Discussion Prompt #3 (Due by Fri., August 1st)

I hope that everyone is enjoying both summertime and our summer reading. I have good news and bad news. The good news is we are over half way through our book! I am happy to see that a strong few are keeping up with the reading and are posting on time. Keep going! The bad news is summer is nearly over.

I am happy to see that most of you are answering EVERY part of the discussion questions. I am not simply looking for your opinion. Yes, the culture is different and Okonkwo can be a horrible man and there are many sad occurrences. I am looking for a deeper connection to the text. I am also NOT simply looking for a summary. I need to see that you comprehend the text and are able to analyze each component. Be sure to answer EACH part of the discussion questions.

Chapters 10 introduces the egwugwu, the clan’s ancestral spirits who administer justice.  This sets up the order of discipline that will inevitably be carried out on Okonkwo in the following chapters. We learn about Chielo and the Oracle of the Hills and Caves in chapters 11 & 12. This is another example of how the villagers don’t have much say at all in their lives and that everything is left up to the spirits.  Chapters 13-15 are dedicated to Okonkwo’s exile and finally, the introduction of the “white man.” These chapters are really a turning point in both the novel and the culture itself.

Uchendu, Okonkwo’s uncle, calls all of his family together. He asks Okonkwo about the meaning of Nneka (pg 116-7):

“’Can you tell me, Okonkwo, why it is that one of the commonest names we give our children is Nneka, or ‘Mother is Supreme’? We all know that a man is the head of the family and his wives do his bidding. A child belongs to its father and his family and not to its mother and her family. A man belongs to his fatherland and not his motherland. And yet we say Nneka – ‘Mother is Supreme.’ Why is that?’”

Okonkwo does not seem to know the answer to this seemingly easy question. Chapter 14 ends when Uchendu answers it for him.

Prompt #3: How does Uchendu answer his own question? How does his answer relate to Okonkwo and the way he lives his life? Why is this speech so significant at this point in the story?

Be sure to answer each part of the discussion topic and support your answer by using specifics from the text. 

Keep reading!


Blog #2 (Due MIDNIGHT- Fri., July 18th)

I hope you are all enjoying your summer break. I appreciate the time you are putting into your reading and responses.

I am pleased to see that you are all forming opinions based on the text. It can be difficult to relate to the story, as the culture is quite different. Some of you might be struggling to understand the historical context that contributes to Okonkwo’s behavior. Learning a bit about the author might help.

Read this summary for further understanding.

Most of you were able to see two sides to Okonkwo. Great work! Keep this in mind as you continue reading.

You should have completed chapters 1-10 by now. These chapters have given the reader a fairly full picture of what life in the Umuofia clan is like for Okonkwo and his people. You have probably developed opinions about both Okonkwo and his culture. Though Okonkwo has made some poor decisions, Ikemefuna brings out a different side of him.

Here is your discussion prompt: 

Ikemefuna’s death is horrific. Describe your thoughts while reading chapter 7. How does the Ibo culture play into the boy’s death and the reactions afterward?

Note: Please comment on the reactions of both Okonkwo and the other characters. There are THREE questions in this prompt.

You must respond to the entire discussion prompt. Please use specifics from the text to support your answer. Remember to include page numbers if you reference the text (which you should all be doing).

SUMMER READING BLOG #1 (Rising Sophomores 2014-2015)


Now that you have read the first 5 chapters of Things Fall Apart, you should have a strong impression of Okonkwo. You might also be a bit overwhelmed with all of the many cultural differences between yourself and the villagers. That’s okay! I hope that you are taking advantage of the glossary in the back on the book to help with the Ibo words. Please write down all of the questions you have along the way, as this will guide our discussions once class begins in September. Feel free to post any questions you have now as well.

I realize that it can be difficult to keep all of the characters straight. Use this website as a guide to help keep track of who’s who:

Remember to follow the 50 word minimum and provide textual evidence from the novel to support your claims.

I hope you are having a wonderful break and will continue to enjoy the book!

Discussion Prompt #1 (Due: Fri., July 4th- Yes, Happy 4th of July!!!)

The text states, “Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings. Okonkwo had clearly washed his hands and so he ate with kings and elders” (5-6).

How have Okonkwo’s feelings about his father shaped his relationships with his wives and children? Explain why you think this is.

Rising Sophomores- Welcome 2014-2015 Summer Reading

Welcome Class of 2017!!

In order to support the rigor and emphasis on life-long learning, all students will be required to participate in summer reading. The text and assignments have been chosen specifically to engender meaningful reading and reflection over the summer, and to be vital in supporting the first units of the school year.

You will be using this site primarily for blog posts incorporated into the summer reading assignment.

ALL responses should contain textual evidence from the novel and be at least 50 words.

Don’t wait until the last minute to do the reading and assignments.

Online Book/ Blog Discussion :
Post #1 Due: Friday, July 4 by midnight
Post #2 Due: Friday, July 18 by midnight
Post #3 Due: Friday, August 1 by midnight
Post #4 Due: Friday, August 15 by midnight
Post #5 Due, Friday, August 29 by midnight

*****You must answer 4 out of the 5 posts AND comment on 4 classmates’ posts

Email paper to: [email protected]
Due: Friday, August 22

Printed paper (2 printed copies of your paper)
Due: Tuesday, September 2 (First Day of School)


If you have questions, email me at [email protected]

Click this link for the Sophomore Summer Reading Assignment for Students



Service Learning Trip Reflection

Reflect on Service Learning Field Experience/Trip
Write a 4-5 paragraph description summarizing and reflecting on your experience. Paragraphs must answer the questions below.
-Where did you go?
-What did you do?
-Has this trip triggered any ideas of change or ways to create change?
-How does it relate to The Jungle or work you’ve done in other classes?

Discuss Experience
Respond to 1 peers blog in 4-5 sentences.

Due May 7, 2014