Summer of the Monkeys

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Monkeys Out In The Middle Of Nowhere Staring At Him! A tree full of monkeys the last thing fourteen-year-old Jay Berry Lee thought he'd find on one of his treks through Oklahoma's Cherokee Ozarks. Jay learns from his grandfather that the monkeys have escaped from a circus and there is a big reward for anyone who finds them. He knows how much his family needs the money. Jay is determined to catch the monkeys. It's a summer of thrills and dangers no one will ever forget.
Curriculet Details
77 Questions
81 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 6th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining personification, imagery and historical references. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about simile and metaphor and dynamic characters. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of word choice, theme, and point of view. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter One

Using the Define feature, look up the meaning of sharecropper. Based on the definition why do you think being a sharecropper is viewed negatively? 
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.  
Does the moon actually smile and talk? This is a great example of personification. Watch the clip to learn more.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Papa so upset that Sally Gooden is missing? 
Notice how Jay Berry adds side comments like this statement to help the reader better understand his story. By adding these side comments the reader is more aware of what is happening with the addition to Jay Berry's reflections. 
Explain why Jay Berry values Old Rowdy's companionship so much. How does this compare to how he regards his family? 
Notice how vivid this description is. Jay compares his fear to a "thousand-legged centipede" to convey the intensity of his feelings. A comparison that uses like or as is called a simile. Can you find another simile on this page? 
Compare Mama's comment to her original view of the land when they first arrived. How has her view changed? 

Chapter Two

Notice this statement and the idea being presented. Jay Berry is highlighting that his grandpa's personality and state of mind are more valuable than his physical appearance. Keep track of this idea and see if it builds into a larger theme.  
Explain how Grandpa's excitement about the monkeys influences Jay Berry's confidence and strengthens their relationship. Use text evidence to support your response.  
Chimpanzees are very smart and social creatures. Compared to other ape species, the chimpanzee is often trained by humans for entertainment purposes. The chimpanzee Jay is looking for is probably the star of the circus show.  (This annotation contains an image)
Jay Berry is very observant and adapts to each person based on their needs. In this statement, he is waiting for his grandpa patiently and quietly. What is another instance when this has occurred? 
Jay Berry is referring to John D. Rockefeller, who is one of the most successful businessmen in American history.  (This annotation contains an image)
Compare how Old Rowdy's reaction to the trap is similar to how Jay Berry reacts. 
The volume of Rowdy's bark is described using personification. Rewrite the sentence using simile to illustrate how loud Rowdy is.  

Chapter Three

Daisy is also very good with animals. How might she help Jay Berry with the monkeys? 
What does this statement reveal about Jay Berry's motivation? 
Mama is right; sycamore trees grow to be over 130 feet tall and would prove to be a dangerous obstacle for Jay Berry. Do you think Jay Berry would climb the trees in search of the monkeys or is Mama being overprotective? (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how Daisy's ability to connect with the animals and create a peaceful environment affects Jay Berry's sense of self.  
Keep track of the role the Old Man of the Mountain plays in Jay Berry's mission to trap the monkeys. Daisy's warning will follow Jay and influence his actions. 
What does this detail reveal about Jay Berry? 
Notice how influential Daisy is and the effect she has on Jay Berry. What does this reveal about how Jay Berry views his sister's stories? 

Chapter Four

What does Papa mean by this statement? How does this idea relate to Jay Berry's motivation to catch the monkeys? Use textual evidence to support your response.  
Notice the use of "lit" in this statement. Use the define feature to find out the meaning of this usage. Pay attention to word choice and the different ways a word can be used and translated. 
Which of the following does not contain a simile? 
Daniel Boone is a famous American pioneer. Jay Berry relates to Daniel Boone's success in exploring new land and being an outdoorsman.  (This annotation contains an image)
How is the big monkey going to affect Jay Berry's plan to trap the monkeys? 
Notice Jay Berry's reaction to the big monkey. We know that the monkey is a trained circus performer, but Jay Berry is still mesmerized by the monkey's tricks and intelligence.  
Use the Define feature and look up the meaning on capers. Based on the definition, which of the following is an antonym (meaning opposite) of capers? 
Note how Jay Berry compares the monkey to a small boy. Not only does the monkey look like a child but he is also displaying similar behaviors. How does this comparison help illustrate the monkey's intelligence? 
The big monkey is becoming an antagonistic force as he continues to purposefully challenge Jay Berry. How do you think their interactions will progress or even change? Can you predict how the two will resolve their conflict? 
Describe how Jay Berry's thinking and actions have been influenced by his interaction with the big monkey. 
William Tell was a skilled marksman. Jay Berry compliments his own aim by comparing himself to the legendary skill of William Tell.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter Five

How has Jay Berry's plan to catch the monkeys changed since the beginning of the novel?  
How might this story be different if Jay Berry lived in modern times? Notice how Papa reacts to Jay Berry's story of the big monkey. How might this reaction be different if Papa knew more about monkeys? 
Explain how Jay Berry is influenced and reassured by his father's advice and attention. How does this relate to Jay Berry's confidence in catching the monkeys? 
How might the story be different if Daisy helped Jay Berry trap the monkeys? 
How would you explain Grandpa's reaction to Jay Berry's run in with the monkeys to Papa's reaction? 
What theme is emerging from Jay Berry's attempts to capture the monkeys? 
A person who studies butterflies is called a lepidopterist.  
The use of imagery to describe something creates a vivid picture for the reader. Not only is Grandpa describing the scientist but he is creating an image through each detail. (This annotation contains a video)
Compare Grandpa's attitude towards the professor to how Grandma interacted with him. What does this reveal about Grandma? 

Chapter Six

Huckleberries are similar to blueberries and have a sweet/tart flavor.  (This annotation contains an image)
How does the idea of Daisy covering up that she is in pain relate to Jay Berry's statement that her crippled leg made him uncomfortable? Use text evidence to support your response. 
What does this statement reveal about Jay Berry's view of his involvement in Daisy's treatment? Use text evidence to support your response and Jay Berry's view.  
Notice how Jay Berry does not concern himself with helping pay for Daisy's leg treatment. Keep track of how he approaches the idea and if his thinking ever changes.  
Which of the following statement contains an example of personification? 
What an image! Notice how you anticipated Mama to be mad at Jay Berry and how her anger is enhanced through this description.  
Notice how Jay Berry is defended by Papa and how Mama aligns herself with Daisy. How might Jay Berry benefit from this? 
Mama is concerned with what the neighbors will think if they see Papa and Jay Berry out at night. Can you think of another instance of this concern? 
Explain how Jay Berry's feelings in this statement relate to having his papa help dig the hole. Use text evidence to support your response. 
Note how Papa's view has changed and he finally thinks Jay Berry will be able to catch the monkeys. Do you think he will be successful? 
Chapters 1-6 Quiz 

Chapter Seven

Mama is coming around to the idea of Jay Berry spending all of his time hunting for monkeys. How do you think her support will help Jay Berry? 
Explain why Jay Berry reacts this way and the choice he must make in facing the snake. 
Jay Berry and the big monkey are similar in how the both hesitate and doubt their surroundings. 
What is surprising about Jay Berry's idea to pet the monkeys? 
Do you think trapping the monkeys is a good or bad thing? Use text evidence to support your response.  
Why do you think Jay Berry is so mad? Is he embarrassed the monkeys are outsmarting him? What would cause this reaction? 
Jay Berry doesn't realize that the big monkey is celebrating his victory and displaying behaviors that show dominance and strength.  
How is Jay Berry's reluctance to go home related to the reactions he anticipates from his family? 

Chapter Eight

Daisy is referring to rabies.  
Explain the influence Daisy has on Jay Berry and how his reactions motivate her behavior. Use text evidence to support your response. 
What does this statement reveal about how Daisy views her brother? 
This is the outfit Daisy may have tried to imitate.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Jay Berry is uncomfortable with Daisy nursing him? Keep track of how he reacts to his treatment.  
What does Grandpa mean by "Always keep more than one iron in the fire?" 
How is Grandpa's openness to the idea of Jimbo being tame relate to how Jay Berry views the monkey? 
Notice how quickly Jay Berry changes his mind and decides to trust Grandpa's new plan. Jay Berry thinks very highly of his grandpa and this is evident through his actions.  
Describe how Jay Berry has not shown that he is the boss of Jimbo. How might their interactions change if this happens? Use text evidence to support your response.  

Chapter Nine

A trot is in-between a run and walking. Jay Berry is showing how eager he wants to get home by describing his pace as a trot.  
Moonshiners made their own whiskey illegally, which is why Jay Berry avoids those areas.  
Elaborate on the reason Jimbo negatively reacted to Jay Berry's refusal of the sour mash.  
A cocklebur is a spiny plant. Based on the picture, can you imagine how Jay Berry is feeling? (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following statements does not contain a simile? 
Keep in mind that Daisy has no idea what has happened to Jay Berry. Her first thought is that he was attacked by the monkeys.  
What conclusions can you draw from Mama's dismissal of Jay Berry's excuse? 
Explain what motivates Mama's perspective of Jay Berry hunting the monkeys. Why is her opinion so different from Papa's? 

Chapter Ten

Notice how Jay Berry's behavior and decision making are being influenced by the monkeys. Keep track of how this plays out for Jay Berry. 
Daisy wants Jay Berry to drink the castor oil to help him get rid of the contents of his stomach. Castor oil works like a laxative. Poor Jay Berry! 
How has Daisy benefited from Jay Berry's adventure trying to trap the monkeys? 
Notice how Jay Berry reacts to Daisy's lecture. Explain how Daisy uses her knowledge of nursing to manipulate Jay Berry into thinking or acting a certain way. Use text evidence to support your response.  
Daisy wants to give Jay Berry castor oil to help him get the alcohol out of his system quickly. Castor oil is going to help with Jay Berry's digestion. (This annotation contains an image)
Jay Berry demonstrates how happy he is to be out of the house by stopping and noticing the beauty of his surroundings. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the Define feature and look up the meaning of buckboard. Based on the definition, what is Grandpa going to pick Jay Berry up in? 

Chapter Eleven

Explain how the family dynamic has changed since Jay Berry began searching for the monkeys. How are Mama and Daisy showing their support for Jay Berry? 
Notice how long it will take Jay Berry and Grandpa to travel twelve miles. How would their journey be different if they had a car to drive? 
This is the painting Grandpa is referring to. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on Jay Berry's reaction to Grandpa's idea, how is the situation different from the painting Grandpa mentioned? Use text evidence to support your response.  
Compare Jay Berry's observations of the town to the area he was raised in. What major differences does Jay Berry notice? 
Did you know that there are special terms for a collection of animals? A covey describes a grouping of quails. A kindle is a group of kittens and a murder describes a group of crows. Check out the link below for more!  (This annotation contains a link)
"My eyes got as big as goose eggs," is a great simile that describes Jay Berry's reaction to the food. Create your own simile that captures the same sense of excitement.  
Remember that Grandpa has never been to a library before. What mistake is he making? 
You may not be able to visualize all the images described in a text. When this happens it is always helpful to use other resources to help clarify what is being described. Jay Berry associates the delicate nature of the librarian to the chickens in his yard. Below is a clip of white leghorn hens to help you visualize Jay Berry's experience.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is surprising about the librarian's reaction to Rowdy compared to her first interaction with Grandpa? 

Chapter Twelve

Based on Jay Berry's observations and Grandpa's interaction with the storekeeper what can you conclude about why Grandpa might not like Old Man Wiley? 
Notice the quick change in Jay Berry's reaction to the girl. He is quick to get away from her when hand holding is mentioned. This is also a great reflection of Jay Berry's maturity as he is not interested in the idea of the girl anymore.  
What major change does this statement illustrate about Jay Berry's thinking concerning money? 
Borneo is located in-between the Indian and Pacific ocean and is close to Australia and Asia.  (This annotation contains an image)
Do you think the coconut looks like a monkey's head?  (This annotation contains an image)
Explain what theme is represented through this statement and how Jay Berry's relationship with Grandpa can be used as an example. Use text evidence to support your response.  
Based on Jay Berry's reaction, how do you think Grandpa is going to react to the ribbons and general mischief of the monkeys? 
Look at how Jay Berry is more knowledgeable of the monkeys. Grandpa is usually offering his insight to guide Jay.  
Grandpa's statement illustrates a great example of how characters can change their thinking. Can you think of another example of a character who has changed? If not, what is that character an example of? (This annotation contains a video)
What is motivating Daisy's displeasure and refusal to smile or laugh? 
Chapters 7-12 Quiz 

Chapter Thirteen

Thor is the thunder god in Norse mythology . (This annotation contains an image)
Think of another instance when Jay Berry was overly concerned with the idea of how he should act as a boy. What does this reveal about his character? 
Notice how Daisy admits that she is purposefully not telling Mama that she is in pain. Not only is Daisy dealing with her leg, but she is also worried about the stress she creates for her parents.  
Explain how the idea of the Old Man of the Mountains relates to Jay Berry's confidence and motivation. How does the idea of luck influence Jay Berry? Use text evidence to support your response. 
Use the Define feature and look up the meaning of humdinger. Based on the definition, which of the following could also be used to describe the storm?  
The golden rule is to treat others like you want to be treated. Papa mentions this to say that people would be able to get to heaven by climbing the beanstalk instead of treating people with kindness.  
Explain how Daisy's reaction to the idea of Jay Berry living in a hollow tree creates tension and conflict. Use text evidence to support your response.  
What do you think of Papa's comment to Jay Berry? Keep track of how this advice shapes Jay Berry's thinking and actions as the book progresses.  

Chapter Fourteen

This is a smaller version of what Jay Berry and his family are seeing.  (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how the symbolism of the fairy ring relates to the struggles Jay and his family face.  
Listen to the clip and see if you can hear the whip-poor-will sound in the call of the bird.  (This annotation contains a video)
A Whippoorwill is bird that is named after the sound of it's call.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is revealed about the values and beliefs of Jay Berry's family through the story of Luann and Johnnie? 
Notice how Daisy stops to gaze at Jay Berry before she makes her wish. Based on the statement, make a prediction of what Daisy wished for.  
This is a huge moment for Jay Berry. Not only is he more aware of his sister's pain, but he realizes that he wants her to be healthy more than he wants a new rifle.  
Papa ties in ideas that relate to theme into his conversation with Jay Berry. We have discussed persistence, but notice the change in tone regarding why a person should work hard. Papa also mentions faith and patience which are both reoccurring terms for Jay Berry. 
How does Papa's view of the Old Man of the Mountains relate to Jay Berry's decision to not deny his existence to Daisy? 

Chapter Fifteen

How is Rowdy's behavior on the trail opposite of Jay Berry's expectations? 
Rowdy isn't as invested in the monkeys. For him, the monkeys are scary and troublesome. Jay Berry is motivated by money, which Rowdy has no concept of.  
Jay Berry is pushing through his fear and instinctually doing what is right. This illustrates Jay Berry's true character as he is able to act without fear holding him back.  
Explain what would motivate Jimbo to embrace Jay Berry like this. 
Can you figure out how much money Jay Berry would collect if he turned in the monkeys?  
Compare Jay Berry's current view of the monkeys to his earlier thoughts. What motivated his change in perspective? Use text evidence to support your response.  
Being in the corn crib is probably comforting to the monkeys because it is similar to how they were raised and kept at the circus. Being in the wild may have been fun, but surviving on their own was also challenging.  

Chapter Sixteen

What decision must Jay Berry face now that he has caught the monkeys? 
What does Grandpa's generosity with the candy reveal about his feelings about the monkeys being caught? 
Notice Grandpa's reaction to Jay Berry's comment. Keep track of how he listens to the story and Jay Berry's wish.  
Notice that Jay Berry didn't wish for the monkeys. What do you think he wished for instead? 
"Daisy looked down into the sack her eyes lit up like a match in the dark," is a simile that illustrates which of the following reactions? 
The stress and excitement of finally capturing the monkeys is still weighing heavy on Jay Berry. The dreams illustrate Jay Berry's anxiety.  
Reread this statement and summarize what might motivate Rowdy to react so severely to the car coming down the road.  
Notice Jay Berry's reaction. What does this feeling tell you as the reader?  
What would happen if Jimbo reacted differently to seeing Ben Johnson? How would the reaction change Jay Berry's mind? 
Jay Berry has spent a lot of time and effort chasing the monkeys and eventually caring for them. With their departure, Jay Berry will return to his regular chores on the farm. 

Chapter Seventeen

This is what the roan might have looked like.  (This annotation contains an image)
This is what a black and white paint mare looks like.  (This annotation contains an image)
Notice Grandpa's strange behavior. What can you conclude about why he would be acting this way? Support your response with evidence from the text.  
Grandpa knew that the paint mare had a hurt foot when he brought her home. How does this relate to his behavior around Jay Berry and his motivation in labeling the horse as crippled? 
Notice the change in Jay Berry's perspective and how the paint mare is wining him over. Jay Berry tried to protect himself from getting too attached, but between Rowdy and now the paint mare, Jay Berry doesn't really stand a chance.  
What message is Grandpa trying to communicate to Jay Berry in this statement? 
This statement illustrates Jay Berry's priorities while also planting ideas into the reader's mind. Try to connect Grandpa's odd behavior, the hurt paint mare, and Jay Berry's decision to buy the horse. What can you conclude about how each are related? 
Explain the significance of Jay Berry's realization. How does this statement illustrate character growth in Jay Berry? Use text evidence to support your response.  
Grandpa knows his plan worked and is pleased that Jay Berry was able to understand the hints.  
Jay Berry has mentioned feeling taller on other occasions to express his happiness or confidence. Explain what height symbolizes in these descriptions. 
Not only has Jay Berry received praise for his actions, but he is also being rewarded through his father's request to shake hands. Remember that this story is set in the 1800's and gestures that we take for granted today used to hold a lot more meaning. By shaking hands, Papa is acknowledging Jay Berry as an equal.  

Chapter Eighteen

Notice how Jay Berry's reaction to Mama and Daisy gone evolves. Not only does Jay Berry begin to miss them, but their absence is also illustrated in Jay Berry's observations of the farm.  
Explain how the changes on the farm parallel the changes Jay Berry and his family are facing. Use text evidence to support your response.  
How does Jay Berry's decision to ask the Old Man of the Mountains for help relate to Daisy's absence? 
Rowdy's excitement also illustrates how Papa and Jay Berry are feeling as well. The arrival of Mama and Daisy is making everyone feel happy and hopeful.  
Use the Define feature and look up the meaning of quavering. What purpose does the author have in describing Jay Berry's voice as quavering? 
Jay Berry has been dreaming of his mare but seeing Daisy reaffirms that he made the right decision.  
Jay Berry is learning a lot about his sister but also a lot from her. Their relationship has grown throughout the novel and both siblings have benefited from the other.  

Chapter Nineteen

Explain how the painted mare and Daisy are similar and how they have both impacted Jay Berry's thinking and sense of self. Use text evidence to support your response.  
A currycomb is a brush used on horses.  (This annotation contains an image)
Chapters 13-19 Quiz