Literature and Composition Summer Curriculum

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Literature and Composition Summer Curriculum Powered By Docstoc
					                         Literature and Composition
                       Valley Southwoods Freshman High School
                               Summer Curriculum
Spring 2009

Dear Student,

Congratulations on meeting the requirements for the Literature and
Composition course at Valley Southwoods! You will find the curriculum covered in this class to
be both challenging and stimulating. Since this class is a part of the Accelerated Pathways
program and you will receive credit for both Language and Literature and Fundamentals of
Writing by taking this one year-long course, teachers will move at a rigorous pace.

The first expectation of this course is that you will complete some independent work over the
summer. This includes several readings with related assignments, a journaling assignment,
writing an essay about yourself, and keeping a list of the other books you read this summer
(between 5-10 recommended). All of this work will be due on the first day of school. You will
also find a listing of Literary Terms in this packet. Please study these terms and try to
incorporate some of the language in your journal responses. Your teachers will use these terms
frequently throughout the school year.

                                             (short story by James Hurst—see additional
                                             handout and assignment attached here)
                                             (novel—copies available for checkout or you
                                             may purchase your own; assignment attached)
                                             (assignment attached)
                                             (assignment attached)
                                             (assignment attached)

If you lose this assignment packet, or if you want to use this document as a template for your
own electronic file, you can access it on the school website at
Then, click on the Literature and Composition link to find this document.

The novel and materials will be available at Valley Southwoods at 3:30 on May 5 and May 6.
After those dates, you may pick up the materials from the main office. Please bring your To Kill
a Mockingbird book and the completed assignments with you to school in the Fall.

The Summer Curriculum will be collected on the first day of school. Please note that these
materials and others will be the basis of the curriculum for this course during the first few weeks
of school. Also, be prepared for a To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM) QUIZ in your Literature and
Composition class during the first week of school. We strongly suggest that you read To Kill a
Mockingbird in the latter part of the summer since we will discuss it and complete related
assignments in September. If you read it too early, you may forget some of the details. If you
check out a book from the school, you will eventually return it in mid-September. Please see the
schedule below for an idea of what we will be covering on the first few days of the school year.

If you have further questions about completing this assignment, please call Mr. Kent
Abrahamson, Principal, at Valley Southwoods. Phone: 633-4500.

We look forward to working with you next year!

Valley Southwoods Literature and Composition teachers,
Mrs. Carroll, Mrs. Hingl, and Mrs. Wicks


Literature and Composition
2009-10 First Days of School
Predicted Schedule (may vary slightly)

Thurs. 8/20             Welcome
                        Course Information
                        Summer Reading and Journal Assignments Due
                        “All About Me” Essay Due
                        Book List Due

Other possible          TKAM Quiz
activities during       Introduction to Socratic Seminar
the 1st weeks of        Write 10 Socratic Seminar questions and discuss
school:                 Review the Writing Process
                        Review Thesis Statements
                        Understand “The Six Traits of Writing”
                        TKAM Essay Assignment
                        Other TKAM extension activities
                        A Literary Terms Quiz

Section A: The Scarlet Ibis, a short story by James
The Scarlet Ibis is a very touching story about two brothers growing up in the South during
WWI. The younger brother, Doodle, is handicapped and takes an interest in a rare bird. After
reading the story, please complete the questions and activities here. Some of these activities
focus on the literary concepts of symbolism, tone, and diction. These activities will give you a
sense of the rigor we will use in the Literature and Composition class during the year.

The Scarlet Ibis, Part I
                                    Understanding and Interpreting

After reading the story, answer each of the following questions.
   1.   What is the setting of The Scarlet Ibis? Distinguish between the geographic setting, the cultural setting,
        and historical setting of the story. What clues helped you determine the setting?

   2.   What was Doodle’s condition when he was born?

   3.   Explain the statement, “They named his William Armstrong, which was like tying a big tail on a small
        kite.” Why was renaming him Doodle “the kindest thing” the narrator ever did for his brother?

   4.   What motivated the narrator to teach Doodle to walk? Would Doodle have been just as happy not walking?

   5.   Explain the following statement made by the narrator: “…pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that
        bears two vines, life and death.” How can pride be both good and bad?

   6.   What did Doodle’s “lies” consist of? What do you think this represented for Doodle?

   7.   How did the scarlet ibis’s death mirror Doodles?

    8.    This story is told by the narrator as a memory. How do you think the narrator feels about the circumstances
          of Doodle’s death as an adult? Why is it symbolic that the narrator has the strongest memories in late

    9.    Reread the first paragraph of the story. What words foreshadow Doodle’s death? How would you describe
          the tone of the story?

The Scarlet Ibis, Part II
                                       Literary Focus: Symbolism
Symbolism is a literary technique in which things like colors, numbers, objects, or names represent something other
than what they actually are. Symbols found in literature usually represent abstract concepts such as “freedom.”

Universal symbols are symbols that nearly everyone in the world can relate to. For example, the no
cell phones sign is recognized universally.

Local symbols, however, is recognized only be certain groups of people. For example, a team mascot dressed in
school colors is immediately recognized by students from that school, but it is not meaningful to
someone from another country.

Complete the following chart to categorize the types of symbols found in The Scarlet Ibis:

Symbol                         Examples from the         Abstract Concept it            Universal or Local
                               Story:                    Represents:                    Symbol? Why?


                               1.) Doodle’s “lies”       1.) Freedom                    1.) Local—this dream only
Birds                          about peacocks                                           had meaning to Doodle and
                                                                                        his brother
                               2.) The scarlet ibis


The Scarlet Ibis, Part III

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              “It was in the clove of seasons, summer was dead but autumn had not yet been

    born, that the ibis lit in the bleeding tree. The flower garden was stained with rotting

    brown magnolia petals, and ironweeds grew rank amid the purple phlox. The five

    o’clocks by the chimney still marked time, but the oriole nest in the elm was untenanted

    and rocked back and forth like an empty cradle. The last graveyard flowers were

    blooming, and their smell drifted across the cotton field and through every room of our

    house, speaking softly the names of our dead.”

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         “It was in the clove of seasons, summer was dead but autumn had not yet been born, that the ibis lit in the
bleeding tree. The flower garden was stained with rotting brown magnolia petals, and ironweeds grew rank amid
the purple phlox. The five o’clocks by the chimney still marked time, but the oriole nest in the elm was untenanted
and rocked back and forth like an empty cradle. The last graveyard flowers were blooming, and their smell drifted
across the cotton field and through every room of our house, speaking softly the names of our dead.”

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Section B: Understanding the Context of the Novel
--Read the “What Was Jim Crow” article by Dr. David Pilgrim
Background Information: The novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a literary
classic that addresses issues of racism, poverty, and intolerance. It offers messages of hope,
acceptance, justice, and courage. The novel is set in the fictitious town of Maycomb, Alabama,
during the time of the Great Depression.

Directions: In order to better understand the social and historical context of the novel, please
read an excerpt from the article on Jim Crow Laws found in the supplemental reading packet.

         For further learning on this subject, an excellent website is:

                                               What Was Jim Crow?

Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and
border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-Black laws. It was a
way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens. All major
societal institutions reflected and supported the oppression of Blacks.

The Jim Crow system was based on the following beliefs or rationalizations: Whites were superior to Blacks in
all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; treating Blacks as
equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged
interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep Blacks at the bottom of the racial
hierarchy. The following Jim Crow etiquette norms show how inclusive and pervasive these norms were:

         a.   A Black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a White male because it implied
              being socially equal. Obviously, a Black male could not offer his hand or any other part of his
              body to a White woman, because he risked being accused of rape.

         b.   Blacks and Whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, Whites were to be
              served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them.

         c.   Under no circumstance was a Black male to offer to light the cigarette of a White female -- that
              gesture implied intimacy.

         d.   Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially kissing,
              because it offended Whites.

         e.   Jim Crow etiquette prescribed that Blacks were introduced to Whites, never Whites to Blacks. For
              example: "Mr. Peters (the White person), this is Charlie (the Black person), that I spoke to you

         f.   Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to Blacks, for example, Mr., Mrs.,
              Miss., Sir, or Ma' Instead, Blacks were called by their first names. Blacks had to use courtesy
              titles when referring to Whites, and were not allowed to call them by their first names.

         g.   If a Black person rode in a car driven by a White person, the Black person sat in the back seat, or
              the back of a truck.

         h.   White motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections.

Stetson Kennedy, the author of Jim Crow Guide, offered these simple rules that Blacks were supposed to
observe in conversing with Whites:

         1.   Never assert or even intimate that a White person is lying.

         2.   Never impute dishonorable intentions to a White person.

         3.   Never suggest that a White person is from an inferior class.

         4.   Never lay claim to, or overly demonstrate, superior knowledge or intelligence.

         5.   Never curse a White person.

         6.   Never laugh derisively at a White person.

         7.   Never comment upon the appearance of a White female.

Jim Crow states passed statutes severely regulating social interactions between the races. Jim Crow signs were
placed above water fountains, door entrances and exits, and in front of public facilities. There were separate
hospitals for Blacks and Whites, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate
cemeteries, separate public restrooms, and separate public accommodations. In most instances, the Black facilities
were grossly inferior -- generally, older, less-well-kept. In other cases, there were no Black facilities -- no Colored
public restroom, no public beach, no place to sit or eat.

Jim Crow laws touched every aspect of everyday life. For example, in 1935, Oklahoma prohibited Blacks and
Whites from boating together. Boating implied social equality. In 1905, Georgia established separate parks for
Blacks and Whites. In 1930, Birmingham, Alabama, made it illegal for Blacks and Whites to play checkers or
dominoes together. Here are some of the typical Jim Crow laws, as compiled by the Martin Luther King, Jr.,
National Historic Site Interpretive Staff:

              Barbers. No colored barber shall serve as a barber (to) white girls or women (Georgia).

              Blind Wards. The board of trustees shall...maintain a separate building...on separate ground for the
              admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black race (Louisiana).

              Burial. The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground
              set apart or used for the burial of white persons (Georgia).

              Buses. All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have
              separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races

              Child Custody. It shall be unlawful for any parent, relative, or other white person in this State, having
              the control or custody of any white child, by right of guardianship, natural or acquired, or otherwise, to
              dispose of, give or surrender such white child permanently into the custody, control, maintenance, or
              support, of a negro (South Carolina).

              Education. The schools for white children and the schools for Negro children shall be conducted
              separately (Florida).

              Libraries. The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the
              colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals (North

              Mental Hospitals. The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are arranged for
              said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together (Georgia).

             Nurses. No person or corporation shall require any White female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in
             hospitals, either public or private, in which Negro men are placed (Alabama).

             Prisons. The warden shall see that the white convicts shall have separate apartments for both eating
             and sleeping from the Negro convicts (Mississippi).

             Teaching. Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where members of the
             white and colored race are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction shall be deemed guilty of a
             misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined... (Oklahoma).

The Jim Crow laws and system of etiquette were undergirded by violence, real and threatened. Blacks who
violated Jim Crow norms, for example, drinking from the White water fountain or trying to vote, risked their homes,
their jobs, even their lives. Whites could physically beat Blacks with impunity. Blacks had little legal recourse
against these assaults because the Jim Crow criminal justice system was all-White: police, prosecutors, judges,
juries, and prison officials. Violence was instrumental for Jim Crow. It was a method of social control. The most
extreme forms of Jim Crow violence were lynchings.

Lynchings were public murders carried out by mobs. Between 1882, when the first reliable data were collected, and
1968, when lynchings had become rare, there were 4,730 known lynchings, including 3,440 Black men and women.
Most of the victims of Lynch-Law were hanged or shot, but some were burned at the stake, beaten with clubs, or
dismembered. In the mid-1800s, Whites constituted the majority of victims (and perpetrators); however, by the
period of Radical Reconstruction, Blacks became the most frequent lynching victims. This is an early indication that
lynching was used as an intimidation tool to keep Blacks, in this case the newly-freedmen, "in their places." The
great majority of lynchings occurred in southern and border states, where the resentment against Blacks ran deepest.
Most Blacks were lynched for demanding civil rights, violating Jim Crow etiquette or laws, or in the aftermath of
race riots.

Lynchings were most common in small and middle-sized towns where Blacks often were economic competitors to
the local Whites. These Whites resented any economic and political gains made by Blacks. Lynchers were seldomly
arrested, and if arrested, rarely convicted. Raper estimated that "at least one-half of the lynchings are carried out
with police officers participating, and that in nine-tenths of the others the officers either condone or wink at the mob
action." Lynching served many purposes: it was cheap entertainment; it served as a rallying, uniting point for
Whites; it functioned as an ego-massage for low-income, low-status Whites; it was a method of defending White
domination and helped stop the fledgling social equality movement.

Many Blacks resisted the indignities of Jim Crow, and, far too often, they paid for their bravery with their lives.

by Dr. David Pilgrim, Professor of Sociology; Ferris State University; Sept., 2000

Section C: To Kill a Mockingbird
Directions: After reading the What Was Jim Crow? article, please read the novel, To Kill a
Mockingbird. The attached study guide is simply to guide you through the reading process and
help you prepare for the TKAM Quiz that you will take when you start school.

**Attention: Please do not watch the To Kill a Mockingbird movie on your own. We will be
completing a video study and discussion involving the classic movie in class in September.

**Also, it may be better to read To Kill a Mockingbird in mid-to-late
summer (rather than right away this spring), since the novel will be the
focus of the class during the first few weeks. We want you to be
successful on the discussions, quizzes, and assignments; we don’t want
you to forget all of the details.

                                        STUDY GUIDE
                              To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
                                         Literature and Composition

Ch. 1-2
1. What did the children know about the Radley’s family history?

2. Why did Scout get into trouble with her teacher on the first day of school? How does this incident add
to her credibility as a narrator?

Ch. 3-5
3. What is the significance of Scout’s school experience? Read the following quotation before
    “First of all,” he said,” If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all
    kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of
    view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” chapter 3, page 30

4. What did Jem and Scout find in the knot-hole of the oak tree? Who do you think put the objects there?

5. What is Miss Maudie like? What is her theory on why Boo Radley is the way he is?

Ch. 6-8
6. Why was Jem bothered by the cement they found in the knot-hole of the oak? How did you know he
was upset?

7. How did Miss Maudie handle her house burning down? (chapter 8, page 73)

8. Where did the blanket come from?

Ch. 9-10
9. What reason did Atticus give Scout for the fact that he was defending a black man?

10. How did Scout get into trouble on Christmas at her Aunt Alexandra’s house? How did her uncle
handle things? What does this show you about him?(chapter 9, pages 85-86)

11. Read the following quotations from chapter 9 and answer the questions that follow:
“You just hold your head up high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you,
don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.” -Atticus Finch, p. 76.
What happened in the story to make Atticus say this?

“Simply because we’re licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to
– Atticus Finch p. 76.
Who is Atticus talking to? Why does he say this?

“This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no
matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.”
-Atticus Finch, p. 76.
Do you agree? No matter what, are they still their friends? What do these words tell you about Atticus?

“I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without
catching Maycomb’s usual disease. Why reasonable people go stark-raving mad when anything
involving a Negro comes up is something I don’t pretend to understand…” – Atticus Finch, P. 88.
What is “Maycomb’s disease?”

12. According to Atticus, it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Why? (page 90)

13. Jem and Scout were somewhat disappointed in Atticus because he wasn’t athletic like some fathers.
What happened to change their minds? Why hadn’t Atticus revealed that skill earlier? Consider the
quotations below before answering.

“Marksmanship’s a gift of God, a talent – oh, you have to practice to make it perfect, but shootin’s
different from playing piano and the like. I think maybe he put his gun down when he realized that
God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things. I guess he decided he wouldn’t shoot
until he had to, and he had to today.” –Miss Maudie, p. 98.

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” – Miss Maudie, p. 98.

Ch. 11
14. What did Atticus mean when he said the “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a
person’s conscience”? (page 105)

15. Read page 108 again carefully (chapter 11). According to Atticus, what kind of person uses the word
“n- lover?”

16. What did Jem do to Mrs. Dubose? Why?

17. How was Jem punished? What did he learn about Mrs. Dubose? What did he learn about himself?

18. Read the quotations below from chapter 11 and respond to the questions that follow.
“…but sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the
chips are down.” –Atticus Finch, p. 104
What would our conduct, when the chips are down, reveal about each of us?

“…it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how
poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.” – Atticus Finch, p. 108.
What happened in the story to bring about this response by Atticus?

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a
gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you
see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” -Atticus Finch, p. 112.
Who demonstrated the courage Atticus describes?

Ch. 12-14
19. Why did Cal take extra care going over the children’s clothes before going to her church? How were
Jem and Scout treated there? Who is Lula? (page 119, chapter 12)

20. Describe the “caste system” in Maycomb. (page 131, chapter 13)

21. Dill had a wild story about why he had run away from home. What was it? What was the real
reason? (pages 142-143, chapter 14)

Ch. 15-16
22. What effect did Scout have on the mob?

23.Why did so many people dislike Dolphus Raymond?

Ch. 17
24. How did Atticus establish the fact that Mr. Ewell was left-handed? Why do you suppose that fact is

25. What was Mr. Ewell’s attitude while he was testifying? Considering his background, why did he act
this way? (read page 170)

26. Why is it ironic that Bob testifies (page 175) “I’ve asked this county for fifteen years to clean out that
nest (black neighborhood) down yonder, they’re dangerous to live around ‘sides devaulin’ my property-“?

Ch. 18
27. Of what does Mayella accuse Tom? What is her version of what happened? What is her attitude
toward everyone in the courtroom?

Ch. 19-21
28. What was wrong with Tom’s left arm?

29. What was Tom’s version of what happened with Mayella?

30. Why did Mr. Dolphus Raymond pretend to be drunk?

31. Why did Mr. Raymond share his secret with the children? (page 200-201 chapter 20)

32. Before the verdict, Reverend Sykes told Jem not to be confident his father would win. Why didn’t the
Reverend expect Atticus to win?

33. Why was Dill crying?

34. According to Atticus, what is the “evil assumption” people make about black people?(page 204,
chapter 20)

35. What was the verdict? How did Jem react?

Ch. 22-24
36. How did Bob Ewell threaten Atticus? Why?

37. What is Atticus’ definition of “trash”? (page 220-221, chapter 23)

38. Aunt Alexandra won’t allow Scout to invite Walter Cunningham to the house because she says he is
trash. Would Atticus consider him trash? Why or why not?

39. At the end of chapter 23, Jem is trying to make sense of the different kinds of “folks” he has observed
in Maycomb. He divided them into four categories. Scout says, “Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind
of folks. Folks.” Do you agree with Jem or Scout?

40. Why does Jem think Boo Radley wants to stay inside his house?

41.How did Tom get shot?

42. What is hypocritical about the ladies'attitude toward the natives (Mrunas)?

43. At the tea, what was it that Aunty was silently thanking Miss Maudie for? (page 233,
    chapter 24)

Ch. 25-28
44. At school, Scout' class talked about Hitler. Why did Miss Gates'lesson about prejudice confuse
Scout? (page 247, chapter 26) Why is this hypocritical?

45. What happened to terrify Scout and Jem on their way home?

Ch. 29-31
46. How did Bob Ewell die?

47. Actually, Mr. Tate made up the story about Ewell falling on his knife to protect someone else.

48. What did Scout mean when she said, “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?”
(page 276, chapter 30)

49. As Scout looked out from the Radley porch, she regretted that the children never gave Boo anything
in return for his gifts. Actually, they did give Boo something. What?

50. Re-read the last page of the book. Atticus tells Scout most people are nice when
    you finally see them. This is a very optimistic ending. Does this surprise you?

After completing the novel:
51. Who changes the most in the story? Describe some of the changes.

52. Who was responsible for Tom Robinson' death?

53. Do you think the author, Harper Lee, hates the South? Why?

54. What does the mockingbird symbolize?

55. What did you learn from this book?

Extension (optional): Conduct some research on the author to discover Harper Lee’s personal
    history, other literary works, accolades in the literary world, and so on.

Be prepared to discuss this book in class! You will be assessed on your
understanding of the plot, knowledge of the characters, and literary
element analysis, including setting, irony, mood, and so on.

Section D: Journal
Directions: Consider all of the reading you have completed for this class. Please type your
responses to the following prompts and bring them to class on the first day of school.
Elaborate as much as you feel is necessary to answer the questions. You may want to
access these questions from the link on the district website and just copy and paste them
into a your own document.

(Note: There are no specific length or style requirements for this journal, other than typing it. Most of what
you write here will be your personal reactions to your reading. However, your teachers will ask you to go
back and reflect upon your journal early in the school year, so it’s a good idea to be thoughtful and thorough
in your responses. Please try to incorporate some of the Literary Terms from the attached list in your
responses, also.)

Journal Questions:
1.) What is your personal reaction to the information presented in the What Was Jim Crow?

2.) After reading the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, what are your thoughts about the novel in
general? (You may consider discussing Harper Lee’s writing style, the social issues found in the
novel (poverty, racism, intolerance, etc.), the ideas of justice, family, heroes, and so forth, or
anything else that comes to mind.)

3.) What connections can you make between The Scarlet Ibis and To Kill a Mockingbird?

Section E: Book List
Directions: Please keep a typed list of the books you read during the summer. We
recommend that you read at least 5-10 books, preferably college-bound selections. Just
record the title, author, and number of pages. If you need some ideas for “good reads” or
recommended reading, the following websites may be helpful.

Title                                                      Author                             # of pages___

(Please set up your list with these categories.)

Section F: “All About Me” Intro Essay Assignment

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                       “All About Me” Essay Rubric

Writing Trait                  0-2 pts.                         3-4 pts.                       5 pts.
IDEAS                   --Ideas are not clear or       --Ideas are generally clear    --Ideas are unique, clear,
                        logical                        and logical, but may not       and logical
                        --Thesis and topic             offer anything very unique     --Ideas are presented with
                        sentences are missing or       --Thesis and topic             a thesis and topic sentence
                        do not support focus the       sentences are present, but     --Ideas are supported by
                        essay                          could offer more focus         specific details
                        --Little or not support is     --Ideas are supported with     --Ideas clarify the message
                        given for ideas                details                        and focus the overall essay
ORGANIZATION            --Essay does not have          --Essay is organized with      --Essay is organized with
                        clearly defined                an introduction, body          an introduction, body
                        introduction, body             paragraphs, and a              paragraphs, and a
                        paragraphs, or conclusion      conclusion, but lacks          conclusion
                        --Reader is not drawn into     development                    --Introduction draws the
                        the body                       --Introduction may not         the reader into the body of
                        --Body paragraphs are          draw in the reader             the text
                        disorganized, jumping          --Body paragraphs may be       --Paragraphs contain
                        from topic to topic            a bit disorganized             information that supports
                        --Conclusion is weak or        --Conclusion does not give     the topic sentence and
                        missing                        the essay a “finished feel”    does not stray from the
                                                                                      --Conclusion give the
                                                                                      essay a “finished feel”
CONVENTIONS             --Multiple errors in           --Grammar, usage,              --Grammar, usage,
                        grammar, usage, spelling,      spelling, and punctuation      spelling, and punctuation
                        and punctuation                are not consistently correct   are nearly perfect and
                        --Errors distract the reader   --Errors somewhat distract     demonstrate a clear
                        so much that it takes away     the reader                     mastery of conventions of
                        from the content of the                                       English
SENTENCE FLUENCY        --The essay is choppy          --The essay is generally       --The essay reads in a
                        rather than smooth             smooth                         smooth manner
                        --Little or not variety in     --Some variety in sentence     --Sentence lengths vary
                        sentence length,               lengths and complexity,        and are often complex,
                        complexity, or sentence        but at time, choppy or         without being too wordy
                        beginnings                     wordy                          --There is variety in the
                        --Fragments or run-ons are     --Little variety in sentence   beginnings of sentences
                        found                          beginnings
VOICE                   --No real voice comes          --The writer’s voice           --The writer’s voice comes
                        through the writing            somewhat comes through         through in a strong, clear
                        --Information or style is      --The essay may sound to       manner
                        immature or inappropriate      immature or too technical      --The essay is personal,
                                                                                      yet appropriate
WORD CHOICE             --The writer has made          --The essay includes some      --The essay includes
                        little attempt to go beyond    unique words, but may be       words that are unique,
                        ordinary vocabulary use in     used repetitively or out-of-   used appropriately in
                        the letter                     context                        context, and distinctly
                        --Slang is used                                               express what the writer is
                                                                                      trying to say

Section G: Literary Terms
Please study the literary terms that follow and try to incorporate some of the terms into
your journal responses.

                                  The Writer’s Tools
                                   Literary Terms
Plot                  The sequence of events in a short story
Exposition            The basic introduction to a story; reader may find out character names,
                              setting, etc.
Inciting Incident     The main conflict of the story is introduced
Rising Action         All events leading up to the climax
Complications         Minor problems that add to the main conflict in the story
Climax                The highest point of tension in the story OR the turning point
Falling Action        All events after the climax that lead to resolution
Resolution            The point in the story when the main conflict has been resolved
Denouement            After the resolution, when all “loose ends” are tied up

Plot Techniques
Foreshadowing         Clues given in the story which may indicate the outcome of the plot
Flashback             When the sequence of events in a story is interrupted to go to an earlier
                              period of time
In medias res         Literally means “in the middle”; Technique in which the sequence of
                      events in the plot are out of order—usually the story begins somewhere in
                      the middle, flashes back to the beginning, catches up to the present and
                      proceeds on.
                      Example: The Odyssey

Conflict              Tension or problems in a story
--internal            A personal struggle a character has within their own mind
                             Example: person v. self
--external            Struggles a character must deal with apart from themselves, such as
                             external forces.
                             Examples: person v. nature, person v. society, person v. person

Suspense              The tension the reader feels as conflicts and complications grow in a

Character Terms
Direct Characterization      A character’s personality traits are directly stated in the story
Indirect Characterization    The author gives clues the character’s personality by including
                                    their appearance, thoughts, speech, actions, or opinions of

Flat                     A character who is one-dimensional
Round                    A multi-faceted character--you see more than one side of their personality
Static                   A character who stays the same throughout the entire story
Dynamic                  A character who changes throughout the story

Protagonist              The hero of the story
Antagonist               The character in opposition to the hero of the story
Foil                     A character in contrast with the main character

Epiphany                 A sudden realization for a character....their epiphany may help them
                         resolve the conflict

Point of View        The perspective from which a story is told; the narrator
First Person         The narrator is a character in the story
Third Person Limited The narrator is not a character; tells the story from the outside, looking
                                    in to the mind of ONE character.
Third Person Omniscient     The narrator is not a character in the story, but can look into the
                            minds of several characters. This narrator is “all-knowing.”

Setting                  The time and place of the story
Mood                     The atmosphere or feeling of the story
Time                     Time of day, day of the week, year, or era of the story
Location                 The building, region, country, etc. of the story
Atmosphere               The weather, or psychological feeling of the story
Historical Setting       The events that were happening in history when the story is set
                                or the social context of the story

Theme                    The central idea or message of a story

**The following may provide CLUES to the theme:

Direct Statements               A quote by a character or narrator that directly states the theme
Philosophical Statements        A quote by a character or narrator that is not direct, but
                                philosophical or profound. The reader must interpret their
                                comment to discover the theme.
Nature of the Conflict          The type of conflict itself may indicate the theme
Character Changes               As characters change and grow, the theme may become apparent

Symbolism                       Anything that represents something else: (colors, numbers,

Tone                            The author’s attitude toward the subject

Irony                   When the opposite of what you expect happens
Verbal Irony            Characters say one thing, but mean another
Situational Irony       Everyone is surprised by the outcome of the story, both reader and
Dramatic Irony          The reader knows what is going on in the story, but the characters
                               are surprised by the outcome

Genre                   Different types of literature
Short Story             A short piece of fiction, meant to be read in one sitting
Novel                   A longer piece of fiction--usually much more developed plot and
Poetry                  Short writing that incorporates elements of poetry such as rhythm,
                               rhyme, figurative language, and sound devices
Drama                   A longer piece of fiction that is meant to be performed by actors
                               on a stage. Includes dialogue and stage directions.
Nonfiction              A piece of writing based upon real-life. Examples: biographies,
                               news articles, textbooks, essays, etc.

                      Advanced Literary Techniques
Allusion                A reference to mythology, history, or religion in a literary work.

Antithesis              Placement or juxtaposition of structurally parallel words or phrases
                        for the purpose of contrast. Example: sink or swim.

Connotation             The implied meaning of a word. Example: “lady”—a refined

Denotation              The dictionary definition of a word. Example: “lady”—a female.

Diction                 Word choice, usually chosen purposefully to convey a certain
                        effect upon the reader.

Figurative Language     Language that is not meant to be interpreted for literal meaning.

         --Idiom        A figure of speech in which the meaning is different from the
                        words that are actually written. Example: “It’s raining cats and

         --Metaphor     A comparison between two things, not using “like” or “as.”
                        Example: Morning is a new sheet of paper to write upon.

         --Simile       A comparison between two things that uses “like” or “as.”
                        Example: “My sister is like a bear when she wakes up from a

         --Personification   Giving human characteristics to inanimate objects.
                             Example: Death knocked upon his door.

Hyperbole                    Deliberate and often extreme exaggeration done for either serious
                             or comic effect.
                             Example: “I had a million things to do this morning!”

Imagery                      Language that appeals to one or more of the five senses.
                             Example: The dark and murky sky was filled with the smell of

Motivation                   A set of circumstances that prompts a character to act a certain way
                             or that determines the outcome of a situation.

Paradox                      Contradictory ideas that appear together in an effort to reveal some
                             new way of thinking about something or a hidden truth.

Poetic Devices               Poetic techniques used in a piece of writing.
                             Examples: sound devices such as alliteration, rhythm, rhyme;
                             figurative language; imagery, etc.

Pun                          A play on words that are identical or similar in sound, but have
                             sharply diverse meanings. Example: “Dreamers often lie.”

Sarcasm                      The use of verbal ironical humor. Example: “You look really
                             great today!” when the person really looks disheveled.

Structure                    The framework or organization of a literary work. (Chapters in
                             a book; acts in a play; paragraph topics in an essay; stanzas in a

Style                        The writer’s characteristic manner of employing language.

Synecdoche                   A form of metaphor. Used when a part of something is used to
                             signify the whole. Example: “I have a new set of wheels,” when
                             referring to a car.

Syntax                       The arrangement of words and the order of grammatical elements
                             in a sentence.

Understatement               The opposite of hyperbole. A kind of irony that deliberately
                             represents something as being much less than it really is.
                             Example: “I guess I could manage to get by on an income of ten
                             million dollars a year.”