A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings – Project

As we wrap up our reading of Marquez’s short story and work towards a deeper understand of the characters and theme of this story, you will be working individually and in groups on a project.

For this project you will be in groups of 4 or 5 in class, and each of you will choose one of the characters from below:

  • The Old Man/Angel
  • The Spider Lady/Circus
  • The Townspeople
  • Peylao/Elisenda

For your characters you will need to create a visual aid, and provide the answers to the following questions in detailed, complete sentences.

  1. Did Márquez want the reader to like this character? What emotions did he want us to feel in response to their actions or their treatment?
  2. What were their relationships and interactions like with the other characters? Describe their relationships or the impact they had on at least one other specific character.
  3. What is one way that this character is representative of magical realism?
  4. What greater significance do you think this character might have? In other words, what do you think Márquez was using them to represent, beyond the story, in the real world?

Then, as a group, you will need to:

  • Reflect on these character studies and the roles each character played. Write down one theme
    statement (either your own, or one from class) that you think these characters are clearly used to convey.
  • Explain what connections can we draw between these characters and this theme? Specifically, how do these
    characters help portray the theme you chose?

You will present your individual character project and your group theme in class Wednesday, October 21st.

Click here for the project assignment sheet.

Remember, this is a chance to be creative with your visual aid! Some students are doing a movie or play poster, some are creating a powerpoint-  others are dressing up as their character, while others are making a shoebox diorama, and still others are making puppets or 3D models. Remember – BE CREATIVE! See images below of some creative ideas you can use…

Puppets of Pelayo and Elisenda:

Puppets of Pelayo and Elisenda:

Puppet of Elisenda:

Puppet of Elisenda:


A drawing of the Spider Lady at the carnival.


Construction paper circus tent for the spider lady…this fits over an open show box, and the spider lady is inside.


Student dressed up as the spider lady – poster board with a web and spider body drawn on it, and a hole cut in the middle for her to fit her head through.

4 Spidora - vintage photo 3

Box with a web and spider set up in it – a photograph of a girl’s face taped to the spider’s body.


Drawing of a towns person visiting the angel in the chickencoop.


Poster for a play, featuring the Angel.


Collage from magazine clippings of the angel in the chicken cage.


Drawing of the spider lady.

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015 Fall 2015

Spotlight on Historical Context – Footbinding

After you read the poetry of Chinese activities Ch’ui Chin last week, many of you in class decided that you wanted to write your extended response over how Chin used imagery in her poems to protest the Chinese practice of footbinding. I thought I would post a little information for those of you that were interested in learning a little more about this ancient and taboo Chinese custom.

596441-001Foot binding (also known as “lotus feet”) was the custom of applying painfully tight binding to the feet of young girls to prevent further growth. The practice possibly originated among upper-class court dancers during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in Imperial China (10th or 11th century), then became popular during the Song dynasty and eventually spread to all social classes. Foot binding became popular as a means of displaying status (women from wealthy families, who did not need their feet to work, could afford to have them bound) and was correspondingly adopted as a symbol of beauty in Chinese culture. Its prevalence and practice however varied in different parts of the country.

The Manchu Kangxi Emperor tried to ban foot binding in 1664 but failed. In the later part of the 19th century, Chinese reformers challenged the practice but it was not until the early 20th century that foot binding began to die out as a result of anti-foot binding campaigns. Foot-binding resulted in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects, and a few elderly Chinese women still survive today with disabilities related to their bound feet.

Click here to listen to a very interesting podcast that details the history of foot binding, as well as the procedure and when it was outlawed. 

According to some news organization, foot binding has recently made a come-back in China, with modern girls choosing to have their foot broken and bound in the traditional ‘lotus foot’.

Click here to read a 2014 article about modern foot binding resurgence.

Remember, this isn’t information for a test or quiz – I just appreciated how interested so many of you were in learning more about this historical custom, and wanted to point you in the direction of more information! 🙂

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015 Fall 2015

Latin American Literature and Magical Realism

As we begin Unit 4 – Latin American Literature, please be sure you have reviewed and taken notes on the background information powerpoint we went over in class. This contains many of the key notes you will need to understand Latin American Literature more fully in class, including the major themes and concepts explored in Latin American Literature as well as the important authors and styles.

Please click here to view the powerpoint over Latin American Literature.


magic-realism-paintings-rob-gonsalves-1001Additionally, we discussed the idea of Magical Realism in Latin American Literature. Magical Realism is a type of fiction – when a story that takes place in a realistic setting that is recognizable as our past or present world (this excludes futuristic space colonies, lost ancient cities), incorporating impossible or supernatural elements (ghosts, spirits, miracles, powers, prophecies, etc.) where these extraordinary things are viewed as not just normal but also unremarkable, and thus, nobody bothers to explain why they exist or happen.

The Four Elements of Magical Realism are:

  • -Hybridity/Hybridization
  • -Irony
  • -Authorial Reticence
  • -Supernatural + Natural

Click here for the full set of notes from class that detail these four elements and the common themes in Magical Realism.

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015

Planning Extended Responses

As we work on writing your first extended response, many of you will need to use pre-planning techniques to write an effective essay. Simply sitting down and cranking the essay out without a plan is not a good idea – a few minutes of planning can make a world of different in your writing!

In class we have covered two different ways you can plan your essay – with an outline format, or with a bubble map ‘Monster’ format. In each of these you need to clearly answer the prompt your have chosen to work on, including a minimum of two reasons that support your answer and additional details to support your reasons.

The prompts are as follows:

1st Block Prompts:
1. How does Ch’iu Chin express her revolutionary beliefs in her poem through imagery and tone?
2. How does Ch’iu Chin use foot binding to symbolize China’s changing values in the poem?
3. In Sanyo’s poem, how does the imagery and tone reflect the real life events of the 1830 Kyoto Earthquake?
4th Block Prompts:
1. How does Ch’iu Chin express her beliefs in her poem?
2. What does foot binding symbolize in Ch’iu Chin’s poem?
3. In Sanyo’s poem, how does the imagery show how real life was effected by the earthquake?\


See the image below for an example of the Monster bubble map covered in class today, should you decide to plan this way:



To complete an outline plan you will need to follow the format below for your prompt:

A – Introduction

1. Attention grabber/Hook

2. General information about your topic (from your reliable sources)

3. Thesis statement.

B. – Reason #1 that supports your thesis.

1. Topic sentence.

2. Evidence from the poem that supports your reason, with a detailed explaination.

3. Evidence from your research that supports your reason, with a detailed explaination.

*Repeat this step as many times as you need to depending on the # of reasons you have.

D -Conclusion

1. Restate the thesis.

2. Summarize your main reasons.

3. Concluding sentence.



10th Grade Literature Fall 2015

Conducting Research – Determining the Reliability of Sources

As you continue to examine Asian poetry, you will be conducting research over a poem and topic of your choice.

In class we read three poems – two Chinese and one Japanese – and asked you to pick a poem that you responded to the most. Then you were asked to conduct research over the historical context of that poem.

Click here to read the three poems from class.

If you decided to read and research Sanyo’s “Kyoto Earthquake of 1830” you will conduct research to answer the questions:

  • How much damage did the Kyoto earthquake of 1830 cause?
  • How did it effect the everyday life of the Japanese people?
  • What was one subsequent problem the earthquake caused?

If you decide to read one of the two poems by Chinese poet Ch’iu Chin, you need to pick one of the following topics to research:

Researching the Author

  • What was Ch’iu Chin’s role in China?
  • What were Ch’iu Chin’s radical ideas?
  • What ultimately happened to Ch’ui Chin?

Researching the Chinese custom of foot binding

  • What is the practice of foot binding?
  • Why did the Chinese bind girls’ feet, and who got their feet bound (what social class)?
  • How long did the practice last, and when/why did it stop?


Once you have decided which poem you’re focusing on, and have determine which set of questions you want to research the answers to, you will need to make sure you use only RELIABLE SOURCES!

Remember, reliable sources are those that can be trusted to provide unbiased, factual information. Reliable sources include .org, .gov or .edu websites, books, news organizations, educational journals or publications.

Unreliable sources cannot be trusted for accuracy or for an unbias perspective. Unreliable sources include Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, any .net or .com website, blogs, editorials from newspapers, or forums.

Click here to view the worksheet from class on reliable vs unreliable sources.

Remember, if you have a hard time determine if a source is reliable or not, you can always ask us to check it with you!

You will need to gather information from reliable sources to answer the questions you’ve selected from above, and be sure to paste the information in your GoogleDocs. You will need to use this information throughout the week to write an extended essay response, so please save your research!

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015

Japanese Death Poetry

As we examine poetry from Asia, we will first look at the form of haiku and tanka. Specifically, we are going to examine the tradition of Japanese Death Poetry in Japan, China and Korea.




Death poems have been written by Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Zen monks, by many haiku poets, and Japanese Samurai. It was an ancient custom in Japan for literate persons to compose a jisei on their deathbed. The format of the poem is as follows –  three lines with syllable counts of 5/7/5, conveying strong emotions through images of nature and the natural world.



Tanka poetry is similar to haiku – its formal structure is five times with syllable counts of 5/7/5/7/7. Tanka poetry typically contain two images – the first of nature, and the second of the poet meditating on the meaning of nature. While still conveying very deep emotion, tanka poetry is also know for being more whimsical and dream-like than haiku.


As you analyze these poems remember that you need to be able to summarize the poem, explain the tone, and the use of metaphor, symbolism or imagery by the poet. As all of these poems are about the same topic (the death of the speaker) it should be easier for you to conduct analysis. Also remember the aspects of Japanese culture we have discussed in class – usually very reserved in outward displays of MANZ7610_Acc167_drawingemotion, these death poems allowed these individuals a chance to finally express their feelings and emotions openly right before their death. This means for many of these poems there is a lifetime of emotion wrapped up in three short lines – making them incredibly moving! 

Click here for the haiku’s covered in class.

Click here for the tanka poetry covered in class.

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015

College Fair, The PSAT, The SAT and The ACT Updates

SOPHOMORES – You will be taking the PSAT at school on October 13th and October 14th!

All Students – please take note of the college fair coming up in a few weeks! If you are interested in attending but do not have transportation, please see Mrs. Bailey, as the school will be providing a bus!

2015 College Fair

Juniors – Be aware of the SAT and ACT Testing dates – you need to take your test of choice at least twice before senior year!

2015 SAT ACT

Juniors – Also be aware of the changes taking place to the SAT this year! You will need to make sure you study for the right format, depending on when you register to take the exam!


10th Grade Literature 11th Grade American Literature Fall 2015 Fall 2015

Creating Your Own Informational Text

Over the course of the past week we have been analyzing the features of informational texts, and we have read and analyzed three informational texts over the 2011 Fukushima Disaster and Tsunami.

In class we read the short Science Fiction story “He-y, Come on Ou-t!” – a Japanese tale that focuses on the effects of natural disasters, man’s need to be mindful of waste management and recycling, and a surprise ending that touches on what happens when we ignore our problems and obligations to the environment.

Click here for a copy of the short story, “He-y, Come on Ou-t!”


After analyzing this text in class, you will be creating your own informational text about the events that happened in this story. Please remember, this is NOT a summary of the text – we are checking to see that you can use the appropriate diction and tone for your audience and that you can use at least five informational text features. Please click on the links below for your class to view the assignment sheet.

1st Block – Creating Your Own Informational Text

4th Block – Creating Your Own Informational Text

This will count as a project grade and will be due Monday, September 21st 2015!

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015

Analyzing Features of Informational Texts – The 2011 Fukushina Disaster

In class this week we are learning how to identify and analyzing the use and importance of informational text features.

Remember – the purpose of informational texts is to inform the audience… not to entertain, not to make them question, not to evoke an emotional response. Informational texts should be based in fact, not opinion. Additionally, the author of an informational text should present the reader with an unbiased perspective – that means you shouldn’t see able to see the writers beliefs or opinions in the text.

Below you will find the three informational texts we will be examining in class over the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Informational Text 1

Informational Text 2

Informational Text 3


Remember, please refer to the handouts over informational text features if you are having a hard time identifying them or remembering them. You’ll find the handouts from class below:

Click here for the text version of the Informational Features handout

Click here for the picture/visual version of the Informational Features handout


Additionally, if you are absent or loose your assignment sheets, here are the reading questions you will be completing over the articles in class. Pay close attention to the questions – some of them are written in the form of a Constructed Response!

Reading Questions for Text 2

Reading Questions for Text 3

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015

Common Themes in Asian Literature

Today in class we were introduced to the background information on Asian literature from your classmates, and we examined some of the key themes of Asian literature that we should expect to see in the coming weeks in poetry, short stories, and drama.

Please click here if you were unable to get all of the notes in class today, and you can access a complete version of the notes over theme!

10th Grade Literature Fall 2015