Speak - Pennsylvania State University

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A unit plan on the novel, Speak,

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Shana Bagelman

Alyson Clarke

Alison Foote

Nicole Kesselman

Rachel Trosino

Table of Contents

Speak Unit Plan

Day 1 page 2-3

Day 1 PowerPoint page 4

Calendar page 5

Reading Schedule page 6

Discussion Questions page 7-8

Point Sheet page 9

Day 2 page 10

Day 3 page 11

Day 4 page 12

Short Essay Rubric page 13

Short Essay Assignment page 14

Day 5 page 15

Day 6 page 16

Day 7 page 17

Day 8 page 18

Unit Test Study Guide page 19

Day 9 page 20-21

Day 10 page 22

Unit Test page 23-27

Unit Test Answer Key page 28-33

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 1

I. Lesson Focus

• Introduction of the book and the environment of high school

II. Goal of Lesson

• To encourage students to be comfortable in a high school environment

• To understand differences between students

• To give students the opportunity to speak about high school issues – focusing on stereotypes

III. Rationale

• To introduce the novel and the issues/themes addressed in the novel

IV. Materials

• Books

• Discussion Questions Packet

• Reading Journals

• Unit Calendar

• Reading Schedule

• PowerPoint Presentation

• Index Cards

V. Activity

• Ask students what word or phrase comes to mind when they hear the words “high school”

o Have them write this on an index card

o Ask students to share word/phrase then map index cards out

• Introduction to the book/author/themes etc. while incorporating their words and phrases

o Use PowerPoint presentation

• “Popcorn” read-aloud

o Read the first 6 pages of the book

VI. Closure

• Assign homework

o Students will read pages 3-41, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

o They will also create their own “Ten Lies”

• Summary of lesson

o Recall all of the themes that are covered

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In-class activity/Homework

o Students will earn five points for participating in the activity/discussion and thoroughly completing their homework

Reading Schedule

Day 1: Pages 3-18

Day 2: Pages 18-41

Day 3: Pages 41-61

Day 4: Pages 61-83

Day 5: Pages 83-104

Day 6: Pages 104-123

Day 7: Pages 123-144

Day 8: Pages 144-164

Day 9: Pages 164-end

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cumulative Discussion Questions

Day 1 (p. 3-18)

1. What themes do we see being addressed in the beginning pages of the book? Identify and describe.

2. Do you agree with Melinda’s perception of high school?

3. What is the significance of the mascot change in Merryweather High?

Day 2 (p. 18-41)

1. How does identity relate to Melinda’s life?

2. How do other people affect Melinda’s identity?

Day 3 (p.41-61)

1. What are some themes that you can pick out from the movie that are also in the book, but relate to your lives as well?

2. What are some similarities and differences in the movie and the book? How do these similarities/differences affect the story?

Day 4 (p. 61-83)

1. Find two quotes from the reading referencing Melinda’s silence. Discuss.

2. How is the character of David Petrakis a juxtaposition to Melinda? Think communication versus silence.

3. Why does Melinda keep going back to childhood in her mind?

4. How is art and sculpture helping Melinda to deal with her trauma?

5. What do biology and the recurring tree symbolize? What is the author saying about how these things relate to Melinda? Think growth and change.

Day 5 (p. 83-104)

1. How do you feel about Melinda’s relationship with her parents? Do they care about her? Are they making things worse?

2. Find passages that indicate silence on Melinda’s part again – intentional or inflicted. Discuss.

3. What does the scene in the mall symbolize? The singing birds? Think freedom/voice.

4. What does Rachel’s argument about symbolism do for Melinda? The book? Think communication without words (art?).

5. Why does Melinda connect so well to Mr. Freeman? To art? What about his speech at the end of this reading does she connect to? Why?

Day 6 (p. 104-123)

1. Why does Melinda only begin to start caring about losing Heather as a friend when Heather “breaks-up” with her? How would you describe her emotions at the end of the lunch room “break-up” scene?

2. Describe Melinda and David’s relationship, especially taking into consideration the Valentine’s Day scene.

3. Describe your reaction to the following passage … “I put the gown back. There is nothing wrong with me. These are really sick people, sick that you can see” (p. 113).

4. Do you think the meeting with the principal, guidance counselor, and her parents proved to be beneficial for Melinda? If not, what would you suggest doing as her parents? What would you suggest doing as the administration of her high school?

5. What is the significance of Mr. Freeman saying, “You’re a good kid. I think you have a lot to say. I’d like to hear it?” What is Melinda’s justification for responding to Mr. Freeman in the manner that she does?

Day 7 (p.123-144)

1. Reflect on Melinda’s declaration, “I will make myself normal. Forget the rest of it” (p. 125).

2. What do you think the purpose of Anderson’s wit is? Really reflect on her writing style, especially referring to the chapter “BOLOGNA EXILE.”

3. On page 32, what is the significance of the two Melindas?

4. After reading the rape scene, why do you think Melinda reacted in the manner that she did? How do you think you would have reacted?

5. Why does Melinda the narrator often address Andy Evans to her audience by the usage of various alternate names?

Day 8 (p. 144-164)

2. Refer to page 147 and 148. Melinda reminisces about her childhood wish to be a princess. She used to pretend that she was adopted by her parents when her “kingdom was overrun by bad guys.” A couple paragraphs later on page 148, she says again that she wishes she were adopted. Do you really think that Melinda wishes for such a thing? Or is this a comment she did not truly mean? Do you think her parents warrant this wish? Why or why not?

3. On page 159, David Petrakis says to Melinda, “[y]ou can’t speak up for your right to be silent. That’s letting the bad guys win.” How does David’s comment connect with the rest of the novel?

4. On page 164, Melinda asks the question, “[w]as I raped?” Explain why or why not you think she was raped.

Day 9 (p. 164-end)

1. What is the importance of Melinda asking her father to buy her flower seeds?

2. Why do you think Melinda eventually talks with Rachel?

3. Why does Melinda choose to finally speak with Mr. Freeman?

Day 10 (EXAM)

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Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 2

I. Lesson Focus

• Identity

II. Goal of Lesson

• To examine the idea of identity

• To encourage students to think about identity in a different way

• To give students the opportunity to openly discuss identity

• To examine the way that Facebook influences teens

III. Rationale

• To introduce a main theme of the book and relate it to life in general so that the students feel more connected to the novel in general

IV. Materials

• Books

• Reading Journals

• Discussion Questions Packet

• Facebook page

V. Activity

• Review reading questions from Day 1(pages 3-18)

• Look at an overhead of an unknown ninth grader’s Facebook account

o Discuss initial reactions

o Answer: What does this page say about her?

Do you think it accurately describes her?

Would you be okay with your parents seeing this?

Would your parents be okay with you having this account?

How does your identity come through on this page?

VI. Closure

• Assign Homework

o Students will read pages 41-61, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

• Summary of lesson

o Recall the theme of identity and how it’s relevant to students personally and Melinda

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In class activity/Homework

o Students will earn five points for participating in the discussion and thoroughly completing their homework

o

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 3

I. Lesson Focus

• Speak the book versus Speak the movie

II. Goal of Lesson

• To watch part one of the movie Speak

• To have a class discussion on what was seen and what students’ initial thoughts are

III. Rationale

• To look at the book from a different point of view and to match faces with names while reading the book; to create a setting to match with the book so students have a frame of mind while they are reading

IV. Materials

• Books

• Reading Journals

• Discussion Questions Packet

• Speak the DVD

• DVD player / Computer and projector with DVD capabilities

V. Activity

• Watch part 1 of the movie Speak

• To discuss …

o What has happened and the way that the characters are portrayed in the movie

o Similarities and differences between the movie and the book

o Which media form paints a better picture of high school students

VI. Closure

• Assign Homework

o Students will read pages 61-83, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

o Have students write two paragraphs on their favorite childhood memory involving their parents and why they chose this particular memory

• Summary of lesson

o Recap the movie: summarize

o Recap the themes of the movie

VI. Criteria for Assessment

• In class activity/Homework

o Students will earn five points for participating in the discussion and thoroughly completing their homework

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 4

I. Lesson Focus

• Childhood and Communication

II. Goal of Lesson

• To highlight the importance of childhood for Melinda & students

• To illustrate the importance of the day’s themes from the book

• To help students to connect personally to the book through personal experiences

III. Rationale

• To introduce theme of childhood as well as continue the theme of communication

IV. Materials

• Books

• Discussion questions packet

• Reading Journals

• Favorite Childhood Memory Homework Assignment

V. Activity

• Have students share childhood memory they’ve written two paragraphs about the night before

o Describe your favorite childhood memory specifically involving your parents? Why did you choose this memory?

• Have students share their answers to the discussion questions and address the part of the book that is their favorite/most interesting in these chapters to foster an open forum

VI. Closure

• Assign homework

o Students will read pages 83-104, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

o Have students write two paragraphs on what you would do if you skipped school for a day and why

o Introduce and assign Speak essay assignment

• Summary of lesson

o Recall the major plot events and themes in these chapters of the book

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In-class activity/Homework

o Students will receive five points for either showing or sharing an answer or idea relevant to the discussion questions created for pages 61-83

o Students must write at least 2 paragraphs in their reading journals that will be checked or share their favorite memory with the class

Name________________________________ Short Essay Rubric

5/5 Points

• Essay meets the page requirements of one to two pages

o Essay is doubled spaced, size 12 font

• Varied word choice and sentence structure

• Content is creative and preparation is evident

• Limited to no grammatical errors

4/5 Points

• Essay meets the page requirements of one to two pages

o Essay is doubled spaced, size 12 font

• Some variation in word choice and sentence structure

• Content is creative

• Limited grammatical errors

3/5 Points

• Essay meets the page requirements of one to two pages

o Essay is doubled spaced, size 12 font

• Little variation in word choice and sentence structure

• Content is somewhat creative

• Limited grammatical errors

2/5 Points

• Essay does not meet the page requirements

o Essay format does not meet requirements

• Slight variation in word choice and sentence structure

• Content contains little creativity

• Several grammatical errors

1/5 Points

• Essay does not meet the page requirements

o Essay format does not meet requirements

• No variation in word choice and sentence structure

• Content contains no creativity

• Frequent grammatical errors

0/5 Points

• Student did not turn in assignment

Speak Essay Assignment

Due Tuesday, September 9, 2008

 

Choose one of the following topics and construct a well-crafted, 1-2 page essay responding to the topic you choose. Be creative!

 

Topic 1: Write an article for a high school newspaper outlining problems with one of the following: teenage parties, sexual assault, or depression.

 

Topic 2: Pretend you are a teacher at a local high school. One of your usually enthusiastic students has been rather lethargic and you suspect she is dealing with depression. How do you approach this? What steps would you take?

 

Topic 3: If you could ask Melinda one question, what would it be? Why would you ask her this question? How would she respond?

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 5

I. Lesson Focus

• Art, Communication, and relating to Melinda on a personal level

II. Goal of Lesson

• To further explore the themes of art and communication

• To connect students’ personal experiences with parents to Melinda’s

• To help students piece together what has happened to Melinda

III. Rationale

• To further connect students to the reading and to Melinda

IV. Materials

• Books

• Discussion questions packet

• Reading Journals

• Skipping School Homework Assignment

V. Activity

• Have students share their ideas about what to do if they skipped school

o How and why would you want to skip school? Why is what you chose more appealing?

• Have students share their answers to the discussion questions and address the part of the book that is their favorite/most interesting in these chapters to foster an open forum

VI. Closure

• Assign homework

o Students will read pages 104-123, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

• Summary of lesson

o Recall the major plot events and themes in these chapters of the book

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In-class activity/Homework

o Students will receive five points for either showing or sharing an answer or idea relevant to the discussion questions created for pages 83-104

o Students must write at least 2 paragraphs in their reading journals that will be checked or share their thoughts about skipping school

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 6

I. Lesson Focus

• Interactive learning pertaining to plot and themes

II. Goal of Lesson

• To highlight the significance of each chapter in the day’s reading through role play

• To compare and contrast the book to the students’ skits, and briefly discuss the general relationship between the two forms of media: literary works versus cinema

• To further explore and identify the themes previously discussed pertaining to the novel

III. Rationale

• To connect students to the reading through an interactive methodology

IV. Materials

• Books

• Discussion Questions Packet

• Reading Journals

V. Activity

• Role-play exercise ( (# of students approximately needed in group)

o Break students into 7 groups correlating with what chapters they want to focus on … “LUNCH DOOM” (2), “CUTTING OUT HEARTS” (2-4), “OUR LADY OF THE WAITING ROOM” (4+), “CLASH OF THE TITANS” (5), “MISS” (3+), “PICASSO” (2), “RIDING SHOTGUN” (2)

o Give students 15-20 minutes to work on their individual chapter skit.

o Share skits with the class and talk about discussion questions and themes after each specific chapter is performed.

VI. Closure

• Assign homework

o Students will read pages 123-144, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

o They will also reflect on the similarities between their own skits and the book in their reading journals, in addition to writing down their views on different media forms, especially focusing on literary works versus cinema

• Summary of lesson

o Recall the major plot events and themes in these chapters of the book

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In-class activity/Homework

o Students will earn five points for participating in the discussion and thoroughly completing their homework

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 7

I. Lesson Focus

• General differences between literary media and visual media

II. Goal of Lesson

• To compare and contrast the book to the movie version of Speak

• To understand the general differences between various types of media, especially literary works versus cinema

• To further comprehend the plot and themes of the book

III. Rationale

• To connect students to the reading through media

IV. Materials

• Books

• Discussion Questions Packet

• Reading Journals

• Speak the DVD

• DVD player / Computer and projector with DVD capabilities

V. Activity

• Begin with a discussion of students’ last entry into their reading journals focused on different forms of media, and their skits from the last class

• Briefly go over the discussion questions for pages 144-164

• Watch part 2 of the movie Speak

VI. Closure

• Assign homework

o Students will read pages 144-164, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

• Summary of lesson

o Closing comments about the movie

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In-class activity/Homework

o Students will earn five points for participating in the discussion and thoroughly completing their homework

o Turn in Speak essay assignment

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 8

I. Lesson Focus

• Handling difficult situations

II. Goal of Lesson

• To create a more thorough understanding of Melinda’s situation among students

• To provide students an opportunity to discuss complicated situations

III. Rationale

• Students will learn methods of dealing with difficult situations

• Students will develop a more thorough understanding of the story line by envisioning themselves in that and other difficult situations

IV. Materials

• Books

• Discussion Questions Packet

• Reading Journals

• Index Cards

V. Activity

• Identify the scenes in Speak where Melinda is contemplating what to do about Rachel/Rachelle’s relationship with Andy Evans.

o Ask students to carefully consider what they would do in Melinda’s situation.

• (Place index cards under students’ desk prior to class.) These index cards will offer several difficult situations that teenagers may face.

o Instruct students to write in their journal how they would react if they were put in that particular situation

o Discuss what the students wrote

VI. Closure

• Assign homework

o Students will read pages 164-end, and answer the discussion questions pertaining to that section of the book

• Summary of lesson

o Recap on all major themes discussed

• Remind students of upcoming test

o Hand out study guide

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In-class activity/Homework

o Students will earn five points for participating in the discussion and thoroughly completing their homework

Name____________________________ Speak Unit Test Study Guide

1. Discuss these particular scenes in Speak. What themes and/or symbols arise in these scenes?

a. The singing birds that Melinda hears while in the mall. (Page 99)

b. Merryweather High’s continuously changing mascot. (Page 49)

c. Melinda’s agreement to help Heather decorate. (Page 80, 85-86)

2. Define rape. What are the consequences of being raped and of raping someone else? In Speak, how was Melinda affected by Andy Evan’s raping her? Elaborate.

3. Define depression. Point out instances in the novel where Melinda is displaying characteristics of this disease. Is depression a serious illness? Why or why not?

4. Read over pages 154-159. After Melinda receives a D on her report on the Suffragettes, David claims that Mr. Neck has a good point in giving her that grade. What point is David talking about here? Does David make a good point himself?

5. Choose any character in the novel, besides Melinda, discuss what you think their views of high school, life, and Melinda would be. How do you think the story would change if it was told from another character’s perspective?

6. Review the background information (from day one) on Laurie Halse Anderson.

7. How does Melinda speak with David (page 109) and Rachel (page 180). What does this say about Melinda’s communication at these particular points in the novel? How does this form of communication relate to art?

8. Cite three instances from the novel that show Heather being a sub-par friend to Melinda.

9. Briefly outline Melinda’s transformation throughout the novel. Focus on her relationships with others, her relationship with herself, and her progression of communication.

10. What role do cliques play in the novel? What cliques do Rachel, Melinda, Heather, Andy, Nicole, and David belong to?

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 9

I. Lesson Focus

• Culmination of themes and review

II. Goal of Lesson

• To illustrate the importance of the days themes from the book

• To tie all themes together in a final, concluding lesson

• To review material by doing a review exercise

III. Rationale

• To have a final discussion of the novel

• To answer any remaining questions

• To review for the exam

IV. Materials

• Books

• Discussion Questions Packet

• Reading Journals

V. Activity

• Have students refer to pages 164-165

o Ask students respond to the question: “If your life were a TV show…”

1. What would it be entitled?

2. What genre would it be?

3. What station would you find it on?

4. What is your rationale behind these answers?

o Share, and discuss students’ responses; discuss Melinda’s personal explanation of the topic.

• Watch final part of the movie Speak

• Go over any questions on the study guide

o Discuss only questions that the students have to ensure that they are working for themselves and not expecting to receive all the answers in class.

VI. Closure

• Assign homework

o Review for cumulative Speak exam

• Summary of lesson

o General final comments about the book

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• In-class activity/Homework

o Students will earn five points for participating in the discussion and thoroughly completing their homework

o Students must submit their written response to the question “If your life were a TV show…”

o Study for exam

Speak

Lesson Plan

Day 10

I. Lesson Focus

• To test students’ comprehension of the novel Speak

II. Goal of Lesson

• To have students apply their cumulative knowledge about Speak in an exam format

III. Rationale

• To administer a comprehensive exam, which will test students’ understanding of the novel Speak in multiple ways

IV. Materials

• Books (To hand in)

• Exam

• Pencils

V. Activity

• Exam

VI. Closure

• Turn in exam by the end of the period

VII. Criteria for Assessment

• 50 point examination

o 15 points multiple choice

o 20 points fill in the blank/short answer

o 15 point essay

Name_____________________________ Speak Unit Test

Multiple Choice/True and False Questions (15 Points)

1. Who does Melinda have a poster of in her janitor closet?

A. Emily Dickinson

B. Charlotte Bronte

C. Maya Angelou

D. Laurie Halse Anderson

2. What subject does Mr. Freeman teach?

A. English

B. Art

C. Math

D. Social Studies

3. The first person Melinda tells about being raped is her mom.

A. True

B. False

4. What clique did Heather belong to?

A. Cheerleaders

B. Suffering artists

C. Eurotrash

D. Marthas

5. How is the ever-changing Merryweather High mascot significant to the novel?

A. It adds to the theme of identity

B. It adds to the theme of individuality

C. It adds to the theme of appearance vs. reality

D. There is not significance to the novel

6. Melinda was raped by Andy Evans in the novel because ___________.

A. her friends talked her into saying she would have sex with Andy.

B. she told Andy she would have sex with him, then changed her mind.

C. he had sexual intercourse with her without her consent.

D. None of the above. She was not raped in the novel.

7. On Valentine’s Day, Melinda finds a note in her locker from David Petrakis.

A. True

B. False

8. Melinda did a report on this group of people in Mr. Neck’s class. She was sent to in-school suspension for her presentation on them. What was the name of this historic group of people and what did they stand for?

A. The Marthas: they fought for women’s rights to vote, own property, and have an education.

B. The Suffragettes: they fought for African American’s rights vote, own property, and have an education.

C. The Suffragettes: they fought for men’s rights to vote, own property, and have an education.

D. The Suffragettes: they fought for women’s rights to vote, own property, and have an education.

9. While Melinda is at the mall skipping school one day, she notices the birds singing sweetly. What do the singing birds symbolize?

A. A childhood wish of Melinda’s to own a pet bird.

B. Melinda’s wish to freely speak about being raped.

C. Andy Evan’s ability to live freely after raping Melinda.

D. Melinda’s wish to be free from going to school every day.

10. David Petrakis is juxtaposed to Melinda because he is not afraid to speak freely and openly about his beliefs

A. True

B. False

11. How did the author, Laurie Halse Anderson, come up with Melinda’s character?

A. Anderson’s daughter faced a similar situation, so Melinda is based on her

daughter.

B. Anderson used her own teenage life to come up with Melinda’s character.

C. Anderson thought up Melinda in a dream.

D. Anderson based the character of Melinda off of one of her students.

12. Which word best describes how Melinda feels after she sees what people have written in the bathroom stall about Andy Evans?

A. Happy

B. Upset

C. Indifferent

D. Embarrassed

13. By the end of the novel, Melinda has told Heather the story of how she was raped by Andy Evans.

A. True

B. False

14. The theme of art can been seen in which of the following:

A. Melinda’s willingness to help Heather decorate for events.

B. Melinda’s form of communication.

C. Melinda’s journal.

D. Melinda’s fashionable outfits.

15. How do art and sculpture help Melinda to deal with her trauma?

A. She draws pictures of people she does not like.

B. She communicates with others only through pictures.

C. She becomes a member of the Suffering Artists clique.

D. She uses art as an outlet to express her feelings.

Short Answer (5 questions, 4 points each)

Answer 5 of the following 7 questions. If you answer more than 5, only the first 5 will be graded. Each response should be 3-5 sentences.

1. On the day when she breaks up with Melinda at lunch, Heather acknowledges that Melinda is “the most depressed person [she’s] ever met.” She also tells her that she thinks Melinda needs professional help. Did Heather handle this situation properly? Why or why not?

2. On one of the days Melinda decides to skip school, she spends it at the hospital. She stays for awhile, then begins to feel sorry and leaves because the people at the hospital are “really sick people, sick that you can see.” What does she mean by this statement? Is a “sick that you can see” comparable to a sick you cannot see?

3. Why do you think Melinda doing poorly in school? Is it because she is unable to focus due to being raped? Or is she doing poorly in school because she lacks motivation? Or is a combination of both? Use specific examples to support your choice.

4. How would this novel be different if it were told from a third-person objective point of view?

5. Melinda immediately says, “I am Outcast.” Did this cause you, as the reader, to have a negative opinion of her – why or why not? And do you still feel this way?

6. Is Melinda a person who you could see yourself being friends with? Which qualities that Melinda possesses make her a good or bad friend?

7. Melinda talks about a woman in a movie who gets severely burned. They used skin grafts to “actually [sew] her into a new skin.” This being said, what does Melinda mean when she says, “I just need to hang on long enough for my new skin to graft.” Think about the novel as a whole.

Essay Question (15 points)

Choose one of the following questions. Answer the question in a well developed essay. Make sure to include an introduction and conclusion.

5. After Melinda received a D on her oral presentation in Mr. Neck’s class, David Petrakis tells her, “[y]ou can’t speak up for your right to be silent. That’s letting the bad guys win.” Although David is referring to Mr. Neck, how does David’s comment connect with the rest of the novel? Who do you think Melinda would consider as the “bad guys” in Speak? Why? Also, how could Melinda avoid letting these “bad guys” win by speaking up as David said?

6. Throughout the novel, we only hear Melinda’s side of the story. How would the novel be different if Andy Evans was the narrator? Explain what his account of what happened at the party would entail. Why does Anderson have Melinda narrate the story?

Speak

Unit Test Key

Multiple Choice/True and False Questions (15 Points)

11. Who does Melinda have a poster of in her janitor closet?

E. Emily Dickinson

F. Charlotte Bronte

G. Maya Angelou

H. Laurie Halse Anderson

12. What subject does Mr. Freeman teach?

E. English

F. Art

G. Math

H. Social Studies

13. Melinda’s mom is the first person she tells about being raped.

E. True

F. False

14. What clique did Heather belong to?

E. Cheerleaders

F. Suffering artists

G. Eurotrash

H. Marthas

15. How is the ever-changing Merryweather High mascot significant to the novel?

E. It adds to the theme of identity

F. It adds to the theme of individuality

G. It adds to the theme of appearance vs. reality

H. There is not significance to the novel

16. Melinda was raped by Andy Evans in the novel because ___________.

E. her friends talked her into saying she would have sex with Andy.

F. she told Andy she would have sex with him, then changed her mind.

G. he had sexual intercourse with her without her consent.

H. None of the above. She was not raped in the novel.

17. On Valentine’s Day, Melinda finds a note in her locker from David Petrakis.

E. True

F. False

18. Melinda did a report on this group of people in Mr. Neck’s class. She was sent to in-school suspension for her presentation on them. What was the name of this historic group of people and what did they stand for?

E. The Marthas: they fought for women’s rights to vote, own property, and have an education.

F. The Suffragettes: they fought for African American’s rights vote, own property, and have an education.

G. The Suffragettes: they fought for men’s rights to vote, own property, and have an education.

H. The Suffragettes: they fought for women’s rights to vote, own property, and have an education.

19. While Melinda is at the mall skipping school one day, she notices the birds singing sweetly. What do the singing birds symbolize?

E. A childhood wish of Melinda’s to own a pet bird.

F. Melinda’s wish to freely speak about being raped.

G. Andy Evan’s ability to live freely after raping Melinda.

H. Melinda’s wish to be free from going to school every day.

20. David Petrakis is juxtaposed to Melinda because he is not afraid to speak openly about his beliefs

E. True

F. False

16. How did the author, Laurie Halse Anderson, come up with Melinda’s character?

A. Anderson’s daughter faced a similar situation, so Melinda is based on her

daughter.

B. Anderson used her own teenage life to come up with Melinda’s character.

C. Anderson thought up Melinda in a dream.

D. Anderson based the character of Melinda off of one of her students.

17. Which word best describes how Melinda feels after she sees what people have written in the bathroom stall about Andy Evans?

A. Happy

B. Upset

C. Indifferent

D. Embarrassed

18. By the end of the novel, Melinda has told Heather the story of how she was raped by Andy Evans.

A. True

B. False

19. The theme of art can been seen in which of the following:

E. Melinda’s willingness to help Heather decorate for events.

F. Melinda’s form of communication.

G. Melinda’s journal.

H. Melinda’s fashionable outfits.

20. How do art and sculpture help Melinda to deal with her trauma?

A. She draws pictures of people she does not like.

B. She communicates with others only through pictures.

C. She becomes a member of the Suffering Artists clique.

D. She uses art as an outlet to express her feelings.

Short Answer (5 questions, 4 points each)

Answer 5 of the following 7 questions. If you answer more than 5, only the first 5 will be graded. Each response should be 3-5 sentences.

1. On the day when she breaks up with Melinda at lunch, Heather acknowledges that Melinda is “the most depressed person [she’s] ever met.” She also tells her that she thinks Melinda needs professional help. Did Heather handle this situation properly? Why or why not?

Heather did not handle this situation properly, especially since she recognized that Melinda was depressed and needed help. When a person is suffering from depression, leaving them with no one to turn to could result in tragic consequences. Heather should have helped Melinda to get the help she needed and offered to be there for her in her time of trouble.

2. On one of the days Melinda decides to skip school, she spends it at the hospital. She stays for awhile, then begins to feel sorry and leaves because the people at the hospital are “really sick people, sick that you can see.” What does she mean by this statement? Would you describe Melinda as having a sick that you cannot see? Is a “sick that you can see” comparable to a sick you cannot see?

Melinda means that the people in the hospital are physically and visibly sick. Melinda could be described as having a sick that you cannot see because she is suffering from depression that is not always completely noticeable. This kind of sickness, one that you cannot see, is comparable to a sick that you can see because both have serious consequences.

3. Why do you think Melinda doing poorly in school? Is it because she is unable to focus due to being raped? Or is she doing poorly in school because she lacks motivation? Or is a combination of both? Use specific examples to support your choice.

Melinda is doing poorly in school because she is unable to focus because she has been raped. Melinda suffers the effects of calling the cops on the party and being raped every day. Every time she sees Andy, or one of her ex-friends, she looses concentration. She is inevitably still suffering from being raped and is severely depressed—if anything, this is what causes her to lack motivation.

4. How would this novel be different if it were told from a third-person objective point of view?

This novel would be markedly different if it were told from a third-person objective point of view because the readers would not be able to access Melinda’s thoughts. The readers would only be aware of observable characteristics. By telling the story from third-person objective, the reader would be unable to fully understand Melinda’s motivations for acting the way she does.

5. Melinda immediately says, “I am Outcast.” Did this cause you, as the reader, to have a negative opinion of her – why or why not? And do you still feel this way?

This did not cause me to have a negative opinion of her. She says this on one of the first few pages. At that point in time, I did not know anything about her, so I could not judge if she was an outcast or not. Now I feel as though she is somewhat an outcast – mainly because she lacks affiliation with any other students or student groups.

6. Is Melinda a person who you could see yourself being friends with? Which qualities that Melinda possesses make her a good or bad friend?

I could not see myself being friends with Melinda. I am very outgoing and she is not outgoing at all. She is not very social and I feel as though this would cause problems in our ability to communicate with each other.

I could see myself being friends with Melinda. She is quiet so I feel as though I could trust her with my secrets. She is also very into art. Art is my favorite class and I could see her helping me gain new artistic perspectives.

7. Melinda talks about a woman in a movie who gets severely burned. They used skin grafts to “actually [sew] her into a new skin.” This being said, what does Melinda mean when she says, “I just need to hang on long enough for my new skin to graft.” Think about the novel as a whole.

Melinda is not actually waiting for her new skin to graft. This is a figurative expression meaning that she needs to keep dealing with the problems that she is facing, and eventually, she will feel better, and hopefully become a new person. In the beginning of the novel, she does not speak at all; however, by the end she is slowly beginning to speak again. This phrase can be interpreted as Melinda’s metamorphosis, both internally and externally.

Essay Question (15 points)

Choose one of the following questions. Answer the question in a well developed essay. Make sure to include an introduction and conclusion.

1. After Melinda received a D on her oral presentation in Mr. Neck’s class, David Petrakis tells her, “[y]ou can’t speak up for your right to be silent. That’s letting the bad guys win.” Although David is referring to Mr. Neck, how does David’s comment connect with the rest of the novel? Who do you think Melinda would consider as the “bad guys” in Speak? Why? Also, how could Melinda avoid letting these “bad guys” win by speaking up as David said?

David’s comment connects to the novel because essentially, Melinda is letting the “bad guys” win by not speaking up about her rape. Melinda would consider the bad guys to be anyone who has made a mockery of her about calling the police on Kyle Rodgers’ party. She would also consider her ex-friends to be the bad guys because they refuse to commune with her anymore. By declining to tell these people about her rape, Melinda is giving these “bad guys” a reason to dislike her. Also, Melinda might consider her parents to be bad guys as well. They do not understand the reason why Melinda’s grades are plummeting and she is so withdrawn and quiet. Because of this, they are become very upset and agitated with her. This is made especially evident during their meeting in the principal’s office. Most importantly, Melinda is letting Andy Evans, the ultimate bad guy, win by not speaking up. Even though Andy already appears to have a less than reputable image at Merryweather High, no one truly realizes how dangerous he actually is since Melinda has not told her story. Everyone still sees him as the “cool” and attractive senior.

If Melinda was to speak up about being raped, all of the “bad guys” would gain an understanding as to why Melinda has done what she’s done and is acting as she is. If she would have told her friends sooner about Andy Evans raping her, they would realize why she called the police the night of the party and they would not have excluded her. Also, the students in her school would understand the situation she was in the night she called the police, leading to a gain in sympathy for Melinda. Her parents would be more empathetic and would probably also seek help for her. Additionally, everyone would see the dangerous nature Andy Evans has, which could save another girl from the terrible experience Melinda went through. Essentially, all Melinda needs is for the “bad guys” to understand what she is going through, and only by speaking up will they gain that understanding.

2. Throughout the novel, we only hear Melinda’s side of the story. How would the novel be different if Andy Evans was the narrator? Explain what his account of what happened at the party would entail. Why does Anderson have Melinda narrate the story?

If the novel was told from a different point of view, we would undoubtedly have a different perspective of Melinda. If Andy Evans narrated the story, I’m sure that he would have interpreted the rape and events at the party differently. He would totally deny raping Melinda. In fact, I feel as though if Andy were the narrator he would not have even brought up the rape. Perhaps he would mention that he “hooked up” with a girl. He would be very nonchalant about the party. Since Andy is popular, he will have been used to going to parties, so the party would have not been a big deal to him. Also, he would probably say that some girl called the cops because no one wanted her to be there.

Anderson has Melinda narrate the story so that the readers can understand her innermost feelings. Since Melinda does not speak, this is the only way that the readers can access her feelings and thoughts. It makes the most sense to have Melinda narrate because she is the main character. Although sometimes main characters can provide biased opinions, Melinda simply expresses her feelings. We are truly able to see how the rape affects her physically and emotionally. Essentially, by having Melinda narrate, we are able to get inside her head.

If any other character told the story, we would probably have an incredibly different view of Melinda. There are two sides to every story; however, in this case, it is best to hear Melinda’s side. This way the reader can understand how rape, and other problems that arise in high school, can actually affect one’s well being.

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