| Literary Terms |
Activities | Motifs |
Vocabulary | Literary Analysis | Discussion
Questions | Journal Topics | Interdisciplinary
Connections | Mr. Freeman's Wisdom
| Help: if YOU need to Speak! |
- Read and discuss the novel (follow reading
- Practice reading strategies: anticipatory and
during reading strategies
- Define and learn unfamiliar vocabulary
- Introduce basic elements of literature; work
towards mastery of literary terms
- Introduce literary analysis and expository
- Use Word for peer review
- Discuss the idea of free speech, study the
Pledge of Allegiance
- Review traits of writing (voice, word choice,
organization & conventions)
- Create a fictionalized journal entry from one
character's point of view (voice and point of view)
- Engage in an online discussion about the novel
- plot: exposition, conflict, crisis/climax,
- character: static/developing, flat/round
- point of view
- figurative language: metaphor & simile
Choose 15 words from this list. Give the part
of speech and define the word using synonyms. Then, write one paragraph
in which you use 10 of the words. This assignment is to be done on
one sheet of paper and does not have to be typed.
|degrade (ing), 41
- overbearing Eurocentric patriarchs, 49: a patriarch
is the male head of a family; Eurocentric is to believe that only
ideas/values/people from Europe (even those who settled in America,
basically white people) are important; overbearing means to be too
pushy, too possessive, or always right
- xenophobic, 56: to be afraid of strangers or
- Hanukkah, 69: an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating
the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem
- Kwanza, 69: An African-American cultural festival,
celebrated from December 26 to January 1.
- wombat: burrowing Australian marsupial
- Titans, 113: mythical monsters whom Greeks
believed to inhabit the earth before human beings came to be
- suffragettes, 154:women who fought for the
right to vote
- self incrimination, 157:giving evidence or
testimony that shows one's own guilt
- bichon frise, 149: a breed of dog
- indentured servitude, 177: servants would bind
themselves to an "owner" to work for a period of time
until they were freed, generally as a way to finance their voyage
- For online
- Optional directions: Choose three
of the following questions to answer in writing. Each response is
to be a full paragraph. Support your answers with facts, examples
from the book, and/or personal stories. This assignment must be
typed. Use Falcon Skills and Style Handbook for
- (14) Family communication: How does communication
break down in Melinda's family? What could each person do to improve
it? If you were a parent, how would communication be in your family?
- (15) What does Melinda's room say about her?
How does your room express who you are?
- (20) Why do we sometimes not like people who
are really good at things, like sports, music, art, or school? Is
this fair? Are adults like this?
- (23) What clubs, sports, or activities are
you involved in? Is it true that 9th graders "hang back"
and don't join groups? Why?
- (32) Are we sometimes different people on the
outside than we are on the inside? Which characters from the novel
fit this description? Why is this true about people, do you think?
- (39) Melinda's parents tell her that she's
too old to go trick or treating and she pretends to be mad. Why
do you think Melinda is both relieved and sad not to go trick or
treating? What does it feel like to leave childhood traditions behind?
- (42) Who are the Marthas and how is their club both good and bad?
What qualities should a service club have? How would you "fix"
- (54) Who is a "real" American? What
do you think of Mr. Neck's opinion? Going by his definition, are
some of you not really Americans? How does that seem to you?
- (82) Why is it that people sometimes "like
us" more when they can get something out of us? Are the Marthas
good friends to Heather? Why or why not?
- (83) What should we value in other people?
What qualities are important in a person? What do you usually notice
first about someone? Does that matter or not?
- (99) Was being a child better than being a
teenager? In what ways? In what ways is it better to be older? Why
is it hard to be in-between childhood and adulthood?
- (109) Melinda wishes her science teacher would
teach them about love and betrayal instead of about the birds and
the bees. Where do we learn about things like that? Can we learn
about love from a book? Explain?
- (118) Mr. Freeman tells his class, "You
must walk alone to find your soul." What does this mean? Is
it true? What is a soul?
- (122) Mr. Freeman also says that "art
is about making mistakes and learning from them." What else
is like this? Explain.
- (153) Mr. Freeman, again! He tells Melinda
that "nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting." He's
literally talking about a drawing of tree, but what do you
think he really means?
- (159) David is a true friend to Melinda, but
he tells her something she may not want to hear. He says that people
have to speak up for their rights, referring to the suffragettes.
What should his words mean to her?
- (187) Melinda's father explains to her that
the arborists are cutting off disease and damage to make it possible
for the tree to grow again. How can the pruning of the tree be compared
to Melinda's life?
Topics (with page references):
- First day of high school (3)
- High school clans (4)
- Lies they tell you (5, 148)
- Humiliations, embarrassing moments (8)
- Being cool: when is being cool really "un-cool"?
- What should we value in people? what's important?
- What do report cards really say about students?
- Is school a place where you can really say
what you think, or not? (55)
- Have you ever felt like there were two "yous"
fighting inside you? (132)
Mr. Freeman introduces Melinda to the following artists and artistic
In biology class, Melinda studies plants, dissects a frog, and learns
about the history of genetics.
- terms: pistil, stamen, hypothalamus, arborist,
dominant and recessive
Mr. Neck doesn't understand Free Speech as David Petrakis does, but
through this part of the novel, the reader can think about what it
means to have the freedom to say what one believes.
- (118) "You must walk alone to find your
- (122) "Art is about making mistakes and
learning from them."
- (153) "Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting."
YOU need to Speak!
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