Monday, August 23, 2010

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The following is an example from a former student. Your entry should follow a similar format and style. Remember that you need to meet all the requirements outlined on the handout.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker tells the story of a young African American woman named Celie who lives in a male-dominated society. Celie tells her story through a series of letters, first addressed to God, but eventually she addresses them to her sister Nettie. As a young girl, she is raped by her stepfather and has two of his children, who are taken away. Then she is forced to marry a man who abuses her. She refers to her husband as Mr._____ throughout most of the novel, showing that he is superior to her. According to Walker, throughout her marriage, Celie knows that Mr. _____ married her just “to take care of his children” (66). Later on, Mr.____’s mistress, Shug Avery, comes to live with Celie and her family. Shug is an outgoing and independent young woman who does not follow the orders of men. Celie falls in love with Shug because Shug shows her that she can be powerful and independent as well. Shug tells Celie that “man corrupt everything” (Walker 204). Her sister Nettie lives in Africa and she writes letters to Celie.When she learns that her stepfather has passed away, there is a change in Celie’s attitude. She finds out that she is the owner of the home her stepfather has lived in. She takes charge and fixes the home, preparing it for her sister Nettie. She also starts her own type of business, sewing pants for a living. By living in the new home, she left Mr.______ whom she begins to call Albert, showing that she is not subservient to the men in her life. She actually starts to form a strong friendship with Albert after she moves out of the house. He appreciates her more.

Discussion Questions: Celie writes to her sister and she finds comfort talking to Shug as a way to deal with the oppression. But there are other women in the novel who fight their husbands. Do you think that it is easier for most people to come to terms with oppression in their lives or to fight it?

Shug was Celie’s inspiration to break away from the submissive life she was living. To what degree do you think people can have such a strong impact on others, as to change their lives for better or worse?

Free Reading Book Blog Instructions

Free Reading Book Blog Instructions

With so many demands on free time, many high school students often stop reading for pleasure when they enter high school. The cessation of reading can slow a student’s progress in both personal and educational development. Reading helps with the development of language skills, both by helping students become better readers, but also by becoming better writers. If a person does not read, then how can he or she be expected to know what good writing looks like? Reading also enriches a student’s life by exposing him or her to worlds or experiences outside of everyday life. Reading is an easy way to experience a new culture or idea, all from the comforts of home.
To encourage you to read and to increase your world view, I will be requiring you to select one book of your choice each quarter to read outside of class. Please try to focus your selections on books that are appropriate to your reading level; I don’t want to see Cat and the Hat by Dr. Seuss as one of your choices. Also try to avoid middle school reading choices. You need to really try to challenge yourself.
After completing your reading selection, you will be required to post one primary blog entry each quarter on your book selection. The week you are to post will be determined in advance with a sign-up calendar in class. It is your responsibility to remember to post during your assigned time. If it is your week to post, you must also respond at least two times to the comments your classmates are making about your blog post. If it is not your week to create a primary blog posting, you are required to post at least two times EACH WEEK by making comments on any of the primary blogs. The comments need not be for the same primary posting. Under no circumstances are you to post two comments in a row on the same primary blog. The point is to have a discussion, not to fill up your two boxes with meaningless fluff.

When creating your primary blog, you must do several things:
1. Write a BRIEF summary of your book. Select only those elements that give blog readers a basic understanding of the book, and will allow them to understand the discussion questions you will pose. DO NOT give every detail of the book, especially the ending; someone may want to read your book the future.
2. Include at least two examples of textual evidence that aid in your presentation of the book and discussion questions. Be sure to properly format your quotes using MLA format.
3. Present at least one question for discussion. Be sure the question clearly links to the information you presented in the summary.
4. Follow all good writing conventions (i.e. proper spelling, punctuation, capitalization etc.) You are NOT texting with your friends; you are presenting an academic reading of book. This expectation applies to all posts on this blog. Also, your screen name should be capitalized. You learned that your name should be capitalized in Kindergarten. You are educated and know better; that’s just laziness (and super annoying).
5. Remember that this is a public forum. Anyone in the world can read what you write. Please behave in a mannered way and represent yourself with honor. Treat what others say with respect, as they will for you. The point of this is to discuss interesting ideas from books, not to attack and belittle each other. If you make any inappropriate entries, I will remove them and your grade will be penalized. This applies for all entries on the blog.

The week will be from Monday at 12:01 a.m. to Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Please format your screen name using only your first name, the first initial of your last name, and your mods. Don’t try to put cutesy screen names in because I won’t know that it is you when I try to grade the posts. It should appear in the following manner:
Jim B. 5-6
Stacey F. 13-14

You may personalize your blog profile so that other people in the class can get to know you better; however, DO NOT put actual pictures of yourself on your profile. Find a cool picture of a celebrity or something you like to put in that place instead. Also, keep all personal identifying information off of the blog, like your address or last name. Keep the information you post to fun things like your favorite bands and books. Additionally, you may only post things that are school appropriate.