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Speak Unit: Laurie Halse Anderson

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Kati Hooper

on 17 December 2013

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Transcript of Speak Unit: Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson
Literary Devices
Discussion Questions
MP Four
Marking Period 3
MP 3
Mean Girls: Cafeteria Cliques
Elements of Characterization
Write Now
Bookmarks will be taken on sheets for Speak. There will be 6 bookmarks per "marking period."
1. Literary Terms
2. Trees
3. Speaking/Silence/FREE SPACE
physical description
name analysis
reactions of others
action or incident
physical/emotional setting

1. A symbol is an object, a picture, a written word, or a sound that is used to represent something. A motif is an image, spoken or written word, sound, act, or another visual or structural device that is used to develop a theme.

2. A symbol can be repeated once or twice, while a motif is constantly repeated.

3. A symbol can help in the understanding of an idea or thing, while a motif can help indicate what the literary work or piece is all about.

4. The meaning of a symbol depends on its history and purpose while the meaning of a motif depends on how it is being used in a certain literary work.
Metaphor: 97, 100, 104 (3), 111
Simile: 96, 98 (2), 109 (2),
Allusion: 97
What are common symbols in our daily lives?

Do the meanings ever change?

What symbol represents Melinda best? Why?
Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally
I order my dinner at 3:10 and eat it on the white couch. I don't know which parent was having seizures when they bought that couch. The trick to eating on it is to turn the messy side of the cushions up. The couch has two personalities: 'Melinda inhaling pepperoni and mushroom' and 'No one ever eats in the family room, no ma'am.' I chow and watch TV until I hear Dad's Jeep in the driveway. Flip, flip, flip-cushions reversed to show their pretty white cheeks, then bolt upstairs. By the time Dad unlocks the door, everything looks the way he wants to see it, and I have vanished.
1. Discuss the evolvement of the name of Merryweather High School's mascot and the debate over the name.
2. Discuss the interaction between Melinda and Ivy.
3. Analyze Melinda's inner struggle when she learns that Rachel is dating Andy.
4. Explain Melinda's attempt to raise her Social Studies grade, the result, and whether or not the students think Neck acts fairly.
5. How does Melinda start to find her voice?
6. What happens when Melinda talks to Rachel?
7. Discuss what Melinda's graffiti about Andy reveal.
8. What happens at the last day of school?
1. Discuss what precipitates Melinda's skipping school and what she does.
2. Discuss the dissolution of Melinda and Heather's friendship and the effect it has on Melinda.
3. Analyze the events of Valentine's Day on Melinda and the aftermath.
4. Discuss what happens when Melinda is placed in MISS.
5. Analyze Mr. Freeman's effect on Melinda, inside and outside of art class.
6. Examine Melinda's self image and her survival techniques after Heather's rejection.
7. Examine Melinda's revelation about the night of the party and its residual effect on her.
Write Now!
Journal Topics
English 9: Speak
1. My first day of high school was…because…
2. My favorite subject in school is…because…and my least favorite is …because…
3. A symbol that would best represent me is…because…
4. People write on the bathroom walls because…and I think that…

5. My relationship with my parents is…because….
6. Describe Avondale’s groups/cliques. Do you feel like you belong to one of them?
7. 10 adjectives to describe AHS
8. 10 adjectives to describe myself
9. Describe one of your best friends; describe a misunderstanding or fight you have had.
10. What qualities do you want in a friend? A boyfriend/girlfriend?
11. Should students be allowed freedom of speech in high school? Why?
12. 10 reasons I go to school

13. When should you stand up to a teacher?
14. What would you miss most about talking if you lost your ability to speak?
15. Is there a double standard (meaning boys have more advantages than girls in various situations)?
16. Rate the importance and tell why you chose #1 and #6
• Friends
• Family
• School
• Yourself
• Boyfriend/girlfriend
• Other: ___________________

Please write your journal response on clean lined paper. A commonly asked question is, “How long does it have to be?” You should strive for a well-developed paragraph (about seven sentences). Speed is more important than accuracy for this daily writing, so spelling and grammar errors will not be marked.
These entries need to be titled with the prompt as well as the date.

Example: Relationship with Parents – 12/13/12
Top 10 Lies They Tell You in High School
Following Melinda's style, write down the top ten things that you wish you would have known about high school before you got here. Or maybe things people told you about high school that just aren't true. Your response should be complete and thoughtful
Motifs and Symbols
Close Read #1 pg15
1. Melinda often exaggerates the truth. Find a hyperbole in this passage.
2. Looking at the cover of our book we discover that Melinda may have two distinct sides to her. Find the point in the passage that mentions this type of duality.
3. Find an example of personification.
4. The color white pops up a lot in the passage. Underline it. What does this color do? What connotations does it have?
5. Melinda's dad is mentioned but she does not interact with him. Find points in the text that suggest what her relationship with her dad is like.
A word, phrase, or image that has complex meanings.
In other words, when a certain object, picture or idea is used in literature to really represent something else, it is a symbol.

If you are reading and a certain idea or object keeps reappearing, being described in interesting and complicated ways, there is a good chance it is meant to be looked at on a deeper level…perhaps a symbol of something else!

For example: We notice that Laurie Halse Anderson continually brings up trees in Speak, so it becomes our job as the reader to look deeper into why she makes such a big deal about trees. What is she really trying to get us to see?
Because of their shape – a central trunk with branches like arms and fingers, bark like skin – trees lend themselves to identification with the human form.

We can compare trees and humans easily in how they look. However, we can also compare the way trees grow and die to the human life as well.

How many of you drew trees for the art assignment that resembled people or were meant to represent people?

What other things in nature could we compare human beings to?
Why a tree as a symbol?
When a tree becomes sick, it must either be cared for, or chopped down.

How will Melinda be healed enough to shed her unhealthy bark and dead leaves in order to grow anew?
What happens when trees become “sick”?
Clearly Laurie Halse Anderson has a plan when she “plants” the idea of trees in this novel.
The tree gradually becomes a symbol in the text that represents Melinda’s suffering and recovery.

Does this symbol make sense to you? Is it a good choice by the author to use a tree to symbolize Melinda?
Trees + Symbolism = Melinda?
Pruning can be harmful to a newly planted tree’s health.

Pruning branches on trees not yet planted does not help a tree grow better or establish a balance between the roots and the branches.

A newly planted tree needs all the leaves it has to help support the growth of new roots. Pruning trees before they are ready hurts the tree’s ability to become established.

How do you think the events in Melinda’s life will shape the way she grows and develops in the future?
What happens when tree branches are pruned?

Who is responsible for breaking down these branches?
Pruning 101…

Once her roots were damaged, what were the consequences that followed?

What “branches” withered and died?
What happens when “roots” become damaged?


What “embeds and anchors her”?
The Roots of a Tree and Melinda:
-Melinda first starts thinking about trees when
She draws “TREE”” out of a globe for her year-long art assignment in Mr. Freeman’s class.

-At first she is annoyed, thinking, “Tree? That is too easy! Anyone can draw a tree." But she soon comes to realize the complexity and beauty that lies within the subject.

-As the novel continues, we start to see that Melinda has a deeper connection to trees than just an art assignment…it’s up to us to find the other
Meanings that lie within the text………………..
Melinda’s Connection to Trees…
Today you will be learning about the symbolism Laurie Halse Anderson uses surrounding “trees."

Some parts of the lesson are presenting new information.

Anything you find important, you should take notes on, just as you would off the board.

Anything in
is a question for the group to discuss.
Directions for this Lesson:
Trees as Symbols…

In Speak
Laurie Halse Anderson
Trees as Symbols
in Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson chose to use the tree as a symbol for Melinda in Speak.

Now you will choose a symbol that you feel represents Melinda.

You may draw the symbol if you wish, or you can just journal about it. You will use the remaining time in class to create your symbol and describe it in as much detail as possible. This will be checked in as a WNB entry.
Your Task:

What people or things does she feel connected to but not a part of?
The branch system of a tree…
A tree is a plant that occurs in many different forms. Trees show a variety of formations—including different leaf type and shape, bark characteristics, and reproductive organs.

Compared with most other plants, trees are long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old and growing to up to 379 ft high.

Think back to the Memories of Trees assignment and all the things that you noted that trees do for us!
What is a tree, really?
“The sun goes behind a cloud and I shiver. I should have worn a sweatshirt. The wind rustles dead leaves still clinging to the oak branches by the street. All I can think of is that the rest of the leaves are going to drop and I’ll have to keep on raking…I shouldn’t have raked anything. Look what I started” (167).

What is Melinda referring to when she talks about “raking up dead leaves”?

Do you agree with her, should she have “never started” raking up leaves if it seems they’ll just continue falling?
Interpret a quote…
Turn and Talk, then we will report back to the class.
Metaphor: 97, 100, 104 (3), 111
Simile: 96, 98 (2), 109 (2),
Allusion: 97
Please do these as you come into class today!

1. Highlight where/were/we're in your booklet in your WNB

2. Hunt for where/were/we're usage in Speak and copy down the sentence and page number in your WNB

3. Get out symbolism project and keep working!

1. Hand-in symbolism project (stapled) on the podium AND late bookmarks

2.Highlight Loose and Lose in booklet

3. Hunt for loose, lose usage in Speak and copy down the sentence and page # in your WNB
Before class starts please:
PS: if you do not have 4 papers on your desk, you have missing assignments
Universal statement of truth that applies to most people most of the time

1. Turn in homework on podium

2. In WNB either create 4 sentences using than/then or find examples in Speak

3. Finish up Claim and Evidence in WNB (I'll be checking these in today!)
Before class starts please:

WNB Metacognitive Response:

Look back into your WNB and find your favorite entries. What are you most proud of?

What are your goals for second semester? What are some things that you need to change?
**Needs to be at least a page
Before class starts please:
"She always walks with me down the halls chattering a million miles a minute" (24).
Definition: an implied or indirect reference especially in literature.
"We are reading the Scarlet Letter one letter at a time.." (45).
Full transcript