Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Long Way Gone: Vocabuary Words from Chapters 1-3

I started class with a quick little Newsday Tuesday preview of the newest issue of Time magazine. Why? Because I saw a little quotation in the magazine that reminded me of our book. In the quote, a convicted pimp talked about child prostitutes, not child soldiers, but I was able to make a connection between these two horrors. Here's the quote: "You promise them heaven, they'll follow you to hell."I thought of the way in which Ishmael ends up listening to the rebel soldiers and following them in their mission to destroy the very peace that Ishmael so enjoyed as young boy.

We also took down another pair of facts about the differences between life in Sierra Leone and the United States. Today's facts were about the average life expectancy rates. In the United States, the average person can expect to live to age seventy-seven. In Sierra Leone, the average life expectancy is only forty-three years of age. We talked about the probable reasons behind this huge difference in life expectancy rates. You came up with HIV/AIDS, disease, maternal mortality, hunger, and war as possible factors for such a low life expectancy rate.

After talking about this fact, you were all pretty excited to read from A Long Way Gone, and who was I to stop that from happening? We ended up reading to page twenty six and had some great discussions about the horrific imagery we read along the way. When we finished chapter three, I gave you each a single word from chapters one, two, or three. You needed to share your word with the person sitting next to you. Then, you could choose to use your word, you partner's word, or both words to write a reflective sentence about something that has happened in the book or how you're feeling about the book. We shared all of the words aloud and even had some time to read aloud the sentences you wrote. Great job--I can tell that you're really invested in this text and that you're understanding it.

We'll pick up where we left off on Monday.

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