Reading Assignment: Finish reading Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Writing Assignment: Write a paragraph or two pointing out one or two key ways in which Leigh and Shirley are different. To support what you say, cite incidents (events) and quotations from the book. Each character should get, at a minimum, two examples and at least one quotation from the book, for example.
"Shirley is an enormously confident little girl. She shows that confidence on her first day in the States. When her dad runs out of cigarettes, she tells him she can get them. It doesn't matter that she doesn't know the neighborhood. Shirley just believes she can do it. (44)* Her confidence does not diminish when she goes to school. (Notice how that sentence makes a transition to the next point.) When her teacher doesn't tell her to recite a poem, Shirley volunteers (offers to do it anyway), thinking that she will be a huge success. When she is ready to recite, it doesn't even occur to her that she might fail, ""Sliding to the edge of her seat, she waited, so sure of her success, she was not even nervous." (57)"
Two Things to Consider:
1. When you move from the description of one character to the next, try to create a smooth transition (verbal bridge). Don't just finish talking about Shirley and then say "Leigh Botts has very little confidence." Instead say something like "While Shirley sometimes has more confidence than ability, Leigh Botts is just the opposite."
2. Consider how you will introduce the two characters to your reader. Mark came up with a good opening sentence, which I, unfortunately,did not save from the white board. But it went something like this:
"In the novel In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Shirley Temple Wong is a very confident young girl, but Leigh Botts, the main character in Dear Mr. Henshaw, is not nearly so confident.
This opening sentence sets the stage for you to describe incidents from the book that illustrate Shirley's confidence and Leigh's lack of confidence. It gives you, the writer, a focus. But it also helps the reader keep in touch with what you are thinking as you write.
* Page number is made up.