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They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky

Teaching the non-fiction text about the Lost Boys of Sudan

Stephanie Stever

on 5 June 2013

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Transcript of They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky

The Story of three Lost Boys from Sudan They Poured Fire On Us From the Sky Real-life experiences
Real-world setting and culture fighting wild animals
fear of kidnapping and enslavement
seeing death in so many forms
someone poisoning your food
seeing kids go crazy
woken by explosions
cooking food in bombshells
crossing a desert
having a boy torn from beside by a small lion The Unfamiliar ~Highlight realizations
~Have students write about a time when they came to a similar realization, or a memorable one. "Back in Juol, anyone who knew my father's name would treat me with respect. On my own, people insulted me, kicked my hand and whipped me. I was nobody." (p.178) - Ask students to write about someone who has protected them, either over a period of time or a single instance.
- Have students pay attention to 'protectors', and instances of protection within the book.
-Have students note whether the protection was overt or covert. "Joseph devoted himself to finding food for us younger ones .... Joseph would go out early every morning to pick mangoes for us to sell in town." (p.161) Near Wau, is Juol Real World Setting & Culture Features of Non-fiction How can we relate? familiar Images chores
everyday life
childhood play and
competitiveness, etc. Universal Ideas & Emotions fear
lack of understanding a situation
careless mistakes
pretending to be strong
being alone
depression/ wanting to give up
expectations of others
unanswered questions
confusion between good and evil
cultural/family/community traditions
treated like an outcast compassion
desire for reprieve
false perceptions/assumptions
resilience, persistence, determination
small worldview changes
ignorant people
false accusations heartache
calculated risks
not living according to own free will
meaningful objects
familial bond
coping mechanisms
learn from sharing
change in child's play based on what they see
protectiveness of family
acceptance How do we use it? * anticipatory writing about any of the emotions and experiences
*finding an instance in the text that exhibits an emotion [ex. fear], and have student create a graphic organizer in which they can compare their situation with that Benson, Alepho or Benjamin.
*have students write about their own experiences and be sure to have them include universal emotions Example: My Circumstances: Angog's village was bombed, and in the confusion, she could not find Benson. She ran all the way to her mother's house, and he wasn't there. They had no idea where he was.
Alepho did not find Benson for 5 years. FEAR Alepho, Mother, & Angog's circumstances While in a store with my mom, and my three young daughters, my 3-year old became angry at me over a toy. I turned to her to talk about it, and she was gone. My mom walked to one end of the store, and I walked to the door, while nightmares ran through my mind's eye. As I stepped into the sun and looked down the side of the building into a narrow alley, I saw an older gentleman herding my small child in my direction. She was halfway around the building, and this stranger brought her back. Music of Thong Jieng
Title: Matakum Makasara Benjamin Ajak 2009 Benson Deng Alepho Deng Give students a focus prior to each reading, something specific to look for.
For example:
* How Elders are discussed and treated? What responsibilities do they have?
* What is the perception of school and education?
* What does war do to people?
>Use such questions and their answers to help students construct ideas of Sudanese (Dinka) culture, and to then draw comparisons and contrasts.
>Discuss instances that are implicit, and those that are explicit, and how to distinguish each. Literary Devices within the Novel: Authorial assessments: "I watched them kill our cattle, set the millet and sorghum fields on fire, destroy all the things that human life needs to survive."(p.63) [77, 119, 123, 126, 127]
Sequencing [138, 165, 188, 211]
Retrospective Strategy [138 & 3]
Language: description, metaphor, and simile
-77: "We could feel our bones trying to exhibit themselves to the world."
[more:78, 108, 111, 117, 119, 120, 137, 139, 141]
Personification: p. 141-142 "Dinka Man Fighting Buffalo"Painting by Simon Mac Anyuat, aged 17, Sudanese, Kakuma refugee camp. "My picture shows a man from my tribe, the Dinka, wearing traditional clothes and fighting a buffalo to prove that he is a man."Credit: One Day We Had to Run!: Refugee Children tell Their Stories in Words and Paintings "My Village in Sudan"
Painting by Bor Alier, aged 17, Sudanese, Kakuma refugee camp.
"In my village in Sudan, people would come and take photographs of us and ask about our terrible life. We would tell them how we had lost our cattle, how we needed help. Then they would go away. Again and again. We thought they would help. Then one day we had to run. We had nothing. Nobody came back to help. Don't ask me about my problems. You will just go away too." Objective: to provide ideas about how to teach the text, utilizing universal emotions; providing instances of literary devices and connecting the "real-life/real-world" aspect.
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