Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Small Group Book Talk - Discussion Topics

Why did you choose this book?

What does the cover of the book tell you about what you may find inside it?

Find at least one song that the main character of your book would listen to. Explain how the lyrics and music relate to the character. Be as detailed as possible in your connection.

Discuss how the following terms apply to your novel.




Rising Action/Conflict






Falling Action





Consider how doubles and repetitions are used in these novels. Where do events and characters mirror each other? What is the effect of this symmetry and its variations?

Discuss the way the author poses the male-female relationships in the novels? Do you find the gender roles and relationships believable?

Think about the Literature you have read throughout your school years. Identify similarities between those literary pieces and the novel you read for this assignment. How are the characters similar? Are there similar themes or plot styles?

Can you identify any connections between the time periods in which they were written?

Choose a person/character in your book. Tell whether you would want her/him for a sibling, parent, friend, partner.

Identify the book’s intended audience. Explain why the book is geared to this particular type of person.

I really don't understand the part where . . .

I really like/dislike this idea because . . .

This character reminds me of somebody I know because . . .

This character reminds me of myself because . . .

I think this setting is important because . . .

This scene reminds me of a similar scene in (title of book/movie/T.V. show) because . . .

I like/dislike this writing because . . .

This part is very realistic/unrealistic because . . .

I think the relationship between ______and ______ is interesting because . . .

This section makes me think about . . .

I like/dislike (name of character) because . . .

This situation reminds me of a similar situation in My own life. What happened was . . .

If I were (name of character) at this point, I would…

What is the reading level of this book for you?

How long do you think it will take you to complete the book?

Has anything like this ever happened to you?

What does this text/story remind you of?

What questions do you have about the text?

Compare characters:

– from this story, or

– from this story and another story by the same author.

How is this story like/different from another story that you have read?

Predict what will happen next.

Describe a favorite scene from the story.

What did you like/not like about this story?

If you could change one part of the story, what would it be?

If you were one of the characters, how would you have acted differently?

Describe the setting of your story.

Tell about the author’s writing style.

What was the best part of the story?

Do you know someone who acts like one of the characters in your book? How they are alike.

Friday, January 20, 2017

All I Want for Christmas  is My Two Teeth, By Aryan Deorah

I was running around my house energetically and excitedly driving my parents insane. It was 10:00 pm, which was well past my bedtime as a 5 year-old, on Christmas Eve, and all I was singing was, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth.” For most 5 year olds, they sang this song because they had lost their baby teeth in the front and want their permanent or “adult” teeth to grow in. However, for me, I sang this song because I had no front two teeth. Matter in fact, I never had them. I was born without my baby or permanent top incisors, so I couldn’t exactly talk properly, let alone pronounce my name correctly. An average school day would consist of me asking the teacher about something, she saying I can’t understand, and all of my classmates laughing at me and making fun of me. Also, in school, I would have to attend speech, where I would have to work on sounds, often with other kids who had speech problems or even mental disabilities. I wanted to get done with speech as soon as possible, so I attended often. My speech problems made it hard for me to communicate with anyone and get and keep friends. I became desperate for friendship, so I hung out with people who didn’t wanted to hang out with me and I became friends with people who were very rude and disrespected me, something which happened very often up until recently. Inside my home, I was very talkative and outgoing, but at school or anywhere else, I barely talked and often regretted when I did. This caused two very contrasting characters within myself, one who was me, and one who wasn’t. Even though I had a very supportive and understanding family, I felt like know one understood me, literally and metaphorically.

Things began to change when I went into later elementary school and middle school, for better or for worse. I had moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia, and though I missed my old home, I knew that I had a new slate as far as communication and making new friends. I began to think that my speech was great and almost normal, when it wasn’t anywhere close. I started to reject speech therapy and think that I was different and better than the other kids in speech, and eventually, I barely attended. I started to be more outspoken and talkative, and though that was good for my self-esteem, my two characters began to merge into one, I began to become more arrogant about speech and everything else in general. When the dental work on my teeth began in 6th grade with braces, I thought everything was going to be fixed, that I would be able to talk properly. However, the hard reality hit me. Kids would imitate my voice and mock it. They would keep asking me to repeat things just for a laugh. I started to be, angry, occasionally letting my anger out physically on my bullies. That, quite obviously, made the situation worse, because they overpowered me, and I thought there was no-one I could tell because I was the one who started the fight. I had more friends overall than I did in elementary school, but I made less long-term reliable friends. I started to become irritated with myself. After all, why did I, out of so many people, have to end up with this problem? I began to think there was no way to fix it. I became wallowed in self-pity, and I couldn’t shake it.

Finally, here I am, at the beginning of high school. I am not as arrogant and irrational like I was in middle school, and I have higher self esteem than I did in elementary school. I have made many friends, and even though there is no way to tell if they will be long term, I have a good feeling. I attend speech therapy often and my speech therapist is great, and I finally enjoy speech. Matter in fact, I have become friends with some of the other kids in my speech therapy group, who I previously would have thought insubordinate. Because of that, my speech is very close to normal and less than half of the people I meet notice or mention it. Barely anyone makes fun of me; I am just a happy, normal, but not really, teenager. The best part is that I am getting a special procedure so I will get my two teeth inserted near Christmas. But, is this really what I wanted? I love going to speech therapy, yet I am almost done. My speech is very good, and I already know what it feels like to have those twoteeth, because of a special retainer. To be honest, it isn’t very flattering. Not having those two teeth is normal for me, and the procedure may make my speech worse. I have realized, most people can’t even tell that I am missing two teeth. What is the point of spending a lot of money and getting my two teeth inserted? It feels so weird that now that I am about to receive something I have been craving ever since I could remember, and I don’t really want it. It leaves me asking,”Is all I want for Christmas my 2 teeth?”

Fixing America By Aryan Deorah

When I was little,

I was told that this country was perfect,

I was taught that this is the greatest nation,

I had read everyone was free, everyone had the same rights,

But was this all true?

I went to school and they said my religion was stupid,

I got on the bus, and they called my friends terrorists,

I turned on the news, and there was another police killing,

I saw videos, they showed people spitting on children because of their origin,

I talked to my friends, and all they mentioned was a man who supports all of these things.

Is this country really as great as I was told,

It is up to our generation to fix these problems,

to heal the wounds,

to accept others,

and to cement this nation as the greatest that has ever existed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Presentation Rubric Reminder

Presentation: Speaking voice is clear, purposeful, and confident.  Student does not read directly from notecards or slides.  Student’s body language and behavior are appropriate and engaging and thoroughly presents your understanding of your myth and illuminates the driving questions of the unit.

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