Assignments during Recess

 

Finish reading the last two chapters and do the following-

  • read and annotate
  • Create a glossary for entire book (chapter by chapter)
  • Identify expressions you found interesting ,meaningful, and unique
  • Write a PBFF responses based on each chapter (label and describe each step)
  • Start to prepare for the portfolio for The Woman Warrior

Visit the New York Times Debate Room and do the following-

  • Follow one topic
  • Read thoroughly one of the topics and take notes on –
    • What’s each writer’s argument?  His/her reasons? The examples s/he uses?

Ex:

View A

View B(support)

View C ( opposes)

View D

Reasons: Reasons:
Examples: Examples:

 

Essay Topics for Siddhartha

Resource

Select one of the topics below to write your analysis essay on Siddhartha. Carefully examine each topic before finalizing your topic.

  1.  Examine the process of synthesis as it relates to Hesse’s contact with Jungianism and relate its thematic influence in a selected novel.

  2. River Image in Siddhartha
  3. How does Siddhartha’s life with the Samanas condition him for his process of self-recognition?
  4. How does Siddhartha’s life with the child-like people condition him for his process of self-recognition?
  5. How does each of Siddhartha’s three stages of life contribute to his achiving Nirvana, or enlightenment?
  6. Discuss how the terms Samsara, Nirvana, and Om have inside of the novel Siddhartha.
  7. Molnar states,”[Siddhartha] has to travel in two directions: he has to explore the interior regions of the spirit in their full range and the exterior expanse of the world in all its aspects before he settles at the place where the two realms touch and he comes to identify with the absolute unity that governs them both.” (83) How does Siddhartha unite the two realms in the end?
  8. Interestingly, Siddhartha is the actual given name of the historical Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama). In Hesse’s novella, the fictional protagonist, Siddhartha meets the historical non-fictional Buddha referred to as Gautama in the story and rejects his teaching (Siddhartha XXV). So, this tale marks both a parallel and a diversion of the traditional story of the life of the Buddha. It is both a recreation and variation of the preserved account of the life of Siddhartha Gautama (Siddhartha XXVII). Both Siddharthas (Hesse’s protagonist and Siddhartha Gautama) were born as princes, had every material desire fulfilled, but left that life to become forest ascetics (Siddhartha XXVI). After this point, however, the stories split; where the Buddha continued on his spiritual journey, Siddhartha enters the secular or worldly life of the senses. In the end, though, they both end up at the same goal.It is true that the historical Buddha, as well as Hesse’s character Siddhartha, comes from a Hindu background. It is important, however, to not conflate the traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism because they are vastly different. Ponlop Rinpoche states, “The Buddha’s teachings were not compilations from previous traditions; they were not putting together bits of Hindu tantra, Brahmanism, and so forth, as some have claimed. The Buddha would teach spontaneously from his wisdom…” (Ponlop 24). It is with this understanding and intention that we will approach the Buddhism within Hesse’s Siddhartha.
  9. it is apparent that Hesse’s working with eminent psychiatrist Carl Jung was the catalyst for his being able to resume his writing. After working with Jung for a short time, a man that he said impressed him very much, he was able to complete the novella in the following year (Siddhartha XX). It is thought to be due to Jung’s influence that Hesse came up with his formulation of the three stages of becoming a person: “first innocence; then despair; and, finally, downfall or salvation,” written by Hesse in a 1932 essay entitled “A Bit of Theology” (Tusken 99). Clearly, we can see this pattern in the character arc of Siddhartha. Molnar describes it as, “the mystic experiences the stages of his life as guideposts that point in the direction of the absolute unity from which they derive their relative value” (Molnar 83).
  10. Enlightenment is not “overcoming” the world or transcending it. In actuality, the Buddha purposed (after experiencing directly) that there doesn’t exist an independent (remember that all things are inter-connected) self that could transcend anything (Kohn 45). Enlightenment is simply waking up to the way things actually are. This does not indicate any sort of overcoming, but instead, a clearing away of the obscurations that prevent us from seeing reality directly.
  11. There are two levels of enlightenment in Buddhism. The first, the Hinayana (smaller view) has as its goal the realization of selflessness, or the absence of the ego. The basis for this school is that there exists no entity that could be identified as the “self”. What we conventionally refer to as “I” is really a compounded formation of reducible parts. There is no single thing that exists that can be identified as a self. Each part can be broken down further and further ad infinitum. The second school, the Mahayana (larger view) holds the position that not just the self, but everything in the entire universe has as its basis this quality of emptiness (that is, emptiness of an independent existence). Modern science is now corroborating this view expounded by the Buddha over 2500 years ago; that nothing exists independently of anything else, and at the smallest level of sub-atomic particles lies not building blocks of matter, but a web of particles and waves constituting a webbed universe of Oneness (Capra 68). Pervading all of existence and at the heart of all space and phenomena is tathagatagarbha, or buddha-nature, the luminous and wisdom-filled quality that is our true nature (Gampopa 50). This is what we wake up to upon enlightenment.
  12. …breaking free of our attachment to the ego that causes all of our suffering.
  13. Looking ahead to the end of the story, it is “only by his ability to say ‘yes’ to the entirety of phenomenal existence does Siddhartha lend valid expression to his love of the absolute, to his ‘eternal thirst,’ and in doing so, he attains his goal” (Molnar 86).
  14. Looking ahead to the end of the story, it is “only by his ability to say ‘yes’ to the entirety of phenomenal existence does Siddhartha lend valid expression to his love of the absolute, to his ‘eternal thirst,’ and in doing so, he attains his goal” (Molnar 86).
  15. ollowing his decision to leave the “child people” Siddhartha begins to have thoughts that are more in line with Buddhist philosophy, “too much knowledge had hindered him….He had been full of pride, always the cleverest…always the knowledgeable and intellectual one, always the priest or the sage. His ego had hidden away in this priesthood, in this pride” (Siddhartha 87). Siddhartha is finally realizing that his ego has been the problem all along. It sure took him a long time to figure that out. This is generally one of the first things that are taught in Buddhism, it is a way of “unmasking ourselves, our deceptions of all kinds” (Path 4). It is not even that the ego itself is the problem. It is only our attachment to it, the way we relate with it as if it were a solid, permanent, independently existing thing (CTSM 127). This realization of how this clinging to the ego causes suffering doesn’t make the clinging stop or the problem go away.
  16. When Siddhartha was learning love from Kamala and business from Kamaswami, he referred to the people of the world with the derogatory term “child people” (Siddhartha 57). Siddhartha called them child people because their concerns were petty, their interests unimportant, and their understanding of the world inadequate. But, later on after leaving the worldly people behind and discovering himself alone and starting all over once again, Siddhartha is “like a child” himself, but now the word child is used in a positive way (Siddhartha 53). The idea of being in the world as a child is not about being naive or underdeveloped intellectually. It implies seeing the world in a fresh way, not being trapped by a conceptual web of ideas that prevent us from experiencing the freshness of each moment (Suzuki XIV). Siddhartha seems to think it is good when he is like a child, but it is bad when others are.
  17. Again during this second epiphany at the river following his departure from Kamala and the townspeople, Siddhartha once more thinks he has awakened. He again feels transformed. When he wonders what has taken place inside of him, he asks, “Was it not his ego, his small, proud, anxious ego with which he had fought for so many years, which had always defeated him, always returned[?] Was it not this which had finally found its death today, here in the forest, on this lovely river?” (Siddhartha 87). As was mentioned previously, it is doubtful that what actually happens is the eradication of the ego, but instead, our clinging attachment to it. For in the next paragraph, Siddhartha states that a new Siddhartha was born and full of joy (Siddhartha 88). If there were actually no ego at all, then there would be no Siddharthas of any kind. Siddhartha is a name, of course, a concept. It is hard to imagine what an entirely egoless being would look like in terms of how she would function in the world. Buddhism makes efforts to avoid these pitfalls of language. Alan Watts said, where “Buddhism differs from Hinduism is that it doesn’t say who you are, it has no idea, no concept” (Watts 6). The focus is on experience rather than concepts. Molnar recognizes, “that these abstract and seemingly remote ideas do not have to be accepted on faith” (Molnar 83). The emphasis is how we live in each moment and how we relate with other people. But, at the end of the day we’re still going to have a name, and bills, and the relative world to relate to. And if we are not blindly attached to our ego and mistaking it for a solid reality, and begin to see things as they are, we may find that we are much less prone to self-inflicted suffering. In the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha’s first set of teachings, he explained that suffering is caused by trishna, a Sanskrit word that is translated to English as clinging, or grasping, and not ego (Ray 261). That the goal of Buddhism is to kill the ego, besides the fact that it is hard to explain what that could even mean, is one of the biggest misconceptions of this path.
  18. An interesting example of how relating with concepts changes with the Buddhist approach is in the different treatment of God(s) in Hinduism versus Buddhism. Hinduism is resplendent with Gods of all sorts. It is much closer to Christianity than Buddhism in this respect. Brahma is known as “God the Creator,” and is joined by Vishnu and Shiva as the Hindu Triumvirate (Yogananda 186). Buddhism, on the other hand, posits that God is just another concept. As Joseph Campbell said, “God is a metaphor for the unexplainable phenomena in the universe” (The Hero’s Journey). It is not a denial of God, it is a denial of the validity of the question that ends with a conceptual answer. For this reason, Buddhism is considered non-theistic rather than atheistic.
  19. This is a non-theistic tradition: the Buddha gave up relying on any kind of divine principle that would descend on him and solve his problems. So taking refuge in the Buddha in no way means regarding him as a god. He was simply a person who practiced, worked, studied, and experienced things personally. With that in mind, taking refuge in the Buddha amounts to renouncing misconceptions about divine existence. (HOB 93)Buddhism emphasizes personal experience rather than belief. The difference is in some sense subtle, because Buddhism isn’t flatly denying the existence of God(s), only the validity of concepts.
  20. It seems that Siddhartha is coming closer to this line of thought during the last stage of his journey at the river with the ferryman Vasudeva. The river becomes his most profound, and non-conceptual teacher, the water is “running and running, constantly running, and yet it is always there, was always and forever the same, and yet new every instant!” (Siddhartha 89). The sound of the river is not an idea, it is non-verbal, yet, as Vasudeva remarks, “the river knows everything, one can learn everything from it” (Siddhartha 92). How is it that the river knows everything? Perhaps it isn’t the river specifically that knows anything, but, it is that when the ego or self is drowned out by an experience of being totally with the phenomenal world, sans distinctions of this and that, here or there, we are able to touch in with a deeper wisdom of the world as it is.
  21. More than anything, Siddhartha realized, was that the river taught him how to listen, “with a silent heart, with a waiting, open soul, without passion, without desire, without judgment, without opinion” (Siddhartha 94). That is to say that he was able to rest in the present moment without adding onto it with projections or additional commentary.
  22. his contrasts sharply with how Hesse presents Siddhartha’s path. He has his awakenings or epiphanies at times of being lost in thought reflecting on his experiences. Meditation is scarcely mentioned at all in the story. He goes as far, during his first awakening experience, described at the end of Part One, by stating, “What am I to do at home, in my father’s house? Study? Sacrifice? Cultivate meditation? All that is gone now; none of that lies on my path now” (Siddhartha 38). It is this type of statement that is troublesome, because of its direct contradictions to all Buddhist practice and traditions, and its potential to be misleading to someone who is interested in understanding the basic tenets of Buddhism. It is true that Siddhartha is a fictional novel and should not have to bear the burden of adhering to every accurate teaching of the Buddha, but the fact remains that many thousands of people in the past sixty years have been introduced to the Buddha and his teachings by this book. Therefore, it is important that people realize that it has several inaccuracies regarding traditional Buddhist practice and philosophy, so as not to be misled by its contents.
  23. It is true, however, that one still has to make the leap, so to speak, herself. The teacher can point out the way, tell you which bridges are out, which roads are full of traffic, etc., but the student still has to make the journey. The wise ferryman, Vasudeva, says as much when Siddhartha is struggling with the wish to help his own son, “And can you shield your son against samsara?…What father, what teacher could shield him from living his own life, soiling himself with life….Do you really believe, dear friend, that anyone at all is spared this path? (Siddhartha 106). But this does not negate the importance of the spiritual guide, “in following the path it is very much necessary to have a personal relationship with a teacher” (Path 39). We cannot progress and make the journey along the spiritual path without a teacher; the teacher is the proof that the teachings work and the spiritual guide serves as the one who can make it possible for us to follow in her footsteps (HOB 70). Furthermore, without a spiritual guide one risks making misinterpretations along the path, or straying from it entirely (as Siddhartha did in the beginning of Part Two) (Gampopa 70). The lack of emphasis on the practice of meditation and the denial of the importance of a teacher are probably the two biggest flaws with Hesse’sSiddhartha from a Buddhist philosophical viewpoint. Even when speaking with Govinda in the last chapter of the book Siddhartha states that, “teachings mean nothing to me” (Siddhartha 127). But, earlier, in the same conversation he has said that he has had many teachers, Kamala, Kamaswami, Govinda, and “most of all I have learned from this river and from my forerunner, Vasudeva the ferryman” (Siddhartha 123). So, seemingly, the enlightened Siddhartha at the end of Hesse’s tale contradicts himself by stating that teachings mean nothing to him, but at the same time if he hadn’t learned from the river and had Vasudeva to guide him along the way, he would have never emerged from the depths of samsara.
  24. The river, with its ten thousand simultaneous voices, speaks the sacred sound of om (Siddhartha 95). What is the significance of using a river as Siddhartha’s primary teacher? The thread that runs through all of the linked phenomena in existence is an undifferentiated consciousness that is accessible to each of us, not when we die and dissolve back into the void from which we came, but while we are alive through a transformation of consciousness that spiritual practice provides as a conduit. The image, Campbell explains, is of a pond that is rippled by the wind. The pond, through the waves, reflects broken images. The individual ego identifies itself with one of the fragments on the water. When the consciousness is transformed, the waters are again still, and we are back to a single perfect image. This is our true selves and this everyone else’s true selves also (Mythos).
  25. Toward the end of the story Hesse is still using more terminology and philosophy from Hinduism as opposed to Buddhism. As mentioned previously, Siddhartha is the given name of the historical Buddha. Presumably Siddhartha’s journey is meant to reflect Buddhism more than Hinduism. Yet, in the final pages, Siddhartha is still seeing Brahma, the God of Creation, in the faces of the people on board his ferry (Siddhartha 114). This mirrors Hesse’s own life in that he never abandoned, throughout his life’s journey, the idea of God; “Hesse’s affirmation of such a divine principle within the individual remained constant throughout his life” (Stelzig 73). At this point in the novel, Siddhartha still speaks, in decidedly Hinduistic terms, of his conceptual soul, and the oneness of all things.
  26. Strange as it seems, and though it has a tendency to be misinterpreted as nihilistic, it would be more accurate in Buddhism to say that everything is zero, rather than everything is one. The Buddha discovered that all phenomena are composite particles and that nothing exists independently of anything else (Garfield 211). When you look at a person, or anything else for that matter, there is no identifiable substance visible or otherwise, that can be pointed to as essentially existing. You can continue to remove the composite parts from the person, or chair, or anything, and at what point does it cease to be what we have conceptually named it? Any distinction between any two things in the entire universe is ultimately arbitrary. This is not to say that there is nothing, and nothing at all exists; it just means that nothing exists independently of anything else, and so all phenomena is empty (Sanskrit: shunyata) of an inherent existence. For there to be one thing, that one thing would have to exist, and since there is no one thing that cannot be further reduced, everything is zero. But, again, lest we are inclined to view this as nihilistic, being empty of self-existence, means to be full of everything (Hanh 10). The popular contemporary teacher of Zen Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh, explains that in a sheet of paper we can see the tree, the sunshine, the soil, the rain, the logger, and everything that went into its becoming a sheet of paper (Hanh 4). The same with people, and with everything else: to be empty of a single separate existence means to be full of everything that has ever happened in the history of the universe. Everything that has ever happened had to happen for each present moment to be exactly how it is. That totality, inherently empty yet utterly full, is who we really are and what we are waking up to on the spiritual path that was laid out by the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, over 2500 years ago.
  27. In a moment of deep despair the river laughed at Siddhartha. It laughed at the foolish way he, as we all do, perpetuate the cyclic nature of the suffering of samsara. He looked overboard at his reflection in the water, and saw his father’s face (Siddhartha 115). An older man now, who had left his father’s home never to return, Siddhartha’s own son had now run away from him as well. Siddhartha now realized that his son, defiantly refusing to follow Siddhartha’s ways had left his home, just as Siddhartha had once done to his own father. Somewhere, on some iPod among the undifferentiated sea of ten thousand voices, Cat Stevens sings, “he’d grown up just like me/ my son was just like me.” The momentum of samsara is powered by the familiar, but also oft misunderstood, term karma. “Everything not fully suffered, not fully resolved came again: the same sorrows were suffered over and over” (Siddhartha 115). The situation that we currently find ourselves in is the result of our past actions; every cause has an effect, and this is what is meant by karma (Taming 63). The result of this karma is the suffering of samsara. The good news is that there is always a choice in the present moment (Taming 63). Everything that has happened in the past has led up to this moment, and because of this there is a propensity to continue to act in a certain way, but it is possible in the present moment to make a choice that will result in better karma in the future. Good and bad karma are not necessarily moralistic in nature. In Tibetan, to give an example, the words gewa and migewa that are translated as virtue and non-virtue are distinguished by actions that lead towards the end of waking up to reality or take one further away from it (Taming 69). At enlightenment one no longer accumulates karma and is freed from the suffering of samsara.
  28. Siddhartha’s final moment of realization, his irrevocable moment of true enlightenment comes at last as he receives his most profound teaching from the river. Hesse’s prose builds into a crescendo of flowing dharma. In the river Siddhartha saw the faces of his father, himself, his son, every person he had ever known, he saw all people flowing on, laughing, crying, good and evil, flowing and accomplishing goal after goal (Siddhartha 118):Everything together was the music of life. And when Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, listened to this song of a thousand voices, when he did not listen to sorrow or laughter, when he did not enter them with his ego, but listened to all of them, heard the wholeness, the oneness- then the great song of the thousand voices consisted of a single word, which was “om”: perfection.
  29. In Buddhism it is the teaching of one taste. With the practice of one taste one regards everything that happens, whether good or bad, with the same flavor, never moved from the state of equanimity (Ray 173). When one no longer identifies with the forms within the space, but rather the space in which these forms rise and fall, then it is possible to experience the absence of the illusion of the separate self and the reality of the inter-connected beingness that is all permeated by all, and our true and ultimate nature.
  30. Herman Hesse’s effort to explore new frontiers of spiritual thought and boldly attempt to write his own version of the story of the Buddha deserves to be applauded. Despite its deficiencies, Siddhartha is an intriguing tale of lyrical prose that blew open the imaginary doors that separated the rich spiritual and humanistic traditions of the East and a ripe audience of seekers in the West. It seems, though, that considering his published letters, autobiographical writings, and body of literary work, that Hesse should not be considered an authoritative figure on Eastern religion and philosophy. This interest appears to have been more of a passing fancy rather than an in-depth study. In this essay we have explored Hesse’s childhood and upbringing, made connections between his youth and his later interests that led to his eventual authorship of his celebrated novella Siddhartha.

Writing a Critical Summary

Notes on Writing a Critical Summary

A critical summary must include the following-

  1. A central idea of the passage ( a combination of main points in your own words, no minor details)
  2. A sequence events (who what, when and how and even why) that show thought progressions and illustrate your central idea
  3. Use transitional words to connect events

A critical summary should not include

  1. Personal opinions and thoughts
  2. small details
  3. lengthy direct quotations
  4. unclear and generalized statement of an event

A reader needs to walk away from a critical summary-

  • the writer’s views on the passage what the most important points are.
  • How you derive at your central idea
  • Gain a full understanding the main events of the passage ( who, what, where , how and why)
What is a critical summary? A summary is a short—but thorough—objective restatement of the main idea and key points of a passage. A summary may mention examples the author used to illustrate key points. Personal opinions and thoughts, as well as small details of the passage, do not belong in the summary.

 Why write a summary?

Writing a summary will help you to fully understand and remember what you read. It also is a useful guide for responding critically to the material in your own writing.

Stages of Summary Writing

First reading:

As you read, look out for to the main idea and points.

Second reading:

Divide the passage into thought progressions (looking at paragraph divisions will help you to identify these stages). You may indicate each new progression by using brackets in the margins, or highlighting.

Underline or highlight main ideas and terms.

Summaries:

Write a summary sentence for each thought progression.

Thesis statement:

Write a summary of the entire passage that is one or two sentences long and includes the main idea of the passage (the who, what, where, how, and when).

  • For a “persuasive” passage, this should include the author’s conclusion.
  • For a “descriptive” passage, this should include what is being described and its important characteristic(s).

First draft:

Combine your thesis statement with the one-sentence summaries of each thought progression. Take out repetitious parts—use as few words as possible. Take out minor details, or rewrite them in more general terms.

Third reading:

Make further adjustments by comparing your summary to the passage.

Final draft:

Check to see that transitions between sentences are smooth, and make sure the summary is coherent as a whole. Lastly, check grammar, spelling and punctuation.

 

 

Implicit and Explicit Documentation

The Dos and Don’ts of Using Quotations (cited from http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/courses/teachers_corner/45740.html)

The Dos and Don’ts of Using Quotations
Writing persuasively about one or more sources begins, of course, with engaged reading. We all sift the best practices to find approaches that will help a student interact with the text. Since there is so little room in the syllabus to use the best incentive for engaged reading — personal choice — teachers seek meaningful activities that will energize the act of reading. Literature Circles, reader response journals, two-and-three column notes, Venn Diagrams, double entries, porcupine notes, entry/exit cards, questions, highlighting, color marking — any of these can help the reader both comprehend and interact with the material. Once the student has “something to say,” then she is more interested in learning how to incorporate the sources that generated her ideas.

While the skill of documentation can be taught and learned fairly quickly, the art of selecting evidence comes through time and practice. Anyone can work through the mechanics of quotation marks, the order of internal documentation, and the sentences that lead into or out of the quotation. And these are of course crucial. But the real learning comes in knowing how to choose and present the evidence. What is the difference between paraphrase and summary? What is “mere” summary, and what is summary-as-evidence? What should be quoted, and when? What about offering no quotations at all?

My students seem to often fall into two kinds of thinkers/writers: those who document explicitly, complete with quotations, links, and examples, and those who work implicitly, playing dangerously close to summary. Rarely able to convert either to the other’s camp, I have learned instead to focus on helping each become better at her preferred method. After some mini-instruction on formats, I use models from current and previous students for discussion of the effectiveness of the choices they made.

Three Examples of Explicit Documentation from a Source
The first examples illustrate the most frequent task: explicit documentation in support of an argument or position from a single source. The excerpt from Gina’s examination response on Fleur Adcock’s poem, “The Man Who X-Rayed an Orange,” is the most complex in thought and evidence of the examples provided to the students, and in the following paragraph she brings her argument to its close. She briefly summarizes her earlier points, saving the quotations for emphasis. Her parenthetical documentation is muddy, but even that muddiness is rich. It allows us to discuss other choices for talking about text and subtext. She definitely has “something to say,” and effectively incorporates and documents lines and phrases from the poem.

As Adcock tells the tale of the man’s attempt at superhuman strength, the final judgment comes over the level of success of the act. The man starves himself and reaches a plane of power in which he sees through and suspends an orange. The audience recognizes the accomplishment (“For surely he lacked nothing, / Neither power nor insight nor imagination.” (29-30)), but to the Man “It was not enough” (20). Though her audience certainly expresses a deep respect for the man, Adcock shares the opinion of the man himself and builds to the ultimate disappointment of the attempt to be a god-like creator. The last line of the poem, “His only fruit from the Tree of Life” (35), describing the “light-filled” (34) orange, shows the closest level a man can get to God. The actual orange, the “golden globe” (33) itself, represents the man’s ultimately impossible attempt at reaching divinity.

Gina is a sophisticated reader, thinker, and writer. Other students need more work at different stages of the process. Since most students use explicit documentation, we then move from Gina’s essay to look at some less successful essays employing the same strategy. For the weakest model, I use a paper from several years ago. This student’s analysis of a scene from Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel begins with a repetition of some of the words and phrases in the prompt, as indicated by the highlighting: “The passage shows the process a person goes through when wondering about the motives behind one’s actions. Margaret Laurence uses excellent word choice to show this.” Already, we sense that the student has little to say. Her first paragraph of development labels some sentences as “short,” her second “characterizes the main character,” and her third at last discusses the promised “word choice”:

The word choice in this passage is also very effective. Some of the words may seem simplistic or complex; however, they fit and flow in each sentence. Laurence uses many words such as it, that, and him in this passage and in the entire novel. By doing this, the reader must continuously be certain of what the he, she, or it is. This may be significant because it may make the reader go back again and maybe recognize or notice some evidence or situation he or she did not notice the first time.

The student can be taught fairly easily to place quotation marks around “it,” “that,” etc. The teaching and learning of inference, evidence, and clarity, however, are more formidable. Back we go to the models and activities.

The next example shows someone who knows (somewhat) how to introduce evidence and use quotation marks but little else. This single paragraph constitutes the entire essay, in which the student seeks to discuss the imagery in a novel but ends up merely summarizing it, using quotations simply to complete the restatement. She, too, begins with a repetition of the prompt and then organizes her evidence sequentially. She can list examples but cannot elaborate on them, as shown in her use of ellipses in between confusing quotation marks.

The atomic bomb imagery plays a large role in the development of Ibuse’s story. In the beginning we receive a small sketch of what happened, with Yasuko’s diary entry for August 6. “At the Furue there was a great flash and boom. Black smoke rose up over the city of Hiroshima like a volcanic eruption.” As the story progresses, with each character’s account of what happened to them, there is another piece added to a larger puzzle, until finally on page 282 of the novel, a name is given to the bomb and meaning is actually placed to what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “An ‘atomic bomb’, … That’s the name for it, … It gives off a terrible radiation.” However, one can say that the bomb has about seven different names during the course of the story, each one being more specific than the prior. “The name of the bomb…, from the initial “new weapon” through “new-type bomb,” “secret weapon,” “special new-type bomb”… that day, [became] an “atomic bomb.”

An Example of Implicit Documentation and Multiple Sources
After discussion of these three examples using explicit documentation from a single source, we move to the concept of implicit documentation using multiple sources. We examine the essay of a sophomore student, Adrienne, who has the task of comparing two movie versions of Hamlet to the original play. Description becomes an important tool for her because her sources are visual and aural. She turns brief summary into strong evidence, drawing conclusions from the setting, the body language, and the action in order to compare the characters’ motives. There is not a single direct quotation, yet her evidence is strong, citing the videotape and the catacombs, the gun and the sword, the internal struggle and the external action. Her phrase “rewinds the soliloquy” not only concludes her point but shows her potential for fine writing.

Ethan Hawke portrays Hamlet as a poet whereas Mel Gibson makes Hamlet to be more of a soldier in the famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be.” Throughout the whole movie Hawke has incorporated the videotape into the scenes to express his thoughts. In this soliloquy Hawke is pointing a gun to his head and repeats the first lines many times, as if he really is contemplating killing himself. The struggle is much more internal and drawn out painfully, with a gun to his temple. Hawke seems to be unsure when he mutters nonchalantly. This is a contrast with Mel Gibson’s version. Gibson gives the speech in the catacombs of his ancestors, with his hand occasionally touching his sword. However, the feeling that he would draw the weapon to do harm to himself is barely hinted, unlike the direct gun pointed to Hawke’s head. The death images surrounding Gibson remind him of his dead father and the murder he has yet to revenge. Hawke, however, continuously rewinds the soliloquy as if searching for the meaning he knows is embedded in the word but cannot seem to find.

These four models work well for discussion about incorporating sources into one’s own essay. By now everyone seems to have “something to say” about what makes good evidence and how to incorporate it. We find ourselves arguing for less paraphrase and summary and more persuasive writing with implicit and explicit documentation.

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

Lesson 1

Objectives: Students will share their summer project on mythology and gain knowledge why mythology is the foundation of culture and literature.

Aim: What is myth? Why did people create myths in every culture?

Texts:

CC Standards

RI.1 & w.9b: citing evidence to support analysis of explicit and inferential textual evidence

RI.2 and RI.3 : determine a central idea and analyze how it is conveyed and elaborated with details overs over the couirse of a text

SL.1: engage effectively in a range a collaborative discussion building on other’s ideas and express their own clearly

W4: PRODUCE CLEAR AND COHERENT WRITING IN WHICH THE DEVELOPMENT, ORGANIZATION AND STYLE ARE APPROPRIATE TO TASK AND AUDIENCE

Formative Assessment: double entry journals, annotations, responses, making a claim statement based on paragraphs, short analysis of evidence

Agenda

Do Now: Share one mythology that you enjoyed reading the most with a partner and explain why.

Learning Sequence:

  1. Share in pairs and respond to the following questions
  2. What connections can we see among the myths?
  3. What elements make the myths distinctive in their own ways?
  4. Why do people need myths? DO we need myths? What do myths entail?
  5. What is the most interesting myth-related vocabulary word you have learned?

Informal Mid-Lesson Assessment: How has the myth project inspired you in some way?

Homework: Browse the series of The Power of Myth (http://billmoyers.com/spotlight/download-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-audio/). What are the major themes embedded in myths?

Lesson 2

Objectives: Students will interpret and respond to Campbell’s explanations of myth.

Aim: According to Campbell, what is the power of myth?

Agenda

Do Now: According to Campbell, What are the major themes embedded in myths? If possible, give an example for each theme.

 Mini Lesson

Activity one-Reading and responding-

The Power of Myth: its hero and structure

  1. Read and discuss an excerpt from The Power of Myth (page 11-13).

“Why do you need the mythology?”” She held the familiar, modern opinion that ‘ll these Greek gods and stuff’ are irrelevant to the human condition today. What she did not know– what most do not know — is that the remnants of all that “stuff”line the walls of our interior system of belief, like shards of broken pottery in an archaeological site. But as we are organic beings, there is energy in all that “stuff.”Rituals evoke it. Consider the position of judges in our society, which Campbell saw in mythological, not sociological, terms. If this position were just a role, the judge could wear a gray suit to court instead of the magisterial black robe. For the law to hold authority beyond mere coercion, the power of the judge must be ritualized, mythologized. So must much of life today,”

Respond: In this passage, how does Moyer describe the importance of mythology in our society? Use specific evidence to support your view point.

2.  Read and discuss a 2nd excerpt fom The Power of Myth-

…”That’s not what the hero’s journey is about. It’s not to deny reason. To the contrary, by overcoming the dark passions, the hero symbolizes our ability to control the irrational savage within us.” Campbell had lamented on other occasions our failure “to admit within ourselves
the carnivorous, lecherous fever” that is endemic to human nature. Now he was describing the hero’s journey not as a courageous act but as a life lived in self-discovery, “and Luke Skywalker was never more rational than when he found within himself the resources of character to meet his destiny.” Ironically, to Campbell the end of the hero’s journey is not the aggrandizement of the hero. “It is,” he said in one of his lectures, “not to identify oneself with any of the figures or powers experienced. The Indian yogi, striving for release, identifies himself with
the Light and never returns. But no one with a will to the service of others would permit himself such an escape. The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and the power to serve others.” One of the many distinctions between
the celebrity and the hero, he said, is that one lives only for self while the other acts to redeem society”.

Respond: According to Campbell, how is a hero defined and the purpose of a hero’s journey? Provide specific evidence to support your view point.

Excerpt 3: The Power of Myth

He agreed that the “guiding idea” of his work was to find “the commonality of themes in world myths, pointing to a constant requirement in the human psyche for a centering in terms of deep principles.” “You’re talking about a search for the meaning of life?”I asked.
“No, no, no,” he said. “For the experience of being alive.” I have said that mythology is an interior road map of experience, drawn by people who have traveled it. He would, I suspect, not settle for the journalist’s prosaic definition. To him mythology was “the song of the universe,” “the music of the spheres” — music we dance to even when we cannot name the tune. We are
hearing its refrains “whether we listen with aloof amusement to the mumbo jumbo of some witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture translations from sonnets of Lao-tsu, or now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimoan fairy tale.” He imagined that this grand and cacophonous chorus began when our primal ancestors told stories to themselves about the animals that they killed for food and about the supernatural world to which the animals
seemed to go when they died. “Out there somewhere,” beyond the visible plain of existence, was the “animal master,” who held over human beings the power of life and death: if he failed to send the beasts back to be sacrificed again, the hunters and their kin would starve.
Thus early societies learned that “the essence of life is that it lives by killing and eating; that’s the great mystery that the myths have to deal with.” The hunt became a ritual of sacrifice, and the hunters in turn performed acts of atonement to the departed spirits of the animals, hoping to coax them into returning to be sacrificed again. The beasts were seen as envoys from that other world, and Campbell surmised “a magical, wonderful accord” growing between the hunter and the hunted, as if they were locked in a “mystical, timeless” cycle of death, burial, and resurrection. Their art — the paintings on cave walls — and oral literature gave form to the impulse we now call religion.  As these primal folk turned from hunting to planting, the stories they told to interpret the mysteries of life changed, too. Now the seed became the magic
symbol of the endless cycle. The plant died, and was buried, and its seed was born again. Campbell was fascinated by how this symbol was seized upon by the world’s great religions as the revelation of eternal truth — that from death comes life, or as he put it: “From sacrifice, bliss.”

Respond: a. Why does Campbell call “mythology was “the song of the universe”? b. Why does he describe myths as “grand and cacophonous chorus “? What does the phrase mean? c. How does Campbell describe the myth that portrays the hunting and hunted? What’s his assertion about this hunting myth/ Do you agree? Explain. c. How the the seed become the “magic
symbol of the endless cycle”?

Quick Write: Pick one idea from today’s discussion and explain why you believe it is the one of the crucial points Campbell tries to explain about the power of myth.

Activity 2: Listen to audio clips an take notes-

  1. Listen to Campbell’s descriptions of first story tellers: ( http://billmoyers.com/content/ep-3-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-the-first-storytellers-audio/) and take notes. Respond: why did 1st story tellers create myth? What does Campbell mean by myth “put[ting] the mind in accord with the body, and the way of life in accord with the way nature dictates?”
  2. Browse the series of The Power of Myth (http://billmoyers.com/spotlight/download-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-audio/). What are the major themes embedded in myths? (the heroes adventure, sacrifice and bliss, love and goddess, masks of eternity )
  3. What messages can we draw from Heroes’ Adventures myth? Listen to the audio clip: http://billmoyers.com/content/ep-1-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-the-hero%E2%80%99s-adventure-audio/
  4. Read Campbell’s Chapters: “Myth” and “The First Storytellers”;( page 180-): excerpt from The first Storytellers

Exit Slip: Describe one notion you have learned today about mythology from Campbell’s discussion of myth.

Homework: Start drafting your 200 word response to Campbell’s notion of mythology.

Lesson 3

Objectives: Students will gain new perspectives by reading closely the excerpts from The Power of Myth by Campbell and sharing their understanding of each passage.

Aim: How has Campbell’s discussion of myth change your views on mythology?

Agenda

Do Now: Share your central ideas about the power of myth from your essay. Be sure to provide evidence you have used.

Mini Lesson:

1.Re-examine the two excerpts and identify at least one literary element or technique from each passage and see how it is used to develop the central idea.

Use the following inks for literary terms and rhetorical devices as your resources-

2.  Read and discuss a 2nd excerpt fom The Power of Myth-

…”That’s not what the hero’s journey is about. It’s not to deny reason. To the contrary, by overcoming the dark passions, the hero symbolizes our ability to control the irrational savage within us.” Campbell had lamented on other occasions our failure “to admit within ourselves
the carnivorous, lecherous fever” that is endemic to human nature. Now he was describing the hero’s journey not as a courageous act but as a life lived in self-discovery, “and Luke Skywalker was never more rational than when he found within himself the resources of character to meet his destiny.” Ironically, to Campbell the end of the hero’s journey is not the aggrandizement of the hero. “It is,” he said in one of his lectures, “not to identify oneself with any of the figures or powers experienced. The Indian yogi, striving for release, identifies himself with
the Light and never returns. But no one with a will to the service of others would permit himself such an escape. The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and the power to serve others.” One of the many distinctions between
the celebrity and the hero, he said, is that one lives only for self while the other acts to redeem society”.

Respond: According to Campbell, how is a hero defined and the purpose of a hero’s journey? Provide specific evidence to support your view point.

Your Turn to practice: : Identify one specific literary technique and element from the passage and discuss its effect on meaning.

Excerpt 3: The Power of Myth

He agreed that the “guiding idea” of his work was to find “the commonality of themes in world myths, pointing to a constant requirement in the human psyche for a centering in terms of deep principles.” “You’re talking about a search for the meaning of life?”I asked.
“No, no, no,” he said. “For the experience of being alive.” I have said that mythology is an interior road map of experience, drawn by people who have traveled it. He would, I suspect, not settle for the journalist’s prosaic definition. To him mythology was “the song of the universe,” “the music of the spheres” — music we dance to even when we cannot name the tune. We are
hearing its refrains “whether we listen with aloof amusement to the mumbo jumbo of some witch doctor of the Congo, or read with cultivated rapture translations from sonnets of Lao-tsu, or now and again crack the hard nutshell of an argument of Aquinas, or catch suddenly the shining meaning of a bizarre Eskimoan fairy tale.” He imagined that this grand and cacophonous chorus began when our primal ancestors told stories to themselves about the animals that they killed for food and about the supernatural world to which the animals
seemed to go when they died. “Out there somewhere,” beyond the visible plain of existence, was the “animal master,” who held over human beings the power of life and death: if he failed to send the beasts back to be sacrificed again, the hunters and their kin would starve.
Thus early societies learned that “the essence of life is that it lives by killing and eating; that’s the great mystery that the myths have to deal with.” The hunt became a ritual of sacrifice, and the hunters in turn performed acts of atonement to the departed spirits of the animals, hoping to coax them into returning to be sacrificed again. The beasts were seen as envoys from that other world, and Campbell surmised “a magical, wonderful accord” growing between the hunter and the hunted, as if they were locked in a “mystical, timeless” cycle of death, burial, and resurrection. Their art — the paintings on cave walls — and oral literature gave form to the impulse we now call religion.  As these primal folk turned from hunting to planting, the stories they told to interpret the mysteries of life changed, too. Now the seed became the magic
symbol of the endless cycle. The plant died, and was buried, and its seed was born again. Campbell was fascinated by how this symbol was seized upon by the world’s great religions as the revelation of eternal truth — that from death comes life, or as he put it: “From sacrifice, bliss.”

Respond: a. Why does Campbell call “mythology was “the song of the universe”? b. Why does he describe myths as “grand and cacophonous chorus “? What does the phrase mean? c. How does Campbell describe the myth that portrays the hunting and hunted? What’s his assertion about this hunting myth/ Do you agree? Explain. c. How the the seed become the “magic
symbol of the endless cycle”?

Quick Write: Describe the effect of one device or technique used for the author to emphasize his idea.

Activity 2: Watch the video and take notes of key points.

the series of The Power of Myth (http://billmoyers.com/spotlight/download-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-audio/). What does Campbell say about-

  • the heroes adventure,
  • sacrifice and bliss,
  • love and goddess,
  • masks of eternity

Quick write:  What’s the one idea that stood out for you the most?

Homework: Describe a pattern of myth you have observed based on Campbell’s discussion. Visit the website : http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero’s_journey.htm  (What is the structure of a Hero’s Journey myth? )

Lesson 4

Objectives: Students will look for patterns or structure in myth by reading a dialogue between Moyers and Campbell.

Aim: Why animal sacrifice is a constant theme in myth? What is the pattern in a hunting myth?

Do Now: Think of two myths you read. What is the one thing that both myth share in common?  Which theme does each myth reveal?

Mini Lesson-

Read the following dialogue between Campbell and Moyers. We’ll do the following afterwards-

  • describe a central idea and its supporting evidence
  • identify literary elements and techniques
  • patterns of myth

Text: THE FIRST STORYTELLERS
The animal envoys of the Unseen Power no longer serve, as in primeval times, to teach and to
guide mankind. Bears, lions, elephants, ibexes, and gazelles are in cages in our zoos. Man is no longer the newcomer in a world of unexplored plains and forests, and our immediate neighbors are not wild beasts but other human beings, contending for goods and space on a planet that is whirling without end around the fireball of a star. Neither in body nor in mind do we inhabit the world of those hunting races of the Paleolithic millennia, to whose lives and life ways we nevertheless owe the very forms of our bodies and structures of our minds. Memories of their animal envoys still must sleep, somehow, within us; for they wake a little and stir when we venture into wilderness. They wake in terror to thunder. And again they wake, with a sense of recognition, when we enter any one of those great painted caves. Whatever the inward darkness may have been to which the shamans of those caves descended in their trances, the same must lie within ourselves, nightly visited in sleep.
— JOSEPH CAMPBELL,

The Way of the Animal Powers

MOYERS: Do you think the poet Wordsworth was right when he wrote, “Our birth is but
a sleep and a forgetting:/The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,/Hath had elsewhere its setting,/And cometh from afar”? Do you think that is so?

CAMPBELL: I do. Not in entire forgetfulness — that is to say, the nerves in our body
carry the memories that shaped the organization of our nervous system to certain environmental circumstances and to the demands of an organism.
MOYERS: What do our souls owe to ancient myths?
CAMPBELL: The ancient myths were designed to harmonize the mind and the body. The mind can ramble off in strange ways and want things that the body does not want. The myths and rites were means of putting the mind in accord with the body and the way of life in accord with the way that nature dictates.
MOYERS: So these old stories live in us?
CAMPBELL: They do indeed. The stages of human development are the same today as
they were in the ancient times. As a child, you are brought up in a world of discipline, of obedience, and you are dependent on others. All this has to be transcended when you come to maturity, so that you can live not in dependency but with self-responsible authority. If you can’t cross that threshold, you have the basis for neuroses. Then comes the one after you have gained your world, of yielding it — the crisis of dismissal, disengagement.
MOYERS: And ultimately death?
CAMPBELL: And ultimately death. That’s the ultimate disengagement. So myth has to serve both aims, that of inducting the young person into the life of his world — that’s the function of the folk idea — then disengaging him. The folk idea unshells the elementary idea, which guides you to your own inward life.
MOYERS: And these myths tell me how others have made the passage, and how I can make the passage?
CAMPBELL: Yes, and also what are the beauties of the way. I feel this now, moving into my
own last years, you know — the myths help me to go with it.

Mid Lesson Discussion Questions-

  1. What kind of  questioning  techniques does Moyers use to help the listeners understand the conversation better?
  2. What is the central idea in this part of the narration by  Campbell?
  3. Interpret “The myths and rites were means of putting the mind in accord with the body and the way of life in accord with the way that nature dictates.”
  4. “If you can’t cross that threshold, you have the basis for neuroses. Then comes the one after you have gained your world, of yielding it — the crisis of dismissal, disengagement”. What kind of ” threshold” .doe Campbell mean?.What kind of crisis and disengagement?
  5. What is ” ultimate disengagement?”
  6. How does myth serve as a guide to help people follow the rites of passage?

__________________________________________________________ Continue

MOYERS: You say that the image of death is the beginning of mythology. What do you mean?
CAMPBELL: The earliest evidence of anything like mythological thinking is associated with graves.
MOYERS: A nd they suggest that men and women saw life, and then they didn’t see it, so they wondered about it?
CAMPBELL: It must have been something like that.You only have to imagine what your
own experience would be. The grave burials with their weapons and sacrifices to ensure a continued life — these certainly suggest that there was a person who was alive and warm before you who is now lying there,cold, and beginning to rot. Something was there that isn’t there. Where is it now?
MOYERS: When do you think humans first discovered death?
CAMPBELL: They first discovered death when they were first humans, because they died.
Now, animals have the experience of watching their companions dying. But, as far as we know, they have no further thoughts about it. And there is no evidence that humans thought about death in a significant way until the Neanderthal period, when weapons and animal sacrifices occur with burials.

CAMPBELL: Society was there before you, it is there after you are gone, and you are a member of it. The myths that link you to your social group, the tribal myths, affirm that you are an organ of the larger organism. Society itself is an organ of a larger organism, which is the landscape, the world in which the tribe moves. The main theme in ritual is the linking of the individual to a larger morphological structure than that of his own physical body. Man lives by killing, and there is a sense of guilt connected with that. Burials suggest that my friend has died, and he survives. The animals that I have killed must also survive. Early hunters usually had a kind of animal divinity — the technical name would be the animal master, the animal who is the master animal. The animal master sends the flocks to be killed. You see, the basic hunting myth is of a kind of covenant between the animal world and the human world. The animal gives its life willingly, with the understanding that its life transcends its physical entity and will be returned to the soil or to the mother through some ritual of restoration. And this ritual of restoration is associated with the main hunting animal. To the Indians of the American plains, it was the buffalo. On the Northwest coast the great festivals have to do with the run of salmon coming in. When you go to South Africa, the eland, the magnificent antelope, is the principal animal.

MOYERS: And the principal animal is…

CAMPBELL: — is the one that furnishes the food.

MOYERS: So in the early hunting societies there grew up between human beings and animals a bonding that required one to be consumed by the other.
CAMPBELL: That is the way life is. Man is a  hunter, and the hunter is a beast of prey. In the myths, the beast of prey and the animal who is preyed upon play two significant roles. They represent two aspects of life — the aggressive, killing, conquering, creating aspect of life, and the one that is the matter or, you might say, the subject matter.

MOYERS: Life itself. What happens in the relationship between the hunter and the hunted?

CAMPBELL: As we know from the life of the Bushmen and from the relation of the native Americans to the buffalo, it is one of reverence, of respect. For example, the Bushmen of Africa live in a desert world. It’s a very hard life, and the hunt in such an environment is a very difficult hunt. There is very little wood for massive, powerful bows. The Bushmen have
tiny little bows, and the extent of the arrow’s flight is hardly more than thirty yards. The arrow has a very weak penetration. It can hardly do more than break the animal’s skin. But the Bushmen apply a prodigiously powerful poison to the point of the arrow so that these
beautiful animals, the elands, die in pain over a day and a half. After the animal has been shot and is dying painfully of the poison, the hunters have to fulfill certain taboos of not doing this and not doing that in a kind of “participation mystique,” a mystical participation in the death of the animal, whose meat has become their life, and whose death they have brought about. There’s an identification, a mythological identification. Killing is not simply slaughter, it’s a ritual act, as eating is when you say grace before meals. A ritual act is a recognition of your dependency on the voluntary giving of this food to you by the animal who has given its life. The hunt is a ritual.

MOYERS: And a ritual expresses a spiritual reality

CAMPBELL: It expresses that this is in accord with the way of nature, not simply with my own
personal impulse.

CAMPBELL: These early myths help the psyche to participate without a sense of guilt or fright in the necessary act of life.
MOYERS: And these great stories consistently refer to this dynamic in one way or the other — the hunt, the hunter, the hunted, and the animal as friend,as a messenger from God.
CAMPBELL: Right. Normally the animal preyed upon becomes the animal that is the messenger of the divine.
MOYERS: And you wind up as the hunter killing the messenger.
CAMPBELL: Killing the god.
MOYERS: Does that cause guilt?
CAMPBELL: No, guilt is what is wiped out by the myth. Killing the animal is not a personal act. You are performing the work of nature.
MOYERS: Guilt is wiped out by the myth?
CAMPBELL: Yes.
MOYERS: But you must at times feel some reluctance upon closing in for the kill. You don’t really want to kill that animal.
CAMPBELL: The animal is the father. You know what the Freudians say, that the first enemy is the father, if you are a man. If you are a boy, every enemy is potentially, psychologically associated with the father image.
MOYERS: Do you think that the animal became the father image of God?
CAMPBELL: Yes. It is a fact that the religious attitude toward the principal animal is one of
reverence and respect, and not only that — submission to the inspiration of that animal. The animal is the one that brings the gifts — tobacco, the mystical pipe, and so on.
MOYERS: Do you think this troubled early man — to kill the animal that is a god, or the messenger of a god?
CAMPBELL: Absolutely — that is why you have the rites.

Activity 2: Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ Monomyth:
http://changingminds.org/disciplines/storytelling/plots/hero_journey/hero_journey.htm

Examine the hero’s diagram

Exit Slip:  What are the elements of myth? What is the most important message you have gained from Campbell’s The Power of Myth video series?

Homework: Watch at least three video clips from The Power of Myth series and write a 200-word commentary on the Campbell reading( due Wednesday 9/10). Tell your own creation story, noting the elements within it that align with the features of creation stories( due Sept. 16)

 

 

Reading Assessment

Lesson 1 9/8/2014

Objectives: Students will gain a true understanding of in-depth reading and use self-diagnosis to set individual reading goals.

Aim: How do we read critically so we can understand a text precisely?

Agenda

Do Now:

  • Use your notes from the self-reflection piece based on the self-diagnostic assessment (http://practice.parcc.testnav.com/#) and discuss with a partner what seemed to be the most challenging in your reading test. List 3-5 examples to share with the class.

Learning Sequence

  1. In a whole class setting, share the examples of challenging questions and analyze what skills are required to respond to the questions.
  2. Peer review the answer keys to the Common Core reading test.
  3. Students record their scores in their notebook.
  4. Discuss Passage A and questions 1-9.  A. What type of questions are they? B. What reading skills are required to respond to them? C. What areas do I need to focus on in order to improve my close reading skills?
  • Q 1: Symbolism and it meaning
  • Q 2: author’s purpose and interpreting a figurative speech
  • q 3: using context to figure out a meaning of a phase
  • Q 4: Critical summary and main idea
  • Q 5: main idea  ( so what ) drawn from listed details( pattern-repetition)
  • Q 6: Find the implied meaning through binary and draw so what: making connections, looking for patterns
  • Q 7: mood /tone through setting and descriptive language
  • Q 8: main idea , vocabulary, so what ( making an inference)
  • Q 9: author’s attitude

Quick Write ( informal assessment): Reflect on the reading practice, what are the additional reading goals that you need to include as your F.I.T.(Focused Individual Targets)? 

Wrap Up( Exit Slip): Based on the reading exercise we did today, what is your understanding of critical reading?

Homework: Write one full paragraph to provide me with additional information about yourself as a reader and writer. I would especially like to know what you are looking forward to accomplishing in class this year;  I would like to know more about you as a student, so that I might best address your academic needs. Use your best paragraph writing skills.

Lesson 2

Objectives: Students will  continue assessing their reading skills by evaluating their responses to the poem Money Must and a speech.

Aim: What skills are required to understand poetry and prose respectively?

Agenda

Do Now: Distribute the exam back to each student. Students copy down the questions for whch they have provided the wrong answer.

Mini Lesson

Poetry Discussion

1. In small groups, students discuss the assigned question(s) and look for evidence to support the right answer choice. They will also explain what type question it is and skills required to make the right choice.

2. Each group presents their ideas to the whole class.

3. Ask any remaining question you may still have.

Mid-Lesson Assessment: What does close-reading a poem mean?

Prose Discussion

Read the speech by Red Jacket and discuss the questions-

1. In small groups, students discuss the assigned question(s) and look for evidence to support the right answer choice. They will also explain what type question it is and skills required to make the right choice.

2. Each group presents their ideas to the whole class.

3. Ask any remaining question you may still have.

Quick Write: What is challenging about understanding a prose writing? What reading goals do you have for non fictional work?

Homework: Evaluate your overall performance between the Regents exam and self-assessment exam and write a full description of your reading goals for the semester. For example,

Individual Reading Goals Fiction Poetry Non Fiction
  1. Using evidence to establish a central idea

 

Example: Example: Example:
  1. Understanding sophisticated vocabulary using  context clues
  1. Identifying and understanding symbolism

 

  1. Understanding a specific purpose of an evidence