Reflection!

In your new English folder, create a document called:

8-# (your section number) English Reflection your name

example: 8-1 English Reflection Lily R.

 

Then, answer the following questions. Please write with detail and specificity. I will take your reflections into consideration as I determine your final grade in 8th grade English.

 

1. Make a Top 5 list of things you’ve learned in 8th grade English.

2. Think back over the texts we’ve read this year. What words of the wiser did you encounter? How do these themes relate to you or your life?

3. What did you come to understand in the process of creating your final project (your monologue)? About the novel? About the history? About the world?

4. Explain how you went about creating your monologue. How did you capture the character? How did you find a purpose or make a point? How did you learn their voice? Now that you know your character so well, tell us about him or her. What is his or her single-most important characteristic?

5. Compose a haiku summarizing your experience in 8th grade English.

 

This reflection is due on Monday 6/9.

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Make sure your monologue has…

1. Scenario — Set up the context for the monologue. Do all your introducing here.

2. Setting — When the curtain goes up, what will the audience see? Remember, setting is not just location but also atmosphere and mood.

3. An interesting, attention-grabbing first line.

4. A memorable, thought-provoking final line.

5. A range of emotion.

6. Realistic body language and movements.

7. Voice and Word Choice. Every line, ask yourselves, is this what my character would say? Would my character use this word? Would my character express him/herself in this way?

Monologue First Draft Peer Review – in class on Friday 5/30.

CHOOSE A PARTNER FOR PEER REVIEW AND SHARE YOUR CHARACTER SKETCHES AND YOUR ROUGH DRAFTS OF YOUR MONOLOGUES IN GOOGLEDOCS.

FIRST, READ THROUGH THE CHARACTER SKETCH AND THE SCENARIO ESTABLISHING THE CONTEXT AND THE SETTING OF THE MONOLOGUE ONLY. DO NOT READ THE REST OF THE MONOLOGUE YET!

1. Read through your partner’s character sketch for their monologue. Based on this character sketch, what three words would you use to describe the character?

2. Read the scenario that explains what is happening when the monologue takes place and the setting that describes what the audience will see when the character is speaking. Based on this background information that the writer has provided, what do you expect the setting to be like? Describe it in your own words. What do you imagine in your mind when you read these things?

3. Tell your partner what you said for #1 and #2. Is your perception as an audience member the one that the writer wanted you to have? If it’s not – if your ideas are way off from what the writer was thinking – they will need to revise accordingly.

4. Knowing the context and setting of the monologue, what emotions do you expect to see portrayed by the character? What gestures, expressions, tone of voice, movements, and so on do you expect to see?

5. What point do you expect the character to make? How do you think the monologue will end?

6. Tell your partner what you said for #4 and #5.

 

NOW, READ THE MONOLOGUE.

7. What are the purpose and the point of the monologue? Summarize its purpose and point in one to two complete sentences. If you can’t summarize them in a few sentences, then maybe they’re not clear and the writer needs to work on them.

8. Tell your partner what you said for #7. Ask your partner to explain in their own words what they think the purpose and the point are.

 

NOW THAT YOU KNOW WHO THE CHARACTER IS, WHAT THE CHARACTER IS LIKE, WHAT THE CONTEXT AND SETTING ARE, AND WHAT THE PURPOSE AND POINT ARE, REREAD THE MONOLOGUE A SECOND TIME.

9. Find five rich, effective, strong lines. Underline them and compliment your partner on them

10. Find five dull or flat lines and offer stronger, more powerful alternatives. Bold the original and then type the replacement next to it. Bold your replacement, too

11. Identify any parts of the monologue that need more detail or more description, that are confusing, or that don’t seem to work in your opinion. Bold these. Explain to your partner what you think isn’t working in these parts.

12. Identify any parts of the monologue that need clearer stage direction. Can you clearly imagine what the character is doing, what they look like, what expression is on their face, and so on? Bold any places where you think more specific, detailed stage direction is needed. Explain to your partner what you think is needed in these parts.

 

WHEN YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE PEER REVIEW, PLEASE BEGIN REVISING YOUR MONOLOGUE.

A COMPLETE, REVISED, NEAR POLISHED SECOND ROUGH DRAFT IS DUE ON MONDAY 6/2.

PLEASE USE YOUR TIME WISELY. REMEMBER, THIS IS YOUR FINAL PROJECT.

 

 

 

 

Character Sketch Activity – in class on Wed 5/28 – (50 pts)

Now that you have decided whose skin you’re going to walk around in for your monologue project, please complete the character sketch below.

Use GoogleDocs. Label it: your section, Character Sketch of character name, by Your Name

example: 8-1 Character Sketch of Mayella Ewell by Lily Robinson

Submit your assignment in your NEW English folder (the same one in which you submitted your Tom Robinson/Tim Johnson paper).

You may write in bullet points. You do not need to write in complete sentences.

Character Sketch:

1. Who is your character?

2. What do you know about your character (from the novel)? If it is a major character about whom you know a lot, then summarize the key points. Think age, gender, race, class, occupation—the basic facts.

3. With whom in the book does your character have a relationship? What is the relationship? If you have a major character who has relationships with the majority of the characters in the book, then list only the important relationships.

4. How do others (particularly Scout) feel about your character?

5. What are at least three traits very specific to your character? Why do you think your character has developed these very particular traits?

6. What is one of your character’s prejudices, meaning what is a bias your character holds against others? Explain that character’s prejudice.

7. Are there any prejudices or biases your character faces, meaning are they the victim of prejudice or bias? Explain the prejudices your character faces.

8. What is your character’s greatest strength and greatest weakness? Explain.

 

This activity adapted from one at http://mrfidlerswebsite.net.

 

Final Project: The Mockingbird Monologues (500 points)

Atticus tells Scout that if she can “learn a simple trick,” she will “get along a lot better with all kinds of folks” (33). Atticus says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (33). That’s exactly what you are going to do for your final project.

As your final project, you will write and perform a monologue based on a character from Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird.

You will embody a character, taking on his/her traits, beliefs, attitudes, fears, and feelings as your own.

Choose one of the following options:

a) Write a monologue from a moment that doesn’t actually occur in the book (before the book starts, one that isn’t fully described in the book, or an epilogue that takes place after the book ends).

OR

b) The novel is told from Scout’s perspective. Choose one other character in the novel and write a monologue of his/her inner thoughts during a key moment in the plot.

 

Written Script Requirements:

The monologue must be 3-5 minutes in length (when it is performed).

Write in proper script format (use A Midsummer Night’s Dream for formatting). Use this link to the template on GoogleDocs.

Write a brief scenario (1-2 paragraphs) describing the situation or what has occurred before the start of your monologue. This comes before your description of your setting in your script. This is written only; you will not perform this introduction.

Include stage directions (describe movement, name the emotion the character is experiencing as they speak or describe the way that the character is speaking).

Your monologue must reflect your character’s life story, as told in the novel and as supplemented by you, including but not limited to the following: manner of speaking, vocabulary, voice, attitude, appearance, clothing, age, career or other community role, socioeconomic background, etc. While you may add new information to create a rounder character, you may not contradict anything in the novel.

Your monologue must be historically accurate and should reflect the historical, cultural, and social context of the time period.

Your monologue will be almost like a missing scene from the novel; we’ll see but the only person speaking will be your character. The goal is to show the audience what your character was really thinking inside when certain events from the novel happened.

You get to choose what your character says and the underlying circumstances for the monologue (when, where, and why your character says what s/he does). You even get to make up a backstory that sheds new light on your character—just so long as the new facts you add do not contradict the facts presented in the novel.

A template for writing your monologue can be found on Google Drive. Click here.

 

Performance Requirements:

The monologue must be memorized if performed live or must appear to be memorized if recorded.

The monologue must be well-rehearsed and polished.

The performance must include costumes and props appropriate to the characters and the monologue.

The performance must be in character. Use voice and movement that reflects the character.

The video and audio quality of the recording must be high; there can be no background noise, shaky cameras, and so on.

Any editing of the video must be done as seamlessly as possible. The video should look professional, not like something you hastily created at the last minute.

If you are not proficient in recording or editing movies, please ask for help from someone who is.

 

Characteristics of Powerful Monologues:

  • Have and make a clear point.
  • Reveal the character’s inner thoughts, feelings, tensions, anxieties, and desires.
  • Portray powerful and personal emotions.
  • May show change in the character – whether a change in heart or attitude.
  • Use a variety of tones.
    • A monologue that starts in one place and ends up somewhere entirely different will make the tension more dramatic, the characters more compelling, and your script much better.
    • A good monologue should be alternatively funny, harrowing, and touching, pointing on no one emotion or no one state by itself.
  • Have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
    • Even if the character is not changed significantly, perhaps their decision to speak up is a change in and of itself. A taciturn character driven to a long monologue is revealing, when deployed properly. Why have they spoken up now? How does this change the way we feel about them?
    • Consider allowing the character to change as they speak over the course of their monologue. If a character starts in a rage, it might be more interesting for their to end in hysterics, or laughter. If they start out laughing, maybe they end up contemplative. Use the monologue as a vessel for change.
    • If it’s a story, it needs to have an arc. If it’s a rant, it needs to change into something else. If it’s a plea, it needs to up the ante over the course of its pleading.
    • The beginning of a good monologue will hook the audience and the other characters. The beginning should signal that something important is happening.
    • In the middle, the monologue should climax. Build it to its maximum height and then bring it back down to lower the tension and allow the conversation between the characters to continue or end entirely. This is where the specific details, the drama, and the tangents in the monologue will occur.
    • The ending should bring the speech or the story back around to the play at hand. The tension of the monologue is relieved and the scene ends on that note of finality.

 

Reflection:

After writing and performing your monologue, you will write a two- to three-page reflection on what you have learned not only in studying To Kill a Mockingbird and completing this Mockingbird Monologues project, but all what you have learned throughout the entire year in 8th grade English. Full detailed questions to be answered in your reflection will be provided.

 

Rubric:

Mockingbird Monologue Rubric PDF

 

DUE DATES:

1ST ROUGH DRAFT OF MONOLOGUE DUE: FRIDAY, MAY 30TH.

2ND ROUGH DRAFT OF MONOLOGUE (REVISED FROM 1ST ROUGH DRAFT) DUE: MONDAY, JUNE 2ND.

IN-CLASS PERFORMANCES FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO PERFORM: FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH.

FINAL DRAFT OF ENTIRE PROJECT, INCLUDING SCRIPT, VIDEO, AND REFLECTION DUE: MONDAY, JUNE 9TH.

IF YOU COMPLETE THE PROJECT EARLY AND WOULD LIKE TO PERFORM OR SHOW YOUR VIDEO TO THE CLASS BEFORE FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE EXTRA CREDIT. EXTRA CREDIT WILL BE AWARDED BASED UPON THE QUALITY OF THE PROJECT. FINISHING EARLY DOES NOT GUARANTEE EXTRA CREDIT.

 

HELP:

The Horton Foote script of the film version of TKAM

Template for monologue script formatting

Pre-Writing Help: Mockingbird Monologue Pre-Writing Worksheets — These are Word docs that you can upload into GoogleDocs.

 

Dr. Walczak adapted ideas found in these sources:

wikihow.com/Make-a-Monologue

msgallin9300.wordpress.com

mathman.dreamhosters.com

mrfidlerswebsite.net

 

TRTJ Paragraph(s) FINAL DRAFT DUE FRIDAY 5/23.

IN YOUR FINAL DRAFT, COLOR CODE THE PARTS OF YOUR PAPER AS FOLLOWS:

GREEN = THESIS

RED = INTRODUCTION TO QUOTES

BLUE = EXPLANATION OF QUOTES

BOLD BLACK = QUOTATION MARKS, PARENTHESES, PAGE NUMBER, PERIOD AT THE VERY END FOR ALL QUOTES.

ITALICIZE THE BOOK TITLE

Make sure you begin your paragraph with context about the book.

Make sure there are no grammar or mechanics errors.

 

 


 

FOR ROUGH DRAFTS:

1. Underline your thesis statement.

2. Bold where you introduce each piece of evidence. DO NOT introduce quotes by saying what page they’re on. Introduce quotes by providing context for them.

3. Italicize where you explain how each piece of evidence supports your thesis statement. Show where you connect the evidence to your thesis.

4. Underline your conclusions. Show where you tie your conclusions back to your thesis.

5. Check for grammar and mechanical errors. NOTE: I will stop reading at the first grammar/mechanics error I see.

 

AFTER YOU IDENTIFY THESE THINGS ON YOUR OWN DRAFT, TRADE WITH A PARTNER.

LOOK AT EVERYTHING THEY’VE IDENTIFIED ON THEIR DRAFT. SUGGEST REVISIONS AS NEEDED.

Consider…

1. Does your partner have a thesis statement?

2. Do they introduce each piece of evidence? If they introduce quotes by saying what page they’re on, suggest a change that provides context for the quote.

3. Do they explain how each piece of evidence supports their thesis statement. If not, help them connect the evidence to their thesis.

4. Do they draw conclusions? If not, help them tie their conclusions back to their thesis.

5. Check for grammar and mechanical errors. NOTE: I will stop reading at the first grammar/mechanics error I see.

 

Tom Robinson and Tim Johnson (100 pts)

Tom Robinson and Tim Johnson Analysis

Name your GoogleDoc: 8-# TRTJ Analysis your first name and last initial

(example: 8-1 TRTJ Analysis Lily R. and Natalie L.)

Rough Draft Due: Wednesday 5/21.

Final Draft Due: Friday 5/23.

On pages 239-41, Scout hears the verdict in Tom Robison’s trial.

Scout likens the atmosphere in the courtroom to the time “when the mockingbirds were still and the carpenters had stopped hammering on Miss Maudie’s new house, and every wood door in the neighborhood was shut as tight as the doors of the Radley Place. A deserted, waiting, empty street, and the courtroom packed with people” (240). She expects to hear Mr. Tate say, “‘Take him, Mr. Finch’” (240).

And when the jury files in, she immediately realizes that none of the jurors look at Tom Robinson, meaning she knows they have convicted him. She thinks, “…and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty” (240).

Why in this scene when Tom Robinson is found guilty does Scout harken back to the scene in which Atticus shoots the rabid dog in the street? What connects these two scenes? Think symbolically and metaphorically, not literally.

To answer this question, you will write one to two paragraphs:

  • Start with an intriguing, thought-provoking, clear, and concise THESIS STATEMENT that establishes the point you want to make about how these two scenes connect. In your thesis statement, very explicitly state how these two scenes connect.
  • Then, prove your thesis is correct. Give at least THREE reasons why your thesis statement is right. Support each of your reasons with evidence from the novel. Each of your three reasons should include:
    • Introduction to the passage you will cite as evidence.
    • The passage itself.
    • Explanation of how this passage supports or proves your thesis statement.
  • Draw a conclusion and demonstrate how these three reasons prove your point about how these two scenes connect.
  • Throughout, provide context for your audience. Pretend that your audience has not read the novel in a long time so you have to set up the scene for them, very briefly explaining what is happening in that scene. Always provide the background information your audience needs in order to understand what you’re stating in your paragraph.
  • Keep the need for focus and brevity in mind.
  • A paragraph should be about nine to twelve sentences long.

There are not necessarily three right or wrong reasons; however, your three reasons should demonstrate that you are critically thinking about the novel, that you are thinking symbolically and metaphorically, and that you can support your ideas with specific textual evidence.

Important Pages:

The “One-Shot Finch” scene in which Atticus shoots the rabid dog and Miss Maudie remarks on Atticus’s “unfair advantage” is on pages 108-113.

Atticus’s explanation of “courage” (“…instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand…”) is on page 128.

A townsperson’s comment that Atticus “aims” to defend Tom Robinson is on page 186.

Atticus’s closing remarks are on pages 230-234.

TKAM Discussion Questions for Chapters 16-19 (for class on Wed 5/14 — this is not homework).

Please work in your small group to discuss and annotate your responses to the following questions. You may write directly in your book or take separate notes, but everyone must record the responses for themselves.

1. What do we learn about the Ewells’ yard on page 194 (about half-way down the page)?  What is significant about this aspect of their yard that “bewildered Maycomb”?  How does this aspect of their yard relate to Mayella Ewell?  (Look at page 203 and 218, too.)

2. Scout thinks Mayella must be “the loneliest person in the world” (218). Why does she think this? What do you think? Do you agree or disagree and why?

3. What mistake does Tom Robinson make in his testimony on page 224? How is this a mistake?

4. Why does Dill cry? (See page 225-26.) What does this tell us about Dill? Think about what we’ve learned about Dill thus far in the novel — remember the turtle thing?

 

Notice and Note Questions for in-class work on Friday 5/9. This is not homework.

Uncovering the Cover, Words of the Wiser, and Again and Again (50 pts)

TO REINFORCE THE IMPORTANT IDEAS WE DISCUSSED IN CLASS THIS WEEK, PLEASE DISCUSS AND RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS IN SMALL GROUPS. YOUR GROUP WILL BE ASSIGNED.

Please answer these questions in small groups.

FIRST, discuss. As you discuss the questions, each student should take or add to his/her own notes in their books.

SECOND, write. Then, as a group, write up a formal response to each of the three questions on loose leaf. Everyone writes their own responses on their own loose leaf. Ensure everyone’s names are on your work.

Your work should reflect what you should be proud to show a ninth grade English teacher. If your work is not the kind of quality you’d show a ninth grade teacher, then do not bother to turn it in — I don’t want to waste my time or the ninth grade teachers’ time reading it.

No computers at all. No typing. No Google. No GoogleDocs.

 

1. “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird…”

Page 103 – Ta da! The title of the novel shows up.

Based upon what Atticus and Miss Maudie tell Jem and Scout about mockingbirds, why is it a sin to kill a mockingbird? What do you think this means in the larger context of the novel? 

2. Miss Maudie – Quite a “Wiser”

Page 112 – The idea of “unfair advantage.”

With his talent in marksmanship, Miss Maudie tells Scout that Atticus “realized that God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things.” What do you think “unfair advantage” means? Who else has an “unfair advantage” in this novel?

 3. Atticus – the Wisest of All Wisers

Page 128 – The real definition of “courage.”

Atticus tells Jem and Scout that he asked them to read to Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose so that they could witness the real definition of “courage.” Hmmm…his definition sounds familiar…”you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway…” Where have we heard that before? What does Atticus want the kids to understand about “courage”?

4. Clean-livin’ folks 

Look back at everything you’ve read so far about:

  • The Cunninghams (pages 21-27)
  • The Ewells (pages 29-30, 33-34)
  • The Robinsons (pages 86, 100-101)

Compare and contrast these three families. How is each described or portrayed — in terms of money, cleanliness, education, pride, respectability, morality, and power. Who has unfair advantages and why? Who has unfair disadvantages and why? If you had to create a caste system or a social ladder for Maycomb, where would you put these three families? Where would you put the Finches? Why?

 

The Radley Live Oak Tree… (work on in class on Tues 5/6).

This is not homework! We are working on this in class on Tuesday 5/6.

Radley Live Oak Tree Poster
(50 points)

Make a creative interpretive poster of the items Scout and Jem find in the knothole of the live oak tree on the Radley lot. Use both artistic representations and text explanations, meaning, draw what you would like to draw, but also include hand-written labels, information, explanations, and so on.

1. Show everything that Scout and Jem find in the knothole of the oak tree.

2. Explain how you know each of the items are FOR Scout and Jem and are FROM Boo Radley.

3. Identify the symbolic significance of each item. What do you think each item represents? Why? Think beyond the obvious; challenge yourself. What might these items symbolize?

4. Explain what you think might be the purpose or the message behind the items in the knothole. What, if anything, is Boo trying to do or to communicate with these gifts for Scout and Jem?

Refer to pages: 37-40, 66-71.

TKAM Chapters 1-2 Discussion Questions for class on Thursday 5/1/14 (40 points) – This is not homework due Thursday, but stuff we’ll do in class on Thursday.

Please answer the following questions on GoogleDocs. Work collaboratively; please no divide and conquer.

In your English folders, create a document called 8-# TKAM Chs 1-2 Names. (example: 8-1 TKAM Chs 1-2 Lily R and Eden E) Share it with me. If your document is not properly titled so that I can identify it easily in my Drive, I will not assess it.

Please, please, please — go beyond the obvious. I’m not interested in the surface-level stuff. Dig deeper. Show me your Upper School level critical reading, thinking, and writing skills; show off your literary analysis skills.

  1. Scout thinks, “Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley employed to keep Boo out of sight, but Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time. Atticus said no, it wasn’t that sort of thing, that there were other ways of making people into ghosts” (12). What do you think Atticus means? Obviously, Boo Radley is not dead so not literally a ghost – but how has he been made – how has he become – a ghost, metaphorically or symbolically?
  1. Jem and Dill talk about how to get a turtle to come out of its shell. Jem and Dill have very different opinions and perspectives (15). Look at what the boys say. What does this exchange tell us about Dill? What kind of boy is Dill?
  1. How does the morning of Scout’s first day of school go?  What is Miss Caroline like?  Does she “fit in” to Maycomb so far?  Why or why not?  What does Miss Caroline’s ability to fit in or not fit in tell us about Maycomb’s culture? Look at pages 17-24.
  1. Just from what Scout has thought and said about Walter Cunningham and his family in the first two chapters, what do you think about the Cunningham family so far? How would you characterize them so far? Why does Scout think that when she says to Miss Caroline, “Miss Caroline, he’s a Cunningham” (22), that that one statement would be a sufficient enough explanation as to why Walter won’t take Miss Caroline’s quarter? Look at pages 21 through 24.