Tonight’s homework is a little unusual. Your task is to read the extract from the opening of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood to someone at home and have a conversation about it. You can discuss anything you like, and any interesting conclusions you reach we will explore back in class tomorrow.
People are doing some brilliant work for their Reading Passports. I’m going to put some of them here so that everyone can take a look – but remember your responses to this project are personal to the student, and there isn’t a fixed format that has to be followed. Hopefully the different examples will help you to shape your own responses using a format and focus that suits you best. As always, feel free to use the post and comment functions on this or your own blogs to ask questions.
This excellent piece is from Peter:
Title: Stig of the Dump
Author: Clive King
Genre: Fiction Drama
Stig of the Dump is a funny fiction drama that tells the story of when a young boy named Barney encounters a cave man style character called Stig, and the journeys they then embark on. When Barney tries to share his secret of the boy living wild in the dump, no one believes him nevertheless they go on to become great friends.
In this book Clive King makes me want to read on by connecting me to a character that isn’t in the story the whole time, enticing me to read on to where he is in the story. I think this is a clever and effective technique. Although Barney was very imaginative and adventurous and I enjoyed reading about how he helped Stig, I found it difficult to relate to him because of the way that he spoke and acted, making it seem like he was from a completely different environment.
The two main characters are Stig and Barney who together make an amazing team. With Stigs experience of living in the wild and Barney’s knowledge of modern-day technology they are able to make a secure and comfortable place of rest for Stig with the limited resources available in the dump.
My rating out of ten: 6
What I like: Imagination, Fearlessness
What I don’t like: Smugness and general outlook to other people
My rating out of ten: 9
What I like: Funny, Sudden change of mood, and dumb in a funny way.
What I don’t like: Nothing
The story starts by getting straight into the events; it was a grey day and Barney had nothing to do and therefore decided to go to the place that nobody wants to go to and everyone is told not to go to… the dreaded dump! The dump is an old digging site that had been abandoned many years ago and since then people tend to throw their rubbish and unwanted items in there. There were rumours that if you go to close to the edge, the ground would give way. But Barney wanted to see it for himself; it was the wrong day to mess with fate. As soon as he got close enough to the edge, the ground underneath him crumbled and he fell down towards the bottom of the pit. Luckily he became entangled with vines and hung inside a den-like looking area until he suddenly heard a voice that made a noise that sounded like ‘Stig’. This new character then used a knife made out of flint to cut him down.
The story then goes on to show Stig and Barney’s relationship develop and how Barney tries to teach Stig the modern-day life. Barney helps Stig to speak English; they also make some massive improvements to his den (they give him a chimney and a fire, small delicate windows that let in some light, and they extend his den). Barney also learns an amazingly enormous amount from Stig, for example: how to live in the ruthless wild, how to cave and dig, and most interestingly, how to live like a cave man.
During this time they also experience many dreadful events, including fighting off robbers from Barneys’ Grandmothers’ house, repeatedly trying to convince his family that Stig was real, and also protecting Stigs’ den from mischievous children.
The last event in this book starts off in a midsummer night (actually the longest day of the year) when Barney attempts to stay awake all night. He knew that there was no chance on earth that he would stay awake with nothing to do, so he came to the conclusion that he should go and see Stig. While everyone was asleep, he crept out of the house. As he left the building he heard his sisters high-pitched voice call out to him from her bedroom window. She then, to Barney’s advantage, asked to come with him. This could be the chance for him to prove to her that Stig was real. So they headed off to the den. In the dead of night everything looked different and they managed to find themselves lost, and then their dog Dinah became separated from them. They carried on in the direction they thought might be home, eventually coming to a relieving sight of a fire in the distance and on closer inspections, some huts. They then journeyed over to where they huts were to find a large group of Stigs! These included men, women and children. There was an obvious leader amongst them who seamed to be telling a story to them in the Stig language. They also found a band of men playing abstract instruments, and to their surprise Stig was one of them.
Time passed till suddenly Barney noticed a thumping sound that continued to get louder like it was coming closer, like a giant walking towards them. It soon started to sound like there was a heaving noise, like a giant whose feet were to heavy for him to carry. Barney, his sister Lou and the rest of the group came to investigate. The story ends with them finding out it was more cave men pulling three massive rocks to make a temple/home for the chief.
Today was a brilliant dyad of periods where where explored some of the textual features and deeper meanings of excerpts from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (see below) – then took ourselves down to the appropriately atmospheric Drama Basement to explore how some of these distillations from the poem could be enacted in movement and sound.
Just judging from the quality of these devised performances, the level of experimentation and creativity is high.
Everyone has the task (alongside the all-important signing of the consent forms) of generating an 8-frame storyboard (annotated with camera angles and shots) that contains some ideas for how they’d like their Ancient Mariner interpretation to look on film. This will be handed to Mr Waugh during first break on Monday and samples will be uploaded here.
Today we embarked on our atmospheric class reading of this epic poem. Everyone will finish reading this tonight in preparation for a dramatised reading tomorrow, after which we will choose stanzas and sequences to explore in finer analytical detail – which will then be re-interpreted in film next week – Phew!
Next week the students are going to write their Ender’s Game Literary Essay. Each student has developed a personal response to the novel and has a range of points they are confident they can make in response to the question. Today (and over the weekend should they wish it) they have developed an introduction that demonstrates their plan as to how they will structure their response. The evidence is that there are going to be some mighty fine essays written!
Everyone is going to be reading regularly in English and the expectation is that each boy brings a book each period – this begins on Tuesday – the only homework before then is to ensure you have and remember a personal reading book.
(remember, the book will count towards your reading passport)