Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Activity. Ruby Bridges in Pictures

For this activity you will look at several images, photographs and paintings.  Because Ruby Bridges faced very extreme racism in her childhood some of the images may be upsetting and may contain language that is not normally allowed on this website or in class.

Please remember to be respectful when viewing them.

Picture for questions #1



Picture for question 2



Picture for question #4




Monday, February 12, 2018

Buddhism in China: Journey to the West



Who was Monkey?

The Journey to the West was a novel published in China in 1592 (16th Century.)  It tells the story of a Buddhist monk named Xuanzang who traveled from central China in the mid 7th century, across the Himilayas to India where he studied Buddhism.  He wanted to learn the ancient Buddhist texts and bring them all back to China where Buddhism was still a new idea.

If Xuanzang is the hero of his journey, then his three companions are his allies: Sun Wukong (the Monkey King)Zhu Bajie (Pigsy) and Sha Wujing (A strong man called Sandy also known as the Water Buffalo.)  The three companions were probably not based on real people. They are considered folklore and have been very popular in China.  Each of them goes on the journey to atone for their sinful lives by helping Xuanzang.

You can read about Monkey by following the two links below.

The Journey to the West part 1

The Journey to the West part 2

Your assignment:

Create a book about Buddhism in China.  Your book will include information about The Journey to the West and about Buddhism in China.  Your book will take the form of a Tibetan prayer book like the ones pictured below.




For this project, you will work in teams of three students.  Each student will make one section of your book.  To make your book use three pieces of legal size paper folded accordion style and taped together into a single long book like this:



To start, fold a single piece of paper in half like this:



Then fold each half back the other way, in half again like this.



Your end result should open up and lay flat.  Make three.



One student will have the cover and pages 1 through 4.  Like this.




This student will do the following pages:
  • A cover page including a title, artwork and the authors full names  
  • 1. Who was the real life Xuanzang? 
  • 2. What was The Journey to the West?
  • 3. Summary of slide show #1 from Asia Society Kids.
  • 4. Summary of slide show #1 from Asia Society Kids.
One student will have pages 5 through 8.  



This student will do the following pages:
  • 5. Summary of slide show #2 from Asia Society Kids.
  • 6. Summary of slide show #2 from Asia Society Kids.
  • 7. What are the Four Noble Truths?
  • 8  What is The Eightfold Path?
One student will have pages 9 through 12 and the back cover.




This student will do the following pages:
  • 9. What is Pure Land Buddhism?
  • 10. What is Chan Buddhism?
  • 11.  Where is Buddhism today?
  • 12. Who is the Dalai Lama?
  • Back cover artwork and list of sources used.
Each partner has $3.00 to spend on writing to be divided between the four pages in any way you choose.  Each page must include an illustration as well.

When everyone has finished their work, put your pages together into a single book. 

Use the websites above, the packet on Buddhism from Stanford and other sources to complete your project. 

Buddhist prayers books like this are known for fairly simple, colorful artwork. You may write yours in Chinese characters going down, (This counts as an illustration for that page.) but include an English translation. You may number the pages.

Your project will be graded on overall appearance, quality of the writing included, historical accuracy and the creative touches your group adds to the book.

Projects are due on Friday. You will have time in class today, Wednesday and on Friday.

Just for fun here is a trailer for a movie based on The Journey to the West.  The Journey to the West continues to be popular in China.  There have been several movies and a television series based on the novel.





Friday, February 9, 2018

Martin Luther King of the Metaphor

This project is due on Thursday, Feburary 15.  This project is for English classes only.

Students are to take one of the metaphors in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and turn it into a visual metaphor.  We began this assignment in class today.

Artwork should follow these rules:

  1. cover the entire paper with other paper.
  2. use the book page.
  3. include the metaphor in writing.
Here are two samples from other classes.



Here is the video of the speech we watched in class today, just in case you'd like to watch it again.




Monday, January 22, 2018

Ray Bradbury and Technology Paragraphs

Ray Bradbury thinks technology is.....

Write a long paragraph in response to this prompt.  You may use the following outline to complete your paragraph.

Sentence 1 - Hook. Describe one part/moment in one of the stories.

Sentence 2 - Transition to a topic sentence.  "As his story _______ demonstrates,* Ray Bradbury thinks technology is_____________"

Sentences 3 to 6 - Evidence  More points from the story and other stories.

Sentence 7 - Counterpoint or opposing view. "In spite of this,* Bradbury does see some __________ in technology as his story _______________________ illustrates."

Sentences 8 and 9 - Evidence for the counterpoint. Points from this and other stories.

Sentence 10 - Transition to conclusion. "Although, at times Bradbury seems to __________ technology,* his overall view is that technology is ________________"

Sentence 11 - Final words.  Leave the reader with food for thought.  i.e. "We can only hope that he is right/wrong about technology."


* use this or another transition

i.e. - For example

Thursday, January 18, 2018

"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury

For this assignment use the notes and sketches you made in class today as your rough draft.

Begin by taking one piece of blank paper. You may use any color.




Fold it in half to make a card you can open.






On the front draw a large frame.  Neatly write the title and author: "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury. Add a picture. You may sketch, draw, paint, or collage any cover design you like. You may make your border fancy.



In side the card draw two frames.




 In one frame create a second piece of art.  Again, you may sketch, paint, collage, etc.  In the other frame write a  $1.00 response to "The Veldt".  Remember, each word is worth one cent.  A, an and the are free.

In your response you may want to answer these things:


  • In the story, what is the future like?
  • What was your reaction to the ending?
  • Who, or what, were the villains in the story?
  • Did everyone "get what they deserved?"
  • What is Ray Bradbury saying about his society?
  • How is this story still relevant, meaningful, to our world today?


Write neatly. Be careful about spelling, capitalization and punctuation.  All of these count. You may type.


For extra credit:

  1. Select one of the other radio dramas from Bradbury Thirteen listed below.
  2. Listen to it.
  3. Draw two frames on the back of your card.
  4. Illustrate the top frame with a picture, the title of the drama and the author.
  5. Write a 75 cent response to it in the bottom frame.  
  6. Earn extra credit in English.


Links to other Bradbury 13 Episodes:


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

China vs. U.S.A. Middle Schools in China and the United States


The pictures below show scenes from middle schools in present day China.  Observe each picture and answer the questions that follow.  Some pictures do not have questions, just text to read.  Write your answers in complete sentences on binder paper.  Each student must write their own answers.  You may work with the people sitting near you.





1. These are three different schools in China. As you can see, they are very different from each other. Which one looks most like the school you attend?
2. This is a student arriving at school. Classes at this school meet from Monday through Friday. What are the students wearing? What are they using to bring their books and papers to school? How are these students different from students in your school?


 3.  This is a list posted outside of a middle school with the names of students who have performed well academically. Is there a similar system to honor certain students at the school you attend?






4. Students are allowed 10 minutes between classes. These breaks are often noisy and halls are often crowded with students. How does this compare with your school?




5.  Every Monday, schools have a "flag raising ceremony" during which the whole school participates in a morning assembly.  Here, a group of students marches and raises the flag of the People's Republic of China.  Is there anything similar to this ceremony in your school?



6.  Every morning at around 10 a.m., all students gather to do their morning exercises.  Exercises consist of stretching and some calisthenics. Students line up in rows and three or four students lead the whole school in this morning ritual. What do you think of this activity?  Is there anything similar to this in your school?



7.  In many Chinese schools, students are responsible for keeping the school clean. The badge on this student's arm indicates that she is on cleaning duty. Who cleans your school?  What do you think about the idea of having students in charge of cleaning?



8.  Students also engage in "eye exercises." Students rub specific parts of their face around their eyes and also their necks.  These exercises are designed to protect the eyes and are based on the practice of acupressure.  Acupressure is a Chinese medical technique in which specific points in the body are pushed or pressed to help relieve pain or treat illnesses.  How do you think American students would react if their teachers asked them to do this?





9.  Like many places in the world, this Chinese school is concerned with technology and wants students to have access to computers. Students in this middle school can take computer classes and have access to the Internet.  There is a huge "digital divide" in China with many schools not having computers.  How does this compare with your school?





10.  Occasionally, students host a talent show or student assembly. Many students choose to sing, like this student. Some of the songs are in Chinese, but some students choose to sing in English.  Are there any events like this in your school?