Eight Cousins

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Life with seven boy cousins isn't quite what Rose expected. Left an orphan after her father's death, Rose Campbell is sent to live at the "Aunt Hill" with her six aunts and seven rowdy boy cousins. For someone who is used to a girl's boarding school, it all seems pretty overwhelming. Her guardian, Uncle Alec, makes her eat healthy things like oatmeal, and even tries to get her to give up her pretty dresses for drab, sensible clothes. Will Rose ever get used to her uncle's crazy notions and all her noisy relatives? (From feedbooks.com)
Curriculet Details
78 Questions
82 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 8th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining the theme of gender roles in the 1800s, images and information to help them interpret the text and structural devices like foreshadowing. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about using context clues and using literary devices such as similes to help readers visualize the text. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of character motivation, the development of theme, and the use of vocabulary in context. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1 - Two Girls

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? 
Louisa May Alcott, the author of this novel, is one of the most famous female authors of the 19th century. Alcott's most famous novel is "Little Women" which is the slightly autobiographical novel that reflects Alcott's life growing up with her three sisters. "Eight Cousins," Alcott's sixth novel, was published in 1875. Like her other novels, this story contains messages and themes that reflect Alcott's values and moral upbringing.  (This annotation contains an image)
Use the "define" function provided by Curriculet, and demonstrate that you understand the word listless by using it in an original sentence. 
Pay attention to the relationship between these two girls. Will Phebe be able to help Rose be more cheerful? 
What is one difference between Rose and Phebe? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 
As you read the book, it might be helpful to keep track of the main characters as they appear. There are many aunts and many cousins. As they are introduced, jot down in your notes things that distinguish the characters from each other. For example, Phebe is a orphan servant who sings, and Rose is a wealthy orphan. 
How does Rose describe Aunt Myra? 

Chapter 2 - The Clan

Did you keep track of all the cousins?  
Why is Rose upset with Charlie? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 
Have you ever seen a Highland Fling? If you haven't, watch this video below and imagine what Rose saw. (This annotation contains a video)
What is one difference between the video of the Highland Fling and what Rose saw? 
Based on what you've read so far, what does the word "Scotch" probably mean? 
Sometimes when you read, words used in the text aren't easily defined. If that's the case, you need to use context clues to figure out the meaning. Watch this video to get ideas about context clues.  (This annotation contains a video)
Using context clues, which word do you think "creter" is supposed to mean? 
The use of pronouns here could be confusing, if you didn't pay attention to which cousin planned to demand "sweeties" when he next saw Rose. It's Jamie, of course, who Rose gives sugar-plums to in the highlighted sentence. 
Which two boys are the eldest? 
This sentence is an example of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing when the author gives the reader a clue of what is to come. Pay attention and see if you can figure out what the "great mystery" is. 

Chapter 3 - Uncles

Author's use figurative language, like similes and metaphors, to help readers create a clear picture of a scene in their minds. Not sure what similes and metaphors are? Watch this video to help.  (This annotation contains a video)
Use context clues to determine which of the following definitions of the word goose best fits how it is used in the highlighted sentence? 
Pay attention to how Uncle Alec tries to help Rose in this story. 
What does the author compare the aunts to in the highlighted metaphor? 
Read between the lines, or infer, and see how Uncle Alec feels about Rose drinking coffee in the morning. 
How does Uncle Alec feel about drinking coffee? 
A barouche was an old carriage. See this image below:  (This annotation contains an image)
Name one of the "dreadful things" that was foreshadowed in the previous paragraph. 

Chapter 4 - Aunts

This sentence foreshadows that the story of Aunt Peace's past will be a sad one. Not sure how foreshadowing works? Watch this video below for more information.  (This annotation contains a video)
This is a reference to Dombey and Son, a novel by Charles Dickens, which features Dr. Blimber, a man who was a very strict teacher. 
When Alec is describing Rose as "almost a bone," which literary device is he using? 
Wealthy young women often went to "finishing schools." Watch this video below to see a modern day finishing school.  (This annotation contains a video)
Of what is the medicine made? 
Alec is still referring to the bread that he put in the pill box. 

Chapter 5 - A Belt and a Box

To whom is Alec referring, when he uses the metaphor my "little anchor"? 
By finding a way to make the sash prettier than the leather and metal belt, Alec demonstrates that he understands how to convince a young girl to do something.  
Based on the way that Rose describes Phebe, how does she most likely feel about the maid? 
The highlighted text probably refers to Turkish Delight, a type of candy. See below for an idea of what this candy looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Aunt Peace see Phebe? 
Sometimes the author wants you to infer, or make guesses based on evidence, what is happening in the text. If you saw someone hide their face, what might they be doing? 

Chapter 6 - Uncle Alec's Room

Based on the evidence provided in the text so far, where was Uncle Alec before this year? 
Remember that these are her cousins. 
What is the "dolly" that Jamie shows Rose? 
This refers to a Mother Goose rhyme, about a cat who went to London to see a Queen. 
Why is the highlighted text an example of foreshadowing?  
As you may have guessed by the table, this room is for Rose, not Uncle Alec. 
What is one part of Uncle Alec's "cure" for Rose? Use textual evidence to support your response. 

Chapter 7 - A Trip to China

Below might be how her dress would have looked. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following explains what Uncle Alec meant when he said they would sail to China? 
Now is a good time to talk about cultural point of view. Although the author tries to avoid obvious racial slurs, this book was written in the 1800s, and some of the ways she describes people may feel prejudiced to us in the 21st century. Watch this video for more information about point of view for details on cultural perspective.  (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what Rose thinks about Fun, with which of the following statements would she most likely agree? 
Even in older times, people sometimes learned by doing, rather than just reading about a topic. 
Explain in your own words what the joke is that the boys are referring to. 

Chapter 8 - And what came of it

Use the define function to look up the word "ninepence." You can see what a ninepence might have looked like below.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does this exchange between Rose and her uncle demonstrate about Rose's education? 
In the past, people had to keep their bank accounts balanced by hand, and knowing basic addition and subtraction was essential. 
We can see only Rose's thoughts in the story at this point. Based on this, which point of view best describes the narration in the story so far? 
It's hard for us to imagine what it would be like, to ride in a horse drawn carriage. Here's a video of a modern carriage in the rain, to give you an idea of how wet it might have been for Aunt Jane.  (This annotation contains a video)
What did Rose do that "silenced the enemy's battery"? 

Chapter 9 - Phebe's Secret

When you are trying to decide what to think about a character, a writer often gives you clues. Look at what someone says about a character, what the character says, and the character's actions to help you decide. When a writer gives you these kind of clues, it's called "indirect characterization". When Rose automatically thinks this surprise will be nice because Uncle Alec is involved, what does this say about him? 
Based on how it is used in the sentence, what is a "morning-glory"? 
What might this sentence foreshadow? What would cause her to be away from her room "for hours"? 
Which of the following best describes the highlighted text? 
Now we know, she will be kept from her little room because they will be camping on the island. It's a relief to know that authors don't always have to foreshadow doom! 
Which holiday will they celebrate on the island? 
Jamie must be the youngest, to be held close by his mother in this way. 
Based on how Rose thinks about Phebe in this scene, which of the following statements is most likely true? 
What can you infer, or guess, about the sacrifice that Rose is thinking about now? 
Quiz 1 

Chapter 10 - Rose's Sacrifice

Which of the following is a famous story the boys enact to amuse Rose? 
Can you guess what sacrifice the story foreshadows here? 
What was Rose's sacrifice? 
What did the fireworks symbolize? 

Chapter 11 - Poor Mac

Can you see the foreshadowing here? What will Rose do? 
In your own words, describe how Rose will earn the respect of the family. 
How would you feel, if your whole summer vacation was spent in a darkened room, denied what you love best? 
How long will Mac have to spend healing before he can study again? 
In the time that this book was written, there were very clear roles for both men and women. See if you can figure out why Mac would want to hide his tears. 
How does Rose help Mac to feel better? 

Chapter 12 - "The Other Fellows"

How does the author describe "manliness" in the highlighted text? 
Why is the highlighted text an example of a simile? 
How do the boys feel about their treatment of both Rose and Mac? 
How does the author portray women in this chapter? 
Which of the following statements best describes how the boys treat Rose in this scene? 

Chapter 13 - Cosey Corner

When a writer tells you what to think about a character, as in the highlighted text, this is called direct characterization. Can you identify the difference between direct and indirect characterization? 
Which type of characterization is shown in the highlighted text? 
This scene is supposed to be funny, as the prayer he mentions is one usually prayed before bedtime. If you've never heard that prayer before, below is a version of the prayer.  (This annotation contains a video)
Name one way that Mac demonstrates he is a "boy still." 

Chapter 14 - A Happy Birthday

What does the highlighted text reveal about Rose? 
Using indirect characterization, this description shows you that Rose is healthier. 
Which of the following reflects what "Pokey" is saying in the highlighted text? 
Can you guess what proverb Rose is trying to depict? 
Use the define function to see what the word "shako" means, and choose which definition is most likely being used here: 
Rose demonstrates that she respects her uncle by confiding in him. 
What does Mac do, that shows he cares for Rose? 

Chapter 15 - Ear-Rings

See if you can guess how Rose feels about Miss Blish. 
How does Rose feel about Miss Blish? 
How will Uncle Alec feel if Rose gets her ears pierced? 
Why do Mac's actions show that he is a "privileged boy"? 
Here again, we have an example of foreshadowing. 
Why does the writer use this simile to compare Jamie to a turkey-cock? 
Notice, again, the difference in expectations for girls versus boys in this story. 

Chapter 16 - Bread and Button-Holes

Explain why Rose would be considered a dynamic character. 
Watch this video about static vs. dynamic characters, and be prepared to answer a question about Rose.  (This annotation contains a video)
The role of men and women is very clearly defined in this novel. In fact, this idea repeats throughout the novel. Because it repeats, it is a theme of the novel. Not sure what themes are? Watch this video to get a better idea.  (This annotation contains a video)
Based on what you've read so far, why might Uncle Alec prefer a loaf of bread to a pie? 
Pay attention to the indirect characterization of Uncle Alec and Aunt Plenty here. 
What does the highlighted sentence say about Alec? 
Keep track of the different skills of the aunts, to get clues as to what a woman's role was, as well as more development of the theme of gender roles. 
Why is Rose astonished when she hears that Uncle Alec knows how to sew buttons? 
Quiz 2 

Chapter 17 - Good Bargains

Remember that this book was originally written in the 1800s. What does the highlighted text tell you about that time period? 
Why is the highlighted text a good example of the theme of the roles of men and women in society? 
The highlighted text is another example of how Rose is a dynamic character. Can you see how she has changed? 
Sometimes, the meanings of words shift over time. The writer is giving you context clues to show that "screamer" and "bully" are slang, and therefore do not mean what they mean today. Can you guess what these words meant back then? 
Which book might Aunt Jessie be describing. that was popular in the 1800s? 
Can you find examples of slang in the highlighted text? 
Charles Sumner was a statesman who could not be corrupted. He wrote a memoir in the 1870s. 

Chapter 18 - Fashion and Physiology

Based on the title of the chapter and what you've read so far, what do you think Phebe is telling Uncle Alec about? 
If you're having trouble picturing this outfit, see below.  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Uncle Alec convey that the costume is not fit for walking? 
Here's an image of a "Bloomer." (This annotation contains an image)
How does the highlighted text demonstrate that Alec's beliefs are different from Aunt Clara's? 
Much like our under armour, Rose will wear a "flannel suit" under her dress to keep warm. 
How does the highlighted text develop the theme of the roles of men and women? 
By Aunt Clara's reaction, you can see the theme of the roles of men and women repeated. They both believe that women cannot be doctors. 

Chapter 19 - Brother Bones

As the theme of the role of men and women is explored, sometimes Uncle Alec allows Rose to do things that society at the time thinks is "wrong" for women. This represents the cultural perspective of the historical time of the novel. 
What does the highlighted text reveal about Rose? 
Notice the first person point of view in the highlighted text. This must be the author, sharing her views about aunts and uncles who do not have children. Do you agree with her? 
Which structural device best describes the highlighted text? 
Even as Uncle Alec tries to get the boys to respect the man who gave him the skeleton, he uses a dialect to describe how Mike Nolan spoke. This nonstandard English serves to show the reader that Mike Nolan was not upper class. 

Chapter 20 - Under The Mistletoe

What does the highlighted text most likely mean? 
This is a reference to the Shakespearean play Macbeth, when the Scottish army disguised itself as trees. 
How is Aunt Myra's reaction to Rose different from those of the other aunts? 
Archie is growing up, and in this way, he shows what is expected from men. 
How does Uncle Mac feel about Alec and Rose's relationship? 
See this Scottish reel in the video below to get an idea of what they are doing in this scene.  (This annotation contains a video)
This game of "forfeit" was popular in the 1800s and had very specific rules. Rose has forfeited the pin cushion, which is why Steve holds it over Charlie's head. Since the article belongs to a girl, it is "superfine." It would be "fine" if it belonged to a boy. 
How does Mac react to the idea of kissing Rose? 

Chapter 21 - A Scare

The highlighted text represents direct characterization, as the writer tells you about Alec directly. 
Which of the following is NOT a reason Rose may get sick? 
They are both describing pneumonia.  
Why does Phebe say Rose's illness is "Mr. Mac's fault"? 
This simile is appropriate, because it helps the reader imagine how Phebe feels for Rose. 
What information does Mac share with Rose that he should have kept to himself? 

Chapter 22 - Something to do

Do you know anyone who enjoys being sick, because of all the attention they receive? 
How do Phebe's school supplies reflect the difference between her and Rose? 
This scene gives us an idea of what school was like in the 1800s. Compare it to your own school experiences. 
How does Aunt Plenty appear to feel about Rose teaching Phebe? 
Through indirect characterization, the writer shows us Alec's love for Rose, that of a proud father with his adopted little girl. 
What does the direct characterization in the highlighted say about Phebe? 
Here, the writer combines both types of characterization to show us how Phebe feels about going to school. If you were lower class, the only way you could move out of poverty was to get an education, and education was not required by most states until the late 1880s.  

Chapter 23 - Peace-Making

In this scene, Rose reveals that Uncle Alec has been teaching her how women should behave. What has she learned? 
Archie and Charlie are great examples of boys trying to decide how to be men. Which one do you admire more, Charlie or Archie? 
Read the highlighted text. Decide how Rose must feel about herself in this scene. 
Charlie feels that he is already a man. Pay attention to how he acts to see how Charlie thinks men should act. 
How does Rose show she "practiced as she preached"? 
Are you an only child, like Charlie, or do you have siblings, like Archie? Do you agree that only children look to their friends to take the place of family? 
"Fast" as it is used in the highlighted sentence is a slang term. Which definition do you think best describes its use? 

Chapter 24 - Which?

Can you see the theme of the role of men and women here? Do you think this idea of women as caretakers of men is still true today? 
Why does Uncle Alec want Rose to stay with Aunt Clara? 
In the 1800s, modern medicine was not completely understood, and people often took unnecessary pills to try and feel better. 
How do the aunts feel about Uncle Alec keeping Rose as his adopted daughter? 
And now we know, Uncle Alec was in love with his brother's wife, also named Rose. 
If she's asking pardon of the boys, then the highlighted sentence is foreshadowing that Rose will live with 
Quiz 3