Thursday, May 22, 2014

Literary Elements through Short Stories- Lesson 5, CLIMAX

Marigolds (Collier)

Author Biography

Review the literary terms from the previous lessons- setting and plot. Answer any questions that students have regarding the elements.

The following exercise is modified from here:

Pass out copies of “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire song lyrics and play the song at least through the word adjust.

Somethin' filled up
my heart with nothin',
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I'm older,
my heart's colder,
and I can see that it's a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don't grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We're just a million little gods causin' rain storms turnin' every good thing to rust.

I guess we'll just have to adjust.

With my lightnin' bolts a glowin'
I can see where I am goin' to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lightnin' bolts a glowin'
I can see where I am goin’
With my lightnin' bolts a glowin'
I can see where I am, go-go, where I am

You'd better look out below

Discuss the song focusing on a loss of innocence, learning that there are consequences to our actions, taking responsibility, etc. (bolded lyrics).

Lead the student in talking about experiences that caused a loss of innocence or in which he had a coming of age experience—one that forced him to grow up in some way. Be specific and explain:
-what childish or immature behavior you exhibited prior to the experience
-the experience that caused some change through the gain of some significant new knowledge/maturity or caused you to question your beliefs and affected your innocence
-how you changed or matured after the experience

(FWIW, with my homeschooled middle schooler, I expect to discuss things like the tooth fairy, his first dog dying, and his brothers leaving for college, but he may surprise me and come up with different things altogether.)

Characterize and analyze the kinds of experiences that result in significant change.
Discuss significant transforming experiences and the kinds of changes they encourage.

Discuss CLIMAX
Explain that we have discussed climax as a high point of a story, but climax can be a turning point. In today’s story the climax is a turning point for the main character. She has an experience that causes her to see things differently.

Read the Story

 After Reading
What was the climax?

How did you react to Lizabeth’s destruction of the marigolds?
Why does Lizabeth destroy Miss Lottie’s marigolds?
                Think about the contrast between the marigolds and the shantytown where Lizabeth lives.
                Think about the anger and frustration in Lizabeth’s family.
                Think about Lizabeth’s feelings about herself.
How does the climax begin a passage from childhood to womanhood?
                Think about Lizabeth’s new understanding of Miss Lottie and her marigolds.
                Think about what the narrator says about compassion and innocence.
The narrator says, “This was the beginning of compassion, and one cannot have both compassion and innocence.”  Use details from the story to explain what you think she means.
Do you agree?

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