In our eighth grade class we started reading the classic novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. One of the subjects we are covering while reading this novel is characterization. So, after discussing and listing what we have observed about each character through their speech, thoughts, actions and appearance, students were tasked with writing a journal entry. The journal entry is composed as a page in the main character, George's diary. It must reflect what the students perceive his thoughts, feelings and daily activities to be. Below is a copy of what two of my students, Maria Gregoire and Eileen No, wrote.
" As the faint snore of Lennie droned on, I lay awake, gazing at the twinkling lights above. Mama used to tell me they made shapes, all in a certain order, and all of them have names. She said that a long time ago, when people were lost, they’d look up at the stars and navigate their way back home. That always fascinated me. I began to name them myself. The one that looked like a shopping cart I called Athena, and the rest I named after Greek gods and their mythical creatures. Now I lay there, forgetting my childhood as the remaining bits and pieces slip away from my grasp. Papa used to say, “If you work hard, you’ll get there. Prove everyone who ever doubted you wrong. Show em’ you’ve got what it takes, show em’ all.” I don’t think Lennie is dragging me down. At least, not on purpose. I never got to be what I aspired to be as a child. An explorer. I don’t blame Lennie for that either. It’s just hard with him around sometimes. He doesn’t know any better. It’s for him too. I contemplate how my life could have been as the dark cloud of sleep consumes me and I step towards the empty void ahead."
"Before I drifted into the sleep I was yearning for, I glanced at Lennie asleep beside me. I replayed the words I have said to Lennie early in the day, feeling so guilty each time. It was so low of me and it was true that I blamed everything on Lennie, even though it wasn’t his fault. Lennie was not supposed to be blamed for getting kicked out of our former hometown and jobs. I guess it was because of the stressful situation we were put in. Not enough money to buy what we want, not even capable of owning a small house, and not even able to start our own family. It’s like we are chained from taking a step forward. The world was what I would blame everything on for placing us in this situation. As time ticked by, I slowly trailed my thought to what we were going to do tomorrow and I drifted into a deep dream."