Language

Twelfth Night Act 2 Sc 4

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In this video from Penn State's School of Theatre production of Twelfth Night, back at his palace, Orsino summons Feste to perform a song. In the meantime, the Duke and Viola have a conversation about a certain someone Viola (Cesario) fancies, and Orsino offers his love advice. Orsino declares he will not take “no” for an answer from Olivia, but Viola protests that love doesn’t always go according to plan. The two debate men’s and women’s capacities for love, and at the end of their exchange, Orsino orders Viola (Cesario) to return to Olivia with a love token from him.

Pride and Prejudice | The Great American Read

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In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen wrote a strong female heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, who is more than a match for the rich and handsome Mr. Darcy, and who will not marry merely for money or position. Actress Lauren Graham is one of several book lovers who share their fondness for this novel that has become a template for many other books and movies. Literary experts also weigh in on why this novel has become an enduring classic.

Learning Objective

Students will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer contextual questions
  • Create character sketches of the two major characters of “Pride and Prejudice”
  • Build vocabulary, reading, listening and comprehension skills

 

Moby Dick | The Great American Read

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Experts discuss Herman Melville's love of the sea and how the obsessed Ahab is the anti-hero of the story. Professor Mary K. Bercaw Edwards brings her students onto a 19th century whaling ship to learn about the sea tale. Ahab teaches us how obsession can lead anyone down the wrong path.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer contextual questions.
  • Explore the character of the villain in novels and the role they play to push the narrative forward
  • Build vocabulary, reading, and listening comprehension skills

Looking for Alaska | The Great American Read

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Looking for Alaska is a young adult novel about first love, unrequited love, tragedy, and the intense experiences during the teenage years. Author John Green speaks about his process in writing the novel, including the autobiographical elements.

Learning Objective

Students will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer contextual questions
  • Build vocabulary and reading comprehension skills with a list of words explored in the video

The Call of the Wild | The Great American Read

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Enduring love is the underlying theme of Jack London's story of a dog, Buck, who is kidnapped and forced to pull a sled in Alaska, and who is ultimately saved by the trapper John Thornton. Chelsea Clinton speaks of her fondness for the book, which she first read in junior high school; her perspective on the novel was different from the boys, who saw it as strictly an adventure tale.

Learning Objective

Students will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer contextual questions
  • Expand vocabulary and reading comprehension using a list of words introduced in the segment

 

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole | The Great American Read

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Ignatius J. Reilly is the unlikely, and unforgettable hero of the Pulitzer prize-winning A Confederacy of Dunces. Set in New Orleans, the novel follows Ignatius, an obese, thirty-year-old, unemployed scholar who lives with his mother. He launches a crusade against modernity—which he thinks is the downfall of humankind.

Learning Objectives

Student will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer contextual questions.
  • Build vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension skills.

MN Original | Carter Meland: Author

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Carter Meland was in his thirties when he discovered he had Native American ancestors. A phone call delivered the news that his paternal grandfather was Anishinaabe. This remarkable family history became the centerpiece of Meland's first novel, Stories for a Lost Child. The book was chosen as one of four finalists for the Minnesota Book Award in the Novel and Short Story category in 2018.

The Chronicles of Narnia | The Great American Read

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The Chronicles of Narnia follows a group of children who are evacuated to the English countryside during WWII. The books tell of the their adventures in the imaginary kingdom of Narnia, guided by a talking lion named Aslan, as they fight the White Witch and restore the throne to its rightful line. Tennis great Venus Williams shares her love of the books and experts speak of author C.S. Lewis and his use of allegories for war and religion in the series.

Learning Objective

Students will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer a series of contextual questions.
  • Understand the difference between a myth and mythology.
  • Build vocabulary, reading and comprehension skills by using the vocabulary list.

One Hundred Years of Solitude | The Great American Read

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Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez uses "magical realism" in his story of the fictional town of Macondo and the five generations of the Buendia family who inhabit it. The story is told in flashbacks and flash-forwards that fuse the fantastical with the everyday. The town and the Buendias survive wars, forbidden love affairs, and the invasion of foreigners and industrialization.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer contextual questions
  • Expand vocabulary and reading comprehension skills by using the vocabulary list associated with this segment
  • Understand what magical realism is and how it differs from fantasy
  • Research and identify Latin American countries and the setting of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, 100 Years of Solitude

Ready Player One | The Great American Read

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Ready Player One is the 2011 blockbuster by Ernest Cline set in a dystopian near-future. The novel follows a young man named Wade, who escapes his bleak life by going into a virtual world called The Oasis. Actor Wil Wheaton, who also performed the audiobook, shares his love for the story. We also meet Nicholas Horbaczewski, CEO of the Drone Racing League, where racers can have a virtual reality experience of their own. Horbaczewski reveals why he feels the DRL is similar to the experiences in Ready Player One, and why he loves and relates to the book.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Watch a video segment and answer contextual questions about the novel, “Ready Player One.” 
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of virtual worlds discussed in the novel in a short essay 
  • Explore the meaning of the term “immersive” in a short essay 
  • Build vocabulary and reading comprehension skills using the vocabulary list associated with this resource

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