Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All Boys, All Blogged: November 29, 2012

Focus: Student-led discussion of A Long Way Gone, Chapters 7-10

1. Warm-up: Tightening the reigns: A necessary overview of expectations and consequences in English 10


2. Fishbowl #3: Chapters 7-10

HW: Study for tomorrow's vocabulary quiz over List 8 SAT words; bring A Long Way Gone book to class tomorrow; prepare for book talks.

93 comments:

  1. What was the fruit that Ismael eat?

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    1. He ate coconuts and all he said about the other fruit is that he had never seen it before.

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    2. pg51. " It smelled like a mixture of ripe mango, orange, and something else that was irresistibly inviting." Though he never names the fruit he does give a very detailed description of what is was, it just sounds like a tropical fruit.

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    3. On Page 45 the dad of Ishmael said ," I pray to the gods and ancestors that my family will always be together." Do you think that this is foreshadowing or do you think that they have died and are with him is spirit?

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  2. do you think that Ishmael will find his family and friends again

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    1. I dont think he will find his family again or at least not Junior because eailier in the book it said Ishmael would never see him again.

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    2. I don't think so because at the beginning, he says that he never saw these people again.

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    3. @Dillan
      I believe that there is a slim chance that they would reunite but on the other hand there is civil war all over in Sierra Leone and people are constantly fleeing or being sent to refugee camps. I personally think that they will not reunite due to such a massive area of land and so many people fleeing at the same time.
      -Matt Myers.

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  3. In Chapter 7, Ishmael writes "I was losing everyone, my family, my friends" (Page 45). If Ishmael feels like this, why do you think he decides to split up from Kaloko and the family around Kamator?

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    1. On page 46 it says " I became frustrated living in fear. i felt as if always waiting or death to come to me, so i decided to go somewhere where at least there was some peace." He left to find a place to not be afraid.

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    2. I think he left because he scared that the RUF might find the family and Kaloko although he leaves he would soon find more people and travel with them to a safer village although he stayed with the other group they always seamed to run into the Ruf at the villages although with this group there safe they still are not trusted and they have to on so the RUF would never find them unless they stayed in a village with population like the other group always running into RUF it seams like the more good times you have the faster the RUF catches up to you

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  4. Early in the chapters we read he is separated from his brothers. I thought as I was reading that he is surviving better with out his brothers. It seems like his situation is better not worrying about his brothers being close to him so he can travel at his own pace and eat as much of whatever he finds.

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    1. I would agree because he also said earlier in the book that traveling in a group makes it easier to get caught.

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    2. I agree that Ishmael seems safer by himself, but at the same time he says "the most difficult part of being in the forest was the loneliness. It became unbearable each day. One thing about being lonesome is that you think too much, especially when there isn't much else you can do" (page 52). I think that Ishmael is the kind of person that needs human contact, much like everyone else, otherwise he might start going insane.

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  5. There were stories of the "7 boys" that were supposedly rebels even though they didn't have a record of hurting people or doing anything to any village.

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  6. with all of the villages being burned why would they keep going on because they knew whats ahead of them so why not us stay in one and fix it up and have a safe haven to be safe in?

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    1. There just little kids, they probably don't know how to rebuild a building. Also there's no food in those villages anymore because the rebels would take most if not all.

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  7. Do you think that the villagers realize that the boys were inoccent and thats wy they still told the boys to leave do you know why this happens?

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  8. On page 44 it says, "There hadn't even been rumors that the rebels were as close as fifty miles from Kamator." Do the villagers start hiding and having look outs when rebels come within 50 miles?

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  9. "The attack happened unexpectedly last night" (Beah 44). Why does it seem like most of the bad events happen at night? What does "night" symbolize throughout the book?

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    1. I think that night represents fear and unprotection

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    2. Night is when people start going to sleep. If rebels came at night then people would have there guard down. I don't think that night symbolizes anything. I think that its a strategy and the best way to get recruits or kill who they want.

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  10. Besides to be a bit more hidden why would Ishmael go on his own because he could loose his motivation if he went on his own he could just loose hope and sit somewhere and die alone.

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  11. On page 56 the old man says "I will not be alive to see the end of this war, so to save a place in your memory for other things, I will not tell you my name." It surprised me that the old man was so calm when the boys came into town. They were rumored to be killers. The old man seemed like he eventually cared more for the boys than he did for his own life. I think he is so nice to the boys because he notices that the boys are not rebels and therefore wants them to be as well off as they can. He wants to teach them that the life of a child is much better than the life of a rebel.

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    1. I think that the old man has realized that not everyone is bad. He does not live in the fear of death because he has come to terms with the fact that he is old and will die soon anyway. The old man says "this country has lost its good heart. People don't trust each other anymore" (page 56). It is strange that even being an old man who will not be remembered, he makes such a lasting impact on Ishmael and the boys.

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  12. Do you think that the boys will be more careful on what they do since Saidu died?

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    1. I don't think so because these kids are starving and they needed food and eating a bird seems harmless, so they probably think that all things could be dangerous.

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  13. If Ishmael felt like he was losing everything and everyone then why would he separate himself even more from people like he did when he decided to split up from the family around Kamator?

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  14. His dreams scare him and show images he doesn't want to see and he describes this on page 52 by saying, "I became restless and was afraid to sleep for fear that my suppressed thoughts would appear in my dreams." Wouldn't this cause his mind and body to be restless? He can't function with out sleep and I feel like my safe place would be in sleep in this situation.

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    1. There is also a lot of danger in the night. There are animals that can kill him and if he has a bad dream wouldn't be become afraid?

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  15. Why are some villages so kind and helpful and others attack the boys?

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    1. The helpful ones see that they have no guns and they don't mean any harm. The mean villagers attack them because they don't want to be attacked.

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    2. I think it just depends on the situation, like in the fishing village when the chase them out but then latter except them into the town.

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    3. @Reid
      I think that a few villages are helping the children because they might have some cultural similarities or may have been to that village in the past. When you're more familiar with an area or in this case a village, then you don't stand out as a traveler/refugee.
      -Matt Myers.

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    4. I think that it is just the way the world works. Some people are nice and kind and others are mean. People will always split.

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  16. Do you think Ismael will do better on his own or will he come back?

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    1. I think Ismael would rather be with people because when he was in the forest he talked about one of his biggest fear was being lonely.

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    2. I think it is better for Ishmael to be in a group because it keeps his morale high and keeps him motivated to move on and survive.

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    3. @Easton Gilliland
      I think that this book is foreshadowing to something bigger, I think he'll do worse on his own. The reason i think this is because the author keeps raising the bar with action/building up suspense. The author is building the character up to knock him down pretty much.
      -Matt Myers.

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  17. In chapter 7, Beah identifies himself as twelve.What were you doing when you were twelve years old? You were probably in middle school. Imagine being on your
    own at that point in your life.

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  18. On page 49 Beah mentions that he ran from his shadows; "Often, my shadow would scare me and cause me to run for miles."-Page 49 Chapter 8 Intro. I know that he and other children would be scared and running for their lives but does Beah running from his shadow represent or symbolize something much bigger?
    -Matt Myers.

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  19. Was Beah better off on his own or with the group of boys he found in chapter eight?

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  20. "One of the unsettling things about my journey, mentally physically, and emotionally, was that I wasn't sure when or where it was going to end"(69) As a young boy will Ishmael be able to handle all this stress?

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  21. "the most difficult part of being in the forest was the loneliness" WHY WOLD HE LEAVE HIS GROUP THEN! If he dosent want to be alone than he should have stayed with is group.

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    1. Yeah I misunderstood when he got separated from his group? It was like BAM all of a sudden he's in the jungle all alone?

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  22. With the war going on, are the boys truly savage?

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  23. It seems like every day he's describing the same darn thing. In every chapter it's the same events different day different setting. He runs from soldiers, finds a village where people are cut up, maybe eats once in a while, then runs from soldiers again because they attack. When is something new going to happen? I have respect for this man and I can't believe he lived through this but, if this is 21 chapters of the same thing over and over again it's going to get boring very quick.

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  24. on page 57 it says,"someone had started a rumor about the "seven boys,"us. how does this rumor spread during war time. first of all because i thought the people in the villages would just stay there. and also that they should be worried more about them self's than about seven suspect boys walking through the Forrest.

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    1. The RUF is turning boys into child soldiers so maybe the people thought that they were working for the RUF.

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  25. On page 59 he says, "We then played a game of soccer." How are they not afraid of the rebels being in the bushes behind them why do they think there "safe"?

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    1. They think they have gotten far enough away from where the rebels are.

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  26. Why did the man with the fishing hut help the boys after the villagers stole their shoes and their feet burned?

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    1. I think he saws that they were weak and harmless after their ordeal and he realized they were unarmed and safe to approach and he decided that it was his duty to help these boys heal.

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    2. After he realized they were hurt he wanted to help. Since the rebels had not gone to his village yet so he has not seen what the boys have seen.

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  27. Did the war make everyone afraid to meet new people?

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    1. I think it just made them more cautious when new people came to their village.

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    2. I think new people were suspicious and could cause something bad to happen.

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    3. Not everyone that one man gives them food and water and teaches them how to heel there feet.

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  28. The situation that Ishamel is in is not one that is normal for a 12 year old boy. Do you think he taught himself to be more responsible and more like his parents because of the war he found himself in?

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    1. I think even before the war he was a responsible child, more responsible than I was at 12. He went through things like walking 10 miles a day to go see his dad because his parents were split and it was situations like this that toughened him up.

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  29. When he says "I spent most of my time fighting myself mentally in order to avoid thinking about what I had seen or wondering where my life was going, where my family and friends are." Does his photo graphic memory make him remember the bad events more than others and do you think that this is what makes him have bad dreams.

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  30. On page 54 Ishmael brings up something his dad told him when he was little and that was "If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die." Do you think this quote is going to play a big part in Ishmael's journey? and give him hope that he will survive and good will come out of this?

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  31. will they every at this point be able to experience a normal life again with all this going on?

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    1. I don't think there will ever be a sense of normalcy in his life. He will always have the war in the back of his mind.

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  32. Do you think its more mental toughness or physical toughness going days without food?

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    1. I feel that if you dont think about the lack of food and keep your mind off of it then it could be a mental battle. If you think about being starving it could turn into a physical one.

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  33. On page 70, Saidu, one of the boys says, “How many more times do we have to come to terms with death before we find safety?” He goes on to say, “Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even thought I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.” The old saying is that that which does not kill us makes us stronger. Are there some things that just kill us slowly instead of building our strength?

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    1. I think the old saying is more for someone who doesn't want to die. Since he accepts death every time its not making him stronger at all.

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    2. In this story it seems over time these boys get weaker and weaker. Not only physically but mentally. Every massacred town they walk into and every death they see slowly deteriorates their mental health and if they do not control it eventually they will snap.

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  34. Why do you think people do not share their names with the boys? First the old man from the village does not tell them his name, and then when the boys go into the hut, the man who owns it does not tell them his name.

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    1. I think that the people do not want to get caught helping the boys so if the boys got caught the boys would not know the peoples names to tell on them.

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  35. on page 60 it says,"afterward the men yanked our torn crepes of our feet,untied us, and chased us out of the village." i am wondering why the people in the fishing village were so mean to the boys. if the boys are no harm why do the fishermen treat them so terribly?

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    1. I think the fisherman, even though they are far from the fighting, fear that the same thing that has happened to Ishmael and his friends will happen to them. They decide that it is necessary to treat other people horribly in order to protect themselves, which is what other people are doing as well. I think the whole country turned into "survival of the fittest."

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    2. but i don't think that the term survival of the fittest means that you should aimlessly harm innocent people for no reason. if you do do this then you have become no better than the rebels you are fighting. would it have been so hard for the fishermen to let the boys be and let them pass through?

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    3. The old man in the empty village says "this country has lost its good heart. People don't trust each other anymore" (56). I think that the fisherman just don't trust the boys.

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  36. On page 60 it says "Afterward, the men yanked our torn crapes off our feet, untied us, and chased us out of their village, waving their spears and machetes, and screaming after us." Why did the take off there shoes and chase them away?

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    1. Because it sucks to run with out shoes.

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    2. Maybe they wanted the shoes or it was to make their surviving even harder then it already is.

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    3. They did that as a punishment for coming to their village.

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    4. They took the shoes because it was a form of torture walking on hot sand dries out your feet and soon they start to get cut so they walked for two miles on scorching hot sand opening their feet wich hurts causing them to bleed and fill with sand

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  38. in chapter 10 the boys are forced to walk on the scorching hot sand that soon kuts there feet and flesh is hanging of with the dry blood and sand in the cuts and they stumble uppon a shack and go in when the man finds them why do you think that the man didnt go to the nearby village and tell the villagers that boys were in his shack? instead he helps them out and they stay for awile until their feat are healed and then the villagers come and get them and they take them to the village why do you think that the villagers didnt kill the boys for staying the village?

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  39. What is the significance of Beahs name-giving ceremony? Why does he share that story?

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  40. On page 81 Ishmael states, "Sometimes night has a way of speaking to us, but we almost never listen. The night after we ate the bird was too dark. There were no stars in the sky, and as we walked, it seemed as if the darkness was getting thicker." In this book do you think night has a way of foreshadowing what is to come in the following days? It seems that on clear nights with stars and the sky and the moon shining brightly the next day is a happy one and they find goodness. But on this dark cloudy night the next few days will be very trying for all of the boys.

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  41. It is very likely that I will never experience a situation as bad as the one Ishmael is in. However, I think Ishmael Beah does a great job of making it relatable so it almost feels like we are part of the war too. I think that with another author who put it in different words it would have been less of a compelling story.

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  42. Could the kids possibly turn to cannibalism with them being so hungry?

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  43. "It was clear to me that he knew his days would soon be over, and he didnt bother to be afraid for himself. But he was for us. How did the man know he was going to die soon and why didnt he help the boys if he was scared for them?

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  44. On page 68 what is that small two line passage about?

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  45. On page 84 it says, "One dog had come near the verandah on which we sat and was vigorously crying. A few more dogs joined in. Their crying pierced my heart." What is this foreshadowing? Is it foreshadowing Saidu's death or an invasion from the RUF+

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  46. Maybe the people thought that the boys were RUF and so instead of killing them they enforce a brutal punishment by taking there shoes and chasing them out of the village

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  47. When he met the family on chapter 8, Why did he go swimming with them?

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  48. Make up fish bowl: Response to Kody J when the towns people see a large group of kids walking with all the invasions from the RUF they must have thought they were child soldiers or spys that were unmarked and were to act as if they needed help. Or they could have been the nice boys looking for salvation witch they were. But how was the village supposed to know the difference? So they took action and precaution.

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  49. During these chapters Ishmael learned to live alone. He had to battle his inner self almost the whole time, trying to clear his mind. Before this chapter his main problem he had was trying to survive and not get caught by the RUF. Now though he faced a whole new problem. This will be one that will haunt him for most of his life. The sights he has seen and the fact that he may not ever see his family again. Above Richard asks why he went swimming with the family he met. I think that he had almost forgotten how to be normal and how to interact with other human beings. He was confused and scared. Also he hadn't bathed in a very long time so I think the water was refreshing to him. The first sentence in chapter 10 states, "One of the unsettling things about my journey, mentally, physically, and emotionally, was that I wasn't sure when or where it was going to end." I love this quote for these chapters because it really shows how it wasn't only the physical pain that he felt through his adventure.

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