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DISCOVERING VOICE: Voice Lessons for Middle and High School

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Title: DISCOVERING VOICE: Voice Lessons for Middle and High School


1
DISCOVERING VOICEVoice Lessons for Middle and
High School
  • Nancy Dean

2
DICTIONrefers to the authors choice of words
3
A redheaded woman was there with Trout. Kate
could see her rummaging throughout the cabin
dumping drawers and knocking things from the
shelves of cabinets -Louis Sachar, Holes
  • What picture do you get in your mind when you
    read the second sentence?
  • How would the meaning of the sentence change if
    we changed some of the words? For example
  • Kate could see her searching through the cabin,
    emptying drawers and taking things off the
    shelves of cabinets.

4
M.C. heard him scramble and strain his way up the
slope of Sarahs mountain. -Virginia
Hamilton, M.C. Higgins, the Great
  • What does it mean to scramble and strain up a
    mountain? Close your eyes and try to get a
    picture of someone scrambling and straining up a
    mountain.
  • How would it change your mental picture if we
    rewrote the sentence like this?
  • M.C. heard him walk up the slope of Sarahs
    mountain.

5
For nearly a year, I sopped around the house, the
Store, the school, and the church, like an old
biscuit, dirty and inedible. Then I met, or
rather got to know, the lady who threw me my
first lifeline. Maya Angelou, I Know Why the
Caged Bird Sings
  1. What is the dictionary definition of the verb
    sop? This word is not usually used to describe a
    persons actions. What effect does this have on
    the reader?
  2. What is a lifeline? How is Angelous use of the
    word different from its usual use? How does this
    diction affect your understanding of the sentence?

6
He spent hours in front of the mirror trying to
herd his teeth into place with his thumb. He
asked his mother if he could have braces, like
Frankie Molina, her godson, but he asked at the
wrong time. -Gary Soto, Broken Chain,
Baseball in April and Other Stories
  • What is Gary Soto implying about the narrators
    teeth when he uses the verb herd in the first
    sentence?
  • How would the meaning change if the sentence were
    written like this?
  • He spent hours in front of the mirror trying to
    push his teeth into place with his thumb.

7
They scuttled for days and days and days till
they came to a great forest, sclsively full of
trees and bushes and stripy, speckly,
patchy-batchy shadows, and there they hid and
after another long time what with standing half
out of it, and what with the slippery-slidy
shadows of the trees falling on them, the Giraffe
grew blotchy, and the Zebra grew stripy, and
Eland the Koodoo grew darker. -Rudyard Kiplin,
How the Leopard Got His Spots, Just So Stories
  1. What is the dictionary definition of scuttled?
    How would your mental picture change if the
    passage said, They trudged for days and days?
  2. Consider the hyphenated adjectives Kipling uses
    in this passage patchy-batchy and
    slippery-slidy. How do these adjectives help the
    reader understand the scene?

8
Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, said the
Prince, far away across the city I see a young
man in a garret. He is leaning over a desk
covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side
there is a bunch of withered violets. His hair
is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a
pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy
eyes.-Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince, The
Happy Prince and Other Tales an attic room

  • Look carefully at the diction in this passage. Is
    the young man rich or poor? How do you know?
  • 2. What does it mean to have crisp hair? Sketch
    a picture of someone with crisp hair.

9
There was a scurrying around and then eight of
them snatched up their guns, formed up into twos
and marched out behind the office. He wheeled his
horse about and trotted toward me. I jumped back
and plunged for the tavern doorway. -James
Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, My
Brother Sam is Dead
  1. Look at the boldface word (snatched) in the first
    sentence. Notice how clearly you can see the
    action because of that strong ver. How would it
    change the meaning of the sentence if it read
    eight of them picked up there guns?
  2. What does the use of the word plunged in the
    third sentence tell you about the narrators
    attitude toward the other characters in this
    passage?

10
Brown as a coffee-berry, rugged, pistoled,
spurred, wary, indefeasible, I saw my old
friend, Deputy-Marshal Buck Caperton, stumble
with jingling rowels, into a chair in the
marshals outer office. -O. Henry, The
Lonesome Road, 41 Stories by O.
Henrysomething that cant be cancelled

a sharp-toothed wheel in the end of
a spur

  • 1.Look at the first 2 boldface words (pistoled
    and spurred). Both of these words described
    Deputy-Marshal Caperton. What do they mean? How
    would the meaning change if O. Henry has said, I
    saw my old friend Deputy-Marshal Buck Caperton,
    who wearing a pistol and spurs, stumble, with
    jingling rowels, into a chair in the marshals
    office?
  • 2. The word indefeasible is usually used to
    describe a contract of some kind of legal
    document. O. Henry uses it to describe a
    character. What does it mean in this context? In
    other words, how can a person be indefeasible?
    What does this choice of words add to the impact
    of the sentence?

11
n you think at the ivory-n-ebonycrooning I Left
My Heart to momma, winkin n smiling n jazzin n
profilinn sangin n sanginn sangin n
soundinsweeeeeeeee t. -Crystal
Williams, The Famous Door, Kin
  • The words in this poem imitate the way someone
    talks. Why do you think Williams uses these kinds
    of words instead of standard English words? What
    does the diction add to the total effect of the
    passage?
  • How would the impact of the passage change if we
    wrote the lines like this?
  • and you at the piano,
  • singing to momma,
  • winking and smiling,
  • and singling,
  • and sounding sweet

12
How well I recollect the kind of day it was! I
smell the fog that hung about the place I see
the hoar frost, ghostly, through it I feel my
rimy hair fall clammy on my cheek I look along
the dim perspective of the schoolroom, with a
sputtering candle here and there to light up the
foggy morning, and the breath of the boys
wreathing and smoking in the raw cold as they
blow upon their fingers and tap their feet upon
the floor. -Charles Dickens, David
Copperfield
  • What words help you understand that the room was
    cold and dark?
  • What is a sputtering candle? How does describing
    the candle help you understand the feeling of the
    whole room?

13
DETAILwhat makes writing come alive
14
I used to like going to have my hair cut. I liked
the mirrors in the room and all the smells of
lotions and shampoos. I liked to sit there-young
and fresh and pretty- and see what the women were
having done, to make themselves look younger and
prettier. I liked the way my mothers hairdresser
teased me about boyfriends and dances. Not
anymore, though. Somebody held the door open so
my mother could wheel me in, and a few people who
had met me came around to say how sorry they
were. -Cynthia Voigt, Izzy, Willy Nilly
  1. Which details support the attitude that the
    narrator used to like having her hair cut?
    Underline those details and talk about there
    effectiveness.
  2. Which detail changes the direction of the
    passage? Note that the narrators reason for not
    liking haircuts anymore is not explained.
    Nevertheless, you know what has happened. What
    effect does that have on you, the reader?

15
He was an old man. His black, heavily wrinkled
face was surrounded by a halo of crinkly white
hair and whiskers that seemed to separate his
head from the layers of dirty coats piled on his
smallish frame. His pants were bagged to the
knee. Where they were met with rags that went
down to the old shoes. The rags were held on with
strings, and there was a rope around his
middle -Walter Dean Myers, The Treasure of
Lemon Brown, Face to Face A collection of
Stories by Celebrated Soviet and American Writers
  1. Underline all the vivid details in the passage.
    How do details help you understand the focus on
    the passage?
  2. There are several contrasting details in the
    passage, details that five two completely
    different pictures of the man. For example, the
    passage says the man is wearing layers of dirty
    coats, which makes him sound padded and heavy
    but he is also described as having a smaller
    frame, which makes him seem frail. Identify other
    contrasting details in the passage, and discuss
    what these contrasts add to the overall effect of
    the description.

16
When he ran, he even loved the pain, the hurt of
the running, the burning in his lungs and the
spasms that sometimes gripped his calves. He
loved it because he knew he could endure the pain
and even go beyond it. He had never pushed
himself to the limit but he felt all this reserve
strength inside of him more than strength
actually- determination. And it sang in him as he
ran, he heart pumped blood joyfully through his
body. -Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War
  1. What is the main idea (topic sentence) or focus
    of this paragraph? State it as simply as you can.
    How do the details in this paragraph support the
    main idea?
  2. The details in the first sentence describe the
    physical sensation of pain. The next three
    sentences, however, focus on another
    characteristic of pain. What is this other
    characteristic of pain? How do the details of the
    last three sentences help the reader understand
    the other characteristic of pain?

17
Meanwhile, Confucius pursued his studies.
Whenever he had a chance, he visited the state
capital, Qufu, a lively town thronged with people
talking, laughing, and shouting buying, selling
and gambling eating at food stalls in every
street and watching acrobats, jugglers, and
magicians at the marketplace, where vendors
hawked such delicacies as bears paws, the fins
of sharks, the livers of peacocks and the bees
fried in there own honey -Russell Freedman,
Confucius The Golden Rule
  1. What is the focus of the detail in this
    description of the state capital, Qufu?
  2. How would the feeling and impact of this passage
    change if Freedman had ended the second sentence
    right after people.

18
I loved the smell of fruits and vegetables and
would savor everything, sniff at it, before I
ate. We had a pear tree in the garden, and my
mother would make a thick pear nectar from its
fruit, in which the smell of pears seemed
heightened. But the scent of pears, I had read,
could be made artificially, too (as was done with
pear drops), without using any pears. One had
only to start with one of the alcohols-ethyl,
methyl, amyl, whatever- and distill it with
acetic acid to form the corresponding ester.
-Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten Memories of
a Chemical Boyhood
  1. The first sentence of the passage is a broad
    statement, stating the speakers love of the way
    fruits and vegetables smell in general. How does
    the rest of the passage enrich and strengthen the
    first sentence?
  2. What is the speakers attitude toward science?
    What specific details reveal this attitude?

19
Shes this wrinkled old bat with bad breath, so
kids avoid her. I tried to sit downwind of her
breath but it was right after lunch and she kept
burpin little bursts of garlic -Sharon M.
Draper, Tears of a Tiger
  • Look at the following rewriting of Drapers
    sentences
  • Shes an old woman with bad breath, so kids
    avoid her. I tried to sit downwind of her breath,
    but I couldnt get away from her.
  • Which one is more alive and engrossing? Which
    one best you into the scene? Why?
  • 2. Sketch a little picture of the scene. What
    details are in your sketch? Why are they
    memorable?

20
I almost cried at what I saw. His coat was dirty
and mud-caked. His skin was stretched drum-tight
over his bony frame. The knotty joints of his
hips and shoulders stood out a good three inches
from his body. -Wilson Rawls, Where
the Red Fern Grows
  1. Think of one word to describe the dog in the
    passage. Which details in the passage support
    your choice of words?
  2. The details of this passage describe the dog from
    the outside (his coat) in-through his skin to his
    bones. How do these details affect the readers
    attitude toward the dog?

21
It was full of every kind of desert plant that
ever sprang out of dry hot earth. It was overrun
with prairie dogs, squirrels, and horned toads,
snakes, and a variety of smaller forms of life.
The space over this land knew only the presence
of hawks, eagles, and buzzards. It was a region
of loneliness, emptiness, truth, and dignity. It
was nature at its proudest, driest, loneliest,
and loveliest.
  1. Saroyan describes the scene as nature at its
    proudest, driest, loneliest, and loveliest. Which
    details support this statement?
  2. Notice that the first sentence does not mention
    specific plants, but the second sentence mentions
    several desert animals. Why do you think Saroyan
    does this?

22
It isnt a pretty pass. The ball is moving so
slowly I can clearly see its white laces turning
through the air. I can see Tommy Zodac and Johnny
Sanders, the middle linebackers, straining to
reach for it, but it falls softly like a spent
balloon into the fingers of Jared Bonton,
Hudsons tight end. -Jan
Ceripko, Imitate the Tiger
  • What is the main idea of focus on this paragraph?
    What details support the main idea and bring the
    reader into the narrators experience?
  • How would the meaning and impact of the passage
    change if Ceripko had written the paragraph like
    this?
  • It is a terrible, slow pass. Members of our team
    try to catch the ball, but it falls right into
    the hands of one of their teams players.

23
Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in
and out of your head.Arithmetic tells you how
many you will lose or win if you know how any you
had before you lost of won.Arithmetic is
seven eleven all good children go to heaven- or
five six bundle sticks.Arithmetic is numbers you
squeeze from your head to your hand to your
pencil to your paper till you get the answer.
-Carl Sandburg, Arithmetic, The Complete
Poems of Carl Sangburg
  1. What is the purples of these lines of poetry? Who
    is the audience? What do these questions have to
    do with detail?
  2. Look at this line. (Arithmetic is numbers you
    squeeze from your head to your hand to your
    pencil to your paper till you get the answer.)
    How does this sequence of details add the meaning
    of the lines?

24
METAPHORS, SIMILIES PERSONIFICATIONFigurative
Language
25
I have a dream that one day even the state of
Mississippi, a desert state sweltering with the
heat of injustice and oppression, will be
transformed into an oasis of freedom and
justice. -Martin Luther King
Jr., I Have A Dream
  • Identify two examples of figurative language in
    the passage. Are the figures of speech metaphors
    or simile? How do you know the language is
    figurative?
  • 2. What does the figurative language add to the
    passage?

26
I was seven, I lay in the carwatching palm trees
swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.My
stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.
-Naomi Shihab Nye, Making a Fist, Words
Under the Words Selected Poems
  1. What is the metaphor in this poem? What is the
    literal term? What is the figurative term? What
    does the metaphor mean?
  2. How would the meaning and impact of these lines
    change if Nye said simply, My stomach really hurt?

27
Now only the night moved in the souls of the two
men bent by their lonely fire in the wilderness
darkness pumped quietly in their veins and ticked
silently in their temples and their wrists.
-Ray Bradbury, The Dragon, The Golden Apples
of the Sun and Other Stories
  1. Is the word night literal of figurative? If it is
    literal, what does it literally mean? If it is
    figurative, explain why.
  2. When Bradbury says, darkness pumped quietly in
    their veins and ticked silently in their temples
    and their wrist, what does he literally mean?
    This entire clause is a metaphor, which means
    there has to be a comparison between essentially
    unlike things. What is the comparison? What are
    the literal and figurative terms of the metaphor?

28
He gossips like my grandmother, this manwith my
face, and I could standamused all afternoonin
the Hon Kee Grocery,amid hanging meats
hechops -Li-Young Lee, The Cleaving,
The City in Which I Love You
  • Look at the first line. Is like my grandmother a
    simile? Explain.
  • 2. Is this man/with my face figurative? If so,
    is it a metaphor or a simile? Explain.

29
Frantic, Cole struggled to fly, but he couldnt
escape the nest. All he could do was open his
beak wide and raise it upward toward the skin,
the action a simple admission that he was
powerless. There were no conditions, no vices, no
lies, no deceit, no manipulation. Only submission
and a simple desire to live. He wanted to live,
but for that he needed help otherwise his life
would end in the nest -Ben Mikaelsen,
Touching Spirit Bear
  • This paragraph from Touching Spirit Bear contains
    an extended metaphor, a metaphor that continues
    over several sentences and is developed in
    several ways. The literal term of this metaphor
    is Cole, the name of the boy who struggles to
    survive. What is the figurative term? How do you
    know? In other words, what evidence can you find
    in the paragraph that supports your understanding
    of the figurative term of the metaphor?
  • The figurative term of this metaphor is never
    directly stated. How would the impact of this
    paragraph change if Mikaelsen had written it like
    this?
  • Frantic, Cole was like a little bird struggling
    to fly, but he couldnt do it. Like a baby bird,
    he was powerless. There were no conditions, no
    vices, no lies, no deceit, no manipulation. Only
    submission and a simple desire to live. He wanted
    to live, but for that he needed help otherwise
    life would end.

30
The Tangerine Times printed a special pullout
section on the Lake Windsor Middle School
sinkhole. The photos were spectacular. They had
one huge shot of the splintered walkways sticking
up in all directions, like Godzilla had just
trampled through there. -Edward
Bloor, Tangerine
  1. Is the phrase the splintered walkways sticking up
    in all directions literal of figurative? Explain.
  2. .like Godzilla had just trampled through there
    is a simile. Why is it a simile and not a
    metaphor? What are the literal and figurative
    terms?

31
Eusebio talks in a hoarse whisper that smells
like tobacco, one hand on Mamas shoulder, one
hand grasping my T-shirt. Hes like a sheepdog,
and we are the sheep. He makes us go in little
groups, watching the road, listening.
-Frances Temple, Grab Hands and Run
  • Find one simile and one metaphor in the passage.
    And identify the literal and figurative terms.
  • 2. How is the meaning of the passage deepened by
    the simile and metaphor?

32
But my mothers hair, my mothers hair, like
little rosettes, like little candy circles all
curly and pretty because she pinned it in
pincurls all day, sweet to put your nose into
when she is holding you, holding you and you feel
safe, is the warm smell of bread before you bake
it, is the smell when she makes room for you on
her side of the bed still warm with her skin, and
you sleep near her, the rain outside falling and
Papa snoring. -Sandra Cisneros, The
House on Mango Street
  • List the four similes and metaphors in this
    passage. Be sure you can explain why they are
    similes and metaphors and what the literal and
    figurative meanings are.
  • 2. Why doesnt Cisneros simply say, My Mothers
    hair smelled good?

33
The ruddy brick floor smiled up at the smoky
ceiling the oaken settles, shiny with long
wear, exchange cheerful glances with each other
plates on the dresser grinned at pots on the
shelf, and the merry firelight flickered and
played over everything distinction
-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willowslong
wooden benches with high backs that usually have
storage space in the seat
  1. Remember that personification is a king of
    metaphor, an implied comparison that always has a
    human being as its figurative term. Identify the
    examples of personification in the passage.
  2. How does the use of personification help the
    reader visualize and connect to the passage? What
    kind of feeling is created by personification?

34
The camp faced a wide cove of white sane and palm
trees. The bay was so perfectly blue, it looked
like it had been retouched for a tourist
brochure. Across the bay stood protective
mountains, shoulder to shoulder, across the
Concepción peninsula -Ann
Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • Underline the example of personification in the
    third sentence. What are the literal and
    figurative terms?
  • How would the meaning of the third sentence
    change if it were written like this?
  • There were mountains across the Concepción
    peninsula

35
HYPERBOLES, SYMBOLS IRONYFigurative Language
36
He could shoot a bumblebee in the eye at sixty
paces, and he was a man who was not afraid to
shake hands with lightening. -Harold
W. Felton, Pecos Bill and the Mustang
  • This is an example of a hyperbole, an
    exaggeration that is based on truth but carries
    the trust to such an extreme that it is no longer
    literally true. Of course, Peco Bill couldnt
    literally do these things. What, then, is the
    purpose of saying that he could?
  • Compare Feltons sentence with this one
  • He could shoot very well, and he was not afraid
    of anything.
  • Which sentence better helps the reader
    understand what Pecos Bill is like? Why?

37
The grass you are standing on, my dear
little ones, is made of a new kind of soft minty
sugar that Ive just invented! I call it swudge!
Try a blade! Please do! Its delectable!
Isnt it wonderful! whispered Charlie. Hasnt
it got a wonderful taste, Grandpa? I could
eat the whole field! said Grandpa Joe, grinning
with delight. I could go around on all fours
like a cow and eat every blade of grass in the
field! -Roald Dahl, Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory
  1. Underline the example of a hyperbole in this
    passage. Remember that a hyperbole is figurative,
    not literal. What is the literal meaning of the
    hyperbole?
  2. The character, Grandpa Joe, first states the he
    could eat a whole field. Then he extends or
    continues this hyperbole by saying he could go
    around on all fours like a cow and eat every
    blade of grass in the field. How does this
    extended hyperbole help you understand Grandpa
    Joes experience of the swudge?

38
There was enough artillery in Beekmans toy
department to wipe our Red China and the Mau-Mau
tribe of Africa, and I personally think some of
the toy manufactures could use a good course in
prevention psychiatry. -Paul Zindel,
The Pigman
  1. Underline the hyperbole in this sentence.
  2. What is the speakers attitude towards toy guns?
    How does the hyperbole in this sentence reveal
    this attitude?

39
Flowers and other things have been laid against
the wall. There are little flags, an old teddy
bear, and letters, weighted with stones so they
wont blow away. Someone has left a rose with a
droopy head. -Eve Bunting, The
Wall
  • This passage is from a book about the Vietnam War
    Memorial in Washington, D.C. There are several
    symbols in the passage. Identify the symbols and
    explain what they mean.
  • 2. Look at the last sentence about the rose.
    Remember that it is a rose, but its also a
    symbol of something else. What does the rose
    actually symbolize? Why does it have to have a
    droopy head here? What does the droopy heard add
    to our understanding of the symbol and the
    feeling of the passage?

40
The one tree in Francines yard was neither a
pine nor a hemlock. It had pointed leaves which
grew along green switches which radiated from the
bough and made a tree which looked like a lot of
opened green umbrellas. Some people called it the
Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed fell, it
made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It
grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected
rubbish heaps and it was the only tree that grew
out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the
tenement districts. -Betty Smith,
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Remember that a symbol is itself and something
    else. This paragraph is about a tree, but its
    also about something else. What is that something
    else? When you identify that something else, you
    have understood the symbol.
  • How would this passage be different if Smith had
    used a simile instead of symbolism, like this?
  • Francies spirit was like a tree with pointed
    leaves which grew along green switches which
    radiated from the bough and made a tree which
    looked like a lot of opened green umbrellas. She
    always tried to rise above her troubles like a
    Tree of Heaven which struggles to reach the sky,
    no matter where its seed falls

41
As I reached for the porch to steady myself,
there was a sense of quiet movement in the
darkness. The moon slid from its dark covers,
cloaking the earth in a shadowy white light, and
I could see Mr. Morrison clearly, moving
silently, like a jungle cat, from the side of the
house to the road, a shotgun in his hand.
-Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear
My Cry
  1. Traditionally, darkness symbolizes evil and
    deception, and light symbolizes goodness and
    truth. What is going on in this paragraph? How
    does the use of traditional symbolism help you
    understand the passage?
  2. Mr. Morrison is described as moving silently,
    like a jungle cat. Is jungle cat a symbol?
    Explain your answer thoroughly.

42
All this last day Frodo had not spoken, but had
walked half-bowed, often stumbling, as if his
eyes no longer saw the way before his feet. Sam
guessed that among all their pains he bore the
worst, the growing weight of the Ring, a burden
on the body and a torment to his mind.
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
  1. The ring in this book is, in fact, a ring
    however, it is also something else. That, of
    course, makes the ring a symbol. What do rings
    usually symbolize? In other words, why would
    Tolkien use a ring as a symbol?
  2. How does the use of a symbol help you understand
    the passage?

43
Oh, and theres a thrilling shot of one of the
kids being sick on a small fishing boat of the
coast of Florida and we are hovering over him
offering him salami and mayonnaise sandwiches.
That one really breaks us up. -Erma
Bombeck, At Wits End
  • Remember that verbal irony implies the opposite
    of what is said, and irony may or may not be
    sarcastic (intending to hurt). Bombeck describes
    a picture from a family vacation as thrilling. Is
    it ironic? Is it sarcastic?
  • Look at the following rewriting of the passage
  • We have a picture of one of the kids being sick
    on a small fishing boat off the coast of
    Florida. In the picture, were making fun of him
    and offering him salami and mayonnaise
    sandwiches. We know its wrong, but its kind of
    funny.
  • Which version is funnier? Why? How does the use
    of irony help shape your understanding of the
    authors attitude toward vacation pictures?

44
All that he would have to do, continued the
worried bug, is travel through miles of
harrowing and hazardous countryside, into unknown
valleys and uncharted forests, past yawning
chasms and trackless wastes, until he reached
Digitopolis (if, of course, he ever reached
there). Then he would have to persuade the
Mathemagician to agree to release the little
princessesand, of course, hed never agree to
agree to anything that you agreed with. And,
anyway, if he did, you certainly wouldnt agree
to it And, finally, after the long ride back,
a triumphal parade (if, of course, there is
anything left to parade) followed by hot
chocolate and cookies for everyone. The Humbug
bowed low and sat down once again, very pleased
with himself. I never realized it would be so
simple, said the king, stroking his beard and
smiling broadly. Quite simple indeed,
concurred the bug. -Norton Juster, The
Phantom Tollbooth
  1. When the bug says the task is quite simple
    indeed, what does he really mean? Is this verbal
    irony? Is it sarcasm?
  2. When the king says, I never realized it would be
    so simple, is it ironic? Justify your answer.

45
We divide the world in columnswhen we stick to
our own kind.We nurture our suspicions,keep our
stereotypes in line.We have to keep our
distanceSo weve another kind to blame.How
come,if were so different,we both react the
same? -Sara Holbrook, Major Differences,
Walking on the Boundaries of Change Poems of
Transition
  • Read these stanzas very carefully. Several of the
    lines say one thing, but they mean quite the
    opposite. In other words, theyre ironic. What do
    the lines say, and what do the lines mean? (Use
    lines 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-9)
  • How would the impact of the poem change if we
    rewrote the last stanza like this?
  • We shouldnt keep our distance
  • Nor stick to our own kind.
  • Because
  • Its not so helpful
  • And it builds a narrow mind.

46
IMAGERYThe use of words to re-create a sensory
experience.
47
The silence was delicate. Aunty Ifeoma was
scraping a burnt pot in the kitchen, and the
kroo-kroo-kroo of the metal spoon on the pot
seemed intrusive. Amaka and Papa-Nnukwu spoke
sometimes, their voices low, twining together.
They understood each other, using the sparest
words. Watching them, I felt a longing for
something I knew I would never have. I wanted to
get up and leave, but my legs did not belong to
me, did not do what I wanted them to.
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus
  1. Imagery is the re-creation of sensory experiences
    through language. Which of the five senses
    (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) is most
    important here? Underline the particular words
    that create this sense experience for the reader?
  2. The kroo-kroo-kroo of the metal spoon on the pot
    is described as intrusive. What does this mean?
    What image is contrasting with the sound of the
    metal spoon on the pot? What effect does this
    have on the passage?

48
Backing out the drivewaythe car lights cast an
eerie glowin the morning fog centeringon
movement in the rain slick street
-Nikki Giovanni, Possum Crossing, Quilting the
Black-Eyed Pea
  • Circle the images. What kind of imagery is used
    in these lines? What kind of feeling is created
    with these images?
  • Contrast the feeling created by Giovannis lines
    with these lines
  • Backing out the driveway
  • the car lights cast a warm glow
  • in the morning sunshine centering
  • on movement in the rain slick street
  • How do the images create a different feeling?

49
Well, after a long time I heard the clock away
off in the town go boom-boom-boom-twelve licks
and all still again- stiller than ever. Pretty
soon I heard a twig snap down in the dark amongst
the trees- something was a-stirring. I sat still
and listened. -Mark Twain, The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn
  1. What kind of imagery is used in this passage? How
    do these images affect the reader?
  2. Twain uses imagery to set up a contrast between
    sounds and quiet. How does the use of quiet and
    sound images shape your understanding of the
    scene?

50
He had bathed regularly in the lake, but not with
soap and he thought how wonderful it would be to
wash his hair. Thick with grime and smoke dirt,
frizzed with wind and sun, matted with fish and
foolbird grease, his hair had grown and stuck and
tangled and grown until it was a clumped mess on
his head. -Gary Paulsen, Hatchet
  • 1.Sometimes its hard to tell the difference
    between figurative language (like metaphors and
    similes) and imagery. Thats because a lot of
    figurative language contains imagery. For
    example, we could describe someones hair as limp
    and stringy, like overcooked spaghetti. This is a
    visual image- it makes you see the hair. But it
    is also figurative (hair is compared to
    overcooked spaghetti). Read Paulsens paragraph
    again. Is the imagery figurative or not? Explain
    your answer.
  • 2. What does the imagery in this passage reveal
    about the characters attitude toward his dirty
    hair?

51
Something warm was running across the backs of
her hands. She saw with mounting horror that it
was mixed slime and blood running from the dogs
mouth. -Stephen King, Cujo
  • What kind of imagery is used in this passage? Is
    the imagery also figurative?
  • 2. How does the imagery in this passage help
    create the horror of the situation?

52
When I walk into a restaurant and order the trout
almondine,I have to trust that it is trout, and
not dogfish or mudpuppy-That my cream of
mushroom appetizer wont be creamyWith earwax
my café au lait, not laced with phlegm.
-Charles Harper Webb, Trust, Liver
  1. Underling the important images in the passage.
    What kind of imagery is most vivid in this
    passage?
  2. These liens are from a poem called Trust. What
    does Webb believe about trust? How does the use
    of imagery help you understand the meaning?

53
This must be a simply enormous wardrobe!
thought Lucy, going still further is and pushing
the soft folds of the coats aside to make room
for her. Then she noticed that there was
something crunching under her feet. I wonder is
that more moth-balls? she thought, stopping down
to feel it with her hand. But instead of felling
the hard, smooth wood of the floor of the
wardrobe, she felt something soft and powdery and
extremely cold. -C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the
Witch, and the Wardrobe
  1. Underline all the images you can find. What kind
    of imagery is mostly used in this passage?
  2. What does Lucy feel in the passage? How does the
    imagery help you understand what has changed in
    the closet?

54
The camels move on, their only sound the
kachinnik, kachinnik, of their bracelets, the
gentle thong of their bells, and the creaking of
goathair cords against their wooden saddles.
-Suzanne Fisher Staples, Shabanu, Daughter of
the Wind
  1. Underline the images. What kind of imagery is
    used in this passage?
  2. Imitate the sounds captured by these words
    kachinnik, thong, creaking. How do these words
    bring the reader into the experience of the
    passage?

55
Back in Montana you had steep craggy mountains
that rose ten thousand feet into the clouds. Here
the only hills were man-made highway bridges-
smooth, gentle, slopes of concrete.
-Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
  1. What kind of picture to do you get when you read
    the first sentence? What kind of picture do you
    get when you read the second sentence? Sketch a
    picture of each.
  2. Which does the speaker like better- the craggy
    mountains or the highway bridges? Base your
    answer on evidence from the text, not your own
    opinion. How does the imagery in this passage
    help you understand the speakers attitude?

56
And still this was not all. For, on the old
beamed ceiling of the parlor, streaks of light
swam and danced and wavered like a bright mirage,
reflected through the windows from the sunlit
surface of the pond. There were bowls of daisies
everywhere, gay white and yellow. And over
everything was the clean, sweet smell of the
water and its weeds, the chatter of a swooping
kingfisher, the carol and trill of a dozen other
kinds of birds, and occasionally the thrilling
bas note of an unastonished bullfrog at ease
somewhere along the muddy banks.
-Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
  1. Look at the images in the second sentence. Which
    images are figurative and which are not? Fill in
    the following chart with your answers.
  2. This passage uses sight, sound and smell imagery
    to capture the scene. What is the speakers
    attitude toward the scene, and how do the images
    reveal this attitude?

57
SYNTAXThe way words are arranged in sentences
58
He was a year older than I, skinny, brown as a
chocolate bar, his hair orange, his hazel eyes
full of mischief and laughter.
-Esmeralda Santiago, When I was Puerto Rican
  1. Look carefully at the way this sentence is
    written. All of the words that follow the Word I
    are used to describe the he of the sentence. They
    are adjectives and adjective phrases. This is not
    the way words are usually ordered in English. (In
    English, adjectives are usually right before the
    nouns they modify, or at least right next to
    them.) What effect does this word have on the
    meaning of the sentence?
  2. Placing all of the adjectives and adjective
    phrases one after the other is called layering.
    What effect does this layering have on the
    impact of the sentence?

59
But once I spread my fingers in the dirt and
couch over the Get on Your Mark, the dream goes
and I am solid again and am telling myself,
Squeaky you must win, you must win, you are the
fastest thing in the world, you can even beat
your father up Amsterdam if you really try. And
then I feel my weight coming back just behind my
knees then down to my feet then into the earth
and the pistol shot explodes in my blood and I am
off and weightless again, flying past the other
runners, my arms pumping up and down and the
whole world is quiet except for the crunch as I
zoom over the gravel track. -Toni
Cade Bambara, Raymonds Run (Creative Short
Stories)
  1. Look at the first sentence in this passage., The
    sentence is made up of many short clauses in a
    row, each clause separated by a comma. Read the
    sentence aloud several times and think about it.
    A comma indicates a short pause, a little breath.
    Why do you think the author wrote the sentence
    this way instead of dividing it into separate
    sentences? In other words, how does the sentence
    structure emphasize the meaning of the sentence?
  2. Both of these sentences start with conjunctions
    (but, and). What is the purpose of a conjunction?
    Why do you think the author has chosen to start
    these sentences with a conjunction?

60
When I had waited a long time, very patiently,
without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open
a little- a very, very crevice in the lantern. So
I opened it- your cannot imagine how stealthily,
stealthily-until, at length, a single dim ray,
like the thread of a spider, s how from out the
crevice and full upon the vulture eye.
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart, The
Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings
  1. Look carefully at the sentence. There are several
    groups of words called phrases (very patiently,
    without hearing him lie down, a very, very
    little) that interrupt the flow of the sentence.
    Why do you think Poe wrote the sentence like
    this?
  2. Look at the second sentence. What is the purpose
    of the dashes? How do these dashes, and the words
    they set off, involve the reader in the action of
    the passage?

61
Grayson said, Pitcher. This word, unlike the
others, was not worn at all, but fresh and
robust. It startled Maniac. It declared I am not
what you see. I am a line-laying, pickup-driving,
live-at-the-Y, bean-brained parkhand. I am not
rickety, whiskered worm chow. I am a
pitcher. -Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee
  1. Notice that the passage alternates long, layered
    sentences with short sentences. What is the
    purpose of the short sentences? What is the
    purpose of the longer sentences?
  2. Why is the last sentence in italics? What effect
    does this sentence have on the impact of the
    passage?

62
He found that he was often angry, now
irrationally angry at his groupmates, that they
were satisfied with their lives which had none of
the vibrance his own was taking on.
-Lois Lowry, The Giver
  • What is the purpose of the colon in this
    sentence?
  • How would it change the effectiveness of the
    sentence if he rewrote it like this?
  • He found that he was often irrationally angry at
    his groupmates because they were satisfied with
    their lives which had none of the vibrance his
    own was taking on.

63
When I woke up it was light. It was awfully
quiet. I mean , out house just isnt naturally
quiet. The radios usually going full blast and
the TV is turned up loud and people are wrestling
and knocking over lamps and tripping over the
coffee table and yelling at each other. Something
was wrong, but I couldnt quite figure it out.
Something had happened. I couldnt remember
what -S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders
  1. Hinton starts the passage with two short
    sentences, a sentence fragment, and another short
    sentence. Then she writes two longer sentences.
    Look at these sentences carefully, and contrast
    the purpose of the short sentences and fragment
    and the purpose of the longer sentences. How does
    the sentence length reinforce the meaning of the
    passage?
  2. Hinton uses ellipses in the last sentence to show
    that something has been left out. What has been
    left out? How do you know?

64
They came because they were afraid or unafraid,
because they were happy or unhappy, because they
felt like Pilgrims or did not feel like Pilgrims.
There was a reason for each man. They were
leaving bad wives of bad jobs or bad towns they
were coming to find something of leave something
of get something, to dig up something or bury
something or leave something alone. They were
coming with small dreams or large dreams or none
at all. -Ray Bradbury, The Martain Chronicles
  1. Bradbury repeats sentence parts in this passage.
    In the first sentence he repeats clauses
    beginning with because. In the third sentence he
    repeats similar clauses (They were leaving. They
    were coming). How does this influence your
    understanding of the passage?
  2. What is the purpose of the semicolon in the third
    sentence? Why do you think Bradbury uses a
    semicolon instead of a period in this sentence?

65
Like sunshine after storm were the peaceful weeks
which followed. -Louisa May Alcott,
Little Women
  • What is the subject of the sentence (underline
    it)? What is the main verb (circle it)? Is this
    the usual order of subjects and verbs in English?
  • How would the meaning and impact of the sentence
    be different if it read
  • The peaceful weeks which followed were like
    sunshine after storm.

66
Suddenly there was sickening thud. A loud crack.
The ship shuddered, then split ocean. It had
slammed into a reef near the Scilly Isles, the
outermost islands off the southwest English
coast. Within minutes it sank. Moments later
three other ships pierced their hills on the same
rocks. -Kathryn Lasky, The Man Who Made
Time Travel
  1. Look at the first two sentences Which one is a
    sentence fragment? What effect does the use of a
    sentence have on the reader?
  2. Label the sentences in this paragraph with short
    and long. What effect does the use of short and
    long sentences have on the reader?

67
I picked up a tomato so big it sat on the ground.
IT looked like it had sat there for a week. The
underside was brown. Small white worms lived in
it. It was very juicy. I had to handle it
carefully to keep from spilling it on myself. I
stood up and took aim, and went into the wind-up,
when my other at the kitchen window called my
name in a sharp voice. I had to decide quickly. I
decided -Garrison Keillor , Lake Wobegon Days
  • Label each sentence in the passage short or long.
    In terms of meaning, what do short sentences have
    in common? What do the long sentences have in
    common? How does the sentence length help the
    reader understand the speakers attitude?
  • What did the narrator decide? How does the syntax
    help you know what the narrator decides?

68
TONEThe expression of the authors attitude
toward his/her audience and subject matter.
69
The Baudelaire orphans went to the bedroom and
glumly packed their few belongings. Klaus looked
distastefully at each ugly shirt Mrs. Poe had
bought for him as he folded them and put them
into a small suitcase. Violet looked around the
cramped, smelly room in which they had been
living. And Sunny crawled around solemnly biting
each of Edgar and Alberts shoes, leaving small
teeth marks in each one so she would not be
forgotten. -Lemony Snicket, A Series of
Unfortunate Events The Bad Beginning
  • 1. What is the tone of this passage? Brainstorm
    tone words with your class and add new words to
    your Tone Words List.
  • 2. How do you know the tone of this passage?
    Create evidence of what you identify as the tone
    of this passage.

70
Rachel/Rachelle and some other twit about the
movie date before Mr. Stetman starts class. I
wasnt to puke. Rachel/Rachelle is just
Andythis and Andythat. Could she be more
obvious? I close my ears to her stupid asthmatic
laugh and work on the homework that was due
yesterday. -Laurie Halse
Anderson, Speak
  1. What is the attitude of the narrator toward
    Rachel/Rachelle? Circle and discuss the diction,
    details, and imagery that reveal this attitude.
  2. What is the tone of the passage? How do you know?
    Look at your list of tone words and decide which
    words best describe the tone of this passage. If
    you think of new words, add them to the list.

71
MIRANDA O, wonder!How many goodly creatures are
there here!How beauteous mankind is! Obrave new
worldThat has such people int!
-William Shakespeare, The Tempest
  • What is the tone of this passage? How do you
    know?
  • How would the tone of the passage change if we
    simply changed the punctuation like this?
  • MIRANDA O, wonder.
  • How many goodly creatures are there here?
  • How many beauteous mankind is. O brave new world
  • That has much people int.

72
The haunted house was half in the shadows of the
clump of elms in which it stood. The elms were
almost bare now, and the ground around the house
was yellow with damp leaves. The late afternoon
light had a greenish cast which the blank windows
reflected in a sinister way. An unhinged shutter
thumped. Something else creaked.
-Madeleine LEngle, A Wrinkle in Time
  1. What is the tone of the passage? How does LEngle
    use diction, detail, and imagery to create the
    tone?
  2. Would the tone of the passage change if we
    deleted the words haunted and sinister? Explain.

73
The Navy guy and I told each other we were glad
tove met each other. Which always kills me. Im
always saying Glad tove met you to somebody
Im not at all glad I met. If you want to stay
alive you have to say that stuff, though.
-J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
  • What is the narrators attitude toward people in
    general? How do you know? Explain how the
    element of voice help you to identify that
    narrators attitude towards the diction, syntax
    and hyperboles in this passage.
  • How would the tone of the passage change if
    Salinger had written in like this?
  • John and I told each other we were glad tove
    met each other. Im not sure I really meant it.
    Im always saying Glad tove met you to
    somebody Im not sure Im glad I met.

74
It is my observation that dogs feel certain basic
emotions like affection, fear, confusion, and
joy. Im not sure theyre capable of feeling
sadness or jealousy or if they can get their
feelings hurt. But I believe a dog can get
embarrassed! Take the Sunbeam clippers to
along-haired dog and see if he doesnt slink off
behind the barn. -Baxter Black, Dog
Emotions, Cactus Tracks Cowboy Philosophy
  1. Does the narrator like of dislike dogs? How do
    you know.
  2. What is the tone of the passage? How do the
    detail and diction of the last sentence affect
    the tone of the passage?

75
At the gate he heard his mothers voice raised in
a storm of anger. She had discovered the shotgun
where he had leaned it against the smoke-house
wall. She had discovered Flag. She had
discovered, too, that the yearling had made the
most of the early hours and had fed, not only
across the sprouting corn, but across a wide
section of the cow-peas. He went helplessly to
her to meet her wrath. He stood with his head
down while she failed him with her tongue.
-Marjorie Kinnan Ralings, The Yearling
  1. In the passage, the he of the story is a boy who
    has raised a fawn, Flag. What is the boys
    attitude toward the Flag? What is his mothers
    attitude toward the Flag?
  2. How did you figure out the characters attitudes?

76
The Rum Tum Tugger is a terrible bore When you
let him in, then he wants to be outHes always
on the wrong side of every door,And as soon as
hes at home, then hed like to get about.He
likes to lie in the bureau drawer,But he makes
such a fuss if he cant get out.Yes the Rum Tug
Tugger is a curious cat- And it isnt any use
for you to doubt it For he will do As he
will do And theres no doing anything about
it! - T.S. Eliot, The Rum
Tug Tugger, Old possums Book of Practical Cats
  • What is the authors attitude toward cats? How do
    you know? What is the tone of the passage? How it
    the tone related to attitude?
  • How would the tone change if we changed the last
    four lines like this?
  • That old cat is spoiled and useless-can you doubt
    it?
  • For he will do it
  • As he will do
  • And I might have to do something about it.

77
Im boiling with rage, and yet I mustnt show it.
Id like to stamp my feet, scream, give Mummy a
good shaking, cry, and I dont know what else,
because of the horrible words, mocking looks, and
accusations which are leveled at me repeatedly
every day, and find their mark, like shafts from
a tightly strung bow, and which are just as hard
to draw from my body. -Anne Frank, The Diary
of a Young Girl
  • What is the tone of the passage? Add your new
    tone words to the class list.
  • 2. Examine and discuss the diction, detail,
    syntax, imagery, and figurative language that
    shape the tone.

78
We went with sandwiches, thick, poor-mans ham
from Aldis supermarket, slapped onto wheat bread
and slathered with a thin film of mayonnaise.
-Mawi Asgedom, Of Beetles Angels A Boys
Remarkable Journey from a
Refugee Camp to Harvard
  1. What is the speakers attitude toward the
    sandwiches?
  2. How did you figure out the speakers attitude
    toward the sandwiches?

79
Turning off my headlamp, I freeze in the
darkness. I quietly wait to hear the noise again.
Suddenly something scuttles n the leaves
scattered on the ground. My heart beats faster.
What is it? Could it be a snake? -Rene
Ebersole, Night Shift, National Geographic
Explorer, Oct. 2004
  • What is the tone of this passage? How does the
    syntax help create the tone? Look especially at
    the use of verb tense, sentence length and
    questions.
  • How would the tone of the passage change if it
    were written like this?
  • I turned off my headlamp and froze in darkness.
    I quietly waited to hear the noise again.
    Suddenly something scuttled in the leaves
    scattered on the ground. My heart beat faster. I
    wondered what it was and if it could have been a
    snake.

80
I stood up nervously, wondering what it would be.
I felt my classmates piercing eyes as I
mechanically left the classroom. Teacher Hou
walked ahead of me without seeming to notice my
presence. I followed silently.
-Ji-li Hiang, Red Scarf Girl A Memoir of the
Cultural Revolution
  1. What is the tone of the passage? This passage is
    told in the first person. That is, the speaker
    (I) is a character. How does this affect the
    tone?
  2. Find one example of each of the elements of voice
    below and explain how the example helps create
    the tone.

81
I have lived in this tree, in this same hollow,
the owl said, for more years than anyone can
remember. But now, when the wind blows hard in
the winter and rocks the forest, I sit here in
the dark, and from deep down in the bole, down
near the roots, I hear a new sound. It is the
sound of strands of wood creaking in the cold and
snapping one by one. The limbs are falling the
tree is old and it is dying. Yet I cannot bring
myself, after so many years, to leave, to find a
new home and move into it, perhaps to fight for
it. I, too, have grown old. One of these days,
one of these years, the tree will fall and when
it does if I am still alive, I will fall with
it. -Robert C. OBrien, Mrs. Frisby and
the Rats of NIMH
  1. What is the owls attitude toward the tree? What
    is his attitude toward himself?
  2. What is the tone of the passage? How does OBrien
    use diction, imagery, detail, and syntax to
    create the tone? Remember that attitude helps
    create tone but is not necessarily the same thing
    as tone.

82
Yes maam. Thats right. Now, I have tot ell
you, I was a little-miss-know-it-all. I was a
miss-smarty-pants with my library full of books.
Oh, yes maam, I thought I knew the answers to
everything. Well, one hot Thursday, I was sitting
in my library with all the doors and windows open
and my nose stuck in a book, when a shadow
crossed the desk. And without looking up, yes
maam, without even looking up, I said, Is there
a book I can help you find? -Kate
DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie
  1. What is the speakers attitude toward herself?
    What is the authors attitude toward the speaker?
    How do you know?
  2. What is the tone of the passage? The speaker
    repeats the phrase yes maam three times in this
    passage. How does this help create the tone?

83
It is my belief that no write can improve his
work until he discards the dulcet notion that the
reader is feebleminded, for writing is an act of
faith, not a trick of grammar a writer who
questions the capacity of the person at the other
end of the line is not a writer at all, merely a
schemer. -E.B. White, calculating Machine,
Poems and Sketches of E.B. White
  1. What is E.B. Whites attitude toward the people
    who read his writing? How does his diction reveal
    and reinforce this attitude?
  2. What is the tone of this passage? How do you know
    this?

84
THEEND!
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