St. Lucy's Home for Girls — 7

GoogleDocs format

Students learn to make a claim and write an introduction. They also analyze the character development of the story’s narrator, Claudette.

1. Review Vocabulary

  1. vied (v.)
  2. aptitudes (n.)
  3. catastrophic (adj.)
  4. bliss (n.)
  5. vacant (adj.)
  6. compassion (n.)
  7. rehabilitated (v.)
  8. confounding (adj.)

2. Read closely

In this passage, the narrator, Claudette, describes her own place in the pack and her interactions with Mirabella during a disastrous trip to feed the ducks.

  • Read “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell, pp. 232–235, the conclusion of the Stage 2 portion of “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” (from “I was one of the good girls” to “Then I congratulated myself. This was a Stage 3 thought”).

3. Answer questions

Answers can be simple phrases, you do not need to use full sentences — I’m primarily assessing your comprehension of the text.

  1. Why does the narrator choose to stay in the “middle of the pack”?
  2. How does the statement “I’d begun to snarl at my own reflection as if it were a stranger” develop Claudette’s character?
  3. Why would failing be a “catastrophic bliss”?
  4. How do the events at the duck pond further develop Claudette’s character?
  5. According to the slides the nuns show Claudette as punishment, what happens to “former wolf-girls” who fail “to be rehabilitated”?
  6. At the top of page 233, Claudette states, “The pack hated Jeanette, but we hated Mirabella more.” Why does the pack hate Mirabella more?
  7. How does Russell develop Claudette’s character at the end of Stage 2 on p. 235 (from “’Lick your own wounds,’ I said not unkindly” to “Then I congratulated myself. This was a Stage 3 thought”)?

4. Claims and Introduction (class notes)


A claim is a statement about a topic or text. A claim should be based on evidence and may be a response or answer to a prompt.

  • Prompt: How does Russell introduce a central idea in this excerpt?
  • Claim: Russell introduces a central idea of human identity versus wolf identification by showing how the behavior of the pack and the nuns changes over time.
  • Evidence: In Stage 1 the nuns give the pack “free rein”(p. 227), but in Stage 2 the nuns make them do “walking drills” (p. 229) like human girls, which makes the pack feel “irritated, bewildered, depressed” (p. 229).

A claim is an important part of an introduction to a piece of writing.


An effective introduction:

  • Introduces the topic by making a claim in response to a prompt.
  • Identifies the title and author of the text.
  • Provides paraphrased examples to support the claim.
  • Organizes the examples logically so that they build upon one another.

5. Short essay response (quick write)

  • Lesson 7. How does Russell introduce and develop the character of Claudette?

Include this lesson’s vocabulary wherever possible to develop the topic through the use of well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient evidence. Use your Short Response Rubric and Checklist to guide your written responses.

6. Independent Work (*advanced group)

  • Review the events of Stage 2, and use the Epigraph Effect Tool to explain the relationship between these events and the epigraph.
  • Review your Quick Write response from Lesson 6 and add textual evidence to the response, using paraphrases and direct quotations.

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