Two questions. For each question you will compose a 500 word essay. Essay Questions

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Summer Reading English III (H)
A Lesson Before Dying

Summer Reading Assignment Honors English III

Directions: After reading the novel you will select two questions. For each question you will compose a 500 word essay.
Essay Questions:

  1. Who is the hero of this novel, Grant or Jefferson? Do you agree, as Grant says, that he can never be the hero but that Jefferson can be?

  2. Why does Grant refuse to sit down and eat in Henri Pichot’s kitchen? Are Grant’s actions a sign of his intellect or his arrogance?

  3. Tante Lou, Miss Emma, and Vivian are used to taking care of themselves and others. Explain the role of women in the novel. What was their function in this society? Were there contributions and sacrifices recognized?

  4. Explain Grant’s self-described tragedy: that he is unable to accept his former life, unable to leave it. Why hasn’t he left Louisiana? What would he like to escape?

  5. How does the radio mark a turn in Grant’s relationship with Jefferson? What does the radio do for Jefferson?

  6. How does the white deputy, Paul, contrast with the other white men and women in the novel? Why is Paul important to the novel?

Things to remember:

  • Use MLA style:

    • 12 pt. font Times New Roman

    • Double-spaced

    • 1” margins

    • Heading

      • Your Name

      • Teacher’s Name (you’ll find out your teacher’s name on the 1st day of school)

      • Class (Honors English III)

      • Date (17 August 2012)

  • This assignment will be due on August 12, 2013.

The Great Gatsby

  • Students should closely read and annotate The Great Gatsby. Use the Annotating a Text handout as a guide. Annotations must be completed on paper. Annotations in the book will not count.

  • This assignment will be due on August 12, 2013.

Annotating a Text

What is annotation?

Annotation is summing up information in a text or article by writing brief key points in the margins. It is an active reading strategy that improves comprehension and is the beginning of the learning and remembering processes. It requires that the student take time to understand what he or she is reading and then put it into his or her own words.

Students who annotate their texts read to make meaning rather than read just to complete the assignment. Annotation forces the students to think about what they are reading because they know they have to put it in their own words. Though annotation takes more time than the passive activity of highlighting, students actually spend less time studying because they are actually learning the material while they are annotating.
There are many benefits for annotation:

  • Provides a purpose for reading

  • Improves comprehension

  • Offers an immediate test of understanding

  • Increases concentration

  • Seldom necessitates a reread of the material

  • Creates a study tool

Generic annotating system:

  • Represents an idea, concept, or key fact that you understand


____ Underline details that seem important
? Place a question mark next to passages that you don’t understand
TQ Use TQ to mark potential test questions
* Use an asterisk to identify profound, special, or important statements or details
~~~~~ Vocabulary words

Use the margins to:

  • Summarize

  • Make predictions

  • Formulate opinions

  • Make corrections

  • Ask questions about events or characters

  • Analyze and label literary elements

  • Write reflections, “talk” to the text

  • Record reflections/reactions/comments

Highlighting is very effective for annotation. However, highlighting without notes is no good. Additionally, many students have a tendency to over-highlight. If you highlight everything, then nothing is really that important.
Getting started:

  • Read the first page/paragraph/chapter at least TWICE.

  • The first page/chapter/paragraph is usually the key to comprehension.

Once you begin to understand, use large margins, paragraph breaks, or chapter breaks to summarize the plot and to record Aha! moments.
What if I can’t write in my book?
If you do not have the luxury of writing in your textbook, you can either use sticky notes or a chart similar to the one below.

Pg #

Line(s) from text



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