Salome and Iranian Shari’a

Monday and Tuesday we discussed the Islamic legal code known as “Shari’a” and its effect on Iranian citizens.  We listened to a semi-anonymous female rapper named “Salome” or “Kalameh” and analyzed the lyrics to her hit song, “Don’t Muddy the Water.”

Lyrics – Don’t Muddy the Water

Sharia Law Handout (from Monday’s class)

Please finish reading the novel this week and bring the answers to the following questions on MONDAY.  Students who complete the work by Thursday and bring their books will recieve 10 extra credit homework points.

The Cigarrette

Vocabulary – Belligerent, Impose, Slogan, Repress

Questions – 1.  Why do you think Marjane’s mother was so upset that she ditched school?  2.  What do you think about “imposed peace”?  3.  What does the statement, “To die a martyr is to inject blood into the veins of society…”mean?  4.  Why does Marjane think smoking will make her grown-up?  5.  Do you think war makes kids grow up fast?  Why or why not?

The Passport

Vocabulary – Reign, Asylum

Questions – 1.  Why would the Germans sell chemical weapons to Iran and Iraq only to then have the victims sent back for treatment?  2.  Can you think of another situation where people might make fake passports?  3.  Would you make one if you couldn’t get medical treatment you needed in the U.S.?  Some people might see it as a betrayal, what do you think?

Kim Wilde

Vocabulary – Hypocrite, Submissive

Questions – 1.  What do you think about the “Guardians of the Revolution”? 2.  Can you think of any other groups like this?  3.  She’s listening to “forbidden” music.  How could this calm her down?  4.  Why do you think the government would try to keep them from being able to do this?

The Shabbat

Vocabulary – Opt, Circumspect

Questions – 1.  What benefit could the government derive from keeping people afraid constantly?    2.  Why did Iranian money loose its value so fast?  3.  What do you think of the statement, “No scream in the world could have relieved my suffering and my anger”?  What is she trying to say?  4.  What’s the significance of the black block?  5.  Did the Baba-Levys die?  6.  What is “The Shabbat”?

The Dowry

Vocabulary – Aggressor, Veritable, Bureaucrats

Questions – 1.  What is the significance of “The Dowry”?  2.  What kind of price could be placed on a young girl?  3.  Why would they send money to Niloufar’s parents other than the obvious reason of following tradition?  4.  What do you think of the statement, “There is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance…”?  Do you agree?  5.  What would you do if you had to leave your family right now, in 11th grade, at 16-18 years old…possibly forever?  How would you feel?

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Character Plot Pyramids

Today we began character plot pyramids after finishing the documentary on Iran and the West and discussing connections between the way the war was protrayed in the documentary and in the novel.

Here’s the documentary: Iran and the West

Here’s the handout.

For this week, you’ll need to read chapters 9-13 which are The Trip, The F-14s, The Jewels, The Key and The Wine.

Please bring your completed responses to the following questions FRIDAY.

The Trip

Vocabulary – Fundamentalist, Decadent, Ideological

Questions – 1.  What’s with the picture on Marjane’s dad’s newspaper?  Have you seen any pictures like it recently? 2.  What is the significance of the difference between the two types of women wearing the veil and the two types of men with or without facial hair?  3. Can you think of any other times in history when your inner beliefs might have been shown to the outside world either by law or by choice?

The F-14s

Vocabulary – Coup d’etat, Defeatist

Questions – 1.  Why do you think Marjane is so ready to fight?  Do you think she is correct?  2.  Do you agree with the statement, “War always takes you by surprise”?  3.  Why did Marjane’s dad turn to the BBC to hear the news after watching it on Iranian TV?  4.  What do you think about the statement, “I wish he were alive and in jail rather than dead and a hero.”  5.  How do you think this might have affected Marjane given her earlier feelings about heroes?

The Jewels

Vocabulary – None

Questions – 1.  Why is there such a shortage in the grocery store?  2.  Has that ever happened in the United States?  Could it happen again?  What would you do if it did?  3.  Why are the women turning on each other?  Can you think of another situation where people have turned on “their own kind”?

The Key

Vocabulary – Secular, Nuptial, Carnal, Initiation, Flagellate

Questions – 1.  What do you think Marjane means when she said, “That’s very Persian, the philosophy of resignation”?  How do you think this philosophy might have hurt them?  2.  Why do you think death and self-flagellation became such important symbols of Iranian culture?  3.  What’s the symbolic significance of the plastic key covered in gold?  4.  Why do you think people enlist in our military?  Do you think they will get what they are promised?  Would you enlist?  Why or why not?  5.  While Marjane was partying, poor kids were dying.  What do you think about this?

The Wine

Vocabulary – Instinctive, Anxiety, Glimpse, Denounce, Vintner

Questions – 1.  Why would parties and card games be forbidden?  2.  Was alcohol ever forbidden in the United States?  Why do you think they forbid it?  3.  Do you think this was a good idea?  Why or why not?  4.  What similarities can you find between Iran and the U.S. when it comes to alcohol prohibition?

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Modern Revolutions and Persepolis

Today we discussed several modern revolutions and their outcomes.  We also responded to questions about the Iranian Revolution and the role of the West in its inception and outcome.  Have fun during ACT prep class!

Please bring your responses to the following questions on Friday and your responses to the questions for chapters 5-8.

1.  How is the Iranian revolution similar to/different from other modern revolutions?

2. Given the pattern many other post-revolutionary countries have followed, what do you predict will happen in Egypt/Iran?

3.  Evaluate the role of Western (Imperialist) governments in Middle East affairs.  Do they (we) do more harm than good?

4. Predict how the religious, military and government changes in Iran will affect Marjane.

Revolt! – Slideshow of Revolutionary Images

Constructed Response Rubric

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Persepolis – Week Two

This week, we talked about the Iranian Revolution and its causes.  We also discussed the structure of graphic novels and why the author/illustrator made it look the way that it does.

For next week, you need to read chapters 5-8.  Here are your questions and vocabulary.  Please answer in COMPLETE sentences.

The Letter

Clandestine, Devote

 1. Why would keeping social classes apart be so important in Iran?  2. Why would someone start a rumor that Israeli soldiers killed all the people on Black Friday?

The Party

Massacre, Freemason, Effigy, Phenomena, euphoria

1. Why did Jimmy Carter refuse to give refuge to the Shah?  2. Why did Marjane’s neighbors lie about the woman’s scar?  3. Why would Marjane and her friends decide to attack Ramin?  4. Do you think Ramin and his opinions will come up later in the story?  Could this be foreshadowing?


Exile, Shun

 1. Why did Marjane want so badly to have prisoners in her family?  2. What is the social importance of being related to people who were communists?  3. How were communists treated in the 40s and 50s in our country?

The Sheep

Proletariate, Mosque

 1. Why did Marjane’s father get so livid when she repeated statistics from the TV?  2. What did Marjane’s father mean when he said, “…so I can become a taxi driver and you a cleaning lady?”  3. What is “divine justice”?  4. Why does Marjane’s uncle keep saying “Everything will be alright”?  5. Can you think of another time and place where people had this attitude?  Were they correct?  6. Why did Marjane get angry at God?  7. Why do you think people tend to thank God when things go well and get angry when things go badly?  8. Why do you think the title of this chapter is “The Sheep”? 


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The Water Cell – Persepolis

The Water Cell
Vocabulary – Monopoly, Lenin, Rabble, Communist, Bleak (remember to give the page number and the explanation for who/what it is)

Discussion Questions – 1. Why do Marjane’s parents think it’s funny that she wants to play “Monopoly”? 2. Why would they say that the emperor of Persia is the King of England? 3. What other countries can you think of that have been taken over by imperialism? 4. How is their story similar to this one? 5. Why do you think people were in favor of Communism and Republics instead of Imperialism?

Vocabulary – Dynasty, Frivolity, Aryan, Splendor, Cadaver, Martyr
Discussion Questions – 1. Why would the Shah’s regime forbid anyone to take photographs? 2. Why was it funny that they made a martyr out of the man who died of cancer? 3. What other martyrs do you know of? Do you feel they died for a worthy cause? 4. Why do you think she called the book “Persepolis”? *Hint, look in the introduction.

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Persepolis – Week 1

Last week we worked on background for the Iranian Revolution and discussed our pre-conceptions about the Islamic religious and cultural practice of veiling.

This week, we are working in background presentations regarding the Iranian revolution of 1979 and discussing the first five chapters of Persepolis.

Objectives: Students will research and discuss background information on the Iranian revolution of 1979. Students will discuss and write to learn about the custom of veiling in Iran. Students will read and respond to discussion questions about Persepolis chapters 1-5.

Downloads: Who wears a veil? (after completing the activity, please write a response to what you have learned about veiling as a custom)

The Iranian Revolution – Powerpoint Presentation

Webquest Group Assignment – The Iranian Revolution of 1979

Discussion questions and vocabulary:

The Veil – Obligatory, Bilingual, Decadence, Zarathustra (find the page number these words appear on and explain what/who they are) 1. What does the veil stand for? 2. What is separatism?  How does it appear in this chapter? 3. Who were the other prophets mentioned? How do you know? 4. What are some symbols from chapter 1? What do they represent?

The Bicycle – Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Trotsky, Karl Marx, Imperialism 1. What countries are shown as Imperialists? How do you know? 2. Why does “God” leave Marjane when she starts talking about Fidel Castro or Che Guevara? 3. Why do you think they burned down the Rex Theater?

Please come to class on TUESDAY prepared with the answers to the chapter questions for “The Bicycle”. Please come to class Wed/Thurs PREPARED to give your presentations.

Thank you!
Ms. B

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Potential Thesis Statements

Here are some potential thesis statements for essays that were discussed in class.  Feel free to doctor them up and make them your own!

Structure: In Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel uses ….. and ….. to ….She also uses months as chapter headings to ….

Reality: In Like Water for Chocloate, the author uses…., …., and …. to show the relationship between metaphysics and reality.

Love vs. Passion: In Like Water for Chocolate, Esquivel differentiates between …. and …. with the love philosophies of each character.  She also uses…. and the match metaphor to ….

Here is the outline template you’ve all been “looking” for–>outline template

See you in the computer lab!


Ms. B

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LWFC – Weeks 5 and 6

Last week we discussed July-Sept.  This week we discussed Aug.-Dec and prepared for the quiz which will take place on Monday.

Please come to class TUESDAY with a 2 page outline and the quotes you will use in your essay.  Monday, come prepared to take the quiz.

Thank you!  More updates later…

Ms. B

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Like Water for Chocolate – Week 3

This week, we talked about Magical Realism vs. Symbolism vs. Metaphysics.  We also tested knowledge of Chapters 1-6 muahahaha

Monday – No school – MLK day

Tuesday – Objective: Students will create love recipes from the match-making ingredients in “June”.  Students will work in small groups to discuss the symbolic meaning of ingredients and combine them into a recipe.

Wed/Thurs – Objective: Students will assess knowledge of “Jan”-“June” with a quiz and begin reading “July”-“Sept.”  Students will identify magical realism by interpreting quotes.

Friday – Objective: Students will differentiate between metaphysical, magical and symbolic items and occurences in the novel.  Students will complete a notecatcher and create screen shots of moments of magical realism.  Students will work in pairs to identify appropriate quotes and draw them.

Homework: Continue reading “July”-“September”

Downloads: Simile and Metaphor practice, Magical Realism in the novel, Match-making ingredients, Notecatcher, Week 3 Reflection

John teaches Tita matchmaking and match making.

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LWFC Week One

This week began with group presentations on figures from the Mexican Revolution on 1/7.  Individuals took notes on presentations, so if you weren’t there that day, please see me for a makeup assignment.  This week, we focused on reading and comprehending Jan-March.

Monday – Students will take notes on food metaphors and analyze the chapter “January”.  Students will complete a graphic organizer with character traits for each of the principle characters in the chapter.

Tuesday – Students worked in pairs and participated in a tournament with quick responses to questions from “January” and “February”.

Wednesday/Thursday – Students took notes on character development and food metaphors from “February” and “March”.  Students interviewed eachother to find cultural, family and ethnic traditions and then wrote a constructed response on a personal tradition.

Homework: Read “April,” “May,” and “June”.  Complete Week Two Reflection and study your notes for the quiz on January – June next Wed/Thurs.

Downloads: Character Analysis chart, Week One Reflection, Simile and Metaphor, Tournament Questions, Mexican Revolution Chart

"A dish for the gods!"

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