NATIVE American LITERATURE CREATIVE PROJECT

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Unit 1 Project: “What POWER lies in an individual’s VOICE?”
11th Grade American Literature/Honors American Literature
R. Bennett, Fall 2009
The ability to discuss a piece, reactions to it, and its values in a variety of ways is a valuable skill.
In this project, you will select various pieces from Unit 1 to discuss through a particular medium—
writing, artistic, story vein, etc….
Focus Areas for Paper/Project:
1. MINIMUM 2 pages written response. (This MUST be typed in a TIMES NEW ROMAN
12 point font and DOUBLE-SPACED!!!)
2. Reveals thoughtful analysis, originality, depth (you elaborate what you say, analyze,
etc…)
3. Grammar/Style
DIRECTIONS: Read through the choices below and CHOOSE ONE topic to focus on for this
project. Decide which one appeals to your way of analyzing and looking at things…YOUR VOICE!
TOPIC #1—CREATION MYTH
Create either a modern creation myth that you would tell to children or teens today to teach them
values, beliefs of your “culture.” Look back at the piece The Earth on Turtle’s Back or When
Grizzles Walked Upright to help you think about how you would set up your story. Think about what
would be interesting to young people today to teach them certain stories, values and beliefs. After
you write the piece, write a brief paragraph (5-7 sentences) explaining what values and beliefs
you’re developing in your story.
**REQUIREMENT: 2 page minimum for creation myth; (5-7 sentences for brief explanatory
paragraph).
TOPIC #2—A CONTINUATION TO THE INTERESTING NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF
OLAUDAH EQUIANO
Continue Equiano’s story from the slave narrative we read in your textbook. In an add-on ending,
show what will happen to him (his successes and failures). Write this story as a film clip. Also,
come up with 2-3 songs to fit your story (just like in the movies) that go along with the themes,
ideas of your story. Discuss the songs and their significance in your writing. You may predict, show
him in a new adventure, struggle, etc. Remember: you need a beginning, a middle and an end!!!
**REQUIREMENT: 2 page minimum; 2-3 songs for the background for the “film clip” that
parallel your themes, ideas; a CD with the 2-3 songs burned on it.
TOPIC #3—ORAL INTERPRETATION
Many Iroquois, Navajo, etc. traditions, rituals and history have been passed down orally from
generation to generation. Do an oral interpretation of part of one of the Native American myths
we’ve studied in class (i.e. “The Earth on the Turtle’s Back” or “When Grizzlies Walk Upright.”).
Rewrite the myth IN YOUR OWN WORDS—2 page MINIMUM!!! Then, film yourself, audio record
yourself or perform your oral interpretation for us in class. You must know your rewritten
interpretation of the myth studied for a polish presentation!!
**REQUIREMENT: 2 page minimum; film yourself, audio record yourself or perform your oral
interpretation in class.
TOPIC #4—VISUAL ANALOGUES
Native American Literature is very visual, using lots of personification, similes, metaphors and other
writing techniques to create pictures for readers/listeners. Select five passages/paragraphs from
the different selections we have read and create a VISUAL ANALOGUE—a visual interpretation of
these lines. You may use any artistic medium you like, but I ask that they be on HEAVY PAPER and
not on notebook paper in pencil. Your visual interpretation should show the image/effect you get
from the picture. Include the quote/line/phrase on the photo. To accompany each interpretation,
write a paragraph explaining what meaning the quote has for you—your analysis.
**REQUIREMENT:4 visual analogues (interpretations—4 pictures!!); 4 paragraphs (one per
visual—your paragraphs should equal 2 written pages MINIMUM, typed and double-spaced)
See me if you don’t understand.
TOPIC #5—LETTER TO CHIEF SEATTLE
Write a letter to Chief Seattle—either an apology or a justification for what happened to the land
after we took it from the Native Americans.
 Your apology should include:
 An excerpt from his piece
 An acknowledgement of what we did to the Native Americans
 Select a few of his promises and respond to whether we kept them or not
 How life would be different if we had kept our promises
 Why technology, etc…, is not worth what we gave up, etc…
 Your justification should include:
 Any improvements you think we’ve made to this earth
 Progress we’ve made
 Increased freedom that may exist
 Any increase in opportunities
 Acknowledge what has been lost
 Use excerpts from his piece to respond to
**REQUIREMENT:2 page minimum, use of 3 quotes, use letter format.
TOPIC #6—AFRICAN SPIRITUAL
Many enslaved Africans sang spirituals and other folk songs that expressed their desire for
freedom. Write and compose a song that might express the feelings of Equiano or one of the other
enslaved persons on the ship from your reading of “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of
Olaudah Equiano.” Included SENSORY DETAILS to capture the emotions of your audience.
Perform the song (video tape it to turn in). Write a 2 page response discussing how your rendition
relates to the literature.
**REQUIREMENT: Written song (typed); video of performance; 1 paragraph defense (typed).
TOPIC #7—EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT
After reading “Of Plymouth Plantation,” how do you think the Indians viewed the arrival and
settlement of the Pilgrims? From the Indians’ point-of-view, write a humorous or serious dramatic
interpretation that is an eyewitness account of any incident in “Of Plymouth Plantation.” Your
script must be long and “meaty” enough to generate a 5 minute dramatic performance. You will have
to cast other “characters” (i.e. your bbfl, sibling, etc.) in this out of the kindness of their hearts—
this is not a group project!! Film the interpretation to turn in.
**REQUIREMENTS: Written script (2 pages minimum) that generates a 5 minute MINIMUM
dramatic interpretation; video of interpretation.
TOPIC #8—PERSONAL QUESTION POEM
Throughout Unit 1, you witnessed and analyzed what impacts and influences and individual’s voice.
Reading Diane Burns’s “Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question,” reveals that everyone suffers
from stereotypes in some way. Write your own “Personal Question” poem. Your poem must include
the following:
 20 lines long MINIMUM
 Use dialogue format/rhetorical questions/syntax (sentence structure) (like Burns’s)
 Use diction that references/portrays the stereotype
 Make sure it is thoughtful, poignant and class-appropriate
 Remember, your stereotype can be anything…nerd, band, sport of some kind,
etc….stereotypes are not just racial/religious!
**REQUIREMENTS: Your poem typed; 2 page double-spaced reflective paper analyzing the
poem, its literary devices, and how it achieves its desired effect.
***THIS PROJECT IS DUE:____September 15th!_______!!!!!***
*Sources: Andrea Jacobson; The Language of Literature. Ed. Arthur N. Applebee. Evanston, IL: McDougal-Littell, 1998.
Project Rubric: Unit 1 Performance Assessment
COMPREHENSION/LITERARY ANALYSIS (ELAA11R1: a, b, c, d, e—fiction; a, b, c—nonfiction; a, b, c—poetry)
1
2
Limited or no evidence of
appropriate literary
analysis and thematic
connections.
3
4
Engages audience but
some analysis/connections
need further development.
5
X4
Total
Engages audience
through analyzing
literary elements and
thematic connections.
THEME (ELAA11R2: a,b, c)
1
2
Limited or no evidence
of universal theme.
3
4
Evidence of universal
theme but needs further
connections/support.
5
X4
Total
Visual illustrates
universal theme and
references how texts
have more than one theme.
LITERATURE & HISTORICAL CONTEXT (ELAA11R3: a, b)
1
2
Limited or no evidence of
appropriate historical connections.
(i.e. anecdotes, descriptions, etc.)
3
4
Evidence of some
appropriate support but
needs further support.
5
X4
Total
Relates literature to
ideas and characteristics
of its time period (i.e.
anecdotes, descriptions,
specific examples, literary
terms, etc.)
WRITING (ELAA11W2: a,c,d, f, g, h, l)
1
2
Limited or no evidence
of a plan or of appropriate
writing/analytical skills.
3
4
Evidence of a plan but
little evidence of appropriate
writing/analytical skills.
5
X4
Total
Evidence of a plan
and evidence of
writing/analytical skills.
GRAMMAR & MECHANICS (ELAA11C1 & ELAA112: a,b,c; a,b,c,d)
1
2
Sentence fragments and
run-ons; See me for help. I’ll
show you how to use the handbook.
3
4
All sentences are complete
but not varied. Sentence structure
not parallel; your paper is neat with
only a few errors in punctuation or
spelling.
5
X4
Total
All sentences are complete
and varied in style; this is how a
paper should look.
Comments:
Total Points _________
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