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In the Time of the Butterflies

Julia Alvarez
A Text Set by Alena Munro
Text Set: Looking at the Dominican Republic and the regime of Rafael Trujillo in In the Time of the
Butterflies

Table of Contents

Literacy in the 21st Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

As a future educator literacy is extremely important to me. This text set will include a brief discussion on
my understanding of literacy instruction in the 21st century and the role literacy will play in my discipline

Pre-Reading: KWL Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The What do I Know, What do I Want to Know, and What Have I Learned chart is designed to help
students establish what they know and what they want to know to help them as they read. Students will
think about the knowledge they already have about the Dominican Republic and the reign of Rafael
Trujillo. Students will then fill out the What I do Know and What do I Want to Know sections on the
worksheet. This exercise will help students recall the prior knowledge they have about the topic as well as
what knowledge they want to gain from the reading.

Pre-Reading: Probably Passage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Probable Passage is a pre-reading strategy that helps students focus on the characters, setting, conflict,
resolution, and the vocabulary of the story before they read. Students will work in small groups and put
the chosen words into the boxes on the probable passage worksheet. After grouping the words in
categories the students must then formulate a gist statement. Lastly students need to generate a list of
things they want to discover about the reading.

Pre-Reading: Possible Sentences. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Possible Sentences is a pre-reading vocabulary strategy that activates students' prior knowledge about
content and vocabulary. Before reading, students are given a list of vocabulary words from their reading,
which they group and eventually use to create meaningful sentences. Students will then mark the above
sentences as true/false/unknown as they begin to read the novel; this will turn into a during reading
strategy later in the unit. This will help students make predictions and infer what will happen in the novel.

During Reading: Poetry from the Dominican Republic and 321 Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

The 321 Chart gives students a chance to summarize some key ideas, rethink them in order to focus on
those that they are most intrigued by, and then pose a question that can reveal where their understanding
is still uncertain. Students will read the poem Parsley by Rita Dove. Students will think of three things
they found out based on the poem, two things they found interested from the text and state how it related
to the poem, and one question they still have.

During Reading: Possible Sentences Revisited. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

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Lets take a look back at the Possible Sentences worksheet. Students will now mark the above sentences
they created as true/false/unknown. When the novel is complete students will take the original sentences
and modify them in terms of the content.

During Reading: SDQR Chart and 1945 Times Article. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

The SDQR Chart is a strategy that is used to capture thinking from a lecture or from reading nonfiction.
Students are asked to look at a Times article about Rafael Trujillo from 1945. They will write down what
the article says, does not say, any questions they still have, and will be asked to reflect back on their
reading of In the Time of the Butterflies.

During Reading: Say, Matter, Mean Activity . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Say-Mean-Matter is a during reading strategy that helps students question the text, search for deeper
meanings, and make connections between text and their lives. Students will state what the text says, look
at what the statement means, and determine why it matters. Students will learn how to summarize,
interpret, and determine importance from this strategy.

Post Reading: Reading a Documentary- Portrait of a Dictator..20

Critical literacy is an instructional approach that advocates the adoption of "critical" perspectives toward
text. In our case, we will use critical literacy in terms of a documentary. Critical literacy encourages
readers to actively analyze texts and try to uncover the underlying message in said text. Students will
watch Portrait of a Dictator on YouTube. Students will answer questions based on the film. Not only
will the worksheet allow students to learn more about Rafael Trujillo, but students will also learn how to
read a documentary.

Post-Reading: KWL Chart Revisited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Lets take a look back at the KWL Chart from the beginning of the unit. Students will fill out the last
section of the worksheet that states What Have I Learned. Students will reflect back on the reading and
write down what they have learned from the text. Students will look at the What do I Know section and
make sure their background knowledge is accurate. Students will look at the What I Want to Know
section and reflect on if the novel and the other class exercises allowed them to gain the knowledge they
wanted.

Post-Reading: In the Time of the Butterflies- The Movie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Students will watch In the Time of the Butterflies for homework. They will compare and contrast the
novel and the move. Students will look to see if there are any scenes the director chose to leave out and
discuss why the director might make this choice. Students will take a look at the characters. Are the
characters in the movie how they image?

Post Reading: Story Notes25

Students will be asked to fill out a Story Notes worksheet. This worksheet allows students to take notes
based on: Main characters, setting, primary conflcits, main events, climax, resolution, and conservations.

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Students learn to determine what makes someone a main character or what determines the criteria for a
main event.

Post-Reading: Choice Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

A choice board is a graphic organizer that allows students to choose how they will learn a concept.
Students will chose one of the exercises on the choice board to complete. This strategy allows planning
for a mixed ability classroom. A Choice Board is a means of teaching one concept and meeting the
different learning needs in a group. Students will select the activity that interests them the most to
complete as their summative project for the unit.

Post-Reading: Found Poems and Poetry Slam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

And we save the best for last! Students will create poems to end the unit. Found poetry is a type of poetry
created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them
as poetry; this reframing allows students to create new meaning from the sources they already read.
Students will take lines from the novel, the poem by Rita Dove, and their summative project in order to
create their found poem. On the last day of the unit we will have a poetry slam in class where students can
earn extra credit if they share their poems with the class. Reading the poems aloud is not mandatory, but
highly encouraged

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Literacy in the 21st Century

Reading is defined as the combination of decoding and comprehension; students must

decipher the language on the page and find the meaning behind said language. Reading the actual

words is one step; as educators the goal is to find various ways to engage students so that they

can comprehend what they are being taught. Literacy is not limited to the literature canons that

the world loves to force down students throats; a literate person in the 21st century knows that

students can read the world through multiple lenses.

I often hear students tell me that they do not like to read; the novels are either too hard or

they are about topics that do not interest them. I believe that literacy in the 21st century is

centered on engagement. Educators need to find a balance, the sweet spot, where students

comprehend the text at hand and are also thoroughly pleased with what they are reading. Literacy

should be introduced into the classroom in many different forms; through poems, short stories,

nonfiction texts, song lyrics, quotes, recipes, letters, magazine articles, pictures, paintings,

student writing, primary sources, etc. students can learn to love reading because they are not

limited to a cold reading of, for example, Of Mice and Men and then asked to discuss what they

learned from the text.

Literacy in the 21st century makes the student the central focus and looks at how one can

revamp a text so that it is enticing for said student. Teachers are given the task of taking different

reading strategies and using them to get students into the reading flow; the different pre, during,

and post reading strategies help students navigate through difficult texts and gain a genuine

relationship with reading. Students will learn how to infer, predict, visualize, make connections,

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question, synthesize, and determine importance because of the reading strategies that the teacher

introduces in the classroom.

As a future English teacher, literacy is extremely important to me and will play an

essential role in my chosen discipline. I hope to not only create better readers, but better thinkers.

I want my students to question, not only texts, but the world around them. Engaging students

through literacy allows them to use the lessons they learn from books in all facets of their lives.

Preparing students for a novel is like preparing for a vacation; always make sure not to forget the

essentials or the vacation is ruined. I will prepare my students on their adventure when they open

up their novels by: providing background information, providing useful vocabulary, and always

providing a purpose. I hope to instill the joy of reading back into the educational system one

novel at a time.

-The future Ms. Munro

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Name___________________________ Date:_______________

Pre Reading: KWL Chart

Directions: To begin our unit on the Dominican Republic and the reign of Rafael Trujillo students will fill
out a KWL Chart. Students will only fill out the sections that state What do I Know and What do I
Want to Know.

Brainstorm: What do you know/ want to know about the Dominican Republic? What do you know/want
to know about Rafael Trujillo? What do you know/ want to know about dictatorship?

What do I Know? What do I Want to What did I Learn?


Know?

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Name:________________________ Date:_____________

Pre Reading: Probable Passage

Directions: Please put the words below in the appropriate categories. Put the words you are
unfamiliar with in the Unknown box.

Ambush Rafael Trujillo Dominican Republic Marabel Sisters

Campesinos revolution Bow and Arrow Proposal

Secret Police Death

People/Characters Places/Setting Problems/Conflict Outcomes Unknown Words

Gist Statement: Using some of these words above, predict what you believe the book will be about.

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To Discover(Here is where you write any questions that you want to find the answers to)

1.

2.

3.

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Name___________________________ Date:_______________

Pre Reading: Possible Sentences

Directions: The following words appear in our reading. Work with a partner to write sentences that you
think we could possibly find when we read thus novel. Use only two or three words in each of your
possible sentences.

Ambush Rafael Trujillo Dominican Republic Marabel Sisters

Campesinos revolution Bow and Arrow Proposal

Secret Police Death Mama and Papa 40 whippings

Car accident rebellion

1.

2.

3.

4.

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Name___________________________ Date:_______________

During Reading: 321 Chart

Directions: Students will read the poem Parsley by Rita Dove. Students will think of three things they
found out based on the poem, two things they found interested from the text and state how it related to the
poem, and one question they still have.

Parsley

BY RITA DOVE

1. The Cane Fields

There is a parrot imitating spring

in the palace, its feathers parsley green.

Out of the swamp the cane appears

to haunt us, and we cut it down. El General

searches for a word; he is all the world

there is. Like a parrot imitating spring,

we lie down screaming as rain punches through

and we come up green. We cannot speak an R

out of the swamp, the cane appears

and then the mountain we call in whispers Katalina.

The children gnaw their teeth to arrowheads.

There is a parrot imitating spring.

El General has found his word: perejil.

Who says it, lives. He laughs, teeth shining

out of the swamp. The cane appears

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in our dreams, lashed by wind and streaming.

And we lie down. For every drop of blood

there is a parrot imitating spring.

Out of the swamp the cane appears.

2. The Palace

The word the generals chosen is parsley.

It is fall, when thoughts turn

to love and death; the general thinks

of his mother, how she died in the fall

and he planted her walking cane at the grave

and it flowered, each spring stolidly forming

four-star blossoms. The general

pulls on his boots, he stomps to

her room in the palace, the one without

curtains, the one with a parrot

in a brass ring. As he paces he wonders

Who can I kill today. And for a moment

the little knot of screams

is still. The parrot, who has traveled

all the way from Australia in an ivory

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cage, is, coy as a widow, practising

spring. Ever since the morning

his mother collapsed in the kitchen

while baking skull-shaped candies

for the Day of the Dead, the general

has hated sweets. He orders pastries

brought up for the bird; they arrive

dusted with sugar on a bed of lace.

The knot in his throat starts to twitch;

he sees his boots the first day in battle

splashed with mud and urine

as a soldier falls at his feet amazed

how stupid he looked! at the sound

of artillery. I never thought it would sing

the soldier said, and died. Now

the general sees the fields of sugar

cane, lashed by rain and streaming.

He sees his mothers smile, the teeth

gnawed to arrowheads. He hears

the Haitians sing without Rs

as they swing the great machetes:

Katalina, they sing, Katalina,

mi madle, mi amol en muelte. God knows

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his mother was no stupid woman; she

could roll an R like a queen. Even

a parrot can roll an R! In the bare room

the bright feathers arch in a parody

of greenery, as the last pale crumbs

disappear under the blackened tongue. Someone

calls out his name in a voice

so like his mothers, a startled tear

splashes the tip of his right boot.

My mother, my love in death.

The general remembers the tiny green sprigs

men of his village wore in their capes

to honor the birth of a son. He will

order many, this time, to be killed

for a single, beautiful word.

3 Things I Learned from the Poem

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2 Ways I can Apply What I Learned to the Novel

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1 Question that I Still Have(can be about the poem or the novel)

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Name___________________________ Date:_______________

During Reading: Possible Sentences REVISTED

Directions: Let us take a look back on the possible sentences worksheet. Re-read the five
sentences you and your partner came up with. As you read, mark each of the above sentences as
true/false/unknown.

Brainstorm: Were your predictions correct about the novel? Why or why not? Explain and find
examples from the text to justify the explanation.

1. True/False?
Original Statement:
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Revised Statement:
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Textual Evidence (page number and quote)

2. True/False?
Original Statement:
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Revised Statement:
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Textual Evidence (page number and quote)
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3. True/False?
Original Statement:
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Revised Statement:
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Textual Evidence (page number and quote)


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4. True/False?
Original Statement:
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Revised Statement:
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Textual Evidence (page number and quote)


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5. True/False?
Original Statement:
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Revised Statement:
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Textual Evidence (page number and quote)


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Name___________________________ Date:_______________

During Reading: SDQR Chart

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Directions: Read the following article from Times magazine entitled DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC: Gaudiest Dictator. Write down what the article says, does not say, any
questions you may still have, and reflect back on your reading of In the Time of the
Butterflies. Each section must have at least 3 statements.

His Excellency, Generalissimo Dr. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, Honorable Chief of
State, Benefactor of the Nation, President and Dictator of the Dominican Republic, is an
example of a waning Latin American typethe caudillo (chieftain). As a blend of the
Emperor Jones and the European authoritarians, Dictator Trujillo and his ilk always seem
bizarre to North Americans. But the southern dictators must be understood if Latin
America is to be understood by the big neighbor in the North.

Last week Dictator Trujillo was very much in the news. Within the fortnight, scathing
criticism from far & wide had pointed up the anachronism: If In Caracas, Provisional
President Romulo Betancourt announced that Venezuela would not recognize Trujillo and
his "assassins of liberty." In London, the World Youth Conference expelled the two
Dominican representatives because they did not represent a democratic country. In
Washington, potent Cuban Senator Eduardo Chibas declared that the Dominican
Government was an obstacle to democracy in the Americas.

The Glory Road. Trujillo is the end product of a U.S. military occupation. When the U.S.
forces got out of the Dominican Republic in 1924, Trujillo was a Major in the Marine-
trained Army. By 1930 he had fought his way into the presidency.

Today he puts on a show combining the outstanding features of a waterfront goon squad
and Hollywood. Generalissimo Trujillo's car sports a five-starred, solid-gold license plate.
Newspapers and radio hysterically shout his praise. Statues of him litter the land. An
electric sign once glittered: "God and Trujillo."

The dictator's amorous capacity is notable, even in the tropic Caribbean. One of Trujillo's
friends is bediamonded, aging, Isabel Mayer. Now in her sixties, Dona Isabel is still
famed for her parties and cuisine ("Have some more sea food! It's good for men").
Trujillo was at one of her parties when the infamous massacre of the Haitians occurred in
1937. Rumor has it that Dona Isabel had complained that Haitian peasants, sneaking
across the border, were stealing her cattle. The Trujillo soldiery was ordered out. They
smashed babies' heads against rocks, ripped pregnant women with bayonets, slaughtered
thousands of Haitians. Hogs gorged on the rotting corpses.

Big Business. Important visitors, including touring U.S. Congressmen, have found
Trujillo the soul of affability. At home he can point to solid achievements: great advances

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in irrigation and sanitation, improved roads and schools, build ing projects. Trujillo's
enterprises and taxes have helped drive living costs up. But his Government has been
"orderly."

The dictator does not filch from the public treasury. That would be picking his own
pocket. For Trujillo is the Dominican Republic. His personal monopolies include salt,
tobacco, employe insurance, beer.

Trujillo has an equal passion for owning land and for buying it on his own terms. His
annual income is estimated at $6,000,000.

What does the What doesnt the What questions do How does this article
article say? article say? you still have? make you reflect
back on the novel?

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Name___________________________ Date:_______________

During Reading: Say, Matter, and Mean

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Directions: We are now reaching the end of the novel. Please fill out the graphic
organizer below for homework. You will need 7-10 entries from the ENTIRE book in
order to earn credit. Students will state what the text says, look at what the statement
means, and determine why the statement matters to the understanding of the novel as a
whole.

Say: What does the text say? Mean: What does it mean? Matter: Why does it matter?
State your statement, find What does the author mean by Why is this significant to the
textual evidence, and cite the this statement? understanding of the novel?
quote.

Name_________________________ Date:__________________

Post Reading: Reading a Documentary- Portrait of a Dictator

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Brainstorm: Question to think about as you watch the documentary Portrait of a Dictator on
YouTube. For homework answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper to be
handed in. Each answer must be 5-7 sentences long in order to earn credit for this assignment.

1. What is the documentary about? Give a brief synopsis. Remember to say: who, what,
when, where, and why.

2. How does the director want the audience to feel at the end of the documentary?

3. How does she try to convince the viewer? How do the film-makers construct the
documentary?

4. What does the documentary say about Rafael Trujillo? Do you agree or disagree with this
statement? Please justify your answer.

5. What information is presented? What isnt present? Whose voices are left out? Why do
you believe the voices are left out?

Name_____________________________ Date_____________

Post Reading: KWL Chart REVISTED

Directions: Lets take a look back at the KWL Chart from the beginning of the unit. Students will
fill out the last section of the worksheet that states What Have I Learned. Students will reflect
back on the reading and write down what they have learned from the text. Students will look at

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the What do I Know section and make sure their background knowledge is accurate. Students
will look at the What I Want to Know section and reflect on if the novel and the other class
exercises allowed them to gain the knowledge they wanted.

What do I Know? What do I Want to Know? What Have I Learned?

1. Take a look at your What do I Know section. Is all your information accurate? If not
what were you wrong about? Make all appropriate corrections on a separate sheet of
paper.

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2. Take a look at your What do I Want to Know section. Did you learn about some or all
of what you wanted to learn from the unit? If so, please share and state where you learned
the information? What did you not learn about? Look up the information that you did not
learn about and write about it on a separate sheet of paper.
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Name: ______________________________ Date: ______________

Post Reading: In the Time of the Butterflies- The Movie

Directions: Students will watch In the Time of the Butterflies in class. Students will then
compare and contrast the movie with the novel. Make sure you provide 3 examples for each
section to receive full credit.

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//////////////////////////////////////////// Novel Movie
Main Characters How are they described in the How are they described in the
book? movie?
1. 1.

2.
2.

3.
3.

Additions What was in the book, but was What was added to the movie,
not included in the movie? but was not included in the
book?
1. 1.

2. 2.

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3. 3.

Deletions What parts of the story were Was there anything in the
deleted from the movie? movie that should have been
in the book?
1. 1.

2. 2.

3. 3.

PART 2: On the back side of the paper:

1. Write an in-depth paragraph describing which version (book or movie) you liked better.

Example: I preferred the ________________ version of this story, because

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Explain and give reasons for your answer of the book or movie.

Name_______________________________ Date______________

Post Reading: Story Notes

Directions: Students will fill out a Story Notes worksheet. This worksheet allows students to take
notes based on: Main characters, setting, primary conflicts, main events, climax, resolution, and
conservations

Main Characters Setting

Primary Conflicts Main Events

Climax and Resolution

Please state any final observations/conclusion. Consider important themes, surprises, and
connections to your life, other books, or other classes.

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Name:______________________________ Date:________________

Post Reading: Summative Project (Choice Board)

Directions: Based on In the Time of the Butterflies, the Times magazine article, or the Parsley by
Rita Dove please choice one of the following from the choice board as your summative project.
Some of the options only pertain to the novel. This project is worth 30% of your grade of this
unit. Be read to share your project with the class (5 minute presentations).

Select the novel, magazine SATIRE ALERT: Create a Write 5-10 journal entries
article, or the poem. Create an travel brochure for the from the perspective of one of
original soundtrack for it. Dominican Republic that is the characters in the novel. Be
Choose five to eight songs that described in the novel, sure that the diary entries
represent magazine article, or poem. show the subtle shift in the
themes/characters/conflicts. What do they need to know characters thinking as they
Along with the CD include a about the food, people, grow and mature throughout
paragraph for each song and climate, etc? Use the computer the novel.
how it relates to the novel, to make it look professional.
magazine article, or poem.

Choose a scene from the Create a series of 5-7 pictures Created an original movie
novel, a stanza from the poem, in a comic strip. The comic poster for the novel. Cast the
or a paragraph from the strip should depict the major major characters as real life
magazine article that is events in the novel. Include actors. Include a scene that
referenced, but not elaborated captions for each picture so you created to be in the movie
on. Write the scene, stanza, or that someone that did not read (must include dialogue).
paragraph how you believe it the novel can understand. Created two movie reviews
should be written. Minimum 1 for the film.
page.

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Paint or draw a picture that Write a page letter to the You will create an alternate
depicts an important message author of the novel, the poet, ending for this reading
in the novel, magazine article, or the author of the magazine selection. The ending must be
or poem. Include a 1 page article with an honest review a minimum of 1 page. The
explanation for the drawing. of their work. Let them know tone and attitude of the
all the things you liked about characters must be consistent
the work and or did not like. with the characters in the
Let them know how you think book, in addition to the
the work could have been setting details.
improved.

Name____________________________ Date:___________________

Post Reading: Found Poems and Poetry Slam

Directions: Students will create poems to end the unit. Students will take lines from the novel,
the poem by Rita Dove, and their summative project in order to create their found poem. On the
last day of the unit we will have a poetry slam in class where students can earn extra credit if
they share their poems with the class. Reading the poems aloud is not mandatory, but highly
encouraged.

Brainstorm: This worksheet is to organize your poem. Please make sure your poem includes a
minimum of 3 literary devices. You must state which device you are using and the line that
matches with the device. A minimum of three lines from each source is required. Make sure to
cite where in the novel you are choosing the lines.

Title of the poem:_______________________________________________________________

Topic:________________________________________________________________________

1. Lines from the novel


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2. Lines from the poem
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3. Lines from the magazine article


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