Monday, November 3, 2008

November 3/4, 2008

November 3/4, 2008
Today more students presented their Book of the Month Club Assessments -- presenting their characters to the class through quotes from their books. If you did not present today, and were not absent, it may be awhile before you can change that zero grade.

We also talked about the genre of science fiction.
Science fiction is fiction (made-up rather than things that have really happened) and usually involves either outer space, technology, or ideas about the future.
Many deal with imagined technology, or with the results of the misuse of technology.

The characters usually act as people would if the situations they are placed in were real.

We shared a poem that works as a riddle, and worked on figuring out what was being described and who was seeing it that way. You could call this a "science fiction" poem!
Here is the poem: (By the way, May Swenson originally came from Utah. She was born in Logan, attended the University of Utah, and became a world-famous poet.)

Southbound. . .
By May Swenson

A tourist came in from Orbitville,
parked in the air, and said:

The creatures of this star
are made of metal and glass.

Through the transparent parts
you can see their guts.

Their feet are round and roll
on diagrams or long

measuring tapes, dark
with white lines.

They have four eyes.
The two in the back are red.

Sometimes you can see a five-eyed
one, with a red eye turning

on the top of his head.
He must be special—

the others respect him,
and go slow

when he passes, winding
among them from behind.

They all hiss as they glide,
like inches, down the marked

tapes. Those soft shapes,
shadowy inside

the hard bodies—are they
their guts or their brains?

We also read the short story, "The Boy with Five Fingers," in preparation for more short stories, and for reading the novel The Giver. This story, like The Giver, looks at a possible post-apolcalyptic future. In other words, in these books, man has destroyed civilization and most of mankind. The story and book deal with what sorts of societies might grow up many years after such an event.

In this case, apocalyse means "any universal or widespread destruction or disaster: the apocalypse of nuclear war."
any universal or widespread destruction or disaster: the apocalypse of nuclear war.