Respond to the Reading
Discuss these words from Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“I have a dream that four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Do you think the community in which you live has reached this goal? Explain. What can you do to achieve King’s “dream”?
Write a Research Report
Work with a partner or small group to research an incident of ethnic or religious intolerance in Canada. What were the events leading up to the incident? What were the issues, and how did the people involved feel about them? What, if anything, did the people involved learn from the incident? What did you learn from your research? Decide on how you will present your report: as a scripted recorded podcast, or a written post in your blog. Hint: use the speech as a model.
Write an Opinion Essay
Choose a type of prejudice or bias about which you feel strongly. It could be bias against an ethnic or religious group, a group of students in your school, or any other group. Write an opinion essay that expresses why people have a negative view of that group, and presents arguments that might change their minds. Your essay should begin with a clear statement of your point of view, give your arguments and supporting evidence, and end with a strong and persuasive conclusion.
Who is the hero in this story? Explain why you think so.
What is the turning point? In what way does Michelle change?
What is the overall message and mood?
Why is humour an important part of this story?
Why do you think Alison Lohans calls her story “The Michelle I Know”?
Investigate drawing a plot diagram for this story. Use an online tool or draw your own chart. Complete it by adding story details under each of the following: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Have you read other stories like “The Michelle I know”? Discuss these stories. How were their plots similar or different? How could you use a plot diagram the next time you write your own short story?
Write a Short Story
In most good stories the characters undergo a significant change, just as Michelle does. Think about, and jot down, some ideas for a short story about an ordinary person who undergoes a significant change. Which idea would make an entertaining story for an audience of your peers?
Write an outline for your short story, including notes on the following: main character and personality, setting, conflict, initial incident, rising action, changes, climax, and conclusion/denouement/resolution. Use this outline to write a first draft. Ask a partner to give you feedback about improving your story. Revise your draft using this feedback.
Revisit the definition of narrative conflict. Discuss how the author used the conflict between characters to create tension. Why is conflict an important element of a story? How does conflict create a tense, fast-paced story? Discuss the types of conflict that exist in other stories(novels) you have read recently.
Create a Sequel
What happens to Kath, Helen, and Kevin after the story ends? Continue the story. Be sure that the details and events you relate are consistent with he original story.
Here are a few suggestions to help you write your own short story sequel: Developing an Idea
Think about “Kath and Mouse.” What do you think the characters have learned in the story? Try to predict what they will do next.
Develop a plot idea. Does Kath continue to bully others around her?
List the characters that you want to include
Write an outline that describes the plot, setting, point of view, and main conflict. Will you tell the story from Kath’s or Helen’s point of view, or as an outsider looking in on the situation?
Using your outline as a guide, write you story. Think about an exciting way to start. Grab your reader’s interest right at the start.
What will the mood or tone of your story be – funny, serious, or realistic?
Laura Secord a poem by Raymond Souster
Lady, long part of our history
would you perhaps have been so eager
that time to drive those silly cows
before you through the forest mile after mile,
risking who knows what indignities
at the hands of the invaders,
had you known you would end up
on the box for a brand
of over-sweet chocolates?
I. Respond to the Poem
During the War of 1812, Laura Secord saved a British garrison from American attack. Do some research on Laura Secord and compare what you find out to what is revealed in the poem.
There are two parts to this poem. Why do you think the author divided the poem this way?
The poem is written as one long question. What question is Raymond Souster asking?
What do you think he is saying about heroes and heroic deeds?