English 9 possible journal topics
A. “American History” – 1 pg. ONLY CHOOSE ONE OPTION TO WRITE YOUR PAGE ON. Write a letter from the
character you choose below and the corresponding character that goes along with the one you chose. In the letter,
explain 1 – why you acted like you did in the story, 2 – how you felt about the way that person acted, but also the
reasons that you know that person acted that way, 3 – what you wish could be different or what you could change
between the two of you, 4 – what you appreciate and are thankful for.
Elena to her mother
Elena’s mother to Elena
Elena to Eugene
Eugene to Elena
Students to gym teacher (Mr. DePalma)
Mr. DePalma to students
B. Discuss the internal conflicts of various characters in at least 3 different stories and explain how they turn out.
C. “The Scarlet Ibis”/ What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? - A. Discuss how we see the following themes in both:
1. overcoming disappointment
2. the good and bad sides of pride
3. the positive and negative force of family in our lives
4. the frustration and beauty of living with a disabled individual
B. Then, compare the two stories discussing at least 3 things that are similar.
C. What did you like best about both?
D. Odyssey journal 1 – The “journey” is a rich metaphor for life. Think of its many aspects; maps or guides; dangers
along the way; chance discoveries; paying for the trip; arriving; returning. Write about how you could see your life as a
journey so far. If you feel that you’ve worked especially hard for something, you might tell about how you had to get
there. If you prefer, don’t write about your life so far, but instead, where you see it going and the journeys you hope to
take to get there.
E. Odyssey text and movie: What aspects did you like better in the movie than in the book? Which did you like better
from the book? Discuss aspects that you disliked from both and explain why as well. What were three comparisons
and three contrasts between the two?
F. Odyssey text/O Brother Where Art Thou?—There are similar themes of searching for the purpose in one’s life as
well as the importance of family and perseverance in Homer’s The Odyssey and the movie O Brother Where Art
Thou?. Using specific events and details from both texts, discuss these similar themes.
G. Ender’s Game journal 1 – If you were Ender, what parts of his society would you enjoy and what would you dislike?
List at least 3 different examples in your discussion of each.
H. Ender’s Game journal 2 – Discuss at least 3 ways in which our lives and world are similar and at least 3 ways in
which they are different from those in the novel.
I. Dead Poet’s Society – (The importance of poetry and writing in life) – How important does poetry/words become for
the characters in the movie? Discuss how at least three different characters respond differently to poetry/written word.
What importance does the movie suggest that poetry or words could have in your own life? Does it? Why/why not?
J. Pigman 1 – Which character do you like better and why? Discuss 5 things about the one you like and 5 things
about one character that you like less. Who do you think you’re more like if you had to pick? Why? How?
K. Pigman 2 – Discuss how the three themes (listed below) show up in the novel – give 2 specific examples from the
story for each:
- relationships between the young and the old
- the values of friendship
- the importance of respect
L. The Pigman/On Golden Pond – After viewing the film, think about the many similarities that can be drawn between
the two groups of characters and their experiences. Reflect on at least 3 similar situations or experiences that they go
through. Also, discuss at least three similar themes that these two stories address and give examples from both that
demonstrate the ones you discuss.
M. The Bean Trees 1 – Pick 1 – 2 characters that you feel you relate to the most; explain characteristics and
experiences they’ve had that you understand or feel too. Pick at least three examples to discuss for each character
and explain why.
N. The Bean Trees 2 – Choose 2 – 3 titles from the chapters we’ve read and discuss their importance in the novel –
what the title means and how it relates to what you’ve read.
O. The Bean Trees 3 – Pick at least 3 different themes from the novel and discuss how each one shows up
throughout the story with specific examples.
P.The Bean Trees/Where the Heart is – After viewing the film, think about the many similarities that can be drawn
between the two groups of characters and their experiences. Reflect on at least 3 similar situations or experiences
that they go through. Also, discuss at least three similar themes that these two stories address and give examples
from both that demonstrate the ones you discuss.
Q. Romeo and Juliet drama and movie—What are some important contrasts between the 2 versions (drama and
movie)? What and whom did you imagine differently? EXPLAIN. What/whom was depicted as you imagined?
R. Lord of the Flies 1—Consider and discuss the details given for the main characters introduced thus far: Ralph,
Jack, Piggy, and Simon. Discuss your initial responses to them: what kinds of roles do you suspect each will play as
the novel unfolds and how do you feel about each? Why?
S. Lord of the Flies 2—Discuss the significance and meaning of both quotes in relation to life and the novel: 1. (Ch 1
pg 27/29/31) “flash of knife at the end o f a long arm. The pause was only long enough for them to understand what
an enormity the downward stroke would be.” 2. (Ch 8 pg 130/133/143) “Fancy thinking the beast was something you
could hunt and kill…I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it no go? Why things are what they are.”
T. Lord of the Flies text and movie—What are AT LEAST THREE important contrasts between the 2 versions? What
and when did you imagine differently? EXPLAIN. What/whom was depicted like you had imagined? EXPLAIN.
U. To Kill a Mockingbird 1—Using specific characters and incidents, discuss the author’s focus in the novel on the
issue of hypocrisy.
V. To Kill a Mockingbird 2—One recurring type of external conflict in works of fiction is Man vs. Man; that is, a conflict
which pits one character against another due to opposing views. Discuss Atticus vs. the townspeople of Maycomb as
an example of Man vs. Man conflict.
W. Great Expectations 1—Explain the main reasons that Pip aspires for great expectations. What causes bring this
behavior about—analyze each and discuss whether it should have had such an effect on Pip in your opinion.
DISCUSS AT LEAST THREE!
X. Great Expectations 2—Explain the various other characters’ great expectations in the novel (AT LEAST 3 OTHERS
BESIDES PIP). Discuss the positive and negative effects that these have or the effects that come about because of
Y. Great Expectations movie—Consider various aspects concerning the production of the film (AT LEAST 3). How did
each aspect work to portray a certain theme from the novel?
Z. A Separate Peace—(pg 157) “above us in Latin flowed the inscription, ‘Here boys come to be made men.’ “
According to he quotation, what does it involve to make a person into an adult? What do you think it involves in order
for a person to grow up and why? How does this apply to the novel—who had to grow up and what did it take for this