Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yes, we're meeting Thursday, 12/13!


 Finish Part Four (which is where this book really starts to pick up steam) and be prepared to share! Does anyone have any questions/confusions/comments/criticisms? If so, post here. Also, here are some discussion questions for you to be pondering tonight:

1. I love some of the word choice, imagery and figurative language in this book. What are some of the language choices that stand out to you? Where have you paused and thought about what was being shown to you?

2. Is Leisel a substitute for Hans and Rosa's children? Why or why not?

3. Death says that Leisel is "a girl with a mountain to climb" (p. 86). What is her mountain? Who is her climbing partner?

4. Hans Jr. calls his father a coward. How does it take courage to oppose Hitler?

5. How does Zusak use the literary device of foreshadowing to pull the reader into the story? Any examples that struck you from this page assignment?

6. Guilt is another recurring theme in the novel. Hans Hubermann’s life was spared in France during World War I, and Erik Vandenburg’s life was taken. Why does Hans feel guilty about Erik's death? Guilt is a powerful emotion that may cause a person to become unhappy and despondent. Discuss how Hans channels his guilt into helping others. Explain Max Vandenburg’s thought, “Living was living. The price was guilt and shame.” (p. 208) Why does he feel guilt and shame?

7. How is the use of Mein Kampf in this story ironic? Look at the description on p. 159 for a quick reference!

8. On p. 189, Death addresses how much he "likes" Max's "stupid gallantry". What insight do we gain into Death's personality? Into Max's?

9. Review p. 198-199. This is a pivotal moment between Leisel and her foster parents. What has happened?

10. "Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day. That was the business of hiding a Jew" (p. 211).What does this comparison mean to you?

11. "The Standover Man"-- How much do you love this gift from Max to Leisel? :)
Feel free to respond to any of these here in a comment, or just come to the meeting tomorrow focused and ready to chat!
Mrs. P

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meeting this Thursday @ 12:05 in Thibault's room!

Hey Bookies!
Has everyone hit the easy-breezy reading goal for this week?  Are you prepared to share and discuss?  I see some of you have done as I asked and posted on the blog comments that have info from your reading role... thanks for that!  Please keep up the good work... and comment back to each other.  :)

I will not be there Thursday; I am acutally gone starting tomrrow afternoon through Friday.  However, Mr. Thibault and Mr. Custis will be there to observe and encourage your conversations about the book.  Remember-- you are in charge! 

Well, you are in charge of almost everything.  We set the next reading goal, which the teachers will share with you at the meeting.  And hey, don't forget-- if you need a pass to get to the front of the lunch line, come see me, Mr. Custis or Mr. Thibault ASAP.  We need you to hustle to the meeting so we can get started!

IMPORTANT:  Bring in your copies of BT to renew them!

I think that's it... Anyone have any questions?

Mrs. P

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bookies-- Read and Comment!


New Page GoalVERY short reading goal this time-- we're only going to page 171, the beginning of Part 4.  Quite a few bookies had not reached the last goal and requested that, just this once, we do a short goal so they can catch up.  Unfortunately, I completed the new goal today at lunch, so I'll have to find something else to read for the week.  :)

Roles:  We'll keep the same roles for the coming week and switch it up next time.  Keep using your post-it notes!  Hopefully they're helping.

Time/Place change:  From now on, we will meet in Mr. Thibault's room at 12:05.  If you need a pass to get to the front of the lunch line, come see me; I'll write you one! Also, I'm adding a calendar reminder to send out an email to teachers reminding them to let you out of class for the club on Thursdays.  Hopefully, this well help you guys speed it up.  We definitely need more time.

What to Comment HereLet's use this post to discuss what we're finding in our roles AND to ask questions about what we're reading and what people are posting.  Don't understand a word or phrase?  Don't know what Kommunist means?  Who is narrating this book, anyway?!  What's a Nazi?  Who is Jesse Owens?  What do the drawings on p. 14 mean?  Who/what is the struggler (p. 157, 168)?  What is Mein Kampf and why is it the stuggler's "savior?"  What's up with the Mayor's wife?  Why won't "they" let Hans in the Nazi Party?  Who are "they?"  On page 105, Death points out that Hans and Rosa's son joins the army and and "tragically" ends up in Stalingrad, Russia.  Why is that tragic?  What happened there?  Get the picture?  Let's talk!

Mrs. P

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Roles and Goals

Goals:  We are finally taking off, people!  I thought about it a little more after you guys left, and since you have about 15 days to read between meetings, I am upping the reading goal.  Let's read to page 154, the chapter entitled "The Aryan Shopkeeper."  That's a little over 15 pages a day... that's doable, right?  If not, let me know; maybe I can revise it back down a bit. 

Roles:  Here's who's what for this goal and possibly the next:
The Connector--  Divya and Raven
The Questioner--  Ray
The Literary Luminary-- Jaiden and Jacob
The Illustrator-- The Erics (Yi and Riddle)!
The Summarizer-- Riley and Aidan
The Researcher-- Zoe and Savannah
The Word Wizard-- Emily (Knightmare) and Aly
The Scene Setter-- Dhruv

Make sure you revisit the roles sheets on Google Drive often to remind yourself about your focus for reading, and use your post-it notes as you read!  They'll help you as you prepare for the next meeting, I promise.  :)

Questions/comments/concerns/criticisms?  Reply here!  And don't forget to use the Feedblitz above to subscribe to this blog.

Can't wait to talk about this with you guys!  Happy Turkey Day, and happy reading!
Mrs. P

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Thief copies will be in on Monday!


We have some copies coming in from other district libraries, and I'm picking up a book bag of ten copies from the public library, so we should be good to start reading Monday.  Make sure to stop by and pick up your copy  Page goal coming soon...
6th and 7th graders-- Please complete a parent permission slip for this book.  I have them in my office-- get one ASAP.

All of you have a lovely weekend.  See you Monday!
Mrs. P

Monday, November 5, 2012

What Book Shall We Read First?

What are we going to read, Bookies?  Vote, and let your voice be heard! I emailed the choices with links to Amazon summaries to you, so please check your SVVSD account.  Please post here by Tuesday, and when we meet Thursday at 12:15 in the IMC, we'll talk about what the first read of book club is!

Mrs. P

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Let's meet during lunch on Thursday, 11/1!

All right, returning and new Bookies-- let's meet this Thursday and vote on a book to read.  If you have a book you would like to suggest for us to read, add it as a comment here before Thursday.  Books will not be considered if they aren't posted!  We'll also talk about when our meeting times will be.

See you Thursday at about 12:15.  And hey, if you need a pass to get to the front of the lunch line, come see me.

Mrs. P

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Club Is Starting Up Soon!

Altona Library Book Club-- it's time to fire it up!  How does it work?  Well, it's pretty laid back.  We select a book to read, I hunt down enough copies for all of us and assign weekly reading goals, we meet once a week (it's been Thursdays in the past, but that is subject to change) during 3rd period and discuss the readings.  Then we usually do some sort of celebratory something when we finish it.  :)  If you're interested in joining us, please come to the library and put your name on the Book Club Sheet.

Veteran bookies-- comment here to fill in any details I might have missed, please, and also comment here if you have suggestions for our first novel.  Talk to you guys soon!

Mrs. P

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Welcome Back... A Little Late!

  Hey everybody! 

I'm finally getting around to reading the last book in the Inheritance Cycle. Did anyone else read it? What did you think?
(I'm having serious issues with Blogger right now, so bear with me if this looks weird when I post it.  They've changed things up quite a bit!)
So how's your start to the school year?  Any questions about anything?  What are you reading?
Mrs. P

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Still Summer, Folks!

I just finished reading Wonder, and it is a wonder of a book.  Once again, I was crying big tears (happy ones-- I'm such a sucker for them!) at the end of the story, and I LOVED the list of precepts at the end (you'll have to read it to find out what I'm talking about there).  What's it about?  It's about a bright and funny 5th grader named August who was born with severe facial abnormalities and is entering regular school for the first time after being home schooled his whole life.  It's about how he is treated at school and everywhere he goes in public.  It's about what assumptions kids make-- and also what assumptions adults make-- about those who are different.  And it attempts to show us what it means to be kind and courageous, and how sometimes those two traits can be the same exact thing.

If you get a chance, give it a read.  You'll be glad you spent time with Auggie, his family and his friends!

So anyone else read anything good this summer?
Mrs. P

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Woohoo! Summer is almost here, Rattlers!

I finished Divergent-- loved it!-- and am now reading Bitterblue, which is the sequel to Graceling.  It's different.  It's not as action-packed as Graceling was; it's more about court intrigue and mysteries in the castle.  And politics in a monarchy.  And love, of course.  :)  I'm about two-thirds finished, so I'll let you know what I really think at the end.

What are you guys reading?

Happy almost summer!
Mrs. P

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Book Club is suspended for this year. :(

It is with heavy heart I announce that, due to a lack of participation, I'm suspending book club for this year. We'll try again next year. I will probably pick up right where we left off with Watership Down as it is a completely awesome story. So keep that in mind.
I'll do summertime posts as always, so if you want to chat about what you're reading, feel free to stop in and we'll talk! I'm in two YA book clubs this summer, and here's what I'm thinking I'll be reading:
 Scorpio Races by Steivfater
 Bitterblue by Cashore
The Blood Lie by Vernick
Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg (editor)
Wonder by Palacio
Possessed by Cann
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Riggs
Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Smith
Divergent by Roth
 Darth Paper Strikes Back by Angleburger
 Looks by George
Liar, Liar by Paulsen
 Anyone else have any books on the docket they're excited about? Hope to hear from you guys... :) Mrs. P

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2nd round of Watership questions-- to Part II

There's some confusing language in this book, so I'm very surprised that you guys haven't posted here or even come talked to me in person. Anyway, here are the questions for this week's reading:

1. Cowslip's warren is very, very strange. Discuss the ways this warren is different from Hazel's.

2. Fiver compares Cowslip's warren to "trees in November" (ch. 14). What does he mean?

3. Both Dandelion and Silverweed recite in the great burrow. How are the two different?

4. Why does Strawberry join Hazel's group?


Read. Discuss. Next page goal-- Jacob, Matthew and I figured it out, and if we want to finish this book by the 14th, we have to read 87.25 pages a week. Therefore, our next page goal is to page 217, chapter 25, "The Raid." It's a little short of the actual goal, so we'll have to make up for that next time. It's good stuff, though! I hope you enjoy reading it. And if you need to, get caught up!

Mrs. P

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

1st round of discussion questions for Watership Down

There's a lot of setting and character building at the beginning of this book-- very heavy on the exposition, but you'll be glad for it later. So, let's start with some pretty basic questions:

1. How does Hazel end up being the group leader? What are his personality traits that allow him to lead? Does Fiver have something to do with Hazel being leader?

2. Rabbits are creatures of habit. How is it that such a relatively large group of rabbits is willing to leave with Hazel and Fiver?

3. Who's your favorite rabbit so far? Why?

4. We get our first El-ahrairah story in this section. Does it remind you of anything you've read before? Describe similarities and differences!

That's it for now. I have a conference to go to Thursday, but you guys will still meet with Mr. Custis. NEXT PAGE GOAL: It's a big one-- let's push to Part II, page 132. We gotta get motivated if we're going to finish this in six weeks and still have time to watch the movie!

Mrs. P

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Surprise! Bookies, we have a new book ready for you to check out!

You guys were super-enthusiastic, so I went to the book room and grabbed copies. Come on up and check one out ASAP-- The reading goal for next Thursday is p. 59, "The Road and the Common." This is long, so we're going to have to crank it out if we want to finish before school's over (Woohoo!). Questions will be posted soon; until then, feel free to discuss here. The blog should be fixed! If not, shoot me an email or come up and let me know.
Yay! I love this book. It's also one of Mr. Mehsling's favorites, so maybe we can get him to come in and talk about it with us. Regardless, you guys will be able to talk to him when you see him about it-- he would like that.
Mrs. P

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What's next?

What book should we read, Bookies? Here are the suggestions I have so far:

1. Hunger Games to prepare for the movie release

2. Grimm Legacy

3. Three Cups of Tea

I've linked each of them to Amazon so you can read the summaries and reviews; look them over and vote today!

Keep in mind that I don't know if I'll be able to get enough copies for all of us; if that's the case, you may have to get your own either from the bookstore (new or used!) or from the public library. We'll figure it out!

Mrs. P

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Last discussion questions for this book!

All right, Bookies! We'll begin watching the movie version on Monday, and you will be welcome to attend as long as
a. you've participated on this discussion post, and
b. you have gotten a parent permission slip turned in to me before the movie begins.

Here are some questions for us to discuss:

1. Why did Bruno betray Schmuel? Why was their friendship able to survive this?

2. How would you describe the friendship between Bruno and Schmuel? What makes it a good friendship?

3. When Bruno dresses in the filthy striped pajamas, he remembers something his grandmother once said. "You wear the right outfit and you feel like the person you're pretending to be." (p, 205) How is this true for Bruno? What about his father? What does this statement contribute to the overall meaning of the story?

4. Discuss the moral or message of the novel. What new insights and understandings does John Boyne want the reader to gain from reading this story?

5. Does The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas fill you with despair or hope? Why?

6. Rate this book: 1 stripe (not good) to 5 stripes (excellent, instant classic). Explain why!

6. Questions? Comments?

All right-- let's talk to each other about this!
Mrs. P

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No meeting this Thursday!

Hey Bookies,
Due to the Book Fair and parent conferences, there will be no meeting this week. Finish the book by next Thursday, the 8th, and watch for discussion questions here on the blog! It's super-important that everyone finish so we can get started on watching the movie ASAP. That reminds me-- stop by the library to pick up a permission slip. If you don't have a slip turned in, you'll miss out.

One last thing-- if you have not returned the books that were lent to you in the Christmas book exchange, you need to do that NOW. You know who you are!

Mrs. P

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Discussion Questions for pp. 134-175

1. Bruno and Shmuel have a conversation that lasts from pp. 138-141 and covers a lot of important territory. Describe something they talk about and what its significance is.

2. "'You'll have to forgive my brother, Lieutenant Kotler,' said Gretel, laying a hand on his arm for a moment, which made Mother stare at her and narrow her eyes."-- What is the significance of this quick description? What's going on with Kotler?

3. On pp. 145-148, Father grills Kotler about his father. Why does he do this?

4. What do you think happened to Pavel?

5. On page 172, Bruno denies his friendship with Shmuel and betrays him. How does he feel afterward? How is it resolved? What do YOU think you would have done in his position?

6. What questions do you have?

All right, Bookies-- discuss here, and we'll talk more tomorrow in Custis' room!
Mrs. P

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Discussion questions for 3rd reading goal (pp. 86-134)

I like Jacob's questions, so I'm posting them here along with a couple others. First, though, I'd like to know who has made it to the reading goal. Let me know here, please. And then answer whatever questions below you are comfortable with!

1. How does Bruno's grandmother react to her son's military role?

2. Do you think Shmuel (The boy on the other side of the fence) know more about what's going on here then Bruno?

3. Will they become best friends? Do you think there relationship will get discovered? What will happen to them if it is discovered?

4. Why does Shmuel run away after Bruno suggests he crawl under the fence to join Shmuel and his friends in the camp?

4. A pun (a play on the meaning of words) is most often seen as humorous, but in this novel the narrator uses dark or solemn puns like Out-With and Fury to convey certain meanings. Bruno is simply mispronouncing the real words, but the author is clearly asking the reader to consider a double meaning to these words. The use of this wordplay is a literary device, isn't it? What is the narrator trying to convey to the reader? How do these words further communicate the horror of the situation?

Lots to talk about!
Mrs. P

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Reading Goal for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas!

Hey Bookies!
Sorry I missed Thursday's meeting; it was a little crazy in the library, so I couldn't get away. How was it? Did you guys talk about the discussion questions? What was said? Post your thoughts on the correct link below!

Our new goal is to read to p. 134, the start of chapter 13, "The Bottle of Wine." Again, if you have ANY questions that arise while you're reading, post here and we'll all put our heads together to figure stuff out. This is a tricky book, guys-- you'll get out of it what you put into it, certainly. So post!

Mrs. P

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Discussion Questions for pp. 30-86

1. At age 12, Gretel is the proper age for membership in the League of Young Girls, a branch of Hitler's Youth Organization. Why do you think she is not a member, especially since her father is a high-ranking officer in Hitler's army?

2. Bruno asks his father about the people outside their house at Auschwitz. His father answers, "They're not people at all Bruno." (p. 53) Discuss the horror of this attitude. How does his father's statement make Bruno more curious about Out-With?

3. Explain what Bruno's mother means when she says, "We don't have the luxury of thinking." (p. 13) Identify scenes from the novel that Bruno's mother isn't happy about their life at Out-With. Debate whether she is unhappy being away from Berlin, or whether she is angry about her husband's position.

4. Let's try this one again!-- What is it about the house at Out-With that makes Bruno feel "cold and unsafe"? How is this feeling perpetuated as he encounters people like Pavel, Maria, Lt. Kotler, and Shmuel?

Your thoughts?
Mrs. P

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Page Goal!

All right, Bookies-- let's read to page 86, stopping at chapter 8, "Why Grandmother Stormed Out." I know that seems like a lot, but honestly, I think you'll fly through this section since the story really picks up.

I asked those in attendance at the book club meeting to do some research now that we know that "The Fury" is The Fuhrer (Hitler) and "Out-With" is actually Auschwitz (most infamous death camp). It's time to gather a little knowledge about them. 6th graders in particular-- I want you to have a parent help you with this research! Over 1 million people died there (yes, well over 1 million), in unimaginably horrible ways, and you need an adult to walk you through this. I think I still need an adult to walk me through it when I start thinking about it! So please, get help with this research assignment.

We have books in the library too-- just ask.

Discussion questions coming soon...
Mrs. P

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Discussion questions for 1st reading goal

All right, Bookies-- let's dive in!

1. Discuss the relationship between Bruno and Gretel. Does Bruno seem younger than nine? How so?

2. What is it about the house at Out-With that makes Bruno feel “cold and unsafe”? How is this feeling perpetuated as he encounters people like Pavel, Maria, and Lt. Kotler?

3. Describe his reaction when he first sees the people in the striped pajamas. What does Gretel mean when she says, “Something about the way [Bruno] was watching made her feel suddenly nervous”? (p. 28)

4. a)Who is The Fury? b)What is Out-With?

5. What questions do YOU have?

Mrs. P

Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

1st page goal-- p.29

Hey Bookies!
For those of you who didn't attend the meeting yesterday (tsk, tsk), we all decided to set the goal low so that you would have the opportunity to do a little background research on WWII/Holocaust. Post questions you have here, and we will try to help each other out. I'll post discussion questions early next week. And plan on coming to the meeting next Thursday. Hint, hint.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Mrs. P

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Come pick up your copy ASAP-- meeting tomorrow!

I don't know if I have enough copies, guys, but I've got some... first come, first served!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Moving on... as soon as all books get returned!

We will start reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas as soon as the books listed below are returned, guys. I've requested copies from around the district that will start arriving tomorrow and definitely by Friday we should have a bunch. You can read more about this book here.
All right, Bookies-- let's get the old stuff turned in so we can start reading and discussing this book!
Mrs. P

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Get Your Books Turned In ASAP!

Just in case you don't know who you are:
I need copies of The Blue Sword from Ray Cruz and Jamie Gerbitz.
I need Phantom Tollbooths from Autumn McW, Taran Suden, Ray C and Patrick Gibbs.
Get those back ASAP, guys! We won't move on to the next book until I get all owed copies turned in. How's that for bribery?
Mrs. P

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Phantom Tollbooth discussion questions, ch. 5-end of book!

I'm really sorry we didn't break this up more for discussion; there's a lot going on in this little book, and it is all pretty cool (sorry you disagree, Jacob--:) )! We'll get in as much conversation about it as we can today. Below are some questions to ponder about the book. If you have your own, please comment and add them to this post!
1. Idioms are used a great deal throughout this book. An idiom is a a phrase with an understood meaning that is different from its actual words (ex. "I'm all ears", "a square meal". Find some examples of idioms in the book and list them here!

2. What does Milo learn in the Land Of Illusions? Why is it important to notice what is going on around us?

3. Chroma- the purity of a color, the saturation of a color or hue. Chromatic- pertaining to color or colors.
~Who is Chroma the Great? Why can’t the instruments stop playing?

4. Definitions:
Discord- lack of harmony, a combination of musical tones that strikes the ear harshly
Dissonance- lack of agreement, inconsistency, a clashing of sounds
Cacophonous (cacophony) - harsh sounding, harsh sounds or words
Din- a loud continued noise
~Discuss why a sound is pleasant or unpleasant. Can a pleasant sound become an unpleasant one?

5. ~Discuss the idiom “jumping to conclusions." How do we sometimes do this?
~Why couldn’t they jump back? Why did they have to swim through the Sea of Knowledge? Discuss how finding out the facts is often times like swimming through a sea, and how it can be difficult and take much effort.

6. Discuss the Subtraction Stew that was fed to Milo, Tock, and Humbug. How can adding leave you with less than you started with?

7. Where did the Everpresent Wordsnatcher (Dirty Bird) really live? Discuss how the bird took what Milo said “out of context”.

8. Discuss what the Terrible Trivium says about meaningless tasks: “There is always something to do that keeps you from what you should be doing.” Is this true? What are some ways we can keep this from happening?

9. Chapter 19 lists several more demons of ignorance:
The Triple Demons of Compromise
The Horrible Hopping Hindsight
The Gorgons of Hate and Malice
The Overbearing Know-it-all
The Gross Exaggeration
The Threadbare Excuse
Which are unknown terms? Define them and describe the negative impacts these things have on wisdom.

10. Pick and discuss from the following ideas and tell what Milo learned about them on his journey: Wisdom (or Common Sense), Time, Ignorance, Fear, Appreciation of Everyday Life, Boredom, Words, or Numbers.

11. What is Milo doing at the end of the book? Do you think he has changed or stayed the same as before he found the Tollbooth?

Okay, that's a lot of questions, but this book is very thought provoking! Let's talk, Bookies.
Mrs. P