Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Verse Novels: Text to Self Connections

Task:
1. Review the yearly Essential Questions for our class.
2. Identify which Essential Question(s) is addressed in your verse novel.
3. Write a reflection that explains how the Essential Question(s) is supported in the verse novel. Explain this connection in detail using a 50+ word count. (Do this for each verse novel.)



 

41 comments:

  1. The verse novel “Heartbeat” by Sharon Screech answers some of the essential questions for our class. In the novel, the important things in life are explained. For example, in art class the main character Annie has an assignment to draw a picture of an apple every day for one hundred days. Each day Annie further understands the apple and by the end of the one hundred days she fully understands the importance and worth of the apple. This opens up her eyes to appreciate the smallest things in life. This is one of the most important things in life. Also, Annie likes to run all the time. When she is running, she runs barefoot. This is because she likes to feel the earth under her feet as she runs. Running helps her think and unwind and she just feels free. This is one of the characteristics of love. It is a characteristic of love because she really loves to run, and when she is running she can be herself and let escape reality. Having someone of something in your life that allows you to be yourself and escape reality is one characteristic of love. These are two of the essential questions for the year answered in the verse novel “Heartbeat” by Sharon Screech.
    Noelle

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  3. In Crossing Stones by Helen Frost, one of the main characters, Muriel, shows great courage when she travels to Washington DC. The first time is when she agrees to go all by herself to help her suffragist aunt come home. Her aunt is sick and weak because she went on a hunger strike when she was in jail. Also while in DC, Muriel joins the movement, which also took courage because many women were getting arrested. Finally, after Muriel came home Washington DC, she receives a note from one of her aunt’s friends offering Muriel a job in Washington DC. Muriel courageously accepts. This is courageous because she graduated high school just a year ago and she is going to live in a huge city by herself. Also in Crossing Stones, a relationship blossoms between Muriel’s brother, Ollie, and their neighbor, Emma. This touches on the essential question about love. It is hinted at during the book that the two of them have crushes on each other, but only when Ollie returns from war do the two friends begin their relationship. Also, Muriel shows how much she loves her little sister, Grace, when she reads to Grace every day while Grace is sick. Muriel and her mother think that Grace is unconscious and on the verge of death, but Muriel is determined to save her little sister. Muriel never stops reading, not even to sleep. Grace does recover and Muriel’s reading and love definitely played a part in that.

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  4. Samantha, Class 4:
    The book “Locomotion” by Jacqueline Woodson connects to the essential questions that this class has. For example, Lonnie exhibits the characteristics of love when he promises his sister that he will try to be better so that they are allowed to see each other more often. This shows love because Lonnie will do anything to be with his sister even if it is something that he doesn’t want to do. Many important things in life are shown throughout the book as well. Lonnie shows the reader that the most important thing in life is family. Family is most important to him because they provide him with the most amount of love and care that he has ever received. Lonnie also shows courage throughout this verse novel. For instance, he starts to write poetry expressing his feelings and his teacher, Ms. Marcus, encourages him to open up more and share with the class. Lonnie proves to be courageous because he steps out of his comfort zone and writes poems about his true feelings towards his parents’ death.

    In the verse novel, “What is Goodbye” by Nikki Grimes, many essential questions are represented. The characteristics of love are shown throughout the story. For example, Jesse and Jerilyn express their feelings of love for their late brother, Jaron. Many of their poems are speaking to Jaron and asking why someone as loving and kind as him had to leave them. They both show their love for each other by helping one another move on from the passing. Jesse and Jerilyn also show courage in this verse novel. It is shown through their attempts to move forward from the passing and stop grieving. Both Jesse and Jerilyn are able to find the strength that they need in each other, they then are able to bring that strength to their parents and help them move on as well. Jesse and Jerilyn also show what is important in life. When they are trying to heal, they both decide to focus on what is really important in life; love. Their entire family finally begins to find the courage to carry on, stop mourning Jaron’s death and learn to love each other the way they did before Jaron died.

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  5. Alex, Class 4

    In the verse novel “Three Rivers Rising” by Jame Richards, courage plays a big part in the story. The main character, Celestia, needs to build up the courage to find a way to stay with Peter. She knows that her parents will disown her if they find out to maintain their social status. Peter is from the poor part of town, and her parent’s friends will look down on their relationship, and therefore their family. She escapes in the night to go find Peter and get away from her parents. She finds him and nurses his father back to health. It took a lot of courage for her to leave her family for Peter, but she loved him. When the dam above the town broke, the resulting flood killed many people. Celestia’s father was so worried about her, he took the risk to travel down to the town himself. He eventually gives Peter his blessing, because he realizes that it is not right to willingly disassociate yourself with those you love when they can be taken from you at a moments notice. He realized this when he was looking for Celestia, and he saw the people who had lost those they loved. It took courage on his part, because it meant that his friends would not respect him as much. This book shows that if you take risks for those you love, you have courage.

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  6. Lena- Class 4
    In the book True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff, the author talks and shows what the important things are in our life through a character and a plot. She talks about the main character, LaVaughn, and how she struggles with her life, trying to find out what is important and what is not. Her father has died when she was little, but feels like his position is being replaced by a new man, LaVaughn’s mother’s co-worker. Also, she has this crush on Jody, her best friend when they were little. She has no idea what he feels about her, and finds out that he is actually gay. In addition, her two closest friends since she was a little girl were drifting away from her, making her feel alone and abandoned. Eventually, during the end of the book she finds out that what is really important is her future, including her education. Also, she realizes that love is the most important element that one must have in their life. She finds this out when her mother took care of her when no one else was there. Additionally, she also finds out that she must forgive people, even though they are not what LaVaughn would like them to be. She learns this when Jody came to her birthday party even though he was not invited, and she becomes friends with him again. In conclusion, finding life’s important elements is hard, and normally you have to go through the pain to find out the lessons.

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  7. Katie, Class 4

    In “Out of the Dust”, by Karen Hesse, one of the main characters, Billie Jo, shows many examples of courage and love. When a bucket of kerosene is accidently used as water, a fire starts in Billie Jo’s kitchen. While Billie’s pregnant mother sprints outside, Billie picks up the bucket courageously, wanting to save her family’s house, and throws it out the door. She thought she was a hero until she noticed, surprisingly, her mother was running back. The fire spread all over Billie's mother. Billie immediately dove in to help her, risking her own life for her mom. Billie was already courageous enough to throw the fire out, but to then use her hands to pat out the fire on her mother was brave. However, Billie Jo using her hands to pat out the fire on her mother was also a sign of love. If Billie didn't love her, she wouldn’t have risked her own life and her hands. Another example of courage was after Billie’s mother died, and trying to play the piano again. Billie’s mom taught her to play the piano, so every time Billie played the piano, she thought of her mom. With her burned hands that stung when they touched the keys, and the thought of her dead mother, she had a hard time playing. Luckily, she finally built up enough courage by the end of the novel to just sink it in and play. Another example of love and courage was when Billie was stuck at the store, and her father was inside the house. A huge dust storm, making them blind, was outside. Although the dust was blinding, Billie used her feet to navigate where she was going, and she tried to walk home. That was courageous because the wind and dust were blowing so hard that she could of died, but if it meant that she could see her father again, she would be happy. Now at this point, her father also went out to look for her. That was also courageous. The fact that both of them went out to look for each other in the blinding dust, shows love. Last of all, when Billie decided the dust storms were too much for her, she courageously hopped on a train herself, alone. She packed herself food, and a few other items. It was brave because it would be hard to go on a train by yourself, and then when you get to your destination, living by yourself. However, once she traveled for about 2 and a half days West, she realized that she loved her father and her home. Despite all of the dust storms, life was going pretty well. This was also a sign of love.

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  8. Katie, Class 4

    Throughout the novel, “May B”, May shows a lot of courage and learns an important note for her future life. May discovers that it doesn’t matter when she make mistakes. We are human, and we are not perfect. They don’t make us who we are. She evens says it herself, relating to when she reads. “Sometimes, I twist them. I have to stop and try again. But why is there shame in that?” May not only learns an important life lesson, but she also shows great courage. For example, when she is stranded alone, she continues with her chores even though being stranded alone frightens her. May spotted wolf tracks pressed in the snow. Instead of running, May grabbed a broom and tried to find the wolf to kill it. It shows a lot of courage just to live alone in a dark house for a few months, picking food and fruit off of plants, getting your own fuel for the oven, and lighting candles to see in the house, but on top of that, going out against a predator is brave. In the meantime, she was freezing. All she had was a few pairs of clothing, and one blanket. Even one of the neighbors that discovered May had been living there said that May was courageous and brave. He said, “She’s a strong girl. A girl who tries to cover fifteen miles alone in the snow can handle just about anything.”

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  9. Many essential questions were answered in the book “Addie on the Inside”. Love is acceptance of all, being without judgement, and compassion. In the book, Addies friends posses all these qualities. They have loved her and stuck with her through all her highs and lows. While, some of her other friends only became friends with her when she started to date one of the most popular boys in school. It isn't true friendship when people like you for what you have and not for who you are. Even though her true friends are all boys, that doesn't matter because they have unconditional love. When Addie dresses weird and acts overly smart her true friends don't make snarky remarks, like the other kids. Therefore, they have a love for eachother that keeps them together. Another essential question is what is important in life and Addie really thinks about those things. She isnt a typical teenage girl who cares about clothes and makeup, but instead thinks about world hunger and peace. She tries to contribute to putting an end to these big world problems. She also strives in school to always do her best and get the best grades. She works hard and pays attention in class. Addie also posses the quality of courage. When all the kids are making comments about her all the time and are making fun of her she never changes who she is. She wakes up every day and pretends she doesn't hear the kids mean words and just worries about herself and bigger things in the world. She is genuine to herself which requires so much courage. All in all, this book answers many essential questions.

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  10. Some of the essential questions were answered in "Heartbeat" by Sharon Creech. Love was prevalent many times throughout the story. One example is the main character Annie, has the love for running that is stronger than anything. She loves to run barefoot, thus she can hear the thump-thump of her feet on the ground, and the only person she wants to run with is her best friend Max. She doesn't like running in packs or in a race. Running she thinks isn't meant to be used for competition; she likes it because it allows her to feel free. She also loves her best friend Max. She cares about him so much and all she wants is for him to be happy. For example, she gives him the money she worked for by doing chores for her neighbor for years. This way Max will have enough money to buy running sneakers in time for the first meet. She really wanted drawing pencils and papers but she figures Max needed the money more than her. Furthermore, she realizes the important things in life when Miss Freely, the art teacher, assigns the project to draw the same apple over and over again for one hundred days .This part of the book is really important because Annie starts to look at the apple more deeply, which makes her start to look at her life more closely, so then she is able to understand what is happening in her life better. By reading this story, I think the author wanted me to understand that everything changes and that is part of growing up.

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  12. “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse is one of the verse novels that I read. The essential questions for the year are explained. For instance, the characteristics of love are explained with Billie Jo and her dad’s relationship. This is because, when Billie Jo runs away, she feels compelled to come back. She started to miss her dad and didn’t want him to be miserable while living alone. The characteristic of love explained here is that when you love someone, you’re miserable when the person who you love is miserable.

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  13. Lena – Class 4
    Throughout the book “Love that Dog” by Sharon Creech, the boy that is writing the poems learns what courage is and uses it throughout the book. The boy is in a poetry class and likes to write poems, but refuses to admit it and complete the assignments that the teacher gives him. Then, he tells a story about how he had a dog, a yellow one, that he loved. Eventually, he talks about the tragic story about how the dog dies; he gets hit by a car. The boy was even holding the dog when it died, the boy saying that it fell asleep, and he could tell it wasn’t breathing anymore. He uses courage throughout the book to overcome this tragic event. He also eventually uses courage to write a letter to an author that inspired him. He did not end up writing his name, but it takes a lot of courage for a little boy in a cruel world to be himself and overcome his fear of humiliation.

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  14. Camryn Class 4
    In the verse novel “Witness”, many groups of people are singled out by another group of people. The essential question that this novel supports is, What causes prejudice, and how can it be avoided? This question supports the novel because the african american girl Leona Sutter had prejudice feelings toward her from other people, because she has colored skin. However, once they get to know her they realize that she is a great girl, this shows that you have to get to know someone before you judge them. All in all, I hope the world can stay like it is now, so everyone can be treated the same and never again as has happened in the past.

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  15. Camryn Class 4
    In the verse novel “Hidden” by Helen Frost a great deal of courage is displayed throughout the novel. The essential question this novel supports is, What are the Characteristics of Courage? This represents the novel because Wren Abbott displays the characteristics of courage when she is trapped inside Darra’s garage and finds a way to survive and get out of there. Also, Wren and Darra find the courage to become friends and talk about what happened all those years ago. I think the characteristics of courage are not being afraid to do whats right, and not being afraid to make a mistake. Furthermore, these two acts were displayed in this novel therefore, relating it to this essential question.

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  16. Alex, Class 4

    In the verse novel “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse, Billie Jo finds out what it means to love someone. Her mother never showed her love for Billie Jo very often, and she didn’t compliment Billie Jo very often. An accident with a pail of kerosene gives her mother severe burns, and she eventually dies. Billie Jo remembers her mother and wishes that the accident with the kerosene never happened. This is a characteristic of love. One remembers the loved one, even after they are gone. Billie Jo also remembers her mother with more fondness than she ever had in her life, because she misses even the slight compliments she would give her. She may have given few compliments, but having her there to give them was better than not. When one loses someone they love, they want to see them again, and they wish they were still with them. Billie Jo feels this loss. Additionally, when someone who we love dies, we are likely to stay away from the things that person loved the most. In Billie Jo’s case, this was her mother’s piano. Billie Jo refused to go in that room, let alone play it, after her mother was gone. Overall, when we love someone, we will love them long after they’re gone, and we will wish they will come back. We will remember them with fonder feelings than we ever had while they were with us, and we will stay away from what reminds us of them most. Billie Jo experiences this first hand with the loss of her mother.

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  19. In Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, Billie Jo learned about one of the most important things in life: determination. All throughout the story, Billie Jo and her family have problems. They are poor and their farm is failing due to the drought and the dust storms. Then, the worst happened. Billie Jo's mother and her baby brother died. Billie Jo's dad began to freeze her out and the two of them couldn't seem to communicate anymore. Despite all these problems, they didn't give up. Billie Jo's dad continued to try and grow crops and Billie Jo tried to get through life and continue to survive. This perseverance was important because eventually it did start to get better. Billie Jo and her father's relationship improved and the winter brought along snow, which helped the crops. Also, Billie Jo discovered that the piano was important to her. During the hard times, she always had the piano. She could play her troubles away. The piano could bring her to different worlds. Sadly, during the accident that killed her mom, Billie Jo's hands were burnt very badly. This made it very painful to play the piano and at the time she needed it most, she didn't have what helped her cope with all the other troubles in her life. She realized then how important the piano really was to her, and through perseverance, Billie Jo began to play the piano again, despite the pain it caused her to her hands and to her heart, for she played on the piano in which her mom had gotten as a wedding present.

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  20. In the verse novel “Heartbeat: by Sharon Creech there are answers to our class’s essential questions. The main character Annie gets an assignment from her teacher that opens her up to see the important things in life. She drew an apple everyday for 100 days every time with a bite taken out of it. Til it reaches the core. Annie really found the importance of life. Annie finds the characteristic of love, too. Running barefoot lets her be free. She can hear the thump of the ground beneath her and the thump of her heart within her. When she needs to relax, she runs. When she wants to have fun, she runs. Annie truly found love and not through a person, but something that lets her be free. These are the essential questions I found in my verse novel.

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  22. Tessa Luzi Class 4- “Witness” by Karen Hesse: Text to Self Connection
    The novel “Witness” by Karen Hesse clearly describes courage. Hesse’s novel allows you to notice remarkable acts of courage. For example, as the Ku Klux Klan gets it’s way further into the town, community members have to examine what their feelings about the KKK are. Citizens all have to consider if a person’s race also the determines somebody’s merit. Additionally, the characters each respond to the KKK in a different way; some characters show considerable amounts of courage and are honest others are not. For example, 12 year old African American, Leonara Sutter, shows tons of courage throughout the book as she faces discrimination because of her race. She also helps to clear Merlin’s name from being charged with murder after he attempted to poison her families well. This is a remarkable act of courage.
    (135 words)
    Tessa Luzi Class 4- “Shakespeare Bats Cleanup” by Ronald Koertge: Text to Self Connection
    The novel by Ronald Koertge titled ““Shakespeare Bats Cleanup” has some examples of courage. The main character, Kevin Boland, displays several acts of courage. Kevin is able to strength in the face of grief. He is able to own up to himself and be courageous. For example, Mira, a girl in the novel who Kevin winds up liking, asked what Kevin was writing in his notebook in the dugout during the baseball game. Kevin at first responds with a lie, but then explains how he was writing poetry.
    (88 words)

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  26. “Love that Dog” answers many of our essential questions. Jack portrays love when he writes poems about his yellow dog, Sky. He writes about how he first met Sky, and what he liked to do with her. In addition, Jack gathers up courage, and lets his teacher share his poems with his class. At first he is insecure, because he thinks that his poems are bad. However, his classmates love them. He also demonstrates courage by writing a poem about the tragic death of his dog. Even though it was hard for him to discuss, he lets his feelings out. In addition, Jack prejudged poetry, he thought that it was only for girls, and didn’t want to learn it at first. Nonetheless, he gave poetry a try, and turned out really enjoying it. An important thing to remember in life, is always give new things a try, like Jack did with learning poetry.

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  27. “Inside Out and Back Again” answers many of our essential questions. Hà and her family portray a great amount of courage by leaving their lives in Vietnam, and coming to live in America. They take a risk and try to start a better life, even though they know that adapting will be hard. Also, love in shown throughout the whole book. For example, Hà cannot remember anything about her father, but she and her family still pray for him return. Furthermore, her family help each other through the tough times, like when her brother Vũ says he will teach Hà defense so she will be able to protect herself from bullies. An important life lesson her family shows is that they always stick together. Finally, this book shows us that if we learn to overlook prejudice we can make friends. When Hà first went to school, everyone thought she was different, and laughed at her. However two of her classmates, Steven and Pam, decide to be friends with her. By ignoring the fact that she was different, they were able create a strong friendship with Hà.

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  28. Shaye Costello Class 4


    In the verse novel, “Witness”, some of our essential class questions are answered. One of them is the characteristics of courage. This is displayed throughout the novel, in many ways. One characteristic is being able to stand up for yourself and others. An example of this in the book is when Esther, a small child, is on the train tracks and a train comes barreling her way. Leanora Sutter sees her and quickly dashes to jump in front of the little girl and saves her life. This is also a characteristic of love because she cares about Esther so much to risk her own life. Another characteristic of courage is to be able to appear in public places, even though you may be hated or disliked. Leanora still attends school, even after being called names because of her race, and her father, who is African American as well, still goes out and faces the world. Additionally, the question, ‘what cause prejudice and how can it be avoided’ is answered. In this story, race and religion causes prejudice. Society judges the families on their skin tone and their religious choices. A message I got from reading was that it can be avoided if we do not care what others look like, or what they believe in. In the verse novel “Witness”, Karen Hesse answers several of our essential questions.

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  29. Shaye Costello Class 4

    In the verse novel “One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies” by Sonya Sones, some of our class essential questions are answered. One that is answered is the characteristics of love. It displays the characteristics through the main character, Ruby. Some scenarios are when Ruby writes emails to her mother who has just passed away. This is showing love because when you love someone, you find yourself missing them. She also writes to her boyfriend Ray and best friend Lizzie because Ruby moved to California to live with her dad. Another characteristic of love is trust. Ruby hates her dad when she first meets him because she thinks he is awful for leaving her mom. She soon finds out that her mom asked her dad to go, and she grows to love and trust what he has to say. Furthermore, another question was answered in this story. The question, ‘what things are important in life’ is answered. Ruby learns that the most important things in life are family and forgiveness. She learns to forgive her dad for his mistakes, and sees how much fun he is. She learns the importance of family from her mom’s death and Ruby realizes that she is lucky to have a dad that cares for her and loves her. The verse novel, “One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies” answers some of our class’s essential questions.

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  31. In the novel Heartbeat by Sharon Creech one of our essential questions are answered. The question answered is what is important in life. Through out the book two friends, Max and Annie, constantly go on runs through the park. While running Annie is happy and relaxed but when Max is running he is too serious. When Max comes over to Annie’s house to see her new baby brother Annie’s grandpa, who was an amazing runner back when he was younger, tells Max the secret of being a good runner, to do it for fun. The book Heartbeat shows that having fun is the most important thing in life.

    The book Out of the Dust answers two essential question. It tells us what is important in life and what love is. When Billie Jo runs away from home she is trying to find a better life. Also when she burned her hands she can’t play the piano anymore which was her passion. When she runs away she gets on a bunch of different trains. When she reaches her end she realized she didn’t have anything she did not have before. She went back home and realized she was better off at home. It shows us that family and home. The only difference between the city she was in and her home was that she didn’t have any family there. When Billie Jo burns her hands and can’t play piano any more she is crushed. Playing piano was her passion and she loved it. She changes completely after the accident and she would never be the same on the inside or outside. It shows us that a characteristic of love is that without it you are a completely different person. Out of the Dust is gives great answers to our essential questions.

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  32. ANDREW DESMARAIS
    Class 5:
    In the book “The Unsinkable Walker Bean” there are many examples of our three essential questions. The first of the three shown is what is important in life. For Walker Bean the most important thing in life is his friends and family. He goes on a crazy, dangerous, and courageous adventure just to save his grandfather from being sick and dying. The next is love, Walker loves his family so much he does this journey. He cries everytime he thinks he has failed his grandpa. His friend he met was about to die and Walker risked his life for the ones he loves. Finally the last one is courage. This is by far the best example from the book. Walker goes thousands of miles alone hidden on a pirate ship. He must stay brave because he must face pirates, sea monsters, and a poisonous skull. Most people would back out and cry into his pillow but not Walker, he was very courageous. Those are three examples of where this book connects to our classes essential questions.

    In the book “The Hardy Boys” throughout the book there are examples of our classes essential questions. First off, there is courage. These two teenagers are some of the most skilled and important secret agents in the US. They fight some of the biggest, baddest, criminals in the world. Being a teenager and doing this is no easy task. Next, there is prejudice. In the book they are working undercover and the people they are working with prejudge them to be snotty teenagers looking for money and trouble. These workers didn’t know that they just so happened to be some of the best crime fighters there are. Finally, they show what is important in life. Although they fight crime and are no ordinary teenagers, they like to slow things down and try to be normal. This book demonstrated these essential questions perfectly.

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  33. In the verse novel "Shark Girl" The main character Jane gets judged for not having an arm. People prejudge her. They look twice and whisper just because she has one less arm than everybody else. If they had waited and gotten to know her, they would realize that Jane is just like them, a teenage girl with similar interests. Also, she found the characteristics of courage. Jane had her arm bitten off by a shark and now does not have an arm. She needs to be so strong and have so much courage to face that and accept it. Jane found the important things in life by realizing how much she could do with two arms and how much she cannot with one. These are the essential questions in the verse novel.

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  34. Grace, Class 4

    In the verse novel “Out of the Dust” by Karen Hesse it links back to the essential questions of love and courage. The pan caught on fire after pouring oil into the burning pan instead of oil. Billie Jo was very courageous to take the oil and bring it outside so that the whole house wouldn’t burn down. Also, her mother’s clothing caught on fire and Billie Jo went over and helped her mother extinguish the flames out of courage and love.

    In the verse novel “Make Lemonade”by Lauren Wolff it clearly relates to the essential question of courage as well as love. Out of love for Jolly, Jeremy, and Jilly, LaVaughn is determined to help Jooly get a sufficient education and daycare for Jeremy and Jilly so they can all live a normal life. Also, it took LaVaughn a great deal of courage because Jolly would yell at LaVaughn every time she suggested the word “Welfare”. LaVaughn was determined to help Jolly and her family out of love and courage.

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  35. Thomas Winter Class 4

    Becoming Joe DiMaggio

    In the verse novel, “Becoming Joe DiMaggio” by Maria Testa, the essential question of what is the importance of life is addressed. In the story, the main character Joseph Paul and his grandfather sit in their old shed and listen to the Yankees’ games on the radio. They both enjoy these moments that they spend together and love to listen to the crack the ball makes when their favorite player Joe DiMaggio hits it. Throughout the book, issues in Joseph Paul's life emerge. His father was sent to jail, and he used those moments with his grandpa to get through the tough times. Just as he thought his life could get no worse, World War 2 broke out. His father was let out of jail so he could help in the war effort, but he faked a limp to get out of the army. Joseph Paul knew his father was faking and this put even more stress on his shoulders. If he were to even say a peep about his dad’s lie, his father would be sent away for even longer. Since all of the MLB players were sent to Europe or Japan, he had no escape from his lie filled world, leaving him in the toughest situation of his life. When the war was over, all the kids in his neighborhood were excited to see their dads, but for him, he knew his dad would be sent back to prison. The essential question of what is important in life is answered then. When he is able to go back into that shed with his grandpa and listen to his beloved Yankees, he realizes that no matter what, there will always be joy in his life. All in all, according to the story of Joseph Paul, one of the important things is to no matter the situation, remember that there is always something joyful in your life.




    All the Broken Pieces

    In the verse novel “All the Broken Pieces,” there is a great deal of prejudice spread around the characters. This answers our essential question of what causes prejudice and how can it be avoided. The main character Matt is from Vietnam and the story takes place during the Vietnam War years. When Matt was young, his mother handed him off to an American soldier. She asked for the soldier to save her boy. Matt was then brought to America and adopted by a family. A few years later, the war is still going on and Matt began to get a hard time for being Vietnamese. The main bully Rob whose brother died fighting a Vietnamese soldier begins to call Matt a “Frog Face.” I don’t know what this means but I can guess that it’s derogatory towards Vietnamese people. Rob and Matt end up being on each other’s baseball teams, and they are put together as partners for an activity. The activity is that one partner is blindfolded and the other has to lead the blindfolded one to get the objects with only their words. Rob refuses to listen to Matt and decides to do the activity by himself. Matt whispered to him that he understood what he went through with his brother, because he hadn’t seen his siblings since he was young. Rob said it wasn’t the same and continued to do the activity by himself. Advenually, Rob realized
    that Matt was sorry for what happened to his brother and listens to Matt in order to get the final object. From this point on, they actually became friends, and Rob apologized for the mean things he said. This story answers the essential question involving prejudice because it shows how if you learn to forget and forgive, prejudice can be eliminated.

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  36. In the book, “Prince of Persia”, two essential questions are answered. The story is about a group of people that are excused by the king for stealing a royal jewel. The jewel was given to them by the prince of persia. One of the main essential questions that are answered, is the characteristic of courage. In the book, to prove the peoples innocence they all tell their own story of why they were given the gift, and how they are connected to the prince. First of all it takes courage to stand up to a king and defend yourself. Also, in every one of their stories they described how they used courage to either help the prince, or how their courage led them to the prince. Then, the another essential question come up, what is important in life. In the book, if everyone did not use courage, stand up for what was right, and defend themselves, they all would have been killed. Thinking back, these are all characteristics of courage. These characteristics prove that everything they did and said in front of the king was an important factor in life, for it did save their lives.

    In the book, “Ender’s Shadow”, there are essential questions that are involved, and answered. In the book, a boy named Bean is taken care of by a nun and is taught by her for many months. She comes to learn that he is much smarter than many of the other children, and send him off to battle school. One of the essential questions answered was the characteristics of love. Love in the book is grown from the nun caring for him, teaching him, and looking after him. The nun eventually has to let him go off to space and grows very sad. Another characteristic of love is missing someone when they are gone. The second essential question that is answered is what is important in life. In the book, Bean is given a game to play, and is monitored through it. He does not play it though, for he sees right through the trick that the monitors are doing. He suspects that it is not just a game but a test. In life, making decisions and knowing what you are doing are two big characteristics in important factors in life. Also, he gains the courage to go to battle school, and the courage to stand up for what he believes in. This is another big characteristic in important life decisions. Bean is very smart, and uses the characteristics throughout his life.

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  37. Emily
    Class 4

    The essential question, "What things are important in life?" is shown in Out of the Dust. Billie Jo finds that almost everything that is important to her is gone: her mother, her brother, her father, her hands that used to play piano. She doesn't like the situation, but she learns to change with her surroundings. She remembers her mother and respects her stepmother; she accepts that her hands are wounded and are going to stay that way, but she keeps trying to play piano; she knows that her home holds little hope for her but she learns to love it. The ability to adapt is important in life.

    Almost Forever addresses the essential question, "What are the characteristics of courage?" In the novel, courage is when one does something without knowing the outcome of their action or decision. The protagonist's father goes to Vietnam as a doctor, and he doesn't know if he'll be killed or not. Likewise, the protagonist and her mother let him go, not knowing whether or not he will come back. This faith, in the face of uncertainty, shows that they are courageous.

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  38. Avery Class 4

    The book “Heartbeat” can be directly related to the essential question of what is important in life. In Heartbeat Annie values everything that is important to her. She values her family and she thinks she they are very important to her life including her grandpa with Alzheimer's and the baby on the way. Also she thinks running is important because it clears her head and allows her to be free. Another thing that is important to Annie is her best friend Max. Even when he is moody he is still important in Annie’s life. At the end of the book she realizes sometimes even the smallest things can be important.

    In the book “Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs” the main character’s mother dies from cancer and Kevin must find things in his life that are important to him. That directly relates to the essential question what things are important in life. In the book Kevin must find what is important to him. He finds what is important through poetry. Using poetry Kevin finds out that his dad, baseball, his friends, and of course poetry are all important things in his life.

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  39. Brendan Lee
    Class 2

    In the graphic novel, "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman, the essential questions that are found in the novel are, What are the characteristics of love and courage? Coraline shows the characteristics of love when she goes out and looks for her parents in hope of finding them. She does this because she loves and cares for them. She shows courage when she goes and finds her parents from the evil mother who kidnapped them. The evil mother frightens her very much, but she still shows courage and defeats her.

    In the graphic novel, "Houdini: The Handcuff King" by Jason Lutes, the essential questions that are being asked are; What are the characteristics of courage? and What things are important in life? Houdini shows courage in obvious ways. He risks his life performing deadly stunts in order to entertain the public. Jumping into a freezing river with chains takes a lot of courage, most people wouldn't even dip their toe in. Houdini also shows what things are important in life. He knows that he career is based off of his epic stunts, so he spends a lot of time perfecting them because he knows it's important.

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  40. This book Who Will Tell My Brother addresses the essential question what defines courage. This is because throughout the book Evan is faced with many hurdles that try to intimidate and put him down but he keeps fighting through and keeps his courage up and will not stop until what he went out to do as finished. This shows true courage because people keep telling him its not worth it but he has the courage to fight for what’s right.

    This book, Make Lemonade addresses the essential question what are the characteristics of love. This is because the main character Jolly has two children that she loves very much she has a love so strong for them that she is willing to do anything for them. That is a characteristic of love. She was willing to drop out of school give up and education and not get welfare because she was afraid that the government would take her children away from her. She would persevere through anything for her children and that is another characteristic of love. She was willing to put up with an abusive boss and a low pay just so she could support her children and pay for their food and clothes

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  41. Great write-up! Writing is a talent, and it must not be wasted. As with everything that we had been entrusted, we should

    let it grow and share it with the world.>life long

    learner

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