Samples for Independent
Reading
ENGLISH II AND III HONORS
LIZABETH THOMPSON, ENGLISH
DEPARTMENT
What is included:
 The following slides contain examples of passages
and samples that represent the different types of
project choices.
 Some passages have been used to create several
different examples.
One Passage, Two Entry Samples
Passage from Night: “Within a few minutes, the camp looked like an
abandoned ship. Not a living soul on the paths. Near the kitchen, two
cauldrons of steaming hot soup had been left, half full. Two cauldrons of
soup, right in the middle of the path, with no one guarding them! A feast
for kings, abandoned, supreme temptation! Hundreds of eyes looked at
them, sparkling with desire. Two lambs, with a hundred wolves lying in
wait for them. Two lambs without a shepherd—a gift. But who would
dare?
Terror was stronger than hunger. Suddenly we saw the door of Block 37
open imperceptibly. A man appeared, crawling like a worm in the
directions of the cauldrons.
Hundreds of eyes followed his movements. Hundreds of men crawled with
him, scraping their knees with his on the gravel. Every heart trembled, but
with envy above all. This man had dared. …
… Jealousy consumed us, burned us up like straw. We never thought for a
moment of admiring him. Poor hero, committing suicide for a ration of
soup! In our thoughts we were murdering him” (Wiesel 56-57).
Sample Entry 1: Golden Lines
 Quote: “Two lambs, with a hundred wolves lying in wait
for them. Two lambs without a shepherd—a gift” (Wiesel
56).
 Explanation (author’s tools/literary devices): This
quote has three interesting metaphors and some irony. The metaphors are the lambs, wolves and
shepherd. The lambs represent the cauldrons of soup and the wolves represent the Jews, who
deprived of food, stand looking hungrily at the unguarded pots of soup. The shepherd represents
the Nazi guards that would have protected soup under normal circumstances. The irony is that
the passive Jews who have been suffering under inhumane conditions are actually being compared
to aggressive wolves while the ones who have inflicted all this pain and terror—the Nazis—are
characterized as the peaceful shepherds.
Sample Entry 2: Plot cartoon/scrapbook
See photo posted on the board for the scrapbook “entry.”
 Quote/Caption: “Within a few minutes, the camp looked like an abandoned ship. Not a
living soul on the paths. Near the kitchen, two cauldrons of steaming hot soup had been
left, half full. Two cauldrons of soup, right in the middle of the path, with no one
guarding them! A feast for kings, abandoned, supreme temptation! Hundreds of eyes
looked at them, sparkling with desire. Two lambs, with a hundred wolves lying in wait”
(Wiesel 56).


Explanation: This
is a picture of the time when Elie and others watched as someone was punished for trying to
feed himself. It shows how strict the Nazi rules were; you were only allowed one portion of soup per day and it was
death to those who broke the rules. It also shows us the extent of their situation because this man must have been
extremely hungry. Why else would anyone risk death just to get a little bit of soup? He was either really desperate
for food or ready to die and free himself from his suffering. This passage is part of the rising action because it shows
the daily stress and how the lack of food made it hard for the Jews. They literally hated this man because they were
jealous that he actually got food. It also shows us how much control the Nazis had over the Jews. They could regulate
their food and punishment with very little effort. The effect gave the antagonists power over the Elie and the other
Jews because they felt they had no way to resist the Nazi control without losing their lives. The flip side of that is
that maybe the man did this on purpose so that he could choose when and how he would die—the only choice they had left
in a world full of restrictions.
Sample Entry 3 (pt. 1) : Word Wizard
Word:
Part of
speech
Definition
Roots/prefix Sentence
es/suffixes
from text:
and
meanings
Imperceptibly
Adverb
Not noticed by
the human
eye; very
subtle or
gradual so as
not to be
noticed
Im- = not
(Latin)
Per- = through
(Latin)
Capere = to
seize (Latin)
“Suddenly we
saw the door
of Block 37
open
imperceptibly”
(Wiesel 56).
Cauldron
Noun
Large kettle or
vat for boiling
Calidus =
warm (Latin)
“A man
appeared,
crawling like a
worm in the
directions of
the cauldrons”
(Wiesel 56).
Sample Entry 3 (part 2): Word Wizard
 My own story using the word wizard words:

We all stood waiting for the nobleman to decide. What would the
accused peasant’s fate be? Would it be forgiveness or punishment for
killing and eating the chicken? We all understood his reason. He
was a family man and there were mouths to feed in the harsh
wintertime. But, the law was clear: You cannot steal from the lord of
the manor. And now it was time for the decision.
 The hushed crowd closed in as the nobleman eyed the guards. He
nodded almost imperceptibly to the man-at-arms. Taking his cue,
the soldier positioned himself behind the prisoner. He grabbed the
peasant and dragged him to the cauldron. It was to be boiling water,
then; he won’t forget that punishment soon… .
One Passage, Two Entry Samples
 Passage from Their Eyes Were Watching God:
“Everybody was having fun at the mule-baiting. All
but Janie… . ‘They oughta be shamed of themselves!
Teasin’ day poor brute beast lak they is! Done been
worked tuh death; done had his disposition ruint wid
mistreatment, and now they got tuh finish devilin’
‘im tuh death. Wisht Ah had mah way wid ‘em ali… .
A little war of defense for helpless things was going
on inside her. People ought to have some regard for
helpless things” (Hurston 56).
Sample Entry 4 (part 1): Diction and Syntax
 Diction: The diction in the previous passage is best described as informal slang.
The use of contractions such as “ruint” and “wisht” to show past tense show some
knowledge of tenses but not of proper endings. This suggests that this person is not
well-educated. In fact, this dialect fits that of a poorly educated African American in
the South at the turn of the 20th century. The author herself is well-educated and
often has passages that are descriptive and grammatically correct, as evidenced by the
last two sentences in the passage, which are well-written and correct. However, her
protagonist has had no formal education and her speech needs to reflect that.
Therefore, the author alternates between Janie’s slang English and the narrator’s
fully developed and more accurate sentences.
Sample Entry 4 (part 2): Diction and Syntax
 Syntax: The
author uses exclamation points to punctuate Janie’s
sentences to show how much Janie dislikes the abuse of the mule. She
thinks it is unfair and gets upset, as shown by the end marks in the
sentences. Her anger is expressed quickly is short sentences and then she
uses longer sentences with more detail to explain the reason for her anger.
The longest sentence uses a semicolon to list two ways that the men are
picking on the mule (it’s been worked to death and mistreated). She
blames the men for this and finishes the sentence by adding the independent
clause declaring that the abuse must stop now. This is the whole reason
for her actions, making it the longest the sentence in the paragraph.
Sample Entry 5: Character Journal
 Journal entry as Janie: (shows conflict or character’s
attitude towards Joe’s social position and towards
cruelty to animals)
 “If Ah has to tell Joe one mo ’time ‘bout messin’ wid dat mule, Ah think Ah might
explode! It ain’t fair dat he thinks he can do whatever the sam-hill he thinks jes
‘cause he’s da mayor. Dat mule is older than dirt and people’s done treated him bad.
But what can de mule do ‘bout it? Nothin’! Dat’s what. ‘Cause if he fights back,
then the man will jes beat ‘im or sell ‘im or worse--kill ‘im and be rid of it. Yessir,
dat poor beast done had ‘nuff torment and devilment from those men at de shop. I’se a
good mind to let Joe know so’s he can do sumpin’ ‘bout it, too.
Entry 6: Theme PSA
 Note: The information below might appear as one of the entries in the
flyer/brochure.
 Thematic statement from A Separate Peace: Personal battles can make
us stronger or break us; nevertheless, we are changed forever.
 Gene learns that everyone at Devon must face a conflict and deal with
it. The school setting itself prepares us for that change with a sign that
says “Here Boys Come to Be Made Men” (165).The WWII time period
signals change as well. These school boys will soon begin army training
for war service, service in which they will have to kill other people in
order to survive (204). This is a far cry from the blitzball games and
sports competitions of their youth. The adult Gene acknowledges this
and says: “When they began to feel that there was this overwhelmingly
hostile thing in the world with them, then the simplicity and unity of
their characters broke and they were not the same again” (202). It
becomes a passage from innocence to adulthood because once they face
the conflict, the experience changes their point of view.
Passage for Entry 7
 From Night:
“There was tumult. It was imperative to stay together.
‘Hey, kid, how old are you?’
The man interrogating me was an inmate. I could not see his
face, but his voice was weary and warm.
‘Fifteen.’
‘No. You’re eighteen.’
‘But I’m not,’ I said. ‘I’m fifteen.’
“Fool. Listen to what I say.’
Then he asked my father, who answered: ‘I’m fifty.’
‘No.’ The man sounded angry. ‘Not fifty. You’re forty. Do you
hear? Eighteen and forty’” (30).
Sample for Entry 7
Summary (based on
passage from previous
page)
Elie and his father arrive at
the concentration in the
middle of the night and have
no idea how dangerous the
situation is. A stranger who
has been at the camp for
awhile gives them life-saving
advice but he must do it
quickly so he won’t be
noticed. Elie and his father
must lie about their ages if
they want to stay alive. At
the pivotal moment, they
both lie and Elie lives to tell
the world about his
experience.
Retelling from
prisoner’s point of
view: I saw them standing
Reflection: The original
POV shows Elie’s confusion
and shock as he enters the
inhumane camp for the first
there, a father and son. The
time. He doesn’t even know
son was holding his father’s
the name of the Jew who
hand and they both stared
wide-eyed and shocked at the gave him the advice; he only
knows that this person has
turmoil around them. They
wisdom that only comes with
don’t deserve to die, I told
experience. The man gives
myself. I inconspicuously
advice and then fades away
made my way through the
into the darkness, leaving
crowd as the Nazis gave the
Elie and Chlomo to decide if
order to form ranks. I was
they can lie to live. In the
beside the boy now. He was
retelling, we see the
too scared to look up. “Hey,
kid, how old are you?” I tried stranger’s motive. The camp
scene changes because he
to say it gently so that he
knows what is going on and
wouldn’t react and get us
he isn’t confused like Elie is
both in trouble…
…
Sample Entry 7: Mash Up
 Refer to character portraits posted on the board
 Characters are from A Separate Peace
 See chart and key on next slide
Chart/ Symbols Key for Entry 7
Gene (protagonist):
Quote for text:
Explanation:
“I became quite the student after that. I had always been a
good one … . Now, I became not just good but exceptional
one” (54).
I used the symbol of book to symbolize Gene’s
motive. He turns to studying in order to get his
mind off Finny’s “accident” and the guilt he feels
about it. The books become his excuse. He thinks
that Finny deliberately tried to wreck his studies by
distracting him with the tree and now he can get
back at him by studying harder.
“I felt like a wildman who had stumbled in from the jungle
to tear the place apart” (69).
Gene is feeling guilty about facing Finny for the first
time since the accident. His guilt causes him to feel
like a wildman on the loose as he waits for the right
moment to tell Finny he shook the tree branch. The
wildman symbolizes his guilty conscience.
Finny (antagonist)
Quote:
“He did wear it (the pink shirt). No one else in the school
could have done so without some risk of having it torn from
his back … . I was beginning to see that Phineas could get
away with everything” (25).
This symbol from the book shows us something
about Finny’s stand-out personality. He stands out
in a crowd, and because he gets along with
everyone, he’s the guy that can get away with
wearing unique outfits or having quirky traits.
“He forced compliance by leaning against me as we walked
along …” (29).
The symbol for this is the phone. It reminds me of
those telemarketers who won’t take no for an
answer. They will not let you get off the phone
unless you just get rude and hang up on them.
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Samples for Independent Reading