Jacob Have I Loved

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"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated . . ." With her grandmother's taunt, Louise knew that she, like the biblical Esau, was the despised elder twin. Caroline, her selfish younger sister, was the one everyone loved.

Growing up on a tiny Chesapeake Bay island in the early 1940s, angry Louise reveals how Caroline robbed her of everything: her hopes for schooling, her friends, her mother, even her name. While everyone pampered Caroline, Wheeze (her sister's name for her) began to learn the ways of the watermen and the secrets of the island, especially of old Captain Wallace, who had mysteriously returned after fifty years. The war unexpectedly gave this independent girl a chance to fulfill her childish dream to work as a watermen alongside her father. But the dream did not satisfy the woman she was becoming. Alone and unsure, Louise began to fight her way to a place where Caroline could not reach.

Renowned author Katherine Paterson here chooses a little-known area off the Maryland shore as her setting for a fresh telling of the ancient story of an elder twin's lost birthright.

Curriculet Details
53 Questions
56 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 6th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining author’s word choice, citing textual evidence and historical allusions. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about figurative language and characterization. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of personification, vocabulary in context, and making inferences. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Rass Island

An estuary is a body of water formed where fresh water streams or rivers meet the ocean. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. Although Rass Island is a fictional place, it is modeled after Smith Island and Tangier Island, which are located in the Chesapeake Bay. As you read the novel, think about the setting and how it affects the characters and the overall story. (This annotation contains an image)
What can you infer about the reason that the fishermen would name their boats after their female family members? 
As you continue reading, think about this comment and what it means with relation to the overall plot. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 1

This link provides an overview of important events during 1941. Review the events, and think about how the time period affects the plot of the novel. (This annotation contains a link)
Louise states that she has “...delusions of beauty and romance.” Based on this comment, one can infer that she feels that she is 
A terrapin is a type of turtle.  (This annotation contains a link)
Based on the context of the sentence, which word would be a synonym for defect? 
Based on what you have read so far, do Call and Louise seem to be close friends? How do think their friendship will change throughout the novel? 
How do you think being an avid reader of Time magazine affects Louise's perspective on things compared to her peers? 
View the mini-biography about Franklin D. Roosevelt. (This annotation contains a video)
When she gets home, Louise's grandmother seems ______ to see her. 
Think about how different Louise's mom reacts to her when she returns in contrast to her grandmother's reaction. What can we infer about her relationship with her mom versus her relationship with her grandmother? 
Caroline's comment makes her appear to be a (n)  ______ person. 

Chapter 2

Shrapnel refers to fragments resulting from a bomb or some type of ammunition. This comment lets the reader know that Louise and Caroline's father fought in World War I. 
Louise's mom was a ______ before getting married. 
Reflect on the following: Why do you think the statement did not comfort Louise? How do you think the events following their birth have affected the twin's relationship?  
Based on what you have read so far, explain why Louise wanted to turn into a boy. How do you think things would be different for her at home? Cite at least two pieces of evidence from the text to support your answer. 
Lugubriously means mournfully or gloomily.  
This comment is meant to alert the reader of something that will happen in the future.  It is an example of what literary device? 

Chapter 3

Please click the link to view the brief video to learn more about World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. (This annotation contains a link)
Why did Louise nearly choke as she heard the announcer's comment? 
Why do you think Mr. Rice chose not to respond to Louise anymore? Why do you think Louise became so emotional after the incident? 
Based on the context that it is used in the sentence, which word would be a synonym for frivolous? 
Why had Louise become annoyed with Caroline?  
Based on your reading so far, explain why Louise would feel alone when she is around Caroline. Provide at least two examples from the text to support your response. 

Chapter 4

Check out the picture below to see an image of tonging. (This annotation contains an image)
Louise is grinning because 
Watch the video explaining the difference between a simile and a metaphor. In this metaphor, whistling women are compared to crowing hens. What do you think this comparison means? (This annotation contains a video)
What inference can be made as to why there is not public affection, such as kissing, on Rass Island? 
A valise is a suitcase. (This annotation contains an image)
An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two opposite or contradictory words are combined. Explain, using complete sentences, how the term pleasant melancholy is an oxymoron. 
Think about the setting of the novel. Why do you think people were so intrigued by the arrival of the stranger? 

Chapter 5

Based on the context of the sentence, the statement tidy profit means that the Wallace family was probably  
Recall the notion that only male islanders worked on the boats. Due to his fear and cutting down the mast during the storm, Hiram Wallace lost the respect of the other male islanders. Do you think this type of thinking currently exists? Can you think of any other examples in which something like this could happen where you live? 
Why do you think the author italicized the words thinks? 
A berth is an area for a boat on a dock or wharf. (This annotation contains an image)
What word is a synonym for the word sockfeet? 
Louise continues to repeat this statement to herself. She obviously is still hoping that the stranger is a spy. Why do you think it was so important for her to discover that the man was a spy? 
Why was Louise so upset with Call for laughing at the man's joke? 
What does the last sentence reveal about Louise and her relationships with her family members? 

Chapter 6

Using complete sentences and complete thoughts, explain the meaning of the idiom slice my flesh clear through to the bone.   
This is an example of an allusion (a reference to a historical, biblical, or mythological person, place, or event). In the bible, Cain murdered his brother due to anger and jealousy. 
What did Louise plan on doing with the money that she was secretly saving? 
As Louise tries to explain her poem to Call, the dialogue is very similar to her trying to explain the meaning of her jokes. How do these exchanges show differences between Louise and Call? 
In this metaphor, why does Louise compare her grand mother and Caroline to parasites? 
Quiz 1 

Chapter 7

Think about Call's family, why do you think he didn't seem excited about Louise coming with him to see the Captain? 
Still convinced that the stranger was not Hiram Wallace, Louise believed that the stranger was 

Chapter 8

Watch this video explanation of personification. February is being personified at the beginning of the chapter. Can you identify one or two human actions the author uses to describe February? (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the context of the sentence, which option would be the best definition for the word concession? 
Watch this video about character development. What insight can you gain about the difference between Call and Louise's personality? (This annotation contains a video)
Why was it so important to Louise that the Captain had called her by her full name? Cite at least two examples from the text to help support your answer. 
What detail was confirmed by this comment? 

Chapter 9

What pretend intrigue was Louise referring to in this statement? 
Louise reads a lot and tends to be more aware of current events than other islanders. Although she is smart, this statement shows that she is still somewhat naive about certain things. 
How do you think this conversation will affect Louise and Caroline's relationship? 
Paregoric is a medicine that has calming or soothing effects. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 10

Louise has often blamed Caroline for making her look bad in front of others. Do you think Caroline is intentionally trying to make Louise look bad? Use complete sentences and thoughts, and cite at least two examples from the text to support your answer. 
 (This annotation contains a video)
This statement is an example of what type of figurative language? 
The eye of the hurricane is the center of the storm. It is surprisingly calm. (This annotation contains an image)
Grandma refers to Hiram as a heathen.  What inference can you make about her personal feelings towards him? 

Chapter 11

The aftermath of a hurricane. (This annotation contains an image)
This statement is an example of what type of figurative language? 
Capricious means changing quickly. In this paragraph, Louise and the Captain are seeing the destruction from the storm. She says that some homes were intact, while others were destroyed. How does this make the storm capricious?  
What could be a reason for Louise's discomfort with hugging the Captain? 
Why do you think Caroline decided to tell about the Captain's house before giving him the chance to speak? Do you agree with Louise that Caroline takes rights from others without thinking? 

Chapter 12

At this point, why is Louise so uncomfortable around the Captain? 
At this point, Louise's conflict with her grandmother is heightened due in part to the Captain living in their home following the storm. What are your thoughts about the cause for their strained relationship and the actions that continue to create conflict? Watch the video below to learn more about intern and external conflict. (This annotation contains a video)
Think about the role of the orange tomcat in the novel. What idea below could be a symbolic meaning of the cat's role? 
Louise seems to be obsessed with hands. Why do you think she believes that a person's hand reveals information about the person? 
What happened to the south marsh? 

Chapter 13

Grandma's comments reveal to Louise that she is aware of the feelings she has for the Captain. Do you think anyone else in the family knows? 
Even though Louise was upset because of her feelings about the Captain, why else might she think that Caroline was wrong for what she was saying? Think about the setting and what you have learned about the islanders. Cite specific textual evidence to support your answer. 
Is this characteristic of Call? How has his character changed throughout the novel so far? 
To what money was the Captain referring? 
Based on his actions, do you think the Captain realized that Louise had developed feelings for him?  
Quiz 2 

Chapter 14

Which word best describes the emotion that Louise feels for keeping her savings a secret? 
As Caroline tells Louise about the visits to see the Captain and Auntie Braxton, she seems to be kind and humble. Think about some of her previous actions. Does this seem characteristic of her? The reader mostly hears about Caroline from Louise's perspective. How does this affect the reader's thoughts towards Caroline? 
Caroline's outburst towards her grandma shows the reader that 
Louise makes several reference to being a Methodist. How does the setting contribute to the plot of the novel? What significant changes would occur if the novel had a different setting? 
Why was Louise so upset by the Captain's announcement? What is ironic about the Captain's offer? Cite textual evidence to support your answer. 

Chapter 15

The author uses part of this scripture as the title for the novel. As you continue reading, think about how Louise is effected by the words in this scripture. 
Why was Louise's reaction to her mom's statement surprising? 
In this sentence, the author uses personification to describe the damage caused by the storm. How does the author's word choice affect the mood of the reader? 
Why did Louise not want to return to school? 
Do you think this comment was specifically about Caroline and Call being gone or was her loneliness caused by another reason? 
We can infer that Louise is ______ about Caroline's success in Boston. 

Chapter 16

Julliard is a world-renowned performing arts school. Do you think Louise is shocked by Caroline's acceptance to Julliard? (This annotation contains an image)
What could be a cause for Grandma to think that Susan was cheating on her husband? 
Think of Call before he left. Based on this comment, do you think his character may have changed? 
In this metaphor, what was Louise comparing to Call's mother? 
Louise has expressed that Caroline eventually steals everyone from her. How do you think she feels about learning that Call had been to visit her in New York? What do you predict will happen? 
What do you think Call asked Caroline? 
Based on what you know about Caroline, do you agree with Call that she is all alone in the world? 

Chapter 17

Louise comments about her soul being calloused. What do you think she is referring to? 
What is the real source of Grandma's dislike of the Captain? 
Why is it ironic that Grandma's name is Louise? 
What did the Captain mean by this statement? Think about the roles of the women and men on the island. Provide an explanation for his comment using at least two examples from the text to support your answer.  

Chapter 18

Think about the role that religion and the church plays in Louise's life. Do you think she is a religious person, or do you think she feels obligated to the church and the rules? 
Throughout the novel, Grandma would quote scripture to others. Do you think that her actions were based on the scriptures that she would quote to others? Cite at least two examples from the text to support your answer. 
Why do you think Louise was so angry with her mother? How do you think her thoughts about her mother's choices will affect her own choices? 
Explain why Mrs. Bradshaw said that she would miss Louise more than she missed Caroline. Provide textual evidence to support your answer. 

Chapter 19

Based on this action, along with the help she provided to her family over the years, which character traits would best describe Louise's work ethic? 
A midwife is a trained practitioner who primarily provide care to women during pregnancy and child-birth. 
Think about the comment that Louise made about the men of Truitt and the mountains compared to the men of Rass and the water. Provide an explanation of the differences and how they affect the culture of the two communities. Cite at least two examples from the text.    
Here, Louise makes a reference to her father. Think about her relationship with her father and the impact of it on her life. 

Chapter 20

A party line is a phone line shared by several households. They were common during this time period, especially in rural or remote areas like Truitt village. What do you think Louise meant when she said that Caroline was crying for the benefit of the Truitt party line? Based on this statement, do you think Caroline had changed much as an adult? (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think that this situation sent shivers up Louise's arms? 
Quiz 3 
This is a reference to Caroline's performance at the Christmas concert from chapter three. Go back and reread this portion of the novel. How did Louise feel about the performance and Caroline's reaction to it? As she recalls the song, do you think Louise feels the same at this point?