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Humanities: Important Rubrics/Handouts
English Language Arts

O Pioneers!
by Willa Cather

Biographical Information on the Author

Willa Cather is one of the most interesting women writers in American literary history. Both a teacher, a journalist and a critic as well as a writer, Cather plays an important part in the shaping of American modernist thought and writings.

Her fiction is unique in its powerful representation of setting and character and rich in its language and imagery (sensory details). Her style of writing is condensed and subtle, but nonetheless tremendously expressive. For example:

"Whatever is felt upon the page without being specifically named there--that, we may say, is created." ----Willa Cather.

Background information on the Novel

Alexandra Bergson is the daughter and oldest child of Swedish immigrants in Nebraska. Her father, on his deathbed, leaves her in charge of the family and the land. During the hard times that follow a few years later, her brothers want to leave the land, but Alexandra refuses to go against her promise to her father. She fights to keep the farm and make it prosperous, and she turns out to be one of the few with enough strength and vision to succeed as a farmer on the vast plains that are so different from the comfortable farms of Europe. Her lonely struggle to tame the wild land is compounded because as an independent woman she evokes fear and resentment from the other settles and especially from her own brothers.

Aside from the portrayal of heroic womanhood, a predominant theme of O Pioneers! is the clash between old values of simple faith, individuality and integrity associated with early pioneer life, and the new gods of money and conformity in modern society. The title is taken from Walt Whitman's "Pioneers! O Pioneers".



Autobiography Writing Piece #1

Place Poem

To complete the first entry in your yearlong autobiography creative writing project, you will compose a poem about a place that is an important part of who you are, a place that defines you like Prairie Song defined the experiences of the pioneers and Willa Cather who lived on the prairie. Begin by reading the poem below and highlighting the sensory details Cather uses to portray her feelings about the prairie. Then, complete the exercise that follows to generate details for your poem.


Prairie Spring

Evening and the flat land,
Rich and sombre and always silent;
The miles of fresh-plowed soil,
Heavy and black, full of strength and harshness;
The growing wheat, the growing weeds,
The toiling horses, the tired men;
The long empty roads,
Sullen fires of sunset, fading,
The eternal, unresponsive sky.
Against all this, Youth,
Flaming like the wild roses,
Singing like the larks over the plowed fields,
Flashing like a star out of the twilight;
Youth with its insupportable sweetness,
Its fierce necessity,
Its sharp desire,
Singing and singing,
Out of the lips of silence,
Out of the earthy dusk.


Writing Exercise

1. On looseleaf, make a list of places that you feel define you. Think of places that you feel comfortable in or have special meaning to you.

2. Narrow you list of places to two or three. In the space provided created a bubble with the name of the place in the center of each separate bubble. Then, draw lines from each bubble for each of the five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, touch/emotion.

3. Compose your poem using the bubble that generated the most sensory details. Refer to Cather's poem often to write your own, and don't forget to begin your poem with a title. This poem is due Thursday 9/30 and a typed version is preferred.



O Pioneers! Chapter 3 Analysis

Remember to answer each of the following questions 1) in script in blue/black ink, 2) in complete sentences, 3) providing 1-2 supporting details, and 4) include a quote with citation for the *starred questions. Write your answers on looseleaf in the Literary Analysis section of your binder.


1. Who is Crazy Ivar?

2. Explain what Alexandra means when she says on page 13, "He[Ivar] understands animals."

*3. Why does Ivar live in the rough country, away from most people?

4. Describe what a sod house is. Refer to the fourth paragraph on page 14 and a picture of a sod house that you can find on the internet.

*5. What is Ivar's explanation to Emil about the birds that visit his pond?

6. How does Ivar advise Alexandra concerning her pigs?


O Pioneers!
Chapter 4 Analysis

On looseleaf paper in the Literary Analysis section of your binder complete the following activity for chapter 4, paying careful attention to each question/query as this analysis serves as preparation for the Part I test on Friday.

"For the first three years after John Bergson's death, the affairs of his family prospered. Then came the hard times that brought every one on the Divide to the brink of despair; three years of drouth and failure, the last struggle of a wild soil against the encroaching plowshare." (p. 18)

1. What happened shortly after the death of John Bergson?

Underline the portion of the passage where the answer is given.

2. What hint at the future does Cather foreshadow in this same passage?

Underline the sentence in the passage that foreshadows the future.

"Farmers who were already in debt had to give up their land. A few foreclosures demoralized the country. The settlers sat about on the wooden sidewalks in the little town and told each other that the country was never meant for men to live in; the thing to do was to get back to Iowa, to Illinois, to any place that had been proved habitable." (p. 19)

3. Using only context clues, what do you think the definition of demoralized is?

Underline the context clues in the passage that suggest the meaning of demoralized.

4. What do you think Cather means when she suggests, "A pioneer should have imagination, should be able to enjoy the idea of things more than the things themselves." (p. 19)

"Carl came quietly and slowly up the garden path, looking intently at Alexandra. She did not hear him. She was standing perfectly still, with all that serious ease so characteristic of her. Her thick reddish braids, twisted about her head, fairly burned in the sunlight."

3. What characteristic about Alexandra is Cather describing in this passage?

4. What literary element does Cather use to describe Alexandra?

5. Use the following quotes to explain the nature of Carl and Alexandra's relationship.

"But I can't help feeling scared when I think how I will miss you---more than you will ever know."

"think you are about the only one that ever helped me."

"We've someway always felt alike about things."

"We've never either of us had any other close friend."


5. On pages 21 and 22, Cather describes and contrasts Lou and Oscar. She says:


". . . quicker and more intelligent, but apt to go off at half-cock[angry]."


". . . rather liked to do things in the hardest way."


". . . fussy and flighty; always planned to get through a day's work in one, and often got the least important things done."

Label each description with the correct boy's name.

6. On page 23 the desires of each character regarding the prairie and the future are revealed. Beneath each character, list what he/she wants to do.

Alexandra Lou & Oscar Mrs. Bergson

"Her body was in an attitude of perfect repose, such as it was apt to take when she was thinking earnestly. Her mind was slow, truthful, steadfast."

7. Using the context clues around the word, what do you think the definition of repose is?

Underline the context clues that suggest the words definition.

"After supper Lou put on a necktie and went across the fields to court Annie Lee, and Carl and Oscar sat down to a game of checkers, while Alexandra read "The Swiss Family Robinson" aloud to her mother and Emil. It was not long before the two boys at the table neglected their game to listen. They were all big children together, and they found the adventures of the family in the tree house so absorbing that they gave them their undivided attention."(p. 25)

8. What is ironic about the reaction of Carl and Oscar in this passage?





O Pioneers!
PBS Theatrical Screenplay

As you watch the screenplay, answer the following questions, comparing the screenplay to the novel. Use your answers and the novel to prepare for the test.

1. What do you notice about the set of the play?

2. As the play opens, there are a number of immigrants proclaiming their reason for traveling to the Nebraskan prairie. What are some of the reasons.

3. What was the first hardship the immigrants faced on the prairie?

4. How is the first scene, where Alex, Carl, and Emil have come from the town, similar/different from the novel?

5. In scene two, when John Bergson confides in Alexandra, he speaks about her grandfather. The story he tells is quite different from what we learned in the novel. What does he tell Alexandra in the play about her grandfather?

6. Describe the scene when Alexandra, Lou, Oscar, Emil, Marie, and Carl visit Ivar. What do you notice about Ivar's lifestyle that is similar/different from the novel?

7. Ivar gives Alexandra advice in the screenplay that is different from the novel. What does he tell her?

8. In scene 5, Carl asks Alexandra if she ever thinks about marriage. What is her response, and what does this tell us about their relationship?

9. In Scene 6 Alexandra, her mother, and her brothers debate whether to stay on the prairie or return to the city. Alexandra's advice is to "think like the rich not the poor." What is she referring to?

10. What do you think the wild duck symbolizes in Scene 7 when Alexandra and Emil visit the river country?

11. In scene 8, Alexandra and the boys, Lou and Oscar, ponder what to do with their land. Label the following quotes with the correct character's name.

"Pulling out of debt is like pulling a thresher out of the mud. It breaks your back."


"The right thing is usually just what everybody won't do."


"How do you know the land is going to come up?"


12. Do you think the screenplay does justice to Cather's writing? Why/why not?


O Pioneers!

Part II, Chapter I Analysis
In the Literary Analysis section of your binder, answer each of the following questions, using the format we discussed regarding analysis questions.

1. Cather begins Part II of her novel the same way she began Part I: with a description of the land. Citing a sentence or two from page 29, describe how the land has changed in sixteen years.

2. Within her description of the land on page 29, Cather lets the reader know that things have become easier for the pioneers. Why has the labor of the land become easy for the pioneers?

3. Describe what you "see" from the following line: "The grain is so heavy that it bends toward the blade and cuts like velvet." (Cather, p. 29)

4. Emil has grown up since Part I. On page 30, how does Cather describe Emil as a young man of twenty-one?

5. In her description of Emil, Cather also describes him in terms of his attitude. What things from Emil's childhood have "dimmed"?

6. Following the description of Emil, on page 31, Cather details Marie. How does she describe Marie as a young woman?

7. Finally, on p. 32, we get to "see" Alexandra's farm. Describe the farm, and within your answer cite a quote from this detail.

8. Explain the following line: ". . . it is in the soil that she[Alexandra] expresses herself best." (Cather, p. 32)

9. On a blank sheet of printer paper, illustrate Alexandra's farm. Cover the entire sheet of paper, make sure you include your name on the front, and include a quote with citation within your illustration.

O Pioneers!

Part II, Chapter II Analysis
In the Literary Analysis section of your binder, answer each of the following questions, using the format we discussed regarding analysis questions.

1. In chapter II, we learn that Ivar is living on Alexandra's farm. Why does Ivar live on her farm, and where does he live?

2. Besides Ivar and Emil, we learn that Alexandra has others living on her farm: Signa, Barney Flinn, Nelse, and Jensen. Write a brief description of each of these workers.

3. On page 34, Alexandra suggests that "It's bad if all the members of a family think alike." Why does she feel this way? (Cather, p. 34)

4. On page 35, we learn of the silo. What is a silo, and why has Alexandra built one on her farm?

5. At the end of this chapter, we learn of Ivar's fears. Why do the people of the prairie distrust Ivar?

6. What do the people on the prairie do with people like IVar who are "different"?

7. Explain the message of this line said by Alexandra: "Let people go on talking as they like, and we will go on living as we think best." (Cather, p. 36)

8. What is Alexandra's solution for the stubbornness of her neighbors?

9. What crop did Alexandra add to her farm that she learned about from the people in the River Country?


Prairie Descriptive Essay

Mrs. Kaplan's Requirements

1. Use blue or black ink to write your essay in script, or you may type your 1st Draft.

2. If you write you essay, please only write on the front of the loose-leaf.

3. Skip every other line, and write between the red margins to allow room for editing marks and suggestions. If you type, set the format for double spacing, and use a 12 point font.

4. Staple to the back of your 1st draft, your prewriting work (Internet Research)

Writing the Essay

1. Introduction (1 paragraph) - Every introduction needs a thesis statement and a sentence or two that develops your thesis and captures your reader's attention. Compose your introduction by including the following:

A. Thesis - Identify the prairie you are describing, and state your opinion of the prairie.

EXAMPLE: Spring Creek Prairie is a beautiful area of wild grassland in the Midwest.

B. Hook - Capture the reader's attention by adding a few sensory details describing the prairie.

EXAMPLE: reread any section in O Pioneers! where Cather describes the land. "The chirping of the insects down in the long grass had been like the sweetest music. . . Under the long shaggy ridges, she felt the future stirring." (Cather, p. 28)

II. Body Paragraphs (2-3 paragraphs)

1. Begin each body paragraph with a clear topic sentence that tells what aspect of the prairie you are describing.

2. Use figurative language to describe the prairie. Use adjectives, adverbs, similes, metaphors, personification, and sensory details (sight, sound, touch/emotion, taste, smell) to give the reader a mental image of the prairie.

EXAMPLE: Again, for examples of figurative language, reread excerpts from O Pioneers! "The wheat-cutting sometimes goes on all night as well as all day, and in good seasons there are scarcely men and horses enough to do the harvesting. The grain is so heavy that it bends toward the blade and cuts like velvet." (Cather, p. 29)

III. Conclusion ( 1 paragraph)

1. Restate your thesis (remember, do not recopy it!)

2. In a sentence or two, describe an image you now have in your mind of this particular prairie.

O Pioneers!

Part II, Chapter III Analysis

Answer the following questions on loose-leaf in the literary analysis section of your binder.

1. How have Lou and Oscar changed? Cather explains the change on page 38.

2. On page 38, Cather also describes the boys' wives. Why are Lou and Oscar's wives ashamed of their immigrant past?

3. On page 39, the boys discuss Ivar with Alexandra. Why do Lou and Oscar want Alexandra to commit Ivar to an asylum?

4. How does Alexandra plan to protect Ivar? What is her defense of him?

5. On page 41, a strange appears at Alexandra's farm? Who is he, and why has he returned to the Divide?

6. What do we learn about Carl on page. 41?

7. On page 42, we learn of Carl's plans. Where is Carl headed and why?

8. On page 44, Lou and Oscar give their opinion of Carl. What do they think of him now that sixteen years have passed?

O Pioneers!

PBS Theatrical Screenplay

Part II



As you watch the screenplay, answer the following questions, comparing the screenplay to the novel. Use your answers and the novel to prepare for the Part II test on Friday, 11/19.



1. What do you notice about the set of the play in this scene? What does the set design represent?



2. As Part II opens, how does the playwright show the change in age of the characters?



3. What is the first scene of Part II about?



4. To whom is Ivar talking at the beginning of Part II? What aspect of his personality is being portrayed here?



5. In Scene II, what does Ivar claim is the reason he hasn't been taken to the asylum?



6. What does Alexandra dream about in Scene III? How is the scene different from what happens in the novel?



7. In Scene IV Marie explains how the Czech's saved the Swedes. What does she claim?



8. How do we know, in this scene, that Marie and Emil have feelings for each other.



9. How are Oscar and Lou portrayed in the Scene V?



10. What does Alexandra mean in this scene, when she says, "Well, don’t we all become more like ourselves every year."?



11. In Scene VI, Carl appears. What is Alexandra response? How do Lou and Oscar react to Carl's return?



12. What happens in Scene VII? Why is Marie conflicted over the duck's death?



13. In Scene VIII, Carl tries to explain his feelings for Alexandra. How does Alexandra respond?



14. Describe Frank. What is he angry about?



15. Emil is straightforward about his feelings for Marie in Scene IX. What does Marie want, and what does Emil want?



16. In Scene XI, the relationship between Alexandra and Lou and Oscar changes. How do the boys show their selfishness?



17. Alexandra says, "You take a vine and cut it back. It grows harder and harder." How is this a metaphor for her brothers?



18. What is Emil really trying to escape in his desire to go to Mexico?



19. In the final Scene of Part II, Alexandra says she is tired of understanding. What is she tired of?

O Pioneers!

PBS Theatrical Screenplay

Part II



As you watch the screenplay, answer the following questions, comparing the screenplay to the novel. Use your answers and the novel to prepare for the Part II test on Friday, 11/19.



1. What do you notice about the set of the play in this scene? What does the set design represent?



2. As Part II opens, how does the playwright show the change in age of the characters?



3. What is the first scene of Part II about?



4. To whom is Ivar talking at the beginning of Part II? What aspect of his personality is being portrayed here?



5. In Scene II, what does Ivar claim is the reason he hasn't been taken to the asylum?



6. What does Alexandra dream about in Scene III? How is the scene different from what happens in the novel?



7. In Scene IV Marie explains how the Czech's saved the Swedes. What does she claim?



8. How do we know, in this scene, that Marie and Emil have feelings for each other.



9. How are Oscar and Lou portrayed in the Scene V?



10. What does Alexandra mean in this scene, when she says, "Well, don’t we all become more like ourselves every year."?



11. In Scene VI, Carl appears. What is Alexandra response? How do Lou and Oscar react to Carl's return?



12. What happens in Scene VII? Why is Marie conflicted over the duck's death?



13. In Scene VIII, Carl tries to explain his feelings for Alexandra. How does Alexandra respond?



14. Describe Frank. What is he angry about?



15. Emil is straightforward about his feelings for Marie in Scene IX. What does Marie want, and what does Emil want?



16. In Scene XI, the relationship between Alexandra and Lou and Oscar changes. How do the boys show their selfishness?



17. Alexandra says, "You take a vine and cut it back. It grows harder and harder." How is this a metaphor for her brothers?



18. What is Emil really trying to escape in his desire to go to Mexico?



19. In the final Scene of Part II, Alexandra says she is tired of understanding. What is she tired of?


O Pioneers! Part IV and V Analysis

In Part IV of the novel, Cather uses a great deal of foreshadowing to prepare us for the rising action, climax, and falling action of the plot. Write complete sentences to answer the following questions, citing passages from the novel where you feel appropriate.

1. Detail the climatic event that occurs when Emil returns from Mexico.

2. How does Marie behave towards Emil at the church auction? (p. 83)

3. On page 87 we learn why Frank behaves as he does. Explain what causes his intense unhappiness.

4. Reread the fourth paragraph on page 90 and explain why Marie's reaction to Signa's marriage is ironic.

5. A second climatic event occurs on page 92. What do you think it is?

6. On page 94, Emil and Alexandra again discuss the wild duck. What do you think the duck has come to symbolize in the part of the novel?

7. In Chapter V of Part IV, Cather foreshadows Marie’s tragic death. How does Marie's melancholy and suicidal thoughts foreshadow her actual death?

8. In Chapter VI, Emil has an epiphany. What does he decide?

9. Explain what the following line from Chapter VI, foreshadows: "The heart, when it is too much alive, aches for that brown earth, and ecstasy has no fear of death." (Cather, p. 101)

10. In Chapter VII, the murder takes place. What is strange about the murder, and how is the murder almost expected?

11. In Part V, Alexandra visits Frank Shabata. Why does she visit him and what does she conclude afterwards?

12. How does Carl's return in the last chapter, bring closure to Emil's death?

13. How does Carl prove his devotion to Alexandra?

14. Do you think Alexandra and Carl finally marry?


O Pioneers! Part IV and V Analysis

In Part IV of the novel, Cather uses a great deal of foreshadowing to prepare us for the rising action, climax, and falling action of the plot. Write complete sentences to answer the following questions, citing passages from the novel where you feel appropriate.

1. Detail the climatic event that occurs when Emil returns from Mexico.

2. How does Marie behave towards Emil at the church auction? (p. 83)

3. On page 87 we learn why Frank behaves as he does. Explain what causes his intense unhappiness.

4. Reread the fourth paragraph on page 90 and explain why Marie's reaction to Signa's marriage is ironic.

5. A second climatic event occurs on page 92. What do you think it is?

6. On page 94, Emil and Alexandra again discuss the wild duck. What do you think the duck has come to symbolize in the part of the novel?

7. In Chapter V of Part IV, Cather foreshadows Marie’s tragic death. How does Marie's melancholy and suicidal thoughts foreshadow her actual death?

8. In Chapter VI, Emil has an epiphany. What does he decide?

9. Explain what the following line from Chapter VI, foreshadows: "The heart, when it is too much alive, aches for that brown earth, and ecstasy has no fear of death." (Cather, p. 101)

10. In Chapter VII, the murder takes place. What is strange about the murder, and how is the murder almost expected?

11. In Part V, Alexandra visits Frank Shabata. Why does she visit him and what does she conclude afterwards?

12. How does Carl's return in the last chapter, bring closure to Emil's death?

13. How does Carl prove his devotion to Alexandra?

14. Do you think Alexandra and Carl finally marry?

Excerpt from The Liar's Club



by Mary Karr



At dusk in the late summer in 1962, the mosquitoes rose up from the bayous and drainage ditches. Kids fell ill with the sleeping sickness, as we called encephalitis. Marvalene Seesacque came out of a six-month coma that left her what we called half-a-bubble off plumb. Other kids weren't lucky enough even to wake up, and for the front page of the paper, Mother had taken a slew of funeral pictures with tiny coffins. A mosquito truck was dispatched from Leechfield Public Works to smoke down the bad swarms. It puttered down the streets every evening trailing a long cloud of DDT from a hose as big around as a dinner plate. Our last game of the day that summer often involved mounting our bikes and having a slow race behind the mosquito truck.



A slow race is the definitive Leechfield competition. You win it by coming in last. This might sound easy enough to do unless you're riding a two wheeler, in which case slowing too far down makes you tump over. The trick was to pedal just fast enough to stay upright, but not fast enough to pull ahead of anybody. Add to this the wet white cloud of poison the mosquito truck pumped out to wrap around your sweaty body and send a sweet burn through your lungs, and you have just the kind of game we liked best---one where the winners go to vomit and faint. That was what I remember Tommy Sharp doing, vomiting in the ditch in front of the swimming pool. Shirley Carter set down the kickstand on her red Schwinn just in time to pass out cold as a wedge on the roadside, so that Lyle Petit's mother, who worked as a nurse, had to be called to blow into her face and get her going again. Not a winner, I was standing in the crowd of kids watching her blue face get pinker when my mother started calling me.







1) How does Karr begin her piece?



2) Underline the details of this experience that most catch your attention.



3) Circle the sensory details in the excerpt.



4) Label the rising action, climax, and falling action in the piece.









Lesson Essay Brainstorming



A) In the space below, make a list of events from your life that taught you a lesson.





B) In the space below, make a list of events from your life where you taught something to others



In the space below, choose one of the above and complete a brainstorming bubble with the Event in the center, the People in one bubble (with details about each person radiating outwards, the Sensory details involved (with details about each radiating outwards). Beneath your bubble, make a list of the Details of the event (these should answer Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How). Then, highlight those that are Rising Action, Climactic, and Falling Action.







Name: ____________________________ ELA



Dialogue Worksheet



Guidelines for Writing Dialogue (Writer's Craft page 322)



Good dialogue sounds realistic. Like real conversation, it often contains slang, informal language, and sentence fragments. When you write dialogue, be sure to read it aloud. Does it sound like something a person might actually say? Here are some other guidelines to keep in mind when writing dialogue:



1) Use speaker's tags, such as "he said" and "I whispered" to identify the speaker and to tell how things are said.



"Skiing is fun!" Felicia said excitedly.



2) Put quotation marks only around the characters' exact words.



Felicia announced that she wanted to try it again. "Let's start higher up this time!" she suggested.



3) capitalize the first word of a quotation. Also capitalize the first word of a new sentence within a quotation.



"No," said Hector. "It&'s too dangerous. Let's just go halfway up."



4) Place commas and periods inside quotation marks. Place question marks or exclamation points inside quotation marks, if they belong to the quotation itself. Place question marks and exclamation points outside the quotation marks if they do not belong the quotation.



"Do you think so?" asked Felicia. "It looks safe to me!"



How scary to hear, "The trial has six sharp turns"!



5) Begin a new paragraph each time the speaker changes.



"Up higher, there are lots of rocks just below the snow," Hector

explained. "It's really not safe!"

"Okay. Halfway up is fine,"replied Felicia.



Add the proper punctuation to the following two examples of dialogue.



Example 1:



Where are the pictures? I asked.



What? asked Grandfather. What pictures? The pictures of Papa and



Mama and me and Cat. When we were babies like Emmett? When I was on Papa's knees?



Grandfather looked down at the floor.



There weren't many," he said.



I don't need many. Grandfather sighed. They're gone, he said.



Example 2:



Congratulations, Amelia, Railey said. Are you excited?



Excited? she replied. No. All I did was lie on my stomach and take pictures of the clouds. Bill did all the flying --- had to. I was just baggage, like a sack of potatoes.



What of it? You're still the first woman to fly the Atlantic, and what's more, the first woman pilot. Oh, well, Amelia said, "someday I'll try it alone."



Example 3:



What are you reading, Kim asked Carmen I'm reading a really good book about Beryl Markham answered Kim Who asked Carmen I've never heard of her Oh, you should read this book Beryl Markham was a fascinating woman Kim exclaimed She was the first person to fly alone over the Atlantic from Europe to the Americas She was also the first professional female pilot to fly in the African wilderness She sounds interesting Carmen agreed Did she know Amelia Earhart?



Example 4:

Read the following excerpt from My Antonia by Willa Cather, and add the correct punctuation to the areas where there is dialogue.



When Pavel and Peter were young men, living at home in Russia, they were asked to be groomsmen for a friend who was to marry the belle of another village. It was in the dead of winter and the groom's party went over to the wedding I sledges followed with all his relative and friends.

After the ceremony at the church, the party went to a dinner given by the parents of the bride. The dinner lasted all afternoon; then it became a supper and continued far into the night. There was much dancing and drinking. At midnight the parents of the bride said good-bye to her and blessed her. The groom took her up in his arms and carried her out to his sledge and tucked her under the blankets. He sprang in beside her, and Pavel and Peter (our Pavel and Peter!) took the front seat. Pavel drove. The party set out with singing and the jingle of sleigh-bells, the groom's sledge going first. All the Drivers were more or less the worse for merry-making, and the groom was absorbed in his bride.

The wolves were bad that winter, and everyone knew it, yet when they heard the first wolf-cry, the drivers were not much alarmed. They had too much good food and drink inside them. The first howls were taken up and echoed and with quickening repetitions. The wolves were coming together. There was no moon, but the starlight was clear on the snow. A black drove came up over the hill behind the wedding party. The wolves ran like streaks of shadow; they looked no bigger than dogs, but there were hundreds of them.

Something happened to the hindmost sledge: the driver lost control,---he was probably very drunk, --- the horses left the road, the sledge was caught in a clump of trees, and overturned. The occupants rolled out over the snow, and the fleetest of the wolves sprang upon them. The shrieks that followed made everybody sober. The drivers stood up and lashed their horses. The groom had the best team and his sledge was lightest --- all the others carried from six to a dozen people.

Another driver lost control. The screams of the horses were more terrible to hear than the cries of the men and women. Nothing seemed to check the wolves. It was hard to tell what was happening in the rear; the people who were falling behind shrieked as piteously as those who were already lost. The little bride hid her face on the groom's shoulder and sobbed. Pavel sat still and watched his horses. The road was clear and white, and the groom's three blacks went like the wind. It was only necessary to be calm and to guide them carefully.

At length, as they breasted a long hill, Peter rose cautiously and looked back. There are only three sledges left he whispered.

And the wolves? Pavel asked.

Enough! Enough for all of us.

Pavel reached the brow of the hill, but only two sledges followed him down the other side. In that moment on the hilltop, they saw behind them a whirling black group on the snow. Presently the groom screamed. He saw his father's sledge overturned, with his mother and sisters. He sprang up as if he meant to jump, but the girl shrieked and held him back. It was even too late. The black ground-shadows were already crowding over the heap in the road, and on horse ran out across the fields, his harness handing to him, wolves at his heels. But the groom's movement had given Pavel and idea.

They were within a few miles of their village now. The only sledge left out of six was not very far behind them, and Pavel's middle horse was failing. Beside a frozen pond something happened to the other sledge; peter saw it plainly. Three big wolves got abreast of the horses, and the horses went crazy. They tried to jump over each other, got tangled up in the harness, and overturned the sledge.

When the shrieking behind them died away, Pavel realized that he was along upon the familiar road. They still come? he asked Peter.

Yes.

How many? Twenty, thirty --- enough.

Now his middle horse was being almost dragged by the other two. Pavel gave Peter the reins and stepped carefully into the back of the sledge. He called to the groom that they must lighten --- and pointed to the bride. The young man cursed him and held her tighter. Pavel knocked him over the side of the sledge and threw the girl after him. He said he never remembered exactly how he did it, or what happened afterward. Peter, crouching in the front seat, saw nothing. The first thing either of them noticed was a new sound that broke into the clear air, louder than they had ever heard it before --- the bell of the monastery of their own village, ringing for early prayers.



Name: __________________________ ELA

Barrio Boy 5/2

What additional setting details does Galarza provide to allow the reader to really see Jalcocotan?

Refer to the events on pages 7-15 to answer the following questions about Ernesto's village in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico.

1. Describe the one and only street in Jalcocotan.

2. Describe the arrangement of the cottages on either side of the street.

3. Explain why "a single gutter in the middle of the street instead of one on each side was a piece of simple and practical engineering."

4. What were "the four points of the compass for Jalcocotan"?

5. Describe Ernesto's adobe cottage.

6. Explain how Ernesto and his family came to live in their adobe cottage.

For HW Due 5/3:

In further describing the village of Jalcocotan and Ernesto's adobe cottage, Galarza uses many vivid details. Select one excerpt that particularly captures your attention. Copy it below, citing the page number. Then, beneath the excerpt, explain what you "see" and how the description affects your reading of this part of the novel.


Name: __________________________ ELA

Barrio Boy 5/3

How do pages 15-27 give the reader a sense of Ernesto's life?

Refer to the events on pages 15-27 to answer the following questions about Ernesto's family and lifestyle.

1. When and why did Ernesto move to Jalco?

2. Describe the people his family whom Ernesto lives with in Jalco:
Dona Esther
Don Catarino
Dona Henriqueta
Uncle Gustavo
Jose


3.Describe the chores that Ernesto was required to do and who he is was in charge of.

For HW Due 5/4

In describing Ernesto's daily chores, Galarza again uses clear figurative language. Copy and cite 3 examples of sensory details used in this part of the novel. Then, explain which sense Galarza is evoking.


Name: ___________________________ ELA

Barrio Boy 5/4

Why is the battle between Coronel and a Zopilote so important to Ernesto?

Refer to the events on pages 28-32 to answer the following questions about events that are important to Ernesto.

1. List in careful, chronological order all the steps involved in making a tortilla.

2. Detail vividly the fight Coronel had with the Zopilote.


For HW Due 5/5

Explain how the fight between Coronel and the Zopilote is a metaphor for other events in the novel. Also, in your explanation, tell why this fight was so important to Ernesto.




Name: ___________________________ ELA

Barrio Boy 5/6

How do the recipes made in Ernesto's adobe cottage reflect life in the village of Jalcocotan?

Refer to the events on pages 33-38 to answer the following questions about the cooking that takes place in his adobe cottage.

1. Carefully list the ingredients and steps necessary to make Mexican rice.

2. Carefully list the ingredients and steps necessary to make coffee and pinole.

3. Carefully list the ingredients and steps necessary to make tamalada.

4. Carefully list the ingredients and steps necessary to make tatema?

5. What jobs were common in Jalco, and which did Ernesto consider for his future?

For HW Due 5/9

In this part of the novel, we learn what Ernesto dreams of becoming when he grows up. Describe the job of an arrieros. Then, explain why Ernesto wants to become an arrieros. Finally, explain why cooking is such an important part of Ernesto's life in Jalco.

Name: __________________________ ELA

Barrio Boy 5/2



What additional setting details does Galarza provide to allow the reader to really see Jalcocotan?



Refer to pages 41-71 to answer the following questions about the remaining events in part one of the novel.



1. What is the history of Jalcocotan? (pages 42-43)



2. Contrast the fictional and non-fictional tales of Jalcocotan. How are they similar? How are the different? (pages 44-45)



3. Describe how an apprentice at age seven learns his work. (pages 55-57)



4. Describe work in a hacienda, and tell why the people of Jalcocotan avoided it. (pages 58-59)



5. How does the last sentence on page 59 signal a turning point in the novel? Cite the sentence in your answer!



6. Describe the events of each "trouble"? (pages 60-61)



7. The following sentence (pages 65-66) signals a shift in the story. What does it suggest? "But, the village did not settle into its usual ways of taking for granted that the next hundred years would be just like the last hundred."



8. Which events preceded Ernesto and his family's move to Tepic?

Name: ___________________________ ELA

Barrio Boy Process Essay



Family Recipe Interview



On a separate sheet of loose leaf, complete the following steps to gather necessary details about the ancestral value and significance of a recipe that is part of your family.



Family Recipe

1. Carefully list the ingredients and steps necessary to make the family recipe.



Interview (you must interview at least THREE member of your family to gather different perspectives about the recipe)



2. Who first made this recipe, and how many people have made it since?



3. When is the recipe made and served?



4. Is the recipe significant for a particular reason such as religious importance, celebratory importance, or other?



5. What special events are associated with the recipe?



6. Describe the memories or stories that are reflective of the recipe?



7. Is the recipe a particular favorite of a family member or members?



8. How is the recipe a reflection of the events in your family's life?



9. How is the recipe a reflection of the daily or yearly routines and rhythms of your family?



10. Add any additional details about the recipe and its significance to your family.



11. How is the recipe important to you, the writer?



Name: __________________________ ELA

Barrio Boy 6/7E



Recipe Process Essay



Using the results of your interviews, complete the following prewriting activity.



1. Reread from the top of page 34 to the top of page 37, noticing how the recipes are interwoven with the narrative of Ernesto's family and life. Then, look at your interviews and list examples of narrative that is interwoven with the recipes.



2. Which family member provided the most detail about your family? What did you learn from them?



3. Which family member provided the most detail about your family's history? What did you learn about your family history?



4. Which family member provided the most detail about the routines and rhythms of your family? What did you learn about your family's routines?



5. Make an outline of your essay, deciding how you will organize your detail. You may want to detail the recipe first or a family story that relates to the recipe. Choose from the following to organize your essay: recipe, significance of recipe, events associated with recipe, memories associated with recipe, detail of family members who made or make the recipe, routines and rhythms reflected by the recipe. You will conclude your essay detailing the importance of the recipe to you.

Don't Procrastinate!