Mrs. Carol LaRow's 7th Grade English Classes

Student Reactions to an "All Class" Novel

As students read and discuss the novel, they write discussion questions. Students write questions as they read each chapter. Questions must be "discussion" not "recall." The students are encouraged to write questions they would like to see discussed in class. They may include ideas or content they have true queries about and address any topic that will help them arrive at the meaning of the novel.

In this blog, students have written their thoughts about particular chapters. Other students are invited to react to any of the reflections students have posted.

The class blog can be used to augment class discussions. As students discuss the novel, they come to understand characters' actions, author intent, theme, plot, etc. They arrive at the meaning of the novel as they listen to and interact with each other's opinions.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Chapter 4:

In this chapter, Sam steals the Brown Bess from his father's tavern so he can use it in the war as he fights with the Patriots. The Rebel soldiers have gone to the tavern and demanded that Mr. Meeker give them the Brown Bess. When he says he doesn't have it, they beat him up. Tim is very very angry at Sam in this chapter. Do you think Tim was mad enough to shoot Sam with the rifle if Sam didn't overpower him when Tim grabbed the rifle?

Chapter 3:

I wonder why the authors had Tim be the narrator of the story instead of Sam? Sam was the one who ran away from home and joined the Patriot Army to help fight the British.  And he was the one who was killed by the Patriots - his own side. The title of the book has Sam's name, not Tim's. I wonder why Sam isn't the narrator. It would be interesting to hear his thoughts as he fights the British or is kept in prison waiting to be killed.

Chapter 3:

The authors devote half a page to describing nature in this chapter, page 45. They paint a picture of autumn, then early winter, by describing the geese flying overhead, the colors of the fall leaves, and the thin coats of ice on the puddles. It made me stop and picture nature, but I also wondered why the authors chose to put this into the book. The main point is whether or not Sam will return and whether the war is affecting the people of Redding. I wondered why the authors wanted the reader to picture nature as I read the description.

Chapter 2:

Tim listens intently as Father and Sam discuss being a Loyalist or a Patriot. He also watches as Father and Sam argue about the Brown Bess. In this chapter, I wonder what Tim is thinking. He looks up to his brother Sam, and he wants to be just like him. Does Tim think Sam is right going off to join the Rebels, or does Tim think Father is right? I also wonder why Mother doesn't express her opinions during the argument.

Chapter 1:

As I read this chapter, I wondered how Sam made up his mind to be a Patriot? It seems as if Redding is a Tory town. Sam seems to have a different opinion about the King and being a Tory than his father does. How did his opinion become so different from his fathers? I wondered if he listened to his friends at Yale who may have been Patriots.

Chapter 1:

As I start to read this novel, I wonder why the authors have it raining as Sam returns to his parents' tavern to tell them about the fact that he's joined the Rebel Army, on the side of the Patriots. I wonder if weather will be important for setting the tone of the novel?