Chapters One and Two
- In the first chapters of a novel, the author will introduce a variety of things which are important to know from the start, such as the main characters, their personalities, the "scenery", and so on. What does Monica Hughes tell you in Chapter One about:
b. the other main characters,
c. the scenery,
What doesn't she tell you about the world of Isis, things she only hints at, but leaves mysteriously hanging in the air? Why does she do that?
- Why does the author describe in such detail Jody's efforts to make a water wheel?
- The author describes in detail the settlers' system of government. What type of government is it? Why is it important to know all that?
- How do the settlers make a living?
- What can you tell about their religion? What purpose does that religion serve?
- Without knowing what is to come, give a short description of the aims of President Mark London.
- Who is the Old Woman or the Old One?
- Why has the President selected Jody to be one of the four bearers?
- What purpose does the ceremony involving the bearers serve?
In the beginning of a novel, an author will set the scene, because the reader wants to know where and when the action takes place. Customs and conditions vary according to the country, place where the people live and the time in which the events take place. A well researched novel can reveal a great deal of information.
- What words does the author use to tell the reader about the setting in Chapters One and Two?
- What mood is she trying to create?
- To what sense, sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell does the language mainly appeal?
- What is the scene in Chapter One?
Although The Guardian of Isis is set in some distant future, some of the events in Chapters One and Two could happen to a young boy today. For example, he too might be constructing something his parents do not approve of, such as a small rocket.
The specific details of Jody's experiment with the water wheel are unique to his life on Isis, but the overall situation has universality. That is, people in many places and different times could experience a similar situation.
Listed below are some universal situation in The Guardian of Isis. Firstly recall and write down the situation from Chapters One and Two. Then imagine a present day person's experience in the same situation.
- A young person is secretly working on some experiment.
- A young person is reminded of his responsibilities.
- A young person doesn't have any real friends.
- A young person has to get food for the family dinner table.
- A young person's beliefs are in conflict with those of his/her elders.
- A young person is in conflict with authority.
- A young person has strong feeling for another individual but he/she cannot accept that individuals ideas or behaviour.
- A young person learns about betrayal.
For each of the above:
a. mention the experience in the book
b. mention a present-day experience
When you see the word mob, you probably think of a disorderly, restless crowd of people. The word is a shortened form of the Latin mobile vulgus, which means "moving crowd" - people easily aroused and moved to action. The Latin verb movere means what it looks like - "to move".
Many English words containing the syllables mob, mot, or mov have meanings connected with movement or change of position, place, or attitude. Ten of these words are listed below. Can you put them in the proper blanks in the sentences that follow?
- Ambition was the _____ that made President London declare many things as taboo. (idea, need, or feeling which prompts to action)
- The planet Isis was located in a _____ part of the Galaxy. (situated at a distance, secluded, out-of- the-way)
- Although Jody had been _____ to a "Third", he was really too young to be a man. (moved up, advanced)
- The colonists were anything but _____ , being forbidden to leave their valley. (characterized by ease of movement)
- The show of _____ was something President London disliked very much. (feeling)
- Jody was afraid that he would be _____ to "Fourth" if he didn't perform better. (moved down, reduced in rank)
- With a stone from his sling, Jody _____ a "purple-fur". (made immovable, made incapable of motion)
- The "Fourth" kids caused too big a _____ , therefore Jody went to the edge of the valley to hunt. (disturbed or violent motion, disturbance)
- Jody was afraid that someone would _____ his water wheel from the brook. (move by lifting, pushing aside, etc.)
- The colonists lacked any type of _____ vehicles. (self-propelling, self- moving)
An Inventory of Words
What does the word adventure suggest to you? Sailing a boat single- handedly across the Atlantic? Getting a precious stone out of a jungle temple? Taking a space trip to the planet Isis? Whatever your idea of adventure is, the word adventure has travelled a bit from its origins.
It can be tracked to the Latin advenire, meaning "about to arrive or happen", and venir, meaning "to arrive or happen". Since anything "about to happen" has a degree of uncertainty about it, the word gradually assumed its element of risk.
Below are ten words derived from venir and advenir. Can you put them in the correct blanks in the sentences?
- Jody should have hidden his water wheel as a _____ measure. (precautionary)
- There was no money in circulation among the colonists, therefore no one paid income tax as a means of collecting _____ .(income)
- There were no _____ in the village of the colonists, just little paths. (wide streets)
- When Jody made an _____ of all the taboo's, he found that little was not for- bidden by the President. (list of goods and ideas)
- The President's Council _____ regularly to discuss important matters. (assembled, came t ogether)
- Becoming a "Third" had been a major _____ in Jody's life. (occasion)
- The _____ of technology changed conditions on Earth. (arrival, coming)
- Nothing surprised Jody about the colonists, for their view were very _____ . (lacking individuality or originality)
- Jody thought that many of the President's taboos could be just _____ . (production of the imagination)
- Jody's small _____ in making the water wheel proved very dangerous. (undertaking, involving risk)
As you will realize, science fiction writers have to do a lot of research to make their stories believable. Good research will create a setting that seems real, even if it all comes from the imagination of the author. Monica Hughes' creation of Isis sounds real, because she has created a world based on some solid research.
Research involves getting and locating information you need. Of course, you have done research before, when you looked up information about a topic you were interested in.
Read the story about Dragons by Barbara Nine Byfield.
1. What did you learn about dragons from this "research" project?
2. Where do you think, she found her "information"?
by Barbara Ninde Byfield
Common physical characteristics:
corrosive and venomous spittle,
which drips from a forked tongue
terrible jaws, with many rows of teeth
a soft spot in belly or head
lashing tail, with stinger on the end
Common behavioural characteristics:
Dragons drag; they are lazy, sluggish, and prefer to live on
If guarding a treasure, they do so by sleeping on it.
If they live in a lake, the water will seethe and steam.
Like Nobility, they take place names for their own.
Considering that the business of Dragons is terrifying, ravishing, destroying, and scouring, they are remarkably careless about it. They do very little actual work. Only occasionally does a Dragon go rampaging, and then indeed an entire countryside can be laid to waste.
Dragons always appear at the last possible minute.
All of the above is fortunate, for it makes them extremely easy to avoid. (Have you ever seen a Dragon?) If you are out Questing, they are extremely easy to find and slay. (Have you ever met anyone who, having come to grips with a Dragon, didn't kill it?).
When entering battle with a Dragon, start from a distance. Dash straight and sure at his head, having first drawn your sword. The Dragon will parry with a limb or tail and your blade will clang off his scales; the sound is horrifying and well worth hearing. Several more such attempts, as many as please the bystanders, are necessary. When the Dragon gets you in his coils, begin seeking the soft spot on his belly or head. When it is found, you may kill him at your leisure.
It is well to step back after delivering the death blow. Dragons die hard, slowly, painfully, and if possible with one last act of vengeance. They need a great deal of room for their death throes and the accompanying lashings and thrashings, bellowings, and roarings.
Disposal of the body may take care of itself, for some Dragons when slain dry up into a handful of dust, or melt into a large grease spot, or evaporate. If not, they decompose very quickly and completely. A tooth or two makes a welcome souvenir to take to an Alchemist. A drop or two of Dragon's blood gives courage, invulnerability, and magical understandings.
Let's see if you can write such a research project. But before you start, you need some information on preparing Research Projects.
Follow the steps of S.C.O.P.E.
1. S is for select a topic. Some possible mysterious creatures to research are:
The Sasquatch The Loch Ness Monster The Giant Squid
Big Foot Godzilla King Kong - Sorry, no Unicorns!
2. C is for collect information. Now that you have selected your topic, write down five or six questions that you want your report to answer. These quest- ions will help you decide what information you need to research.
* An encyclopaedia is a collection of books that contain information about many topics. Try to find your topic there.
* A subject card catalogue in the Library can tell you where to find information about your topic. If you need to, ask the librarian for help. May be, she already has searched out some books for you!
* An index of a book will tell you what pages give information about your topic. The index is usually found at the back of the book. It lists topics in alphabetical order.
Using your two or three (or more) reference books, make an outline of the information for your report. You can do this by writing down the questions you want your report to answer. Leave space between the questions. As you collect information, write in point form below the questions.
3. O is for organize the information you have collected. Organize your information by using the following plan:
Paragraph 1: Introduction or Opening
In this paragraph, tell what your report is about. You may want to ask your readers one or more questions about your topic to raise their interest. You can answer these questions later in your project.
Paragraph 2: First Question
Answer the first question. Suppose your first question is: "What is a Sas- quatch?" You could write a topic sentence giving the main idea of your answer. Then you could write one to three sentences giving more detail and supporting the topic sentence.
Paragraphs 3, 4, 5: One for each of the other questions you are answering.
Paragraph 6: Conclusion or Ending
To conclude, write one or two sentences in which you make some summarising comments about your topic.
4. P is for present your report. You can do this by reading it and talking about it to some students. They can read it for themselves as well.
5. E is for evaluate. Share your report with a partner. Edit each other's work by going through the S.C.O.P.E. plan again. Make the necessary changes and write your second draft.
6. Make some drawings, paintings, or other illustrations to go with your report.