The Woman Warrior

Unit 4: The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

Unit Descriptions: In this personal narrative unit, students will learn techniques of writing a narrative. Through the memoir, students will learn how a person perceives him/herself through his/her cultural roots such as its myths and legends and beliefs. Students will become familiar with Chinese myths, legends and beliefs and practices described in the memoir by Kingston and make connections with their own culture and roots. Students will come to understand how our heritage, desirable or undesirable, shapes our perceptions and who we are as an individual. Students will argue whether one should be totally immersed in the American society or carry on with one’s heritage. Students will also analyze various literary elements and techniques used in the memoir as well as the study of advanced vocabulary.

Essential Questions( adapted from cliffnotes.com)

  1. Why does Kingston begin The Woman Warrior with her mother’s admonishment, “You must not tell anyone”? What effect does Kingston establish with this ironic statement?
  2. The mother-daughter relationship in The Woman Warrior has been described as “bittersweet.” To what extent do you agree with this view? How would you describe this relationship?
  3. Throughout The Woman Warrior, Kingston explores how her Chinese cultural history can be reconciled with her emerging sense of herself as an American. How successful is she in this endeavor? Support your answer with examples from the text.
  4. Discuss the conflict between individualism and community as Kingston presents it in her text. Which characters struggle to define themselves as individuals in a community-oriented society? Are they successful in claiming their personal voices?
  5. Discuss the theme of silence in The Woman Warrior. Are any men silenced in the text? If so, who, and why?
  6. What are some of the similarities between Kingston and No Name Woman? What are their differences?
  7.  What role does Fa Mu Lan play in The Woman Warrior? How is this mythological woman warrior integrated into Kingston’s narrative?
  8. In “White Tigers,” what is significant about the rabbit’s self-immolating itself for Fa Mu Lan
  9. Discuss the symbolism of Fa Mu Lan’s father’s carving words of revenge into his daughter’s bared back. Why does Fa Mu Lan’s father and not her mother carve the words?
  10. How does the image of dragons in “White Tigers” relate to Kingston? To Brave Orchid? To these two women’s relationship?
  11. Brave Orchid downplays the importance of Kingston’s academic successes at school. Why?
  12. Despite Kingston’s use of the term “Memoirs” in her subtitle, many literary critics consider The Woman Warrior an autobiographical novel. Because most readers consider autobiographies to be non-fiction, is “autobiographical novel” an oxymoron? Can autobiographies contain fictitious elements? Why or why not?
  13.  What is significant about the term “ghost” in Kingston’s text?
  14. Why does Brave Orchid think that it is important that she tell her personal history to her daughter in “Shaman”?
  15. Why does Kingston fear that her parents want to sell her and her sisters as slaves?
  16. Are there any sympathetic males in Kingston’s narrative? If so, who are they, and what function do they serve? If no, why not?
  17. In the last section of “Shaman,” Brave Orchid and Kingston discuss why Kingston never visits her mother. What are some of the reasons that Kingston offers? Does Brave Orchid understand her daughter’s reasons? Why is this episode significant in their relationship
  18. Discuss Brave Orchid’s perceptions of time and China in “Shaman” and “At the Western Palace.”
  19. Compare Brave Orchid and her sister Moon Orchid.
  20. Are Kingston and Moon Orchid at all alike? If so, how?
  21. Discuss Moon Orchid’s estranged husband in terms of his American-ness. How does he fit Brave Orchid’s definition of “ghost”?
  22.  Moon Orchid’s stay with Brave Orchid and her family exposes ever-present misunderstandings between Brave Orchid and her children, and Moon Orchid and her nieces and nephews. Are these misunderstandings due to cultural or generational differences, or both?
  23. Throughout The Woman Warrior, Kingston stresses how she wants to be “American-normal.” What does this term mean? What qualities make a person “American-normal”?
  24.  In “At the Western Palace,” Brave Orchid comments, “The difference between mad people and sane people . . . is that sane people have variety when they talk-story. Mad people have only one story that they talk over and over.” Discuss this quote in terms of Moon Orchid’s story, especially the time she spends in the insane asylum with the many pregnant women.
  25. Compare Ts’ai Yen’s song of lament at the end of “A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe” to Brave Orchid’s many talk-stories. Do the lamentation and the talk-stories serve similar purposes for the two women?
  26. In “A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe,” Kingston describes her childhood cruelty to a silent Chinese girl at school. Why does she consider this an important episode to present to readers?
  27. Discuss the symbolism of Brave Orchid’s telling Kingston that she cut her frenum.
  28. How do Kingston’s experiences in both the American school and the Chinese school emphasize language’s power to create a personal identity?
  29. What is the significance of the Chinese boy who begins visiting Kingston at the family laundry? Why does her parents’ finding pornography in the boy’s possession increase Kingston’s anger at her mother?
  30. In “Cultural Mis-Reading by American Reviewers,” an essay published in Asian and Western Writers in Dialogue: New Cultural Identities (1982), Kingston criticizes those critics who find her work exotic and foreign. She states, “The Woman Warrior is an American book. . . . Yet many reviewers do not see the American-ness of it, nor the fact of my own American-ness.” What are some of the American elements in this work? Do you agree with Kingston’s position?
  31. To what degree does the lack of a chronological order in The Woman Warrior help construct a more interesting and engaging narrative? Does this non-chronological plot detract from gaining a better understanding of Kingston’s memoir? Why or why not?
  32.  Compare The Woman Warrior with other literary texts written by women of color. What similarities does it share with works such as Beloved, The Color Purple, and The Joy Luck Club? What are some major differences?

Resources:

  1. http://web.stanford.edu/group/areaone/clross/quarter5/kingston/
  2. http://www2.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/canam/kingston.htm (Study Questions)
  3. http://www.bu.edu/writingprogram/journal/past-issues/issue-1/job/ ( CRITICISM)

Lesson 1 : No Name Woman

Session 1: Writing

Objectives: Students will become familiar with the author Maxine Hong Kingston by doing online research and identifying key information about the author and her work.

Aim: Why is Kingston considered an author who has helped “shape our national conversation about culture, gender and race”? What major works has she written and what kind of impact has her work made in American society?

Do Now: On Monday, July 28, 2014, “The Women Warrior” author Maxine Hong Kingston, was among 12 recipients presented with the 2013 National Medal of Arts by President Obama(see photos). In a statement released by the White House, Kingston was honored for “her contributions as a writer. Her novels and non-fiction have examined how the past influences our present, and her voice has strengthened our understanding of Asian American identity, helping shape our national conversation about culture, gender, and race.”

What does the quotation mean to you?

Teaching Points

  1. Kingston’s brief bio: What about the author that stands out the most to you? Why?
  2. Themes and issues explored in her work: What are the major themes or issues explored in her work?
  3. In an interview in the Atlantis publication jun-nov 1988, Maxine Hong Kingston explained that she took care to find the force of reason within her stories, the middle ground between the real world and the supernatural. ‘The Woman Warrior’ was a vehicle for the many voices MHK heard within herself. She hoped that her writings would give a voice to Chinese-American women, and that their everyday existence growing up in America within a traditional Chinese culture, would be seen with more compassion and understanding, with a bright look toward a balanced resolution. For MHK herself, The Woman Warrior finally reconciled those clashes of the two cultures, to the formation of a beautiful, enduring, identifiable new one (cited from http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30852.The_Woman_Warrior)
  4. Probably most intriguing about the structure of Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior, beginning with “No Name Woman” and ending in A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe,” is that it characterizes Maxine Hong Kingston’s memoir, told in the interesting format of non-sequential episodes, as one that begins in oppressed silence but ends in universal song.
  5. When looking at the three woman warrior figures in the book – her aunt, the No Name Woman; the rewritten legendary warrior in “White Tigers” (based upon the Mulan legend); and the poet and barbarian captive, Ts’ai Yen – the characteristics that unite them all are their determined attempts at asserting their own kinds of power, femininity, and individuality in patriarchal Chinese society.
  6. The methods through which they do so revolve around words written, spoken, or not spoken: from the silence practiced by No Name Woman, to the words written on the warrior’s back, to the songs created by Ts’ai Yen and, finally, to the stories that Kingston as the author uses to find the marks of the woman warrior within herself, and to do so in a way that allows the readers insight into a life that even the narrator is grappling to understand.
  7. The words that open Woman Warrior, which begins with the story of No Name Woman, are quite interestingly an admonition of silence: “’You must not tell anyone,’ my mother said, ‘what I am about to tell you’” (3). This admonition signifies a promise, and a breaking of a promise: The narrator’s mother Brave Orchid is showing courage and confidence in her daughter by sharing something that should not be remembered, yet at the same time, her mother is breaking the silence surrounding her sister-in-law, the titled No Name Woman. This is one of the first of many of the narrator’s mother’s talk-stories, ones that were told with a purpose to aid her children in life events, while sealing the bond between child and mother.
  8. The story of the woman warrior, who is the protagonist of “White Tigers,” is created in history and then transformed by the narrator into one of triumph through the breaking of silences. Inspired by Kingston’s childhood and the stories of Yue Fei and Mulan, the chapter becomes another way for the narrator to celebrate the breaking of silences, something that continues throughout the book.This union between mother and daughter the novel can be seen as the compromise of generations, an idea carried out in Kingston’s appropriation of myths and stories seen in the retelling of these woman warriors. Her mother, in fact, is the narrator’s guide of the methods in which to appropriate talk-stories for her own purposes. Kingston’s retellings are part of the idea that a culture growing up in one country can appropriate the lessons of their parents, who grew up in another. It is the idea and the hope that stories created by a patriarchal culture can still make room for its daughters, ultimately one the most important ideas Kingston communicates in her beautifully rendered book.
  9. The structure of her memoir speaks to all three of her identifications – Chinese/ American/ Woman – merging fiction with non-fiction and her own story with those of relatives and mythic heroines, to create a piece that represents her own immersion in a culture far better than a more traditional autobiography or memoir ever could.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What about the author that stands out the most to you? Why?
  2. What are the major themes or issues explored in her work?
  3. What is so intriguing about the structure?

Class Activities:

  1. Watch a brief video about Kingston’s family: Excerpt from Maxine Hong Kingston: Talking Story
  2. Watch the interview of Kingston , take notes of information that stands out for you. What insights have you gained about Kingston’s writing and her book The Woman Warrior? How does she use magical realism in her story telling?
  3. End of the Lesson Assessment: Based on what you have read and heard from the lesson, what are you most looking forward to from the novel/memoir?

Homework:  Read the article from the site http://www.bu.edu/writingprogram/journal/past-issues/issue-1/job/ ( CRITICISM). Why has the book received negative criticism concerning  its genre?

Session 2: Reading- “No Name Woman”(  this lesson is designed for two days)

Objectives: Students will come to an understanding that her aunt’s death reasserts her position and name in her family and society by piecing together the imaginary tales told by the narrator, from which students will see the aunt’s character come alive.

Aim: Why does Maxine’s mother not want her to tell the story of her aunt? How and why does Kingston attempt to fill in the gaps of her aunt’s story?

Resource:

Do Now: The book begins ” You must not tell anyone,.. what I am about to tell you… as if she had never been born.”  What kind of effects does such a beginning create? Why?

Teaching Points:

  1. 1924 Immigration Act
  2. sacrificial ritual; masks, slaughtering of animals
  3. Adultery in a traditional Chinese village
  4. magical realism
  5. Woman’s role in the early 1900s China
  6. pre-arranged marriage in 1920s China
  7. integration of myths and folklore into a personal narrative
  8. silence vs voice

Activities

  1. Reading
    • Advanced vocabulary-spasmodically, obliterate, sojourners, glower, depilatory
    • Read closely and interpret:
      • ” But the rare urge west ha fixed upon our family and so my aunt crossed boundaries not delineated in space” (8).
      • The villagers punished her for acting as if she could have a private life, secret and apart from them”(13).
      • “Awaken her  to the inexorable. People… on culpability. “(13)
  2. Questions for Discussion and Written Responses
    1) What unspoken story is revealed in this segment?2) Is the motif of secrecy resolved at the end of this section?  If so, how.3) ( Write) Describe in detail the behavior of the villagers.  Explain the behavior according to the text.  Does the author imply any religious allusions?4) Based on Chinese tradition, were there any other alternatives for the aunt?5)( Write)  What was the role of women in Chinese society?  Select specific instances from the text to support your statements. Think about the importance of appearance, usefulness, and self-discipline to the Chinese culture.6) How is this story conveyed to the speaker?  Does the author’s choice of narrative here impact the story?  How?7) According to the speaker, what is the real punishment inflicted upon the aunt?8) What is the Gold Mountain?  Explain the origin and relevance of this name.9) What long has it been since Kingston heard this story?   What does she do about it?  What does this make her?

10)( Write) Explain the relevance of the “No Name Woman.”  Who is she?

11)( Write) Kingston writes, “Those of us in the first American generations have had to figure out how the invisible world built around our childhoods fits in solid America.”  Consider this statement and Kingston’s subtitle for the memoir, “A Girlhood Among Ghosts.”  Who are Kingston’s “ghosts?”  Do we as American women also have to live with our own ghosts?  Who are they in American culture?

12) Why does Kingston say that she has participated in her aunt’s punishment?

13) Does the motif of violence dominate the novel?  Why do you think Kingston chooses this for her first and introductory chapter?

14) “Talk story” is a phrase that Kingston borrowed from a Hawaiian pidgin language (Brownmiller, Susan).  How do you interpret talk story and what role does it play in the book?  In Kingston’s life?

15)( In writing)  What is more important in the Chinese culture that Kingston describes, the society or the individual?  Why does this narrative tell a story about Kingston herself even though she grew up in the United States?

16) What is the true sin in section One?  Who commits it and why?

3. Respond in writing: How is the conflict between individualism and community presented in the text? Which characters struggle to define themselves as individuals in a community-oriented society? Are they successful in claiming their personal voices? Why or why not? Provide textual evidence to support your claim.

4. End of the Lesson Assessment: What sort of picture does this story give us of traditional Chinese society? What does the story of No Name Woman teach Maxine about China and about herself?

Homework:

Make a claim about what Kingston’s portrayl of the “NO Name Woman”, her dead aunt from China. Support your claim with textualk details and anaylsis. How does Kigston’s portrayal of the “No Name Woman” reveal about herself as a woman, Chinese and American in a patriachal and race-biased society?

Lesson 2

Session 1 Writing

Objectives: Students will be able to understand traditional role of woman in  the 1920s China and 1960s-1970s America; become familiar with typical Chinese beliefs, religion and philosophy as well as racial issues in 1960s-1970 America ( in particular the social status of Asian Americans) through online research and and presentatation.

Aim: What are some of the real life issues Kingston, a Chinese American female, is grappling with in her memoir The Woman Warrior?

Do Now: Students present the context of the memoir.

Mini Lesson

The major themes explored by Kingston are race, gender and culture.

These three inherent identifications within each social being make up who we are as a person and determine how we perceive ourselves and even our place in the world or society.

In the Saddhartha Unit, what did we learn about identify formation? In The Woman in the Dunes? How are these different views about identity connected?

Question to consider: How does each inherent element in each person play a separate and unique role in effecting one’s identity? Use yourself as an example to examine the question.

COnclusion: Is one cause more important thatn the others? WHy or why not?

Student Practice (Activities):

The class will be divided into three groups and each group will focus on one specific topic for the group research.

Group 1: traditional role of woman in  the 1920s China and 1960s-1970s America;

Group 2: typical Chinese beliefs, religion, and philosophy

Group 3: well-know Chinese legends and racial issues (in 1960s-1970 America) that surrounded the  Asian Americans such as career options, equality, stereotypes, societal attitude, neighborhood, etc.

While doing research , be sure to select the most important information  and organize it in a logical manner. Use bulleted points. Make sure to provide appropraite citations.Use prezi to colloborate your presentation.

End of the Lesson Quick Write: What’s the new understanding have I gained through research today?

Homework: Complete the Prezi presentation and also create a group poster to showcase the most important information about your assigned topic. Use the rubric to guide your presentation.

Rubric for Online Research and Presentation

Criteria\Scores 90-100 80-89 71-79 65-74 65-
Contents Thorough, representative and accurate Complete, representative and appropriate Sufficient, general and appropriate Partial, general and coherent Incomplete, minimum, incoherent
Title and Sub-title Accurate and captivating, logical Appropriate and interesting General but relevant General and irrelevant Inappropriate and irrelevant
Expressions Clear and succinct Clear but tend to be wordy Appropriate but lack of clarity Basic vocabulary Confusing
Citations accurate appropriate Inconsistent citations inappropriate No citation
Organization Clear and logical Easy to follow Some clarity confusing None
Grammar Total control of conventions Overall control Partial control confusing minimum

 Session 2 Reading

Objectives: Students will understand how the author’s choice of narrative tells a story about Kingston herself by identifying and examining the type of narrative choice Kingston has made in telling the 1st story about a “No Name Woman”.

Aim: Consider this statement and Kingston’s subtitle for the memoir, “A Girlhood Among Ghosts.”  Who are Kingston’s “ghosts?”  Do we as American women/girls also have to live with our own ghosts?  Who are they in American culture? How effective is the author’s choice of narrative in this section?

Resource:

Do Now: Share your responses-

  • Describe in detail the behavior of the villagers.  Explain the behavior according to the text.  Does the author imply any religious allusions? Based on Chinese tradition, were there any other alternatives for the aunt?
  • ( Write)  What was the role of women in Chinese society?  Select specific instances from the text to support your statements. Think about the importance of appearance, usefulness, and self-discipline to the Chinese culture

 Mini Lesson: Voice

Who is telling the story? …What is the …Narrative Point of View is the perspective from which the events in the story are observed and recounted.To determine the point of view, identify who is telling the story, that is, the viewer through whose eyes the readers see the action (the narrator).Consider these aspects:

  1. Pronoun p-o-v: First (I, We)/Second (You)/Third Person narrator (He, She, It, They]
  2. Narrator’s degree of Omniscience [Full, Limited, Partial, None]*
  3. Narrator’s degree of Objectivity [Complete, None, Some (Editorial?), Ironic]*
  4. Narrator’s “Un/Reliability”

* The Third Person (therefore, apparently Objective) Totally Omniscient  Narrator is the classic narrative point of view through which a disembodied narrative voice (not that of a participant in the events) knows everything (omniscient) recounts the events, introduces the characters, reports dialogue and thoughts, and all details.

Nota Bene: Whether the voice of an unidentified, anonymous speaker or that of an observer/character in the story, the narrator is never the author [never], not even if the character has the same name as the author. As with “real” life, one should always “consider the source” of a report and/or evaluation concerning events and/or people.

Therefore, “know” who is telling the story, measure the omniscient details (if any), note how objectively the report (story) is related, and determine how reliable the person/voice (narrator) may be. For example, does s/he have anything to gain from misrepresenting the “facts”?

In other words – types of Narrative Voice:

  1. Omniscient – a story told in the third person; the narrator’s knowledge, control, and prerogatives are unlimited, allowing “authorial” subjectivity.
  2. Limited Omniscient – a story told in the third person in which the narrative voice is associated with a major or minor character who is not able to “see/know” all, may only be able to relate the thoughts of one or some characters but not others, may not know what happened “off stage” or in the past.
  3. First Person – the story is told from the first person “I” personal point-of-view, usually that of the main character.

Interior Monologue – first-person, train of thought “overheard” by the reader (NOT spoken out loud as is a monologue), or sometimes “overheard” and reported by an omniscient narrator; other times it occurs as stream of consciousness (“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”).

Subjective Narration – first person, narrator seems unreliable, tries to get readers to share his/her side or to assume values or views not usually presumed by the reader.

 Detached Autobiography – first person, reliable narrator that guides the reader. Narrator is main character, often reflecting on a past “self” – sometimes an adult recounting an event from childhood.When it is the latter, it is important to notice “how” the adult voice affects the child’s story.

Memoir or Observer Narration – first person, narrator is observer rather than main participant; narrator can be confidant(e), eyewitness or “chorus” (provides offstage or background information). This narrator can be reliable or unreliable.

  1. Objective or Dramatic – the opposite of the omniscient; displays an objectivity; compared to a roving camera with sound. Very little of the past or the future is given; the story is set in the present. It has the most speed and the most action; it relies heavily on external action and dialogue, and it offers no opportunities for interpretation by the narrator.
  2. Framed Narrative – some narratives, particularly collections of narratives, involve a frame narrative that explains the genesis of, and/or gives a perspective on, the main narrative or narratives that follow, e.g., Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein; and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Some stories have multiple narrative frames that draw the reader away from the initial, outer setting (and the “reality” of the story) through a narrative maze to the core events that are far/deeply removed from the first narrative encounter, e.g., Henry James’s short story “The Turn of the Screw”6) How is this story conveyed to the speaker?  Does the author’s choice of narrative here impact the story?  How?

Student Practice ( Activities)

A.Oral Discussion: 

  1. What type of narrative is the 1st story?
  2. How do we know what kind of woman her aunt was? How does the narrator give the ” no name woman” a voice?
  3. According to the speaker, what is the real punishment inflicted upon the aunt?
  4. What is the Gold Mountain?  Explain the origin and relevance of this name.
  5. What long has it been since Kingston heard this story?   What does she do about it?  What does this make her?
  6. Kingston writes, “Those of us in the first American generations have had to figure out how the invisible world built around our childhoods fits in solid America.”  Consider this statement and Kingston’s subtitle for the memoir, “A Girlhood Among Ghosts.”  Who are Kingston’s “ghosts?”  Do we as American women also have to live with our own ghosts?  Who are they in American culture?
  7. Why does Kingston say that she has participated in her aunt’s punishment?
  8. Does the motif of violence dominate the novel?  Why do you think Kingston chooses this for her first and introductory chapter?
  9. “Talk story” is a phrase that Kingston borrowed from a Hawaiian pidgin language (Brownmiller, Susan).  How do you interpret talk story and what role does it play in the book?  In Kingston’s life?
  10. What is more important in the Chinese culture that Kingston describes, the society or the individual?  Why does this narrative tell a story about Kingston herself even though she grew up in the United States?
  11. What is the true sin in section One?  Who commits it and why?

B. Respond in writing: How is the conflict between individualism and community presented in the text? Which characters struggle to define themselves as individuals in a community-oriented society? Are they successful in claiming their personal voices? Why or why not? Provide textual evidence to support your claim.

C. End of the Lesson Assessment: What sort of picture does this story give us of traditional Chinese society? What does the story of No Name Woman teach Maxine about China and about herself?

Homework: Select a passage you feel strongly about. Create a PBFF response to the passage by following all the 6 steps.

Lesson 3

Session 1 : Writing

Objectives: Students will gain cultural contexts of The Woman Warrior through Prezi presentation of their research on an assigned topic.

Aim: What are the cultural contexts of he Woman Warrior? How important are they?

Do Now: Each group will take a few minutes to set up the Prezi presentation.

Mini Lesson: Note-Taking

Process the information as you listen instead of jotting down word for word  notes. Be prepared to ask questions as well.

Traditional role of woman in  the 1920s China and 1960s-1970s America Chinese beliefs, religion, and philosophy Chinese legends Racial issues (in 1960s-1970 America)
1920S China: Beliefs: Legends: Racial Issues in general:
1960s America: Religion: Folktales: Racial issues pertaining to Asian Americans:
Philosophy:

Student Activities:

Each group will have 10 minutes to present including Q & A. While one group is presenting, the rest of the class will take notes.

End of the Lesson Assessment: How important are cultural contexts?

Homework: Each group will select most important information from the Prezi presentation and create a poster board to highlight the key points of the assigned topic. Be creative. Use highlighters to emphasize ideas.

Session 2: Reading ( Refer to Lesson 2 )

Lesson 4 ( Section 2 White Tiger pages 17-37)

Session 1 : Writing

Objectives: Students will gain clear understanding of textual analysis by sharing and critiquing peers’ PBFF responses.

Aim: When we analyze a literary text, what do we do specifically and why is PBFF an effective way to help us analyze the text?

Resource:

Why is Kingston’s story confusing to many American readers?

Do Now: Complete the presentations and share notes within each group on each presented topic. Share our last PBFF response based on chapter 1.

Mini Lesson

Review the steps of PBFF and label your last responses with appropriate steps.

Respond to the following passage using the 6 steps for creating a Passage based free focused writing-

” When we Chinese girls listened to the adults talk story, we learned that we failed if we grew up to be but wives or slaves. We could be heroines, swords women. Even if she had to rage across all China, a swords woman got even with anybody who hurt her family. Perhaps woman were once so dangerous that they had to have their feet bound.”

  1. Select a passages
  2. contextualize the evidence. Where does the passage come from in the text? Of what larger discussion is it a part?
  3. What does the text invite you to think? ( denotative meaning)
  4. Make observations about the evidence. Stay close to the data, paraphrasing key phrases and teasing out the possible meanings of these words. Then reflect on what you have come to better understand through paraphrasing.
  5. Move from observations to implications ( pattern, repetition or binary,etc). Explain how the data mean what claim they mean ( connotative meaning).
  6. Address how the passage is representative and how it connects to broader issues. Move from your analysis of local details to consider what the work as a whole may plausibly be ” saying” about an issue or question. From analysis of details, you will make an interpretive leap ( so what).

Student Practice:

Select a short passage from Section 2 ” White Tiger” between page 19-37 and write a BPFF response following the 6 steps.

End of the Lesson Assessment: So what is the point the narrator tries to bring out in the passage you have responded, considering the larger theme implied?

Homework: Complete the 2nd PBFF response.

 Session 2 : Reading

Objectives: Students will gain a deep understanding of the chapter of ” White Tiger” and how it reflects the narrator’s life as a Chinese American woman through reading closely the Mulan or woman warrior story and examining her character development.

Aim: How does the woman warrior develop?  How does it connect to the empowerment theme?

Do Now: “Night after night my mother would talk-story until we fell asleep,” Kingston writes. “I couldn’t tell where the stories left and the dreams began, her voice the voice of the heroines in my sleep” (19). What is the significance of this passage in relation to the novel itself?

Mini Lesson

As a class, we’ll read the passage from page 34 to 35 beginning with ” My mother put a pillow on the floor…” to “..until you heal…”

How is the  language used  to portray the act of the warrior woman’s parents carving words on her back?

Guided Discussion:

    • What aspects of language reveal that Mulan is still made of flesh and blood, essentially a woman who is able to endure indescribable pain and withhold tremendous strengths?
    • Which words describe the symbolic meaning of “carving words on her back”? What have the carved words transformed her into? Why?
    • How is the scene regarded as the society’s acceptance of her female power? Or how has Mulan convinced the villagers that she has been transformed into a leader and will lead their sons to victory?
    • How does the woman warrior develop? What does she learn to do?
    • Why do you suppose the notion of the woman warrior figures so prominently in Kingston’s imagination?

Student Practice:

State Agree or Disagree with the following statement about the chapter of “White Tiger”. Explain why. Provide evidence to support your argument.

  1. “In the beginning, she seems to be writing about herself. I think that she is using the story of the woman warrior as a metaphor for her struggles in the United States, particularly her battle to establish an identity” (Hundley 11/20/96).
  2. “Her upbringing as a swords woman also displays her desire to have as much power as men because she attempts, successfully, to attain the respect and success in life that men are too easily given the opportunity to achieve” (Daugherty 11/21/96).
  3. “The depth to which [Kingston] explained the training she experienced from the elderly man and woman on the mountain suggests a more metaphysical approach to the issue of empowerment. Rather than overcoming adverse reaction by society, and her community in particular, to the advent of an independent, strong, and free-thinking Chinese-American woman, Kingston accomplishes the aforementioned transformation in the dream sequence of the narrative. The narrative and its connection to the subconscious cannot be overlooked. Kingston deals with empowerment and status, but also defines the immense resistance expressed by the Chinese community in America, and by the male component of the power structure in America. By using the dream to arrive at her independence, Kingston speaks to the subconscious awakening of women who break through society’s conventions” (Premakumar 11/19/96).
  4. Kingston “goes into a story of a great warrior woman who fought for revenge and also became a mother. This is a life that Kingston herself would like to have lived” (Aron 11/19/96).

End of the Lesson Assessment: Which above statement did you strongly agree? Why? Support it with textual evidence.

Homework: Complete the lesson assessment. Read and annotate the 2nd half of White Tiger from page 38 to 53.

 Lesson 5

Session 1 Writing

Objectives: Students will sharpen their skills of analysis by closley examining each step in the PBFF  writing.

Aim: How do we move from ” observation” to ” implication” and make an interpretive leap?

Do Now: Comment on the submitted written responses based on The Woman Warrior.

Mini Lesson- Examine steps 5 &6. We’ll use your PBFF responses to illustrate each step.

  1. Select a passages
  2. contextualize the evidence. Where does the passage come from in the text? Of what larger discussion is it a part?
  3. What does the text invite you to think? ( denotative meaning)
  4. Make observations about the evidence. Stay close to the data, paraphrasing key phrases and teasing out the possible meanings of these words. Then reflect on what you have come to better understand through paraphrasing.
  5. Move from observations to implications ( pattern, repetition or binary,etc). Explain how the data mean what claim they mean ( connotative meaning).
  6. Address how the passage is representative and how it connects to broader issues. Move from your analysis of local details to consider what the work as a whole may plausibly be ” saying” about an issue or question. From analysis of details, you will make an interpretive leap ( so what).

Students’ Turn to Practice:

Share your PBFF response to the following passage-

” When we Chinese girls listened to the adults talk story, we learned that we failed if we grew up to be but wives or slaves. We could be heroines, swords women. Even if she had to rage across all China, a swords woman got even with anybody who hurt her family. Perhaps woman were once so dangerous that they had to have their feet bound.”

End of the Lesson Assessment: How do we move from ” observation” to ” implication” and make an interpretive leap? How is language used different for these tow different purposes?

Homework: Select your won passage from The White Tiger section and write a PBFF response. Be sure the passage is not too long.

Session  2: Reading ” White Tiger”

Objectives: Students will identify the narrator’s disappointment with her own culture as well as America by identifying specific examples of racial discrimination, sexist attitude & language and racial slurs.

Aim: Why does Kingston say “My American life has been such a disappointment”?

Resource:

How does Kingston’s work is that of a feminist?

Do Now: What does the narrator mean when she states that ” I wrap my American successes around me like a private shawl; I’m worthy of eating the food”(52)?

Teaching Points and a Mini Lesson:

  1. talk-story genre
  2. the dragon myth in China
  3. historical context: Communism and 1949 Communist take-over in China
  4. dream-like description of the setting
  5. magical realism
  6. feminism

Questions for Discussion

  • Kingston writes: “Unlike tigers, dragons are so immense, I would never see one in its entirety” (28). How might this statement serve as a metaphor for something larger or more significant than dragons?
  • Discuss the speaker’s view towards communism?
  • What would “talk story” be equivalent to in American tradition? Point out similarities and/or differences
  • Relate the story of Fa Mu Lan. Place emphasis on the dream-like description of the setting.
  • What are Kingston’s emerging views on feminism?  How does the culture of her parent’s generation view feminism?

Students’ Turn to Practice

In small groups, students will discuss the following questions-

Factual Questions

  • What was the significance of the gourd? When was it used and why?
  • When was the warrior’s level of tolerance for pain severely tested and why?
  • How did the warrior meet her husband?
  • How does the woman warrior change after she gives birth?  Why?
  • What was the outcome of the woman warrior? 

Making inferences

  • What has the speaker learned from fairy tales? Cite specific examples from the text.How have childhood experiences affected the adult life of the speaker?
  • What did Kingston’s mother battle here in the states?  What internal/emotional/societal wars does Kingston battle?
  • Why does the narrator claim she needs to be used to seeing death? (51)
  • What does the narrator mean when she compares herself to Mulan, ” What we have in common are the words at our back”?
  • How does the ending of the section reveal a larger theme  described as , ” Reporting is the revenge,  not the beheading, , not the gutting, but the words. Ans I have many words-” chink” words or ” gook”: words too-that they do not fit on my skin.”(53)

Making Connections:

  • Is there any American or English tale that comes to mind which parallels the woman warrior?
  • Discuss elements of the mythic and epic quests of the Greek heroes.  How is this particular dream sequence like the quest of Odysseus?

End of the Lesson: Why does Kingston say “My American life has been such a disappointment”? Why does she frequently dream to be a swords woman in a modern society?

Homework: Select a passage from this section in which you can find a major writing strategy. Name the strategy and identify 3 examples of the strategy. Read  and annotate pages 57-85 Sharman.

Lesson 6

Session 1 Writing

Objectives: Students will gain effective reading strategies by reviewing the challenging reading test and sharing the PBFF responses.

Aim: What types of questions are we often changed by? Why? How do we resolve the issue?

Do Now: Go over the answers of the reading test. Each student select one question that s/he wants to discuss with the class.

Mini Lesson

Based on the challenging questions the class has collected, we’ll review them and find out why they are challenging and what kind of knowledge we’ll need to answer the questions correctly.

Here are some suggested strategies:

  • With informational texts, find main ideas in the 1st and last sentence of a paragraph.
  • Pay attention to repeated concepts or ideas.
  • Pay attention to opposing terms or ideas.
  • When finishing a text, what does the text seem to say ( the subject discussion)?
  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • What is your claim? Which particular evidence supports it?

Student Practice

Use the PBFF rubric to review your partner’s response #2 and #3. Circle he criteria that fits your evaluation.

End of the Lesson Assessment: How do close reading and writing go together? How does your understanding affect your writing?

Homework: Write the 1st draft of the passage analysis ( based on the passage you have selected from section 2 in The Woman Warrior). You will need to identify a specific writing strategy and  describe how it directly impact the author’s development of his central idea.

 Session 2 Reading

Objectives: Students will draw inferences about the narrator’s mother and the mother’s depiction fits in some of the book’s larger themes by identifying specific details that the author use to distinguish her mother from tranditioinal Chinese womem.

Aim: How does Kingston describe her mother physically, intellectually, and emotionally?  In what ways does this depiction fit in some of the book’s larger themes?

Do Now: Paint an image of the mother by cobsidering the following –

  • the speaker’s mother’s life after her husband’s departure for America.
  • Why doesn’t the mother talk more about the loss of the two children?
  • her experiences in medical school.
  • How did the move to America affect the mother’s life?
  • Consider the somewhat schizophrenic life Brave Orchid has led between her time and China and her life in California.  Does Kingston reconcile these two sides of her mother?  How?  (see p. 104)
  • Consider the relevance of the name, Brave Orchid.  Does this name apply to Kingston’s mother as a woman? Midwife? Laundress?

Teaching Points and Mini Lesson

Kingston “writes from the perspective of a young, Chinese-American girl living in San Francisco post-World War 2. As a result of this, white people are referred to as ghosts, and many of the Chinese beliefs shine through the eyes of this young narrator. This is one explanation of why the reader cannot distinguish between myth and reality. Many young children believe everything that is told to them, outrageous or not. It is because of their wild and active imaginations that this little girl and her friends believe in the ghosts and the woman warriors of old” (Baldwin 11/19/96).

Motif: This section begins with the motif of eyes.

How is the motif described? What does it mean to you?  How does it help reveal the mother’s character and connect to a larger theme?

Questions for Discussion-

  • Who are the ghosts Kingston describes in “Shaman,” and why does she call them that? Why do ghosts play such an important role in this section and in the book as a whole?
  • Analyze the description of Kingston’s mother’s life in China. In particular, what function does the discussion of slaves serve? Why does Kingston envy her mother’s slave?
  • Why do you suppose Kingston includes so much information about food?
  • How would you describe Kingston’s relationship with her mother?

Student Practice

In a small group, students will find textual evidence to respond as accurately as possible to the following detailed questions-

  1.  Recount in detail the encounter with the ghost.
  2. Upon graduation how was the mother received in the countryside?
  3. Slavery? Were you surprised? Why does Kingston seem to envy her mother’s slave?
  4. Discuss the circumstances surrounding the stoning of the crazy lady.
  5. What is a Shaman?  In what cultures does a shaman practice?
  6. Who is Kingston’s personal Shaman?  How does she convey this to the reader?
  7. Discuss the relevance of the name, Brave Orchid.  Does this name apply to Kingston’s mother as a woman? Midwife? Laundress?
  8. List three reasons why Kingston does not want to visit China. (see p. 99)

Making Connections between the mother and narrator:

  • Assess the mother’s feelings towards her daughter.  Does Brave Orchid love Kingston?  Deny or defend.
  • What does Brave Orchid want in her old age?  How does this differ from what Kingston wants and needs?  (see p. 108-109)

End of the Lesson Assessment: 

How does Kingston depict her mother in this section? In what ways does this depiction fit in some of the book’s larger themes? Provide specific textual details for the claim you are to make about the narrator’s mother and explain why it connects to a larger theme of the book.

Homework: Complete the end of the lesson assessment.

Lesson 7

Session 1 Writing

Objectives: Students will revise their 1st draft textual analysis by applying the PBFF writing method  and other analytical techniques in the revision.

Aim: How can we infuse PBFF analytical techniques to revise the textual analysis essay?

Do Now: Share one of the  PBFF responses you have reviewed using the rubric.

Mini Lesson:

Introduction:

  1. Name the strategy
  2. State a general claim and
  3. Describe how the author goes about developing her ideas.

Body:

  1. Begin each paragraph with a sub claim that makes up the general claim.
  2. Provide a brief context for your examples.
  3. Cite examples  of the writing strategy that illustrate your point ( claim).
  4. Follow steps, 4 & 5  of PBFF response to analyze the examples or details.

Conclusion: How does the author use the passage to address a larger issue?( PBFF Step 6)

Student Practice:

  1. Use the strategies to revise your 1st draft.
  2. Ask questions if you are not clear about certain elements in the essay.

Homework: Revise the essay and bring the 2nd draft together with the 1st on Tuesday.

Session 2 : Reading (Lesson 6)

Lesson 8

Session 1: Writing

Objectives: Students will become familiar with elements in a refutation paragraph by reading an exemplary argument essay.

Aim; What does in a refutation paragraph? How do we make it more effectively convincing?

Do Now: Click here  to read an exemplary essay ( go to page 4). Use the Internet Explorer to view the text.

Agenda

Mini Lesson

Argument Essay Outline

Introduction:

  • Claim statement must be placed at the end of the introduction
  • Introduce the counter statement before your position.
  • Your claim statement must be precise
  • Lay down criteria for analysis

Body:

  • Distinctive paragraphing
  • Supporting Paragraph-
  • Always begin with supporting paragraph
  • 2 supporting paragraphs
  • Topic sentence (sub claim) needs to be precise
  • Acknowledge the counter positions
  • So- What- Always elevate using strong verbs to relate back to your claim
  • Counter Paragraph-
  • Begin the topic sentence with “However some people still believe…”
  • Prove the evidence wrong, that the evidence reveals limitations

Conclusion-

  • Make connection to real world
  • Get back to you point

Student self-directed activities:

  • Read at least one exemplary essay and annotate details that make the the essay a strong one.
  • Come to the teacher’s desk if you have questions.
  • Submit missing work.

End of the Lesson Assessment: What do  I need to do differently to improve my argument essay writing?

Homework: Write an Outra Superlative ( Final Reflection on the entire semester’s learning both for reading and writing classes). Typed. Due tomorrow.

Session 2: Reading

Objectives: Students will to understand the irony in the narrator’s mother’s change of attitude toward returning to China by comparing her nostalgic remembrance of the past and discontent with her life in America.

Aim: Why does the mother no longer want to return to China? Why is her final decision ironic?

Do Now: How would you describe the overall tone of Brave Orchid’s recall of her young past in China? What specific events can you name in her narrative that reveal the tone?

Mini Lesson : Conflict

  • How is the conflict between the mother and daughter, the narrative, portrayed?
  • How is the conflict between the mother’s Chinese culture and American culture portrayed?
  • How is the mother’s new gained culture in conflict with the Chinese culture from China?

The mother is the center piece of this section and her influence on the narrator is undoubtedly ubiquitous- from her gender to her accomplishments, from her perception of China and America to her role in the world, from her perception of her family’s past to her finally settling down and feeling where she belongs. If these influences are what Kingston’s reason of writing the story about her mother, her mother is then the shaman, the one that connects the past and present, a healer.

Not only did the mother go through cultural and class changes, ultimately she has encountered the bias and discrimination against her race in the new country where she resides. Her contributes her problems in American to the fact she had left China and her dream is going back to China when her children are grown. Her perception of China is one that is made up by a person who sees the view from a distant. She views China from her personal experiences by ignoring the majority of the women who were shackled by its denigrating culture. Her holding on to the past reflects her totally dissatisfaction with the present. She cries whenever she receives letters from her relatives in China because someone had been beheaded or the land was taken away etc and yet this ugly reality in China never registers with her. She continues dreaming of going back to China one day. But when all is possible for her  to return, she has no wish to.

Student Practice

In a group of 3 or 4, discuss the following questions? Respond to the questions and cite specific evidence to support your claim.

  • How is the conflict between the mother and daughter, the narrative, portrayed?
  • How is the conflict between the mother’s Chinese culture and American culture portrayed?
  • How is the mother’s new gained culture in conflict with the Chinese culture from China?

End of the Lesson Assessment:

Do you believe her mother’s Chinese culture has positively shaped the narrator’s identity or the other way around. Support your argument with evidence.

Homework: Complete the end of the lesson assessment.

Lesson 9

Writing Session

Objectives: Students will gain a understanding of how themes are created through characters by sharing their individual PBFF response based on an excerpt from the chapter “The Western Palace”.

Aim:  What larger theme(s) does each passage reveal?

Resource: http://www.bu.edu/writingprogram/journal/past-issues/issue-1/job/ ( criticism on the autobiographical genre of The WOMAN Warrior)

Do Now: What kind of theme does your passage seem to reveal? Share your PBFF response in a pair.

Mini Lesson:

-How does an author create themes?

  • Conflict and characterization

Teacher-Guided Discussion

Consider-

  • How is Moon Orchid portrayed? How is Brave Orchid portrayed?
  • What is the conflict? How is it portrayed?
  • What is the setting? How is the setting key to the conflict and theme?

Student Independent Practice:

In the passage you have responded , what is the claim you have derived at? How?

  1. Now, rewrite the claim and put it on the top of a blank page.
  2. Provide a context for your evidence.
  3. What does the evidence seemingly invite you to think?
  4. What specific evidence seems to mean otherwise? Why? Does the author use a specific literary technique to achieve such an effect?

End of the Lesson Assessment: How does the author reveal a theme strategically through specific evidence of conflict of characterization?

Homework: Finish the end of the lesson assessment.

Reading

Objectives: Students will analyze how the theme of cultural clashes is portrayed by closely examining the speeches by characters.

Aim: How is the theme of cultural clashes portrayed in the Western Palace chapter?

Do Now: If you had to pick out one speech by a character in this chapter, what would it be and why? Share in pairs.

Mini Lesson

“At the Western Palace” tells the story of Maxine’s aunt, Moon Orchid, and her arrival in America to live with Maxine’s family. Not only is Maxine absent during the major confrontation of this chapter, but she also is not even narrating. She slips into a third-person role, shifting the focus from herself to Brave Orchid, Moon Orchid, and the cultural clash which the chapter represents. “At the Western Palace” describes the collision of two extremes: China, in the form of Moon Orchid, and America, represented by Brave Orchid’s children. Brave Orchid acts as the mediator between the two, attempting to harmoniously balance the two poles—just as Maxine must learn to do.

Teacher Guided Discussion-

  1. Why does Moon ORCHID represent China? or Chinese culture?
  2. What kind of American culture do Brave Orchid’s children represent? Why? How about Moon Orchid’s doctor husband?
  3. Why does Brave ORCHID act as a mediator?

Student Independent practice

You will be assigned in a group of 3-4 and a specific question and find evidence to support your responses.

Groups 1 & 2: Gather evidence to support your responses to Q1.

  1. Why does Moon ORCHID represent China? or Chinese culture?

Groups 3 & 4: Gather evidence to support your responses to Q2

2. What kind of American culture do Brave Orchid’s children represent? Why? How about Moon Orchid’s doctor husband?

Groups 5 & 6: Gather evidence to support your responses to Q3

3. Why does Brave ORCHID act as a mediator?

End of the Lesson Assessment: What does this chapter reveal about the narrator, Maxine H. Kingston? Why?

Homework: Read and annotate the final chapter of the book.

Lesson 10

Session 1: Writing

Objectives: Students will make inferences about themes by identifying sigficant quotations from the chapter.

Aim: What are some of the themes based on the quotations you have identified?

Do Now: Work with a partner and find two more quotations ( three total) that can be sued to respond to one of the following questions?

  1. Why does Moon ORCHID represent China? or Chinese culture?
  2. What kind of American culture do Brave Orchid’s children represent? Why? How about Moon Orchid’s doctor husband?
  3. Why does Brave ORCHID act as a mediator?

Mini Lesson

Theme Analysis 

As we have noticed character portrayal and conflict can contribute to a theme, so can a motif or the author’s direct statements.

Let’s examine some of the themes in the Shamoop website. Make a note what elements in the book contribute to each theme described. Silently review the assigned theme. Then in pairs, discuss how the theme you have reviewed is conveyed.

Share in class.

Independent Practice: In a group of 3-4, discuss what will be the best way to discuss one of the themes. Identify specific passages ( quotations) you may consider using to illustrate the theme. We’ll share in class.

  1. The Role of Women in Chinese Society ( Group 1)
  2. Silence and Voice ( Group 2)
  3. Growing Up Chinese-American ( Group 3)

End of the Lesson Assessment: Throughout The Woman Warrior, Kingston explores how her Chinese cultural history can be reconciled with her emerging sense of herself as an American. Is she successful in this endeavor? Support your answer with examples from the text.)

Homework: Respond to the End of the Lesson Assessment

Session 2: Reading: 

The Woman Warrior: A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe

Objectives: Students will understand why the final chapter represents Kingston, the narrator’s struggle to find her own voice in the world full of silence except for her mother’s talk stories by closely examining episodic details described in the chapter.

Aim: Why does the allusion to an ancient Chinese folktale represent the narrator’s own struggle to find her (Chinese) American voice?

Do Now: Describe one detail that stands out for you in this chapter. Why is it significant?

Mini Lesson

Episodic , non-chronological narrative vs. linear narrative

Teacher-Guided Discussion

  • Piecing together the various stories in the book, what knowledge do we gain about the narrator? Why?
  • To what degree does the lack of a chronological order in The Woman Warrior help construct a more interesting and engaging narrative? Does this non-chronological plot detract from gaining a better understanding of Kingston’s memoir? Why or why not?
  • In “A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe,” Kingston describes her childhood cruelty to a silent Chinese girl at school. Why does she consider this an important episode to present to readers?

Student Independent Practice

In small groups of 4-5, you will discuss some study questions concerning the chapter-

Group 1: 

  • Kingston writes: “The other Chinese girls did not talk either, so I knew the silence had to do with being a Chinese girl.” Why are the Chinese girls silent, and what are the consequences of this silence?
  • What is the difference between the American and Chinese schools? Which do you think Kingston prefers?
  • What is the significance of the final story?

Group 2:

  • Analyze Kingston’s assessment of her time in bed with a mysterious illness: “It was the best year and a half of my life. Nothing happened.”
  • How do you explain Kingston’s urge to confess things to her mother?
  • Analyze the importance of language in this section and in the entire book.
  • How does MHK’s angry speech shape and focus her future?

Group 3:

  • “They would not tell us children,” Kingston writes of the older Chinese, “because we had been born among ghosts, were taught by ghosts, and were outselves ghost-like. They called us a kind of ghost.” What is the significance of this passage?
  • Analyze Kingston’s outburst among her family members. What is the source of her frustration? Why is the final portion, in which she complains about talk-story, particularly significant?
  • How does Kingston characterize her own perspective on the world? How is it different from that of her mother and other Chinese immigrants? What is the tone of Kingston’s description of this perspective?

Group 4: 

  • Analyze the speaker’s relationship with her mother. Why had she come up with the list of things about herself that she wanted to share?
  • What is the significance of the two talk stories at the end of the novel?
  • Discuss the symbolism of Brave Orchid’s telling Kingston that she cut her frenum.

Group 5: 

  • How does Kingston react to her mother’s order to demand candy from the druggist?  Why?  How is an understanding of this particular incident central to an understanding to the book as a whole?
  • How does the motif of “cut tongue” and the ensuing silence counter the idea from No Name Woman about talk-story?
  • Do MHK’s memories alleviate the frustration with speech and language that she battled throughout her life?

End of the Lesson Assessment

  • Compare Ts’ai Yen’s song of lament at the end of “A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe” to Brave Orchid’s many talk-stories. Do the lamentation and the talk-stories serve similar purposes for the two women?
  •  How do Kingston’s experiences in both the American school and the Chinese school emphasize language’s power to create a personal identity?

Homework:

  1. Complete the End of the Lesson Assessment.
  2. As a group, type up the responses to the assigned questions.

Lesson 11

Session 1: Writing

Objectives: Students will grasp the concept that every issue in the world can be viewed from multiple perspectives as long as one can use evidence and reasons by examining NYTimes ” Debate Room” and arguing an issue present in The Woman Warrior.

Aim: How do we argue for an issue?

Do Now: Share your notes  in groups of 3  based on one of the selected topics from the Debate Room in the NYTimes.

Mini Lesson

Strategies for an effective argument-

  • make a strong claim statement concerning the issue.
  • support your view point with evidence
  • explain why your evidence supports the view
  • use logos and pathos
  • acknowledge at least one of the different views and refute it.

Group Independent Practice

In a group of 3, read the paragraph below and decide whether you will agree with Kingston’s position.

 In “Cultural Mis-Reading by American Reviewers,” an essay published in Asian and Western Writers in Dialogue: New Cultural Identities (1982), Kingston criticizes those critics who find her work exotic and foreign. She states, “The Woman Warrior is an American book. . . . Yet many reviewers do not see the American-ness of it, nor the fact of my own American-ness.” What are some of the American elements in this work? Do you agree with Kingston’s position? Why or why not? Support your view with evidence.

We will share in class your view point and reasons.

End of the Lesson Assessment: What is your understanding of Americaness? How does Kingston’s work fit or not fit in your concept of Americaness?

Homework: As a group, write out the argumentative paragraph.

Session 2: Reading

Objectives: Students will gain understanding about some larger issues implied in the final chapter of The Woman Warrior by presenting each group’s responses to the chapter study questions.

Aim: How does Kingston reveal larger issues in  the final chapter of The Woman Warrior?

Do Now: Small groups gather to get ready for presentation.

Mini Lesson:

Presentation rubric.

Student Practice: Group Presentation

Homework: Prepare for the Portfolio

Lesson 12

Session 1 Writing

Objectives: Students will gain insights about the unit such as skills or concepts they have learned or particular issues they have encountered through reading by writing a preface and reflection.

Aim: How have you grown as a reader and writer through this unit?

Do Now:

In a group of 3, read the paragraph below and decide whether you will agree with Kingston’s position.

In “Cultural Mis-Reading by American Reviewers,” an essay published in Asian and Western Writers in Dialogue: New Cultural Identities (1982), Kingston criticizes those critics who find her work exotic and foreign. She states, “The Woman Warrior is an American book. . . . Yet many reviewers do not see the American-ness of it, nor the fact of my own American-ness.” What are some of the American elements in this work? Do you agree with Kingston’s position? Why or why not? Support your view with evidence.

Share in class.

Mini Lesson:

Portfolio Rubric

English Portfolio Rubric

Contents/Scores Exceeding Standards
4/A
Meeting Standards
3/B
Approaching Standards
2/C
Below Standards1/D-F
Ideas  Precise and clear Appropriate /clear Indirect/ vague confused
Diction  precise appropriate Basic, inappropriate Incoherent, confusing
Syntax Sound , a variety of Appropriate, some varieties basic inappropriate
Conventions Demonstrate full control with infrequent errors Demonstrate partial control Demonstrate emerging control Demonstrate lack of control
Organization Logical, cohesive,  coherent Acceptable, coherent incoherent No internal structure
Creativity  Display originality Display some originality Basic Lack of originality
Volume of Work  Complete and thorough sufficient appropriate incomplete
Voice  distinctive some basic Lack of voice

Independent Practice:

  1. Make a list of skills you believe you have learned and new concepts you have grasped or new understanding on a certain issue.
  2. Share with your partner.
  3. Write a preface and reflection for your The Woman Warrior Portfolio.

Homework: Work on your portfolio. Due Monday 2/9.

Session 2 : Reading

Objectives: Students will analyze a specific theme by generating questions and situating the topic.

Aim: How do we use questions and our own framing of a topic to analyze a theme?

Do Now: In pairs , come up with two topics for thematic discussion.

Mini Lesson

Using questions and framing the topic helps narrow down the topic, which is necessary for specific evidence .

Let’s examine some of the themes in the Shamoop website.

Independent Practice: In a group of 3-4, discuss what will be the best way to discuss one of the themes. Identify specific passages ( quotations) you may consider using to illustrate the theme. We’ll share in class.

  1. The Role of Women in Chinese Society ( Group 1)
  2. Silence and Voice ( Group 2)
  3. Growing Up Chinese-American ( Group 3)

Present in class.

Homework: Complete the framing and questions.

 

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