Category Archives: English 9 Regents

This is work done by my Regents students.

English 9 Regents: Power in a Blank Sheet of Paper– An Anti-Bullying Exercise

First of all, I want to admit that I got the idea for this exercise from a teacher on FaceBook.  Secondly, I want to say that this was probably the most powerful lesson in Symbolism that I have ever given in my 15 years of teaching, and I intend to use this from now on to introduce the concept.

I teach 9th grade English, and I’ve been working using Visible Thinking tactics to better reach my students.  As a lead in to the short story “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, I wanted to find an exercise that would teach students about the power of symbolism in literature.   Who says that FaceBook has no value other than social networking?

I had students take out their writing journals and a clean sheet of paper.  In the journals, they had to put the heading “Symbolism” at the top.  They were then instructed to look closely at the clean sheet of paper sitting on their desks and to write (in the journals) anything that they saw about the paper.  They had to preface the notes with “I see…”.  I then asked them to preface a few sentences with “I think…” as they continued to look at the blank sheet of paper.  The kids looked at me like I was nuts, but they wrote in their journals anyway.

As soon as they finished writing, I told them to take the sheet of paper and crumple it up.  They could stomp on it, they could pound it, they could bite it… but they just could not tear it in any way.  That they got into.  Kids were balling up the sheets, throwing them on the floor and jumping on them.  One put the wad of paper into his mouth and chewed on it (I had to tell him to be careful about ripping it).  Then I had them put the wadded paper on the desk in front of them and repeat the writing exercise.  They had to preface each section with “I see…” and “I think…”.  They seemed to have more to say this time because it took them a bit longer to do the writing piece.

Once they finished that, I asked them to very, very carefully (so as not to rip it) unfold the crumpled ball and flatten it out as best they could.  While they were doing that, I instructed them to say, “I’m sorry” to the piece of wadded up paper.  Ok, so some kids got silly with it and started kissing the paper while apologizing, but they managed to get them opened up without tears.  Some were trying to use the edge of their desks to run the paper along it to try to flatten it.  Once they were ready, I had them repeat the writing exercise, prefacing with “I see…” and “I think…”, but this time I added the extra component of “I wonder…”.

After they finished that portion of the exercise, they then had to write their own definition of Symbolism… whatever they thought that Symbolism meant.   As a sign that they were completely done writing, I told them to hold their symbols high in the air (the pieces of paper).   When all students had the papers over their heads, I told them to now hold the paper right in front of their face and look at it while I talked.

As they looked at their papers filled with creases and footprints and, in some cases, saliva, I told them that they were looking at a symbol of a bullied person.    The creases in the paper symbolized the effects of bullying, and even though the paper was still whole and as completely usable as its unmarred counterparts still in the notebook, it will never be exactly as it was before it was crumpled.   I told them to remember that even though they said, “I’m sorry” to the paper as they were unfolding it, no amount of apologies could take away the scars left behind.  The creases may lesson over time, but they will never fully go away… much like the hateful behavior left behind by bullies.  Unkind words and brutal actions leave their mark, even if the one who did it says, “I’m sorry”, or “I was just kidding…”.   Kids sometimes just do not realize the power of words, especially negative ones.

I then asked them to write on the crumpled sheets of paper about the exercise.  I wanted them to write once more, “I see…”, “I think…”, and “I wonder…” after they were told about the meaning of the symbols.  I also asked them to not only explain how the exercise was carried out, but to write about the effectiveness of symbolism based on this exercise.

As I explained this, some kids laughed.  Some kids got very quiet and then hurriedly picked up their pens and started writing when prompted.  Some put their crumpled papers down and just looked lost in thought for a bit.

One in particular hung his head down, staring at the blank paper.  It was a boy who had been bullied by many of those same kids sitting in that room at the moment, and I’d had all four administrators come to the room to address the issue.  Of course, I’d made sure that the young man was not in the room at the time they came in.    I knew going into the exercise that this was going to impact him, but I felt it was an important lesson, especially the part about still being whole in spite of the creases.   I also asked the students to carefully fold up the pieces of paper and put them in their pockets to take with them and to look at from time to time throughout the day.  That one boy was very meticulous about folding his paper and putting it in the pocket of his binder.  I also asked that they share the exercise with their parents and ask them to sign the paper so that they could be returned to me the next day.

Bullying 1Bullying 2

I have been holding onto these signed pieces of paper for five months.  Many may have forgotten about the exercise, so I will remind them when I return the pages to them before Spring Break.

All in all, I felt that it was a very powerful exercise.  Sometimes people don’t realize just how much power their unkind words can carry… and now I hope that some will make that connection and stop the crumpling.  Even if only a couple of kids got the message, that’s a couple fewer potential bullies for the time being.

I hope and I pray, though, that there will be a whole lot fewer for life.

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities, English 9 Regents, Visible Thinking

English 9 Regents: Persuasive Writing Related to The Odyssey

This is the research unit that I did with my Regents students.  We took ten class days to prepare for writing the research paper.  The first class was for explaining the process in advance, and the remaining nine classes are outlined below.

Research Paper: War and The Odyssey

 

Your assignment is to create a critical thinking paper; a thoughtful answer to a question of your own devising (which you have cleared with me in advance), based on your own interpretation of specific passages in your research articles and The Odyssey.   Your interpretation should be defended with logical arguments. Clarity and organization in the presentation of your argument are crucial, both to the persuasiveness of your paper and to your grade.

 

You will have a choice between the two following general topics:

  1.  Soldiers returning home from war (any war except the Trojan War)
  2. Loved ones and families of those who went to war and either have yet to return (MIAs and POWs) or who never returned

 

Your task will be to narrow down the topic to a specific war in history, and then create a specific “yes” or “no” question about that topic (see later in these notes for examples).  Once you have the questions formulated (to which the answer is either “yes” or “no”), take your position (in other words, answer your own question).  Once you have your position, you need to come up with three reasons why you answered the way you did (these will become your signposts).  As soon as you finally have your question, your position, and your reasons for your position, you are ready to write your thesis statement.

 

Class activities preparing for writing the paper:

Activity 1:  Writing three questions to which the answer is either “yes” or “no” that relates to soldiers returning from a specific war, or families who await(ed) word on loved ones in a particular war

Activity 2:  Library visit to find sources that will provide information about the selected war as well as finding both “yes” and “no” answers to their questions.  They will then have to decide which of the three questions will be the focus of their paper.  Students need five sources that will both support and provide a counter argument against their position on the question.  No more than two sources may come from the World Wide Web; they may use the electronic databases that the school purchases, or they may use books (but NO encyclopedias of any kind, either print or electronic).

Activity 3:  Taking a clear position and creating a thesis statement with three solid signposts.  Students are then told that they will have a body paragraph for each signpost as well as one body paragraph that will give background information about the war they have chosen (for a minimum of four body paragraphs for the essay).

Activity 4:  Using the five sources, students will create five bibliography cards and number them in the upper right-hand corner.  Students will then put the cards in alphabetical order, therefore creating a preliminary Works Cited list.

Activity 5:  Students must create 50 note cards, taking ten concrete details from each source.  If they cannot get ten details to support and/or argue against their position from a particular source, then the source isn’t strong enough and they have to find another one.  Each note card must contain a direct quotation (concrete detail or CD), and the corresponding number from the source’s bibliography card also goes in the upper right-hand corner of each note card.   Students must also mark in the upper left-hand corner which signpost paragraph the CD supports/argues against or if it goes in the “war background” paragraph.

Activity 6:  Connections to The Odyssey.  For those writing about a soldier returning home from war, the students must find connections to the journey home for Odysseus and relate it to the soldiers returning from war that they are targeting in their paper.   For those writing about loved ones waiting for the return of a soldier, you may focus on either Penelope or Telemachus.   Make note cards for each connection (copy lines that you could possibly embed).  These will be new CDs (at least ONE per signpost).

Activity 7:   Students will divide their 50 note cards into 4 piles (one for each of the aforementioned body paragraphs) based on the notations in the upper left-hand corner of the cards.   By doing so, they will see if they have unbalanced details/research based on the number of cards per pile.  If they have no cards for a particular pile (because they have no CDs to support that particular signpost or information about the war), they know that they will have to return to the research process to find information and make additional cards (including a new bibliography card, if necessary).  They will then choose one of the four piles pile and lay the cards out in front of them.   From there, students must discard 50% of that pile’s CDs that they had originally come up with.  This is where they have to be more discerning about the details that will ultimately end up in the paper (BUT they must keep all cards to show the process they went through).  Repeat for remaining three piles.

Activity 8:   For all the “keeper” cards in the Note Card piles, students will go through and highlight the key phrases from the sentences they’d copied (CDs) to use as embedded quotations.  There will be no “sentence plops” in the paper!

Activity 9:  Students will create a topic sentence outline for the overall paper.  First, students must come up with a “hook” to use as an opener for the introduction of the paper…they must get the reader’s (my) attention and make me want to read what they’ve written.  Choices of hooks include: imagery, an anecdote, a pithy quotation, or a shocking statistic.   All that has to go on the outline is the first sentence or two that they are thinking of using as an opening.  They must then include their improved thesis statement.  From there, they have to outline the body.  They will provide the topic sentence for each body paragraph as well as the sentences embedding the choice of concrete details from their Note Cards (see example below):

A.  Topic Sentence for first signpost

1.   Sentence with embedded quotation of strong support for argument as CD1 (cited).

2.  Sentence with embedded quotation of strong support for argument as CD2 (cited).

3.  Sentence with embedded quotation of counter argument as CD3 (cited).

4.  Sentence with embedded quotation refuting counter argument as CD4 (cited).

5.  Sentence with embedded quotation from The Odyssey making a connection to the topic as CD5 (cited).

Concrete details from Note Cards will have been further pared down to a minimum of five CDs per paragraph.

Once students have finished with their topic sentence outlines, they go on to finish writing the essay by filling in the paragraphs with their commentary.  Final essays due in four weeks, which gives students plenty of time to see me with any questions or problems.

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English 9 Regents: Plato’s “Apology”

Odell LogoOdell Education has created model Making Evidence-Based Claims units for ELA grades 6-12.  For English 9, the chosen work of informational text is Plato’s “Apology.”  The link to the left will take you to the files for this particular unit, and I will be working with my English 9 Regents students on this piece in the 4th quarter.

The unit includes day-by-day lesson plans for close reading and is broken into five parts, each with a suggested number of classes for implementation:

Part I:  “Understanding Evidence-Based Claims”  (1-3 classes)

– Activity 1: Introduction to the unit

– Activity 2: Independent reading

– Activity 3: Read Aloud and Class Discussion

– Activity 4: Model Forming EBCs

Part II:  “Making Evidence-Based Claims” (1-3 classes)

– Activity 1: Independent reading and finding supportive evidence

– Activity 2: Read aloud and class discussion

– Activity 3: Find supporting evidence in pairs

– Activity 4: Class discussion of EBCs

– Activity 5: Forming EBCs in pairs

Part III:  “Organizing Evidence-Based Claims”  (1-3 classes)

– Activity 1: Independent reading and forming EBCs

– Activity 2: Read aloud

– Activity 3: Model organizing EBCs

– Activity 4: Organizing EBCs in pairs

– Activity 5: Class discussion of student EBCs

Part IV:  “Writing Evidence-Based Claims”   (1-3 classes)

– Activity 1:  Independent reading and making EBCs

– Activity 2:  Model writing EBCs

– Activity 3:  Writing EBCs in pairs

– Activity 4:  Class discussion of written EBCs

– Activity 5:  Read aloud and class discussion

– Activity 6:  Independent writing of EBCs

Part V:  “Evidence-Based Writing” (1-2 classes)

– Activity 1:  Independent reading and making EBCs

– Activity 2:  Class discussion of global EBCs

– Activity 3:  Pairs discuss their EBCs

– Activity 4:  Independent writing of the final piece

– Activity 5:  Class discussion of the final writing pieces

In all, the suggested unit length is 5-14 full classes focusing on a 17 paragraph passage.    I think this unit would be better served at the beginning of the year when I am targeting particular writing skills overall.  The skills are the key here, not this particular text selection.

One issue that I would like to address is that of spending 5-14 classes on one particular short passage.   While close reading is key and students need to pay attention to what they read, standardized testing does not reflect this practice.

According to test previews that we have been allowed to peruse, the upcoming exams look like they will be given in 90 minute increments over a three day period.  If the high school tests are going to be anything like the middle school tests being administered April 16-18, 2013, then the format looks as if it will be as follows:

Day 1:  (Test Book 1) reading followed by 42 multiple choice questions (I have heard, but it has not yet been confirmed, that the readings will be an excerpt from a novel, a poem, and an informational piece);

Day 2:  (Test Book 2) reading followed by 21 multiple choice questions AND (Test Book 3) reading and writing with three short-response questions and one extended-response question (I have not heard yet what the day 2 readings will be);

Day 3:  (Test Book 4) reading and writing five short-response questions and one extended response question (again, I have heard that the students will read five articles, respond to each, and then use information from the articles to write an essay… in other words, a Document Based Question (DBQ).

My concern is that with all the time being asked for close reading in the classroom (5-14 DAYS for “Apology”… I think 4-5 DAYS were set aside for Lincoln’s 278-word “Gettysburg Address” in the earlier model units), the students will come to expect that kind of time to spend on reading.  When they are faced with multiple passages in a 90 minute time frame, I am wondering how they will handle the time-added pressure on an already high stakes test.  While it is important to read closely, students also need to learn to read and comprehend in shorter time periods, mirroring testing situations.  To consistently do close reading at a snail’s pace gives students a false sense of how long they will have to complete tasks on standardized tests.   It seems as if we are sending mixed messages, and the students will be the ones who suffer from it.

Just my opinion.

However, I will try Odell’s unit and work with my Regents students on Plato’s “Apology” in an effort to enhance evidence-based writing skills.

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English 9: English Speaking Union Shakespeare Competition

English Speaking Union competition

Each year, regional branches of the English Speaking Union holds local contests in preparation for the National Shakespeare Competition held in Washington, DC.

This year, I held a Shakespeare contest at Webster Schroeder, and students had to memorize and perform a 20 line monologue or soliloquy from one of the Bard’s plays, as well as one of his sonnets.  Sadly, because we found out about the local contest late and had to rush to hold a school contest, our competition was not as successful as I had hoped (attendance-wise).  However, we did have a winner, Stephanie Bertman go on to represent Webster Schroeder at the regional competition held in Rochester.

While Stephanie did not win the regional contest, she did gain some wonderful experience in both public speaking and familiarity with the language of the Bard.  She did credit to Ophelia’s mad scene in Hamlet, Act IV, scene v, and she worked very hard on Sonnet #71.  I am hoping that she will continue to work on her familiarity with Shakespeare and try out again next year!

The contest was covered by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, and their article specifically mentions Stephanie’s performance (click on our picture below for the link)!  Way to represent Schroeder, Stephanie!

Stephanie is one of my English 9 Regents students!

Stephanie Bertman and Me

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English 9 Regents: The Hobbit WebQuest (The Goblins)

Welcome members of the Great Goblin’s group!  You will need to collaborate on each of the following to complete your web quest.

Day 1:  Characterization

Each member must complete ONE of the following for the Great Goblin’s character:

–  A physical description of the Great Goblin (with hand-drawn, labeled picture based on textual information)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing the basic characteristics of goblins

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two positive character traits of the Great Goblin (use parenthetical documentation)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two negative character traits of the Great Goblin (use parenthetical documentation)

Goblins  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goblin

Encyclopedia of Arda: Goblins  http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp?url=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/g/goblins.html

The Grey Havens: The Relationship Between Orcs and Goblins  http://tolkien.cro.net/orcs/goblins.html

Day 2:  Creature Features

All members of the group will do the following:

Using the links below, find out all you can about Wargs.  One person in your group will illustrate a warg based on your findings (not the same artist for the characterization!).   The remaining members will EACH write a two chunk paragraph describing the various characteristics and habits of Wargs.  Make sure to consult with one another so that you have different responses! 

Encyclopedia of Arda: Wargs

http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp?url=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/w/wargs.html

Wargs  http://www.santharia.com/bestiary/warg.htm

Wikipedia: Wargs  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wargs

Day 3:  Specialties: Those Goblins just love their dark, underground world and making trouble for anyone who dares enter into it!  No wonder they are such fierce warriors!

Each member will complete ONE of the following:

– Celebrations: Select (or create) a holiday that would have been celebrated by Goblins.  In three two-chunk paragraphs, describe the significance of the holiday as well as activities that all good Goblins would engage in!

Celebrating the Seasons

*NOTE: this site lists ancient, earth-based holidays such as those that would probably have been celebrated in Middle Earth.  The information is for accuracy of the setting of the novel and is not intended to support or challenge any religious beliefs.  http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/PaganHolidays.html

– Warfare:  Goblin war tactics are not only fierce, they are often not fair!  Examine the links below and gather information about other battles that have taken place in Middle Earth (even those not in The Hobbit).  In three two-chunk body paragraphs (you still have to write an intro and a conclusion), describe the tactics of the Goblins in three other battles in Middle Earth.

Telroth’s Tower: Middle Earth War Tactics  http://www.djcl.com/telroth/tactics3.html

Tolkien’s Middle Earth Battles  http://larsen-family.us/~1066/

– Spelunking:  Batman is not the only one who loves spelunking!  Goblins live for it!  Examine the links below and then create at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about the best places to spelunk and why.

 

Wikipedia: Spelunking  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelunking

Chimney Mountain and Eagle Cave  http://www.steuben.org/hobbies/ChimneyMountain/index.html

On-line Tour of Howe Caverns  http://www.howecaverns.com/

– Swords/Weaponry:  Goblins are also not-so-skillful makers of weapons: axes, swords, instruments of torture.  Examine the links below, and then write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about the history and process of sword and other weapon-making.

 

Sword Making   http://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs/swords_faq_index.htm

Medieval Weaponry   http://www.palos118.org/South/curriculum/team6c/midages/weaponry/index.htm

Day 4:  Riddles and Songs

Everyone in the group must do ALL of the following:

    –  In Chapter 5, Gollum and Bilbo have a riddle contest deep in the underground tunnels of Misty Mountain.  Their riddles use clues and hints to try to describe a specific thing. 

Read and, in a one-chunk paragraph, explain each of the following riddles from Bilbo and Gollum’s contest:

What has roots as nobody sees,

                         Is taller than trees,

                                  Up, up it goes,

                                  And yet never grows?

 

                         Thirty white horses on a red hill,

                                   First they champ,

                                  Then they stamp,

                         Then they stand still.

 

     –  Choose a common object and brainstorm as many qualities as you can about it.  Then, using rhyme, devise a four-lined to eight-lined riddle using the traits of the object that would stump even Bilbo! 

Looking at Riddle Formation  http://www.geocities.com/d_champions_hall/ezine/article2.htm

– Even the underground, grubby goblins aren’t beyond singing a song or two!  Re-read the songs of the goblins from The Hobbit listed below.  For each, summarize the message/central idea of the song and relate the idea to the singers.  Does each song support what we as readers know about the goblins’ character?  What does each demonstrate about them?

– Define each of the following poetic terms and use them to analyze both of the goblin songs: assonance, repetition, imagery, onomatopoeia, tone, structure, and rhyme scheme.  Demonstrate how these elements in his songs add to the characterization of the singers.

Glossary of Poetic Terms  http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display_rpo/poetterm.cfm

                     page 60-61

                                                page 106-107

Day 5:  Symbolic Objects/Tools

– Each member of your group must decide on a different specific object or tool that would best represent or support The Great Goblin’s character.  For example, in The Odyssey, Athena’s wisdom could be represented by an owl.  While the members will draw each of the symbols on one collective poster, each individual will write a two-chunk paragraph explaining why the symbol is appropriate for the Great Goblin.

Explore a World of Symbols  http://www.symbols.com/

Dictionary of Symbolism  http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/

–  Each member will select a different season of the year and write a two chunk paragraph that demonstrates how his/her particular season mirrors the journey of Bilbo Baggins.

Day 6:  Travel and Tourism: the Goblin Caves

Each member will do ONE of the following:

Your group is promoting travel and tourism for the realm of the Goblins.  Hey, you never know…Goblins have out of realm relatives, don’t they?  Your group is compiling promotional information in order to attract visitors to come and spend their gold in the Goblins’ underground town.

Each member of your group will do ONE of the following:

  –  Create an overall guidebook to The Goblin Caves that includes:

* a detailed map of the region

* enticing reasons why The Goblin Caves is the place for

anyone’s next vacation

* climate information

* transportation available

* quotations from previous visitors praising The Goblin Caves

* coupons to local attractions, restaurants, and

accommodations

–  Create a hotel brochure that includes:

* accommodations listings

* amenities

* prices

* promotional package deals

* what’s nearby to do/go to eat

– Create a restaurant menu that includes:

* appetizers, entrees, salads, soups, desserts with descriptions

* lunch/dinner specials

* background information about this family-run business

– Create a museum or recreation brochure that includes at least three “must see” attractions in The Goblin Caves.

                  * what makes each attraction so special?

* prices

* special discounts

– Create a local newspaper’s sports section that describes various sporting events available in The Goblin Caves.  Write at least one article reviewing a particular event that includes players’ names and some kinds of statistics.

 

Day 7:  The Great Goblin’s Journal

Every member of the group will do ALL of the following:

Each member of your group will create a series of journal responses for the Great Goblin.  Do not merely write your responses on lined paper or type them on a word processor… neither of these would exist in Middle Earth.  Use your imagination and create a journal that would not look out of place in the Great Goblin’s cave. 

FCAs:

1. Each response must be at least 150 words in length. 

2. Each response must contain at least three appropriately used vocabulary words from the unit.

3. Each response must create an appropriate “voice” for the Great Goblin.

Respond to each of the following:

     –  The attitude of the Great Goblin toward other creatures in general

     –  The thoughts of the Great Goblin about the creature that lives in the dark, underground lake

     –  The Great Goblin’s reaction when he first heard there were intruders in his cavern

     –  The Great Goblin’s reaction to the capture of the dwarves in their caven

     –  What might have been the Great Goblin’s journal entry if he had survived the arrival of Gandalf?

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English 9 Regents: The Hobbit WebQuest (The Elves)

Welcome members of Elrond’s group!  You will need to collaborate on each of the following to complete your web quest.

Day 1:  Characterization

Each member must complete ONE of the following for Elrond’s character:

–  A physical description of Elrond (with hand-drawn, labeled picture based on textual information)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing the basic characteristics of elves

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two positive character traits of Elrond (use parenthetical documentation)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two negative character traits of Elrond (use parenthetical documentation)

The Elves of Middle Earth  http://www.tuckborough.net/elves.html

The Encyclopedia of Arda: A Reference Guide to Tolkien    http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp?url=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/m/middleearth.html

Day 2:  Creature Features

All members of the group will do the following:

Using the links below, find out all you can about Ents.  One person in your group will illustrate an Ent based on your findings (not the same artist for the characterization!).   The remaining members will EACH write a two chunk paragraph describing the various characteristics and habits of Ents.  Make sure to consult with one another so that you have different responses! 

Encyclopedia of Arda: Ents

http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp?url=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/e/ents.html

Wikipedia: Ents  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ents

Day 3:  Specialties: Those merry creatures of the forest love music and dancing, but they are also master craftsmen.  No one stands a chance against an elven-sword!

Each member of your group will do ONE of the following:

– Celebrations: Select (or create) a holiday that would have been celebrated by Elves.  In three two-chunk paragraphs, describe the significance of the holiday as well as activities that all good Elves would engage in!

Celebrating the Seasons

*NOTE: this site lists ancient, earth-based holidays such as those that would probably have been celebrated in Middle Earth.  The information is for accuracy of the setting of the novel and is not intended to support or challenge any religious beliefs.  http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/PaganHolidays.html

– Archery:  Elves are known for their skill with a bow; even Odysseus would be envious!  After examining the links below, write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about the history of archery.

Archery    http://www.archaeolink.com/history_of_archery.htm

Archery History   http://www.archeryhistory.com/index.php

A Shot in Time: A History of Archery  http://www.centenaryarchers.gil.com.au/history.htm

     – Swords/Weaponry:  Elves are also skillful makers of beautiful, strong swords.  Thorin’s Orcrist, Gandalf’s Glamdring and even Bilbo’s Sting are all elven-made swords.  Examine the links below, and then write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about the history and process of sword-making.

Swords Making: Poof! You’re A Swordsmith!    http://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs/swords_faq_index.htm

Medieval Weaponry    http://www.palos118.org/South/curriculum/team6c/midages/weaponry/index.htm

     – Runes:  Elrond is very skillful at reading ancient runes.  Using the links below, research what runes are and how they were used as part of ancient written languages.  Then write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (yes, you need an intro and a conclusion) about the history and use of runes.

 

Runes, Alphabet of Mystery  http://www.sunnyway.com/runes/

The Runic Journey  http://www.tarahill.com/runes/

Omniglot: A Guide to Written Language  http://www.omniglot.com/writing/runic.htm

Day 4:  Riddles and Songs

Each member of the group will do ALL of the following:

–  In Chapter 5, Gollum and Bilbo have a riddle contest deep in the underground tunnels of Misty Mountain.  Their riddles use clues and hints to try to describe a specific thing.

Read and, in a one-chunk paragraph, explain each of the following riddles from Bilbo and Gollum’s contest:

Voiceless it cries,

                         Wingless flutters,

                         Toothless bites,

                         Mouthless mutters.

 

                         An eye in a blue face

                        Saw an eye in a green face.

                        “That eye is like to this eye”

                        Said the first eye,

                        “But in a low place

                         Not in a high place.”

     –  Choose a common object and brainstorm as many qualities as you can about it.  Then, using rhyme, devise a four-lined to eight-lined riddle using the traits of the object that would stump even Bilbo! 

Looking at Riddle Formation  http://www.geocities.com/d_champions_hall/ezine/article2.htm

– The elves sure love to sing!  Re-read the songs of the elves of Rivendell and the wood-elves from The Hobbit listed below.  For each, summarize the message/central idea of the song and relate the idea to the elves.  Does each song support what we as readers know about the elves’ character?  What does each demonstrate about them?

– Define each of the following poetic terms and use them to analyze both of the elves’ songs: assonance, repetition, imagery, onomatopoeia, tone, structure, and rhyme scheme.  Demonstrate how these elements in his songs add to the characterization of the singers.

Glossary of Poetic Terms  http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display_rpo/poetterm.cfm

page 48-49

                                              page 183-184

Day 5:  Symbolic Objects/Tools

– Each member of your group must decide on a different specific object or tool that would best represent or support Elrond’s character.  For example, in The Odyssey, Athena’s wisdom could be represented by an owl.  While the members will draw each of the symbols on one collective poster, each individual will write a two-chunk paragraph explaining why the symbol is appropriate for Elrond.

Explore a World of Symbols  http://www.symbols.com/

Dictionary of Symbolism  http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/

–  Each member will select a different season of the year and write a two chunk paragraph that demonstrates how his/her particular season mirrors the journey of Bilbo Baggins.

Day 6:  Travel and Tourism: Rivendell

Each member will do ONE of the following:

After returning home, Bilbo raved so much about his wonderful treatment in Rivendell that travel and tourism to and from the elven area has been booming!  Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to gain some capital, your group is compiling promotional information in order to attract visitors to come and spend their gold in Rivendell.

  –  Create an overall guidebook to Rivendell that includes:

* a detailed map of the region

* enticing reasons why Rivendell is the place for anyone’s next

vacation

* climate information

* transportation available

* quotations from previous visitors praising Rivendell

* coupons to local attractions, restaurants, and

accommodations

–  Create a hotel brochure that includes:

* accommodations listings

* amenities

* prices

* promotional package deals

* what’s nearby to do/go to eat

– Create a restaurant menu that includes:

* appetizers, entrees, salads, soups, desserts with descriptions

* lunch/dinner specials

* background information about this family-run business

– Create a museum or recreation brochure that includes at least three “must see” attractions in Rivendell.

                  * what makes each attraction so special?

* prices

* special discounts

– Create a local newspaper’s sports section that describes various sporting events available in Rivendell.  Write at least one article reviewing a particular event that includes players’ names and some kinds of statistics.

Day 7:  Elrond’s Journal

Each member will do ALL of the following:

Each member of your group will create a series of journal responses for Elrond.  Do not merely write your responses on lined paper or type them on a word processor… neither of these would exist in Middle Earth.  Use your imagination and create a journal that would not look out of place in Elrond’s home. 

FCAs:

1. Each response must be at least 150 words in length. 

2. Each response must contain at least three appropriately used vocabulary words from the unit.

3. Each response must create an appropriate “voice” for Elrond.

Respond to each of the following:

     –  Elrond’s reaction to the arrival of the company in Rivendell

     –  Elrond’s thoughts about the moon runes

     –  Elrond’s view of the ancient conflict between the elves and the dwarves

     –  Elrond’s reaction after the company leaves Rivendell for Lonely Mountain

     –  Elrond’s reaction to the changes in Bilbo after the journey 

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English 9 Regents: The Hobbit WebQuest (The Dwarves)

Welcome members of Thorin Oakenshield’s group!  You will need to collaborate on each of the following to complete your web quest.

Day 1:  Characterization

Each member must complete ONE of the following for Thorin Oakenshiled’s character:

–  A physical description of Thorin Oakenshield (with hand-drawn, labeled picture based on textual information)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing the basic characteristics of dwarves

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two positive character traits of Thorin Oakenshield (use parenthetical documentation)

–  A two chunk paragraph with textual support describing two negative character traits of Thorin Oakenshield (use parenthetical documentation)

Thorin Oakenshield  http://www.tuckborough.net/thorin.html

The Encyclopedia of Arda: A reference Guide to the Words of Tolkien   http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp?url=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/d/dwarves.html

Dwarves  http://tolkienics.com/tolkien/dwarves.htm

Day 2:  Creature Features

All members of the group will do the following:

Using the links below, find out all you can about Trolls.  One person in your group will illustrate a troll based on your findings (not the same artist for the characterization!).   The remaining members will EACH write a two chunk paragraph describing the various characteristics and habits of Trolls.  Make sure to consult with one another so that you have different responses! 

Encyclopedia of Arda: Trolls

http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.asp?url=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/t/trolls.html

The Grey Havens: The Origins of Trolls  http://tolkien.cro.net/else/trolls.html

Day 3:  Specialties: Ah, those hard working dwarves!  Although they can be a little gruff around the edges, they create some of the most beautiful objects with the gemstones they mine and through their skillful metalworking. 

Each member will complete ONE of the following activities:

– Celebrations: Select (or create) a holiday that would have been celebrated by Dwarves.  In at least three two-chunk paragraphs, describe the significance of the holiday as well as activities that all good Dwarves would engage in!

Celebrating the Seasons

*NOTE: this site lists ancient, earth-based holidays such as those that would probably have been celebrated in Middle Earth.  The information is for accuracy of the setting of the novel and is not intended to support or challenge any religious beliefs.  http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/PaganHolidays.html

– Map Making:  Fortunately for the company, Thorin had a map to get them to Lonely Mountain, complete with clues about how to get inside.  Examine the links below and then write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about the history of map making and what goes into making an accurate map.

Fantasy Maps: Map Making  http://www.fantasymaps.com/101/

The Mathematics of Cartography http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/pres/map/maphis.html

Map Making for Gamers   http://www.profantasy.com/

     – Gem Stones:  Dwarves are known for their mining skills and their knowledge of precious gems.  Look at the links below and then write at least three two-chunk body paragraphs (do not forget an intro and a conclusion) about gemstone mining and the symbolic significance of two types of gems that might have been mined by the dwarves.

Mineral Miners  http://www.mineralminers.com/

Gemstone Symbolism  http://www.jewellers.net/gemstone_varieties.htm

     – Metal Working:  Not only are the dwarves excellent miners, they create beautiful metal works!  Examine the links below and then write at least three two-chunk paragraphs (don’t forget an intro and a conclusion) about early metal working and what jobs that the dwarves might find today with these skills.

Metalworking Career Guide  http://www.khake.com/page29.html

The Bronze Age: A Guide to Early Metalworking http://www.templeresearch.eclipse.co.uk/bronze/intro.htm

Early History of Metalworking http://www.dartfordarchive.org.uk/early_modern/industry_me.shtml

Day 4:  Riddles and Songs

Each member of the group will do ALL of the following:

–  In Chapter 5, Gollum and Bilbo have a riddle contest deep in the underground tunnels of Misty Mountain.  Their riddles use clues and hints to try to describe a specific thing.

Read and, in a one-chunk paragraph, explain each of the following riddles from Bilbo and Gollum’s contest:

It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,

                         Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.

                         It lies behind stars and under hills,

                                            And empty holes it fills.

                         It comes first and follows after,

                                          Ends life, kills laughter.

Alive without breath,

                        As cold as death;

                        Never thirsty, ever drinking,

                        All in mail never clinking.

     –  Choose a common object and brainstorm as many qualities as you can about it.  Then, using rhyme, devise a four-lined to eight-lined riddle using the traits of the object that would stump even Bilbo! 

Looking at Riddle Formation  http://www.geocities.com/d_champions_hall/ezine/article2.htm

– The dwarves certainly love to sing!  Re-read the songs of the dwarves from The Hobbit listed below.  For each, summarize the message/central idea of the song and relate the idea to the dwarves.  Does each song support what we as readers know about the dwarves’ characters?  What does each demonstrate about them?

– Define each of the following poetic terms and use them to analyze both the dwarves’ songs: assonance, repetition, imagery, onomatopoeia, tone, structure, and rhyme scheme.  Demonstrate how these elements in his songs add to the characterization of the dwarves.

Glossary of Poetic Terms  http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/display_rpo/poetterm.cfm

           page 14-15             at Bilbo’s house

                                   page 263-264        before the battle

Day 5:  Symbolic Objects/Tools

– Each member of your group must decide on a different specific object or tool that would best represent or support Thorin Oakenshield’s character.  For example, in The Odyssey, Athena’s wisdom could be represented by an owl.  While the members will draw each of the symbols on one collective poster, each individual will write a two-chunk paragraph explaining why the symbol is appropriate for Thorin.

Explore a World of Symbols  http://www.symbols.com/

Dictionary of Symbolism  http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/

–  Each member will select a different season of the year and write a two chunk paragraph that demonstrates how his/her particular season mirrors the journey of Bilbo Baggins.

Day 6:  Travel and Tourism: Lonely Mountain

Each member will do ONE of the following:

Now that the dwarves have reclaimed Lonely Mountain from Smaug, travel and tourism to and from The Lonely Mountain and nearby Laketown has been booming!  Your group is compiling promotional information (including re-naming Lonely Mountain to something more pleasant and dwarf-ish) in order to attract visitors to come and spend their gold in the area.

  –  Create an overall guidebook to Lonely Mountain that includes:

* a detailed map of the region

* enticing reasons why the Lonely Mountain area is the place

for anyone’s next vacation

* climate information

* transportation available

* quotations from previous visitors praising The Lonely Mountain

area

* coupons to local attractions, restaurants, and

accommodations

–  Create a hotel brochure that includes:

* accommodations listings

* amenities

* prices

* promotional package deals

* what’s nearby to do/go to eat

– Create a restaurant menu that includes:

* appetizers, entrees, salads, soups, desserts with descriptions

* lunch/dinner specials

* background information about this family-run business

– Create a museum or recreation brochure that includes at least three “must see” attractions in Lonely Mountain and Laketown.

                  * what makes each attraction so special?

* prices

* special discounts

– Create a local newspaper’s sports section that describes various sporting events available in The Lonely Mountain and Laketown areas.  Write at least one article reviewing a particular event that includes players’ names and some kinds of statistics.

Day 7:  Thorin’s Journal

Each member will do ALL of the following:

Each member of your group will create a series of journal responses for Thorin Oakenshield.  Do not merely write your responses on lined paper or type them on a word processor… neither of these would exist in Middle Earth.  Use your imagination and create a journal that would not look out of place in Thorin’s home. 

FCAs:

1. Each response must be at least 150 words in length. 

2. Each response must contain at least three appropriately used vocabulary words from the unit.

3. Each response must create an appropriate “voice” for Thorin.

Respond to each of the following:

     –  Thorin’s reaction to Gandalf’s recommendation of Bilbo as a burgler

     –  Thorin’s reaction after meeting Bilbo and preparing to leave on the journey

     –  Thorin’s thoughts while in the Elvenking’s dungeon

     –  Thorin’s search for the Arkenstone

     –  Thorin’s deathbed journal entry (final thoughts)

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