Students read and annotate the lesson excerpt before participating in a jigsaw activity to consider how Russell develops the character of Mirabella over the course of the first three stages.
1. Review Vocabulary
- shucking (v.)
- cardinal (n.)
- compost (n.)
- committing (v.)
- ominously (adv.)
- passive (adj.)
- construction (n.)
2. Read closely
In this passage, consider the different methods Russell uses to develop the character of Mirabella over the course of the first three stages:
- Read “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell, pp. 235–237 (from “Stage 3: It is common that students who start living” to “under my bed, gnawing on my loafers”), in which Claudette describes Stage 3 of lycanthropic culture shock and Mirabella falls further behind the rest of the pack.
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.
- Paraphrase the epigraph.
- In the first paragraph of Stage 3, how does the statement, “To correct a failing, you must first be aware of it as a failing” relate to Mirabella?
- Why does Claudette refer to the sentence “Something must be done” as “[t]hat ominously passive construction”?
- What is the “something” that must be done?
- What makes the “construction” “ominous”?
Share examples of how Russell uses various methods of characterization to develop Mirabella.
- Jigsaw Tool: Physical Appearance, Behavior, Nuns’ Responses, and Girls’ Responses
5. Short essay response (quick write)
- Lesson 8. How does Russell develop the character of Mirabella in the first three Stages?
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)
Write a paragraph in response to the following prompt:
- What does Mirabella’s character development suggest about her identity?
Use this lesson’s vocabulary where possible in your written responses. Use the Short Response Rubric and Checklist to guide your written responses.