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?