Under Wildwood

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Under Wildwood is the second book in the New York Times bestselling adventure series the Wildwood Chronicles from Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, the acclaimed illustrator of The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Ever since Prue McKeel returned home from the Impassable Wilderness after rescuing her brother from the malevolent Dowager Governess, life has been pretty dull. School holds no interest for her, and her new science teacher keeps getting on her case about her dismal test scores and daydreaming in class. Her mind is constantly returning to the verdant groves and sky-tall trees of Wildwood, where her friend Curtis still remains as a bandit-in-training.

But all is not well in that world. Dark assassins with mysterious motives conspire to settle the scores of an unknown client. A titan of industry employs inmates from his orphanage to work his machine shop, all the while obsessing over the exploitation of the Impassable Wilderness. And, in what will be their greatest challenge yet, Prue and Curtis are thrown together again to save themselves and the lives of their friends, and to bring unity to a divided country. But in order to do that, they must go under Wildwood.

In Under Wildwood, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis reveal new dimensions of the epic fantasy-adventure series begun with the critically acclaimed, bestselling Wildwood.

Curriculet Details
102 Questions
115 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for elementary school students contains interactive videos exploring figurative language, irony and theme, as well as annotations describing author’s tone, word choice, and comparisons within and outside of the text. Students will explore the themes of good versus evil and loyalty. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Homework #9

Consider who the narrator might be in this story and why the author chose to have the narrator speak to you, the reader, directly. 
Note how the author's description helps create an image in your mind. Why do you think he chose to do that? 
Using context clues, how do you think the coachman is feeling? 
Compare and contrast the boy's relationship with the rat to his relationship with the other bandits.  
How has this new knowledge changed how you perceived the first pages of the book? 
The author, Colin Meloy, is the lead singer of the band The Decemberists and lives in Portland, Oregon. Think about how that might have influenced his writing.  (This annotation contains a link)
Grafting is the process of two plants being joined to grow as one. Gardeners often do this to reap the benefits of two different plants in one.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Prue sympathizes for the plant? 
Giving support from the text, describe Prue. 
Wellies is short for Wellington Boots, a popular brand of rain boots that originated in England.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why do you think Prue is so mysteriously drawn to the Impassable Wilderness? Use support from the text.  

Homework #10

What does this tell you about Curtis' role in the group? 
Think about how Aisling's attitude towards Curtis differs now compared to during the drill.  
A ushanka hat is a traditional Russian hat that is known for its warmth. (This annotation contains an image)
Why was it such a bad time? 
Herons are medium to large sized birds with long legs and a long neck and are usually associated with water.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is NOT a hint that the disappearance of Elsie's brother has weighed heavily on her father? 

Homework #11

Bedouin are Arabic-speaking nomadic peoples of the Middle Eastern deserts, especially of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. Most of them are animal herders that move around depending on the weather.  
Compare and contrast Prue to Elsie. How are they handling their challenges similarly? Differently? 
An egret is a water bird that is similar to a heron.  (This annotation contains an image)
Brendan's response to the mention of the Battle for the Plinth implies that it is ________________. 
Consider what might have happened to Brendan in the past that would make him so uneasy and defensive. 
Why do you think the author chose to include Septimus' vomiting? 
Consider how Miss Mudrak compares to Maude, the heron, as a host for young children. Physically, they are quite similar, but is this also true of the way they act? 
What can you infer about Mr. Mehlberg's impression of Desdemona based on the text? 
How is "Intrepid Tina" different than the popular childhood doll "Barbie"? What might this reveal about Elsie? (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following is NOT a reason that the author would use so much detail to describe this moment? 

Homework #12

Which of the following is NOT a detail that Prue remembers before she passed out? 
Cajun music originates from Louisiana and usually features an accordion and a fiddle. Below is an example of Cajun music.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following excerpts from the text is an example of figurative language? 
Watch the following video on figurative language and try to identify examples of it as you read. (This annotation contains a video)
Consider the relationship between Prue and Curtis.  
What can we infer that Curtis is feeling at this moment? 
When the author compares one thing to something else, it is called a simile. Similes are often used to help you visualize what is happening in the text by relating it to something you know.  
Which of these is Prue most like? 
Brethren is an olden term for "brothers". Think about why all of these forces have united as brethren to save Prue. What does that say about her role in the revolution and the level of respect she has in Wildwood? 

Homework #13

Why do you think Prue felt comfortable confiding in Darla? How might this change their relationship? 
Note the use of a descriptive simile here. 
Which of the following does not make Prue suspicious of Darla? 
Atticus and Scout Finch are the main characters in the book To Kill a Mockingbird. This book is famous for revealing the bad outcomes of racism and segregation. 
Which best describes the overall tone of the text during Prue's walk to the store? 
Note how the author uses detailed descriptions to describe what is happening during this exciting part of the book. Does it help you to experience it as you read? 

Homework #14

Using the hints from the text, where might these men be? 
Use the context clues in these sentences to help you figure out what "opulent" means.  
Compare and contrast this meeting to the one that Brendan and Curtis attended.  
What do Joffrey's plans on what could be done to the Impassable Wilderness reveal about his character? 
Which one of the following does NOT make Elsie nervous about the orphanage? 
Given what has happened since they have arrived, do you think this is a good idea? 
Steven Spielberg is an extremely accomplished director, screen writer and producer in the film industry. Examples of his movies include Jaws, E.T. and Jurassic Park to name a few.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following does Desdemona ask Joffrey about? 
Why do you think the author chose to have the character named Unthank? 

Homework #15

The author uses some foreshadowing to hint that Ms. Thennis is the black fox. Please watch the video below on foreshadowing and flashbacks and then be on the lookout for both as you continue to read.  (This annotation contains a video)
How does Prue know Curtis and Brendan? 
Prue must realize the big sacrifices that the bandits have made to keep her safe.  
What does the tone of this chapter reveal about the relationship of the bandits? 
Remember that Curtis' sisters are Rachel and Elsie.  
What does the fact that the children are referred to by number reveal about the factory? 
Note the use of a simile to help describe Rachel's appearance. How might her anger compare to when her lipstick was being thrown away? 
How has Rachel changed since receiving a demerit? 
Note how the author has used personification to describe the machinery. Think about why he has done so.  (This annotation contains a video)
Oscillate means to move or swing back and forth at a regular speed. Burnish means to polish by rubbing. Why do you think Joffrey was so vague when he explains the machinery?  
Which of the following is NOT a reason why Joffrey is being so kind to Elsie? 

Homework #16

An acolyte is a formal assistant. 
Which of the following excerpts from the text is NOT an indicator of Iphigenia's old age? 
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May, 1804 from St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the highlighted passage reveal about Curtis' attitude towards books and reading? 
The author uses a lot of similes. Why do you think he chose to describe the tree this way? 
Why have the Mystics come together? What do you think they will discuss? 
Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe. In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the universe.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does Prue notice from the fourth waymark? 
Note that Curtis doesn't have the ability to hear plants. Why do you think Prue has this ability? 
The author uses foreshadowing to hint at the identity of the woman. Who is it? 
Consider what is meant by "her supplication to the living green of the Wood." Why is Iphigenia so comfortable with her fate? 
Which of following is an example of a simile? 
Use context clues to determine the meaning of the word beseeched. Remember, context clues are using the words and sentences before and after the word to see if they hint at the meaning of the word. 
Part One Quiz 

Homework #18

Think about how this will make the other children, especially Rachel and Elsie, feel. 
Using context clues, what do you think "frenetic" means? 
Make a prediction of what they will find. 
Describe what we know about Joffrey Unthank. 
What evidence helps Martha reach this conclusion? 
Which of the following is NOT a reasonable cause for Martha's sacrifice? 
How is this an example of situational irony? (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #19

What do we know about the wolf? 
Consider what this reveals about Prue and her character traits. 
Prue greeting the Mystic antelope is an example of which theme in the story? 
Timon is a well known character from the Disney movie "The Lion King". Timon is a wise-cracking and self-absorbed meerkat who is known for claiming other's ideas as his own. Compare and contrast this Timon to this one.  (This annotation contains an image)
What does this tell us about how half-breeds experience nature's emotions? 
Consider the irony in the phrase "a serious nut loose." 
Who does Prue compare Allister to when he is receiving messages? 
Think about how this might connect to the story line with Rachel and Elsie. 

Homework #20

Apoplectic means to be filled with anger. Why might he feel this way? 
What was the ambition that Joffrey had discussed with Desdemona earlier in the text? 
"Once bitten, twice shy" means when you have had an unpleasant experience you are much more careful to avoid similar experiences in the future. 
Why do you think Unthank is starting to be so nice to the girls? 
Free market capitalism is a fancy word for the idea that prices for things are not determined by the government, but by whether or not people buy the products. You might have heard of the phrase "supply and demand." This just means when more people want something - the price goes up. When less people want something - the price goes down. 
How has this experience changed the relationship between Rachel and Elsie? 

Homework #21

Think about how the members of the Impassable Wilderness honor a death. Is it somber or lively or both? 
What reputation is implied, about the Bicycle Maiden, in the highlighted section? 
How might this be a nice break for Prue and Curtis? How might this also allow them to let their guard down? 
Which of the following is an example of figurative language? 
The author uses a lot of figurative language here. Why do you think that is? 
Which of the following is NOT an indicator that there harare been some trouble at the bandit camp? 
A decoy is usually a person, device, or event meant as a distraction, to conceal what an individual or a group might be looking for. 
Describe the rising action that led to this climactic point?  
Darla uses a very condescending tone. How do you think this makes Curtis feel? 
Why did Prue cut the rope? 
Consider the significance of Darla's human-like appearance, even though she still shows evidence of being animal-like. What does this say about her character? 

Homework #22

What is the importance of Desdemona's motherly look? How does this differ from how her character has been portrayed thus far? 
Consider that Unthank's sources were men in bars and mental institutions. What does that say about the information that he received? 
Pince-nez is a style of spectacles, popular in the 19th century, that are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Roger Swindon being so secretive? 
Why does the author use so much detail to describe the cog? 
What theme is revealed in the highlighted section? 
Think about what the bird could symbolize. 
Why is Elsie so inclined to follow this rabbit?  
Since the girls were quickly able to find each other, what do you think happened to the other children sent into the wilderness by Unthank? 
What other popular text has a white rabbit leading the way? 
How does this phenomenon contribute to the mysterious trend of the wilderness? 
Identify the metaphor from the text. 

Homework #23

Think about what the author means by this metaphor.  
Which of the following excerpts from the text helps you make an inference (guess) about how Prue is feeling? 
The author gives you many clues on how characters are feeling. You need to make inferences to understand.  (This annotation contains a video)
A popular saying is "When you've hit rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up." Consider how this might be symbolic of Prue's challenges right now.  
Explain why Curtis is still holding on to the hope that the bandits are safe.  
Think about why the author would include this metaphor. Compare and contrast how this journey in the tunnel is for Septimus as compared to Prue and Curtis.  
Which literary device is this an example of? 
This indicates that some kind of life form has been in this space before. What does this mean for Prue, Curtis and Septimus? 

Homework #24

Why is Unthank so surprisingly happy? 
Unthank is using metaphors to explain how he is feeling since he has a hard time explaining his happiness. He also can't explain the piece that he is supposed to create. Think about this. 
Why might the children be portrayed so small in the illustration? 
Tawny means light brown. Consider why this pack of dogs, which seems so intimidating, is so friendly and loving with the Unadoptable children.  
What does this say about how the Unadoptable children interact with Carol? 
Consider how Carol knew that Elsie and Rachel were sisters before they even told him and what that might reveal about his character.  
Periphery means the external boundary of a surface or an area. Think about why it might be called this. 
Why do you think Carol and the Unadoptables don't seem to mind living in the Periphery? 
Consider what this expression means and why the author chooses to use it.  
Compare and contrast Rachel and Elsie to the Unadoptable children living in the Periphery. 

Homework #25

Aboriginal art includes works in a wide range of media including painting on leaves, wood carving, rock carving, sculpture, ceremonial clothing and sand painting.  (This annotation contains an image)
What sort of tone does Curtis have towards Prue at this point? 
Conan is a movie about a vengeful barbarian warrior who sets off to avenge his tribe and his parents whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his warriors when he was a boy. Think about how this might relate to this text.  
Compare and contrast how Curtis and Prue are handling this challenge.  
What other place in the Impassable Wilderness does this remind you of?  
Using context clues, what does diminutive mean? 
Why do you think the author used all capital letters for the words spoken by this mole? 
The Daimyo were the powerful territorial lords in pre-modern Japan who ruled most of the country from their vast, hereditary land holdings. Think about who this character might be and how he might play a role in the rest of the text.  
Which of the following is NOT one of the preparations that Unthank makes in order to create this special cog? 
Part Two Quiz 

Homework #27

Based on Sir Henry Mole's words and actions, what can you infer about how he feels about Prue and Curtis? 
Why does Sir Henry think so highly of Prue and Curtis? 
Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn was an Australian actor. He was known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his playboy lifestyle. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the mole community fit into the society of the Impassable WIlderness? How are they similar and different to the other groups? 
In all of the groups in the Wilderness, the elders are the wise and respected members of society. Is this true in our society? 
Which of the following are examples of the moles' makeshift supplies? 
Mr. Wigman is the leader of the Five Titans and showed little faith in Unthank's ambitions earlier in the text.  
Why is Mr. Wigman so upset to hear this? 
Judging from the tone of this sentence, what do you think Desdemona's motives are for this visit? 
Judging from the Quintet meeting and this encounter with Wigman, what kind of person can we infer he is? 
Think about how Rachel has progressed and changed since arriving at Unthank's Orphanage.  
People often are dismissive when talking about upsetting or traumatizing history in their life. Do you think this is the case with Carol? 
Given the foreshadowing, what do you predict is going to happen when Elsie follows the rabbit? 

Homework #28

How do you think that the mole siege will connect to the rest of the story lines? 
Using context clues, what do you think the word sheepish means? 
Watch the video clip on hyperbole and note when the author uses it to add energy to the text.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the text's themes are illustrated in this chapter? 
Take notice of what it takes to finally get the moles' attention. This reveals the high volume and chaos of the fight. 
What does the reaction of the crowd tell us about Sir Timothy? 
Sir Timothy must have loved Gwendolyn very much to make this ultimate sacrifice.  
Which of the following is a simile in the text? 
What's the significance of Elsie and Rachel's ability to leave the Periphery? 

Homework #29

Compare and contrast the funeral service for Sir Timothy to that of Iphigenia. 
This illustration portrays Prue as larger than life. Another popular children's book, "The BFG" does the same.  (This annotation contains an image)
Judging from the tone of the text, how do you think the moles feel towards this overdweller? 
Which other character might this be? 
How could this discovery change the plot of the story? 
Imagine that you were in Carol's position. How would you feel? 
What is special about Elsie and Rachel? 

Homework #30

The author uses figurative language here to help you better experience the text. Be on the lookout for more examples of figurative language.  
Think about how this coincidence will change the plot.  
How do Prue and Curtis' priorities differ? 
Note how things that would be otherwise considered junk can be made into honorable badges by the moles. What does that tell you about their society? 
What conclusion can be drawn since they've found a beer that is not from the Wilderness? 
A poltergeist is a type of ghost or other supernatural being supposedly responsible for physical disturbances such as loud noises and objects moved around or destroyed. How do poltergeists compare to the creatures in the Impassable Wilderness? Do you think they seem as frightening to Prue? 
Curtis and Prue don't often agree. Why do they so easily agree on this matter? 
Take note of the author's use of personification and imagery to help the reader visualize the scene.  
Using context clues, what can you infer flummoxed means? 

Homework #31

Although the Unadoptables seem content in their life in the Periphery, it's obvious that they do in fact wish to return to the Outside.  
What does this text reveal about Michael's life in the Outside? 
It is clear that Carol cares very deeply for the Unadoptables and truly has accepted them as his family.  
What realization do you think Joffrey is making? Explain. 
Not surprisingly, the amount of pressure that Unthank is under has been taxing on him.  
Why is Unthank so nervous around Wigman? 
Unthank is trying to downplay the project that he is working on. What does that say about his relationship with Wigman? 

Homework #32

Make a prediction on what trouble the yellow tags will cause them.  
Note how Unthank feels good about telling the truth to Swindon but experiences the same pleasure when lying to Wigman. Why do you think that might be? 
How does this new information play into the plot of the story? 
This is the first time Prue really considers how her parents feel. Why do you think that is? 
What is the overall tone of the circus so far? 
How does this realization change the plot? 
Which of the following is NOT a reason why the man said this? 
Remember what happened during the bandit drill at the very beginning of the story. Note that the drill was only a week ago and think about all that has happened since then.  
Which theme in the text is evident in this interaction? 
Below is an old ad for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus. Compare and contrast Esben's character to those portrayed here.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #33

Judging from what you've read about these men, how do you think they will react to the Unadoptables? 
Think about how all of the different storylines have come together. Why do you think the author chose to write the story this way? 
Which of the text's themes are addressed in this disagreement? 
Think about how Prue and Curtis' relationship has changed throughout their journey.  
Which of the following is not an example of foreshadowing Darla's presence? 
Why do you think the author chose to portray Darla in this way? 
Which of the text's themes is being illustrated in this scene? 
Why do you think Unthank is suspicious of this? 

Homework #34

How does this change the plot? 
Prue's ability to control the grasses indicates her strong role in the Wilderness. Who else is able to use nature to protect herself from Darla? 
Identify the part of the plot that is taking place.  
Interestingly enough, the men that are supposed to be the toughest and cold-hearted of the group are in fact the most sensitive and dignified.  
Martha has sacrificed herself twice for the Mehlbergs. Explain why she did so and what it indicates about her character? 
Consider why Esben has such a change of heart and decides to help Prue. Why did the author choose to have it happen now instead of earlier at the circus? 

Homework #35

How does the last chapter start similarly to the first? 
Think about Unthank's greediness and how it caused him to lose all of the good things that he did have. Which of the themes does this tie in with? 
Part Three Quiz