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									                             Camp Limestone
                                Lesson Plans
These academic materials were created by Paul J. Kijinski, the author of Camp
Limestone and a professional educator in Ohio. This document is available as a
free download from the publisher’s website:

For an electronic copy of the final test and answer key, please write to the author: In order to maintain the integrity of the test and key, the
author will send them only to e-mail addresses on school servers.

Standards-Based Foundation
These materials have been designed to meet the academic content standards
and grade-level indicators identified at the end of this document. For more
information, see the State of Ohio’s English Language Arts Curriculum for
seventh grade.

On a more universal level, these materials support “The Standards for the
English Language Arts” as adopted by The National Council of Teachers of
English and the International Reading Association. See

Copies of Camp Limestone, student journals, and final test

Time Frame
The time frame for completing these activities may vary greatly. If students have
already finished reading the book before the first class session (e.g., as a
summer reading requirement), then one to two weeks should be appropriate.
Otherwise, allow approximately four weeks.

The following pages provide chapter-by-chapter discussion points. While the
bulk of these items may be addressed through class discussion, you will also find
it appropriate to use them for formative and summative assessments:
 Journal prompts          Homework assignments          Quizzes

You can easily manipulate this document to suit your students’ needs by
downloading it from the website identified in the “Introduction” section, above.
                                                 Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 2

Chapter One Discussion Points
  1. Before you began reading this book, what did you predict the story would
     be about, based on the title and the cover illustration?
  2. Reread the opening paragraph of Chapter One. Is this a first-person
     narrative or third-person narrative? How do you know?
  3. In general, do you prefer reading first-person or third-person narratives?
     What are the strengths and drawbacks of each type of narrative?
  4. Somebody provide a summary of Chapter One only.
  5. Explain why adults make it a point to find “positive male role models” for
  6. You can’t have a story without conflict; conflict drives every successful
     plot. What are some of the conflicts and potential conflicts we find in
     Chapter One?
  7. At the end of Chapter One, Jake says, “I’ve got to tell you that one hour
     with Grandpa Nick is no picnic, let alone one entire school year.”
         a. What does the idiomatic expression “is no picnic” mean?
         b. Why do you suppose people ever use idiomatic expressions? Can
            you think of some that spice up your language on a regular basis?
  8. What is your impression of Jake after the first chapter? Be specific: Which
     of his characteristics, if any, do you find appealing? Which of his
     characteristics, if any, do you find offensive?
  9. Reread, on p. 6, the two options that Jake is given: Military Academy or
     Grandpa Nick’s house. If you were given a similar choice, which option
     would you choose? Defend your answer.
 10. Jake’s teacher, Mr. Baker, loves word definitions. In Chapter One, we find
     definitions for dilemma and olfactory. Use a dictionary to find the Greek
     and Latin origins of these two words:
         a. Dilemma is from Greek: di- (two) + lēmma (propositions).
         b. Olfactory is from Latin: olēre (to smell) + facere (to do).
            Note: Depending on time availability, this dictionary activity could
            be extended with additional words. Discuss “etymology” and how
            every word has a history.

            Related item: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Language is fossil
            poetry.” What do you think he meant by this?
                                               Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 3

Chapter Two Discussion Points
  1. What do we learn about Grandpa Nick in Chapter Two?
  2. Reread the second paragraph on p. 7, “I’ll give you an example . . .“
        a. Do you have older adults in your life who have said the same thing
           to you about online activities?
        b. Why might they feel that way?
  3. Besides the technology gap, why is it sometimes difficult for people from
     different generations to fully appreciate and understand one another?
  4. Who was Jake Lambert, and why is Jake Tanski, the narrator of our story,
     named after him? How does the narrator feel about his name?
  5. Describe Jake’s relationship with his Grandma Sally.
  6. On p. 10, we learn about Jake’s drinking episodes. If Jake is such an
     intelligent kid, based on his IQ, why do you suppose he went along with
     the older boys and drank?
  7. Is it typical these days for a thirteen-year-old to feel pressured into
     drinking, smoking, or using drugs? What are some strategies for making
     good choices?
  8. Jake asks at the bottom of p. 10, “Have you ever caught yourself in the act
     of being a total jerk, but you failed to stop yourself for whatever reason?”
     Well, have you? Share examples and analyze why people sometimes act
     against their better judgment.

Chapter Three Discussion Points
  1. Is Rogers City, Michigan, a real place or one made up by the author?
     What are some of the resources you could use to find out the answer to
     this question?
        a. Assign a student to use Yahoo! or a similar search engine to locate
           information about Rogers City.
        b. If time allows, have students work in small groups to find key
           information about Rogers City: location, population, economy, etc.
        c. Students can also search “Michigan Limestone's Calcite Plant” to
           find information about the Rogers City quarry, the largest open-pit
           limestone quarry in the world.
  2. Reread from the middle of p. 13 (“Grandpa came down . . .”) to end of the
     first paragraph on p. 14.
        a. Describe and evaluate Jake’s behavior.
        b. What evidence do we have that Jake considers Grandpa Nick to be
           an adversary?
                                                 Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 4

  3. In the middle of p. 14, Jake says, “Talk about the textbook American
     family!” Who is he talking about, and what does he mean by this
  4. In the penultimate (hey—there’s a great vocab word!) paragraph on p. 15,
     Jake says, “Maybe there was some potential here after all.” What does he
     mean by that?

Chapter Four Discussion Points
  1. Why do the townspeople call Grandpa Nick “Chief”?
  2. Why do you think Grandpa Nick requires Jake to run in the morning?
     What benefits, beside improved physical fitness, could running provide?
  3. Appoint two actors and a narrator to act out the following scene: Middle of
     p. 18 (“When we got back to Grandpa’s house . . . “) to the top of p. 21.
         a. Evaluate the two characters’ words and actions. For example, do
            you think Jake was justified in saying sarcastic things like, “Wow,
            good insight”? Do you think Grandpa was justified in yanking Jake
            from his chair and pushing him into the house?
         b. Explain what puts “a bitter lump” in Jake’s throat. Can you relate to
            what Jake is feeling? Be specific about something from your own
            life that gives you a similar feeling.
  4. Grandpa stresses the importance of maintaining the health of mind, body,
     and soul. List two things you can do to promote the health of your mind,
     two things to promote the health of your body, and two things to promote
     the health of your soul. Discuss.
  5. On pp. 21-22, Grandpa shares with Jake how he feels about the role of
     the military and the role of people like MLK and Gandhi. Restate
     Grandpa’s position on this topic and explain why Jake begins to see
     Grandpa as “a pretty complex guy” (p. 22).

Chapter Five Discussion Points
  1. Explain Grandpa’s method of “systematic troubleshooting” (p. 24). How
     could you adopt this method for dealing with life’s challenges?
  2. Explain the significance of Grandma Sally’s glasses (pp. 25-26). Are they
     symbolic of something? If so, what? (If time allows, lead a discussion of
     the use of symbolism in literature and in the visual arts.)
  3. Retell Jake’s fateful test drive of the minibike (pp. 27-31).
  4. Does Jake have a sense of humor? Provide at least one example of
     something that has made you laugh in Chapters One through Five.
                                                Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 5

  5. What impression do you have of the Harris kids—Jazmyne and Aaron—at
     the end Chapter Five? Use evidence from the story.
  6. Use a graphic organizer, such as a Venn diagram, to compare and
     contrast any two characters in this story. Be sure to include both external
     and internal characteristics.

Chapter Six Discussion Points
  1. Jake says of Mrs. Harris, “I liked it that she didn’t judge me or pump me for
     more information the way some parents would have done” (p. 33).
         a. What sort of questions might some parents have asked Jake?
         b. Do you have an example of feeling uncomfortable around adults
            who seem to be getting nosy?
  2. Explain the situation of the Harris family: Where are they originally from,
     and why are they now living in Rogers City?
  3. Jazmyne whispers to Jake, “I’m not sure I’ll ever get a real date around
     this place. You know what I’m saying? People aren’t that cool with it”
     (p. 34).
         a. What is the “it” Jazmyne is referring to?
         b. Describe and evaluate race relations within your school and within
            your community.
  4. Why, according to Jake, does Tom Krispinski have “five strikes” against
     him (p. 35)?
  5. Reread the final two paragraphs of Chapter Six. What potential for conflict
     is brewing here?

Chapter Seven Discussion Points
  1. What is Jazmyne’s plan for the big dance on Saturday night? What role is
     Jake supposed to play?
  2. Explain how the plan backfires. In other words, what goes wrong during
     the dance?
  3. Jake winds up getting drunk with Rusty Sanders and his friends.
         a. Why did Jake allow this to happen?
         b. Pretend you are Jake and provide an excuse for why you got drunk
            at the dance.
         c. Now pretend you are Grandpa Nick and respond to Jake’s excuse.
                                                 Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 6

  4. Reread the final paragraph of Chapter Seven. “All I wanted was to be
     clean,” Jake says.
         a. Is it possible that this statement has a double meaning? If so, what
            is the literal meaning, and what is the figurative meaning?
         b. Follow up with a reinforcing discussion of literal vs. figurative
         c. This is also a good place to reinforce the difference between
            denotation (what a word or expression literally means) and
            connotation (the figurative or symbolic value that people attach to a
            word or expression).

Chapter Eight Discussion Points
  1. What is Jake’s punishment for having gotten drunk? Do you think his
     punishment is fair?
  2. Grandpa talks Jake into tutoring Tyler Garrett.
         a. What is Tyler’s family situation?
         b. In what ways is Tyler similar to Jake?
         c. How might spending time with Tyler be beneficial to both Jake and
  3. Summarize and evaluate Jake’s conversation with Aaron the day after the
     drinking episode (pp. 49-50).
  4. Jake says of Jazmyne, “It was nice to just sit with a girl and feel
     comfortable enough to not have to talk” (p. 51).
         a. What does Jake mean, exactly?
         b. Do you have this kind of relationship with anyone?
         c. Is it possible to “communicate” with someone by just being
            together? Your response to this question must clearly indicate how
            you define “communicate.”
  5. Explain why Jazmyne is fortunate to have a person like Aunt Kristen in her
     life (pp. 52-53).

Chapter Nine Discussion Points
  1. Why might Jake hold Grandma Sally’s glasses to his forehead before the
     first day of school (p. 55)?
  2. What is Mrs. Fletcher like? Is Jake justified in considering her “an
     opponent” (p. 57)?
  3. Provide the details of Jake’s linguistic duel with Mrs. Fletcher. (Have
     someone define “linguistic” based on the context of Chapter Nine.)
                                                 Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 7

  4. What evidence do we have that Mr. Gazdag, the assistant principal, is a
     reasonable man (pp. 58-60)?
  5. Evaluate the conflict between Jake and Larry (pp. 61-62):
         a. Pretend you are Jake’s lawyer. What would you say to defend your
            client’s actions?
         b. Pretend you are Larry’s lawyer. What would you say to defend
            your client’s actions?

Chapter Ten Discussion Points
  1. On the way up to Mackinac Island, Jazmyne’s father has a small battle
     with the kids over what makes for good music (pp. 66-67).
         a. How does your taste in music compare with your parents’ taste?
         b. How about your grandparents’ taste?
         c. Why do you think each new generation likes to claim a style of
            music of its own?
  2. Jake eventually faces the “like you” versus the “like you like you” situation
     regarding Jazmyne (p. 69).
         a. Up until this point in the story, what evidence do we have that Jake
            and Jazmyne would make a nice couple?
         b. Are there still challenges in society that an interracial couple must
            face? Why do you think people would care one way or the other?
  3. Reread the lone paragraph on p. 71.
         a. What was your prediction when you first read about a terrible day
            for Americans “lurking just around the corner”?
         b. What clues did you find earlier in the story that led to your
            prediction? (Examples: The story begins in August, 2001, and Aunt
            Kristen works in one of the Twin Towers in NYC.)

Chapter Eleven Discussion Points
  1. Reread the first paragraph on p. 72.
         a. Are you a better person because of some person in your life? Write
            a letter to that person, describing how he/she plays that role for
         b. Jake refers to “the pile of family history that builds up over the years
            and can weigh you down.” Interpret this metaphor.
         c. Review the difference between metaphors and similes, and discuss
            why we use them in the first place.
                                                Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 8

  2. Jake’s journey in this story is a movement toward greater self-control.
     Example: “I can’t tell you how many times during that week I actually kept
     my mouth shut while my brain was feeding me all sorts of wickedly funny
     things to share with the class” (p. 72).
         a. Discuss how self-control is evidence of maturity.
         b. What are your strategies for maintaining self-control?
  3. Summarize the 9/11 sequence on pp. 73-78.
  4. What are your personal memories of 9/11?

Chapter Twelve Discussion Points
  1. Why does Grandpa Nick have Jake go back to school the day after the
     terrorist attacks?
  2. Why does the word “remains” get stuck in Jake’s brain (p. 80)?
  3. Reread p. 81.
         a. Pretend you are a psychologist: Analyze the thoughts and feelings
            that Jake expresses here.
         b. Pretend you are one of Jake’s best friends: Give him some advice
            that would guide him in the right direction and ease his mind
  4. Thoughts that produce anxiety in us during the day are often played out in
     our dreams. Dreams may also include symbols that require interpretation.
         a. Explain how Jake’s first dream mixes elements of fantasy and
            reality regarding the 9/11 attacks (p. 82).
         b. Interpret the symbols that appear in Jake’s second dream (pp. 82-
            84). Examples: A hallway that seems to be stretched out by
            unknown forces; Kristen’s office being the fifth one on the left;
            Kristen in a white choir robe; the Statue of Liberty holding a kite;
            and the “crazy zigzags” of the kite’s flight.
  5. While on the fishing trip, Grandpa says to Jake, “You lost a father, but I
     lost a son. Did you ever think of it that way” (p. 88)?
         a. Explain why this question hits Jake so hard.
         b. Write down a definition for the word “empathy.” Use a dictionary, if
         c. Why is showing empathy so important to anyone who wants to be a
            good friend and decent human being?
         d. How have you demonstrated empathy within the past week or two?
                                                   Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 9

  6. What were the last words that four-year-old Jake said to his father (p.89)?
         a. What insight into Jake’s behavior/personality does this new
            information give us?
         b. Evaluate Grandpa’s response to the information. Was it cruel of
            him to laugh the way he did?
         c. If you ever say something you later regret, what is the best way to
            deal with that situation?
  7. Grandpa quotes a Psalm: “This is the day that the Lord has made, so let
     us rejoice and be glad in it” (p.90).
         a. Why does Grandpa share this quote with Jake?
         b. Look up the term carpe diem in the dictionary. Determine what the
            carpe diem philosophy has in common with Grandpa’s philosophy,
            and how they may be different.
             Note: “Carpe diem” is a Latin expression that literally means “Seize
             the day.” The carpe diem philosophy encourages us to seize the
             pleasures of the moment without regard for the future. Grandpa
             tries to find goodness in the moment by being the best person he
             can be; however, he still cares about what lies ahead.
  8. Interpret Jake’s words at the end of Chapter Twelve: “On one of my dad’s
     old trophies a little golden runner is in full stride holding a baton. I felt like
     that baton had just been passed to me” (p. 90).

Chapter Thirteen Discussion Points
  1. The squee-squaw sound of Grandpa’s porch swing has recurred several
     times in the story. Explain how this is an example of onomatopoeia. Use
     the dictionary to look up this word, if needed.
  2. Interpret this quote: “I can no more imagine a dead soul than I can
     imagine a frozen fire” (p. 93).
  3. How do you feel about the depth of Jake and Jazmyne’s relationship? Do
     you think “it’s stupid for two teenagers to say they love each other”
     (p. 93)?
                                                Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 10

Chapter Fourteen Discussion Points
   1. Reread the first paragraph of Chapter Fourteen. Evaluate Mrs. Fletcher’s
      advice about writing.
   2. Does this chapter achieve Jake’s goal of “tying up the loose ends” of the
   3. Why is it ironic that Mrs. Garrett thanks Jake for being “such a positive
      male role model” to Tyler (p. 97)? (Review what irony is and provide
      additional examples.)
   4. Reread the last paragraph on p. 97 and the first paragraph on p. 98. Is
      the advice that Grandpa and the Harrises offer important and appropriate?
   5. Reread the final two paragraphs of the book.
          a. How do you think the United States is perceived by the rest of the
             world? Include positive and negative perceptions.
          b. Jake returns to the tandem bike analogy at the end, stating that he
             refuses to “coast through life.” What does this mean? Does this
             statement offer evidence that Jake has changed during the course
             of the story?

Final Test
The final test emulates a standardized achievement test. See the “Introduction”
section of this document to learn how to receive an electronic copy of the test
and key.
                                                 Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 11

Academic Content Standards
The following academic content standards and grade-level indicators are
addressed in these Camp Limestone lesson materials. The standards and
indicators are derived from the State of Ohio’s English Language Arts Curriculum
for seventh grade.

Standard: Acquisition of Vocabulary
1. Define the meaning of unknown words through context clues and the author’s
   use of comparison, contrast, definition, restatement and example.
2. Apply knowledge of connotation and denotation to determine the meaning of
3. Infer word meanings through the identification of analogies and other word
   relationships, including synonyms and antonyms.
4. Interpret metaphors and similes to understand new uses of words and
   phrases in text.
5. Recognize and use words from other languages that have been adopted into
   the English language.
6. Use knowledge of Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots and affixes to
   understand vocabulary.
7. N/A
8. Determine the meanings and pronunciations of unknown words by using
   dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries, technology and textual features, such
   as definitional footnotes or sidebars.

Standard: Reading Process – Concepts of Print, Comprehension
          Strategies and Self-Monitoring Strategies
1. Establish and adjust purposes for reading, including to find out, to understand,
   to interpret, to enjoy and to solve problems.
2. Predict or hypothesize as appropriate from information in the text,
   substantiating with specific references to textual examples that may be in
   widely separated sections of text.
3. Make critical comparisons across text, noting author’s style as well as literal
   and implied content of text.
4. Summarize the information in texts, using key ideas, supporting details and
   referencing gaps or contradictions.
5. Select, create and use graphic organizers to interpret textual information.
6. Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to
   demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts and electronic
   and visual media.
                                                 Camp Limestone Lesson Plans Page 12

7. Monitor own comprehension by adjusting speed to fit the purpose, or by
   skimming, scanning, reading on, looking back, note taking or summarizing
   what has been read so far in text.
8. N/A
9. Independently read books for various purposes (e.g., for enjoyment, for
   literary experience, to gain information or to perform a task).

Standard: Reading Applications – Literary Text
1. Explain interactions and conflicts (e.g., character vs. self, nature or society)
   between main and minor characters in literary text and how the interactions
   affect the plot.
2. Analyze the features of the setting and their importance in a text.
3. Identify the main and minor events of the plot, and explain how each incident
   gives rise to the next.
4. Identify and compare subjective and objective points of view and how they
   affect the overall body of a work.
5. N/A
6. N/A
7. Interpret how mood or meaning is conveyed through word choice, figurative
   language and syntax.

Standard: Writing Applications
 1. N/A
 2. Write responses to novels, stories, poems and plays that provide an
    interpretation, a critique or a reflection and support judgments with specific
    references to the text.
 3. N/A
 4. N/A
 5. Write persuasive essays that establish a clear position and include relevant
    information to support ideas.
 6. Produce informal writings (e.g., journals, notes and poems) for various

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