Friday, June 11, 2010

Angela's Ashes Web-Activity

Here's an activity for Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. I dearly love this book... and I don't really know why. I think it's because I am always wholly transported into its world. I saw Frank McCourt speak a few times. Once at an English teacher's conference and once at a writer's conference. I think he shone on both occasions, but I have to say he was much more in his element speaking to the teachers. He struck me as a kind of whirling dervish and I'm sure that's how he must have struck his students in the classroom. And that's how his narrative works. For lack of a better expression, "it sucks you in."

I can't say I really know how to teach the book, though. This web-quest may well be the most creative tool I've devised... and that isn't saying much. I use Prestwick House's student response journal, which works just fine. I just don't think I've ever hit gold teaching this book. It may have to do with the fact that I always teach it as part of a literature circle. Maybe I should teach it to the entire class? I can't escape the idea that every discussion will come down to just how miserable Frank's childhood was. I guess that's okay. Heck, it's on the first page. He basically says, "I've got all you bitches beat."

Angela's Ashes Web Activity (Links checked and updated as of 3/5/17)

All answers must be written in complete sentences. Answer the questions completely.

See attached blank map of Ireland. Using Link 1 draw in the Limerick, Northern Ireland, River Shannon, Dublin, and Lough Neagh

Link 2
Answer the following questions about the Irish flag
1. In the Irish flag, what color is placed nearest the flagpole? ________________________
2. What color represents the native people of Ireland? ________________________
3. What color represents the British who settled in Northern Ireland in the 1700's? ____________________________
4. What does the color in the middle of the flag represent? __________________________
5. When was this flag first used? _____________________________

Link 3
Visit the Limerick of Angela’s Ashes and tour the streets Frank grew up on. Look at the pictures found on the links to: Roden Street, First Jobs, City Center. As a whole, how would you describe the area? Use adjectives in your creative description)

Link 4
What is the IRA? What is the Old IRA?

What was the Easter Rising of 1919?

Was it a success or not? Why was it important?

Links 5 & 6
Frank’s father is always singing Kevin Barry and Roddy McCorley songs.

Who was Kevin Barry? Give two sentences. Listen to the song.

Links 7 & 8

Who was Roddy McCorley? Give two sentences. Listen to the song.

Why do you think Malachy sings about these two?

Link 9
Pictures make events seem more real. Look at some of the war propaganda and photographs from the era of the Old IRA and the struggle with the British.

Link 10
The Black and Tans were an important aspect of Post-War Ireland. What function did they serve?

Malachy also tells Frank Cuchulain stories. Watch the clip at Link 11 and tell how Setanta became Cuchulain.

Link 12
Malachy hangs a portrait of Pope Leo XIII and claiming he was a great friend to the working man. Read about the principle of subsidiarity as outlined by Pope Leo XIII.

Summarize the pricipal of subsidiarity in a sentence or two. Do you think it was a good idea. Why or why not?

Link 13
Frank is named after St Francis of Assisi. St. Francis was the patron saint of what? Do you think this fits Frank’s personality? Why or why not? Give specific evidence.

Web Activity Links

Angela’s Ashes Web-Quest

Link 1 Joyce Map

Link 2 Irish Flag

Link 3 Tour of Limerick

Link 4 IRA

Link 5 Kevin Barry

Link 6 Music

Link 7 Roddy McCorley

Link 8 Music

Link 9 Photos and Propaganda

Link 10 Black and Tans

Link 11 CuCuhulain
How Setanta became Cuchulain

Link 12 Catholic Social Teaching
Link 13 St. Francis

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