EXTRA CREDIT

Listed below are extra-credit assignments for each marking period. There will be at least one option for students to choose from each marking period. They will be explained in class, but you must also take the initiative to work on them individually.



MARKING PERIOD 1: Read a Nonfiction Book.

For extra credit, read a nonfiction book of your choosing. You must get your book approved by me (Mrs. Spence) by Friday, October 4th. Then, you will have to complete a project from the list below. The final project portion of the extra credit will be due no later then Monday, November 4th. If you complete the requirements adequately, an extra test grade will be added to your grade (50/50).



PROJECT DOWNLOAD:
PROJECT:
  • OPTION A - CREATIVE: Create a movie poster, book cover, website, facebook, comic, (or any other creative media) answering four (4) of the questions in detail. You will be graded on your content/detail, effort, quality, and visual presentation Please somehow identify which questions you chose.
  • OPTION B - WRITING: Answer six (6) of the ten questions in detail about the featured person in your autobiography/biography in a some sort of written. You will be graded on content/detail, effort, and quality. Please somehow identify which questions you chose.



PROJECT QUESTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM:
  1. In what ways was the life remarkable and/or admirable?
  2. In what ways was the life despicable?
  3. What human qualities were most influential in shaping the way this person lived and influenced his or her times?
  4. Which quality or trait proved most troubling and difficult? Which quality or trait was most beneficial?
  5. Did this person make any major mistakes or bad decisions? If so, what were they and how would you have chosen and acted differently if you were in their shoes?
  6. What are the two or three most important lessons you or any other young person might learn from the way this person lived?
  7. Some people say you can judge the quality of a person's life by the enemies they make. Do you think this is true of your person's life? Explain why or why not.
  8. An older person or mentor is often very important in shaping the lives of gifted people by providing guidance and encouragement. To what extent was this true of your person? Explain.
  9. Many people act out of a "code" or a set of beliefs which dictate choices. It may be religion or politics or a personal philosophy. To what extent did your person act by a code or act indepently of any set of beliefs? Were there times when the code was challenged and impossible to follow?
  10. What do you think it means to be a hero? Was your person a "hero?" Why? Why not? How is a hero different from a celebrity?



MARKING PERIOD 4:
Watch an existential film and write a 1.5-2 page paper explaining existential themes.


For extra credit, you must first read about what existentialism is. Make sure you understand the basic idea behind the philosophy and at least a few concepts. You can find basic information in the downloadable handout, along with links to other information about existentialism.

Then, you must watch one of the movies listed on the handout. All of the movies listed there have a considerable amount of existential concepts that are discussed.



The final written portion of the extra credit will be due no later then Wednesday, June 5th. If you complete the requirements adequately, a test grade will be averaged into your final grade (55/55).

DOWNLOADABLE COPY:



MARKING PERIOD 2: Read a fictional book that does NOT have movie version and was/is not taught at Parkland.


For extra credit, read a fictional book. You must get your book approved by me (Mrs. Spence) by Wednesday, January 2nd. Then, you will have to complete a project from the list below. The final project portion of the extra credit will be due no later then Friday, January 25th. If you complete the requirements adequately, a test grade will be averaged into your final grade (55/55).

DOWNLOADABLE COPY:


PROJECT:
  • OPTION A - CREATIVE: Create a movie poster, book cover, website, facebook, map, comic, (or any other creative media) answering four (4) of the questions in detail about the fictional book. You will be graded on your content/detail, effort, quality, and visual presentation. Please somehow identify which questions you chose.
  • OPTION B – CREATIVE WRITING: Write a letter from one character to another, a character to the author, or from your perspective to the author answering four (4) of the questions in detail about the fictional book. Be creative about how you introduce your information. You will be graded on your content/detail, effort, quality, and creativity. Please somehow identify which questions you chose.
  • OPTION C – CREATIVE WRITING: Write a song and perform it answering four (4) of the questions in detail about the fictional book. Be creative about how you introduce your information. You will be graded on your content/detail, effort, quality, and creativity. Please somehow identify which questions you chose.
  • OPTION D - WRITING: Answer six (6) of the questions in detail about the fictional book in some sort of written fashion. You will be graded on content/detail, effort, and quality. Please somehow identify which questions you chose.


PROJECT QUESTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM:
  1. Pay attention to the character’s ethics. Does the character make just or unjust choices? Are his/her actions wise or unwise? Consider Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s //To Kill a Mockingbird//. Atticus does not make morally correct choices only when it is convenient for him to do so. Rather, he shows he’s a truly just character by sticking to his principles even when his life is at stake. Also, one may think of Friar Laurence in Shakespeare’s //Romeo and Juliet// as being a character who continually makes poor decisions that reflect his inner corruption.
  2. What is the character’s motivation? As you are mulling over the pros and cons of each character’s internal thoughts and external actions, you will want to also consider why the character is acting or thinking in a particular way. Has the author given you any clues about the character’s past? In Amy Tan’s novel //The Joy Luck Club//, Lindo Jong’s domination of her daughter Waverly can be understood, if not entirely excused, by her terrible experiences in China.
  3. Consider the effects of the character’s behavior on other characters. Jane Austen’s //Pride and Prejudice// is rife with the effects of one character’s actions on others. When Lydia decides to run off with the charlatan Wickham, she puts the whole family’s reputation, as well has her own, at risk, and even involves those outside her family, like Darcy.
  4. Look for repeatedly used words that describe the character. Those words often give insight into a character’s psychology and motivations. In John Steinbeck’s novel //East of Eden//, Kathy is frequently referred to as having “sharp little teeth” and a “flickering tongue,” which are symbols of her snake-like monstrousness.
  5. Be aware of items associated with the character. They may say something about his or her state of mind. A classic example is the delicate unicorn figurine in Tennessee Williams’ play //The Glass Menagerie//. The figurine is symbolic of Laura’s own sense of hope and her own fragility.
  6. Read between the lines. Often what a character does not say is as important as what he or she does say. Think of Abner Snopes in William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning.” When the court finds Snopes guilty of ruining his boss’ rug, prior knowledge of Abner’s character tells us that his silence upon hearing the verdict actually speaks volumes. We know he will react later...and violently.
  7. Is the character “flat” or “round”? A character is considered flat (or static) when he or she does not experience change of any kind, does not grow from beginning to end. Shakespeare often uses comic villains as flat characters, like Don Jon in //Much Ado About Nothing//. Round characters are those who do experience some sort of growth, like Nora in Henrik Ibsen’s //A Doll’s House//. By the end of the play, she has gone from being meek and submissive to being strong and liberated.
  8. Consider the historical time period of the character. Refrain from making modern judgments about the past; put the character’s actions and thoughts in context. A female character living in England in the 1800s obviously could not make the choices that she could today, for both political and social reasons.
  9. What does the author think? Try to discover a theme for yourself. Look for any of the author’s own judgments about the characters he or she has created. The author may be directing you toward an intended interpretation. In //The Scarlet Letter//, Nathaniel Hawthorne certainly meant for his readers to see Hester as good and Chillingsworth as evil.