Montag, 31. Januar 2011

Chapter Five - The first cut

What happens in the chapter
Dibs doesn't feel well waiting for a new family. Colm seems to grow stronger every day. He keeps on writing letters to his mother hoping to see her again some day. He is happy that no-one wants to adopt him.
Each day after dinner is punishing time. Mostly they boys are punished for unknown reasons. One day Colm and Dibs are called for punishment. Brother Brophy accuses the boys of telling lies about him trying to drown Dibs instead of teaching Dibs how to swim. Dibs starts crying and puts all the blame on Colm who takes to prevent the Brother from further beating Dibs. Dibs looks embarrassed and Colm forgives him. Later that night Colm awakes from the nightmare that makes him go sleepwalking. He had hurt himself during the dream but he doesn't want to tell the Matron when she cares for his wounds in her office. Later in his bed again he cannot hold the positive thought of his mother. Dibs comes to his mind, drifting away in the dark river.

Personal comments

This chapter shows how badly the children are treated by the Brothers who should be much more friendly towards the poor children. It is a quite strange but unfortunately rather often found behaviour in christian institutions in the past. I wonder how Dibs and Colm can escape from that situation  

Dienstag, 26. Oktober 2010

Example: Chapter One - A place in the sun

What happens in the chapter
The story intorduces the five-year-old Colm McCabe, the main character in the book, who is chased by Sister Clothilde, a scary nun, and finally caught in front of a window where he can watch his mother going away and leaving him behind in the orphanage. To finally stop his crying, the nun stuffed a potatoe in his mouth. That is why he always has a bad feeling when eating potatos. 
Then the scene changes and the inmates of the orphanage are informed by a 'big redfaced man' that some of them will be chosen to go to Australia and start a new life with a few family there. Most of the children volunteer instantly but Colm doesn't because he still waits for his mother's return. So he is not as happy as his friend Dibs McGinty when Sister Clothilde informs him that he was chosen to go.   

Personal comments
While reading I asked myself if it was true that the children would live in a land of milk and honey as the man promised. I really couldn't imagine that there was no snag in it.
So I did a little research and came across an interesting article in the Telegraph about the 'shameful British child migration policy' in the 1950s. What I read there was really shocking, and now I am eager to continue reading about Colm's not-so-fictious history.
I hope he won't end like the children in this picture.

there was no snag in it: da gab es keinen Haken

How to write a summary

The following fifteen rules will help summarising the chapters of the book.
1. Always read the text carefully and check for unknown words.
2. Always make sure you understand the overall meaning of the text and its
3. Always take down key notes expressing the essential ideas.
4. Always arrange these ideas logically, possibly following the structure of the
5. Always connect these formulations with help of conjunctions and adverbials.
6. Always open your summary with a sentence clearly expressing the main ideas
    of the original text.
7. Always stick to the essential information and generalize by avoiding examples,
    enumerations, detailed data and adjectives and by using gerneralized or
    abstract terms.
8. Always write in the present tense.
9. Always use your own words as far as possible, but do not force yourself to
    eliminate the key words of the text.
10. Use short (!) quotations only if absolutely necessary.
11. Never analyse the text.
12. Never interpret the text.
13. Never add additional information.
14. Never comment on the text.
15. Never exceed 20-30% of the original length of the text (unless indicated
      otherwise by your teacher).

In The Beginning...

God made the light, and I made a template of how my students reading log should look like.
So, let's have a look at the assingments:

A Prayer for Blue Delaney – Reading-Log

Here are some tasks and advices for your reading.

After each chapter write in your blog about:
  • Where does the story take place?
  • Who is involved?
  • What happened in the chapter?
  • Your own comments/ideas (Did you like like it? Did you expect things like that? Etc.)

After chapter 10, 20 and 29 do one of the following longer tasks or chose your own idea.

1. Imagine you were a journalist. Write a newspaper article.

2. Imagine a conversation between two of the characters. What would they

3. Make a cloze text (Lückentext) Let your teacher copy it. Then give it to your classmates.

4. Write false/true questions.
example: Colm is Tom’s cousin. □false   □true

5. Make a multiple choice quiz. Let your teacher copy it. Then give it to your

example: Where did Colm come from? 

6. Draw a comic strip.

7. Summarise the story so far.

8. If you were one of the persons in the story, what would you think?
Start like this: “I can’t do this any more. I feel like ….”

9. The perfect match – scene and song: Find a song for a scene.

10. Find out more about the author and 
      ... make a fact sheet.
      …give a presentation.
      …Write a letter.

11. Find out more about Australia or Ireland or Great Britain or the coonection between
      them in the 1950s and
     …make a fact sheet.
     …give a presentation.
     …write your own text.