Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hooks and Setting

This week we were introduced to two interesting literature elements, hooks and settings.  The oldest two kiddos worked on writing a paper about how Mark Twain used the setting in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to further his main reasons for writing the book.  It was challenging to think about how a setting would be used to do more than just tell a story.  I was proud of them for brain storming, outlining, and revising until they had a good paper.  

We also talked about using hooks to grab your readers attention and then we looked for them when reading together.  This brought us to Paul Harvey, one of the greats at using hooks.  Here is a link to some of his broadcast of "The Rest of the Story".

The kids had their own version of the rest of the story.  Did I ever tell you the time I made a bet?  

  You see, when Sam was in Iraq and Josiah and Samuel, now in their early teens, were six and seven they had taken to playing on top of the storage shed. 

We had good friends coming to visit and they had big plans for the "club house". The girls were also wanting some part of the storage roof fun and the boys were not very excited about sharing.  Let's say...the discussion was getting a little polarized, which is were I weighed in on the matter.  You see, their visiting friend wasn't quite as carefree as my boys (I don't think he had read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer yet) and climbing atop a storage shed was not on the top of his to-do list...or the bottom for that matter. So I said,

"I'll bet you ten bucks he won't get on that roof."

It was meant to be...umm...truth revealing in a witty, funny way.  I think the boys looked like those cartoon characters with dollar signs in their eyes.  They immediately set about building a ladder from wood they found along the road and a hammer and nails Josiah got as a prize for finishing a math workbook.  I had forgotten about the bet and just thought they wanted an easier way to climb on the roof.  
When our friends arrived, the moms were over joyed to see each other and sat down to our coffee, cake and conversation.  She's German, you have to have coffee, cake and conversation in the afternoon when your German.  The kids headed outside immediately.  Not ten minutes later, Josiah and Samuel came running into the house proclaiming they had won and I owed them $10 and we all looked out the window to behold their friend nervously perched atop the storage shed!  I learned my lesson to be more careful about what I say, but was still pretty proud of them and their sturdy ladder, even if it did cost me $10.  

And now for the rest of the dinner one evening this week Josiah and Samuel asked if I knew how they talked their friend into climbing the ladder.  It had never occurred to me to ask.  They said, "we told him we would have enough money for a trip to California and we could join the gold rush and get rich...we didn't realize we had missed over one hundred years!"  At which we all exploded with laughter!

Unfortunately almost all the pictures from that year have been lost from computer crashes or computer thief.  Even the back up hard drives failed us, one crashed and another was stolen!  Fortunately we have that year in a photo album.  The pictures of the album kind of add the throw back feel, don't ya' think.  :)
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  1. OK, I get it. You thought my child was a sissy!!! What a friend you are, guess he showed you. Hehe. What can I say, he got German blood - woohoo, the hero!!!!!!! I forgot about that story, but I don't ever forget our Kaffeekraenzchen together. By the way, I still have my coffee and cake, every afternoon. LOL. The boys were talking about your boys today, and we all talked about you all yesterday. I told Tommy he needs to work on his Spanish lessons before we can go to Mexico. It is still on my mind! Love you guys!

  2. He was the hero! When we were talking about it last week, I asked the boys what they would have done if they had lost our little "bet". They didn't have anywhere near ten dollars back then. They hadn't thought about that! LOL! Good thing Tommy can in and saved the day! We would be so excited to have a visit. Especially since we got our visa yesterday, so we won't be coming back to the U.S. anytime soon.


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