Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lord of the Flies-- Page Goal for Thursday!

First, a confession:  I am at the beginning of Chapter 4.  I will, however, be caught up by our meeting next week.  Second, our new reading goal is to finish chapter 9.  Look at the questions below.  Answer the ones you feel strongly about here, and be ready to discuss any and all next Thursday!

Chapter 1
1.  Describe the major characters: Ralph, Piggy, and Jack.
2. What instances of foreshadowing occur in this chapter? What predictions can you make about what sorts of things might happen later in the novel?
 3. What do the boys‟ attitudes and actions (e.g. Ralph‟s joy at being free of “grownups,” the vote for leader, Ralph‟s telling the other boys about Piggy‟s nickname) reveal about human nature?
Chapter 2
4. What does Jack‟s behavior in this chapter suggest about him (e.g. his attitude toward killing pigs
and hunting the beast, his excitement about the rules and the consequences of violating them, his
treatment of Piggy etc.)? In what way(s) might the behavior of the boys during the meeting
foreshadow later events?
5. What do you think Piggy's glasses might represent? Consider their normal function, the use they are
put to in this chapter, Piggy's intelligence, and Piggy's helplessness without them.
6. What hypocritical irony is there in the boys' treatment of Piggy in contrast with their treatment of

Ralph and Jack? What does this fact suggest about human nature?

Chapter 3
7. Discuss the change in Jack's personality that is described at the beginning of the chapter. What is
Jack's highest priority, and what does this tell us about him?
8. How are the all of the boys except Ralph and Simon (and Jack) behaving? What is Golding telling us
about human nature? What important qualities do Ralph, Simon, and Piggy have that the other boys
seem to lack?

Chapter 4
8. Why do the hunters decide to “paint” themselves with clay and charcoal? What effect does doing
this have on their behavior, and why? Does this “makeup” have any symbolic meaning?
9. How do the hunters behave in response to the success of the hunt, and what is the significance of
this behavior?
 10.   How does Ralph “assert his chieftainship” after the argument with the hunters? Why do you think
this gesture is so effective?
11. What do you think will result from the open conflict between Jack and Ralph and from Jack's
success at getting meat? What is the significance of the boys‟ reaction to being able to eat meat, and
how does this compare to their reaction about having missed a chance to be rescued?

Chapter 5
12. What does Percival say when Jack asks him where the beast lives? Why do you think he says this? What does Simon say about the beast, and what do you think he means? How does everyone else
react to what he says?
13. Why are the rules so important to Ralph? What are the consequences of breaking them?

Chapter 6
14. What is the “beast from air”? How is it appropriate that the boys mistake it for a beast—what
connection does it have with the novel's themes, and what does it symbolize?
15. What does Sam and Eric's description of the beast tell us about human psychology?
16. How do most of the boys react to their discovery of the “castle”? What foreshadowing takes place
at the end of the chapter?

Chapter 7

17. What disturbing thing do the group of hunters and Ralph do immediately after their encounter with the pig? How is Ralph‟s behavior surprising? What does this behavior foreshadow?
18. Why do you think Golding (the author) plotted the story so that the boys would go up the mountain 
in the dark? 

Chapter 8
19. How does Piggy show “intellectual daring”? Why is this so significant to the boys? 
20. What unusual thing happens to Ralph after Jack leaves and after he realizes most of the biguns have 
left? What is the significance of his reaction? 
21. What suggestion does Simon make, and why do you think he makes it? What does he mean when he 
says, “What else is there to do?” What are the consequences of the group‟s decision not to follow 
Simon‟s suggestion?

Chapter 9
22. Why does Jack command the boys to dance and chant, and why is this an effective leadership tactic? 
What psychological effect does dancing and chanting have on the boys? Think back to the effect that 
putting on makeup had on them in Chapter 4. 
23. What is the “beast” that the boys kill? How is this event ironic and especially tragic (not only for 
the “beast,” but for everyone on the island)? How is it symbolically significant? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bookies-- Are You Ready for the Flies?!

All right guys-- no mercy!  I gave out every single copy I could get my hands on, so now I don't have one in front of me to know how long the book is and what sort of page goal I should set.  For now, it's open-ended.  Why don't you tell me-- What should our first goal be?  Comment here and let me know your thoughts!

Have a great Thanksgiving vacay, everyone.  I'll post here in a few days, and I'll see you in December!

Mrs. P

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What book next? Time to vote, people!

 Here are your choices:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Read the Amazon summary/reviews here.

Graceling by Kristen Cashore.  Read the Amazon summary/reviews here.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  Read the Amazon summary/reviews here.

                                                    The Alchemyst by Michael Scott.  Read the Amazon summary/reviews
                                                    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  Read the Amazon summary/reviews here.  (Sorry Richell!)

Custis and I get votes too-- FYI!
Mrs. P

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Book vs. Movie-- Discuss!

What are your thoughts, Bookies?

Mrs. P

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bring Those Permission Slips in ASAP!

Hey Bookies!  It's all-systems-go to see EG this Friday… if you get your permission slips in to me tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest.  Got to move fast, people.  Also, we could use one parent driver, so please have your parent or guardian email me if they could help us out.  Otherwise, maybe I'll try to recruit a teacher.  :)

You must take care of all missing work, in advance if possible.  Check with your 4th and 5th period teachers NOW and see what can be done.  If I get word from them that you have not done this very important step, you will not go.  Don't make me be a bad guy-- take care of business, people.

Yes, we will have a meeting Thursday!  We need to make sure everyone has finished the book (you aren't going if you haven't read it-- period) and debrief about it as a group before we go on this field trip.  So come completely prepared Thursday to the library, please!

Mrs. P

P.S. Don't forget money for concessions Friday.  We will not be lending any out.
P.P.S. We need to start thinking about what we will read next.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Fair Madness!

So I guess you guys figured out the meeting was cancelled today.  :)  Sorry about that.

Everyone should be to page 200 by now.  Let's set our next goal for next Thursday at... well, I was just flipping through the chapters, and I think we should finish the thing!  It'll go super fast, I promise, and there aren't really any good chapter breaks.  You'll see what I mean.  Until then, here are some discussion questions to tide you over:

Chapter 8
1. What do Col. Graff and Major Anderson want to use Ender for?
2. What was Ender's favorite method of attack? Why did it work so well?
3. Why does Dink think about the "bugger threat"? Whom did he say was the real enemy?
4. How did Ender fight the older boys in null gravity? How does Ender feel about the violence?
5. What is the significance of Peter's image in the mirror in the computer game?
 Chapter 9
6. How is Ender alone even among his friends? Why is he like this?
7. Why does Graff need Valentine to help Ender?
8. How does Ender finally get away from the End of the World?
Chapter 10
9. When Ender finally gets an army of his own, how do they stack the odds against him?
10. How does Ender treat Bean? How is this ironic?
11. What happens between Ender and his only real friend, Alai? What does competition do?
 Chapter 11
12. How do Graff and Anderson treat Ender as a tool? Does this happen in real life?
13. What makes Ender such a great commander? How does his army do?
14. How does Ender defeat Bonzo against all odds?

Thoughts on any and all questions, guys!  And if you have questions of your own, please post them here; I'll get back to you ASAP.

Mrs. P

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ender's Game-- Next Goal!

Hey Bookies!

Sounds like you had a pretty great meeting today.  Please still share your responses to some of the discussion questions on the previous post-- I'd like to "hear" your thoughts!

Next page goal-- set by you-- is p. 153, Chapter 10, "Dragon."  Can't wait to see what you think of where the book is headed... and where you think WE are headed RIGHT NOW.

See you next Thursday, and happy weekend!
Mrs. P

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ender's Game Discussion Questions: Chapters 1-7

Hi Bookies!

Let's all be prepared to discuss these questions (you can respond here, certainly, and start a conversation now!) AND share out for our roles this Thursday!

Chapter 1
1.      Discuss the problems Ender faces as a “third."
2.      How old is Ender?  Are his actions appropriate to his age?
Chapter 2
3.      “Bugger” is the word used to refer to the aliens that have attacked the earth on two previous occasions.  Describe the buggers as you understand them from the chapter.
4.      This book contains some language which is often considered objectionable.  How do you feel about his kind of language in books?  Why do you think the author has his characters use this kind of language?
Chapter 3
5.     Describe Valentine.  How dose she feel about Ender?  Why wasn’t she chosen for Battle School?
6.   Explain how Ender is a composite between Peter and Valentine.
Chapter 4
7.   What does Ender’s understanding about gravity reveal about Ender’s ability to think?  How might this benefit him in outer space?
8.   Why doesn’t Graff stop the boy from hitting Ender on the head?  What happens to the boy?
Chapter 5
9.      Of what importance are the games that the boys play?  How does Ender do at these games?
10.     Who becomes Ender’s first friend?  Under what circumstances?
Chapter 6
11.      Describe the computer game.  Why can’t Ender beat the giant at first?  How does he eventually win?  What lesson does this teach Ender?
Chapter 7
12.  Describe the computer game now that Ender has beaten the giant.  How does Ender identify with the children in the game?
13.  Why are adults the real enemies?
14.   Why is Petra Arkanian exactly the wrong kind of friend to have?  What valuable skill does she eventually teach Ender?

See you Thursday!
Mrs. P

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ender's Game! 2nd Goal

Hey Bookies,

It was so nice to meet our newbies to the club-- Big Rattler Welcome to Elijah Weiner and Josh Dvorak!  We have one more joining us as well, and, you old-school slackers, she's ahead of the page goal already.  Richelle Kelly (7th grade) will be at our meeting next Thursday.  Woohoo!  Fresh blood.  :)

For the next meeting everyone will be on the same page; we will read to p. 97, chapter 8, "Rat."  Those of you who are reading this quickly, please don't read too far ahead.  The conversations get very confusing when you can't remember what happened when in the book, as I am sure all of you are aware.

See you guys on Thursday the 3rd!
Mrs. P

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Altona Library Book Club-- 1st Meeting is 9/19!

Hi everyone!

Ready to start reading?  Who's in this year?  Holler back and let me know.  Also, do you guys have any amazing suggestions for books for us to read?  I'm thinking of starting the club off with Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, a science fiction novel following a boy named Ender chosen for an elite military school and the challenging training he goes through there.  It's really pretty fascinating, and the movie version comes out November 1st!  However, I am open to ideas... post them as comments here as well.

See you guys on the 19th!
Mrs. P

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sweet Summertime!

Hey Bookies!  Here's a summertime place to post what you're currently reading and what recommendations you might have.  No reason to stop talking about books just because we're not in school, right?

Hope you're all enjoying your second real day of summer-- even if it is rainy!

Mrs. P

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Don't Forget to Bring in a Permission Slip!

The movie is PG-13 for "intense sequences of war violence."  We'll meet in Mr. Thibault's room, finish our research discussion (nice job, Raven!) then start the movie on Monday.  I'm sending out an all-call to your SSR teachers right now to spring you for the entire 3rd period.
It's BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch), so come prepared.  If you need a pass to move to the front of the lunch line, see me ASAP!
Looking forward to it.  Box of tissues at the ready.

Mrs. P

Saturday, May 4, 2013

War Horse Wrap-Up Potluck Sign-Up!

All right, people-- Who can bring what?   Here's what I'm thinking we'll need:

-- 2 folks providing drinks of some sort (tell us specifically what you're bringing)

-- 2 folks bringing side dishes (chips, salad, something)

-- 2 folks bringing dessert (cookies?  cupcakes?  what-have-you!)

Sound good?  Am I forgetting anything?  I'll get plates and cups... and pizza, of course.

Mrs. P

Monday, April 29, 2013

New Book Club read-- War Horse

Copies are in... come and get them!  Should we meet this Thursday or just set a reading goal and meet on the 9th?

Mrs. P

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Pearl-- Questions to Think About... And Discuss!

LOTS to discuss with this book!  Read through these questions and be thoughtful about answering a handful of them.  Please try to post before Thursday's meeting!

1.  Define parable (remember, we talked about this!).  Why does Steinbeck draw our attention to this in the preface?

2.  On pages3-4 Kino has arisen and the day has begun. What is this song he hears and what does it suggest about how he is feeling this morning?

3.  What race do you suppose the doctor is of?  What does the doctor’s comment on page 13 reveal about his attitude toward Indians?

4.  How is a pearl formed?

5.  How does the news of the pearl affect a) the priest, b) the shopkeepers, c) the doctor, and d) the beggars?

6.  How does the news of the pearl compared to the poisonous sting of the scorpion?

7.  As the doctor approaches, why is Kino feeling rage?

8.   Why is there no longer any real competition among the pearl buyers?

9.  On page 52 it says, “(Kino) had lost one world and had not gained another.” What world did he lose?

10.  Why will it not matter that Kino killed a man in self-defense?

 11. On page 66, Steinbeck says Kino was being moved by “some animal thing.” What does he mean by this?
12.  Who does Kino see in the road? Why does he say they will be back?

13. How are the mountain pools places of both life and death for the animals in the area?

14. In their return to the village, what is unusual in the manner that they are walking? What might this signify?

15. In Chapter 1 when Kino first looked at the pearl he saw a church wedding for Juana and himself. On page 86 what does he see in the pearl now?

16. What action do Kino and Juana take at the end of this story? Why?

17.  If you assume that Kino threw the pearl back because he felt guilty, then what does the pearl symbolize and what is the lesson that this parable is teaching?

18. If you assume that Kino threw the pearl back out of rage and frustration then what does the pearl symbolize and what is the lesson to be learned?

19. Steinbeck is often associated with a movement in writing called naturalism. Naturalists believed that man does not have free will; rather man’s fate is determined by large social and economic forces he cannot control. If that is the case, what is the lesson to be learned?

20. On the other hand, you may see the pearl as a symbol of something else with a different lesson to be learned. If that is so, write what you think that might be.

Mrs. P

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break Read-- The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Hey Bookies,
Make sure you read the final Flipped post directly below this one-- very important wrap-up information.  I expect to see you posting comments/questions/predictions/etc.  Read this little gem carefully, please!  I'll post discussion questions over the break, when hopefully you're into your reading (or maybe even finished!).

So I'll see you all Thursday, April 11th, and we'll talk about both books then.

Again, read the final Flipped post below.

Mrs. P

Finish Up Flipped!

All right, about HALF of us finished Flipped, so we will discuss this book completely on the Thursday we get back from spring break (and I need your copies of the book back ASAP).  Here are the Reading Roles that were already assigned:

Questioner:  Alex Stasiak
Connector:  Eric Yi
Illustrator:  Divya Bhat
Word Wizard:  Raven Moe
Summarizer:  Dhruv Patel

We still need a few, so if you haven't chosen one yet, you still can!  Check your Google Drive document for the available Reading Roles and their descriptions.  And while you are pondering the book through your Reading Roles, here are some good discussion questions to ponder.  And feel free to post answers as comments to this post as well!

1. Bryce's grandfather says about Juli, "Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in 
gloss.... But every once in a while you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, 
nothing will ever compare." What makes Juli iridescent? 
2. Why do Bryce and Juli's feelings for each other flip? Has your opinion about someone 
ever flipped? 
3. Would you prefer to live in Bryce's family or Juli's family? Why? 
4. When Juli and her dad talk about Bryce, her dad tells her to "start looking at the whole 
landscape." What do you think he means? Does Juli see the whole landscape?
5. Bryce keeps throwing out Juli's eggs because he doesn't want to tell her the Loskis don't 
want them. Do you think this was the right thing to do? What would you have done? 
6. Juli tries hard to save the old sycamore tree because she loves it so much. Is there 
anything you would fight to save like Juli does? 
7. Why has Juli not visited her Uncle David before? 
8. Juli's brothers Matt and Mike say that they don't like "the whole robotron attitude of 
education. Confine, confute, conform." What do they mean? Is your school like theirs?
9. Did you like it better when Bryce or Juli told the story? How does hearing from both 
points of view make you understand what was happening? 
10. If the book continued, what do you think would happen to Bryce and Juli?

That's it for now... Have a great spring break, everyone!  Happy reading!
Mrs. P

Friday, March 22, 2013

Let's Just Finish It!

Hey Bookies,
I just read 33 pages of this eating my lunch.  I know some of you have already finished it.  I say we go for it!  Let's all try to crush this thing by Thursday; that way, we can grab a new read for spring break.
Woohoo!  Happy weekend!
Mrs. P

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Book, New Goal, New Meeting Scheduled!

So hopefully you have your copy and you've read a sentence or two!  If you don't have a copy, come see me and I'll get you set up.  Our reading goal is p. 117, stopping at "Looming Large and Smelly."  You have two weeks to finish this; we will meet on Thursday, March 28th.  Here's the reading roles people signed up to cover:

Questioner:  Alex Stasiak
Connector:  Eric Yi
Illustrator:  Divya Bhat
Word Wizard:  Raven Moe
Summarizer:  Dhruv Patel

I think that's it for now.  Hopefully TCAP is going well for all of you, and you are finding time to read-- this book in particular!  I'll post discussion questions for you to ponder along with the work you are doing in your roles, so we should all have plenty to talk about next meeting.

See you soon,
Mrs. P

Thursday, February 21, 2013

3rd Reading Goal-- for March 7th!

All right, folks-- we won't meet on the 28th because it is Book Fair Madness week, so this reading goal is 120 pages (60 pages/week).  We are going to page 356, Chapter 22, "The Dire Magnus."  That is VERY doable if you manage your time.  If you are behind right now, I suggest you add up how many pages total you will have to read to hit this goal, divide it by 14 and come up with a minimum pages to read per night.  It would be great if we call all be at the goal on March 7th, ready to discuss and finish the book together!

Chosen Reading Roles this week are:

1.  Scene Setter-- Dillon Silvernail
2.  Word Wizard--Eric Yi
3.  Summarizer/Illustrator-- Dhruv Patel
4.  Literary Luminary-- Divya Bhat
5.  Questioner-- Raven Moe
6.  Connector-- Emily Knight

I just re-shared the roles description with all of you, so revisit it if you're not sure what exactly you should be focusing in on as you're reading.  And use post-it notes!  If you need more, come see me.

That's it for now.  I'll post some discussion questions next week, so be checking the blog for those... and respond!  I want you guys to be discussing the reading together. 

Mrs. P

Friday, February 8, 2013

Second Reading Goal, Reading Roles + Discuss!

So we've set the next reading goal at p. 236, Chapter 14, "Granny Peet."  That's two goals about the same length as the first one, and ALMOST everyone reached it (Raven and Aly are exceptions to that statement).  We will meet next on Thursday, February 21st!  Yesterday, we also assigned roles for this first part, and they are as follows:

1. Scene Setter-- Raven
2.  Word Wizard-- Divya
3.  Summarizer-- Dhruv
4.  Illustrator--Dhruv
5.  Literary Luminary-- Alex
                                    6.  Questioner-- Aly
                                    7.  Connector-- Raven
Note that some folks have two roles; if you haven't been assigned one and want to grab a role, let me know!  Now, for some discussion questions.  Answer a few of these thoroughly and thoughtfully before our meeting on the 21st:

1.  Would you like to time travel?  Where would you go if you had to choose-- past or future?  Why?
2.  Why does Kate feel such huge responsibility for her siblings?  If you were in her shoes, would you feel the same?  Why or why not?
3.  Who is most like you-- Kate, Michael or Emma?  Why/How?
4.  Compare the different reception the children receive from Abraham, from Miss Sallow, and from Dr. Pym.  Why is Miss Sallow so unpleasant to them, you think?
5.  When they explore the house, why does Michael want to go through the door that appears in the basement wall?  Why does Kate allow them to go through?  Why does it take Kate longer than her siblings to accept that magic is real?

Lots to discuss! Hope to see posts from all of you soon.
 Have a great weekend,
Mrs. P

Friday, February 1, 2013

First Reading Goal

How's everyone feel about reading to page 79, chapter 6, "The Black Page?"  Can we make it there?

Happy Friday!
Mrs. P

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We are reading The Emerald Atlas!

After a bit of discussion and a secret ballot, the book club has selected by overwhelming majority to read The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.  to find out more about this little gem (pun intended), click here for a website dedicated to the book with a promotional trailer.  Now, we begin the process of trying to dig up enough copies for all of us!  Everyone in book club is assigned the task of locating copies-- ask your teachers who have classroom libraries, check the public library closest to you, used book stores, etc.  I'm pretty sure we can get five copies through ILL in the district; we need at least 13.  Can we do it?!
Mrs. P

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hey Bookies, what shall we read next?

We finished The Book Thief, and we are ready to move on to our next book!  What are we in the mood for?  Here are some of the titles I threw out there when you guys CHOSE The Book Thief (note the emphasis-- I'm still pretty disappointed that so many of you didn't stick it out after you voted!):

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jason Sonnenblick
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Schooled (or really any title by Gordon Korman!)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Those are all linked to Amazon so you can look at the summaries and reviews to see what you think.  Anyone have any other suggestions?  Let's try to find a title that no one has read yet.  If there's something you've been meaning to read but haven't gotten around to yet, post it!  Once you guys have posted responses here, I'll know we're ready to meet and discuss.

Mrs. P

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meet this Thursday, 1/17!

There are a few students reading this book (I'm so proud of you guys for not quitting, BTW-- you'll be so glad that you stuck with it going forward!), so we are still meeting to discuss it this Thursday @ 12:05 in Mr. Thibault's room.  The page goal for this week is p. 497.  If you're reading The Book Thief, come on in to discuss!

Mrs. P

Monday, January 7, 2013

Who's in for a meeting this Thursday?

Who's still in for a meeting to discuss up to Part 8 this Thursday?  I sent you guys an email... Let me know ASAP!

Mrs. P