“Shooting an Elephant” or “My Mother Never Worked”

For either “Shooting an Elephant or “My Mother Never Worked” (you choose) decide what the heart of the essay must be. The titles suggest a topic, yet the essays focus on topics much more in-depth. First, what is your chosen essay’s true subject? Second, what evidence supports your claim? Third, respond to the essay. Choose two or three images or ideas that remained with you after the reading. We will discuss both essays in class and you will have a sentence combining activity to complete. Come prepared to discuss both essays.

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Hurricane Katrina Response 1

01 Sep 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA — Residents wait to be rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans September 1, 2005. Chaos and lawlessness hampered the evacuation of New Orleans on Thursday and a U.S. senator said thousands may have died in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, shell-shocked officials tried to regain control of the historic jazz city reduced to a swampy ruin by Monday’s storm. Bodies floated in the flooded city and authorities still could only guess how many people had died. — Image by © David J. Phillip/Pool/Reuters/Corbis

First, describe the overall impression on you. Second, select three details from the image. Describe the detail and interpret its meaning. Finally, think about how one of those details might mean something completely different if looking at it from another perspective. I will create on example below. Also, be sure to copy your work before you submit it! Otherwise, you may lose it all.

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Finding and paraphrasing outside sources in Victor Rios’ “Punished”

Search chapter 4 for three examples of expert opinions or sources. For example,

“Labor historian Robin Kelley argues that young people become involved in “play”–the seeking of personal enjoyment despite their detrimental circumstances.” (75)

Then, re-write the expert opinion in your own words. For example,

“In his study of labor history, Robin Kelley finds that no matter where a young person lives, they want to enjoy themselves by playing around.”

I included all the important information but re-wrote it in my own words.

Homework. Do the same for Chapter 6 on a separate sheet of paper.

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Response to Minority Report: Hurricane Katrina’s Aftermath


After reading the Green Family’s story (last week) and learning about what happened to the most vulnerable people living in that area, please respond with your thoughts and opinions about:


  1. What conditions do you think allowed for the devastation?  How was it possible for so many people to be hurt in this way by a natural disaster everyone saw coming?  (Think about how a disaster might affect the people in this community)
  2. Take at least three quotes from Jay-Z and Neyo’s song, “Minority Report” and a) explain what you think it means and b) why is this relevant (important) for reader’s to understand?
  3. Make a prediction.  If we had a devastating earthquake here in the Bay Area, how do you think the people living in Walnut Creek would be affected?  What about the people living in Alameda?  What about the people living in East Oakland or South Hayward?




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