ENG 4U 2012: Ideas for Literature Circle Tasks

Here is an online version of our Life of Pi activities. New options will be added to  the bottom of the list; remember, however, that you are still responsible for completing only 6.

  1. Allusion-An allusion is a reference to some idea, event, or person that is known throughout the dominant culture. Allusions often serve the same function as a metaphor; they help the reader understand something by comparing it to something else. Identify two allusions in this section of the novel, find out more about them, and explain how they are relevant to the narrative.
  2. Song-ujam/video-Feeling creative? Create a short video or song that reflects the section of the novel you just completed. Videos should be 1 minute long; songs should feature at least 2 verses. If you are 18, or if you receive parental permission, consider using Ujam.com. You might be able to write the song on your PED.
  3.  Critical Essay-Find an academic source/essay that focuses on key elements of this section of the novel. Be prepared to summarize the essay for your group: you must able to explain the essay’s thesis and key points.
  4. Apply the School-Choose a literary school discussed so for this semester, and write one page explaining how a member of this school might read this section.
  5. A Trustworthy Narrator?-One of the dangers of a first-person narrative is that the narrator can misread events, misunderstand other characters, and even manipulate the reader.  With specific references to the text, explain why the narrator’s version of events may be unreliable.
  6.  On the Author:  Watch this interview with Yann Martel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BzqsKLbGpM). Make specific connections between what the author says about his work (or life)  and this section of the text.
  7. What Stephen Harper is Reading: Visit the blog created by Yann Martel, and choose one book he has recommended for our Prime Minister. What is Martel’s argument, and what techniques does he use to prove his point? http://www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca/
  8. An Argument: In a letter to one of the characters, criticize his/her actions in this section of the novel.  Make sure that your displeasure is clear; remember to be specific!
  9.  Parenting 101: Using the actions of a parent in this section as inspiration, write a humorous how-to manual for bad parenting.
  10.  Slam poetry: Write and perform some verse that reflects the emotions of the narrator in this section. If you feel particularly daring, try some slam poetry, like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfTa4B7wQ_8.
  11.  Rewrite a Key Moment: Dissatisfied with a key moment in this section? Should the characters have made different choices? Rewrite it. Remember that your group members will want to understand you choices, so be prepared to explain your ideas.
  12. Zeitgeist:  Writers need to capture zeitgeist, or the spirit of the times,  in order to create a believable world. If you are reading Life of Pi, found out more about the political/social strife in India while Pi was a child. If you are reading Stone Angel, explain how the section you just read reflects the life in Canada at the time.
  13. Communication?:  Explain the techniques Pi/Haggar uses to either obscure or avoid the truth.
  14.  Survival: Some struggles are physical, forcing protagonists to fight for their lives. Others are social, mental, or even spiritual, requiring the central character to overcome barriers that they may have created themselves.  If you choose this option, explain how the protagonist struggles to survive in this section.
  15.  The truth in 5 images:  Find 5 images that you think reflect what happens in this section of the novel.  The connections between the images and the text can be literal or figurative. Save these five images on your PED. Show your choices to your group, and explain why you chose these images.
  16.  What can your app do? Have an app on your PED that can help you create something interesting about this section of the text? Great. Just run your idea by me first.
  17. Tweets about the Protagonist-If you are reading a section that features a few secondary characters, have them tweet each other about their encounters with Pi or Haggar. (Remember that tweets can be no longer than 150 characters each). Your tweets should total one page. This site might give you some ideas: http://network43.com/?date=1943-10-31

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