Friday, March 16, 2018
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, chapters 1-4
"The Enchanted Bluff" by Willa Cather
"Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Write the words to the Robert Frost poem neatly on a sheet of unlined paper, and then illustrate it in whatever manner you choose. You can be abstract or literal, but you must use color.
After reading Tip's story of what happened with the village on the bluff, make up your own story using this geographical feature (a bluff or a mesa) as inspiration. You can base it on the legend in the Willa Cather story or you can make up something entirely different. Who lives there? How did they get there? How did they live? What happened to them? You can write in summary form, as Tip told the story, or you can write in scene with dialogue and action. Write at least 250 words, or many more words if you are inspired.
Choose one of the historical topics mentioned in the story "The Enchanted Bluff" and write a short essay about it. You can use one source from the internet for your research, but you must check and confirm your information with at least one other source to make sure your chosen source is legit. Topics you might choose: magnetic anomalies in the Bermuda Triangle which might have thrown off Christopher Columbus' compass, the star that went out when Napoleon was about to lose battles, the Aztecs sacrificing prisoners, the Mound Builders of the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, Coronado's search for the seven cities, or the Mormon migration to Utah. Write at least 250 words.
Write a short essay comparing the group of boys in "The Enchanted Bluff" with the group of boys you meet in The Outsiders. You could contrast the characters, what they do, what they talk about, how they live. In your essay, also explain why each group became a group. Were they thrown together geographically, because of age, social class, common goals and interests, or another reason?
For your quiz, tell me a bit about these characters, or these groups of people. One sentence is fine.
1. Ponyboy's parents.
2. The Greasers
3. The Socs
4. Ponyboy himself
8. Johnny Cade
Friday, March 9, 2018
Lord of the Flies by William Golding, chapters 10-12
“I Stood upon a High Place”
by Stephen Crane
I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
and carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, "Comrade! Brother!"
“All There Is to Know About Adolph Eichmann”
by Leonard Cohen
EYES - Medium
HAIR - Medium
WEIGHT - Medium
HEIGHT - Medium
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES - None
NUMBER OF FINGERS - Ten
NUMBER OF TOES - Ten
INTELLIGENCE – Medium
What did you expect?
“A Song at the End of the World”
by Czeslaw Milosz
On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.
After reading "A Song at the End of the World" at least twice, write your own poem that mimics this poem's idea. It should begin and end with the same line. Other lines you might want to borrow could be "No one believes it is happening now" and the construction "As long as..." Include your own details about the mundane things that might be going on as the world ends, and what people would have expected to be going on, and create your own version of the prophet who repeats the end lines. Not a white-haired old man, but something you imagine.
In class we discussed how Freud's concept of id, ego, and superego explains the interplay between a person's animal will and higher intellect. Remember the analogy of the rider on a horse, who does his best to control the animal while listening to the instructions of a riding teacher. We also decided how these three elements of the human mind are represented by the boys on the island. Write a 250 word essay in which you explain how Ralph, Jack, Simon, and Piggy fit into the definitions of id, ego, and superego. You'll need to introduce the concepts first, then give a little time to each character, maybe including an example from their behavior in the book to back up their psychological function, and finish with a conclusion. In the conclusion you might think about how the book ends and speculate on what William Golding is telling us about the human mind, based on that ending.
two Hollywood writers announced that they are writing and directing a movie based on Lord of the Flies that will portray all the characters as female. One of the directors said that "taking the opportunity to tell it in a way it hasn’t been told before, with girls rather than boys, shifts things in a way that might help people see the story anew. It breaks away from some of the conventions, the ways we think of boys and aggression." However, a lot of people are reacting negatively to the idea, saying that the story would be completely different with female characters, and cannot possibly stay true to the book. People are also raising eyebrows over the fact that these two directors are male. So, what do you think? Would the movie work with the same plot as the book, but girls instead of boys? If yes, why do you think that is? If no, how do you think the plot of the book would change?
1. What word does Ralph use that Piggy does not want him to use to describe what happened to Simon? What word does Piggy want to use?
2. The boys in Jack's tribe think they killed the beast. But what does Jack say?
3. What did Jack's hunters steal when they raided Ralph's camp?
4. Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric want to prepare themselves to visit Jack's tribe by doing what?
5. What words does Ralph use to describe Jack in the heat of the fight?
6. What choice does Piggy lay out for all the boys, just before he falls?
7. Why does Ralph feel that it might be ok to try again with Jack and his tribe?
8. What does Ralph do when he encounters the pig's head in the jungle?
9. When Piggy falls, the conch is smashed. What did the conch symbolize to the boys?
10. Who claims to be chief when the adults arrive?
BONUS: What do you think will happen to the boys when they get home?
Friday, March 2, 2018
|Look at this totally pretty beach!|
Lord of the Flies by William Golding, chapters 7-9
Pretend that you own a bakery and that someone has requested a Lord of the Flies themed cake. Using any image or scene from the book, and any color scheme, create sketches for a decorated cake. You could even design a cake that looks like the island. In your assignment, include the materials you will need -- different colors of frosting, little props, fondant, etc. -- and also the flavors you will choose. You do not actually have to bake a cake! Just give the plans.
Write a code of conduct for an island-based society composed entirely of children under the age of 15, based on the Boy Scout Law. Your code of conduct must highlight at least five attributes of a good citizen. You can write it from your own perspective and experience, or choose to "role-play" one of the characters to create your code.
After reading "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, considering the statement "All life is equally precious," and reflecting on our class discussion, write an essay of at least 250 words responding to the following prompt: If tradition demands that one member of a community be sacrificed each year, is a random lottery the most fair way to decide on the person to be sacrificed? Or is there another way to decide that's more reasonable and just? Do not include animals in your argument in any way -- focus only on human members of the community. To fully answer this prompt, you must first decide whether a lottery is most fair. If the answer is yes, you must say why. If the answer is no, you must offer a different idea for how the community could decide.
Consider the two leadership situations you encountered in class. First you formed a council with diverse personalities and worldviews, and then you formed a council with similar personalities and worldviews. Write an essay of at least 250 words in which you respond to this prompt: Which leadership council was most effective? In order to answer this question, you'll need to define the word "effective." Was it the most comfortable? The one that generated the most content? The one that presented the most balanced list? Use specific examples from your experience to support your idea. You must say one or the other was more effective. Saying "it depends" or "sort of" is not an option.
1. Who reassures Ralph that he will make it home?
2. What happens to Ralph's spear when he participates in the pig hunt?
3. Who pretends to be a pig when the boys recreate the hunt in a game?
4. Why does Jack leave the group?
5. What project does Piggy suggest?
6. Why do the hunters impale a pig's head in the clearing?
7. The Lord of the Flies says that Simon can never escape him. Why?
8. What does Simon learn up on the mountain?
9. How does the weather add to the mood of the scene where the boys are dancing on the beach?
10. What happens to Simon's corpse and the parachutist's corpse?
Sorry, I know this week's reading is tough! Make sure you take a walk in the sunshine, play with a dog, hug your mom, and find something that makes you laugh and smile!
Friday, February 23, 2018
Lord of the Flies by William Golding, chapters 4-6
"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell
Using your watercolor resist project from class as a starting point, finish off this piece of art by adding lines and color, either with more watercolor paint, or with sharpie, or pen, or colored pencils. What can you add in the resisted areas, or how can you create outlines in the watercolor sections that augment the painting?
Write a poem of two sections, one representing Jack's point of view and one representing Ralph's. The challenge is this: the diction and word choice must reflect the developing worldviews of these characters. Who will have a regular rhyme and meter, and who will write blank verse? Who will use elevated vocabulary and who will use short, easy words? Not only your content but also your form must reflect the voice of these two characters. For your title, take one of the chapter titles.
Remembering our four character archetypes, how would you sort Ralph, Piggy, Simon, and Jack into Hogwarts houses and why? If you'd prefer to use D&D classes or Three Musketeers characters as archetypes for comparison, that's fine too. Write a 250 word essay in which you tell how the main characters of Lord of the Flies would be sorted, and give at least one specific example from the story for each one -- an image, action, or line of dialogue.
After reading "The Most Dangerous Game" think about Rainsford's line: " The world is made up of two classes--the hunters and the huntees." Do you think that Rainsford's assessment of the world has changed by the end of the story? In what way? Write a 250 word essay in which you explain Rainsford's way of looking at things, and take a position on whether he still feels like that at the end of the plot.
1. Why did the hunters let the fire go out?
2. What was Ralph's response to Jack's apology?
3. Who gave Piggy meat at the feast?
4. How did Piggy's glasses get broken?
5. Give three examples from Ralph's agenda for the meeting.
6. Who does Simon believe is the beast?
7. What does Piggy think the grown-ups would do while discussing problems?
8. Who discovers the beast on the mountain?
9. What actually is the beast on the mountain?
10. Who wins the argument of whether to stay on the rock pile at the end of the island or go back?
Friday, February 16, 2018
Lord of the Flies by William Golding, chapters 1-3
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
Pretend you are one of the children on the island. You are at the first meeting under the palms, and you are holding the conch. Write a speech to your fellow castaways to inspire them to behave in the way you think is right. Will your speech prioritize survival? Virtue? Comforts? Rescue? What would you say if you had the conch, and the group was ready for words from a bold leader? Write at least 250 words.
Create an illustration that plots the action of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. You can illustrate a traditional plot diagram like the one below, or you can come up with something different, or use a storyboard, or a comic with six cells. You must show the following elements: Exposition, Inciting Event, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
Choose one of the statements below and write a 250 word essay taking a clear position: true or false? You may define the terms of the statement, and explain your opinion, but you must make a decision one way or another, and not waffle around saying, "It depends."
Executions should be televised.
People should be allowed to kill themselves if they want to.
It is easier to know nothing than it is to know everything.
Humans are inherently good.
All human life is equally valuable.
Freedom is the most important thing in life.
No one should have authority over another person.
1. Why were all these children together on this plane? Where were they going?
2. What object designates who can be heard at the meeting?
3. What job will the choir boys perform and who will lead them?
4. Who goes on the exploring mission to see if they are on an island?
5. What dream or vision is bothering the younger boys?
6. What useful object does Piggy possess that no one else does?
7. What are the children eating to survive?
8. What is Ralph's priority and what is Jack's priority, in terms of what each boy believes they should spend time doing?
9. Who is missing after the fire?
10. What does Simon see at the end of chapter 3?
Friday, February 2, 2018
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford, chapters 6-11
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain
"The Darkling Thrush" by Thomas Hardy
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.
The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.
At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
PDF to help you.
The character of Bodger and the thrush in the Hardy poem have something in common: they are old and frail. Why does the song of the thrush seem more poignant, and Bodger's loyalty seem more intense, because these animals are old? Remember the story "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings?" Write a poem in two parts: one which deals with the struggles and emotions of a young animal, and one which deals with the struggles and emotions of an older one. Your poem should show contrast and comparison -- some overlap and some diversion.
Analyze Tao's fight with the Lynx and look for the words that identify the lynx as the enemy: cruel, malicious, venomous, etc. Now rewrite the scene to make Tao and the boy with the gun into the villains, and the lynx into the hero/victim. Choose your words carefully, to show the reader who to root for and who to despise. You could even use some of the same words that Burnford used on the lynx, to describe the cat. Write at least 250 words.
Like last week, you're going to rewrite some lines from the novel using your own words to demonstrate that you understand the meaning of the vocabulary underlined. Do not just replace the word in question with a synonym from the Thesaurus. That often leaves you with a sentence that doesn't make sense.
1. They had tamed the bush, and in return it yielded them their food and their scant living from trap lines and wood lot.
2. She tucked him tenderly into an old wooden cradle, and he lay in sleepy contentment, his dark face incongruous against a doll's pillow.
3. The dog, for the first and last time in his life, capitulated.
4. Once they surprised a large fisher in the very act of dispatching a porcupine.
5. The heavier animal had fallen with more impetus and less agility; for a split second it remained where it was, slightly winded.
6. Across the valley, clearly discernible among the bare trees on the opposite slope, he saw two familiar and beloved golden and white figures.
7. A few curious farm cats were emboldened to approach the wood pile.
8. Mrs. Oakes was inconsolable.
9. Peter believed that Bodger was dead; Luath almost certainly so; and his conviction was steady and unalterable.
10. Longridge looked surrepticiously at his watch; it was time to go.
Friday, January 26, 2018
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford, chapters 1-5
"The Elephant's Child" by Rudyard Kipling
"A Dog Has Died" by Pablo Neruda
The three main characters in this book are animals, but they have their own distinct personalities and characteristics. Imagine these three characters as humans, and then either write a paragraph for each OR create an illustration of each one. What would they look like? What would they wear? What would their favorite pastimes be, or their jobs, or their families? Where would they live? There are no right or wrong answers, but do give as much detail as you can as you create rounded human characters who reflect the traits of these animals. You can handle this either as a visual assignment or a written assignment, but next week you will be writing about them, either way.
Mr. Longridge refers to the animals as Tao, Luath, and Bodger, as those are their names. However, once the pets take off down the road, the story doesn't call them by their names at all. Rudyard Kipling makes the same choice in his story, "The Elephant's Child," using terms like "the Crocodile" and "the Hippopotamus" instead. These stories, though, are very different, and the animals in them behave almost in opposite ways. Write an essay of at least 250 words comparing how the animals are portrayed in each of these stories. How do they behave toward each other? What is their function in the story? In which story are they more like animals and in which more like people? Use at least one example from the text of each story, and in the conclusion take your reader to a new place by writing about how the decision about how to portray the animals represents the authors' intent for the story.
After reading the poem, "A Dog Has Died," decide which of the dogs in the story most resembles the dog in the poem, and write an essay of at least 250 words telling why. You must use at least two lines from the poem and at least two details from the story to support your choice.
The Incredible Journey is a short novel about animals, but some of the diction in the novel is not easy. In this quiz, I'll ask you to rewrite a sentence without the underlined word, to give the meaning of the word in your own way. You don't have to replace the word with another word -- you can rewrite the sentence more broadly. You just can't use the underlined word in your rewrite.
Here's an example:
Q: "I expect Mr. Longridge left them shut inside the house if he was leaving early," she consoled herself.
A: "I expect Mr. Longridge left them shut inside the house if he was leaving early," she told herself, to make herself feel better.
1. The man replaced the gun in sudden contrition, and the dog lay down again, his head turned away, his eyes miserable.
2. Longridge watched Elizabeth's face screw up in the prelude to tears.
3. She read through to where it said: "I will be taking the dogs (and Tao too of course!) ...", then looked for the remainder.
4. When it was obvious that the old dog was flagging, the Labrador turned off the quiet, graveled road and into the shade of a pinewood beside a clear, fast-running creek.
5. Sometimes they passed derelict buildings in rank, overgrown clearings.
6. The shadows lengthened across the deserted track, and the evening wind sighed down it to sweep a flurry of whispering leaves across the rut, their brown brittleness light as a bension as they drifted across the unheeding white form.
7. The effect was galvanizing: his muddied half-chewed tail stirred and he raised his shoulders, then hie forelegs, with a convulsive effort, like an old work horse getting up after a fall.
8. This sent the Indians into paroxysms of laughter, and he had to repeat his performance time and time again.
9. He skirted the camp, moving like a shadow through the trees on the hill behind, until he came out upon the lake's shore a quarter of a mile upwind of the camp. Then he barked sharply and imperatively several times.
10. He had been made welcome, fed, and succored: the omen would prove fortunate.
BONUS 1: Rewrite this whole sentence to give the same meaning in a simpler way, without any of the underlined words. Two gleaming lamps appeared in the darkness of the cat's face, and his tail swished in response, but he restrained himself in deference to his surroundings.
BONUS 2: Number 6 is pretty hard, and if you look it up you might not find this word. However, you might figure it out if you remember the answer to this question: What character in Macbeth said this word?