20 December 2008

Gamma Rays Response #5 - What's going to happen to this family?

This is the 5th - and final - homework blog response for the Gamma Rays unit... Have you completed them all to earn full credit? The calendar says Monday, but it is due before the end of the school day on Tuesday, Dec. 23.

Now that we've gotten to see the Hunsdorfer family in action, it's time to look back and analyze their behavior as a dysfunctional family.

You have an option of which of the following to which to respond:

Option A

Based on the family upbringing, what do you think will be the effect one Tillie or Ruth. Look at this article about the effect of maltreating families on children. Using information from the article, predict how you think Tillie or Ruth will turn out. What challenges or issues might they face in the future? Explain your reasoning by pointing to specific examples from the play.

Option B
How would you categorize Mrs. Beatrice Hunsdorfer as a mother? Go back and re-read the article on dysfunctional families that we studied in an earlier post. Using information from the article, decide what type of parent category Beatrice fits into. In what way will her parenting style affect her children, either now or in the future? Explain your reasoning by pointing to specific examples from the play.

16 December 2008

Gamma Rays response #4 - Completing your Google documents

This is the fourth blog response for The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and is due before class starts Thursday, Dec. 18.

This response is going to be a little different than the previous three. Instead of putting your response in the comments on this entry, I am asking that you edit your Gamma Rays character conflict chart that you have set up on Google documents. This will also help you complete the character chart, which is due Friday.

Remember, you access the chart by signing into Google Apps from the front of the district website. Or you can access it by clicking this link.

Once you sign in, go to "documents." You should see the document you created with your partner in class last week. Click on it and add to it according to the directions - put in a quote from Act I for a character, or start writing the paragraph connected to the characters.

To get credit for this assignment, you must make an edit or add to your document.

Make sure you save your work and remember your completed document is due Friday, Dec. 19.

15 December 2008

Gamma Rays response #3 - Dreams and the Hunsdofers

This is the third homework blog posting... Did you already complete the post on Marigolds? Have you added to the Google document to gather quotes for each character?

It is due before class starts on Wednesday, Dec. 17

So far in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds we’ve been introduced to the Hunsdorfer family – Beatrice, Ruth, and Tillie.

The Poet Langston Hughes wrote two poems about dreams which may relate to what we’re reading. Read both of the following poems – "Dreams" and "A Dream Deferred." Select the poem you think most speaks to the situation in the play. What is Hughes saying about dreams that can be applied to the larger ideas in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds? Explain your connections with direct references from the play. Remember, to earn full credit, each post must be between 150-200 words, written in standard conventional English, and satisfy the requirements of each prompt.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

- by Langston Hughes

A Dream Deferred*
What happens to a dream deferred*?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

- by Langston Hughes

*to put off action, delay

11 December 2008

Gamma Rays response #2 - Marigolds again? Why?

This is the second homework blog posting... Did you already complete the post on Gamma Rays and Dysfunctional Families?

It is due before class starts on Monday, Dec. 15

In The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Tillie conducts an unusual science project. She subjects three different batches of marigolds to the potentially damaging effects of gamma rays - a topic we addressed in a previous blog post. But why did the play's author, Paul Zindel, choose marigolds as the flower to use in the science experiment? Click on the following links and please read the information on marigolds at wikipedia and this information on growing marigolds.

Do not concern yourself with the all the Latin terms or varieties, but focus on the specific characteristics of the flower... Then post your ideas about the use of marigolds as a symbol in the story. What makes marigolds unique? What do they need to survive? When do marigolds bloom? How might the characteristics or qualities of this particular flower be a symbol that connects to important ideas in the play? Why might have Zindel used marigolds as the flower?

09 December 2008

Gamma Rays response #1 - How do these two things go together

This response is due before class starts Friday, Dec. 12

To prepare us for our reading of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, we spent some time talking about gamma rays and radiation and the different types of dysfunctional families. For your reference, the information brief on gamma rays can be found here and the information on dysfunctional families is here. Based on what you know of both and from what you've gleaned from the play so far, I'd like you to consider the following question: In what ways are the two seemingly unrelated topics - gamma rays & dysfunctional families - related? Where are there similarities that might help us better understand some of the significant ideas from the play? In what ways, might the author use these two ideas in his play to help explore a deeper understanding of a truth about life?

Remember, to earn full credit, your response must be between 150 and 200 words and conform to standard written English. Use full sentences, spell out your words correctly and include proper punctuation. By the way, this posting is 187 words.

03 December 2008

Using Google Documents

This blog response is due before class starts on Monday, Dec. 8

For the last two days, we've utilized Google documents in class to put together a working definition of good literature. Occasionally, we struggled with the technology and the best way to use it.

The assignment was simple enough - brainstorm some criteria for what makes good literature and then write a more coherent paragraph definition. However, you had to complete the assignment as a group and you had to use Google documents to collaborate and work together. Educational experts have identified collaboration as a vital skill in today's society.

For our purposes in class, I'd like to know your reactions to the activity and the use of the technology. In your answer, consider the following guiding questions: What was difficult about using Google documents? In what ways (if any) did the technology help make the process easier? How did it challenge you? How could collaborative tools like this one could be used in our English class? Give some specific examples. How do you imagine that Google docs tools will be used in your future as a college student or as a member of the work force? What do we need to know and understand to be able to effectively use digital tools like this in the future?