I often find myself reading books that deal with war and life struggle to survive or pursue education. The reason why I read these types of books is because they make me wonder how different my life would be if I had grown up during their time or their communities. The books are also fictional and tell the real stories of people, which get me more into reading.
ACTIVITY 2: SURVEYING THE TEXT AND MAKING PREDICTIONS
The author is Sherman Alexie.
Published April 19, 1998. In the L.A Times
What does Superman have to do with Sherman Alexie?
What is so Joyful about reading and writing?
I think Alexie will answer these questions through his life experiences.
I think Alexie wrote this essay to show how important reading and writing can be.
I think the audience whom Alexie is trying to reach is the people who don’t see the importance of reading and writing.
I think Alexie’s situation of growing up on an Indian reservation will impact his words more because I grew up with more educational opportunities and I’m not taking advantage of them.
ACTIVITY 3: KEY VOCABULARY
Prodigy: person, especially child, with incredible talent.
A.V.I.D: very enthusiastic
Monosyllabic: one word answers
Sullen: gloomy or irritated
Submissively: done humbly and obediently
Powwow: a ceremonious Native American conference
Desperation: being reckless or dangerous because of a sense of despair/urgency
*Do not forget the highlighting/comments component of this activity which should be done directly on article.
1. “I refused to fail. I was smart. I was arrogant. I was lucky.” The author decides to separate these 4 characteristics into 4 separate sentences, in order to give each trait of his more power; thus, this shows us how his attitude influenced his success.
2. “As Indian children, we were expected to fail in the
Non-Indian world. Those who failed were ceremonially accepted by other Indians and appropriately pitied by non-Indians.” The Author is explaining what was expected from a Indian kid living in the reservation.
3. The word choice that Alexie uses gives his essay a serious and persuasive tone.
4. To show that his life wasn’t just stressful, but fun at times.
5. The sentences I chose from the essay impact Alexie’s message of being yourself and not being scared to go after your success. They get the reader more hooked to the essay. Alexie makes his sentence more powerful by putting a period after every description. These two sentences show Alexis main points.
ACTIVITY 7: CRITICAL ANALYSIS (ALEXIE)
Alexie started to take reading seriously as he noticed that it was his way to success. Alexie states “I loved those books, but I also knew that love had only one purpose. I was trying to save my life.”
I think that the most important message that Alexie is trying to get across is that you need to put all your effort into doing what you love to do in order to succeed. I think this is the main message because Alexie talks a lot about how hard he worked and how he didn’t care about other people had to say.
Alexie means that he is trying to get out of poverty and also trying to show the world that Indians aren’t stupid.
I think that Alexie is trying to show how the Indian kids who sit in the back ignore him not because they want to but because society has made them think that they will not succeed. By “theatrical precision” I think Alexie means that they are not good at it and that they want to pay attention.
The metaphor used here is the comparison between the empty notebooks the kids had and the full written notebooks that he had.
Teenagers now days are setting fewer goals and Alexie’s story help give kids the motivation they need.
ACTIVITY 8: PRE-READING QUICKWRITE (CISNEROS)
I have never felt alienated by family or friends, because luckily I am an understandable human being. I don’t dislike anyone because of who they are. I think I only dislike people who treat others bad or treat me bad.
I think many of my family members assume that I am going to be successful when I go to a 4 year university just because of what I’ve done during my high school years; however, I don’t know if school is what I really want to do in life. My heart and passion are focused on something else and I’m not going to give up on it, even if my family or friends don’t believe in me.
ACTIVITY 9: SURVEYING THE TEXT (CISNEROS)
She is the only daughter and may have felt left out.
We can assume that the essay involves her dealing with her parents.
She is not an importance to the family.
I think Cisneros’s words will apply more to me because I also live in a Mexican-American home; however I am the second son of four children.
A Mexican-American girl growing up in a family of 7 children, 6 of them being boys; she was the only girl. She explains her frustration of feeling alone and of no importance.
Cisneros wrote this essay because she was asked to right her own contributors note for an anthology she was part of.
She is mainly trying to get to her father and Chicano people.
To show how her father who she really was and why she loved English and didn’t get married.
She studied at Loyola University of Chicago
She was the only daughter In her family
She was Mexican-American
Got her Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Iowa
Is a visiting writer to Berkeley and University of Michigan
Inspirational, formal, serious, educational.
ACTIVITY 12: LOOKING CLOSELY AT LANGUAGE
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1-5
I was/am the only daughter and only a
1. This sentence appeals to me because it specifically shows how she felt.
2. Cisneros uses word play when she says “the only daughter and only a daughter”.
3. The author chooses to elaborate on the word ONLY in order show her point of being a daughter.
4. There is no verb; the subject is “I” which is referring to Cisneros. If the sentence were to be written as “I am an the only daughter” the sentence would not have had as much impact on me due to their being a lot of families with only one daughter and many sons.
5. This sentence e most definitely adds to Cisneros argument of wanting to be more the just “only a daughter”.
This sentence appeals to me because it points out the main person who Cisneros is trying to reach out to.
Symbolism; she uses her father to represent the public she is writing to.
I notice she uses many commas in order to bring more attention to curtain parts of the sentences.
If the sentence were to be written as “My father represents the public majority. The public I am writing about and trying to woo is disinterested in reading” the sentence wouldn’t grab my attention.
Yes, this sentence adds to Cisneros argument because she is trying to show the public that reading is important. f
When he was finally finished, after what
seemed like hours, my father looked up and
asked: “Where can we get more copies of this for
This sentences appeals to me because Cisneros finally got her father to like her writing.
Hyperbole; She says “after what seemed like hours”.
Through Cisneros word choice I can see she is in a happy mood.
If the sentence were to be written as “My father finished and asks me where can we get more copies of this for the relatives?” The sentence wouldn’t be as appealing.
No, this sentence doesn’t add to her topic; it more of solves her problem.
ACTIVITY 13: RHETORICAL PRECIS
Sandra Cisneros argues that her father saw college as a place to find a husband; however, she saw college as a place to get your education and find a career you love. She claims that her father never gave her the credit she deserved because she didn’t get married. Cisneros states “my father thought college was good for girls—good for finding a husband” in order to develop her claim. Sandra Cisneros purpose is to show her father and Chicano students that obtaining an education is very important and something to be proud of.
ACTIVITY 14: CRITICAL THINKING
Cisneros father sets her off by saying he has 7 sons when he really has 6 sons and 1 daughter.
She feels like the whole weight from her shoulders has been removed.
Emotionally, she would have been ashamed of herself and disappointed that she couldn’t impress her father with her work. I also think she would have not given up until she got a “good job mija” from her dad.
Sherman Alexie had the support of his dad to go out and seek an education in order to save their Indian race; however, Cisneros didn’t have the support from her dad, instead she wanted to seek education for herself because she wanted to be someone important.
Yes, they both discuss the importance of reading, writing and education.
You have to go after what you want and not let other people’s ideas influence your decisions.
ACTIVITY 15: PRE-READING (OBAMA)
Success in my opinion is when a person reaches there goals and dreams or just simply lives the happy life they wanted. I know I can achieve my goals and dreams in life it is just a matter of hard and dedication. There are many obstacles such as leaving family behind, sleepless nights, and of course competition from other people.
I do not recall a time when I went against the grain; however I am going against all the people that doubt I will be successful.
ACTIVITY 16: SURVEYING THE TEXT AND MAKING PREDICTIONS (OBAMA)
Barack Obama is the Author and it was published in New York in 1995.
I think the text will talk about independent thinking, striving for success, and overcoming obstacles.
The African-American people who want to succeed.
I think Obama’s background will apply more to my life’s situation because he knows the ways of different cultural and races.
ACTIVITY 17: KEY VOCABULARY (OBAMA)
Give one grief : To criticize someone angrily or nag them
Cesspool: a pit used to hold refuse, sewage, or bodily waste
Tract: an area or region; a period of time
ACTIVITY 18: FIRST READ THROUGH AND SOAPSTONE
I think Barack Obama’s main subject is that you can succeed without letting it change who you are and what you believe in.
I think Obama wrote this because people were telling him that the things he would do will change him and take over his mind; yet, he proves them wrong.
Barack Obama is trying to reach the minorities In the United States
To show that you can become successful without changing who you are or your beliefs.
Barack Obama is the president of the united states at the current moment. He comes from a low income family. He was also a minority himself.
Formal, educational, informative.
ACTIVITY 19: READ AND RESPOND
The reading is kind of what I expected because it talks about the people that are trying to teach/put ideas in your head; you must follow your own ideas.
Frank tells Obama that college will change you and make you into someone evil; Marcus tells Obama that the book he’s reading will hurt him. I think Barack agrees with both of these people however he is strong enough to stay awake and not get taken in by these problems.
I think Obama definitely want’s other people/ minorities to go to college; however, he tries to show us that you must stay awake and not fall into what others believe. Obama shows this with his Dream Act.
Yes, I have learned that I can succeed by staying true to myself and think in my own ways.
ACTIVITY 20: LOOKING CLOSELY AT LANGUAGE
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 1-5
#1: I just smiled and said, “that’s the only way to cure an illness, right? Diagnose it.”
I love the intonation; long question with a short answer.
Yes, you can write the sentence in a different way; however, I like the way he answers his question.
To me this sentence adds to the argument because he’s just not soaking up knowledge, he’s grasping it.
#2:”the book is not about Africa. Or black people. It’s about the man who wrote it. The European. The American.”
It points out that the book has a greater meaning then just racism.
Yes, symbolizes the European and the American.
The way Obama isolates “The European” and “The American” to show them as the racist people.
There is no better way to emphasize on the European and the American.
This sentence does focus on Obama’s point of staying awake and not letting your education get the best of you by showing how he tries to understand the people who hate don’t like him.
A way to “save one’s life.” Is incredibly important, and he believes it is why he has succeeded in life. Tries to save others’ lives with it.
--Classmates hated him; teachers didn’t know what to do with him
--some students now look up to him
--others don’t believe him
My personal belief on reading and education is that you do need it to succeed, but not to save one’s life.
You can become an expert in other fields of study and still save your life.
That education is something to be very proud of.
Brothers laughed about her goals.
I do agree with Cisneros. My parents should be proud of me if I graduate from college.
That going to college is important in order to find a husband or wife.
Sandra did not agree with his father
I do not belief in Sandra’s Fathers argument of going to college to find a husband or wife. Some people decide to get a career before getting involved in a serious relationship.
Educating yourself in college is bad and the professors will change your beliefs and transform you into something your not.
(how did Obama respond?)
Obama questioned if this was true. He decided that he wasn’t going to let anyone change who he was and that he was going to “stay awake” while in college.
I think that Frank is partially correct. Going to college can be a life changing experience. The information you obtain from college can influence your beliefs and change them.
That reading the book is a waste of time and that it is racist against African-Americans.
(How did Obama respond?)
Obama didn’t look at the book the same way as Marcus did. Obama saw that the book was defining who the white man was more than the African-American.
I agree with Marcus and Obama. The book may be racist, but it does show more of the author’s ideas and beliefs about others.
Education is the key to a successful life. You have to learn how to take in criticism. You can learn about an author through their books.
Frank tells him that college changes you and makes you turn against your people.
Marcus tells Barack that reading Heart of Darkness will screw up your mind. That it is a bad book for African-Americans to read.
Obama has an interesting point about reading books to find out what author beliefs and how he thinks. I agree with Obama on college being a place to gain knowledge.
ACTIVITY 22: SUMMARIZE AND RESPOND
Alexie’s and Cisneros assumptions on reading and writing do contrast each other. Alexie belief’s that reading leads to success and that it can save your life; in the other hand, Cisneros beliefs that reading is important and that it is more than just a job.
I think that both Alexie and Obama think of reading as a way to save their lives, because reading educates a person; the more knowledge and education a person acquires the more dangerous they are. I do believe them because everyone fears a smart and power human being.
They both see reading as a way to learn more about the people that discriminate them; what they fear.
In my opinion the name of this unit is called independent thinking because all the people that we read about did things on their own; they didn’t let others influence their decision and their beliefs. I think independent thinking is following your own beliefs and ideas to be successful.
Alexie uses a metaphor explaining that his life was built around paragraphs to give the message of the importance of reading; Cisneros mentions that reading is more than words it’s what she loves and she wants her father to understand that; Obama uses a metaphor of reading to learn about the author on his fears and beliefs.
Readers shouldn’t be afraid to think differently and should achieve success through their beliefs and values.
That reading educates you and makes you a dangerous human being.