Summer Reading Novel Analysis

Summer Reading
Novel Analysis
8th Grade Reading/Language Arts
Ms. Grugin / Ms. Clark
Text Options:
A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Tom Sawyer by Mark twain
Directions: For one of the texts above, complete the following exercises in order to examine the
conflict that will ultimately lead us to an understanding of how historical influences help to create
stories. You will write a series of paragraphs that will ultimately help you to write your first
8th grade argumentative essay.
Section 1—Literary Analysis
Paragraph Expectations:
 5 Total Paragraphs
 At least 5 sentences per paragraph—many paragraphs will require more!
 Typed/12 pt. Font/Times New Roman
Paragraph 1—Central Conflict
 Identify the central, major conflict from the novel.
 Trace the conflict from the rising action through the resolution to show how
it evolved as the plot unfolded. Make sure clearly define the climax!
 Be sure to identify person vs. ________________ somewhere in the paragraph.
Paragraph 2—Central Character(s) and the Conflict
 For the main character/characters for each text, complete the following:
 Identify them as a protagonist or antagonist and static or dynamic
 Identify the weaknesses and strengths that contribute to the central conflict
 Describe their motivation (Why do they do the things they do? ex: fear, love,
jealousy etc.)
 Use at least 2 quotations to support your response.
 Quote= any words directly from the text—do not have to be said
Paragraph 3—Character Relationship
 Analyze the relationship between two characters (of your choice) in the text.
 If you have not already, identify both characters and briefly describe them.
Think about the interactions between the two characters and connect this
relationship to the central conflict.
Use at least 1 quote to support your analysis.
Paragraph 4—Historical Significance
 Find two pieces of evidence (quotes) that tell you when this story is taking
 Identify the major real-world event(s) that occur within this text.
 Global connection: Explain what was happening during the same time period
in other parts of the world.
Paragraph 5—Setting
Background: Dialect is defined as a regional variety of language differing from the standard language
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary). For example, the use of ‘y’all’ is common in the southern region of the
United States but is not considered Standard English.
Identify the main physical setting from the novel.
Identify the culture and values of the people within the setting.
Identify how the use of dialect helps the reader understand the setting and
makes the story seem realistic
Use at least 2 quotes to support your analysis of the setting.
Section 2—Grammar and Language. **You may list these answers**
1. Find 2 sentences that use at least one comma and do the following with each:
a. Type the sentence word for word (using quotation marks). Place the page
number at the end.
b. Identify the comma rule. In other words, explain why it was necessary to
use a comma in the sentence chosen.
2. Find 2 sentences that use conjunctions (for, and, nor, so, but, or, yet) and do
the following with each:
a. Copy the sentence word for word (using quotation marks). Place the page
number at the end.
b. Combine the sentences in a new and different way.
i. Example: Original: “Tom’s mouth watered for the apple, but he
stuck to his work.” New: Tom’s mouth watered for the apple; he
stuck to his work despite the craving.
3. Choose 2 sentences from anywhere in the novel. Copy the sentence and
identify the subject, verb, and direct object of each sentence.
Write an argumentative essay that analyzes how the historical setting of the text
you chose influenced the story. Use at least two reliable outside sources, and
draw evidence from the passage to support your analysis. Develop your topic
with relevant, well-chosen facts, concrete details, or other information and
examples. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English,
capitalization, punctuation, and spelling in your response.
This is an example of an 8th grade TNReady prompt. Your efforts on this writing prompt will
give us a good idea of where you are and will help us assess your writing skills. Do your
best…we know this is new! Here are a couple of hints:
 Use direct quotations from the text in each body paragraph
 Look at the first sentence of the prompt to figure out what to write about
 If you are struggling with structure, write a 5 paragraph essay