Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WHY THE BRITISH TELL BETTER CHILDREN’S STORIES


“Their history informs fantastical myths and legends, while American tales tend to focus on moral realism”
By: Colleen Gillard
Level of difficulty: ***
Note to the student: This is an easy level ***
BEFORE YOU READ
ASSIGN SUBTITLES
Place the following subtitles in their proper places in the text. The subtitles are not in the correct order:
Introduction, Looking to the Present, The Backdrop, The Upside of Fantasy, Humor Matters, I Did It versus It Was Ordained, Overdoing Morality, Pagan Culture versus The Puritans, British versus American Fantasies
QUESTIONS
1.       Read the comparison of Harry Potter and Huckleberry Finn. What is the obvious difference between the two? There are two possible answers; find both.
2.       How many paragraphs constitute the introduction of this text? What type of writing is it? What is the function of the last sentence? How do you expect the rest of the text to be structured?
3.       What do you think “It” at the beginning of paragraph three refer to? Be careful
4.       We understand from paragraph three that: Mark the one that doesn’t fit
·         A country’s literature is often a reflection of its culture
·         A country’s literature is often a reflection of its history,
·         A country’s literature is often a reflection of its religion
·         A country’s literature is often a reflection of its folklore
5.        Read paragraphs four and five carefully. We understand from these two paragraphs that it is impossible to escape……………..and ……………….in American fantasies.
6.       Read paragraphs six, seven and eight (two lines). The take-home point from this section is that …………………seems to be conducive to certain content in writing.
7.       Continue reading. What factor prevented pagan religions and their stories to persist in the north of Great Britain?
8.       What formed the basic ingredients of British children’s stories
9.       Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark is Rising and Peter Pan all have a common feature which can be traced back to…………………..
10.   The difference in attitude to myths and legends in the New World is not due to the complete lack of folklore as…………………………….but to the attitude of ………………………………………
11.   The difference between heroes such as Pecos Bill and John Henry on the one hand and young King Arthur is that whereas……………………………………………………………………………………………..
12.   Read the paragraphs beginning “In Scotland” and “Maybe”.  In this section the writer blames Americans for being obsessed with………………and as a result producing works of fiction which are ……………….in contrast to the British who have a completely different attitude to life.
13.   Read the paragraph beginning “Pagan folktales”. What aspect of a child’s character do British children’s classics appeal to?
14.   We understand from the same paragraph that upbringing of children  in society / attitudes to children’s innate character/ beliefs in children’s innate character / beliefs concerning children’s innate character also help determine the nature of children’s literature produced.
15.   Read the remainder of the text. We understand from the text that children actually need fairy stories in order to be able to…..
16.   Both fairy tales and dreams help deal with fears and problems by means of story arcs which share a common feature: they are………………………
17.   Read the conclusion. The writer feels that modern fantasies could serve a useful function by …………………………………………….
18.   How has this article been organized? Explain
WRITING TASK
Go back to the text and make a list of all the differences between American and British fantasies and their justification. Then make a note of the advantages of fantasies. Then write an essay discussing what type of children’s literature you would prefer and why. Organize your writing as follows:
Introduction
Introduce children’s fiction and discuss its advantages and role in a child’s development. Add your thesis statement depending on your opinion
Development
Discuss the qualities of your ideal children’s literature and provide justification. Explain why your choice is better.
Conclusion
Discuss the importance of children’s literature
WHY THE BRITISH TELL BETTER CHILDREN’S STORIES KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text is completely different in terms of subject matter from anything else on the blog but it is interesting in a variety of respects: the first is the way the writer links childhood literature to cultural heritage and draws distinctions between American and Br,itish children's literature; the second is the structure of the text. It is an argumentative text but the method used for supporting the main thesis at the end of paragraph two is comparison and contrast. What is more, the second half of the development details advantages. It is a brilliantly written text but doesn't fit any of those notorious formulas.
ASSIGN SUBTITLES
The Introduction: paragraphs 1 and 2
British versus American Fantasies: paragraphs 3, 4 and 5
The Backdrop: paragraphs 6, 7 and 8 (two lines)
Pagan Culture versus The Puritans: 9, 10 and 11
I Did It versus It Was Ordained: 12 and 13
Humour Matters: 14
Overdoing Morality: 15 and 16
The Upside of Fantasy: 17, 18, 19 and 20
Looking to the Present: The last paragraph
THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS
1.       While Harry Potter focuses on fantastical myths and legends, Huckleberry Finn focuses on moral realism OR While Harry Potter is a fantasy, Huckleberry Finn is notable for its realistic portraits of the day to day life on the growing frontier
2.       The first two paragraphs, argumentative, the thesis statement, I expect the writer to use comparison as a means to show that British children’s stories are better.
3.       The difference between British and American children’s stories
4.       The third
5.       A basis of realism, a moral lesson
6.       Landscape
7.       Hadrian’s wall
8.       Beliefs brewed from the religious cauldron of folklore donated by successive invasions of Pics, Celts, Anglo Saxons, Romans and Vikings
9.       Gaelic culture
10.   African slaves brought folktales to southern plantations and native Americans had a long tradition of mythology / The Puritans
11.   The former earned their fame, the latter discovered his royal destiny (or birthright)
12.   Atonement and moral imperatives, preachy
13.   Their natural desire to subvert authority and celebrate naughtiness
14.   The last one
15.   Work through their anxieties about the adult world
16.   Metaphorical enactments
17.   Modeling the hope kids need today to address the scale of the problems ahead
18.   The introduction is two paragraphs and ends with a thesis statement signaling an argumentative essay. The development consist of two sections: the first consists of a comparison of the two schools of storytelling to prove that the British school is better. The second consist of the advantages of fantasy. The article ends with a conclusion which involves the present so there is chronology too. So what “type” of essay is itJ




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