Nineteen Minutes by maclaren1

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									Nineteen Minutes

   By Jodi Picoult
       An excerpt from Nineteen
   In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn; color your hair;
    watch a third of a hockey game.
    In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a
    dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five.
   Nineteen minutes is how long it took the Tennessee Titans to sell
    out of tickets to the playoffs.
   It’s the amount of time it takes to listen to the Yes song Close to the
   It’s the length of a sitcom, minus the commercials.
   It’s the driving distance from the Vermont border to the town of
    Sterling, NH.
   In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered.
   You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed.
   You can walk two miles. You can sew a hem.
   In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you can just jump
    off it.
   In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge. · · · · · ·
             Nineteen Minutes
   For your Journal answer the questions. Each
    journal should be between ½ to 1 page. Label &
    date each journal.

   Journal #1
   What do you think about the time frame – 19
    minutes? What about what you can do in it?

   Do we ever really know someone?

   Alex Cormier – single mother & a Judge
   Josie Cormier - daughter
                       Journal 2
   What does SAFETY IN SCHOOL mean?
   Is it fair to ask everyone to advocate for him/herself?
   Where does the responsibility lie for ending peer cruelty?

   ―We live in a country where American kids are dying
    because we’re sending them overseas to kill people for
    oil. But when one sad, distraught child who doesn’t see
    the beauty in life goes and wrongly acts on his rage by
    shooting up a school, people start pointing a finger at
    heavy metal music. The problem isn’t with rock lyrics, it’s
    with the fabric of this society itself.‖ (p. 110)
                           Journal 3
   What is the FABRIC OF SOCIETY?

   What can YOU as individuals do to change the fabric of your

   He was staring in a way that cut her to the quick. Josie shivered.
    ―I’m not,‖ she said quickly, and she took a deep breath. ―I just…I
    don’t like the way you treat kids who aren’t like us, all right? Just
    because you don’t want to hang out with losers doesn’t mean you
    have to torture them, does it??
   ―Yeah, it does,‖ Matt said. ―Because if there isn’t a them, thee can’t
    be an us.‖ His eyes narrowed. ―You should know that better than
    anyone.‖ (pp. 218 – 219)

        Have you read through page 60?
                 Journal 4

   What is your role to step in when you see
    others being treated inappropriately?
   In a high school setting…talk about the
    ―them‖ vs. ―us.‖
                  Journal 5

   Can high school ever break down the
    barriers so that each and every student
    feels a part of the school?
                      Journal 6
   What are the adults’ roles in helping diminish
    peer cruelty?
   Discuss the pervasiveness of homophobic
       Why do students judge others based on outward
        appearance? Why do they talk down to others
        without really knowing them?
   What can you do to intervene when others are
                     Journal 7
   Is popularity more important than
    anything else…dying of thirst?
   What is the difference between being
    popular and belonging to the group?
   Can everyone be popular? Why or why

         Have you read through page 110?
                      Journal 8
   If somebody strikes someone else…does it
    matter if they were provoked?
   Should anyone care if a student who strikes
    another was teased and taunted?
   Do any of you have a responsibility to intervene
    when peers are hurt emotionally?

       Have you read through page 135?
                   Journal 9

   Is Josie right? Are alliances different from
    friends? Are they more important?
   What is more important? Alliances? Or
   Do popular kids not have friends? Is this
                        Book talk
   Book Talk Discussion
       What are your questions?
       What do you think so far?
       What do you like? Dislike?
       How is the vocabulary?
       What is the theme?
            What about masks and personas?
       Do you ever really know someone?
       How can you help eliminate school bullying?
                        Book Talk
 Alex and Lacy’s friendship comes to an end when they discover
 Why does Alex make the choice to keep Josie away?
 What significance is there to the fact that Alex is the first one to
  prevent Josie from being friends with Peter?

   Alex often has trouble separating her role as Judge and mother.
    How does this affect her relationship with Josie?
   What role is more important to Alex? Why?
   A theme in the novel is the idea of masks and personas and
    pretending to be somebody you are not. To which characters does
    this apply? How?
                  Journal 10
   Is it a badge of honor to ―bully‖ another?
   Have any of you ―bullied‖ another person? How
    do you feel afterward?
   Why would Drew have lied about bullying Peter?
   Telling a teacher. What are the ramifications?
   What has happened when you’ve tried to tell a
    teacher that someone is doing something to hurt
    another person?
   Have you thought about telling a teacher but
    decided it wasn’t worth the effort?
                Journal 11

   Telling a teacher. What are the
   What has happened when you’ve tried to
    tell a teacher that someone is doing
    something to hurt another person?
   Have you thought about telling a teacher
    but decided it wasn’t worth the effort?
                  RAFT #1

   Page 135 email reference

   Role = Josie
   Audience = Peter
   Format = Write a letter or email
    responding to Peter’s email
   Topic = Write a response to Peter’s letter
                 Journal 12

   Talk about any time you have been a
    witness to the teasing of others. How did
    you feel? What did you do?
   Is it OK to witness, but not participate in
    hurtful behaviors?
   Is there any responsibility for students to
    step in and attempt to stop peer cruelty?
                   Journal 13
   Talk about what is needed to stand up to peers
    who hurt others.
   Have you ever thought to yourself: I’m not
    responsible for stepping in and helping a peer?
   What responsibility do you have to a student
    who has difficulty being integrated into the
    social fabric of the school? Does that student
    have a responsibility to try to fit in?
                    Journal 14
   School and jail…are there similarities?
   Students are free to make choices in school.
    What choices do you have to help peers who
   When I was little I used to pour salt on slugs. I
    like watching them dissolve before my eyes.
    Cruelty is always sort of fun until you realize that
    something’s getting hurt.
                 Journal 15
   Is cruelty fun?
   Are certain students ―fair game‖ to hurt?
   Should teachers intervene when they
    witness peer cruelty? To what extent?
   What role should adults in school have to
    diminish peer cruelty?
   Do you think teachers ―get it‖? Why or
    why not?
                 Journal 16

   Is it important who ―started it?‖
   When in the cycle of peer cruelty should
    you step in, if ever, and help another
                   Journal 17
   Are there areas of your school that are more
    unsafe than others? What should be done?
   Does being ―victimized‖ give anyone license for
    revenge? What should be done?
   How do you feel and think when you hear that
    there was planning for an attack of this sort?
                       Journal 18
   Reaction paper
       Write a 1-2 page reaction paper to the novel.
          What did you think?
          What lessons can be learned from reading it?

          Is school bullying a problem @ Orchard Center?

       Format
          Double space
          12 pt font: Times New Roman or Arial

          .5 margins

          header (first and last name, date, class, hour.)
             Ryan's story

   In memory of Ryan Patrick Halligan
    1989 – 2003
   If We Only Knew, If He Only Told Us
discussion questions

      Book club
          discussion questions
   Alex and Lacy’s friendship comes to an
    end when they discover Peter and Josie
    playing with guns in the Houghton house.
    Why does Alex decide that it’s in Josie’s
    best interest to keep her daughter away
    from Peter? What significance is there to
    the fact that Alex is the first one to
    prevent Josie from being friends with
          discussion questions

   Alex often has trouble separating her roles
    as a judge and a mother. How does this
    affect her relationship with Josie? Discuss
    whether or not Alex’s job is more
    important to her than being a mother.
          discussion questions

   A theme throughout the novel is the idea
    of masks and personas, and pretending to
    be someone you’re not. To which
    characters does this apply, and why?
           discussion questions
   At one point defense attorney Jordan McAfee
    refers to himself as a ―spin doctor,‖ and he
    believes that at the end of Peter’s trial he ―will
    be either reviled or canonized‖ (250). What is
    your view of Jordan?
   As you were reading the book, did you find it
    difficult or not to remain objective about the
    judicial system’s standing that every defendant
    (no matter how heinous his or her crime) has
    the right to a fair trial?
          discussion questions

   Peter was a victim of bullying for twelve
    years at the hands of certain classmates,
    many of whom repeatedly tormented him.
    But he also shot and killed students he
    had never met or who had never done
    anything wrong to him. What empathy, if
    any, did you have for Peter both before
    and after the shooting?
           discussion questions
   Josie and Peter were friends until the sixth
    grade. Is it understandable that Josie decided
    not to hang out with Peter in favor of the
    popular crowd? Why or why not? How accurate
    and believable did you find the author’s
    depiction of high school peer pressure and the
    quest for popularity? Do you believe, as Picoult
    suggests, that even the popular kids are afraid
    that their own friends will turn on them?
          discussion questions

   Josie admits she often witnessed Matt’s
    cruelty toward other students. Why then
    does it come as such a surprise to Josie
    when Matt abuses her verbally and
    physically? How much did you empathize
    with Josie?
          discussion questions

   Regarding Lacy, Patrick notes that ―in a
    different way, this woman was a victim of
    her son’s actions, too‖ (53). How much
    responsibility do Lewis and Lacy bear for
    Peter’s actions? How about Lewis in
    particular, who taught his son how to
    handle guns and hunt?
           discussion questions
   At one point during Peter’s bullying, Lacy is
    encouraged by an elementary school teacher to
    force Peter to stand up for himself. She
    threatens to cancel his playdates with Josie if he
    doesn’t fight back. How did you feel, when you
    read that scene? Do you blame Lacy for Peter’s
    future actions because of it? Do you agree or
    disagree with the idea that it a parent’s job to
    teach a child the skills necessary to defend
          discussion questions

   Discuss the novel’s structure. In what
    ways do the alternating narratives
    between past and present enhance the
    story? How do the scenes in the past give
    you further insight into the characters and
    their actions, particularly Peter and Josie?
          discussion questions

   When Patrick arrives at Sterling High after
    the shooting, ―his entire body began to
    shake, knowing that for so many students
    and parents and citizens today, he had
    once again been too late‖ (24). Why does
    Patrick blame himself for not preventing
    an incident he had no way of knowing was
    going to happen?
            discussion questions
   Dr. King, an expert witness for the defense,
    states that Peter was suffering from Post
    Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of chronic
    victimization. ―But a big part of it, too,‖ he adds,
    ―is the society that created both Peter and those
    bullies‖ (409). What reasons does Dr. King give
    to support his assertion that society is partly to
    blame for Peter’s actions as well as those of the
    bullies? Do you agree with this? Why or why
          discussion questions

   Why does Josie choose to shoot Matt
    instead of shooting Peter? Why does Peter
    remain silent about Josie’s role in the
    shooting? In the end, has justice been
    satisfactorily dealt to Peter and to Josie?
          discussion questions

   Discuss the very ending of the novel,
    which concludes on the one-year
    anniversary of the Sterling High shooting.
    Why do you suppose the author chose to
    leave readers with an image of Patrick and
    Alex, who is pregnant? In what way does
    the final image of the book predict the
           discussion questions
   Shootings have occurred at a number of high
    schools across the country over the last several
    years. Did Nineteen Minutes make you think
    about these incidents in a more immediate way
    than reading about them in the newspaper or
    seeing coverage on television? How so? In what
    ways did the novel impact your opinion of the
    parties generally involved in school shootings—
    perpetrators, victims, fellow students, teachers,
    parents, attorneys, and law enforcement
          discussion questions

   What do you think the author is proposing
    as the root of the problem of school
    violence? What have you heard, in the
    media and in political forums, as
    solutions? Do you think they will work?
    Why or why not?
                  Video Game

   Do you think video games are persuasive?
       Why or why not?
   Would the game Peter created ever exist?
       Why or why not?
               Project Assessment
   Create a 1 sided tri-fold brochure or flyer on anti-
    bulling for your school.
       R – a student
       A – classmates, peers
       F – detailed flyer or brochure
       T – anti-bullying topic
       S – strong verb –define what action students should do

   See rubric for grading

   See rubric for grading
             Nineteen Minutes
   Teen Reader’s choice

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