Bellringers 10th Grade G/AC Day 38 “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” ~John Donne • Respond to this quote. What might it mean? Write at least 5 complete sentences for your response. • Hint: Think about the idea of “community.” Is our classroom a community? Is community in a classroom important? Day 39 Let’s think about voice in reading and writing. Writers make conscious choices, too, and good readers learn to recognize and understand the effects of these choices. It is these choices that create voice. Let’s start with a very simple sentence. The little pink fishes swam upstream and died. 1. Is this sentence sad? Think about this carefully. Don’t focus on the idea of the dying fish. Instead, focus on the sentence itself and the effect it produces. Does the sentence make you feel sad, or like crying, when you read it? Why or why not? Day 40 M.C. heard him scramble and strain his way up the slope of Sarah’s mountain. (Hamilton) 1. What does it mean to scramble and strain up a mountain? Close your eyes and try to get a picture of someone scrambling and straining up a mountain. 2. How would it change your mental picture if we rewrote the sentence like this? M.C. heard him walk up the slope of Sarah’s mountain. 3. Write a sentence describing someone slowly climbing up a flight of stairs. Use Hamilton’s sentence as a model. Use “perfect” words! Day 41 They scuttled for days and days till they came to a great forest, ‘slusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchyblatchy shadows, and there they hid: and after another long time, what with standing half in the shade and half out of it, an what with the slippery-slidy shadows of the trees falling on them, the Giraffe grew blotchy, and the Zebra great stripy, and Eland the Koodoo grew darker…” (Kipling). 1. What is the dictionary definition of scuttled? What sort of image does this create in your mind? 2. How do the adjectives in this paragraph help you understand the scene? 3. Write two sentences about going on a long car trip. You should use strong verbs, hyphenated adjectives (like above). Remember that the purpose of this exercise is to make an experience come alive for the reader! Day 42 Brown as a coffee-berry, rugged, pistoled, spurred, wary, indefeasible*, I saw my old friend, Deputy-Marshall Caperton, stumble into a chair in the marshal’s outer office (O. Henry). *indefeasible = something that can’t be cancelled 1. Look at the first two boldfaced words (pistoled, spurred). Both of these words describe the deputy. What do they mean? 2. The word indefeasible is usually used to describe a contract or some kind of legal document. O. Henry uses it to describe a character. What does it mean in this context? In other words, how can a person be indefeasible? What does this choice of words add to the sentence? 3. Write a sentence describing someone whose clothes are really wild. Day 43 Describe a room that is ridiculously cold (ha, you might think of this one!) In your description, use words that are clear, concrete, and exact. Use a vivid adjective to describe an object in the room. The adjective and object should help your readers understand the feeling of the room. Remember, don’t simply state that it’s cold. Instead, create a picture for the reader, capturing how the cold affects the surroundings. Day 44 Copy the following words & definitions. Create a sentence of your own using each word. Day 45 • If you’re like most people, each January goes something like this: You choose a problematic behavior that has plagued you for years and vow to reverse it. Thus begins your list of New Year’s Resolutions, all of which are typically off your radar by February. • It’s okay to want to be a better you—and the New Year is a natural time to start. The question is, how? Here’s an idea: When you choose a single word, you have a single focus. You are moving toward the future rather than swearing off the past. So how do you go about picking a word? • Step 1: DETERMINE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BECOME ▫ The first step is to simply take some time and decide what kind of person you want to be at the end of this year. This goes beyond simply being healthier and wealthier, but it must drive deep into your soul. What about the condition of your heart? What about plans for your future? • Step 2: IDENTIFY THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THAT PERSON ▫ Get a picture of that person and then simply identify their major characteristics. Is that person gentle? Is that person generous? What are the qualities of the person you want to become? • Step 3: SIMPLY PICK A WORD ▫ Once you have a list of the characteristics, simply pick a word. There might be fifteen things that you want to change, but you must resist the temptation to promise you will do them all. Instead, simply commit to ONE WORD. • Write about your one word and the changes you want to come off from this word. This will provide you with a lens to see the changes you need to make. • So, what’s your word? How will this word lead you throughout this year? I understand that resolutions may not be your thing, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting off the year on a positive note and to giving yourself a fresh start Write about your word and how it will play out in your life. Day 46 Copy down the following words & definitions. Create a sentence of your own using each word. Day 47 “Meanwhile, Confucius pursued his studies. Whenever he had a chance, he visited the state capital, Qufu, a lively town thronged with people talking, laughing, and shouting; buying, selling, and gambling; eating at food stalls in every street; and watching acrobats, jugglers, and magicians at the marketplace, where vendors hawked such delicacies as bears’ paws, the fins of sharks, the livers of peacocks, and bees fried in their own honey.” ~Russell Freedman, Confucius: The Golden Rule 1. What is the focus of the detail in this description of the state capital? 2. How would the feeling and impact of this passage change if Freedman had ended the second sentence right after people? 3. Describe a town you have visited. First decide on a focus: the people, the historic sites, the stores and restaurants, or the scenery. Now write a paragraph similar to the one above. Use lots of details to make your description come alive ! Day 48 Day 49 • What’s new with you? How are things going? • Take a several minutes to reflect on your life, your surroundings, and your general outlook. • Free-write and aim for about a page Day 50 “I used to like going to have my hair cut. I liked the mirrors in the room and all the smells of lotions and shampoos. I liked to sit there– young and fresh and pretty– and see what the women were having done, to make themselves look younger and prettier. I liked the way my mother’s hairdresser teased me about boyfriends and dances. Not anymore, though. Somebody held the door open so my mother could wheel me in, and a few people who had met me came around to say how sorry they were” ~Cynthia Voight, Izzy, WillyNilly 1. Which details support the attitude that the narrator used to like having her hair cut? Write down those details and their effectiveness. 2. Which details change the direction of the passage? Note that the narrator’s reason for not liking haircuts anymore is not explained. Nevertheless, you know what has happened. What effect does it have on you? 3. Write a paragraph using details to capture the reasons why you like a particular sport. Don’t explain why you like the sport. Instead, use details to show the reader what you like about the sport. Day 51 Day 52 “I almost cried at what I saw. His coat was dirty and mud-caked. His skin was stretched drum-tight over his bony frame. The knotty joints of his hips and shoulders stood out a good three inches from his body.” ~Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows 1. Think of one word to describe this passage. Which details in the passage support your choice of words? 2. The details of this passage describe the dog from the outside (his coat) in– through his skin to his bones. How do these details affect the reader’s attitude toward the dog? 3. Rewrite the passage eliminating all the specific detail. Discuss the change in impact and meaning. Day 53 Day 54 “It isn’t a pretty pass. The ball is moving so slowly I can clearly see its white laces turning through the air. I can see Tommy Zodac and Johnny Sanders, the middle linebackers, straining to reach for it, but it falls softly like a spent balloon into the figures of Jared Bonton, Hudson’s tight end.” ~Cheripko, Imitate the Tiger. 1. What is the main idea or focus of this paragraph? 2. How would the meaning and impact of the passage change if Cheripko had written the paragraph like this: It’s a terrible, slow pass. Members of the team try to catch the ball, but it falls right into the hands of one of their team’s players. 3. Write a paragraph about a time you tried to do something and weren’t very successful. Use lots of vivid detail. Start with a general statement and support it with the specific details that makes the experience come alive for the reader. Day 55 Copy down the following words & definitions. Create a sentence of your own using each word. Day 56 Copy these notes (focus on the bold words; paraphrase!): • Metaphors, similes, and personification belong to a class of language called figurative language. • Figurative language is any language that is not used in a literal (meaning exactly what it says) way • We use figurative language because it’s a rich, strong, and vivid way to express meaning. • Using it allows us to say much more using fewer words • When using figures of speech, be sure you are not using cliché, stale and overused phrases (“quiet as a mouse” or “pretty as a picture” for example) • personification, which is a special kind of metaphor that gives human qualities to something that is not human, such as an animal, an object or an idea. For example, “the tree sighed sadly in the cold.” (a tree can’t sigh like a human!) Day 57 Practice writing examples of metaphors, similes, and personification for the terms listed here: Literal Term Metaphor Simile Friendship Leah’s friendship is a lighthouse. Leah’s friendship is like a lighthouse. Football game Cleaning your room Shirt Cafeteria lunch Personification Leah’s friendship wrapped my sadness in a warm blanket. Day 58 Day 59 “I was seven, I lay in the car watching palm trees swirl in a sickening pattern past the glass. My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.” ~Nye, “Making a Fist” 1. What is the metaphor in this poem? What it is it describing? What does it mean? 2. How would the meaning and impact of these lines change if Nye simply said, my stomach really hurt? 3. Write a sentence expressing feelings of anxiety and pain– both physical and emotional– use a metaphor. Day 60 Day 61 “Now only the night moved in the souls of the two men bent by their lonely fire in the wilderness; darkness pumped quietly in their vines and ticked silently in their temples and their wrists.” ~Bradbury, “The Dragon” 1. Is the word night figurative or literal? If it is literal, what does it literally mean? If it is figurative, explain why. 2. When Bradbury says, darkness pumped quietly in their veins and ticked silently in their temples and their wrists, what does he literally mean? This entire clause is a metaphor, which means there has to be a comparison between essentially unlike things. What is the comparison? 3. Write a similar sentence to the one above about a group of very happy people. Use a metaphor to describe the people. The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to compare their happiness to– then write your sentence. Day 62 Day 63 “Frantic, Cole struggled to fly, but he couldn’t escape the nest. All he could do was open his beak wide and raise it up toward the sky, the action a simple admission that he was powerless. There were no conditions, no vices, no lies, no deceit, no manipulation. Only submission and a simple desire to live. He wanted to live, but for that he needed help; otherwise his life would end in the nest” ~Mikaelsen, Touching Spirit Bear 1. This paragraph contains an extended metaphor, a metaphor that continues over several sentences and is developed in several ways. The literal term being compared is Cole, the name of the boy who struggles to survive. What is the figurative term– what is he being compared to? How do you know? In other words, what evidence can you find in the paragraph that support the idea 2.Write an extended, implied metaphor like the one above. Picture a man eating with poor manners at a party. Your literal term should be the man’s name and your figurative term is shark. However, don’t state that the person eats like a shark– imply that he eats like a shark. Write at least 2 sentences to extend the metaphor. Day 64 Day 65 “Eusebio talks in a horse whisper that smells of tobacco, one hand on Mama’s shoulder, one hand grasping my tshirt. He’s like a sheepdog, and we are the sheep. He makes us go in little groups, watching the road, listening” ~Temple, Grab Hands and Run 1. Find one simile and one metaphor in the passage. Identity what is being compared in each of them. 2. How is the meaning of the passage deepened by the simile and the metaphor? 3. Write a sentence like Temple’s 2nd sentence. Write the sentence about one of your teacher’s and his/her students. Your sentence should contain a simile and a metaphor. First decide what you want to compare the teacher and the students to and then write. Day 66 Day 67 “The ruddy brick floor smiled up at the smoky ceiling; the oaken settles, shiny with long wear, exchanged cheerful glances with each other; plates on the dresser grinned at pots of the shelf, and the merry firelight flickered and played over everything without distinction.” ~Grahame, The Wind in the Willows 1. Remember that personification is a kind of metaphor, an implied comparison that always has a human as its figurative term. Identify the examples of personification in this passage. (There are 4) 2. How does the use of personification help the reader visualize and connect to the passage? What kind of feeling is created by personification? 3. Write a short paragraph describing a friend’s room. In your description use personification at least twice. Day 68 Day 69 Please copy down these notes: • We studied similes, metaphors, and personification. Now we will discuss more types of figurative language: hyperboles, symbols, and irony. • These figures of speech are not comparisons, however, their meaning goes beyond what is actually said • A hyperbole is an exaggeration that is based in the truth. For example, “I’m so tired, I could sleep for a week!” This is an exaggeration because no one can literally sleep for a week straight. • A symbol is something that stands for something else– they mean more than they say. For example, a rainbow is a symbol of hope. If a rainbow appeared in a story about shipwrecked children it would symbolize hope. • Lastly, irony is saying the opposite of what you mean. For example, if lunch was really terrible and you say “nice lunch,” you are really implying the opposite of what you mean. Sarcasm is also a type of irony. Day 70 Day 48 Day 71 Practice with hyperbole, irony, and symbols. Fill in the following charts: Sentence start Hyperbole I was hungry enough… My head was… She ran so fast… When he lifted the box… Symbol What the symbol stands for 1) Lion Bravery 2) Skull and crossbones Death 3) 4) 5) Day 71, Continued Sentence Your favorite team just lost by a wide margin and you are pretty disgusted about it. You say “great game!” You are traveling in the mountains and see a beautiful meadow of flowers. You say “nice view!” Your best friend is learning to ride a dirt bike and you say “man, I wish I could do that!” Your best friend has to stay home and baby-sit his little brother, which you wouldn’t want to do. You say, “man, I wish I could do that!” Ironic (figurative) Not ironic (literal) Day 72 Day 50 Day 73 “The grass you are standing on, my dear little ones, is made of a new kind of soft minty sugar that I’ve just invented! I call it swudge! Try a blade! Please do! Its delectable!” . . . “Isn’t it wonderful!” whispered Charlie. “Hasn’t it got a wonderful taste, Grandpa?” “I could eat a whole field!” said Grandpa Joe, grinning with delight. “I could go around on all fours like a cow and eat every blade of grass in the field.” 1. Write down the example of hyperbole in this passage. Remember that a hyperbole is figurative, not literal. What is the literal meaning of the hyperbole? 2. The character, Grandpa Joe, first states that he could eat the whole field. Then he extends the hyperbole by saying he could go around on all fours like a cow and eat every blade of grass in the field. How does this extended hyperbole help you understand Grandpa Joe’s experience with swudge? 3. Write a sentence with dialogue that includes hyperbole. Your character should be a teenager. Have your character say something about being very tired. Use hyperbole to capture how tired your character is. Day 74 Day 75 “The one tree in Francie’s yard was neither a pine nor a hemlock. It had pointed leaves which grew along green switches which radiated from the bough and made a tree which looked like a lot of opened green umbrellas. Some people called it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the tenement districts.” ~Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 1. Remember that a symbol is itself and something else. This paragraph is about a tree, but it’s also about something else. What is that something else? When you identify the something else, you have understood the symbol. 2. How would the passage be different if Smith had used a simile instead of symbolism, like this? Francine’s spirit was like a tree with pointed leaves which grew along green switches which radiated from the bough and made a tree which looked like a lot of opened green umbrellas. She always tried to rise above her troubles like a Tree of Heaven which struggles to reach the sky, no matter where the seed falls. Day 76 Day 54 Day 77 “Oh and there’s a thrilling shot of one of the kid’s being sick on a small fishing boat off the coast of Florida and we are hovering over him offering him salami and mayonnaise sandwiches. That one really breaks us up.” ~Bombeck, At Wit’s End 1. Remember that verbal irony implies the opposite of what is said, and irony may or may not be sarcastic. Bombeck describes a family vacation as thrilling. Is it ironic? Is it sarcastic? 2. Look at the following rewriting of the passage: We have a picture of one of the kids being sick on a small fishing boat off the coast of Florida. In the picture, we’re making fun of him and offering hum salami and mayonnaise sandwiches. We know it’s wrong, but it’s kind of funny. Which version is funnier? Why? How does the use of irony help your understanding of the author’s attitude toward vacation pictures? 3. Write a few sentences describing a family outing you didn’t enjoy. Include at least one example of verbal irony. Day 78 Day 79 “Tonight is the school picnic, which is always scheduled for whenever the thermometer hits 92 degrees. Many year’s we’ve had to cancel the picnic at the last minute because the organizers felt the weather just wasn’t sufficiently humid. The rule seems to be ‘You can’t really enjoy potato salad unless you’re drenched in sweat.’” ~Joel Achenbach 1. Point out the examples of irony/sarcasm in this paragraph. 2. Write your own paragraph about an event using irony to say the opposite of what you really mean. Day 80 Day 81 “Backing out of the driveway the car lights cast an eerie glow in the morning fog centering on movement in the rain slick street” ~Nikki Giovanni “Possum Crossing” 1. Write down the examples of imagery used in these lines. What types of imagery are they? What kind of feeling is created with these images? 2. Contrast the feeling created by Giovanni’s lines with these lines: “Backing our the driveway/ the car lights cast a warm glow/ in the morning sunshine centering/ on movement in the rain slick street.” How do the images create a different feeling? 3. Write your own paragraph full of imagery. It may be poetic in nature if you choose. Day 82 Day 83 “He had bathed regularly in the lake, but not with soap and he thought how wonderful it would be to wash his hair. Thick with grime and smoke dirt, frizzed with wind and sun, matted with fish and foolbird grease, his hair had grown and stuck and tangled and grow until is was a clumped mess on his head.” ~Paulsen, Hatchet 1. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between figurative language and imagery. That’s because a lot of figurative language contains imagery. For example, we could describe someone’s hair as limp and stringy, like overcooked spaghetti. This is a visual image– it makes you “see” the hair. But it is also figurative (hair is compared to spaghetti). Read this paragraph again. It the imagery figurative or not? Explain. 2. What does the imagery in this passage reveal about the character’s attitude toward his dirty hair. 3. Use lots of imagery to describe a very messy room. Do not use any figurative language. Day 84 Day 85 “The haunted house was half in the shadows of the clump of elms in which it stood. The elms were almost bare now, and the ground around the house was yellow with damp leaves. The late afternoon light had a greenish cast which the blank windows reflected in a sinister way. An unhinged shutter thumped. Something else creaked.” ~L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time 1. What is the tone of the passage? How does L’Engle use diction, detail, and imagery to create the tone? 2. Would the tone change if we deleted the words haunted and sinister? Explain. 3. Rewrite the paragraph with a different tone. Describe a lovely warm house in the summer. Use diction, details, and imagery to create your tone. Day 86 “At the gate he heard his mother’s voice raised in a storm of anger. She had discovered the shotgun too, that the yearling had made the most of the early hours and had fed, not only across the sprouting corn, but across a wide section of the cow-peas. He went helplessly to her to meet her wrath. He stood with his head down while she flailed him with her tongue.” ~Rawlings, The Yearling 1. In this passage, the he of the story is a boy who has raised a fawn, Flag. What is the boy’s attitude toward Flag? What is the mother’s attitude? 2. What elements helped you figure out the characters’ attitudes? Discuss examples of diction, detail, figurative language, imagery, and syntax. 3. Think of something you love that your parent or teacher disapproves of (video games, TV shows, etc). Write a paragraph that captures your attitude and contrasts it wit your parent or teacher’s attitude. Don’t explain the contact: capture it through tone. Day 87 “It is my belief that no writer can improve his work until he discards the dulcet notion that the reader is feebleminded, for writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar…. a writer who questions the capacity of the person at the other end of the line is not a writer at all, merely a schemer.” ~E.B. White, “Calculating Machine” 1. What is White’s attitude toward the people who read his writing? How does his diction reveal and reinforce this attitude? 2. What is the tone of this passage? How do you know? 3. Write a few sentences of your own about the relationship between the writer and the reader. Create a serious and straightforward tone in your sentences. Day 88 “Turning off my headlamp, I freeze in the darkness. I quietly wait to hear the noise again. Suddenly something scuttles in the leaves scattered on the ground. My heart beats faster. What is it? Could it be a snake? 1. What is the tone of this passage? How does the syntax help create the tone? Look especially at the use of verb tense, sentence length, and questions. 2. Create your own paragraph with a tone matching this one about an entirely different subject of your choice. Day 89 On a sheet of paper without your name on it, please answer the following questions: 1) What did you like about this class? 2) What did you not like about this class? 3) What was your favorite activity or assignment? 4) What was your least favorite activity or assignment? 5) How could I make this class better? 6) How could I be a better teacher? 7) Do you feel your needs as a student were met in this classroom? Please explain.