Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Things Fall Apart Peer Review

Writer: Tell your responder what you need from them.

1. Write down these questions or concerns at the top of the paper.
2. Read introductory paragraph. How does the author draw you in? Put a Bracket around the thesis.
3. Before continuing your reading, check the topic sentences of each body paragraph – does each correspond to an idea mentioned in the thesis? Underline the ideas in the topic sentences that correspond to the thesis. If you cannot do this, the topic sentences need revision.
4. Read the body paragraphs. Identify the points and illustrations. Put a P and I in the margin by each point and illustration.
5. Evaluate each explanation – does the writer clearly explain how a literary device helps prove the point? Write + or - in the margin next to each E if a discussion of a literary device is evident.
6. Read the conclusion. Circle the section where the author shows how this topic connects to life.
7. Go back to the essay to help the writer with her/his particular questions or concerns. Talk together about them, and come up with a plan for the writer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Upcoming Due Dates

Tuesday, Feb. 23--Final Exam on Things Fall Apart and corresponding vocabulary.

Wednesday, Feb. 24--Rough Draft of Things Fall Apart essay due.

Monday, March 1 (3:10 p.m.)--Final day to turn in Things Fall Apart essay.

PIE on p. 130 Passage

POINT - Achebe’s sensory imagery and personification portray the earth and the land as a living and often angry being in Igbo culture to further the idea that people need to revere and respect the earth and nature, and this imagery connects to Okonkwo's angry character.

ILUSTRATION/ WITH PLOT CONTEXT - Achebe vividly describes the land of Mbanta shortly after Okonkwo’s banishment from Umuofia. “All the grass had long been scorched brown and the sands felt like live coals to the feet. Evergreen trees wore a dusty coat of brown.. The birds were silenced in the forests, and the world lay panting under the live vibrating heat…[the earth] was angry, metallic, and thirsty” (Achebe 130).

EXPLANATION – The earth has turned from a lush, productive being to a withering and angry soul who is “panting” and gasping for air. The “scorched brown” color, “silence in the forests” and “vibrating heat” create images of earth as a place that resembles hell more than it does earth. The personified earth is also weary as it wears a “dusty coat of brown” and is “angry” and “thirsty.” Okonkwo and the earth meld into one person through these images; both beings are full of angst and hungry for the lush life that they once knew..

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Proverb and Stories Homework

Do the following homework for Friday, February 12:

Proverbs in Things Fall Apart

“The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.” p. 8

“If a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.” p. 8

“Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break.” p. 19

“A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness.” p. 19

“A toad does not run in the daytime for nothing.” p. 20

“The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did.” p. 21

Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.” p. 22

“Looking at a king’s mouth, one would think he never sucked at his mother’s breast.” p. 26

“Those whose palm-kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.” p. 26

“When a man says yes his chi says yes also.” p. 27


Pick three proverbs from above to study more closely. For each proverb:

Write the meaning of the proverb (explain it using your own words).

Write the relevance to the novel (how it is used, why it is used).

Consider its relevance or irrelevance to today’s world. Can you think of a time when the wisdom of the proverb was applied to a modern situation? Can you think of a time when the wisdom of the proverb should have been applied and wasn’t?

Next, write two or three proverbs of your own about:

Edina High School
Life as a teenager

We’ll share the best ones. Have fun. Be creative. Be smart. And include some of these literary devices: alliteration, parallelism, rhyme, ellipsis,, hyperbole, paradox, and/or personification.

Follow your proverb homework with an analysis of the tortoise story in Things Fall Apart. The tortoise is the trickster in Ibo culture.

Re-read the tortoise story on pages 96-99 and do the following:

  1. Re-tell how tortoise tricks others in three boxes of a flow map. You may do this in a comic strip of three frames.
  2. State the moral of the story (theme).
  3. Discuss why you think Achebe included this story in Things Fall Apart? Examine connections to the novel.

Sympathy and Empathy Etymology

Sympathy is a Things Fall Apart vocab word, and empathy appeared in The Namesake on last semester's flocabulary list. I know that you are wondering the root words since the words are so similar. Here goes:

path = feeling

sym = together

en = in (switched to em because spelling developed after people had been pronouncing the words)

sympathy = together feeling or "an expression of pity for another"
empathy = in feeling or "feeling another's pain as one's own"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Etymology Questions from Yesterday

Some students had questions on etymology yesterday. Here are the answers I found.

Bison does not mean "two horns." Bison is a French word meaning "wild ox" and refers to its musky smell.

Quotidian is not related to quad (meaning four). Every qu word does not relate to quad.

Quotidian which means "daily," comes from the Latin quotus "how many" + dies "day"

Knowing Etymology Builds Vocabulary

When you were in elementary school, you learned to read by learning the phonics of the English language and how to decode words. Now you need to keep working on your reading skills by learning to decode more complex words by learning classical roots and affixes (prefixes and suffixes). Often when people are trying to spell a difficult word they claim, "English is such a weird and crazy language." English is not crazy. It's just that English has influences from Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Greek, French, and other ethno-cultural words. Historically, England has been conquered by a variety of cultures, so the story of the language is just as diverse.

We started our study of classical roots yesterday with numerology because many of you know the number prefixes of uni, bi, tri, quad, pent, etc. Now throughout the semester we'll keep building our A to Z Taxonomy of classical roots and affixes to improve your decoding skills while reading.

If you ever want to look up the etymology (the word's history) of a word, a great resource is this etymology online dictionary.

Besides the number roots, yesterday we learned male (badly), mal (bad), bene (good) and volle (will) so that you could decode malevolent, malicious, and benevolent.

Things Fall Apart Reading Schedule

Reading Due Dates:

Feb. 4: pp. 1-15, Chaps 1-2
Feb. 8: pp. 16-45, Chapters 3-5
Feb. 9: pp. 46-62, Chapters 6-7
Feb. 10: pp. 63-86, Chapters 8-9
Feb. 11: pp. 87-109, Chaps 10-11
Feb. 16: pp. 110-142, Chaps 12-15
Feb. 17: pp. 143-161, Chaps 16-18
Feb. 18: pp. 162-177, Chaps 19-20
Feb. 22: pp. 178-209, Chaps 21-25

Things Fall Apart Essay Due February 24

In “An African Voice” by Katie Bacon of Atlantic Unbound Chinua Achebe is described as “the founding father of African literature in the English Language” because Things Fall Apart “was one of the first books to tell the story of European colonization from an African perspective.” In Things Fall Apart, not only does Chinua Achebe incorporate Igbo words, proverbs and stories to bring an African perspective, but also he develops central messages or themes that emerge from the clash of the Igbo and British cultures from an Igbo perspective.

Essay Prompt:
In a well-organized and polished essay, explain what lesson about life (theme) is revealed by examining the cultural clash in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

• Create a multi-flow map that analyzes the causes and effects of a specific conflict between one British character and one Igbo character to represent the overall class of cultures. What causes these two characters and two worlds to collide? What emotional and physical effects result from this clash?
• Then, carefully consider how the characters and the settings function in the play. What incites humor? What introduces conflict? How do characters reveal themselves and/or grow and change? How does conflict resolve?
• A thesis may follow this format: In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, ___________ and ____________clash in order to reveal/prove/illuminate ____(thematic statement)__________.
• Then, write at least two body paragraphs. Each body paragraph will include at least two PIEs. In the Explanation of each PIE, you’ll discuss how one literary device such as imagery (similes, metaphors, etc.) or word choice in the quotation selected furthers your argument. In other words, each Illustration should contain a literary device that furthers your thesis on theme.

Evaluation: Your essay will be assessed according to these criteria

• Thesis statement reflects deep thinking about theme.
• Topic sentences are analytical and clearly connect to thesis statement.
• Each body paragraph contains at least two PIEs with quotes smoothly integrated.
• Explanations contain analysis of literary devices.
• Essay reflects original, independent and creative thinking. Do not visit the Internet for ideas!!! Those ideas may find their way into your paper which is not only plagiarism if not properly cited, but also those ideas do not display independent and original thinking.

• Introduction is engaging.
• Each body paragraph has a topic sentence and a concluding sentence
• Transitions are used between paragraphs and between PIEs.
• Closing paragraph makes a relevant connection to your essay reader’s life.
• The author addresses how the ideas have evolved during the essay, and may include connections to other pieces of literature or real life.

• Errors in mechanics, grammar, or usage do not detract from the meaning of the essay.
• Careful word choice enhances the meaning of the essay, as well as the enjoyment of the reader.
• Proper MLA format is followed throughout including document design, direct quotation citations, and a works cited entry for Things Fall Apart.
• Sentences flow nicely because the writer has varied sentence types and openings.
• Essay reflects hard work in editing and polishing.

**The Writing Center can help you at any stage in your process! Please visit The Writing Center, as they are prepared to offer extensive one-on-one support. They will not grade your essay; however, they will conference with you to discuss your questions regarding ideas, organization, and usage. Students who have visited The Writing Center have reported that they feel it helped.

Due Dates

• Rough Draft: Wednesday, Feb. 24 (peer review day)

• Final Essay Window: Thursday, Feb. 25 to Monday, March 1 at 3:10 p.m.

• Papers turned in on Tuesday, March 2 will receive a one-grade deduction. However, if you have visited The Writing Center at any time during the writing process, you may turn in your paper on Tuesday, March 2 or Wednesday, March 3 without any point deduction. Just make sure that you have Ms. Gonzales or Ms. Mohs sign your rough draft to show that you visited The Writing Center.

• Papers turned in on March 4 or later will only receive half credit.