Friday, August 11, 2017

Reading Period 1: August 11-September 7: The Three Musketeers

Due dates:
Quiz: Monday, September 4, 7pm
Assignments: Wednesday, Sept 6, 7pm
Post assignments to the Google+ Community under the appropriate category. Email quiz to me with the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 1.

Long Read: 

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, chapters 1-20

Short Read: 

The Great Automatic Grammatizer by Roald Dahl


"a total stranger one black day" by e.e. cummings

a total stranger one black day
knocked living the hell out of me--
who found forgiveness hard because
my(as it happened)self he was
-but now that fiend and i are such
immortal friends the other's each
Creative Assignments:

Cardinal Richelieu is a very manipulative person, particularly with the king. Read their conversations, on page 169 and 177, where the Cardinal is saying the opposite of what he wants the king to think, just to get the king to disagree with him. This is called reverse psychology, and you can read a bit more about it here. Write a scene of about 250 words including dialogue between two people, one of whom is using reverse psychology on the other one. Maybe you'll write about a mom trying to get a kid to pick up his room by claiming that he can't do it, or a little sister getting the flavor of cupcake she wants by insisting she wants a different one. Have you ever used reverse psychology? You could write about that. Make sure you punctuate your dialogue correctly using quotation marks and commas where needed.


Take a look at this current satellite map of Paris, which is marked with lots of the locations in the novel. Here is a link to the street view, instead of the satellite view. Here is the famous Merian map of Paris in 1615, which shows the fortifications and farmland, and the Bastille. When you're looking at it, realize the Merian map is facing sort of southeast. On the Merian map, zoom in to find the Pont Neuf, and Notre Dame, the Louvre, etc. Finally, take a look at the famous Turgot map of Paris in the early 18th century. Now make your own hand-drawn map of Paris. Include the Seine River and ten landmarks -- from the book, from modern times, or from history. Use unlined paper and make sure you include a compass to show which way is north, and a key if needed.


The Nike of Samothrace, or the "Winged Victory" as it is known, is an interesting piece of art in that it inspires a lot of intense feelings in people, and yet it has no head or arms. Write a poem about this sculpture in which you try to capture the emotions portrayed in this marble work. Here is a site that will show you some other views of it.

Writing Assignments:

The Louvre was originally built as a square, moated castle with defensive towers at each corner. As Paris grew, it became a more elaborate palace. Take a look at this drawing of the Louvre Palace as it was during the reign of Louis XIII. Nowadays, it is no longer a fortress or a palace, but an art museum. At the art museum, there are certain rooms and displays that are visitor favorites: the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory, and the Venus de Milo. These areas can become very crowded -- but does that stop people from looking? A research team at MIT used Bluetooth data to figure out whether the size of the crowd affected the time the visitors spent at the museum. Take a look at what they found out.

After thinking about the traffic flow reflected in the MIT simulation, write a personal essay of 250 words about what you would do if you got a chance to go to the Louvre. Would you head straight for the Mona Lisa? Would you be bothered by large crowds of people? Would you try to see everything or just skip through the most famous galleries? Browse the museum's collection here. Which art pieces would you most want to visit?


As you are reading The Three Musketeers, you may run into a line or paragraph that makes you angry. This book was published in 1844 and reflects some attitudes and ideas that we no longer like. For example, on the top of page 117, you'll find this:

"There is in affluence a host of aristocratic attentions and caprices that go well with beauty. Fine white stockings, a silk dress, a lace bodice, a pretty slipper on the foot, a fresh ribbon in the hair, will never make an ugly woman pretty, but will make a pretty woman beautiful, to mention what the hands gain from it all: hands, women's hands especially, must remain idle to remain beautiful." 
What do you think of that quote? Is the narrator correct, that hands must be idle to be beautiful? In a 250 word essay, say whether you agree or disagree with this quote, and why. You might give examples of what you consider beautiful, and compare it to the list you find in the quoted paragraph.


Read the short story "The Great Automatic Grammatizer" and explain the last line for me, in an essay of 250 words. Remember that you will need to explain the story a bit to set up your explanation.


Here are twenty questions to make sure you're paying attention to the things I want you to notice in the reading. Each number lines up approximately with a chapter, so if you're looking for the answer to number 5, start in chapter 5! The quiz is open book. Copy the questions and add your answers in an email to me, and use the subject header Stickybeak Quiz Reading Period 1. Quizzes are due on Monday, Sept 4, at 7pm. Full answers are appreciated, but one word answers are fine when that is all the question requires.

1. What were the three presents D'Artagnan's father gave him, and what had happened to each one by the end of the first chapter?
2. Give one thing that M. Treville and D'Artagnan have in common.
3. What does M. Treville suspect about who might have sent D'Artagnan?
4. What three people has D'Artagnan got himself signed up to duel?
5. Why does D'Artagnan end up fighting beside the musketeers instead of against them?
6. "As he had already accomplished something in making this child revolt against his master, he said no more." In this quote from page 65, the "he" is M. Treville. Who is the child and who is the master?
7. What would it mean that D'Artagnan considers Athos an Achilles, Porthos an Ajax, and Aramis a Joseph on page 86? (use the note!)
8. Who does M. Bonacieux suspect of abducting his wife?
9. Which Englishman is the queen suspected of being in love with?
10. How does D'Artagnan establish an alibi so that no one knows he was getting La Porte from the Louvre at half past nine?
11. What was Mme. Bonacieux's mission, which D'Artagnan interrupted?
12. Why is the Duke of Buckingham planning for England to go to war with France? What does he want out of it?
13. What two characters are being held captive in the Bastille in chapter 13?
14. What does the Cardinal learn was in the rosewood box, according to his spy Mme de Lannoy?
15. Who won the argument between M. de Treville and the Cardinal?
16. The Keeper of the Seals took a letter away from the Queen. To whom was it written, and what was it about?
17. Why is it a problem for the Queen that the King wants her to wear the diamonds to the upcoming ball?
18. From what location can Mme. Bonacieux and D'Artagnan overhear M. Bonacieux and the Comte de Rochefort talking?
19. Where did D'Artagnan get 300 pistoles, and how did he divide it up amongst himself and his friends?
20. How did Aramis, Porthos, and Athos get waylaid on their way to London?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Reading Period 27: June 9-29: The Neverending Story

Long Read: 

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, chapters 18-26

Short Read:

"Robbie" by Isaac Asimov. You can read the intro to the collection too, if you want to, or just skip to the story "Robbie."


"I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone" by Rainer Maria Rilke

Creative Assignments: 

After reading Rilke's poem, consider this question: What is it the speaker yearns for? He repeats the phrase "I want" a number of times. What is it that he really wants? Now write a poem of your own in which you examine the question of what you really want. It must start with the phrase "I am much too ___ in this world" (you can substitute your own word for "alone") and it must contain at least three lines that start with "I want..."


Pretend you are Bastian and you have been given the gift to create Fantastica in whatever way you wish. Start with a blank piece of paper and some colored pencils or pencil and crayons, and create a map of Fantastica. You can put known elements in from the book or you can devise your own fantastical world. You can add beasts and plant life to your map, or stick to just geography. Start with mountains, add rivers, forests, or make your map a complete fantasy, where rivers flow up from the sea and mountains hang from the stars. Use color and your imagination.

Writing Assignments:

Finish up the short story you've been working on about the three invented creatures you pulled from the bag. Post the final version. If you haven't come to "The End" at least polish and post one episode from your story. Try for 1000 words.


Consider these questions: Which was your favorite of the books we read? Which was your least favorite? Which do you think should stay on the syllabus for the next time I teach this class, and which should I cut to make room for something else? From which book did you learn the most, and which was the most entertaining to read? Now write a well-structured essay of at least 250 words in which you choose one book to defend, that should definitely stay on the list, and one book to critique, which you feel should come off the list for next time.

Both of these writing assignments are required! Also, make sure you have your archive up to date.


1. The Acharis have been transformed into what goofy creatures?
2. Give a quote that shows Bastian is losing his memory of his own world.
3. What is the shape of Xayide's castle?
4. Give a quote that shows how proud and arrogant Bastian has become.
5. What plan does Bastian overhear Atreyu and Falkor discussing while he is invisible?
6. In chapter 22, Xayide tells Bastian he has finally found what he really wants. What does she say it is?
7. What happens to the sword Sikanda when Bastian draws it against Atreyu?
8. Why is the City of the Old Emperors full of humans who are stuck there?
9. What does Bastian eat at Dame Eyola's house?
10. What does Bastian discover about Mr. Coreander?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reading Period 26: May 12-18: The Neverending Story

Long Read:

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, chapters 9-17

Short Read:

"The Wish" by Roald Dahl


"Ode to Joy" by Friedrich Schiller. Here is the German next to the English. Make sure you click on "Show Original" if your browser tries to automatically translate it for you!

Creative Assignment:

Take a look at the works of German expressionist painter Paul Klee, particularly the painting "Once Emerged from the Gray of Night," in which words are inscribed in colored squares. (Klee lived in Switzerland but was part of this German art movement.)

Flora on Sand by Paul Klee

Senecio by Paul Klee

Once Emerged from the Gray of Night by Paul Klee

Here's the text of Klee's poem:

Once emerged from the gray of night
Heavier and dearer and stronger
Than the fire of the night
Drunk with God and doubled over. 
At present ethereal 
Surrounded by blue 
Soaring over the glaciers 
Toward the wise constellations.

Create your own poem inscribed in a field of colored squares. You can use graph paper if you want or create your own grid. You can see that Klee's squares weren't all the same size -- so be flexible! You can use your own poetry, or use a stanza of a poem you particularly like. Let the content of the poem dictate the colors you use in your grid. 


Listen to the "Ode to Joy" movement of Beethoven's 9th and last symphony. This is Schiller's poem set to music: 

Now write your own poem entitled "Ode to Joy." You must use at least ten words from Schiller's poem, but they don't have to be in any order, and you can add as many of your own words as you like. Listen to the music while you write, and try to capture some of the spirit of its phrases in your poem.

Writing Assignment:

Your only choice of writing assignment is to work on your short story! Think about our class discussion as you compose your story. Plot is rooted in the identity of your characters, but you need to place them in a world that brings their identity into a place of conflict. I can't wait to read your creations!


1. Who sent Gmork to hunt Atreyu?
2. Finish the line: When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than _____.
3. What is the deepest secret of the world of Fantastica?
4. What name has Bastian thought of for the Childlike Empress?
5. What makes Bastian hesitate and not want to come into Fantastica?
6. What is the job of the Old Man of Wandering Mountain?
7. Why is there nothing but a grain of sand left of Fantastica when Bastian arrives?
8.  What is inscribed on the back side of the Auryn?
9. Why is it madness to swim across the Lake of Tears?
10. What is different about the way Bastian appears to Atreyu now, as compared to how he appeared in the mirror gate?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Stickybeak Archive's Color Poems

Inspired by Rimbaud, we wrote poems that convey emotions through color, and other sensory information.

The Bird
by Sadie

A robin sits on a cherry tree,
singing a lovely song.
The tree spits puffs of pink clouds
and sets the stage for the bird

The bird is shot down,
giving out a horrid screech.
Fire engulfs the tree and all fall to the ground,
the puffs of pink turn to piles of ash.

A gentle hand cradles the dying bird,
and wishes for its song to return,
but it's last wheezing breath is released,
and head droops down, and falls like its tree.

The Clock
by Epona

Quiet room quiet house
all that is heard is the clicking of a mouse
and the ticking of a clock
all is still even the small windmill
sleeping cat sleeping birds
sleeping raccoon's hidden in the ferns
clock still ticking clock strikes 7:00
sun going down as it starts to get late

Clock still ticking clock strikes 10:00
thoughts of grey run through my head
waiting and waiting for the door to ring
while sitting in my room
with a sore look on my face

Clock still ticking clock strikes 10:30
I hear a ring from down stairs
with a smile on my face I run through the house
I open the door I greet them with a great embrace
all grey thoughts have been erased

An Anchor
by Keely

The clouds were red and white
I had A singing heart
Sailing on A calm and brilliant sea
But away you go from me
The clouds are grey
And the sea is dark and stormy
The boat sinks to a watery grave

In a cold stone cell
The mildew wrecks my mind
Grey and icy bricks are all that I can find
And I pound and I pound on the stone, begging to be let out
Because the People are all outside
Joyous and together
While I am locked away

An anchor is in my chest
A sharp knife of silver in my body
That never seemed to go away
The piercing sound of nails I made never did a thing
And all the people talking
Were just sounds thumping in my brain
A never-ending storm
That lasts all day

The King
by David

Bright, Trumpets Blasting
Declaring the rein of the rising king
As he silently creeps up his red carpet
Now the purple ladies play their quintet

A thousand sand chorus breaking into song
Yellow has come hopes to stay long
As all the green look up to him and his great crown
Now great Yellows rein has been

The dark witch has seen
And fixes the king a nasty gaul
As black and blue no one has been
Now the blue cascades down like a waterfall
The purple eyes are sick, the greens’ are weak
The Yellow drops are dark, and white reigns over all

The Final Sounds
by Parker

The sounds of drums.
The sunset, a deep red.
Marching coming from everywhere.
The final sounds till nothing.

Zip Zip Zap
The streaks, they run.
All the day, everyday.
Zap Zip Zoop

The clouds going slowly.
The waves splashing still.
It will become clear.
Once you sit without fear.

Endless Sleep
by Snowden

It feels like an icicle in your heart slowly
spreading the cold throughout your chest
It smells like candles and wood. It doesn't
smell bad, but more unsettling. Like
something crawling beside you,
questioning time.

Why does it smell like mulch and flowers? Will this sleep ever end?
How long has it been? I wonder what time it is?
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
No more icicles in your heart. No more being lost in time. The endless sleep is ended.

This is Now
by Ean

The heat of summer, the white puff of the clouds,
the refreshing breeze, the touch of your hand, the light of the sun

That was then

The cold rain, the grey fog,
the biting gale, the heart-rending feeling of regret,
the roaring of nature

That was then

The calming of the storm, the clearing of the clouds,
the dying down of the maelstrom, the drying of the tears,
the return of the sun

This is now

The Stickybeak Archive's Invented Word Poems

The Crazable Dinosaurs
by Sophie

In the prenight stood the xiongguanlong,
It’s semiscaly skin is strong.

A semispinosaurus stood out in the fog,
His dragonyowl echoed in the bog.

The crazable dinosaurs,
Sounded like wild boars.

From the bushes emerged a young dinosaur,
In it’s claws was a convenience store. 

Stuck in Semisleep
by David

It’s hot and I can’t sleep
I can only drift into hotsleep
Why can’t I sleep like a tiger
I just want to have a tigersleep!

Now my bed cloths are in a great big heap
And I hear the morning cheep
But I can’t sleep at all, too hot
I just want to have some tigersleep!

I feel that call the call of sleep
I feel the sleepcall edging its way
But I am stuck in semisleep 

While the Greenhearted
by Epona

A world of the greenhearted
They have no worries at all
In a land of gleehearts and feels a glowingnight at sleep
But then they’re the brokenwings, the insanityseekers, and brokengems
Who have all worries and no glowingnight at all
Hoping that one day a gemheart will come
To heal all their worries and to make them feel like freedwings
But alas they wait for that person to come while the greenhearted
Count their money all day long
They will never know the pain hidden in plain sight
The invisibletruth lingers day and night

The Fallcat
by Parker

Along the edge of space and time,
there it stands.
The Fallcat.

Standing there, amidst the lavafalls.
there it is.
The Fallcat.

Standing there, during Dreamfall.
Looking on.
The Fallcat.

It stands there, being antibored.
There it stands.
The Fallcat.

Waiting there, looking at the Fallgold.
There it waits.
The Fallcat.

The Upsad
by Sadie

Laziment claims the soul of the upsad.
They make a fish treed.
Fishment is common, for the victims of Upsads,
If you are caught, be Strawberrily friendly.

The New Stickybeak Lexicon for 2017

Antibored: Something that will keep you from getting bored.
Antifall: Anything that you land on that will break your fall.
Antifish: Something that will keep fish away. Like a cat!
Antiold: Water from the Fountain of Youth, put into a spray bottle.

Bigly: Something that is big
Boldcolored: someone who wears a lot of bright colors.
Boredify: When something you just thought was interesting, just became really boring.
Boredship: A kind of a kingdom of bored people.
Boxed: Feeling trapped, cornered, or that there's no way out.
Brokengem: someone who turns bad.
Brokenwinged: someone who is trapped or feels trapped.

Cally: someone you call on. : “Sargent bring up the cally.”
Catify: Decorating everything with cats.
Catoid: Something that looks like a cat.
Catology: The study of/relating to cats (It's a pretty big field).
Catscream: a high-pitched scream that sounds like a cat.
Climbly: Working alot
Cloakedsmile: someone who lies and trades illegally.
Colorbabble: someone who talks a lot about their favorite color.
Countinggreen: someone who counts their money and makes sure it has no wrinkles.
Crazable: Someone who easily goes crazy

Doghappy: Just a good mood, happy for no reason.
Dogly: Loyal: sweet, like a dog.
Dogsad- Sad because others are sad.
Dogwalk- Opposite of catwalk. flimsy
Dragoning; Hunting dragons
Dragonship: A community that’s made up of dragons
Dragonyowl: The yowl of a dragon
Dreamcat: A cat that keeps reapering in your dreams.
Dreamfall: When everybody is so completely absorbed by virtual reality, the end of the world comes.
Dreamlet: A mini dream.

E- n/a

Failedtruth: people who know someone’s lying and knows the truth but doesn’t want to.
Fallcat: A cat, that has the power to change the season to Fall.
Fallgold: The golden leaves that you can find in Fall.
Fishly: Comfortable in one environment, not in another.
FishTree: A place where many people get stuck
Flophappy: So happy you could fall over
Flowerly: Gracefull

Gapless: Too perfect.
Gemhearted: someone who is humble and kind.
Gleehearts: someone who thinks there is no bad in the world.
Glowingnight: when the night feels safe.
Golded: Having put gold on everything.
Goldlava: Molten gold flowing like lava.
Greenfaced: The face someone makes when they feel sick.
Greenhearted: a person who only cares about their money.
Growlable: Something that makes an animal growl

Heroego: someone who thinks they are a hero but aren't.
Hissable: Something that makes an animal hiss
Hissocity: The quality of a hiss
Hotish: is when it is kinda hot (more like the mid point between warm and hot). : That day there was a terrible, hotish breeze.
Hotsleep: it is terribly hard to sleep when you are in a hot humid environment. If you do it’s only a semisleep.  If you have a semisleep all night then you most certainly are in a hotsleep.

Informationlisteners: someone who knows how to get information without getting caught.
Insanityseeker: someone who thinks the world should be full of insanity and chaos.
Invisibletruth: hiding the truth.

J- n/a

K- n/a

Lavafall: A waterfall made of lava.
Laziment: Purposefully making others do your will.
Leakydream: When you have a dream about water, and realize that it was just a friend splashing you with water

Manipufull: A manipulative person
Misdream: Dreaming the wrong dream the your dream meant to dream.
Miswrite: Writing something in the wrong notebook by accident.
Musicbabbler: someone who always talks about their favorite song.

Nightable: The ability to make a room dark
Nightcheer: someone who is very loud during the night while you’re trying to sleep.
Nighting: Getting ready to go to bed

O- n/a

Pearleyed: someone wise.
Pinkable: Something that produces the color pink
Pluted: When you have been excluded from everyone else.
Plutology: The study of/relating to Pluto.
Potatothief: someone who steals potatoes.
Predragon: A dragon egg
Preflop: That small amount of time before you fail something.
Prenight: The time before night, but after day
Prewarm: A point of reflection

Quietknight: someone who is stealthy.

Rosed: To get made fun of or put down.
Runned: Tired, run down.

Scarletman: a thief.
Semicall: When you have something you can't wait to tell everyone, but when you go to call it out, someone breaks you off! Another definition could be a half call. “Going 1 going 1 ½.” would be a semicall as well.
Semifall: Catching something before it hits the ground is a semifall. : Reducing that to a semifall could've saved them!
Semihiss: A noise that sounds like a hiss, but isn’t completely a hiss.
Semihot: it's like the exact middle of the chart cold, cool, warm, hot. : This is a semihot day.
Seminight: The time before or after night.
Semipink: Something that’s partially pink.
Semiscaly: Partially scaly.
Semisleep: you know the state when you are almost asleep but can still hear noises. This state I will call semisleep. : He was called from semisleep.
Semispinosaurus: Something that’s partially a spinosaurus or has one of the same features of a spinosaurus.
Semitiger: you know how there a halfelfs, you could call them semielfs, so I will call half tigers semitigers. : The semitigers are a strong species.
Semitrain: when you take half of your ride by train and the other half in other ways. : Every morning I take a semitrain ride to work.
Sleepcall: the time of night when everything seems funny though you know it isn’t and sometimes you laugh uncontrollably this is your body's sleepcall. : He has entered his sleepcall. He can’t stop laughing.
Sleepdraw: is like when you sleepwalk but instead of walking you draw. : I saw her in a deep sleepdraw.
Sleepish: is in a tired way. : He waddled in, in a sleepish way.
Softsleep: the best kind! That you never want to get out of bed from. : Be careful when waking him; he is in a softsleep.
Spinosaurusing: Hunting spinosauruses
Strawberrily: Sometimes sour, sometimes sweet, always a gam

Tigerish: if someone or something is stripy you would call them or it tigerish. : The bag has a tigerish pattern.
Tigersleep: if someone sleeps for more than 16 hours you would say they have entered tigersleep. : Wake her up or she will enter tigersleep!
Tigertruck: when I thought of this word the first thing that came to mind was someone who had painted their truck to look like a Chinese tiger plane. : That’s a really cool tigertruck!
Tigery: when someone is acting terribly sly and mean. : The man is so Tigery when he plays cards.
Transdraw: when you are in the middle of drawing. : His alarm went off when he was in transdraw.
Transtiger: is someone who is stuck mid transformation into a tiger. : He was stuck as a transtiger for fourteen years!
Transtrain: the trains that arrive at the half stops like platform 4 ½. :  The Transtrains are the hardest to
get to.
Transtruck: a transtruck is a truck that travels the middle of the transit. : The supertruck will go one third. The transtruck will go the middle part, and the aftertruck will go last.
Treed: Stuck.
Treefull: Happy, full of life.
Tricat: The superhero name of three cats working together.
Truckish: when “it” carries themselves like a truck (slow big and ruff). : The man walked out in a truckish way.
Trucky: when something is being jostled around : We were running down a trucky road.
Tweedle: Messing with something. (NOTE: I made this up in real life, has nothing to do with the other things.)

Unfish: Let go and move on.
Unruin: Undo a ruin
Upsad: Super sad
Upsefull: Something that sets off lots of bad emotions.

Victoriousleap: when someone wins something, and jumps in glee.

Walkory: Somewhere that you can walk

Xiongguanlonging: Hunting xiongguanlongs
Xiongguanlongized: Something that has been turned into a xiongguanlong
Xiongguanlongocity: The ability to run as fast as a xiongguanlong

Yowlable: Something that makes a cat yowl
Yowlcrazy: Cats that yowl all the time, or someone who easily gets annoyed at cats who make a lot of noise

Z- n/a

Friday, May 5, 2017

Reading Period 25: May 5 - 11: The Neverending Story

Long Read: 

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, chapters 1-8.

Short Read: 

"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut


"Die Zaberlehrling" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Here it is in German. Your browser may try to translate this page, so make sure you say "Show Original." The Google translation probably won't make much sense.
Here are three different English translations: One, two, three. Read one or more.

Creative Assignments: 

First read Goethe's poem "Die Zaberlehrling." Then listen to this recording of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Paul Dukas as you create an illustration or set of illustrations for the work. Use colors and unlined paper. Your illustration can be abstract or a representation of one of the scenes. Even though you may have the Disney animation in your mind, try to dispel that and work from your own imagination. Is that even possible?


Read the story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut. Pretend you are Harrison's father, George, and compose a letter of 250 words to Diana Moon Glampers. In your letter, either thank her for the handicaps you and Harrison have to endure, or complain about the system that imposes them to make everyone equal. If you want to add some plot to the story, that's fine! Maybe George also goes on a rampage, or maybe George tries to get custody of Harrison to keep him in line.

Writing Assignment:

Using the three imaginary creatures that you drew from the bag in class, write a story in which they interact. Try to draw your plot from the creatures themselves. For example, if you have a Tempertot, which is an potato with rage issues, you will probably want to put her in a situation where she loses her cool. If you have a really "good" creature, put it in a situation where its morals are tested. If you have a really "bad" creature, try putting it in a place where it has to behave. We will develop this story more over the weeks to come, so what's important right now is to get a good strong start, but not to worry about polishing too much. Write 500 words -- the story doesn't have to be finished. We'll read and work on it in class. Speaking of class, please bring a printed copy!


1. Why did Bastian steal the book?
2. Of the four creatures who meet in the Howling Forest, who makes it to the Ivory Tower first?
3. What is Auryn?
4. The name Cairon is an allusion. To what?
5. Why wasn't Atreyu affected by the Swamps of Sadness?
6. Why was the luck dragon able to escape Ygramul?
7. What book is Engywook writing?
8. What does Atreyu see in the Magic Mirror gate?
9. What does the Oracle say that the Childlike Empress needs?
10. What does Atreyu ask the Wind Giants?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Reading Period 24: April 21-27: The Little Prince

Long Read: 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, chapters 22 to the end.


“Demain dès l’aube”
de Victor Hugo

Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,
Je partirai. Vois-tu, je sais que tu m’attends.
J’irai par la forêt, j’irai par la montagne.
Je ne puis demeurer loin de toi plus longtemps.

Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit,
Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées,
Triste, et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit.

Je ne regarderai ni l’or du soir qui tombe,
Ni les voiles au loin descendant vers Harfleur,
Et quand j’arriverai, je mettrai sur ta tombe
Un bouquet de houx vert et de bruyère en fleur.

"Tomorrow at Dawn"
by Victor Hugo

Tomorrow, at dawn, the moment the countryside is whitened,
I will leave. You see, I know that you await me.
I will go through the forest, I will go across the mountain.
I can no longer remain away from you.

I will trudge on, my eyes fixed on my thoughts,
Without seeing anything outside, without hearing any sound,
Alone, unknown, back bent, hands crossed,
Sad, and the day for me will be like the night.

I will not look upon the gold of nightfall,
Nor the sails from afar that descend on Harfleur,
And when I arrive, I will place on your grave
A bouquet of green holly and heather in bloom.

Creative Assignment:

Write a poem of three stanzas, using only sensory images: sights, sounds, sensations, smells. Each stanza must present a different emotion, either from the ones we brainstormed in class, or ones of your own choosing. Pick two negative emotions and a positive, or to positives and a negative, and think strategically about how you will arrange them in your poem. Take the reader to that emotion without the benefit of explanation of feelings. Colors, noises, objects, lights -- that is how you must communicate your feelings in this poem. We will be working on doing an in-class reading, so prepare yourself mentally for that.

Writing Assignment:

In class we discussed the challenges that face a translator. In a 250 word essay, write about what those challenges are. What pitfalls does a translator have to avoid, and what choices does a translator have to make? Now consider what type of translator you would be, if you were given the task to translate a poem from another language. Would you try to stick to the original as much as possible? Or would you change it to make it sound better in English? How would you keep the new work from becoming your own creation? Or would you go in that direction on purpose? You can use the different translations of "The Sick Muse" as illustrations if you like.


Read about Antoine de Saint-Exupery in his entry on Write a short essay that answers the following questions: What was his job and what kind of person was he? What facts about his life relate directly to his novella, The Little Prince? Do you think it's important that we know this about him, in order to fully understand the novel? Using this as an example, do you think it's important to always find out whether authors have personal experience with the story elements in their books?


1. The little prince says that only the children on the train know what they are looking for. What are they looking for?
2. Based on the prince's response to the salesclerk with the water pills, what is the little prince's opinion of the pills? How can you tell?
3. According to the little prince, what makes the desert beautiful?
4. Can you think of anything else invisible that makes something beautiful, like a flower you can't see near a faraway star?
5. Why does the prince drink water, even though he doesn't need it to live?
6. Do you think it is better to avoid tears by never letting yourself be tamed? Why?
7. Find a simile in chapter 26.
8. How will it be different for the pilot now when he looks at the stars?
9. Why does the prince ask the snake to bite him? Why can't he just fly back to his planet by whatever means he arrived?
10. List four things in the story that are yellow.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Reading Period 23: April 14 - 20: The Little Prince

Long Read: 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, chapters 10-21


"Vowels" by Arthur Rimbaud

A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:
A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies
which buzz around cruel smells,

Gulfs of shadow; E, whiteness of vapours and of tents,
lances of proud glaciers, white kings, shivers of cow-parsley;
I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips
in anger or in the raptures of penitence;

U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas,
the peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows
which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;

O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds,
silences crossed by [Worlds and by Angels]:
–O the Omega! the violet ray of [His] Eyes!

in French:


A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu: voyelles,
Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes:
A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes
Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles,

Golfes d'ombre; E, candeurs des vapeurs et des tentes,
Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d'ombelles;
I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres belles
Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes;

U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides,
Paix des pâtis semés d'animaux, paix des rides
Que l'alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux;

O, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges,
Silences traversés des [Mondes et des Anges]:
—O l'Oméga, rayon violet de [Ses] Yeux!

Matchbox Minute Movie: 

In class we have been working on creating a matchbox that contains all the props and sets to film a one minute movie version of any book or narrative poem we've read in class this year. Your writing assignment is to write the script for your movie. Your movie can be from 50 to 70 seconds long, so your script will have to be extremely condensed! Post your script to Google+ to get feedback from your classmates. Your creative assignment is to finish up all your props, characters, and backdrops for your movie. You may find, as you write your script, that you need more props. You're welcome to use Lego, Sculpey, folded paper, other other tiny materials, but keep in mind that in order for your piece to meet the requirements of the assignment and be displayed in the Matchbox Museum on May 2, everything has to fit into the matchbox. When your script is written, post it. When your props and characters are all created, photograph them. If you do this, this counts as your writing assignment and creative assignment.


Creative Assignment: 

Have you ever heard of synesthesia? It's when one sense is picked up and experienced by another sense, such as seeing sounds or hearing or tasting colors. Read more about it here. It's not known for sure whether the French poet Rimbaud had synesthesia, but the idea of hearing colors is certainly present in his poem "Vowels." Create an illustration for Rimbaud's poem "Vowels" in which the words appear as images in their assigned colors, and you play with the idea of synesthesia and senses crossing over.

Writing Assignment:

The little prince visits six planets before coming to earth and meets characters on each planet that represent different philosophies or views. Think about the different ways these characters approach life, and imagine two more characters the prince might meet, if he had visited two more planets. Write an essay of 200 words in which you introduce the idea of the little prince visiting planets, talk about two more planets the prince might visit and describe the characters who live on them, and then conclude by making a new observation or asking a new question.


1. How does the king ensure that all his commands are obeyed?
2. For what does the vain man use his hat?
3. What is the drunkard trying to forget?
4. What is the businessman counting?
5. Why can the lamplighter never rest?
6. Why doesn't the geographer know about the oceans and mountains on his planet?
7. Why is there no one around, when the little prince lands on planet Earth?
8. What special power does the snake have?
9. What does the prince learn about his flower, when he visits the rose garden?
10. Why does the fox want to be tamed?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Reading Period 22: April 7 - 13: The Little Prince

Long Read: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, chapters 1-9

Poem: "The Sick Muse" by Charles Baudelaire, from Fleurs de Mal

Creative Assignments:

Create three drawings. First draw the little prince. Then draw the little prince inside a boa constrictor. Then draw the little prince inside a box.


Write a chapter from the point of view of the flower on the little prince's planet. You can write about when she emerged, when she met the little prince, or his departure. You can use your imagination to create whatever story you like -- it doesn't have to only stick to the details we find in the book.

Writing Assignments:

When you have read over all of the translations of "The Sick Muse" at the link above, choose the translation that you think is the best and the one you think is the worst. You can use any criteria that you feel personally makes sense. Write a short essay explaining your choices. Think before you start: how many paragraphs will you write? How will you use transitions between the paragraphs? In your conclusion, take the reader to a new place by saying something about your criteria, the reasons you chose the translations you did, and what it says about your preferences.


After reading the first nine chapters of The Little Prince, write a short essay about what parts of the story are real and what parts are made up. To do this, you'll have to decide the following: What does make-believe mean, and what does real mean? Is something impossible necessarily make-believe? Are real things the things you personally can see? When you have decided what elements of the story are real and what are not, think about how many paragraphs you will need to write your essay, how you will transition between the paragraphs, and what new place you will take the reader in your conclusion.


1. Why did the narrator go for so long without drawing?
2. Why is the narrator alone in the Sahara desert?
3. The little prince keeps rejecting the narrator's sheep drawings. What is the solution?
4. Why will the sheep not need to be tied up?
5. Why did people at first not believe the astronomer who discovered Asteroid B-612?
6. Why does the little prince always get rid of the baobab trees on his planet?
7. Why can the little prince watch the sun set 44 times in one day?
8. What is something serious for the narrator? What is something serious for the little prince?
9. How is the new flower different from the poppies?
10. Why is the flower not afraid of big animals?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Reading Period 21: March 24-30: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Long Read: 

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, through August 1, 1944.


Anne Frank's poem written in a friend's album:

‘Dear Eva,
Share your joy with many,
fun and pleasure with everyone,
your sorrow with only a few,
and with those you love your heart.
In memory of your friend
Anne Frank’

Watch this paint marbling video featuring the works of Vincent Van Gogh. We're going to be working on a marbling project in class:

Creative Assignments:

The last Dutch artist we're going to study is Vincent Van Gogh. Take a look at this painting by Van Gogh, Bedroom in Arles:

Here's a link to a larger version. Now read this note, written by Van Gogh to his brother, about the painting:

My eyes are still tired by then I had a new idea in my head and here is the sketch of it. Another size 30 canvas. This time it's just simply my bedroom, only here colour is to do everything, and giving by its simplification a grander style to things, is to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the imagination.The walls are pale violet. The floor is of red tiles.
The wood of the bed and chairs is the yellow of fresh butter, the sheets and pillows very light greenish-citron.
The coverlet scarlet. The window green.
The toilet table orange, the basin blue.
The doors lilac.
And that is all--there is nothing in this room with its closed shutters.
The broad lines of the furniture again must express inviolable rest. Portraits on the walls, and a mirror and a towel and some clothes.
The frame--as there is no white in the picture--will be white.
This by way of revenge for the enforced rest I was obliged to take.
I shall work on it again all day, but you see how simple the conception is. The shadows and the cast shadows are suppressed; it is painted in free flat tints like the Japanese prints. It is going to be a contrast to, for instance, the Tarascon diligence and the night café.
Your assignment is to create a colorful picture of a room in your house, like Bedroom in Arles, along with a note to describe it, naming each color used. Use the coolest color words you can, like "citron" and "scarlet."


Miep Gies as an older lady. She died in 2009.
Write a poem about the helpers in the book. Write to thank them for being brave, write to say how their actions inspire people, write to honor their fear and their doubts, and write to keep their place in history alive. Choose a central image for your poem -- maybe the "Happy Pentacost" cake or the strawberry canning, the radio they used to get their news, or a blackout curtain. Your poem does not have to rhyme or have a regular meter. Here are the main ones -- you can choose one or all:

Miep Gies – Secretary to Otto Frank
Bep Voskuijl – Secretary to Otto Frank
Jo Kleiman -- Accountant
Victor Kugler -- Employee

Writing Assignments:

We discussed in class how Anne's diary was meant to be private, and she wrote things in the diary that she wouldn't have written for public consumption. However, her father decided to publish it, and that's how we have access to it today. When we post things on Facebook or other social media, often those words are sanitized to make everything seem great, uncomplicated, but in a private diary, where we can be more "real," we may decide to release some darker thoughts or secrets. Your assignment is to write about the difference between public and private speech. You may either write this as a personal essay, in which you talk about your own experiences and the things you choose to say privately or publicly, and how you protect your words, OR you may write this as a persuasive essay in which you pick a side and argue that Anne's father was right or wrong in his decisions to edit and publish her diary.


Instead of a quiz, write an essay including as many homophones as you can. For a topic, take the idea that you are two people -- one in public in everyday life, and one in the private space in your head. For inspiration and direction, take the last entry in Anne's diary. Your essay can be serious or funny. Since Google+ won't let you format your post with italics or bold, I recommend writing this in Google Docs, bolding or italicizing all your homophones, and then giving us a shareable link.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Reading Period 20: March 17-23: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Due dates:
Quiz: Monday, March 20
Assignments: Wednesday, March 22

Long Read: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: Thursday, July 29, 1943 to Wednesday, March 22, 1944.


what if a much of a which of a wind
by e.e. cummings

what if a much of a which of a wind
gives the truth to summer’s lie;
bloodies with dizzying leaves the sun
and yanks immortal stars awry?
Blow king to beggar and queen to seem
(blow friend to fiend:blow space to time)
—when skies are hanged and oceans drowned,
the single secret will still be man

what if a keen of a lean wind flays
screaming hills with sleet and snow:
strangles valleys by ropes of thing
and stifles forests in white ago?
Blow hope to terror;blow seeing to blind
(blow pity to envy and soul to mind)
—whose hearts are mountains,roots are trees,
it’s they shall cry hello to the spring

what if a dawn of a doom of a dream
bites this universe in two,
peels forever out of his grave
and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
Blow soon to never and never to twice
(blow life to isn’t:blow death to was)
—all nothing’s only our hugest home;
the most who die,the more we live

Creative Assignment

Parts of this section contain Anne's descriptions of her "ordinary days." She breaks it into parts of the day, and delivers incredible detail of the life in hiding and all the mechanics of the hardship she experiences. Pretend you are writing a diary entry explaining your average, normal day to a stranger from the future who wants to understand your habits and the factual details of life in 2017. Write a descriptive essay of 250 words in which you give, in detail, every moment of your day. If you can, write just about your morning, or evening routine. Include as many vivid details as you can, so your reader can really picture the experience.


Read this article about Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, and learn about his belief that abstraction could portray reality better than realism. Then create your own composition in the style of Mondrian. You must use color, but you can use a digital medium. Along with your composition must come a description of the real thing that you're portraying.

"Broadway Boogie Woogie" 
"Still Life with Ginger Pot II"
"Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Grey and Blue"

Writing Assignment:

Explore this representation of Anne Frank's "secret annexe." Anne herself said she sometimes felt guilty about feeling sorry for herself because others had it far worse than she did. At times she was very cheerful about her hiding place, and at times she hated it. Write an essay about the conflicting feelings Anne experienced, using at least three quotes from the text to support your points. You could find one quote where she's making the best of it and being cheerful, one quote where she is feeling uncomfortable and confined, for example. Use quotation marks to show where you're quoting directly from Anne's diary, and write a 250 word essay about her attitude toward the hiding place.


Anne says, "If you were to read all my letters in one sitting, you'd be struck by the fact that they were written in a variety of moods." How would you describe the tone of Anne's diary? From what specific language does that tone originate? Write a 250 word essay in which you analyze the tone using at least three quotes from the book to support your points. Maybe your idea is that the tone is constantly changing. You may find three quotes that illustrate three different tones. Maybe your idea is that the tone is very emotional. You might find three different quotes. Each quote needs its own paragraph to set it up and then explain it, and you'll need an introduction and conclusion to help the reader understand your main idea.


1. Choose a quote that shows Anne's attitude toward her mother.
2. Choose a quote that shows Anne's attitude toward her father.
3. Choose a quote that shows Anne's attitude toward Dussel.
4. Choose any other quote that demonstrates Anne's feelings about another person, and give the character and the quote.
5. What author is Anne's father so amused by?
6. After the news of Italy's surrender, what three songs were played on the radio? (Sept 10, 1943)
7. What did Mrs. Van Daan have to sell, that made her so furious?
8. What happened to Anne's fountain pen?
9. Why does Anne call her mother "Momsy" or "Moms" instead of Mom?
10. What might the Germans do to Holland to defend it, if the British invade?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Reading Period 19: March 10-16: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Due dates:
Quiz: Monday March 13
Assignments: Wednesday March 15

Long Read: The Diary of a Young Girl, Sunday 14 June 1942 - Monday 26 July 1943

Creative Assignment: 

In the early days of the diary, Anne Frank is in school. She gets in a lot of trouble for talking out of turn, and has to write several punishment essays, titled "A Chatterbox" and then "An Incurable Chatterbox" and then "Quack, Quack, Quack says Mrs. Natterbeak." Pretend that you frequently get in trouble for talking in class. For some of you, this will not be a difficult stretch. Imagine that you have been given the assignment to write an essay called "A Chatterbox" as punishment. What would you write? Write 250 words in your own voice.


While we read Anne Frank's diary, set in the Netherlands, we're going to be studying some Dutch artists. This week, I'd like you to work through all of this Khan Academy set of videos and articles, about Rembrandt, Vermeer, and a few other Dutch artists from the Baroque period. When you're finished with it, create your own copy of one of Rembrandt or Vermeer's most famous works:

The Night Watch by Rembrandt

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer
If you pick the Rembrandt, you can copy just one piece of it if that makes it easier -- the video may show you certain figures to focus on. Either way, do watch the Khan Academy video about the piece, which shows each one in a museum context and gives some close-ups and commentaries.

Writing Assignment: 

Work through the introductory lesson on the web site of the Anne Frank house. At the end of this lesson, after watching a short video, you will have put together a timeline that connects events in Anne Frank's life with world events going on in World War II. When you have finished the lesson, write a 250 word essay in which you explain what was happening in the world that led up to the Frank family going into hiding. You can use this timeline to help you as well. Your essay should serve as background information for the diary, and bring the reader "up to date" on world events up to June 1942 when the diary begins. You can talk about when the Franks moved from Germany to the Netherlands, which was at the same time that Hitler rose to power in Germany. This Wikipedia page will also be helpful (The Netherlands in WWII) but please visit it with a parent.


One of the things that makes Anne Frank's diary such a beautiful, moving piece of work is the honesty that Anne gives us in her entries. Sometimes her very confessions of feelings toward her family members are almost uncomfortably personal. Take a look at, for example, Saturday, 30 January, 1943; Saturday, 7 November, 1942; Monday, 28 September, 1942. These deeply personal confessions are what makes Anne a character we can relate to so easily, and they bring her story of the events of the "Secret Annexe" to life. But would we be brave enough to share such private thoughts if we knew our diaries were going to be published? Do you think it is fair to Anne that we are reading her private thoughts? Choose one of these entries and write a 250 word essay about it. In the essay, summarize Anne's confession, and answer the question: is it fair to Anne that her words, written in the heat of the moment, and only for her own private diary, should be read by strangers?


1. In what city does Anne Frank live?
2. Where does Anne Frank go to school, before the family goes into hiding?
3. What is the main function of building that holds the "Secret Annexe"?
4. List the members of the Frank family along with one word to describe each one.
5. List the members of the Van Daan family along with one word to describe each one.
6. List two of the helpers who bring the Frank family food and supplies.
7. How do the Franks get their news?
8. What is a ration card?
9. With what person does Anne share a bedroom?
10. Why is Anne going without shoes?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Reading Period 18: Feb 24 - Mar 2: Twenty Thousand Leagues

Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, February 27
Assignments: Wednesay, March 1

Long Read: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, Part 2. This is a lot! You can do it though! And remember, we'll have a "rest week" after this, so if you don't get it entirely done, you can catch up then.

"The Kraken" by Lord Alfred Tennyson
"The Chambered Nautilus" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Creative Assignments:

Write a poem with one of the following first lines:

Far away into the sickly light
In roaring he shall rise
On the sweet summer wind
In gulfs enchanted, where the siren sings
The stars, she whispers, blindly run
O heart, how fares it with thee now?

Your poem must contain simile, metaphor, alliteration, and both visual and aural imagery.


Create a colorful illustration of Captain Nemo's ship, The Nautilus. You can put it in any environment you choose -- maybe in a kelp forest, or on the surface of the ocean, or mounted in a case in a museum. You should use details from the book to create your illustration but you can also use your imagination. PLEASE CONSIDER DOING THE POEM IF YOU CAN MANAGE! Remember we are all (all!) going to submit to the Norfolk Public Library Poetry Contest.

Writing Assignments:

At the end of the novel, we are left wondering who Captain Nemo was, why he was so bitterly set against society, and whether he even survived the Maelstrom. Write a 250 word essay about Captain Nemo in which you use quotes and specific details to describe his character. In your conclusion, give your opinion about why Jules Verne left his identity and fate a mystery, and whether this was a good idea.


Remember H. G. Wells' rhetorical technique of "the plausible impossible"? Do you see places in the novel where Jules Verne is using this same technique? The Nautilus visits real places like shipwrecks of real battles and the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, but the ship also visits made up places like the lost city of Atlantis. How does Jules Verne make the unbelievable believable by giving lots of details and making things seem normal? How does he make the impossible seem plausible? Maybe it's his choice of narrator, of the way things are described, or the diction. Write a 250 word essay in which you give several examples, including quotes.


Define these vocabulary words and use them in a sentence.

1. Ambient
2. Ardent
3. Despotism
4. Effulgence
5. Indefatigable
6. Promontory
7. Sonorous
8. Tacit
9. Undulation
10. Capricious

Friday, February 17, 2017

Reading Period 17: Feb 17-23: Twenty Thousand Leagues

"Hey yeah it's Jules. Victorian
Sci-Fi is kind of my thing."
Long Read: 

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, chapters 7-24. (To the end of Part 1)


"With Rue My Heart is Laden" by A. E. Housman

WITH rue my heart is laden
  For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
  And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping        
  The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
  In fields where roses fade.

"The Winds Out of the West Winds Blow" by A. E. Housman

THE WINDS out of the west land blow,
  My friends have breathed them there;
Warm with the blood of lads I know
  Comes east the sighing air.

It fanned their temples, filled their lungs,        
  Scattered their forelocks free;
My friends made words of it with tongues
  That talk no more to me.

Their voices, dying as they fly,
  Loose on the wind are sown;        
The names of men blow soundless by,
  My fellows’ and my own.

Oh lads, at home I heard you plain,
  But here your speech is still,
And down the sighing wind in vain        
  You hollo from the hill.

The wind and I, we both were there,
  But neither long abode;
Now through the friendless world we fare
  And sigh upon the road.

Creative Assignments: 

Create an color illustration for "With Rue My Heart is Laden" in which you include all the images of the poem. Yes, this is yet another memory strategy! Speak it, write it, illustrate it, listen to it, look at it, and when you get to class, be ready to recite it.


Choose one of the four A.E. Housman poems we've read, and write a poem with a similar theme. Living in the moment, regretting not listening to wise advice, or missing friends. Here are the rules for this poem: 1. You must use the word "rue." 2. You must write in four-line stanzas. 3. You must include some kind of rural imagery.

Look, it's Shropshire!
Writing Assignments:

Conseil is an interesting character. He's not the hero, but he does play an important role. His name means "advice." Write a 250 word essay about Conseil, in which you describe his character using quotes and specific words from the text to back up your analysis. What is he like? What does he do? What role does Conseil play in the story -- sidekick? foil character? comic relief? Why is he there? Decide which archetype you think best fits him, and make a case for it using events from the book.


You may have seen movies or read books about travel to faraway stars, or even just to our neighboring planet, Mars. Fictional people who embark on voyages like this find themselves in similar circumstances to what Captain Nemo describes for himself and his crew: outside of society, no longer bound by it, and not able to return to it. Thinking about the prospects of adventure that Nemo offers to Arronax, and the prospect of long-term space travel that you yourself may embark on one day, write an essay about the decision to leave what you know behind, possibly forever, and exchange it for the chance to explore the unknown. Is this something that you would ever do? Would the benefit of satisfying your curiosity for new worlds outweigh the sadness of leaving behind the world that you know? What would you do? Write a 300 word essay in which you discuss this.


Captain Nemo gives an inspiring speech about the freedom of the seas. Research the phrase "international waters" and write a 300 word essay explaining what is meant by this. Are the seas really free? What can you do in the middle of the ocean and who has jurisdiction? Where does one country's sovereignty end and another's begin? What about air space? The sea bed? Are these areas really free? Use a quote from Nemo's speech in the book (chapter 10) in your essay, and cite your source.


1. What do Ned Land and Dr. Arronax discover about the giant narwhal?
2. Translate the phrase "Mobilis in Mobile."
3. What condition does the captain put on his "guests" as they stay aboard the ship?
4. Why does Arronax not believe that the Nautilus is powered by electricity?
5. How does Captain Nemo explain his collision with the Scotia?
6. During their exploration of the Forest of Crespo, which is impossible: sleep or speaking?
7. What was so terrible about seeing the ship, The Florida?
8. At the new year, Conseil and Ned Land have different opinions about their time on the Nautilus. Which wants to stay and which is anxious to escape?
9. What is Captain Nemo's solution for getting off the reef on which the Nautilus is stuck at high tide?
10. Why do Arronax, Land, and Conseil have to leave the island in a hurry?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Reading Period 16: Feb 10 - 16: Twenty Thousand Leagues

Long Read:

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne, chapters 1-6

Creative Assignment:

Write a 250 word newspaper article in which you start a completely fantastical rumor that you've spotted a sea monster. Use H.G. Wells' technique of "the plausible impossible" by using very specific details and believable elements in your story.


Claude Monet's "Impression, Sunrise" was painted two years after the publication of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. This was the work that gave Impressionism its name. Using crayons, colored pencils, acrylic paint, watercolor, or any other colorful medium you choose, create your own version of this famous painting. You can try to replicate the original as closely as possible, or you can put your own spin on it by changing the colors, the style, the elements of the painting, or whatever else you choose.

Writing Assignment:

At the end of chapter 4, Dr. Arronax explains why people can live with atmospheric pressure, and why fish at the bottom of the ocean would have to be metal plated to withstand the water pressure at great depths. Investigate the validity of this science, and write a 250 word essay in which you give your reader Dr. Arronax's explanation, say whether or not it's correct and why, and then describe the real situation if otherwise. This should lead you to at least three paragraphs. If you are in Ms. Cynthia's physics class, you must explore this option,.


Chapter 1 mentions "the inclination of the human mind to seek the fantastic" and then goes on to describe how the possibility of a "monster" came into fashion in "all the big cities." Do you think if a sea monster was spotted that people would write songs and plays about it? Do you think that the battle over "the monsters subject" should be won by believers or unbelievers? Write an essay of 250 words in which you give your opinion, supported with evidence, on whether people do indeed seek the "fantastic" or want to believe in monsters in the world, and whether or not this is a good thing. If you are in Ms. Maryann's class, you must explore this option.

If you are in Ms. Cynthia's class *AND* Ms. Maryann's class, you can take your pick.


1. Which event is referred to in the first paragraph?
2. Give an example of Jules Verne using H.G. Wells' technique of the plausible impossible.
3. Describe the hole in the Scotia's hull.
4. What does Dr. Arronax suppose the giant creature is?
5. What is a babirusa? Look it up and give me a link to a picture.
6. What is Ned Land's job?
7. What promise did Captain Farragut make to his crew on the second of November?
8. Who was the first to spot the creature?
9. What strange phenomenon did the crew observe about the creature?
10. In what situation does Professor Arronax find himself at the end of chapter 6?