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Canadian Theme Unit
The Dionne Quints



The Dionne Quints
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.52

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Dafoe, Quintland, unwelcome, balcony, nursery, fairly, ever, syrup, government, have, large, charge, early, arrive, already, often
     content words:    Great Depression, Chicago Exposition, Niagara Falls


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The Dionne Quints
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Have you ever wished you had a twin brother or sister? How about being one of three? Can you even imagine being one of five, all of you identical?
 
2     Having many babies at once is fairly common now. Teams of doctors and nurses wait for the babies to arrive.
 
3     Imagine you are a poor French-Canadian farmer. You and your wife already have five children. The most recent one (the sixth) died just after he was born.
 
4     Your wife is expecting again. Your local doctor tells you that more than one is coming this time. You wonder how you will feed and clothe these children.
 
5     It is 1934. You are living during the Great Depression. Most women had their babies at home. The same was true for the mother of the Dionne quintuplets, too.
 
6     On May 28, 1934, Dr. Dafoe (the local country doctor) delivered five tiny baby girls. They were born two months early, and everyone thought they would die.
 
7     The baby girls were named Annette, Cecile, Yvonne, Marie, and Emilie. Their total weight was less than six and a half kilograms. The babies were big news.
 
8     Oliva, the girl's father, had little money. He did not know how he could raise the girls. A man came to him with an idea. Why not take the girls to the Chicago Exposition? People would pay to see the five babies. It seemed their only option.
 
9     When the babies were a few weeks old, things changed. People were horrified about the plan to exhibit the girls.

Paragraphs 10 to 19:
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