To view the details of an annotation, use the '+' sign to expand an entry. If an entry is in boldface, this indicates it is also a link; clicking on those words will open the associated link for your view.
This website contains mathematical data from 2006 showing that a sexual assault occurs every two minutes in the United States. Teachers can begin by asking the students to guess how often sexual assault occurs. Write their guesses up on the chalkboard. Then have the students perform the mathematical calculations themselves to find the correct answer. Point out that the number of total cases of sexual abuse includes only the cases that were reported to the police and also excludes children under the age of twelve. Use this to lead into a discussion about why this number is so high and why high school students are most at risk. Teachers should be sure to appropriately indicate that there is a difference between sexual assault and rape and point out that they are equally serious and should be reported to the police.
Begin the class by having the students decide whether the ten questions are myths or facts. After they have filled out their forms have them work in small groups of two or three students and discuss why they thought some were facts and others myths. Have one or two groups comment to the entire class about their findings. After they are finished discussing, inform the class that all of the statements were myths. Display the facts on an overhead transparency. Pick one or two of the questions that are most appropriate to your class and discuss them in depth. Use the exercise to lead into the issues surrounding assault in the book.
Create a handout with blanks in place of the statistics from the website. Ask the students to fill in their guesses at what the statistics might be. Then display the actual statistics on an overhead transparency. Have the students read through the list and pick two statistics they find particularly shocking or interesting. Through a journal entry, ask the students to write a response about their reaction to the two statistics they picked. If there are any volunteers who are willing to share their responses, allow them time to present what they wrote to the class. Follow the activity with a discussion about the realities of eating disorders as a backdrop for the issues addressed in the novel.
If possible, ask a student who has an ipod with them to tell the class what the last song they listened to was. Ask the student why they decided to listen to that particular song on this particular day. Have the students divide a piece of paper into three columns: frustrated, aggravated, and depressed. Students should list in the columns several songs they listen to when they have these specific emotions. After they have constructed their lists, have the students share with a partner several reasons why they recorded the songs on their list. Ask them to try and be specific and pinpoint aspects of the songs that help to counteract their negative emotions. Summarize the medical findings from the article about the power of music to help students see the connection between music and emotions. If any students would like to share their lists with the class, or have an experience when a specific song helped them through a difficult time, allow them to do so for the entire class.
Ask students to try and define emotional honesty. List their definition on the chalkboard. Have a student read the “Introduction” section of the website to the class. Make any changes to the definition written on the board or rewrite it to be more specific. Display the “I would be happy to water your plants” story (found at the bottom of the website) on the overheard and ask the students to write a short response to the story. They can remark on whether or not they have every done something similar, what they feel is negative about what the girl did, or why we as humans tend to do be emotional dishonest. Have another student read the “How society discourages emotional honesty” section to the class. Group the students in small groups and have them discuss the negative effects of emotional dishonesty on an individual. Conduct a short class discussion of their findings and opinions.
Begin class with a discussion question: Why do you think people become anorexic? Have the students start by discussing amongst themselves for five minutes, then conduct a discussion as a class to see what they concluded. Show the “Reality” commercial produced by Edbosques, a help source for people with anorexia. After the students see the commercial, place the final quote from the commercial on an overhead: “Anorexia, the saddest part is those who have it, don’t see it.” Ask the students to respond to the quote in their writing journals by using specific examples from the novel to support the truth about the statement. Allow ten to fifteen minutes to write. When they are finished, list the examples they found from the text in the case of Annabel’s sister on the board. End class by emphasizing that people who have anorexia do not see themselves as skinny and have a serious physical condition that requires intervention and medical assistance.
The website above provides an immense amount of information concerning the signs and symptoms of anorexia. Teachers are encouraged to look over the site and pick out the information that best meets the needs of the students in the classroom. Begin class by making a blank chart on the board with two columns: Dieting and Anorexia. Have the students come up with different indicators for the two categories and list them in the columns. After the class has come up with a list, show an overhead transparency of the chart given on the website and compare the results of the class with the help guide. Be sure to point out that dieting can be done properly and in a healthy manner and just because an individual decides to go on a diet, does not mean they are anorexic. With the students’ list on the board and the help guide on the overhead, ask the students to identify which symptoms or signs are found in the novel, Just Listen. Put a check mark next to each symptom that is shown in the novel. To close the discussion, choose a few paragraphs from the website that would benefit your students the most and read them aloud or print them out on a handout. It may also be beneficial to make the students aware of the toll-free hotline for the National Eating Disorders Association (1-800-931-2237).
Display the following quote on the board: “Don’t think or judge, just listen.” Have the students respond to the quote in their writing journals for eight to ten minutes. If there are students who are willing to share their responses, ask them to do so. Have the class then pool their responses together by working in small groups of four to five students. Have half the class think of examples in the life of Annabel from the novel that would make it important for her to “just listen.” Have the other half think of examples in our daily lives or from their personal lives where it is best to not judge, but “just listen.” After hearing from the different groups, pass out a hand out on listening skills with the information found on the website above. After explaining different listening strategies, challenge the students to practice one or two of the listening skills during the week and write paragraph response on their experience.
Throughout the novel, Annabel develops an interesting relationship of total honesty with Owen. This activity is designed to help students find aspects of their lives where they are not entirely honest in order to present the dilemma of honesty and integrity. On an overhead, post the following examples of situations in which personal honesty are often compromised:
How often do you:
-Lie to your parents?
-Take advantage of a situation for your gain?
-Gossip about a person or a friend?
-Belittled someone in front of others?
-Hurt someone’s feelings so that you would look better?
-Have someone lie and tell a phone caller you are not home when you do not want to talk to him/her?
-Do not go to class purposely on a test day in order to have more time to study?
On a sheet of paper, have the students write down whether they never, once, sometimes, or often do these situations. Ask a few students which questions were hardest to answer and why. Do not, however, have the students reveal their results by a raise of hands so students won’t feel embarrassed or self-conscious. Based on the relationship between Owen and Annabel in the novel, discuss why Annabel has such a difficult time being 100% honest with Owen. Sample questions: Why is it so hard to be completely honest with other people? Is it being dishonest if you say what people want to hear as opposed to what you really think? Is telling someone who has been in the hospital that they look good lying? Help the students see that honesty is not always a choice between right and wrong and that it is easy to justify small amounts of dishonesty.
http://www.purdue.edu/ODOS/counsel/sexualassault.htm These two websites provide useful information for the prevention of sexual assault. The first is a pamphlet and the second is a website with several bullet points. Both discuss actions that can be taken to prevent sexual assault and rape. Start the class off by a retelling of the first half of the story of Little Red Riding Hood. After quickly reading through the story, indicate that many have found parallels between the story of Red Riding Hood and sexual assault. Ask the students to work in small groups and identify mistakes Red Riding Hood made that contributed to the assault. After they have brainstormed together, create a master list on the board. Explain that the mistakes Red Riding Hood made are similar to the mistakes Annabel made (i.e. Red Riding Hood went into the woods vs. Annabel went to the party, Red Riding Hood conversed with her predator vs. Annabel did not listen to the strange feelings she always felt around Sophie’s boyfriend.) See if the students can identify other mistakes or warning signs that occur in the novel. Review as a class the prevention ideas given in the two websites and ask them to think carefully about what they could do to be better protected from sexual predators.
Begin class with a journal entry asking the students to recall an event in their childhood that has had an affect on their present future. These can be serious responses (divorce of a parent, abuse, etc.) or more lighthearted (falling off a bike and getting a scar, locked in a closet and is now afraid of closed doors, etc.) After the students has finished their entries, display the following quotes from the novel on an overhead transparency:
● “Because this is what happens when you try to run from the past. It just doesn’t catch up, it overtakes … blotting out the future.”
● "No matter how much time has passed, these things still affect us and the world we live in. If you don't pay attention to the past, you'll never understand the future. It's all linked together."
● "The past did affect the present and the future, in ways you could see and a million ones you couldn't. Time wasn't a thing you could divide easily; there was no defined middle or beginning or end. I could pretend to leave the past behind, but it would not leave me."
Have the students write a second journal entry on one of the three quotes. Ask them to respond to whether or not they agree with the quote. They should also think of at least one example from the book that illustrates that the statement is true. After they have finished their responses, have all the students who wrote on the same quotes, meet and discuss their findings. Ask them to put together a short presentation for the class to summarize their thoughts on the quote. This activity can also include a homework assignment in which the students expand on the example from the book they wrote about.
Annabel’s house is described in the book as “the glass house” and every time someone drives past they slow down to see what is going on in the house. Write the following on the board: modeling, the glass house, and self image. Ask the students what the three things have in common and begin a discussion on the symbolism behind the glass house. After approximately ten minutes of class discussion, display the following quote from the novel on an overhead:
"So while it seemed like you were seeing everything, you really weren't. Just bits and pieces that looked like a whole."
Continue the class discussion and include the students thoughts on the quote. Be sure to touch on all three topics (modeling, the glass house, and self image) and how they are related and represented in the book.
As homework, have the students answer the following questions on a sheet of paper:
In your opinion….
What do you think you look like physically?
How does your personality comes across?
What kind of person do you think you are?
What do others think of you?
How much do you like yourself or do you think others like you?
(Questions adapted from Conference Teaching Plan: Self Image
This website offers many ideas for teaching about anorexia. The film Dying to be Thin is an extremely well-made movie by PBS that would be very beneficial to watch as a class if time allows. For this activity, have the students bring magazines they typically read or want to read from home. If they prefer to work in small groups, or if some students do not have a magazine, allow them to pair up and work together. Ask the students to fill out the “Body Images” worksheet (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/2715_thin_01.html) as they look through the magazines. Collect the data from all the students and make a pie chart on the board. Ask the students to identify any trends they see in the information and why they think the media has made the trends the way they are. Have the students fill out the questions at the bottom of the form and discuss some reasons why Annabel’s sister might have become anorexic (ex: the pressures of modeling, low self-esteem, the need for attention, etc.). Conclude by reading a few quotes from the “Activity answers” section (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/2715_thin.html) that best fit the needs of the students.
Write the following quote from the novel on the board: “Shhh, Annabel, it’s just me.” Ask the students why they think this line comes up so many different times throughout the book. Discuss the question until someone points out that it is the same thing Sophie’s boyfriend said to her before he sexually assaulted Annabel. Read the “Flashbacks and Nightmares” portion of the website and explain that what Annabel was experiencing was a continual flashback of the event. Read the “Emotional Recovery” section of the website and discuss why it was so important, but also difficult, for Annabel to tell her family about what had happened. Make a list on the board of the differences between how Annabel coped (or did not cope) with her assault, and how the second girl coped when she was assaulted by the same person. Finish the class by reading the recent controversy over whether or not the book should be banned. Have the students respond in a short writing assignment whether or not they think the book should be banned for its description of the assault scene.
Show the students a piece of a puzzle. Have a few students take turns looking at it closely and then ask them to write down their guess of what the entire puzzle looks like. Have them then share what they thought. Point out why everyone got such different answers and how a small portion of the larger picture can be open to much interpretation. Then display the following quote on an overhead transparency:
"So many versions of just one memory, and yet none of them were right or wrong. Instead, they were all pieces. Only when fitted together, edge to edge, could they even begin to tell the whole story."
Divide the students into three groups, one for each point of view of the story of Annabel’s ninth birthday party. Have one group write an interpretation from Annabel’s perspective, another group for Whitney’s, and a final group for Kirsten’s. Have the groups share their conclusions and then discuss why each perspective is so different. For homework, have the students think of an event in their lifetime they remember well and interview someone who was also there about what they remember. Have them do a short write-up of the differences between the two accounts of the same memory.
Retrieved from http://novelinks.org/pmwiki.php?n=Novels.JustListen