Friday, December 2, 2016

Reading Period 11: December 2-8: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Hey girl, I'm a midshipman. 
Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, Dec 5
Assignments: Wednesday, Dec 7

Long Read:

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, chapters 4-6: "Hornblower and the Man Who Felt Queer," "Hornblower and the Man Who Saw God," and "Hornblower, the Frogs, and the Lobsters."

Short Read:

"The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield

Poem: 

"Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold

Hey girl, I'm a frigate. 

Creative Assignment:

Draw a frigate like the Indefatigable. In your drawing you must include and label the following parts: Keel, Anchor, Waterline, Bow, Stern, Forecastle, Quarter deck, Poop deck, Main mast, Foremast, Mizzenmast, Bowsprit, Figurehead, Hull.

OR

After reading the short story, "The Fly" and the poem "Dover Beach," write a poem about a time when you've felt frustrated and helpless, like the world was out of your control. Think about that father, frustrated by helplessness as his son was killed in a faraway war, or the fly helpless against the ink, or pebbles being thrown up on the beach by the waves. Begin with one of the following lines:
Come to the window
The wrong song echoes
Someone is still laughing
In the next dark wave, we
What you feel is the wind
Ah, love, let us be

Writing Assignment:

In the short story, "The Fly," a character who is only referred to as "the boss" is reminded of his son, who was a soldier, and who has died in World War I and is now buried in a grave far away in Belgium. After thinking about his son's death, consider the idea that the fly in the story might be a symbol. Why did the author include this strange anecdote about a man covering a fly with ink, in a story about a man grieving his son? Given how the man treats the fly and what happens to the fly in the end, and even the name "the boss," what do you think the fly symbolizes? Write a 250 word essay in which you explain the scene with the fly to your reader, and say what the fly symbolizes in the story, for you.

OR

Some adventure stories are written about heroes who seem to be all-powerful. In Horatio Hornblower, C.S. Forester, has created a main character that has a lot of flaws. Given that you know Forester wrote ten books of stories about Hornblower, and this is the first, chronologically, why do you think Forester wrote about Hornblower's many mistakes and flaws in his early career? Write a 250 word essay in which you explain specifically about one of Hornblower's mistakes, and then tell your reader why you think this author chose to portray this character this way.

OR

What connection can you make between the poem we read, the short story we read, and the story "Hornblower, the Frogs, and the Lobsters"? Write a 250 word essay connecting the three pieces of literature.

Hey girl, I'm the Bay of Biscay, from Space
Quiz

1. What acrobatic task is Hornblower supposed to accomplish during the attack on the Papillon?
2. Why was it so, so, so important for Hales NOT to get loudly sick and start yelling random things?
3. Find a quote that shows that Hornblower is a newbie. You must give a quote, in quotation marks, directly from the text.
4. Find a quote that shows that Hornblower has promise as an officer, and may do better in the future. Give the quote, in quotation marks, directly from the text.
5. Time on board ship was given by half hours, by ringing a bell between 1 and 8 times. Given that there are only eight bells, and 24 hours of the day, how would the seamen know what time it was? (Get some help here.)
6. Why did Styles get boils?
7. What does "beat to quarters" mean?
8. Who are the "Frogs" and who are the "Lobsters" from the title of the third story, and why are they called that??
9. Why were the British transporting French soldiers to France? Who were they going to fight?
10. What strange object were the French taking with them, and what did they do with it?
BONUS: What happened to Hornblower's horse as he was leaving France?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Reading Period 10: November 25 - Dec 1: Mr. Midshipman Hornblower

Due Dates:
Quiz is due Monday, Nov 28
Assignments are due Wednesday, Nov 30

Long Read: 

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester
Stories 1, 2, and 3: "Hornblower and the Even Chance," "Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice," and "Hornblower and the Penalty of Failure."

Short Read:

"The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson

Poem: 

"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray

Challenge:

We are going to learn to play Whist in class, like the sailors in the Navy do! After reading a description of the gameplay in "Hornblower and the Even Chance" look up the rules of whist and try to understand them. Here's one explanation from Wikipedia, and here is another. You can also try playing Whist online here.

Creative Assignments:

Choose one of these scenes and draw before and after illustrations: Illustrate the duel between Simpson and Hornblower in two panels, showing the moment before the pistols go off and the moment right after. Illustrate the fate of the Marie Gallante in two panels, one as Hornblower takes control and one at the end of the story. Illustrate the state of the English sailors and French prisoners in two panels: one just after they get into the small boat, and one later after they have been in the small boat for three days.

OR

An elegy is a poetic form written on the occasion of someone's death. Read Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" as an example (as recited by Hornblower in our book). Also read "The Role of Elegy" by Mary Jo Bang. Take your pencil and paper to an actual graveyard and sit quietly on your own for a while. Then write a poem with "Elegy" in the title that includes an actual epitaph at the end. You don't have to use a regular meter or rhyme scheme like Gray. Write your elegy for a person, like Gray, that is imagined in your mind, someone who might be lying in that cemetery.

OR

Write a short story of less than 1000 words or a dramatic script (here's how to format it) that shows one scene where a struggling small businessman experiences a dramatic change, as the restaurant in Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg." You can include up to five characters: the businessman, a family member, an employee, and two customers. Don't try to show the whole story -- just give your reader the scene that changes the fate of the business. For example, you could write about a shoe store owner who can't seem to find a single shoe to fit a customer's oddly shaped foot. Maybe a bookstore owner is thrilled when a customer promises to buy the whole store, but then despairs when that customer turns out to have no money.

Writing Assignments: 

The scope of this story collection is January 1794 to March 1798. Do some online research and write a 250 word essay explaining the conflict between France and Britain during this pre-Napoleon time. Google "War of the First Coalition" to get started. Remember to cite your sources at the end of your essay, and if you use any direct quotes, you must put them in quotation marks.

OR

Hornblower toasts to the "confusion of Robespierre." Do some online research and figure out who Robespierre was, what his role was in the French Revolution, and why he would be an enemy of England. Write a 250 word essay explaining his importance to the historical events of this time. Remember to cite your sources at the end of your essay, and if you use any direct quotes, you must put them in quotation marks.



Quiz:

1. What Channel is referenced in the first line of the first story, and what two countries does it separate?
2. From the description we are given, what does Horatio Hornblower look like?
3. What is Hornblower's birthday?
4. Try to understand this vocabulary from context if you can. What are "toadies and lickspittles"?
5. Where is the Bay of Biscay?
6. What does the French word émigré mean?
7. Name one mistake that Hornblower makes in "Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice."
8. Give a quote that illustrates Hornblower's mental state in "Hornblower and the Penalty of Failure."
9. What does Hornblower learn of the history of the Pique, from studying the layout of her decks?
10. Why does Hornblower decide not to tell Pellew of what he did to destroy the Pique?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Reading Period 9: November 11 - 17: Romeo and Juliet

Due dates: 
Quiz: Monday, November 14
Assignments: Wednesday, November 16
Don't forget to print your writing assignment and turn it in, in class, with your outline.

Long read:

Romeo and Juliet Act 5

Short read:

"Rocking Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence

Creative Assignments:

If you're going to do one of the poem options, listen to both pieces first and see which one appeals to you.

Take out paper and pencil. Watch this video and listen to the London Symphony perform Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet Overture." While you are listening, write down the images and feelings that come to your mind. After the piece is over, turn the paper over, and use these images to create a poem of at least twenty lines, titled "Love." The poem doesn't have to have anything to do with the characters or settings of Romeo and Juliet. Focus on using visual imagery to create a mood.

OR

Take out paper and pencil. Watch this video and listen to the London Symphony perform "Dance of the Knights" from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet. While you are listening, write down the images that come to your mind. After the piece is over, turn the paper over, and use these images and feelings  to create a poem of at least twenty lines, titled "Anger." The poem doesn't have to have anything to do with the characters or settings of Romeo and Juliet. Focus on using visual imagery to create a mood.

OR

Salvador Dali
Take a look at these incredibly beautiful and strange illustrations of Romeo and Juliet by surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Figure out which scene in the book is illustrated, and numbering from 1 to 11, give each one a descriptive title. Then using black, red, yellow, and blue only, and imitating the style of Dali, create your own illustration of a scene or idea from Romeo and Juliet.

Writing Assignment:

Watch a movie or stage version of Romeo and Juliet. If you went to see the American Shakespeare Theater perform last week, you can use that experience. Think about the character you play in our production, and the actor who played this character in the production you watched. Write a 250 word essay in which you describe the actor's choices in portraying this character, and then describe the choices you intend to make, whether the same or different, in portraying the character in class. Will you strike out on your own and do a new interpretation of your character? Will you borrow some things from the production you watched? Remember to print out your writing assignment and your outline to turn in on Thursday in class.

OR

Read these two articles (one and two) about Juliet's balcony, a tourist attraction in Verona, Italy. There is no historical basis for believing this is actually Juliet's house, but people like to write messages to her and leave them stuck to the wall. On one hand, people sticking chewing gum onto a historic house is bad, so maybe tourists should be stopped from doing it, and fined. On the other hand, Juliet's balcony brings in a lot of tourist dollars to Verona, and maybe the tourists should be allowed to leave their messages. Write a 250 word essay in which you choose a side and argue that the 500 Euro fine is fair or unfair, based on the information in these two articles. Remember to print out your writing assignment and your outline to turn in on Thursday in class.

Bye, Romeo and Juliet. We're moving on.
Quiz:

Identify the speaker of these important lines in Romeo and Juliet:

1. Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
2. My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
3. For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
4. Peace? I hate the word as I hate hell and all Montagues.
5. A plague on both your houses.
6. Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff;
Life and these lips have long been separated:
Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
7. I will make thee think thy swan a crow.
8. If love be rough with you, be rough with love!
9. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
10. O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet.
11. But come, young waverer, come, go with me.
In one respect I'll thy assistant be,
For this alliance may so happy prove
To turn your households' rancor to pure love.
12. I think it best you married with the County. 
O, he's a lovely gentleman! 
Romeo's a dishclout to him.
13. Talk not to me, for I'll not say a word
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee
14. No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.
15. Younger than she are happy mothers made. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Reading Period 8: November 4-10: Romeo and Juliet

Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, November 7
Assignments: Wednesday, November 9

Long Read: 

Romeo and Juliet, Acts 3 and 4.

Poem: 

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)
William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616

 My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
     As any she belied with false compare.

Think, as you read: Where is the turning point in this poem?

Check out this scanned version of the book of sonnets, in the Folger Shakespeare Library.

By William Shakespeare


Creative Assignment:

Choose at least three characters from the play and draw them as Pokemon. Don't choose existing Pokemons that are similar to the character -- make up new ones! For extra wonderfulness, draw two pictures for each Pokemon -- one in its basic form and one after it has evolved. So maybe emo Romeo evolves into joyful Romeo.

OR

Write a letter to William Shakespeare in which you argue with one of his creative choices in the play. For example, you could ask "Why did Mercutio have to die?" or maybe state that characters who have met in Act 1 shouldn't be married in Act 2 -- it's too soon! Use persuasive language and a well-reasoned position to convince the author a revision is necessary.

Writing Assignment:

The two sonnets we have read by William Shakespeare, both last week and this week, are love poems that compare the beloved to different elements in nature. Write an essay comparing the love expressed in these two sonnets. We talked about the first one in class -- take a crack at reading this second one closely and delving into it line by line to determine the meaning. Your essay will need an introduction that grabs the reader's attention and presents your topic, a paragraph for each of the poems, and a conclusion that takes the reader to a new place or introduces a new idea. Maybe you could decide, in your conclusion, which speaker is more loved, or which mistress more lovely. When you turn this in on paper, please indent the first lines of your paragraph, use spaces between lines, and put your name, the date, and the reading period on the page.

OR

Romeo's life is an emotional roller coaster! That means that he can go from rage to joy to despair and back to joy in a short period of time. Read Act 3 carefully and pay special attention to tracking Romeo's emotions. Write an essay in which you describe at least three different emotional states, and use quotes from the play to show how Romeo is feeling in these different situations. Your essay will need an introduction that grabs the reader and presents your topic, three paragraphs to show different emotions in this part of the play, and a conclusion that takes the reader to a new place. Maybe in your conclusion you could speculate whether Romeo is being too emotional, or whether his emotions are genuine. You could criticize him for being a hothead, or suggest ways in which the character could be  played. When you turn this in on paper, please indent the first lines of your paragraph, use spaces between lines, and put your name, the date, and the reading period on the page.

Quiz:

1. Who killed Mercutio?
2. Who killed Tybalt?
3. What does the Prince decide will be the punishment for killing Tybalt?
4. How does Romeo get in and out of Juliet's room?
5. What does the nurse recommend that Juliet do, at the end of Act 3?
6. What does Juliet threaten to do if she has to marry Paris?
7. Describe Friar Lawrence's plan to help Romeo and Juliet.
8. What is Juliet worried about before she drinks the poison?
9. Who finds Juliet's apparently dead body?
10. Why does Friar Lawrence say the family should quit grieving?
BONUS: What do you think is the point of bringing the musicians on at the end of this act?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Reading Period 7: October 28 - November 3: Romeo and Juliet

Due Dates: (Adjusted for Halloween)
Quiz: Wednesday, November 2
Assignments: Friday, November 7

Long Read:

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, Acts 1 and 2

Poem:

This is a poem we will be memorizing! Get started by reading it every day.

"Shall I Compare Thee To a Summer's Day?"

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
     So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
     So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Creative Assignment:

In scene 1 (p. 13), Lord Montague says Romeo is like a "bud bit with an envious worm / Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air, / Or dedicate his beauty to the sun." In scene two (p 23), Benvolio challenges Romeo to compare Rosaline to other women at the Capulet's party, saying "Compare her face with some that I shall show / And I will make thee think thy swan a crow." In scene 3 (p 29), Lady Capulet says, "This precious book of love, this unbound lover, / To beautify him, only lacks a cover." In scene 4 (p. 31) Romeo says, "You have dancing shoes / With nimble soles, I have a soul of lead / So stakes me to the ground I cannot move." You may find many other examples of figurative language in this play, where the characters use images to explain what they mean. Create an illustration of one of these examples of figurative language, where you draw it out literally. Show me the bud and the envious worm, the swans and crows, or the book of love and the cover it needs. Use unlined paper and some kind of color in your illustration.

OR

Read this page about Shakespearean sonnets. It uses our poem this week as an example, which will help you get a jump on reading and understanding it. Now try your hand at writing your own sonnet. It must have three quatrains and a couplet. It must have ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme. It must be in iambic pentameter. Don't know what those things mean? We'll talk lots about sonnets in class. For now, read about it on No Sweat Shakespeare, at the link above, and do your very best!

Writing Assignment:

Remember our writing assignment about how characters in Ivanhoe demonstrated the conflict in their world? We're going to do a similar assignment for Romeo and Juliet. Even the title indicates there will be some pairing and parallels in this play. In sonnets and in drama, the concept of "antithesis" means creating opposites in conflict. One of these pairs is Mercutio and Benvolio. Another is Lady Capulet and Lord Montague, Romeo and Tybalt. Choose two characters and think about their behavior and personalities in the first two acts. Write a compare and contrast essay of 200 words, showing how these characters are in opposition to each other. You could even use Romeo and Juliet since they are from opposing families. Use at least two quotes from the book to support your ideas!

OR

Shakespeare mixes comedy in with the more serious scenes in the play. Write a 200 word essay in which you track the comic and serious scenes through the first two acts. If you think about organization, your paper may have four paragraphs. One introducing your idea, two about act 1, three about act 2, and four taking the reader to a new place. Maybe you could speculate about why Shakespeare does this mixing, or maybe you could talk about another book that mixes comedy and tragedy, or the idea of a comic relief character, or maybe talk about what the play would be like without one of these elements -- anything new you can give your reader in the conclusion.

Quiz:

This quiz is over Act 1 and 2 of Romeo and Juliet.

1. What two families are at war in the play?
2. What lady is Romeo in love with in Act 1 Scene 2?
3. How old is Juliet, and who does Juliet's mother want her to marry?
4. Is Mercutio a Montague or a Capulet?
5. Who figures out that Romeo has crashed the Capulet party?
6. Give one image that Juliet compares their love to, on page 59.
7. Paraphrase these lines. What is Romeo saying here?
Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books,
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.
8. Friar Lawrence agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet, even though he feels like Romeo is inconstant. Why? (look at lines 90-92)
9. Who is going to carry news of Romeo's plan to Juliet?
10. Based on his speech at the top of page 87, what can you say about Friar Lawrence's attitude toward love?


Friday, October 14, 2016

Reading Period 6: October 14-20: Oliver Twist

Long Read:

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, chapters 15-30

Poem:

Holy Thursday (Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean)
Holy Thursday (Is this a holy thing to see)

Creative Assignments:

Pretend you are a reporter. You were tipped off by the police that a robbery has occurred outside Write a newspaper article reporting on the robbery at a house outside Chertsey. You go to the house and interview Mr. Giles, Brittles, Mrs. Maylie, and Rose. Write an article reporting this news, including correctly-punctuated quotes from all four of the interviews. Only use information in the article that the characters are willing to tell you.

OR

William Blake was a Victorian poet who, like Charles Dickens, believed that part of his job as a writer was exposing and discussing the unfairness of poverty and the fate of English poor children. He wrote two poems called "Holy Thursday" and this pair of poems shows two views of the poor children who come to church during Holy Week. For your assignment, create two illustrations, one for each of these poems. You must use unlined paper, and color, and include details from the poems. The illustrations should reflect the contrasting moods of the two works. You don't have to include the text of the poem in your illustration, but just so you can see how Blake was thinking about it, here are his illustrations of his own works:




Writing Assignment:

Are people basically good, trying to do what's right and be kind to each other? Or are people basically bad, only doing the right thing when they have to, or when it serves their own interest, and other times doing whatever is best for themselves? For this assignment, you must pick a side and argue that position, using characters from Oliver Twist as examples. It's absolutely possible to choose either side of the argument and effectively make your point, depending on which characters you bring up. In class on Tuesday we will work on an outline for this essay, and you'll turn in a first draft, along with the outline, on Thursday.

Quiz:

1. What was the criminals' first clue as to Oliver's whereabouts? This answer comes toward the end of chapter 16.
2. Paraphrase the first paragraph of chapter 17. In just one sentence, what is Dickens telling us here?
3. Give a specific detail from the book that shows the state of the house that Oliver is staying in with Fagin.
4. Paraphrase the following: "If you don't take fogles and tickers, some other cove will; so that the coves that lose 'em will be all the worse, and you'll be all the worse too, and nobody half a ha'p'orth the better, except the chaps wot gets them -- and you've just as good a right to them as they have."
5. Why is Oliver perfect for Bill Sikes' plan to get into the house he wants to rob?
6. What does Bill Sikes threaten Oliver with, if he talks?
7. What is Oliver supposed to do, to help with the robbery?
8. What is the purpose of Mr. Bumble's visit to Mrs. Corney?
9. Who is the old woman who almost tells a secret before she dies in chapter 24? What is her connection to Oliver?
10. What does Toby Crackit report to Fagin about Oliver?
11. Why does Nancy hope that Oliver is dead?
12. Why do Noah and Charlotte get in trouble with Mr. Bumble?
13. To what house does Oliver go for help, when he wakes up?
14. Who shot Oliver?
15. What does the doctor ask Mr. Giles and Brittles to do, at the end of chapter 30? And do they do it?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reading Period 5: October 7-13: Oliver Twist

Jack Dawkins: Friend or Foe?
Long Read: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, chapters 6-15

Poem: Choose one poem from "When You Are Old," "The Two Trees," and "The Stolen Child" to memorize. You should have handouts in your folder for all three. Read this poem aloud to yourself or to someone else every day this week.

Creative Assignment:

Charles Dickens creates vivid characters and then gives them descriptive names to help bring them alive. Characters like The Artful Dodger, Mr. Bumble, Mr. Fang, Mrs. Sowerberry, and Bill Sikes have personalities that are easy to imagine. Try visualizing four of the characters in Oliver Twist as animals, and create illustrations of them with animal bodies. What animal would Mr. Brownlow be? How about Oliver himself? In your illustrations, you can give them Victorian clothes, or you can dress them in modern attire.

OR

The name "The Artful Dodger" has really captured the imagination of a lot of business owners. It has been used for lots of pubs, coffee shops, tattoo parlors, and restaurants in England and the rest of the world. Pretend you are going to open a business in Norfolk called The Artful Dodger, and you're looking for investors. It can be a hair salon, a bakery, a music shop, or whatever you like. Write a letter to your rich friends describing your plan: the location, the building you'll be in, the decor, the menu or services offered, the staff, any details you can think of that make the project sound like an exciting investment.

Writing Assignment:

Write a persuasive essay of 250 words. In your essay, you will argue one of the following positions: 1. People who commit crimes must always be punished according to the law. or 2. It's okay to be merciful and just let criminals go free. For an illustrative example in your essay, use the characters and scenes from Oliver Twist. In your essay, you must pick a side and STICK TO IT! No "on the other hand" or "I can see it both ways." Here are some persuasive phrases to include in your essay: As the evidence shows, Bearing in mind, Now is the time, Strongly recommend, When you consider that, Deeply concerned, Taking into account, Many people think, Without a doubt, Shouldn't we consider, That is the reason why, The truth of the matter, We must remember. Those writers in Ms. Maryann's "What's Your Opinion" class will recognize these! Try to use three of them.

Quiz:

1. What did Noah say to Oliver that threw Oliver into a violent rage?
2. On what does Mr. Bumble blame Oliver's violent behavior?
3. What is Jack Dawkins' nickname?
4. Fagin says that the boys manufacture the pocketbooks and handkerchiefs but where do they really get them?
5. Why does the narrator think that the phrase "Stop! Thief!" is so attractive to people?
6. Dickens names characters to reflect their personalities or their role in the story. Give an example of a character in chapter 11 that has a descriptive name.
7. Give two details from the text that show that Mr. Brownlow is taking good care of Oliver.
8. What does Fagin send Nancy to find out, and why is he worried about it?
9. On what errand does Mr. Brownlow send Oliver, and what does Mr. Grimwig think will happen as a result of this errand?
10. Who does Oliver meet on his way to do Mr. Brownlow's errand?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Reading Period 4: Sept 30 - October 6: Oliver Twist

Long Read:

Oliver Twist, chapters 1-5

Poem:

"A Child's Hymn" by Charles Dickens

Creative Assignment:

For one day, eat only watery oatmeal (or grits or something else bland you can eat), an onion, and two ounces (about one bagel) of bread. Take pictures and write a short (250 words) memoir about the experience. Even though this is a creative memoir, think about the structure of your writing. Pretend your audience knows nothing of your diet experiment or why you are doing it, so you'll need to explain it and connect it to the book. Talk in your memoir about how you felt at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, the next day when you were able to eat different food, etc.



OR

The poem for this week is both a prayer and a song. Set the words "A Child's Hymn" to music, and either play it on your instrument in a video, sing it in a video, or provide us sheet music to read.

Writing Assignment:

I'm quite serious. No, really. Totally serious.
Much of Oliver Twist is written in a satirical tone. For example, Mrs. Mann is called "his benevolent protectress." The narrator exclaims, "What a noble illustration of the tender laws of England! They let the paupers go to sleep!" Write an essay in which you praise something satirically, meaning that you really are mocking or attacking it. You could choose a food that you don't like to eat, a school subject you despise, a book you didn't enjoy, a chore you hate doing, etc. For example, you could write an essay praising the cleaning of toilets, in which we come to understand how much you hate cleaning toilets. You could write an essay expounding on the glories of broccoli, which shows us how much you despise it. Make sure you have read the first few chapters of Oliver Twist before you try this out. Your essay should be at least 200 words.

OR

Put yourself in the world of the novel, and write a letter to the board of the workhouse in which you demand changes to the situation of the paupers and orphans. Use specific examples from Oliver Twist as if it is real life and these things really happened. Your essay should be at least 200 words.

Quiz:

1. What do we know of Oliver's mother, from chapter 1?
2. Give two examples of the author being sarcastic or satirical in chapter 2. You'll find he starts out right in the first paragraph.
3. Why has Mr. Bumble come to get Oliver Twist from Mrs. Mann's house and where is he going?
4. What crime lands Oliver in solitary confinement?
5. Why does the gentleman with the white waistcoat think that Mr. Gamfield is the perfect master for Oliver?
6. Why does Oliver NOT end up indentured to the chimney sweep?
7. What is Mr. Sowerberry's job?
8. What does Mrs. Sowerberry give Oliver to eat on his first night with them?
9. Why does Noah Claypole look down on Oliver and what name does he call Oliver?
10. Give a quote to show that the part of town Mr. Sowerberry and Oliver visit to measure the corpse is very run down and poor.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Reading Period 3: September 16-22: Ivanhoe

Class Meetings: September 20, 22
Due Dates:
Quiz is due September 19, 7pm
Assignments are due September 21, 7pm

Long Read: 

Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, by Walter Scott, adapted by David Purdie, chapters 32 - Epilogue.

Poem: 

"When You Are Old" by W. B. Yeats

Creative Assignments:

Imagine a movie version of the book Ivanhoe. First decide on a cast. Who will play the major roles? Now come up with a tagline -- what simple sentence or question encapsulates what this movie is about. For example, the movie tagline for Apollo 13 was "Houston, we have a problem." The movie tagline for Jaws 2 was "Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water." The movie tagline for Alien was "In space, no one can hear you scream." Now that you have a cast and a tagline, create a movie poster that will make everyone want to come and see the movie!

OR

Check out this strategy adventure game based on Ivanhoe's characters, culture, and time period: Defenders of the Crown. Play enough of the free demo that you get a sense of all the different parts of gameplay and what you might like or not like about it. Now write a balanced review of the game in which you describe the game and gameplay to someone who is considering playing it. Critique and praise specific features, and give a directed recommendation. For example, "People who play Monkeytoots will like this game, because it has monkeys and toots."

The real Coningsburgh Castle
Writing Assignment:

Ivanhoe is all about conflict: Saxon vs. Norman. Master vs. servant. Jew vs. Gentile. True monarch vs. Usurper. Churchman vs. Layman. Freeman vs. Outlaw. Choose a pair of characters that exemplify both sides of one of these conflicts and write an essay about how they live out the conflict in the plot of the book and how each one typifies the values and identity of his or her side of the conflict. We will be working on an outline for this in class on Tuesday, and you'll need to bring two copies of your finished outline with you to class on Thursday so we can read them and work on them in class. Your only assignment for the week following will be to revise this essay.

Quiz:

You may use your book to answer these questions. Copy and paste the questions into an email to Ms. Lydia and send your answers as complete sentences. Please use the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 3.

1. Why is Cedric so destroyed by the death of Athelstane?
2. What gift does Locksley give to the Black Knight?
3. Who decides the prior's ransom and who decides the Jew's ransom? (in chapter 33)
4. What do De Bracy and Fitzurse plan to do now that Richard is back in England?
5. What is Prince John's plan for dealing with Richard?
6. Fitzurse agrees to carry out John's plan, but who does John offer to make High Marshal? Why not Fitzurse?
7. Who is Lucas Beaumanoir?
8. How does Prior Aymer describe Rebecca in his letter to Brian de Bois Guilbert?
9. Why is the Grand Master upset with Albert Malvoisin?
10. Why does Higg, son of Snell, appear at Rebecca's trial?
11. Who tells Rebecca to demand a champion?
12. Who is chosen to be the Templar's champion?
13. What does Brian de Bois Guilbert suggest to Rebecca as a way out of her predicament, when he visits her prison cell?
14. Why does Wamba sound the bugle?
15. What name does Locksley now want to take?
16. What is going on at Coningsburgh Castle when Richard and Ivanhoe arrive?
17. Why does Richard correct Cedric when Cedric calls him "Richard of Anjou"? What does he want to be called instead?
18. When Athelstane appears, what part of his ordeal does he seem most upset by?
19. Who shows up to be Rebecca's champion?
20. What is the purpose of Rebecca's visit to Rowena?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Reading Period 2: September 9 - 15: Ivanhoe

That's SIR Walter Scott to you, sport.
Meetings: September 13, 15
Due dates:
Quiz due September 12, 7pm
Assignments due September 14, 7pm

Long Read: 

Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, adapted by David Purdie, chapters 12-31

Poem:

"The Stolen Child" by W. B. Yeats

Creative Assignments

Post your work to the Google+ Community, and don't forget to comment on your teammates' posts. Choose one of these:

Create Torquilstone Castle in Minecraft. You must demonstrate your knowledge of at least ten vocabulary words and label these illustrations with signs. Example: barbican, palisade, bailey, moat, keep, arrow loop, crenelation, drawbridge, oubliette, donjon, postern gate, etc. You can work together on this project with one or two other people, if you want. Just make sure everyone contributes.

OR

Create a  handwritten letter from Wilfred to Rowena, or a letter from Rowena to Wilfred. Pretend the letter is written while both are imprisoned at Torquilstone. What would each one be thinking of? What would they want to say to each other, if there was a doubt that they would ever see each other again? Handwrite your letter on paper with a pen, and include a flowery signature and whatever illustrations you think are appropriate -- hearts, flowers, swords, etc.

Writing Assignments:

Post your work to the Google+ Community, and don't forget to comment on your teammates' posts. Choose one of these:

Cool barbican, bruh. 
Rewrite the plot of the Torquilstone rescue so that Rowena and Rebecca save themselves and everyone else with the help of Ulrica. You can give them super powers if you like. Write at least 300 words, but take as much space as you need, to include dialogue, description, and awesome action sequences.

OR

Write an invitation to the tournament at Ashby de la Zouche. In it, you should include everything a knight will need to know about the tournament. The rules, the schedule of events, what they'll need to bring, the etiquette expectations, and a list of the dignitaries they'll get to meet if they come. Explain about crowning the Queen of Love and Beauty, and make the tournament sound awesome so everyone will want to come and fight! Think about your invitation having an introduction, body, and conclusion, and what purpose, within this piece of writing, each one of those sections should have.

Quiz

The quiz is open book! Make sure you email your answers to Ms. Lydia with the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 2.

Have fun storming the castle!
1. How is the combat on the second day of the tournament different from combat on the first day?
2. What has happened to Ivanhoe's land and manor while he was off fighting with Richard in the crusades?
3. What target does Locksley suggest that Hubert refuses to shoot at?
4. Whose name does Cedric give a toast to at the banquet, causing John to freak out?
5. What evidence do you see in chapter 16 to support the idea that the hermit at the chapel of St. Dunstan does NOT lead a pious life of deprivation and prayer?
6. What reasons does Gurth have to be angry a Cedric in chapter 18?
7. What reasons does Cedric have to be crabby in chapter 18?
8. De Bracy has kidnapped Cedric's party and has taken them to which castle? Who owns it?
9. After the kidnapping, what does De Bracy want? What does Reginald Front-de-Boeuf want? What does Brian de Bois Guilbert want?
10. What does Rebecca threaten to do if Guilbert doesn't leave her alone?
11. Who dresses up as a priest to enter Reginald Front-de-Boeuf's castle?
12. What is the clever plan to get Cedric out of the castle?
13. Why is Ulrica tormented with guilt?
14. What job does Reginald give to Cedric as he sends him out of the castle?
15. Why does De Bracy not tell Reginald Front-de-Boeuf of Wilfred of Ivanhoe's identity? What would Reginald have done if he knew? And why?
16. In what point of view does the author, Walter Scott, filter the action of the battle scene in chapter 30?
17. How does Ulrica get her revenge on Reginald?
18. Who crossed the moat and attacked the gate?  (Two answers)
19. Who saves Rebecca from the fire?
20. Who saves Ivanhoe from the fire?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Reading Period 1: September 2-8: Ivanhoe

Class Meetings: September 6, 8
Due dates: 
Quiz: September 5, 7pm
Assignments: September 7, 7pm

Long Read:

Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, adapted by David Purdie, chapters 1-11

Poem: 

"The Two Trees" by William Butler Yeats

Participation:

Participation on the Google+ Community is expected and will be rewarded this year! Everyone loves to get responses to their work, including insightful comments and helpful encouragement. But ten students will produce a lot of work, maybe too much for you to keep up with. You will be divided into two participation teams, and expected to comment on at least your teammates' posts. Of course you can be extra awesome by commenting on everyone's post. Teams can change their names once we start meeting. I separated the siblings, but otherwise it's random:

Team Normans! Montjoie! Snowden, David, Mia, Leah A, Elizabeth
Team Saxons! Óðins skegg! Sadie, Katie, Leah R, Ean, Keely

There will be other uses for our teams, to be announced! For example, sometimes the team whose members finish posting their assignments earlier in the week will receive some advantages in class.

Your comments should be positive and encouraging, but try to relate specifically to something in the assignment.

Creative Assignments:

Choose one of these assignments, and post your work to the Google+ community before the deadline. You can comment on anyone's work, but remember to comment on your team's posts! Always stay positive!

Illustrate one of these character pairs. Use details from the text to inform the clothing, posture, and setting of your illustration.
Wamba and Gurth
Pryor Aymer and Brian de Bois Guilbert
Cedric and Rowena
Disinherited Knight and Reginald Front de Beouf
Prince John and Waldemar Fizurse.

OR

Using the tune "If Ever You Were Mine," write at least three verses of song about Rowena and Wilfred's forbidden love. You can write either from the point of view of Rowena singing to Wilfred or Wilfred singing to Rowena. The only requirement is that the last bit of the tune should go with the words "if ever you were mine." The song has an A section and a B section. Listen a few times to get a grasp on the way it goes before you start writing. Here's the tune:




OR

Same as above, only rewrite the lyrics to "Since You've Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson from the point of view of Rowena. Obviously keep the words "Since you've been gone" since that's thematically appropriate to Wilfred's absence in the crusade.

OR

Same as above, only rewrite the lyrics to "Stressed Out" by 21 Pilots from the point of view of Ivanhoe.

Writing Assignments: 

Ivanhoe takes place in the year 1194, a year in which England was divided between the Norman rulers and the Saxons they ruled. Watch and read this short illustrated guide to the Norman Conquest. Using the information you find here, and the information in the first few chapters of Ivanhoe, write a 200 word essay explaining the political situation in England in the year 1194. Who rules and who serves? Who conquered and how? Use your own words to explain the history of the conquest and the tense situation that resulted. Your essay should include and name Edward the Confessor, Harold Hardrada, Harold Godwinson, and William the Conqueror.

OR

We know that Rotherwood, home of Cedric the Saxon, was a rude and unimpressive dwelling compared to the castles his Norman overlords were building around him. Enter and explore this virtual replica of a Norman keep. Try to find all the staircases and explore all the rooms. Now write a 200 word first person account of your visit. Include as many specific details as you can, and use your imagination too, to bring in sounds, smells, and feelings.

Ain't no party like a Rotherwood party.
Quiz

You may use your book to answer these questions! Email your answers as complete sentences to Ms. Lydia, and please use the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 1. You can include the questions in the quiz you turn in by copying and pasting them into your email.

1. What jobs do Gurth and Wamba do for their master Cedric?
2. In what way is Prior Aymer's appearance and behavior inconsistent with his job as a monk?
3. What is a Knight Templar?
4. What is a Palmer?
5. What does Prior Aymer warn Brian de Bois Guilbert about Cedric?
6. Give evidence from Cedric's dialogue to show that he hates being ruled by the Normans.
7. Who does Brian de Bois Guilbert challenge to a fight, as soon as he comes back to England, and why?
8. What does the Palmer tell Isaac to do, when he visits Isaac's cell at night?
9. What do you think the Palmer said to Gurth in chapter 6 to make him obedient?
10. How does Isaac repay the Palmer for his help?
11. Who does Prince John force to move, at the tournament, to make room for Isaac and Rebecca?
12. Who gets to decide which lady will be the Queen of Love and Beauty on day 2 of the tournament?
13. What is largesse?
14. What does El Desdichado mean?
15. Who wins the tournament?
16. Who does the winner choose as the Queen of Love and Beauty?
17. What is the winner's physical state at the end
18. Where does Gurth go with a bag of gold after day 1 of the tournament is over?
19. Who gives the gold back to him?
20. How does Gurth get free of the robbers on the way back?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Reading Period 27: May 13-June 24: Final

It's pronounced gee! Like ski!
Last Class Meeting: To Be Determined

Due Dates: June 24. This includes all late assignments and quizzes!

Long Read: Finish A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Short Read: The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Creative Assignment:

We've studied how character archetypes reappear in the stories we read. Imagine what might happen if the characters in the nine novels we've read got mixed up and switched books? What would happen if Merlin mentored Ged instead of Wart? If Diana Barry became Sara Crewe's sidekick? If General Woundwort turned up in Trewissick or Mr. Hastings went to Brooklyn? How would Ebeneezer Scrooge fare as a rabbit, or Velvet Brown feel about being visited by three spirits? If you want to, you can mix up the books even more and put three different characters together.

After you have fully imagined a great setting, create a drawing of this strange meeting/switch on unlined paper with color materials. It must be clear from your drawing what characters are switching.

OR

After you have fully imagined the drama that might ensue after such a change, write a short scene about this strange meeting, including dialogue and action. 300 words.

Writing Assignment: 

Thinking back over all the books we have read this semester, decide which character was your favorite and which was your least favorite. Write a short essay explaining why. In your introduction, you should talk about your criteria, or reasons, for choosing your favorite and least. Then you'll need two paragraphs to talk about the two characters -- make sure to include specific details from the books, including scenes and maybe quotes. In your conclusion, say what you learned about yourself from figuring out what you like and dislike in a character. You must identify your reasons -- this may require some thought and self-examination! Your essay should be 300 words.

Final Challenge (instead of a quiz):

We've been doing a "Stickybeak Scoop Sheet" for each of the novels we've read. Please practice your skill in analyzing literature by doing a "scoop sheet" for the short story, "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant. You'll need to include one of each of these elements, unless I've noted you need more than one:

Title, Author, Something about the author, Year, Something else happening in that year.
Characters (3)
Settings (3)
Plot points (3)
Significant object:
Quote:
Literary technique:
Theme:
Motif:
Symbol:
Discussion question:

Now that you've analyzed the story as a list of elements, turn this list into an interesting essay of three hundred words, teaching people what they need to know about this story. Don't just turn your list into prose. Instead of saying "The characters are A, B, C, and the plot points are A, B, C, and the settings are A, B, C" you could summarize the story, making sure to include the names of the characters, the places, and the things that happened. It may be helpful to create an outline first. How many paragraphs will you need? What info should you put in your introduction, and what can you save for your conclusion? Send your mini scoop sheet to me in email as you would a quiz, and post your essay to your Stickybeak Archive as your final archive entry for the year.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Reading Period 26: May 6 - 12 : A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Class meeting: 

May 10, 12

Due dates: 

Assignments: May 11

Poem:

"Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats



Long read:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Read new chapters at your own pace.

Creative Assignment:

In class, we worked on connecting stories to numbers in the same way that Francie does in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Maybe you assigned colors or foods or personality types or articles of clothing. For your creative assignment, please list your numbers from 0-9 and their assigned values. Choose four numbers of at least three digits and tell the story that goes with them. You can pick whatever numbers make the best stories -- they don't have to be the ones we worked on in class.

OR

Draw a picture of your D&D character including all the armor, weapons, pets, and any other object he or she possesses. You must use unlined paper and color to complete your art. If you don't choose this option this week, it will be here for you next week. I'd like to put together a gallery to finish off the year of roleplaying adventure. How far we have come from Bunnies and Burrows!

Writing Assignment:

Book Two of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn tells the story of how Francie's parents, Katie and Johnny Dolan, first met and how they got married. Find out how your parents met and got married, and tell the story in a 200, 400, or 600-word narrative essay. You can choose the word length, based on what kind of writing you'd like to do. If you choose 200 words, you'll have to think about what level of detail will be possible in such a short essay -- will you be able to include dialogue? If you choose 600 words, you'll have much more room for detail, but you'll need to be careful that you don't rush through the story and get to the end too soon. Try writing the essay without using the words "I" or "me" -- just write about your parents as if they were characters in a novel. Type your word length choice at the beginning of your essay and try to stay as close to it as possible.

OR

Write the story of your D&D character from as far back as you can remember in a 200, 400, or 600-word narrative essay. You can choose the word length, based on what kind of writing you'd like to do. If you choose 200 words, you'll have to think about what level of detail will be possible in such a short essay -- will you be able to include dialogue? If you choose 600 words, you'll have much more room for detail, but you'll need to be careful that you don't rush through the story and get to the end too soon. Try writing the essay without using the words "I" or "me" -- just write about your character as if he or she were a character in a novel. Type your word length choice at the beginning of your essay and try to stay as close to it as possible.

Quiz:

No quiz! In lieu of a quiz, please make sure you really read the poem.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Reading Period 25: April 23 - 29: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Class meeting: May 3, 5

Long read:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Book 1 (chapters 1-6)

Short read:

"The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield

Poem:

Molly Malone (Traditional)

In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

She was a fishmonger and sure it was no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they both wheeled their barrows through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

She died of a fever and no one could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
Now her ghost wheels her barrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!

A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!



Creative Assignment:

Draw a picture of Francie in a setting from the story. You can choose any scene you like, but you must use unlined paper and some sort of color.

OR

Write a strongly-worded letter to the librarian that recommends the same two books to Francie again and again. Without being disrespectful, let her know where she's failing this kid who needs her help, and suggest a new course of action.

Writing Assignment:

In an essay of at least two hundred words, describe Francie's mother and father with specific details from the story, and then answer the following question: Why does Francie like her father more? Your essay should have three paragraphs with an extra space between paragraphs.

OR

Brooklyn used to be its own city in the state of New York. Now it is part of New York City, one of the five boroughs. Do some internet research to answer the question: When and why and how did this happen? You could start with this web site.

Quiz:

1. How do Francie and Neeley make extra money?
2. How do Francie and Neeley divide up their money?
3. Give an example from the story to show that Francie has a vivid imagination.
4. What is Francie's reading goal?
5. The story tells us that the librarian hates children. Give an example of something she does or says that shows this is true.
6. Who are Bob and Frank? (Hint: Not bandits or guards!)
7. Why does Francie get coffee even though she doesn't like to drink it?
8. Give an example of one way Francie's mother transforms stale bread to make dinner.
9. What food does Francie go for when nothing else tastes good?
10. Why do the kids eat the leftover wedding food even though they don't like it? 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Reading Period 24: April 16 - 22: A Wizard of Earthsea

Map of Earthsea drawn by Ursula K. LeGuin
Click on this for a huge zoomable version.
Class meeting: April 19, 21

Due dates: Quiz due April 18, 7pm. Assignments due April 20, 7pm.

Long read:

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, chapters 7-10.

Short read:

"Song of Myself" excerpt on the handout from class. From Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

Creative Assignment:

After finishing the novel, explore the theme of the book by creating a side by side illustration of Ged and the shadow creature. You may use whatever medium you like, but you must use unlined paper and some kind of color. If  I look at your illustration, I must understand the outcome and the message of the novel. How can you explain what Ged discovered in the end, in a visual way?

OR

Create an illustrated diagram to show how A Wizard of Earthsea follows the archetypes of the monomyth: the hero, the villain, the mentor, the ally, the sidekick, the threshold guardian, the trickster, the shapeshifter, the jester. Include at least six characters with their archetypes. You can make a table, a wheel, a group photo with labels, whatever you like.

Writing Assignment:

Look over your notes from class. We talked about writing introductory paragraphs, and learned that an introductory paragraph has two jobs: to introduce the topic, and also to introduce you as a writer. If you present a boring intro, your reader is likely to wander off. To prevent this, you need to grab your reader in one of the following ways: attention grab, brain grab, or emotion grab. As we discussed in class, you can use a startling fact or anecdote to grab attention, pose a question or dilemma to grab the reader's mind, or ask the reader to imagine him or herself in a situation, to grab sympathetic emotions. There are many (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) ways to create a compelling intro. Show me yours!

So here's the assignment: Imagine an essay with the following topic: We all have a dark side. Now write an intro of at least 200 words to this essay. You don't have to write the whole thing -- just the intro should be 200 words in itself. How will you compel your reader?

Quiz:

Only take the quiz after finishing the novel!

1. When Ged winds up at the Court of the Terrenon, who does he meet from his past?
2. According to Ged, why is the Terrenon bound and locked and fortressed up?
3. What happens to Serret, once they escape?
4. What does Ogion do for Ged after he flees the Court of the Terrenon?
5. Give a quote from the book that explains why Ged wants to fight the shadow on sea, not land.
6. What gift does Ged give the two old people he meets on the empty island?
7. Who does Ged join up with in Iffish?
8. In whose point of view is the part of the story told after Ged grabs the shadow? Whose eyes do we see this through?
9.  Who is there to meet them back in Iffish?
10. After finishing the novel, tell me honestly at what point you figured out the true name of the shadow that Ged was chasing.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Reading Period 23: April 9 - 15: A Wizard of Earthsea

Class meeting: 
April 12, 14

Due dates: 
Quiz is due April 11 at 7pm. Assignments due April 13 at 7pm.

Long read:

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, chapters 4-6

Short read:

Note: This story is challenging and disturbing. Please have your mother read her email from me before you read this one.

"The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. LeGuin

Creative Assignment:

Consider the island of Pendor. Here's a quote: "Pendor had been left to the dragon, with all its bones and towers and jewels stolen from long-dead princes." Imagine an island that's been left to the habitation of a dragon and the dragon's eight sons. Now draw this island in whatever way you want -- close up, far off, big, small, whatever. Try to imagine the combination of ruin and desolation with the life and fire of nine dragons.

OR

After Ged saved the Ninety Isles, they wrote a song for him called The Song of Sparrowhawk, celebrating his victory. Write the words to a song that could have been used for this purpose. Your song must have at least two verses and a chorus or refrain. It can have music too, if you want, or just be lyrics.


Writing Assignment:

After Ged is shamed by his behavior at Roke, Vetch says to him, "I know what you did, but not what you are." What does this mean? Don't his actions define who he is? In a short essay, discuss how our actions define us, if you think they do, or how they don't define us, if you think they don't. In your essay, after you introduce your topic, you must give one example from the story and one example from real life. In your conclusion, you must either argue that actions define us or not -- no saying "it depends on the situation" or "it can go either way."

OR

We have been talking about the effects of naming on a person's identity. Anne Shirley and Ged both place a high importance on the names of things -- of natural places and people and herself, for Anne, and of all living things, for Ged. Think about how this relates to name-calling. In spite of the saying "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me," it still hurts a lot to be called a bad name. Why does it bother us so much to be called a name? Why did Anne get so furious about "Carrots"? In a short essay about this topic, write about a time when you've been called names.

Quiz:

1. Who is Kurremkarmerrilk?
2. Why can Jasper and Ged not have a wizard's duel?
3. What does Jasper challenge Ged to do after the celebration of Moon's Night?
4. Whose spirit does Ged try to bring forth?
5. What happened to the black beast that came out of the tear?
6. What great gift did Vetch give to Ged?
7. What does Ged have to do, in order to graduate from Roke?
8. Why was Ged appointed to such a humble position in the 90 Isles?
9. Who calls Ged back from his trance after he tries healing the boy?
10. How does Ged deal with the first three dragons?
11. What information does Ged use to bargain with the main dragon?
12. How does Ged pay for his passage to Osskil?
13. What is a Gebbeth?
14. What information does the Gebbeth use to get power over Ged?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Reading Period 22: March 26 - April 8: A Wizard of Earthsea

Class meeting: April 5, 7

Due dates: 

Quiz due April 4, 7pm
Writing and Creative Assignments due April 6, 7pm

Long read:

A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. LeGuin, chapters 1-3

Poem:

"Learning the Name" by Ursula K. LeGuin

Creative Assignment:

Imagine you run a hotel in the village of Thwil. You are trying to drum up more business, based on your idea that maybe tourists will want to come and visit, to see the flying houses and boys turning into fish, and stare at the wizards in training. Write an article for Destination Earthsea magazine including travel instructions and a description of the village and your hotel, and detailing everything there is to see and do in Thwil. Make sure you include instructions/rules for interacting with wizards. Use your imagination to come up with some local attractions. Destination Earthsea editors have a firm word limit of between 200 and 250 words.

OR

Create an illustration of Ged and his otak including as much detail as you can. Use details from the story including description and dialogue to show what you think an otak really looks like.

Ursula K. Le Guin
Writing Assignment:

We laughed at Anne Shirley wanting to be called "Cordelia" but now that we're talking about magic and true names, that desire doesn't seem so frivolous. Think about how your name defines you, how it represents the person you are. Write an essay about your name in which you tell us where your name came from (if you know), and whether you feel it represents you. If you were to choose a "true name" for yourself, what would it be? Before you begin writing, think about an introduction, a body and a conclusion. What question will you ask in the intro that can be answered in the conclusion? What paragraphs will you include in the body? Make sure you intent at the beginning of each new paragraph. Make Google+ bow to your will on this formatting issue. 250 words.

Quiz:

1. The island of Gont is known for what?
2. What was the main character's birth name?
3. Why did the goats follow him to the village in such a weird way?
4. How did Ged save his village from the Kargs?
5. What was it like for Ged to be Ogion's apprentice. Lots of dragons and transformations?
6. What was Ogion's reaction when Ged chose to go to Roke?
7. Why is the weather so calm and the sea so still around Roke?
8. What is the door to the wizarding school made of?
9. What is the difference in personality between Vetch and Jasper?
10. How do you change a rock into a jewel?
11. What is the difference between Hardic and Old Speech?
12. Who works the illusion that charms the Lady of O?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Reading Period 21: March 18-24: National Velvet

Class meeting: March 22, 24

Long read:

National Velvet, chapters 12-17

Short read:

There is no new short read assignment, but do make sure you read "Tobermory" which was assigned last week. Details from the story will be important to the D&D game. Really important! You're going to wish you'd read it!

Poem: 

"Horse" by Louise Glück. If you're interested in learning more about here, or seeing her, here is a short video. By the way, Louise Glück has won the National Book Award for her book of poetry, Faithful and Virtuous Night.

Listen:



Creative Assignment:

I challenge you to write a poem called "Horse" from the point of view of the other character in the poem "Horse" by Louise Glück. It can take any form you choose and can go in any direction you choose. The speaker in your poem doesn't have to acknowledge the speaker in Glück's poem at all, or your poem can be a direct response. Try to capture the yearning we described. How does yearning and longing enter the heart of this speaker?

OR

Design a course of jumps for an equestrian competition. You can design a show jumping course, for use in an indoor arena, or an outdoor course that's based on a race track (like the Grand National that Velvet and The Pie jump around), or one that's completely open and cross-country. You could even set your course in the grocery store -- jumping stacks of Coke cans or lines of shopping carts. You could set your jump course at co-op, and ask your riders to enter the Chrysler Museum and jump over a piano. Start by glancing over this list of instructions for course designers from the US Equestrian Federation. Take a peek around in this video which is really long -- don't watch the whole thing! One of the riders talks you around a map of the course at the beginning, and then they talk about course design, and then you can skip ahead and watch some of the jumping. The actual jumping starts around 3 minutes in. You should make a map of your course and include close-ups of any particularly interesting jumps.

Writing Assignment:

You must finish your "dream" essay that we worked on in class. Some of you already finished, and that's great. Don't transfer it to the computer -- use your actual piece of paper.

AND

Write a book review of one of the novels or novellas I gave you in class, or one we have read so far this year. You can review Watership Down, The Once and Future King, A Little Princess, A Christmas Carol, Over Sea Under Stone, Anne of Green Gables, or National Velvet.

You can choose to write your review just for me, or you can submit it to the Book Review Contest which is sponsored by the Friends of the Norfolk Public Library. If you submit it to me, you must write about the book you took home from class, and your deadline is one month from now. If you choose to submit to the library, your deadline is Tuesday!

A big part of writing a successful essay for a specific purpose or assignment is to carefully consider the requirements, and clarify exactly what kind of essay is desired. Here are the official guidelines. Please read at least twice:

"The primary aim of the Book Review Contest is to encourage reading and critical thinking among the student participants. Students are encouraged to review books they enjoy. Rather than writing a comprehensive summary, students should discuss some element of the book (e.g. plot, setting, character, theme or style). It is important to remember that these submissions are book reviews, rather than book reports, and should offer an evaluation of the book. Freshness of expression and imagination, as well as competent English composition, will be considered by the judges."

Another important part of successfully fulfilling an assignment is paying careful attention to the technical requirements: due date, submission format, etc. Here are the guidelines for submission. Please read through them at least twice:

A 3x5 note card must be paper clipped to the front of each report with the following information clearly printed or typed: Name, School, Grade, Teacher's Name, Title of Book. No name should appear on the review itself. No cover sheet or illustrations should be included. Reviews should be typed. Reviews should be no more than 500 words. Deadline for all entries  is Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Late reviews will not be accepted. Presentation of awards will be made on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm at Slover Library. A first, second, and third award will be given in each grade. 
All reviews must be submitted to
Book Review Contest
Children's Department
Mary Pretlow Anchor Branch Library
111 W. Ocean View Ave
Norfolk, VA 23503
It's up to you to write an appropriate essay for the assignment and correctly follow the submission guidelines. The deadline is next Tuesday, so if you choose to do this assignment, do not delay until my due date of Wednesday at 7! Good luck!

Quiz:

1. Who is "the little man"?
2. What is "Becher's"?
3. What fake name does Velvet take for the race?
4. How does Mi explain away the fact that Velvet doesn't talk?
5. Whose point of view is the story in during the race itself?
6. Why was an objection raised? What rule did Velvet break?
7. What do Velvet and Mi refused to tell the members of the press at first?
8. Give a line of dialogue from the book that sums up Mrs. Brown's feelings on Velvet's win.
9. What makes Velvet cry at the end of the day when she gets home?
10. Why doesn't Velvet want the Pie to be in a movie?
11. What do Mally and Velvet start to collect?
12. What does Velvet tell the hunt committee as a reason for why she rode The Pie herself instead of getting a professional?
BONUS: Why does The Pie have to carry weight in his saddle?