St. Lucy's Home for Girls — 9

Students work in pairs to read and annotate the lesson excerpt before participating in a discussion in which they identify a new central idea: the meaning of beauty.

1. Review Vocabulary

  1. ferocity (n.)
  2. meekly (adv.)
  3. complied (v.)
  4. arias (n.)
  5. oculus (n.)
  6. nave (n.)
  7. conjure (v.)
  8. rudimentary (adj.)
  9. inducement (n.)
  10. debutante (n.)
  11. sophisticate (n.)
  12. purebred (adj.)
  13. captivity (n.)

2. Independent Work Review

Share responses: a paragraph in response to the following prompt: What does Mirabella’s character development suggest about her identity?

3. Read closely

In this passage, analyze how Russell refines the ideas of human identity versus wolf identification and introduces a new central idea of beauty, in both wolf and human culture.

  • Read “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell, pp. 237–240 (from “It was during Stage 3 that we met our first purebred girls” to “But you could tell that they were pleased”), in which the pack plays checkers with purebred girls and attends chapel, and the nuns announce the Debutante Ball.

4. 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. How do the interactions between the purebred girls and the wolf-girls on page 237 develop a central idea of the story? Use textual evidence to support your response.

  2. Why do the nuns “congratulate” the girls on learning to ride bicycles?

  3. What is the impact of the statement “We pedaled faster”?

  4. Why does Claudette feel “a low mad anger at the nuns” when they announce the dance?

  5. How does Claudette’s description of Jeanette’s activities on page 238–239 (from “She was sitting in a patch of moonlight” to “I wasn’t ready to claim a common language with Jeanette”) develop a central idea in the text?

  6. What is “the old hunger” to which Claudette refers on p. 239?

  7. Why does Claudette describe “the mother” as a “black shadow” on page 239?

  8. What relationship does Claudette establish between the chapel and the moon?

  9. How do the words Jeanette reads (p. 239) relate to the girls’ “howling beyond purpose” (p. 240) at the chapel?

  10. What new central idea emerges from the descriptions of language and music in this passage?

5. Short essay response (quick write)

  • Lesson 1. How does Russell develop a central idea in this excerpt?

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. Epigraph Effect Tool

Use the Epigraph Effect Tool to consider the relationship between the events of Stage 3 and the Stage 3 epigraph. Review your notes, annotations, and tracking tools related to “St. Lucy’s School for Girls Raised by Wolves” to support your work.

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