Book Club Babes: Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab

Miss Colleen’s selection of Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab was a hit not only for the book club members, but also the adults.  A thriller full of suspense and pretty cool experiments (this coming from a liberal arts person), I read my copy in one night.

Due to the high volume (sweet!) of experiments Miss Colleen’s mom brought with her, we changed the mode of discussion.  Each member chose a favorite question out of the three written in her journal, wrote said question on an index card, and placed it in a bowl.  Members then chose a question (blindly) from the bowl and were given time to think about the answer before sharing with the rest of the group.

After discussion it was experiment time, their favorite.  

Volcano Kit Purchased at Happy Up

To conclude, members were given a choice of ice cream flavors including mint chip and double chocolate chunk (the hub was unable to find double chocolate praline)  because this was what Nick and Tesla devoured at the end of the book.  Takeaway was a sandwich bag full of diluted highlighter juice to be used in a top secret manner of the Book Club Babe’s choosing much like Nick and Tesla used it to track the van in chapters 9-10.

Next discussion:  Miss Grace’s The Puppy Place:  Chewy and Chica

Exploring Hispanic Literature: Cisneros and Soto

In teaching English 111, I like to have the students analyze a variety of short stories exploring various genres and cultures.  For a sampling of Hispanic literature, I have chosen Sandra Cisneros’ “The Storyteller,” and Gary Soto’s “One Last Time,” both of which are found in our textbook, The Blair Reader.  I have students work in pairs in order to explore the following discussion questions:

  p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; direction: ltr; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 120%; }p.western { font-family: “Liberation Serif”,”Times New Roman”,serif; font-size: 12pt; }p.cjk { font-family: “Droid Sans”; font-size: 12pt; }p.ctl { font-family: “Lohit Hindi”; font-size: 12pt; “The Storyteller” by Sandra Cisneros
1. Evaluate the “hook” of this essay. Effective? Why, or why not?
2. Cisneros’ father is an opinionated man. Use the text to prove this point.
3. Cisneros makes use of the senses in her writing. Use the text to prove the use of the following senses.
Smell-
Touch-
Sound-
4. Give an example of a metaphor in the reading. Significance?
5. Cisneros discusses the importance of a conclusion. Does her conclusion fill her own requirements of an effective conclusion? Why, or why not?
6. Although Cisneros is writing largely about past events in her own life, she often uses third person and present tense. Where does she use first person? Where does she use third person? Explain the significance of these shifts in her writing.
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One Last Time” by Gary Soto
1. Explain the “hook” Soto uses in his essay. Effective? Why, or why not?
2. What can you infer from, “Mother also found herself out there when she was separated from Father for three weeks” (P 2)? Significance? How do you know your inference is true? Use the text to prove your position.
3. Why does Mother drive in silence while Gary “rambled on . . .” (P 3)? Use the text to prove your position.
4. Explain the significance of the knife in this essay. Prove this significance with use of the text.
5. Find three similes in this essay. Significance?
6. How does Soto show respect for his mother? Explain.
7. Give some examples from the text where Soto judges others. Thoughts?