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.
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Bellringers - Bibb County Public School District