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Novels: TheGreenGlassSea

The Green Glass Sea
Ellen Klages

More Information About The Green Glass Sea

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Reading Activities

Reading Strategies

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	The Manhattan Project was an undertaking to develop nuclear bombs. This was one of the solutions that the U.S. found to WWII. Have students listen to the song “Manhattan Project” by Rush, while reading the lyrics. Have students find key phrases in the lyrics that help define what the Manhattan Project was and what it accomplished. 

• Peart, Neil. 1985. “Manhattan Project”. • Manhattan Project. 2008. Lyricsfreak. 21 September 2008. <>

	The book takes place in America during WWII, and is full of cultural flavor of America during that time period. Present a collection of images from the website below (perhaps in Power Point format) to give students a little flavor of America in WWII. Have students make a collage of images and ideas from America in 1942-45. Also do a presentation of events in the book found in the timeline from the My History Place website below. 

• America in WWII. 2008. Google. 21 September 2008. <> • Gavin, Phillip. “WWII Timeline.” The History Place. 1996. 21 September 2008. < >

	This is a book about characters who were participating in and around the development of nuclear weapons. Help students to understand the controversy surrounding nuclear weapons and nuclear warfare by assigning small groups to analyze the following news article and others from the same website and make a presentation to the class summarizing the article. 

• Shubert, Atika. “Hiroshima still stokes controversy.” 6 August 2005. CNN. 21 September 2008. <>

	Making friends is a central event of this story. Students will free write about a time when they made friends with someone. Issues about making friends will be discussed: peer pressure, being different, and wanting to impress others. Students will share own tips on how to make or keep friends.
	Los Alamos, New Mexico is a remote location where some of the world’s best physicists, mathematicians, and scientists met to work on the Manhattan Project. It was also known as “the hill”, and is the setting for the book. Students will watch several short clip of the movie available on the website in order to better visualize this small place that affected so much of the world. They will then describe in paragraphs or draw a small picture of a significant site or building that is featured in the video. 

• A Sense of Place: Los Alamos Videos. 2008. The Atomic Heritage Foundation. 21 September 2008. <>

	Have students keep track of characters by keeping a character chart. Include categories such as physical description, interests, personality, etc.
	Research some of the real people—the scientists, physicists, etc, who are found in this book, including Richard Feynman, Ernest Rutherford, Harry Truman, Albert Einstein, James Maxwell, Rube Goldberg, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Marie Curie, and Enrico Fermi.
Schroder, Monika. “Girl Mechanic.” Resources for Exploring The Green Glass Sea. Puffin Books, 2006.
	Discuss what patriotic duty is. How were the men and women living in Los Alamos (and in WWII) concerned with their patriotic duty? How did men and women respond when their President died? What is our patriotic duty? Have students discuss this in small groups and present to a class a unique idea of what we do to fulfill our patriotic duty.
	Discuss gender roles of the time period and how many prominent women figures in The Green Glass Sea did not fit into those gender roles. Contrast some women in the novel with others. Also contrast with gender roles today, and the possibilities and opportunities for women in today’s world. Ask students to identify a woman role model that they look up to.
	Class will discuss about responsibilities of science. Should all that is scientifically possible be done? Include in discussion other controversies such as stem cell research, cloning, etc. Finish with a journal write.
	Schroder, Monika. “Girl Mechanic.” Resources for Exploring The Green Glass Sea. Puffin Books, 2006
	Display (on overhead, in large pictures, or otherwise) pictures of different kinds of people doing different things. For example, a person reading a book, mowing a lawn, a person with Asian features, etc. Have the students write down a reaction to each of these pictures in just a few sentences per picture. Discuss with class their reactions to these pictures. Ask questions such as who are these people? What might they be doing? What do they like to do? Etc. There are many situations in the book when people treat others differently because of what they look like, what they do, or who they are. Discuss these situations in the book.
	There are several references to the Japanese in the novel. Have students watch accounts from Japanese Americans that experienced interment in the relocation camps during WWII from the website <>. Lead a discussion in which students list negative results of treating the Japanese-Americans differently, and also on treating others in general differently. Have students write a short essay or journal write on what they discuss, and a personal experience in which they were treated differently because of who they were
	Have students write a journal entry for either Suze or Dewey after they realize what has happened in Hiroshima as a result of their parents work. They will need to describe their initial reaction to the news, how they feel about what finally knowing what “the gadget” was used for, and what they think will happen to their country, to the Japanese, and to themselves as a result. This will allow students to be creative with what they have come to know about the characters throughout the book.
	After reading the article review by Steven Englefried, students will write their own review of The Green Glass Sea. They must discuss 3 main characters, the setting, the relationships between the characters, and real event/people connections. This will be a good assessment of student’s comprehension of the novel. 

Engelfried, Steven. “The Green Glass Sea.” School Library Journal (2006): 52:11, 138

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