5) TFA SLD Blog Post

1. Discussion Questions

2. Discussion webs

3. Reflection Question: How did providing a guiding discussion question affect your group’s discussion? Did it help you focus and have a greater discussion, or was it too prescriptive and limited?

1) 1st trial

The guiding question for our group for the first SLD was discussing on how the poem “The second Comming” relates to things fall apart and Achebe’s view. Providing a guiding discussion question was very well done. However, the discussion couldn’t get any richer because there were boundaries on the poem and we couldn’t go much further. However, we touched a lot of important topics. Next time I hope we have a more broader question.

2) 2nd trial

The guiding question for our group for the first SLD was who was more savage, the imperialists or the people who got imperialised. Personally I think this debate was more of a rich discussion because it was a broader topic and we could talk a lot about the book and about the knowledge that we know that does not necessarily have to be from the book, and it can be from historical context.


Overall, I think I participated well in each of the discussions. However, I talked too much in the second discussion and I think it would have been better if I hadn’t spoken that much. Also I should have given more humanities related information so that the discussion could have been richer and much more vibrant than it was.

2) Introduction to World Literature: Things Fall Apart Video Question

1. Video

Link to the Things Fall Apart Documentary

2. Script of Video

3. Was the arrival of Europeans in Umuofia more positive or more negative for the Igbo people?

The book “Things Fall Apart” written by Chinua Achebe deals with the lives of the Igbo people in Nigeria and the effects that European imperialism or colonialism had on them. The book revolves around the main character Okonkwo and his struggles in trying to keep his Umuofian ways and Igbo cultures from being changed by the european colonialists. Even though that some might think that the Europeans had a positive effect on the Igbo people, I believe that the arrival of Europeans in Umuofia had more of a negative effect and this can be identified in various parts of the story.

One of the parts that this can be seen is when the Umuofians are told that there gods are not real and that there is only one god. This was one of the parts of the story that touched me very much and shocked me. It wasn’t only me who was shocked. Anthony Appiah the Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University mentions this as well:

“The first time I talked to Chinua Achebe which was, I don’t know, a quarter of a century ago or more. I remember one of thethings that he said that struck me very much. He said, ‘My ancestors would never have gone 5,000 miles in order to persuade somebody that they were wrong about the gods.’ Right? That’s just not how people were in these traditional places. For one thing, they lived in places where there were local gods. So people around the corner you knew had different gods. And you knew that there were these people to the north of you, who were Muslims. You knew that they were there, and you knew that they believed different things from what you believed. And you just sort of accepted it, as part of how the world was, that different people related to different spiritual agencies”
Appiah hints that the natives are the ones who were sacrificed and had to believe a religion that they were forced in to. This can be seen in the novel “Things fall Apart” as well. When the white missionaries come they say that “He told them that they worshipped false gods, gods of wood and stone… He told them that the true god lived on high and that all men when they died went before Him for judgement” (Achebe 145). The white missionary also said that “”We have been sent by this great God to ask you to leave your wicked ways and false gods and turn to Him so that you may be saved when you die,” he said” (Achebe 145). The white missionary doesn’t explain why they aren’t real and just implies it on them. Later because of these missionaries, the Igbo society is torn apart and loses their culture and even their way of life and their religion.
Because they have lost their way of life an their religion. I believe that the arrival of Europeans in Umuofia had more of a negative effect on the Igbo people.

4. Works Cited

5) Mystery Self Studies

Before we started the mystery self studies, we had to read a mystery genre story. For me I read the “Death on the Nile” by Agatha Christie. After we read our mystery short stories, we were told to fill in these works which are called the mystery self studies. In each part, we analyse and take apart almost every aspect of the novel and write it down in to words. Also we look at how the author uses different ways to write so that the ready could read with interest. We did this so that we can gain some knowledge on what to add on to our mystery stories when we write later on.

1) Mystery self study (part 1)


2) Mystery self study (part 2)


3) Mystery self study (part 3)

6) Mystery Short Story Blog Post

In this assignment, we had to write a mystery short story. However, it wasn’t just a mystery short story. We had to go through various stages of planning and make our stories to life. We had to have various requirements such as adding figurative language. We also had to use the knowledge that we gained while doing the mystery novel study. Some examples are Show don’t tell and red herrings. I have tried really hard to put all of the requirements in and make the best story I could possibly produce.

My story is called El Gato Gordo (The fat cat) and deals with the catastrophes that happen when the photographer Arnold Mayer, goes to his grandmother, Marcela Mayer’s, family reunion in a mansion.

Reflection Question: Did the Mystery Self-Study and your understanding of the elements of mysteries help you write a better story? Why or why not?

The mystery self- study and my understanding of the elements of mysteries helped me write a better story because these days, I don’t read mysteries for a free time book and if we didn’t have to read a mystery book in the first place, I wouldn’t be able to know the characteristics and how they are used in an actual story. Also I found out while I was reading “Death on the Nile” by Agatha Christie about how long the each sections of a mystery ex) denoument should be. It especially helped me because we analysed it as well.

The following are the works that I produced (They are listed by the order I did them in) :

1) Story Planning GO

2) Characterization GO


3) Rough draft Copy


4) Annotated rough drafts completed by your peer editors

i) Filippo

ii) Rachael

5) Final highlighted copy


6) Final Un-highlighted copy

7) Final Checked copy by Mr. Johnson

4) Mystery Student Led Discussion

1. Discussion Video: Lannisters I

This is the google hangouts recorded video of the discussion of the Lannisters I group.


2. Discussion web

This is the discussion web drawn to find who talked to who during the discussion. One can see that everyone talked and the web is generally spread around and we talked more than once.
3. graphic organizer/active readings

These are some of the graphic organisers and mini active readings we did. For the mystery discussion, we had The first one is the graphic organiser that we wrote about the book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “The tale of the Speckled Band”. Then there are the two mini active readings on “The tale of the Speckled Band” and the book by Agatha Christie “Death on the Nile”.

4. Questions

1) Did the Mystery SLD help your understanding of the genre of mystery or literature in general? If so, how? If no, why not?

The mystery student led Discussion helped my understanding of the genre of mystery and literature in general because I not only knew my knowledge on the mystery genre, all of my group mates also knew information and we shared it together. This helped us mend in any holes in our knowledge that we had.

Also we talked about each element of mystery fiction and how it applied to the books that we had read and the extra short readings and movie that we watched. This way we could clarify our knowledge and share it with the team. This also made little debates in the middle about which story had a good sense of the elements of mystery fiction and it was interesting and it also helped me clarify the meanings of the elements of mystery fiction.

After the discussion and looking back on it, I wondered what would happen if we were reading another genre of a book. What elements would that genre have. I became interested in another aspect of english literature.


2) How would you change this activity to better fit the course needs? Would you have it over just one reading? Your own book? Be specific please. 

Even though this discussion and activity helps me learn new things and is good in many ways, there are a lot of things that I would change in this activity to make it more of a corporative activity.

First of all,  what I would change is that we are too free to talk about what we want to. I noticed while we were doing the discussion that sometimes we were looking at each other because we ran out of topics to talk about and we couldn’t think of any. There were plenty of themes but we just didn’t have a frame we had to pick from. Next time, I think it would be best if we were given a broad question or a topic that we could talk about. That way we won’t get lost. There was only one thing I would change but there are two things that I want to keep same that we changed from the previous discussions.

Second of all, I would never have it over one reading because I saw while we were doing the Romeo and Juliet student led discussions that students will just repeat round and round what was said before which really got the audience and the participators board. When we were doing this activity we had about 3 books that we could relate to the speckled band, Death on the Nile and your own book (coincidentally Death on the Nile was my book). This was one change that was made to the previous discussion which I think we should keep because I realised that I had more things to say.

Lastly, one thing that I would keep that we added new to this discussion was the idea of putting our books when we were talking about it. Because my book was Death on the Nile, I didn’t get to get a word in about my book but some of the others did which was great and we had a time to find out about each other’s books which was a good opportunity to find great books to read. We should do this more often.


3) What did you think of the google form for feedback? Did you like the Hangout chat you were able to have during the discussion? What other activities could we use to better engage those who are watching the discussion?

There were a lot of tools that we used other than the discussion and the pieces of papers. We used google form for feedback and Hang out chats.

First of all, I thought that the idea for the google form for feedback was great because some of us are very slow at writing and for me, it really helped me write any positive or constructive feedback right after someone in the discussion made the statement. This way, I remember when I read my comments what I was talking about and how their overall, discussion was. I can also remember specific comments that the peers have made which is one good thing.

Second of all, we used the Hang out chat. I didn’t see the hang out chat until in the weekends which was unfortunate but I saw what the class talked about and I thought it was very useful because you can share your opinion on the other team’s discussion together to see what you can write in your own google form.

Lastly, some other tools that we can use to better engage the audience is after the other team has their discussion we should have more time to give them more thorough feed back because 3 minutes is not a lot of time. Also, this will help prepare us for the next discussion and we will be able to know what we could have improved from their discussion.

3) Mystery Novel Review

1. About Death on the Nile: My mystery Novel

Blog-DeathonNileCoverTitle: Death on the Nile

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery- Cozy

About: This book have a detective (protagonist) who has a name of Hercule Poirot. He is a famous detective and is going to Egypt to have a rest on a cruise. On the cruise he meets a couple who are Linnet and Simon Doyle enjoying their honey moon. However, they tell him that a stalker who was Simon’s fiancé follows them everywhere that they go. Later it is found out that Linnet Doyle was killed. This is the puzzle. The whole book revolves around finding out who killed Linnet Doyle and why.


2. Rate the story by stars (our of five). 

I give this book…

스크린샷 2014-02-13 6.12.34 PM

The reason I gave this book a 5 out of 5 was because it was both easy to analyse and a very fun read.
3. Write up a small paragraph giving your overall thoughts on the book. Did you like it? Why or why not? 

The overall, thoughts of this book to me was positive. Since I was little I started reading a series of mystery short children novels called “The Boxcar Children” by Gertrude Chandler  Warner. I started reading the whole series but I grew away from this series as I grew up. Since then I didn’t read much of mystery novels for fun. However, this book was the first mystery that I actually enjoyed since “The boxcar Children”.

I was fairly impressed how Agatha Christie makes is so that you get attached emotionally to the characters. Christie makes sure that the reader does not take the book out of your hand because you want to know what happens to the character.

I also liked how Christie deals with realism and logic in this novel. She made the reason of the crime which is that of a crime that is likely to happen in real life. This is money. There was nothing un realistic in this story.

Another thing that I liked was the way Christie Manipulated that red-herrings so that they would fool you. It is not easy to put in red herring and I know this because I am writing my own mystery fiction. The way that Christie puts multiple red-herrings is fascinating and adds the fun in to reading this story.

I would recommend this book for a fun read if someone likes mysteries that are suspenseful.


4. Would you recommend this book to another student for this assignment? Did it work well? Or not?

I said that I enjoyed this book and I would recommend this book for a fun read. I would also recommend this book to another student for this assignment. Because it has plenty of elements of mystery fiction and analysing it worked well.

First of all, it worked well because as I mentioned previously, it contains a lot of elements of element fiction. For example multiple red herrings are mentioned such as the J engraved with Linnet’s blood, the pearls that were thrown to the sea and etc. You can learn about how the red herrings are formed and how you can imply them in to your story.

Another reason why this worked well was because it was a typical Agatha Christie Cozy. There is a murder and her detective finds out what it is with detecting skills. It is not a thriller and is not fast passed which helps students find out the elements much easier.


5. Works Cited

Works Cited

Christie, Agatha. Death on the Nile. London: HarperCollins, 2001. Print.

N.d. Photograph. Carmelrowley. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. <http://carmelrowley.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Blog-DeathonNileCover.jpg>.

2) Romeo and Juliet Act IV&V

1. Discussion Web

lannisters 2.pdf

This is the Discussion web of our group. One can notice that the lines are very well spread and at least one person spoke once. There is no side where a person talks to one person only, we all talk together as a team.

2. Active Reading: write a one paragraph explanation of what the document is, and what its purpose is


These pictures are pictures of something called an active reading which we do in English class. For Romeo and Juliet, we did this for each act. In the active reading, we had to review a few things. The sections are Brief Summary, Predicting, text to self, text to text, text to world, figurative language, vocabulary/diction, important quotations, conflict, and questions. The purpose of this document is for us to organise our thoughts and prepare for the up comming class discussion.

3. Video of Discussion


4. Improvements made and goals of improvements

I have made a lot of improvements since the last discussion. One point being that I was more calm in this discussion than before. It seemed that in the discussion before, a lot of people were like tigers trying to pounce on meat to speak. I went with this as well and I was very mad when people didn’t let me speak or if they interrupted me. After this discussion I learned that I need to be calm in order for the discussion to go well for me and my classmates. That is why in this discussion I was more calm when I was speaking and it turned out that a lot of my other classmates were calm as well which leaded in to a smooth discussion.

A way that I improved in my class discussion is that I used the discussion web and our in-class feedback. For example, a way that I used my discussion web to improve is that I saw that last time I talked a lot and realised that I should listen to other peers more than talk. This is what I tried to do in the next discussion. An improvement made because of the in class feedback was that my peers told me that our team would usually talk over each other and would have dominators. That is when I realised that in the next discussion I should try not to talk over people which was what I did often.

A thing that I want to continue improving regarding student-led discussions is using the active reading sheets while i am doing the discussion so that I can talk about things that are inside the active reading. Even if we have good topics the discussion, the topic can’t develop if there is no examples or relations. For example some example can be quotes from the text. I want to improve on fitting the quotes in the right places so that the discussion can run smoothly. Another thing that I want to improve on is adding different vocabulary from the story when I talk normally. This will seem more casually and it will show that I have read the book a lot.

Overall, to wrap this document up, I am going to talk about what I thought the moral of Romeo and Juliet was. I think the moral of Romeo and Juliet was don’t act on emotion. This can be seen in different places such as when Romeo sees Juliet for the first time and falls in “love” with her and is following her to her garden. Another way that this can be seen is when Romeo is mad that Tybalt killed Mercrutio and he kills Tybalt for revenge. I thought the ending of Romeo and Juliet was like a warning for the readers saying, ‘don’t act on emotion. It can kill you.’

I enjoyed this book and I hope to read it again.