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Canadian Theme Unit
The Dionne Quints



The Dionne Quints
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.45

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    money-maker, provincial, exploited, unheard, cope, wealthy, atmosphere, province, separation, tested, Dafoe, government, fund, nation, cancer, desperate
     content words:    French Canadian, Oliva Dionne


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The Dionne Quints
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     Have you ever wished that you were just a little bit different? Perhaps you wish for something to happen that would set you apart. If you spoke with the Dionne sisters, they might tell you to be careful what you wish for.
 
2     The Dionne quints were Canada's most famous children. They were born on May 28, 1934, to a poor French Canadian farmer outside a small, Ontario town. The birth of the five identical girls made big news.
 
3     Oliva Dionne and his wife already had five children and lost their sixth just after birth. Now suddenly they had five more children to provide for.
 
4     The girls were born at home with the help of a doctor and two midwives. Born two months premature, they were kept warm in an open oven. No one was sure that the babies would live, but they did. They were the first to do so.
 
5     Oliva was approached by representatives from a Chicago fair. They wanted to exhibit the girls. This was not unheard of at the time, and Oliva was in desperate need of funds.
 
6     When the news got out about the plan, people were in an uproar. They thought it was terrible that the children would be exploited.
 
7     The Ontario provincial government got involved. They removed the girls from their parents and made them wards of the province. A new hospital was built for them across the road from their parent's farm.
 
8     Care of the healthy girls, Annette, Cecile, Yvonne, Marie, and Emilie, was overseen by nurses and doctors. They were tested, x-rayed, and watched with everything recorded for future reference.

Paragraphs 9 to 16:
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