What happened to the various characters at the end of the book, Treasure Island? Name and number five characters. One of them must be a pirate or former pirate. Explain what happened to them at the end of the book.
1. Dude’s Name — Here’s what happened to him at the end of the book.
2. Dude’s Name — Here’s what happened to him at the end of the book.
Name three pirate idioms used in Treasure Island and explain what each one means. (Hint: an idiom is a saying, like “Walk the plank!”)
If you were to interview Long John Silver, what three questions would you ask him and why? Type a number by each question. Follow that question with your explanation of WHY you would ask him that.
What keeps Neville going? What motivates him to continue to fight against the odds? Form a hypothesis and then use a quotation or two from the book that prove your hypothesis. Conclude your journal entry by telling, truthfully, whether or not you would have the same tenacity, if you were in Neville’s shoes. Explain why you think you would or wouldn’t hang on for as long as Neville does–through all the obstacles he’s attempting to overcome.
In our eighth grade reading class, each student read a different classic novel. Then we wrote a final essay on the classic novel that we read. Here are the three best essays of the bunch:
If you’d like your school to participate in a similar reading activity, look for the blog posts under “Classic Literature” in the side margin. These were used as online journal topics, but you’re welcome to use them for in-class journaling as well.
Furthermore, here are the essay requirements for the assignment. Feel free to use my stuff, fellow teachers! You can print out the sample essays above to use as examples in your classroom, and you can use my journal topics as your students read their own classic novels.
Twenty-two different journal questions are offered, and they’re fairly open-ended questions, so that it doesn’t matter which classic novel the student is reading, he/she should find it easy enough to answer the questions. You might want to go back through the archives and start with journal topic #1, though, just to keep things chronological.
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On Thursday last week, we learned that dynamic characters are ones that undergo a discernible and/or significant change throughout the narrative. A static character, on the other hand, does not change throughout the story. These are often minor characters, people who don’t matter much to the story. For example, in Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jim Hawkins’ mother is a static character. Why? Because from the start of the novel to the end:
- She doesn’t go anywhere.
- Her personality doesn’t change.
- Her physical body isn’t altered by scarring or a pregnancy or anything else that might change her physical appearance.
- She doesn’t learn anything.
- She doesn’t become a more resilient person.
In other words, nothing about Jim’s mom changes. That’s why she’s a static character. But what if we threw a dryer sheet in with her? How could we make her change from being a static character (one that never changes) to a dynamic character (one that does change)?
For this journal entry, choose a static character from your novel. Invent a different plot element that would change this character significantly, and hypothesize about how that would transform the static character into a dynamic character. Here’s an example:
- I’m reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
- The static character I’ve chosen from my novel is Jim’s mom, because she never goes anywhere or does anything that changes her.
- I’m going to invent a plot in which she joins the treasure hunters and gets shot by pirates.
- That would change her, because she would have a physical injury. She might have to walk with a crutch after that, just like Long John Silver. In fact, she might even have more respect for Silver, because she would then understand how hard it is to have a physical handicap.
- She would then be a dynamic character, because she would have become more knowledgable about pirates, she would have a physical handicap, and she would have to learn how to cope with her disability.
To summarize, this is what you do:
- Tell your title and author.
- Name the static character you’ve chosen and explain why/how they are static.
- Invent a plot development that would change the static character to dynamic. (This is not something that really happened in the book, but something you make up.)
- Explain how that plot development would change your character.
- Pinpoint what would be dynamic about that character, due to the change you made to the plot.
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Wanna know more about the author of a famous work of literature? Read the comments on this post, because that’s our literary challenge of the day…
You’ve been reading a classic novel. You might even be half-way through it by now, right? Time to learn more about the author who wrote that literary classic!
- Find your book’s author on Wikipedia.
- Read about him/her.
- List three interesting facts about the author that you think will help you understand his/her motives for writing the novel you’ve chosen to read.
- Add a link with your comment, so we can all find your author on Wikipedia.
- Don’t forget to include your author’s name and the title of the book you’re reading.
You’re always hankering for an example. Here’s one:
- I found my author on Wikipedia.
- I read the WHOLE page about the author on Wikipedia.
- Here are three interesting facts about him:
- Stevenson’s friend, William Henley, had a wooden leg. He provided a model for the character of Long John Silver in Treasure Island.
- Stevenson traveled extensively, enjoying visits to the United States, Hawaii, Tahiti, and the Samoan Islands. His voyages at sea probably helped him with his description of boats and sailing.
- His editor changed his original title, which was The Sea Cook, to Treasure Island. I like Treasure Island better.