Assign sheet

  by Walter Dean Myers.

Students: Please answer two of the questions below.  All students will answer Assignment Number 1, you may choose one other assignment from the list below.

Assignment Number 1:

As you read Monster by Walter Dean Myers I would like you to keep a notebook or attach post-its and notes to meaningful passages.  I would like you to note each time Steve Harmon has the opportunity to make a choice.  Tell me the choice he makes and explain to me your reaction to his choice.  Please tell me as well what options he had beside the choice he made.  All students will turn in their notes or post-its.  If you are turning in post-its, page numbers must be noted on the post-it as you pull them from the book.


Assignment Number 1 may be expressed in one of three forms:


  • Essay
  • Chart
  • Using what you consider to be the most pivotal scene, present a Short Dramatic presentation or tableau of decisions and choices.   If you which to mime while a partner read, that is acceptable.


Assignment Number 2:

After reading A Lesson Before Dying, by Earnest Gaines and Monster, by Walter Dean Myers create a piece of writing comparing the effect of the words monster and hog.  Investigate the different words, the different speakers and their intent.  How similar and how different are they?

Assignment Number 3:

During the trial, attorneys consistently question the “truth” of the testimony of witnesses.  At one point an attorney asks, ‘Do you know when you’re lying and telling when you’re the truth?’ (p. 41) Consistently the witnesses attest to their veracity, …’I don’t lie when I swear..’ ‘I am doing the right thing…’ etc.  Later Steve and his cellmates are talking about Truth- one prisoner says, “Truth is truth. It’s what I know to be right.” (p 221) This philosopher is using some ambiguous words – What do you think he means in this case to be ‘right’? What is the relationship between truth and lying?  What is the relationship between true and truth?  What do they mean to swear?  Please define these terms, then go back to the text and look at how these meaning apply to the situations and characters in the novel Monster .  How does Steve’s comment in his journal, “Maybe we are here because we lie to ourselves.” (p. 203) relate to how Steve ended out in jail and his current mental narrative.

Assignment Number 4:

As a separate assignment please interview a district attorney and a defense attorney.  Before calling upon these people look up what a DA ‘s position is in the court system, also look up the position a defense attorney occupies in our judicial system.  Have at least ten questions that cannot be answered yes or no before you contact your chosen individuals.  It is important when taking someone else’s time to be as prepared and informed as you possibly can be.

I would like your notes or transcription of the interview along with a brief synopsis of what you gathered about these people, their motives, and their role in our community.