Monday, November 1, 2010

Tears of a Tiger Essay- Assignment due 11/3

Tears of a Tiger Analytical Essay Assignment:

Thesis and web of body paragraphs due start of class, Wednesday, Nov. 3

Choose ONE prompt from below to construct a well-supported essay:

1.Racism is topic that is weaved throughout Tears of a Tiger. Reflect upon how Sharon Draper represents racism within the book. Define what tone Sharon Draper takes towards racism and those who perpetuate it and provide textual evidence to support your inference. What do you think was her purpose in including this dimension of the book and how does her tone help accomplish her purpose?

2.Andy’s parents have been described as multi-dimensional (round) and evolving (dynamic) as well as one-dimensional (flat) and stagnant (static). Choose one parent to analyze and make a case for which categories they fall into, citing evidence from the text.

HINT: Avoid the terms “flat, round, static, dynamic”

3.Tears of a Tiger begins with a tragic accident- a fatal car crash caused by drinking and driving. The story is then told from the points of view of the group of friends involved, with no narrator present
a.How does this method of telling the story affect the reader’s experience and response? Give specific sections of the book that are especially affected.
b.What advantages and disadvantages does this method of narration offer?
c.Think about Draper’s purpose in writing this book. How does her choice to leave out a narrator accomplish this purpose? Was it an effective choice?

Keep in mind…..
A well-supported essay has at least five paragraphs
TEXTUAL EVIDENCE = Specific situations and QUOTES
Minimum of three direct quotes; more is preferred
Put page numbers in parenthesis after the quote
Avoid “I,” “you,” and “we”
Do not preach at the reader through opinion statements
Ex: People should not be racist. Racism is wrong

Friday, June 4, 2010

So what is this "prop" that I need? (General Eng. 9)

If you are in general English 9 (not Honors), part of your summer reading assignment is to choose a "prop" to represent the book your read. The prop can be an actual object or a picture of the object. You may even choose to draw/create your own picture or collage as your prop!

I am not going to collect the prop (so you get to keep it!), but I am going to have you present it to the class during introductions on the first day of school so make sure you bring it!

You want your "prop" to symbolize something major about your book. For example, you may bring a football to represent the character's focus on football during the book or a feather to represent the character's quest to become "free as a bird"....feel free to be super creative and go outside the box!

Still have questions? Email me:

Some tips on writing a strong paper

Summer is long and I'm sure your paper writing is a little rusty, or maybe this is your first time tackling a formal essay. Either way,
here is all you need to know for writing a basic, well-structured paper.

Before you start writing ANYTHING you should have a thesis statement and three main points you will be using to back up your thesis. Once you have that jotted down, you are ready to start writing!!

Thesis statement- (topic sentence) Sentence summing up the idea your ENTIRE paper is trying to prove. Every body paragraph should be a reason backing up your thesis!

Should have at least 3 body paragraphs
*Each paragraph should be 6-7 sentences
*Each reason should back up your thesis directly
*Should put 2nd strongest point first, weakest point second, strongest point last

How to Write a Well-Structured Paper: The Set-Up

*The hook! Choose something that is going to pull your reader in. Think about what would interest YOU enough to keep reading. For example: an interesting, relatable situation, a famous quote, an "imagine...." experience ("Imagine a world without literature..." etc.)
*Topic/thesis statement
*Blueprint of main points

Body Paragraphs:
*Tie in to previous paragraph
*Topic sentence (the readers should know what the focus of the paragraph is)
*Supporting evidence

*Bring back to the main topic (restate your thesis)
*Re-list your main points
*Leave reader with something to think about/remember

Previews of Honors Eng 9 Book Choices

All three of these books are chosen from the AP list. AP English is a course taken senior year for college credit; AP books indicate books to possibly be tested on in order to gain college credit. Here are some summaries from to help you choose your novel:

The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream. It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.

In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
From the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents comes this tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship. A skillful blend of fact and fiction, In the Time of the Butterflies is inspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government. Alvarez breathes life into these historical figures--known as "las mariposas," or "the butterflies," in the underground--as she imagines their teenage years, their gradual involvement with the revolution, and their terror as their dissentience is uncovered.
Alvarez's controlled writing perfectly captures the mounting tension as "the butterflies" near their horrific end. The novel begins with the recollections of Dede, the fourth and surviving sister, who fears abandoning her routines and her husband to join the movement. Alvarez also offers the perspectives of the other sisters: brave and outspoken Minerva, the family's political ringleader; pious Patria, who forsakes her faith to join her sisters after witnessing the atrocities of the tyranny; and the baby sister, sensitive Maria Teresa, who, in a series of diaries, chronicles her allegiance to Minerva and the physical and spiritual anguish of prison life.
In the Time of the Butterflies is an American Library Association Notable Book and a 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
A series of vignettes, rather than a structured novel, House on Mango Street is Sandra Cisneros's semi-autobiographical account of growing up Chicana in a poor area of Chicago. Esperanza Cordero, at age eleven, has already discovered that being able to communicate in English is a key to worldly success, and she has begun recording stories of her neighborhood, friends, and everyday life, hoping one day to become a writer. Recreating one year of her life, she vividly depicts the children's fierce loyalties to each other, their alienation from mainstream society, and their goals in life, sadly limited by the culture and its low expectations for girls and women. (Review by Mary Whipple)

All three of these books are fantastic and fairly easy to understand. Choose the one you think you will personally connect to the most!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010