The last safe place on earth

Tags: Walden Woods, Tobin Family, Wizard of Oz, Richard Peck, Todd Tobin, censorship, Henry David Thoreau, Thought questions, community, cigarette smoking, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, individual rights, Gregory Maguire, United States Postal Service, Dorothy, mysterious character, Dorothy and Toto, living with HIV, Henry Gale, Harbor Woods, character types, Paradox, Laurel, personality, Marnie Tobin, Diana Tobin, Halloween festivities, Last Safe Place on Earth, George Washington, Park Interpreters, dramatic irony
Content: Last Safe Place on Earth Opening pages ---topics and themes Day-to-Day Censorship Censorship occurs in many ways and forms. Basic laws and rules censor or restrict behavior or limit actions through negative consequences like punishments and fines. Parental rules, family codes of conduct, local ordinances, legal restrictions, and federal laws are all examples of censorship. However, some types of censorship are not imposed on individuals by outside agencies or negative consequences. Self-censorship is a conscious choice to limit or restrict. People take vows when they marry to modify their behavior. When people join some organization, they choose to modify behavior or appearance. Adolescents often modify their behavior to conform. They make choices to self-censor their relationships, appearance, and behavior in order to be accepted by others. Reread the first chapter carefully looking for examples of censorship that describe specifically impact Todd Tobin, the likeable protagonist. List and 3 types of censorship. HINT: Consider laws, restrictions, covenants, rules, and moral or social codes.
Previewing the novel through 5 element The Last Safe Place on Earth By Richard Peck Setting The setting is a contemporary community of Walden Woods, a middle class, suburban community. This community is built around its schools much like Crowfield Plantation encircles Stratford and Park West surrounds Wando and Harbor Woods neighbors James Island High. Fall season is underway with Homecoming activities at school and Halloween festivities in the neighborhood. Characters The main characters are members of the Tobin Family, a very busy family juggling jobs, school, activities, and causes. The family has recently moved to the suburbs to escape the crime of the inner city. Todd Tobin is the primary protagonist, a High School sophomore on the swim team. Todd is an average students, content to do just enough. Diana Tobin is the adopted cousin and older "sister" of Todd. Diana is an overachiever, and a newspaper reporter driven to be editor. Marnie Tobin is the youngest member of the family, an innocent and happy child, eagerly anticipating Halloween. She is the family's focus of concern. CE is Todd's best friend, although they share no real academic classes in school. Laurel is the new girl in the community, an attractive adolescent hired by the Tobin Family to protect Marnie for the few hours after school. Point of View Like most YA novels, the point of view of this story is first person narration through the eyes of Todd Tobin. Todd describes much, but as the story unfolds, skilled readers see what Todd misses. Plot and Conflict The story opens with a humorous description of the Tobin Family's routines and a mishap in the Tobin kitchen with a meal, which showcases and foreshadows the family's struggles to balance family, responsibilities, school, and social activities. The plot thickens with increasing conflicts at school, in the neighborhood, and within the family. Each of the conflict parallels the conflicts Todd is discovering as he is reading Fahrenheit 451 in his English class. Theme The novel's themes concern censorship. Some of the issues of censorship unfold in Todd Tobin's classroom; some are realized at his home. School, communities, and governments censor materials daily in various ways. Censorship is often the result of fear or ignorance. To maintain freedoms, citizens have responsibility to self-censor. Irony and symbolism help to develop the themes of the novel.
Literary Terms Last Safe Place on Earth With each additional longer work and genre covered this year, additional terms will be introduced, illustrated, explained, and reviewed. Specific literary terms/devices for this novel include the following terms: allusion, irony, foil, paradox, and symbolism. Allusion A deliberate, though brief, reference to a known person, event, place, or phrase, which the writer uses to enhance a meaning or point. For instance, most of us would know the difference between a mechanic being as reliable as George Washington or as reliable as Benedict Arnold. Allusions that are commonplace for readers in one era may require footnotes for readers in a later time. Walden Woods is not just a fictional community in the novel; it is a specific place noted in literature and remains specifically throughout New England a symbol of conservation. Henry David Thoreau, a noted American scholar and writer, lived at Walden Pond from July 1845 to September 1847. His experience at Walden provided the material for the book Walden, which is credited with helping to inspire awareness and respect for the natural environment. Because of Thoreau's legacy, Walden Pond has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered the birthplace of the conservation movement. Park Interpreters provide tours and ongoing educational programs. The Reservation encompasses 400 acres, mostly undeveloped woods totaling 2680 acres, called "Walden Woods". Fahrenheit 451 is a famous science fiction cautionary novel written by Ray Bradbury over 50 years ago. In this futuristic world, the government has outlawed books. Since houses have become fireproof, firemen are no longer needed to extinguish fires. Instead, firemen burn books. The Wizard of Oz was made in 1939 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and remains one of the most famous films topping all film lists, produced by Based on L. Frank Baum's turn-of-the-century children's story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a youthful, spirited American girl is snatched up by a Kansas tornado and deposited in a fantastic land of witches, where she is later accompanied by a talking scarecrow, a cowardly lion, and a hollow tin man. Thought questions to be included in your notebook---- 1. Why do you think Richard Peck chose Walden Woods as the name for his fictional neighborhood? 2. What book is Todd Tobin reading in his English class? Why do you think Richard Peck includes this book and deliberately quotes passages from the book? 3. What is the Tobin Family's favorite film? How does it relate or connect to the story?
Foil A foil is a character whose personality and attitude is opposite the personality and attitude of another character. Because these characters contrast, each makes the personality of the other stand out. In police shows and in interrogations, this contrast is a reality when one police officer portrays the "good cop" while the other distinguishes himself as the "bad cop." In songs like "Girl Next Door," the comparison between Prom Queen and girl in the marching band emphasizes the distinctions between two high school girls through their choices and roles that have shaped their personalities. Thought questions to be included in your notebook/journal---- 1. How does CE serve as a foil to Todd? 2. How does Laurel function as a foil for Diana? 3. In what ways does The Dalbey Family function as a foil for the Tobin Family? Paradox and Oxymoron A paradox is a seemingly contradictory statement or phrase, which is usually memorable, unsettling or attention-getting in its truthfulness or cleverness. Christ used paradox in his teaching: "They have ears but hear not." Or in ordinary conversation, we might use a paradox, "Deep down he's really very shallow." Paradox attracts the reader's or the listener's attention by prompting a second thought. Paradox promotes thinking. An oxymoron (x's and o's) is a simpler more direct pairing of words that seem polar opposite: icy hot, living dead, deafening silence, sadly funny, successful failure, almost ready, safe risks, organized chaos... Thought questions to be included in your notebook/journal---- 1. In what ways is the Tobin Family less safe in the suburbs than they were in the city? 2. How can dangers in the Tobin community and family hide in plain sight? 3. How can censorship intended to protect individuals actually harm them?
Symbolism Symbolism is using a concrete object, actual person, or specific place as a representation of an abstract idea or value. Obvious examples are flags, which symbolize a nation; the cross is a symbol for Christianity; Uncle Sam a symbol for the United States. In literature, a symbol is expected to have significance. Characters in the story the Wizard of Oz represent different character types. Some of the characters are ironic in their situations and desires. For example, although lions usually represent courage and are distinguished as "king of Beasts," this lion lacks courage and ironically represents cowardice. Objects in the Wizard of Oz represent different ideals, but probably no symbol is strong as Dorothy's red slippers. Received as a gift, these ruby slippers are a reward of gratitude, which allow Dorothy to take the turns, steps, and clicks, to return home. Places in Wizard of Oz become important form the start of Dorothy's arrival. She must follow a "yellow brick road" to visit an Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz. For Dorothy and her companion, Oz offers hope, a cure.
Thought questions to be included in your notebook/journal----
1. What do Walden Woods High and Walden Woods community represent? (place)
2. What is the significance of Marnie to the story's plot of the story? Consider the
story's exposition, rising action (conflict), climax, falling action, and resolution?
Explain what might Marnie represent? Innocence?
(character)
3. What is significant about what Marnie wants to be for Halloween? What is her
costume? What does she try to do later to her costume and why? (object)
Quiz Questions for Last Safe Place on Earth
1. How did Todd hear about Tara Lawrence's death? _________.
(Page 24 )
2. At the crash site, Mrs. Dalbey was ________________. Scared. Confused. Angry. Bitter
(Page 30)
3. What surprised Laurel the first time Todd walked her home? Todd didn't ask her out. Todd was a good listener. Todd loved the book Fahrenheit 451. Todd knew the words to a hymn she was humming.
(Page 44)
4. What did Todd and his dad see on the way home from Hangman's House? Boys vandalizing homes in the neighborhood. A car hitting a pole. An ambulance at Laurel's house. CE sitting on the steps.
(Pages 67-69)
5. What did Todd suddenly realize at swim practice?
(Page 84)
CE had been in the emergency room when Laurel's brother was admitted.
Laurel's brother was the joy rider who stole Pace's car.
Mrs. Kellerman was the brains and organizer of the Children's Forum group.
Marnie had wrecked the Halloween decorations.
6. How did Mr. Tobin react to the discovery of Laurel's damage to Marnie? He decided they should move again. He decided to discuss the situation with the Kellerman Family. He emphasized that the family needed to pull together. He had the courts issue an arrest.
(Page 99)
7. After discussing censorship, Ms. Lensky encouraged students to ____. Choose what books they felt needed to be banned. Take a survey among kids of popular books. Attend Ridpath meeting. Tell the Children's Forum how they felt.
(Page 107-8)
8. What did Todd think of the censorship meeting? Nobody hears each other's views The meeting was a waste of time. His father spoke up and angered everyone. The meeting was a success.
(Page 130)
9. In Todd's opinion, why had Garth become so angry with Diana? She had an article published in a real paper, and he never had. She went behind his back to write her own story. She wrote about too controversial a subject for the school. She made the paper and school look bad.
(Page 134)
10. How are CE and Laurel alike? They both hide their family problems. They refused to take help from friends when they needed it most. They struggled to overcome their shyness They shared the same religious beliefs.
Quiz 1 (first 60 pages)
Name_______________________
Last Safe Place on Earth Date
Class Section_____
Part I Short Answers reading comprehension (15 points each) 75% 1. Describe the Tobin Family and its routines at the start of the story.
2. Much of the exposition of this story is description of setting (time and place). List and briefly describe some of the events occurring in the school and around the community. 3. What events occur in and around Walden Woods that frighten the Tobin Family? 4. How does the family find Laurel, and why do they hire her?
5. Why does one of the teachers snap and yell at the students?
Quiz 2 Last Safe Place on Earth (Page 60-120)
Name________________________
Date
Class______
1. How does CE know Laurel? Why is Todd surprised by their connection?
2. What articles and assignments does school newspaper choose to cover? Who determines what reporters cover what gets printed and what does not?
3. How does Todd's English teacher cover the book that they are reading? What does Todd begin to realize about the book's significance?
4. What changes does Todd begin to notice in his little sister Marnie? Consider her behavior, interests, conversations, and relationships.
5. What happens to Marnie's costume? What does Todd conclude after the discovery of the costume?
More than Meets the Eye--The Wizard of Oz meets The Last Safe Place on Earth
Foil
A foil is a character whose personality and attitude is opposite the
personality and attitude of another character. Because these characters contrast, each
makes the personality of the other stand out. The Wicked Witches of East and West may
appear even nastier and evil when compared to Glenda, the Good Witch.
Symbolism A person, object, image, word, or event that evokes a range of additional meaning beyond and usually more abstract than its literal significance. A yellow brook road might suggest more than just a path to a destination. It may imply that a traveler heed this path as opposed to others, to stay the course.
Irony
-A literary term referring to how a person, situation, statement, or
circumstance is not as it would actually seem. Many times it is the exact opposite of what
it appears to be. There are many types of irony, the three most common being verbal
irony, dramatic irony, and cosmic irony. Sometimes an irony is achieved through a
deliberate symbol change. When a lion, the king of the beast, is cowardly, irony occurs.
Allusion An allusion is a literary device that stimulates ideas, associations, and extra information in the reader's mind with only a word or two. Allusion means 'reference'. It relies on the reader being able to recognize and make a connection with all of the meanings associated with each work. An allusion creates a bridge.
Paradoxes and Oxymoron Paradox - a statement that is apparently self-contradictory or absurd but really contains a possible truth. Sometimes the term is applied to a selfcontradictory false proposition. It is also used to describe an opinion or statement which is contrary to generally accepted ideas. Often, a paradox is used to make a reader consider the point in a new way.
Elmira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn't mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I've been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now... well, being a Christian woman, I can't say it!
Wizard of Oz has become a cultural icon and as such has been alluded to in countless books, films, television shows, and productions throughout the world. The catch phrase response for an all too evident comment about a dramatic observation change is a line in which Dorothy speaks to her pet dog upon opening the door to a world of extremes. "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," has become a classic understatement because of the familiar context in which it is used.
In the television show Lost, the arrival of a new mysterious character seems increasingly baffling for those who recognize the name and identity of this fellow who introduces himself as Henry Gale, the uncle of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. The Wizard of Oz film seeped into the everyday life of Americans in countless ways. Dunkin' Donuts named its donut-hole creations "Munchkins" after the little-people inhabitants of Munchkin land, where Dorothy's house lands in Oz. Famous Quotes or References from or to the movie-- Several quotes have made the AFI's 100 Years Top 100 Movies Quotes: o "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." o "There's no place like home." o "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!" o "Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my"; "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" went from phrase to concept that launched a nonfiction book about how technology has changed the advertisement industry. A 25-cent postage stamp depicting Dorothy and Toto was released in 1989 as part of the United States Postal Service "Classic Films" series. References to the film showed up in political cartoons, advertisements, and greeting cards. During the Watergate scandal, Nixon was compared more than once to the humbug Wizard. In the 1980s and 1990s, self-help gurus used the Yellow Brick Road as a metaphor for the quest for self-knowledge. In 1995, Gregory Maguire an American novelist wrote Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West which revisits Oz in an earlier time and exposes the misfortunes of protagonist, Elphaba, who will become the green witch Dorothy will encounter in Wizard of Oz. In 2003, a musical Wicked, based on Maguire's book premiered. Now in its 9th year, Wicked is on its way to becoming one of the top ten longest running musicals.
Take Home Test Last Safe Place on Earth Final Assessment 5 You will need to choose of the following to complete. Each response is valued at 20 points each, so invest time in the quality of response.
1. Using a clock face, actions or events of the novel's plot. Provide times of
specific significant actions or events using names, details and images. Use the following
times and terms:
Exposition
12:00-3:00
Rising Action
3:00-6:00
Climax
6:00
Falling Action
6:00-9:00
Resolution/denouement 9:00-12:00
2. Create a character chart with three points of comparison using 3 of the following characters: Mrs. Kellerman (Laurel and Billy's mom) Mrs. Dalbey (a teacher at the school and the mother of a delinquent teenager) Mrs. Tobin (mother of Todd, Diana, and Marnie) Mrs. Van Meter, C. E.'s mom Be sure and include at the bottom of the chart to explain why each of the characters is either dynamic or static supporting your classification with evidence.
3. Write a concise letter (limit yourself to 3-4 paragraphs) to the editor of the Ridpath middle school's Newsletter appealing to parents about the protection of one of the books, which they may have wanted to ban. Be sure and explain why you believe the book has education al value and/or why you believe it should remain on the shelves in the library and classrooms. Consider the following books: The Giver, The Outsiders, Bridge to Terabithia, Lord of the Rings series, Lion, Witch and Wardrobe series, Harry Potter series, and Goose Bumps series
4. Flashbacks and foreshadow are significant ways to provide information and suspense. Using the same point of view of Mr. Tobin, Diana, or Marnie, create 3 different scrapbook pages, one for the previous Halloween and one for the Halloween of Laurel, (which foreshadows future changes), and one for a Halloween to come. Be sure and include mock photos or drawings, captions, title, and passages.
5. Choose any 3 of the book's many symbols (Walden Woods, witch costume, yellow brick roads, Wizard of Oz, destroyed Halloween decorations, Fahrenheit 451, and book-banning groups) to connect to one of the following themes: Self-censorship is critical for any society's safety, welfare, and creativity. Adults and adolescents have a responsibility to censor and protect children. Fear and ignorance are the underlying emotions or conditions, which drive censorship. *Note: you may use 3 different symbols for each of the three themes, or choose one theme and explain the use of 3 symbols.
6. Explain the irony of the novel's title using 3 specific events from the story.
Vocabulary
AIDS/HIV
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. (HIV/AIDS) is a
disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In 1981, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), first recognized AIDS and its cause--HIV infection--
was identified in the early part of the decade. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused nearly 31 million lives.
As of 2010, approximately 34 million people have contracted HIV globally and are currently living with
HIV. AIDS is considered a pandemic--a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively
spreading.
It's been over 3 decades since its discovery, but sadly many of the youth of this generation in America do not know what it is, while many of the Third World countries of the world have children born with HIV and live out their lives taking HIV medications.
Ban
A prohibition imposed by law or official decree: a ban on cigarette smoking on airplanes.
To prohibit, especially by official decree: The city council banned billboards on most streets. Ban is also a
censure, condemnation, or disapproval expressed especially by public opinion.
Synonyms include the following: disallow, prohibit, exclude, prevent, outlaw, criminalize.
Censorship Censorship is a deliberate act of changing or suppressing speech or writing that is considered subversive of the common good. In the past, most governments believed it their duty to regulate the morals of their people; only with the rise in the status of the individual and individual rights did censorship come to seem objectionable. Censorship may be preemptive (preventing the publication or broadcast of undesirable information) or punitive (punishing those who publish or broadcast offending material).
Civil disobedience
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American
transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that
individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a
duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice.
Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican­American War.
Covenant
Technically (and within the context of residential neighborhoods), a covenant is a rule
governing the use of real property. Essentially, such covenants are promises made by a prospective
purchaser to adhere to the codes of the neighborhood.
First Amendment
First Amendment - an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly and freedom of the press and
freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Transcendentalism
A literary and philosophical movement, associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson
and Henry David Thoreau, transcendentalist asserted the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that surpasses
the observable known scientific knowledge.

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