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By Toni Cade Bambara Raymond’s Run Pre reading discussion.

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1 By Toni Cade Bambara Raymond’s Run Pre reading discussion

2 Authorship What are some reasons authorship might be important in a story? Read quickly through the short excerpt about Toni Cade Bambara on page 11. How might her experiences affect the style in which she writes, the topics about which she writes, and the characters about whom she writes?

3 Styles of writing How are formal writing and informal writing different? Could you give some examples of each? What differences might there be in purpose? How would you classify narrative writing? Into which genre would narrative writing fit?

4 Style of writing Let’s read together the first page of our story on page 3 . What do you notice about Bambara’s style of writing?

5 Bambara’s style Did you notice the idioms which she uses? Discuss these and come up with some of your own. Did you notice the slang she uses? Discuss why the use of slang is acceptable in some forms of writing and not others. Did you notice the sentence structure and syntax? What kinds of things are allowable in narrative informal writing that wouldn’t be allowed in formal writing? As you read the rest of this story, look for and jot down some more examples of these styles of writing. Look for the longest sentence in the story.

6 Point of view What is point of view?
How many kinds of point of view are there and what are they?

7 Point of view First-person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story with I-me-my-mine in his or her speech. The advantage of this point of view is that you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator and see the world depicted in the story through his or her eyes.

8 Point of view Second-person point of view, in which the author uses you or you’re, is rare; authors seldom speak directly to the reader.

9 Point of view Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. The writer may choose third-person omniscient, in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader, or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character's mind, either throughout the entire work or in a specific section. Third-person limited differs from first-person because the author's voice, not the character's voice, is what you hear in the descriptive passages. (Understanding point of view For Dummies)

10 Point of view Having just read the first page of the story, what do you believe is the point of view of Raymond’s Run? Look for any exceptions to this point of view. See if you can find where our author slips into a different kind of point of view and write it down.

11 Voice What is voice and how does it differ from point of view?

12 Voice Definition: Voice has two meanings as it concerns writers:
Voice is the author's style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author's attitude, personality, and character. Voice is the characteristic speech and thought patterns of a first person narrator; a persona. Because voice has so much to do with the reader's experience of a work of literature, it is one of the most important elements of a piece of writing. (Fiction

13 Voice As you read the story, see if you can determine some things about the voice of this piece. Remember, the author’s attitude and style reflect voice.

14 Conflict What is conflict?
How many of you have conflict in your lives? What are some different kinds of conflict? Can you separate the conflicts you have into two major kinds? What are they?

15 Conflict Conflict A struggle between opposing forces in a story or play, usually resolved by the end of the work. The conflict may occur within a character as well as between characters. External conflict – arises when there is a struggle between two characters or a character and some other external force such as nature. Internal conflict – arises when there is a psychological struggle within the mind of a character as to a decision he/she must make.

16 Vocabulary Many of the vocabulary words are in the footnotes; some are slangs, some are new words, some are allusions, some are shortened forms of the word. Pay close attention to them. hustling play the dozens Mercury PAL interrupt island prodigy Chopin Harlem Dodge City Reputation (rep) signify ventriloquist Quicksilver May Day organdy glockenspiels periscope

17 Assignment Write notes on the following and be prepared to discuss them in class: In what ways does the story reflect Bambara’s life experiences? What are some distinctions in Bambara’s style? How would you classify the point of view? What would you say is the predominant voice in the story? Does the voice change throughout the duration of the story? What are the main conflicts in the story? Which are internal and which are external? Which do you think is more important? Describe Squeaky’s character. How does she change from the beginning of the story to the end? What brings about this change? Explain why you would or would not like to have Squeaky as a friend. What is the significance of the title? Would you have titled it the same? Explain how taking care of Raymond was not an easy job. What do you think of Mr. Pearson’s suggestion to Squeaky concerning the race? Our unit title is “We all need somebody to lean on.” How is this significant in Raymond’s Run? Who leans on whom? Study the vocabulary words and be prepared for a fun type quiz on them.

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