English 341: It’s Like This

Site Log-in only (email Kim if you need password reset)

Calendar

Course calendar can be found above and HERE.

Author: Cyrill Somera

Blog 6

Blog 6

Cyrill Somera

Blog 6

 

  1. The graphic novel I chose to read was Smile. This graphic novel explores the ups and downs of being a teenager through the life of the main character, Raina. It focuses on Raina’s struggle to fit in, her developing love life with new crushes, finding true friends, and dealing with parents. To simplify, this novel describes what it is like to be a teenager. Graphic novels are literature. This genre in particular can be used with students who do not enjoy reading. It can be like a segway into more complex novels later in their reading development. This novel was easier to read and very entertaining especially with the illustrations. Although it was easy to read, it can still be challenging since it is mainly dialogue. Some elements included in graphic novels are written narrative, illustration, and poetry. The written narrative includes dialogue to create the plot of the story. The illustration helps readers analyze characters better in their heads. They can see what the character is thinking or feeling through the facial expressions of the characters. Poetry can also be present in graphic novels as a style of writing. The article listed many activities and main things to use from graphic novels. A fun activity to do with students after they read a graphic novel is for them to do some creative writing. This will enable students to use some freedom and become writers themselves! After finishing a novel, they can come up with an alternate ending and create their own comic strip with dialogue and their own illustrations.
  2. H
    The novel takes place from the time Raina is about to start middle school until she finishes high school. Illustration plays such an important role in her character development. Her character starts off as a little girl who is about to get braces and her teeth are messed up. She goes through body changes through her physical appearance that show how she grows up as the novel progresses. I could probably be able to picture what she would look like as she went through middle school and high school, but the illustration in the novel really did help. The pace is really slow in terms of watching her teeth improve. It takes years of braces and dentist appointments, so for more than half of the book she was illustrated with braces on. A faster development that took place in the novel was when the writer showed how Raina had first broken her teeth. It all happened so fast, and the illustrations made it seem like it was a scene in the movie, Raina tripped and fell and just broke her two front teeth.
Out of My Mind Make

Out of My Mind Make

I read the book, “Out of My Mind”, by Sharon Draper. The girl in the book had cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is affects body movement and muscle coordination. Because of this disorder, Melody, was not able to move, talk, or eat by herself. I tried to imagine a life where I wasn’t able to do tasks that I consider to be simple now. It was hard for me to even try to fathom how hard it must be to basically not have control over your own body the way you want to have control over it. I wanted to put myself in Melody’s shoes, so, I tried not speaking for a bit to see how hard it would be for her to communicate with other people. In the book, she had a communication board that had letters and some words that she might be important for her to use throughout the day on it. I made my own communication board for this experiment and this is what happened.

 

I didn’t speak for about 2 hours on Friday. This was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am a talkative person, so relying on my communication board to say what I needed to say was so restricting. I could definitely feel Melody’s frustration. I hung out with my friends that day, it was so weird for me because I tried to jump into their conversations, but the communication board was so limited, I eventually would just sit there and listen to everyone else talk. We went to eat and I had to order with my communication board, and that was different. The cashier just looked at me like I was crazy, but I was able to order the food I wanted.

 

In conclusion, I think this was a great thing to try out. It really helped me understand what Melody was going through a little bit more. I know, not speaking does not even come anywhere close in comparison to actually having cerebral palsy, but to not be able to speak was definitely a challenge for me. I think I take my ability to speak and move everyday the way I want to for granted. This made me a little bit more thankful that I am able to do these things everyday.

 

Below is my communication board.

We’re All the Same – Cyrill Somera

We’re All the Same – Cyrill Somera

Summary: Melody was born with cerebral palsy. This disease leaves her unable to move by herself or speak for herself. Everyone thinks she isn’t that smart, but little do they know that Melody actually has photographic memory, she can remember everything that happens around her, and she is very smart and can think complex thoughts just like everyone else. The problem is is that she can’t communicate all her knowledge because she can not speak. When Melody is in the 5th grade she is able to take normal classes with the other students at school. Later, she gets a Medi Talker that is a computer that speaks for her. This really helps her out in her new classrooms. The Medi Talker allows Melody to take tests by herself, she takes a test to be on the Whiz Kid team at school. She scores a perfect score, but her teacher thinks that she’s lying. Melody takes the test again and she eventually proves she wasn’t lying at all and gets to be apart of the team. She wins a competition for her team. The day her and her team are supposed to fly to Washington D.C. for nationals, her team leaves her behind on purpose. After her team did this to her, she still wants to go to school. The next day, Melody’s mom is in the car ready to drive her to school. Penny, Melody’s little sister was running up behind the car, Melody didn’t have her Medi Talker so she couldn’t warn her mom her sister was there so her mom hit Penny with the car. They rush her to the hospital, Penny ends up having a broken leg and survives. When Melody goes back to school, her team admits that they left her on purpose and they give her a trophy, she was still mad so she broke the trophy.

 

  1. I think this text wants its reader to realize that even though someone might have a disability, does not mean they aren’t able to learn. This book definitely opened my eyes and made me not take my life for granted. Melody never gave up and she always wanted to learn new things even though it was difficult for her.
  2. When I went to high school, the disabled kids were always allowed to eat lunch with us like Melody was allowed to sit in class with her other classmates. I remember, I would sit with the kids during and just talk to them. I never really thought how happy this might’ve made them until I read this book because of how excited Melody was to be in a classroom.
  3. People usually think that if someone has a disability that they can’t learn or they are unable to learn or that they are just not smart. This is not true at all. This book just made it more clear because it was told by Melody’s perspective. The way she has to live and look at the world everyday is so much more different than I have to live and look at the world. I think the author was trying to tell people that we are all the same despite some physical differences.
  4. This book really does mirror reality, but it makes you think. The book is told by Melody, who has cerebral palsy. Her life is much harder than the people who will read this book. We get to see what it’s like to live in her life as a reader. This perspective is rare and I think i really felt how frustrated she was at times and it made me feel more sympathetic to people who really can’t talk or move by themselves. I guess I can say that this book made me feel like I might take my ability to talk and walk for granted.
  5. I think this is a great book to have in the classroom. This will help younger readers understand what Melody is going through and to show that even though someone has a disability that they aren’t stupid, they just have limits on what they are able to do, but underneath that, they are exactly like everyone else and this is important for a young reader to realize.
Alternate Ending – Cyrill Somera

Alternate Ending – Cyrill Somera

I love the Unfortunate Events series as much as I did when I was younger even now. I absolutely enjoy how suspenseful and mysterious the books are. Reading it now, I did notice something pretty cool about the books. When Snicket uses an unusually large word in his writing, he defines in shortly after. This is such a great thing to incorporate in children’s books so readers don’t just skip over the new word, they can actually learn what it means and maybe even be familiar enough with it to use it everyday. It is so important to find new and fun ways to teach students new vocabulary. For my make, I thought it would be fun to write an alternate ending to the first book using a couple of the new words I learned. This is a fun way to get students to be creative, but to also expand their vocabulary in a very fun and interactive way.

 

Violet had outsmarted Count Olaf. Her adroit thinking ruined his plans for the fake marriage, which turned out to be really fake. Everyone was absolutely outraged. Mr. Poe came running to the stage to take away the Baudelaire children. The three of the ran to Mr. Poe in relief.

 

“Children, you are not to stay with this evil Count Olaf any longer, I must find you a new place to live imediately. I’m sure you have had such a deplorable time here. I am so very sorry,” coughed Mr. Poe.

 

The children were so relieved to hear Mr. Poe say that. Next thing they saw was the police running all over the theater trying tot catch Count Olaf.

 

Justice Strauss suddenly came running up to the three children.

 

“I am so sorry to not have been aware of such an evil plan. If I had known what COunt Olaf was up to, I wouldn’t have agreed to be apart of any of it!”, explained Justice.

 

“It’s okay, you had no idea,” reassured Violet still thinking about where they would all have to live now.

 

Finally, Count Olaf had relinquished himself to the police and they took him to the station immediately. The Baudelaire children never had to worry about him ever again.

 

Just when things were starting to get better, something even more amazing happened.

 

“So, I’m guessing you children need a place to stay. Well, I did say you three were welcome in my home whenever you wanted and I have such a big library filled with books of all kinds and a garden full of plants I think I need help watering.”, said Justice Strauss to the children. The children waited for her to finish before they spoke.

 

“What I am trying to say is that, I would love it if you guys would come to live with me.”, finished Justice.

 

The three children had the biggest smiles on their faces.

 

“We would love that Justice!” exclaimed Klaus.

 

“Thank you so much!”, said Violet as she went in for a hug.

 

Sunny was so happy she was just making the happiest noises.

 

“Well, I guess it all worked out for you children anyway. I’m sure Justice Strauss will be a much better guardian for you children.”, said Mr. Poe.

 

The children were filled with so much joy. They haven’t felt this happiness since the passing of their parents. The Baudelaires could not wait to start a new chapter of the now, peaceful lives.

Blog 3 – Cyrill Somera

Blog 3 – Cyrill Somera

The series I chose to read is, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. This book is about Klaus, Sunny, and Violet, the Baudelaire children. Their parents died in a tragic fire that destroyed everything they owned. The three orphans are forced to live with their suspicious uncle, Count Olaf, whom they have never even heard of before. They are mistreated by their uncle and live miserably.

I read this book when I was in fifth grade and I don’t remember it at all. Reading this book now, as a college student, I think I understand the humor of this book a little bit more. I do think the book is awfully dark, but I don’t think young readers would necessarily understand how dark this story really is. I chose to begin at the beginning of the series with book one. This book is very mysterious, which I enjoy and I think children would love. This book was unique because the author uses big words, that younger readers wouldn’t understand, and defines them in the sentence. The story itself is very well written and easy to understand. It has a lot of suspense in it so readers definitely will not get bored and it keeps them on their toes. There are many illustrations included in the book itself and I think this is great so readers can picture the characters in their head. I would definitely encourage young readers to read this book.

 

The Miller text hits a lot of key points in trying to get students to become readers. She stresses that reading can not be something forced onto a student, but rather incorporated into their everyday lives. She even mentions how reading logs aren’t necessary. As a student myself, I remember having to keep track of my reading through a reading log. I thought this was the most horrible thing because I had to have it signed by my parents and I had to read for at least 30 minutes a day. For a lot of kids it’s hard for them to sit down for 30 minutes. Miller mentions how even just reading for a couple minutes throughout the day is good. The Reading Itinerary that was described in the book was a perfect alternative to a Reading Log. The students aren’t forced to read for a certain amount of time a day so it gives them more freedom to read. I really like how Miller is trying to get her students to want to read and not force it onto them. I think a lot of kids think that reading is forced onto them because of reading assignments and reading logs, which makes them not want to read at all. As a future teacher, I want to make my students excited to read and for them to know that they are able to read what they want to when they want to. I think in this class what I will definitely use in my own classroom is the Makes. Makes are a great way to use material from a reading and implement them in a classroom without reading test, which I didn’t even enjoy as a student. The Miller text is definitely changing the traditional ways of teaching reading to students.

 

Make #1 Travel the World – Cyrill Somera

Make #1 Travel the World – Cyrill Somera

 

In class this week we read different versions of classic fairytales. For my make, I wanted to stick to a similar idea and read different versions of the same classic fairytale. I chose to read the tale of Cinderella, but from different countries. Each story was almost the same, but they had some details unique to their own country.

I read three stories from the Philippines, the Caribbean, and Cuba.

In a classroom setting I would read a story each week. Each student would get their own “passport”. In this passport, the student would document unique facts from each country we read about after doing a little bit of extra research. This activity would be great to do in a classroom because it allows the students to learn about a new culture and it really allows the student to interact with what they are reading.

Fairytales – Cyrill Somera

Fairytales – Cyrill Somera

We all know the cute classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The original story, however, is far from cute. Both versions of the classic tale do include some type of hidden lesson. It’s not just about a big bad scary wolf looking for a meal and some little girl who just so happens to cross paths with this monster. As I read the not so Disney versions of the story, I recognized each story had an important lesson. There were definitely a couple lessons that stuck out to me the most.

So, the stories, for the most part, all start out the same. Little’s Red Riding Hood’s mother sends her on her way to her grandmother’s to bring her some food because her grandmother is sick in bed. Little Red has to walk down a long path by herself and in every story she runs into the big scary Wolf. The Wolf finds a way to trick the little innocent girl and learns where her grandmother lives. He beats Little Red to her grandmother’s house and eats her grandmother then disguises as the grandmother to trick Little Red. When Little Red eventually gets there she notices a change in the appearance of her grandmother. Sadly, the Wolf eats Little Red as well.

The lessons I noticed in these stories were that not everyone you meet you can trust, people can take advantage of you, and to always be cautious of your surroundings. Little Red was filled with innocence. She didn’t see bad in anyone, not even in the Wolf. So when she had run into him, she didn’t think twice about telling him where she was going and what she was doing. This definitely is a fatal flaw, because in the end, her innocence got her killed. As we get older, we learn that not everyone can be trusted, which is why it is so horrible that she was a little girl alone in the woods who ran into evil. The Wolf definitely took advantage of this little girl. He knew that he could manipulate her to benefit him. She had no idea that she was being tricked. The final lesson that stuck out to me was that we should always be very cautious of our surroundings. I think the stories really emphasized the face that Little Red Riding Hood was a girl. This made her character even more vulnerable and prone to getting herself into trouble. In real life, I think as a woman, I spend time being more aware of what is happening around me. This is an extra step I like to take to ensure I am safe. I also never go anywhere alone. I think this is very well portrayed in this story. If someone, like Little Red’s mother, had gone with her to her grandmother’s, she probably wouldn’t have talked to the Wolf and as a result she and her grandmother wouldn’t have gotten eaten.