Western Springs CollegeYear Nine English Personal Reading 2012 Name: _____________________
Year 9 ENGLISH Personal Reading Achievement Criteria Not Nearly Achieved Achieved Achieved with Achieved Achieved with Merit ExcellencePurpose/ Begin to show Developing Show understanding Show convincing Show perceptiveAudience understanding understanding of of author’s purpose understanding of understanding of of author’s author’s purpose. with supporting author’s purpose author’s purpose purpose. evidence. with supporting with supporting evidence. evidence.Ideas Begin to show Developing Show understanding Show convincing Show perceptive understanding understanding of of ideas within texts understanding of understanding of of ideas within ideas within texts. with supporting ideas within texts ideas within texts texts. evidence. with supporting with supporting evidence. evidence.Language Begin to show Developing Show understanding Show convincing Show perceptiveFeatures understanding understanding of of how language understanding of understanding of of how how language features are used how language how language language features are used within texts with features are used features are used features are within texts. supporting evidence. within texts with within texts with used within supporting supporting texts. evidence. evidence.Structure Begin to show Developing Show understanding Show convincing Show perceptive understanding understanding of of a range of understanding of understanding of of a range of a range of structures with a range of a range of structures. structures. supporting evidence. structures with structures with supporting supporting evidence. evidence.You need to read and show understanding of a range of (mostly written) text types.The books or texts could include: novels, non-fiction books, biography or autobiography,travel books, graphic novels.The expectation is that at least half of the texts you read are novels.You can do a poetry collection or a short story if you wish –but no more than one.Similarly, one of your responses can be a film.Note: to gain an Achievement grade you must have AT LEAST FOUR logs that meet thestandard for Achievement.To gain Merit you must have AT LEAST SIX logs that meet the standard for Merit.To gain Excellence you must have AT LEAST EIGHT logs that meet the standard forExcellence.
Use the following guidelines to structure each response. The exemplar paragraphs willhelp you to see what is required.Title: Author:Text Type: Date of response: ▼Summarise your text in no more than 10 linesEXEMPLAR:The Outsiders (novel)By S.E. HintonPonyboy Michael Curtis is very good at being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and on a fewoccasions his family-like gang has come along before it can get any worse. But being a ‘greaser’only leads to more trouble for him when he and his friend Johnny are caught by boys in a rivalgang and events go terribly wrong. ▼Describe the Setting (time, place and social, historical or cultural context) of your text.The book focuses on the lives of several groups of teenagers in a town in the USA. There are tworival gangs, ‘greasers’ and ‘Socs’ (an abbreviation of ‘socials’), who both think that the other is apotential threat, and fight in “rumbles”, and on the streets. Both the Socs and the greasers areoblivious to the seriousness of the consequences of their battles. Most of the time, neither ganghas any interest in trying to understand their rivals or see them as human beings with feelings ascomplicated as their own. ▼Structure - Most novels and films follow a similar structural pattern, which is:Exposition – the reader is introduced to the setting, the characters and the situationComplication – a series of storylines is introduced, and problems arise, which leave uswondering how things will turn outClimax – towards the end of the story, something major occurs which affects the characters andthe storyResolution – the various threads in the story are tied up and problems often resolvedIn 10 words or less, explain what happens at each of these stages in your chosen text, thenchoose one stage and explain how what happened was interesting or important.In the first pages of the book we see Ponyboy, walking home alone, being ambushed by a group ofSocs and being threatened with a knife, introducing us to the war between the groups. The actionstarts off as he and Johnny meet two Soc girls in a cinema and are later ambushed by a groupincluding their boyfriends. Johnny kills a boy called Bob in self-defense, and the two are forced toflee from the police. In the climax of the story, after Johnny and Ponyboy rush into a church torescue some children from a fire they’re not sure if they started, Johnny, very badly injured, dies inhospital. In the resolution Ponyboy is acquitted in court of killing Bob, makes up with his brotherDarry, and writes the content of the book itself as a term paper for school.
The climax of the story seemed very important to me. After Johnny himself dies in hospital, Dally,the most wild and violent member of Ponyboy’s gang, is fatally shot by policeman after pulling outa gun on them. He knows the gun is unloaded, and Ponyboy realizes that Dally just wants thepolice to shoot him. “I knew he would be dead, because Dally Winston wanted to be dead and healways got what he wanted.” Ponyboy also says that Johnny was the only thing Dally loved. Forme this really highlighted how vicious and pointless all the rivalries and the fighting were; they hadmade Dally so mean and bitter so young, so that he was too cold inside to love anything exceptJohnny, and I think this is part of the author’s purpose, to show us the rivalry is damaging andultimately pointless. ▼CHARACTERISATION - Choose one character that made an impression on you (e.g.someoneyou liked or disliked).Write a brief description of this person, then give details of something that he/she did in thebook that helped form your opinion, in a paragraph beginning:Something that I liked/disliked about this character was:Ponyboy Curtis, the main character, is fourteen, with light- brown hair and greenish- grey eyes. Hisdress code is the greaser look with jeans and t-shirt. Ponyboy’s hair is probably the most intriguingfeature to his look; with long greasy hair that is squared off in the back and long in the front and atthe sides. The first incident that made me like this character was at the drive-in, where he andJohnny were talking to Cherry (Sherri Valance) and Marcia. Ponyboy and Cherry made quite anemotional connection, whilst they went to get popcorn. Cherry seemed to bring out the soft andsensitive side to him, which he did not have to hide behind a ‘tough’ or ‘tuff’ personality. This givesthe reader a better idea of who Ponyboy really is, and what to expect from him later in the novel.The second incident that made me like Ponyboy was when he got the courage to run into theburning church and save the children stuck inside. Ponyboy realised that the fire could havestarted from his and Johnny’s leftover cigarette butts, and felt the guilt and responsibility forsending the church up in flames. He showed the characteristics of a true hero, and even though hehad to suffer the consequences of the fire, you could understand how he felt better knowing hehad saved lives. ▼THEME (The message or the main idea in the text). Often in a novel or non-fiction book, anauthor is trying to teach us something, or show us something about human behaviour or thehuman experience.In a sentence or two, identify what you think the main message is in your text.Write a paragraph, explaining why this was worth learning about.There are many messages that S.E. Hinton wants you to take into consideration in this novel, butthe most important one I think is that ‘there is no point in fighting for something not worth fightingfor.’ This is displayed throughout the book, especially towards the rumble at the end and also whenthe story is with Johnny at the hospital. When Johnny says “stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold,” it isonly at that point which he realises the ongoing fights between greasers and Socs are a waste oftime, because they are not important, and innocent people are dying because of them.As the novel is written in first person, the theme is shown through Ponyboy’s feelings andexperiences. Ponyboy sees the effects of the fights that greasers and Socs compete in. Althoughhe is accepted as a greaser, after seeing Johnny in the hospital, he realises that there is no good
in what they are doing to each other. As the story progresses, you begin to notice the change inlevel of maturity coming from the main character.I believe that Hinton wanted to touch on the issue of greasers and Socs, who were ruining societywith their rumbles. She was smart in the way that she expressed her ideas through the perspectiveof the main character, and from this the reader then begins to get the impression of the importanceof the message. People were getting hurt because of the fighting, and Hinton took this as theperfect opportunity to have her say on things- she is able to speak through Ponyboy, and clearlyshow how strongly she feels about the situation. ▼LANGUAGE Identify one language feature which has been used effectively in the text, andexplain – with examples – why you think the author used it. (You might choose narrative point ofview, imagery or sound devices, idiomatic or colloquial language, changes in register, syntax orsentence structure, symbolism etc). You must use a range of features across your texts, forexample, do not discuss only similes or only metaphors.The story is set around the 1960’s era, and we can tell this because of the vocabulary and theslang expressions used among the greasers. No one uses the term ‘skin fighting’ to express a‘fight with no weapons only fists’ anymore, thus showing the reader that the book is not set in thepresent day. The expressions help to give a more vivid impression of the greasers and how theytalk. Although the author does not mention an exact location, she has done this intentionally, asyou can read between the lines to understand that she is trying to get across the fact that thedisputes between groups like greasers and Socs are happening everywhere across the country.