days of hiking, swimming, and boating as a counselor at Camp Wiggin. But he arrives and realizes how severely disabled the children are, it seems too much to bear. Until he meets his campers-The Acorn People. A group of kids who teach him that, inside, they are are the same as any average kid, and with encouragement, determination, and friendship, nothing is impossible. "A fantastic and beautiful story."- Seattle Times "Uncomfortably moving, yet told in surprisingly unsentimental terms. . . . Succinct and tender, it will haunt the reader long after the brief passages have been read."- Houston Chronicle "It will give your innards a bear hug. . . . You will read this book with a lump in your throat."- Lincoln Journal (Nebraska)
Curriculet Details
19 Questions
20 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring simile and metaphor and theme, as well as annotations describing character development, text to self connections and point of view. Students will explore the themes of change and determination. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Day 1

The Acorn People is a true story about author Ron Jones' experience at Camp Wiggin where he was a summer camp counselor for a group of handicapped children. Have you ever attended a summer camp? As you read, think of the ways in which Camp Wiggin is similar to and different from a camp you have attended or seen.  
The children who have just arrived at Camp Wiggin are ___________.  
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
What is the meaning of the term, "unshielded anger"? 

Day 2

As you read, you will be asked to determine the meaning of words and phrases, including figurative language such as similes and metaphors. The following video will help you understand the concept of similes and metaphors.  (This annotation contains a video)
Select two of the campers in Ron's care and describe their character traits. Compare and contrast the two characters you selected. Include specific details from the text in your descriptions of the characters.  
The highlighted passage reveals Ron's regret over taking the job as camp counselor. Think of a time when you committed to something that you regretted. Did you quit or stick it out?  
How did Ron's group of kids come to be called "The Acorn People"? 
Pay attention to the figurative language in the author's description of the kids in the pool. Metaphors are when two things are compared to each other. Did you notice any metaphors in this passage?  
What causes Ron's change in attitude about being a counselor at Camp Wiggin?  

Day 3

Based on the recreation schedule at Camp Wiggin, is it a camp that you would enjoy attending? Which activities on the schedule do you enjoy?  
A simile is when two things are compared using the words "like" or "as."  Which of the following sentences is an example of a simile?  
Have you determined who the narrator of the story is? As you read, think about how the narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.  

Day 6

Why did Dominic and Ron exchange glances of doubt and surprise when Benny asked if the group can climb Lookout Mountain?  
The African Queen is a 1951 movie starring Humphrey Bogart. The movie is set in Africa during WW1, and tells the story of a riverboat owner/captain who is persuaded by a missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. Watch the following movie trailer and think about how the voyage in the movie is similar to the Acorn Society's hike.  (This annotation contains a video)
Analyze the illustration on this page. How does the illustration contribute to the meaning of the story?  
Which of the following best describes the Acorn Society's attitude toward the hike?  
Have you ever been on a long, challenging hike? What do you think the group can do to continue their hike now that the trail has stopped?  
As you read the highlighted passage, what feelings come to mind? How does Ron feel after completing the hike?  
Mr. Bradshaw can be described as _________.  
Senegambia, officially the Senegambia Confederation, was a loose confederation in the late 20th century between the West African countries of Senegal and its neighbour the Gambia, which is almost completely surrounded by Senegal. The image below shows a map of the two countries.  (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how the four activities that Mr. Bradshaw deemed as"unruly" have helped the children learn, grow and be happy. Refer to details and examples in the text.  
Quiz 1 

Day 7

Are you familiar with the sport of water ballet, also known as synchronized swimming? Have you seen it during the Olympics? Is it a sport that you would find interesting to watch in a film?  
Why are Ron and Mrs. Nelson so happy to remove all of the labels?  

Day 8

Pay attention to the highlighted passage because it reveals Ron's point of view on what constitutes a hero and a revolution. Do you agree with his viewpoint?  

Day 10

The mood of the camp dance can be described as ________.  
A Virginia Reel is a country folk or barn dance that began in Scotland. It's a weaving type dance with the reel being the second of the three parts of the Virginia Reel. The step used in the Virginia Reel is an easy, swinging trot, and exact time should be kept with the music. The video below shows a group of dancers performing the Virginia Reel.  (This annotation contains a video)
Explain how the children's experiences at Camp Wiggin have increased their self confidence. Cite examples from the text to support your answer.  
As you read the highlighted passage, think of the ways in which Ron has changed and grown since his first day as a counselor at Camp Wiggin.  
Why are the students and staff of Camp Wiggin feeling depressed and anxious?  

3 Days to go

Have you noticed any themes developing in the story? Think about the highlighted phrase. What theme do those words reveal? The following video will explain the concept of a theme or central idea.  (This annotation contains a video)

2 Days to go

Why is the Water Extravaganza such a special and important event for the children in the Acorn Society?  

1 Day left

Quiz 2 
T'ai-Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art form that was developed to enhance both physical and emotional well-being, similar to yoga.  

0 Days left

Based on the highlighted sentence, what can you infer about the families of severely handicapped children?  
Now that you are approaching the end of the story, watch the following video trailer of The Acorn People. Think about how the visual presentation of the story contributes to the meaning, themes and beauty of the story.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following is not a theme in the story?  
What do you think of the Acorn People's Water Extravaganza show? Is it a show you would like to watch? How has the performance contributed to the children's self esteem and personal growth?  
What do you think was the greatest accomplishment of the children in the Acorn Society during their time at Camp Wiggin? Explain your reasoning.  


Quiz 3 
How does the epilogue contribute to the meaning and beauty of the story? Who was your favorite character in the story?