Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Speak_Laurie Halse Anderson

A reading group selected Speak to read. Purchase B & N
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak follows Melinda (narrator) through her first year of high school. Nobody at school will talk to her. "I see a few friends - people I used to think were my friends - but they look away."

Her art class offers solace. In the beginning of the novel, Melinda wasn't able to draw a tree in art class. She was disconnected, depressed and retreated into herself. Eventually she is able to draw a tree using various mediums.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

Students will be drawing an outline of a tree. They will look at the negative space and add definition.

They will use Picasso's Cubism technique by drawing a face with two angles. Melinda is a complex character and each angle will represent before High School and during her freshman year.
Picasso's Influence: 
Picasso's Art Lesson
Picasso's Style
Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Dora Maar Seated
Note the elimination of one facial perspective
Cubism provides several viewpoints of a single object.
 How to draw a face is a math lesson
Drawing Face Proportions

  1. Eyes are halfway between the top of the head and chin.
  2. Nose is halfway between the eyes and chin.
  3. Mouth is halfway between nose and chin.
  4. Ears line up above the eyes and on the eyebrows.
  5. Ear bottom line up with bottom of the nose.How to draw a human face.
 Think about how Melinda changed as you were reading. Use the following character analysis template to record your thinking.Character_Analysis.pdf

Art Activity Pack 
Picasso Portraits 

Students are creating a tree like in the story.
Trying different mediums

You may read ahead
Welcome to MerryWeather High
attitude p. 4
rival p. 4
abstinence p. 4
clans p. 4
inconspicuous p. 7
demerit p. 9
viola p. 11
flutters p. 12
Use or author's words in the text to become familiar with the vocabulary.
Speak anticipation guide
Write whether you agree or disagree beside each statement.

Powerful visions: page 12
“You could paint a picture of it with people fleeing from the hole,

with a wet muzzled dog chewing Alaska~ the opportunities are endless.”

Plot diagrams
Begin recording parts of the story from 1-5

  1. Melinda began her freshman year being ignored.
  2. Everyone is ignoring her.
  3. "I am Outcast", clanless.
  4. But a new girl Heather says, "I'm Heather from Ohio.
  5. In high school they tell you 10 lies. pg 5-6
List the Protagonist:

Setting - Time:
Setting - Place:
Listen to Welcome to MerryWeather High page 3-6 (part) The instructions from Melinda's art teacher, "You will spend the rest of the year learning how to turn that object into a piece of art." I picked out, "Tree" pg 12  I've been painting watercolors of trees hit by lightening. pg 30 The character Melinda struggles to draw realistic trees.
Student's are beginning to draw a "Tree" and trying to turn it into art.
How to Draw-a-Detailed-Tree

Draw a tree with lighting ~ Dark Moody-Tree-in-Thunderstorm (Painting)

Tree's Place

Tree has staked its claim,
anchoring itself firmly to Earth.
Tree owns this place in the universe.
Turf, shaft of air, even slices of sun. 
Tree will not step aside for anyone.
Tree stands its ground.
When you
Meet Tree,
You must
go around.

Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems
Kristine O'Connell George

Using oil pastels to draw a tree How to Draw a Tree in Oil Pastel

Hot Seat  Wild Card & Say It

Provide a deck of "Say It" cards one number cube
  1. Each student rolls the number cube. The student rolling the highest number is
    in the Hot Seat.  
  2. Student in the Hot Seat draws one card from the deck and responds to the prompt.
  3. Sudents in the group listen to the response and providefeedback using a point system of 1-5.
  4. The student in the Hot Seat records his/her points. The student with the highest points at the end of the game wins. Handout Reading.pdf

Read the Poem: "Elephant in the Room" (author unknown)

There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it.
Yet we squeeze by with, “How are you?” and “I’m fine,” and a thousand other
forms of trivial chatter. We talk about the weather. We talk about work.
We talk about everything else, except the elephant in the room.
There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it’s there. We are thinking about the elephant as we talk together.
It is constantly on our minds. For, you see, it is a very large elephant.
It has hurt us all.
But we don’t talk about the elephant.
Oh, please, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
For if I cannot, then you are leaving me….
in a room….
with an elephant. Taken from

In the book the author wrote 
Discussion:   NIGHTMARE
"I see IT in the hallway. IT goes to Merryweather. IT is walking with Aburey Cheeleader. IT is my nightmare and I can't wake up. IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I'd throw up." pg 45-46
  • Have you been in a frightening situation where you felt you had no control of what was happening around you?
In the chapter Job, the class took a test to determine their desires and dream pg 52
Do I (a) prefer to spend time with a large group of people?
        (b) prefer to spend time with a small group of close friends?
        (c) prefer to spend time with family?
        (d) prefer to spend time alone?
1. Merryweather High School - This institution is located in Syracuse, New York. Describe your High School. 

2. Melinda's Closet - This is a cozy hiding place for the main character in the school. Describe a place that you like to hang out. 

3. Melinda's Room - This location is primarily pink and rose with bunnies everywhere. Describe your sleeping area.
4. The Art Room - This is the only place the main character feel safe. Describe a place that you feel safe.
 Find out what You were Born to do in life. Take a Skillcow Test
Reading Handout pdf 
Book Trailer
How Did the Author Use Symbolism in "Speak"?
Speak  Novel Study
Listen to the Author
Speak Free Quiz
English Teacher Lesson Plans

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