Friday, February 26, 2016

Reading Period 19: March 4 - 10: National Velvet

Class meeting: March 8, 10

Due dates: 
Quiz due Monday March 7, 7pm
Assignments due Wednesday March 9, 7pm

Long read: National Velvet by Enid Bagnold, chapters 1-6

Short read: "How an Eleven-Year-Old Came to Swim the English Channel" by Owen Amos, BBC News


"The White Cliffs" by Alice Duer Miller

Creative Assignment:

Velvet Brown keeps a box of paper horses that she feeds and waters and exercises and treats like real horses. They are all named and have their own personalities and needs. For this assignment, choose a few animals that you would like to keep as pets. If you have a pet in D&D, one of your animals must be that one (or however many you have). So for example, Leah can choose her meerkat and Jack and maybe another animal. Find pictures of the type of animal you choose, either in magazines or catalogues or printed out from the internet. Find a box to keep your animals in and post photos of the animals, the box you keep them in. We will continue this assignment next week with further developments.


Write a poem about an animal you fervently admire, explaining why you love it so much. You might write about horses, if you love horses, or another animal you find thrilling and majestic, like Velvet loves horses. You might start the poem with something like Velvet's prayer to the moon in chapter one. "Oh, God, give me horses! Give me horses!"

Writing Assignment:

Velvet Brown's mother has accomplished an enormous feat: swimming across the English Channel. Many people call this swim the Mt. Everest of swimming because it's so difficult due to the cold and distance. After you read our short read for this week, about a boy your age who swam across the Channel, read this article about what it's really like to swim the Channel nowadays, and the preparation and organization that goes into it. Now you're ready to write your essay about swimming the English Channel. Write 200 words in which you answer the question: Why do people swim across the English Channel? And would you do something like this?


The Grand National horse race has been held annually since 1839, always in the same place and over the same famous and difficult jumps. Do some research on the Grand National and write a short essay (200 words) telling us about it. You might find out where it is held, how long the course is, the nature of some of the more difficult obstacles, and some of the race's history. Why is The Grand National thought of as the ultimate test of horse and rider? What makes this race so special? It's perfectly fine to use the Wikipedia article as your source for this essay.


1. Name all the Brown siblings and give a distinguishing aspect about each one.
2. List all the Brown pets.
3. Give a quote that tells us Velvet's father wants her to wear the dental plate.
4. Give a quote that tells us Velvet's mother doesn't want to dwell on having swum across the English Channel.
5. Why does Mrs. Brown have a wound that Velvet had to treat? What injured her?
6. Why did Edwina get home late?
7. Why is Mr. Ede going go raffle off his piebald horse?
8. Give an example from the text that shows Donald is naughty.
9. What do Mi and Velvet realize about the piebald horse when they visit him in the field?
10. What is a Gymkhana? You may answer this from context or look it up.
11. List all the horses Velvet acquires in this section, and give a distinguishing aspect about each one.
12. At the end of chapter 6, what are the girls plotting?

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