blues ain t no mockin bird by toni cade bambara n.
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Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird by Toni Cade Bambara

Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird by Toni Cade Bambara

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Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird by Toni Cade Bambara

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  1. Blues Ain’t No Mockin Birdby Toni Cade Bambara

  2. Please think about these questions and answer with “yes” or “no.” • Friends can take my picture with their cell phones any time they want to. • It’s OK for a stranger to take my picture with a cell phone when I’m not looking. • Government officials have the right to take pictures of anyone at any time.

  3. Here is the first paragraph of the story. • The puddle had frozen over, and me and Cathy went stompin in it. The twins from the next door, Tyrone and Terry, were swingin so high out of sight we forgot we were waitin our turn on the tire. Cathy jumped up and came down hard on her heels and started tap-dancin. And the frozen patch splinterin every which way underneath kinda spooky. “Looks like a plastic spider web, she said. “A sort of weird spider, I guess, with many mental problems.” But really it looked like the crystal paperweight Granny kept in the parlor. She was on the back porch, Granny was, making the cakes drunk. The old ladle dirpping rum into the Christmas tins, like it used to drip maple syrup into the pails when we lived in the Judson’s woods, like it poured cider into the vats when we were on the Cooper place, like it used to scoop buttermilk and soft cheese when we lived at the dairy.

  4. Role Playing • Granny • Cathy • Tyrone • Terry • Narrator • Man with camera

  5. “Go tell that man we ain’t a bunch of trees.” • “Ma’m?” • “I said to tell that man to get away from here with that camera.” • Me and Cathy look over toward the meadow where the men with the station wagon’d been roamin around all morning. The tall man with a huge camera lassoed to his shoulder was buzzin our way.

  6. “They’re makin movie pictures,” yelled Tyrone, stiffenin his legs and twistin so the tire’d come down slow so they could see. “They’re making movie pictures,” sang out Terry. “That boy don’t never have anything original to say,” said Cathy grown-up. By the time the man with the camera had cut across our neighbor’s yard, the twins were out of the trees swingin low and Granny was onto the steps, the screen door bammin soft and scratchy against her palms. “We thought we’d get a shot or two of the house and everything and then—”

  7. Think for a moment… • Is the man with the camera invading this family’s privacy?

  8. Reading Dialect • This story was written by Toni Cade Bambara in 1971. It’s written in a form called “dialect,” which means that it’s written the way people talked at that time in that region. We’ll talk about African American English later, but it’s important to remember that languages change so the dialect in this story will be different from today’s AAE.

  9. First read of the story • It’s easier to understand stories written in dialect if you hear them. • Divide into your groups of three or four and read the story out loud. Take turns reading. • You have 15 minutes.

  10. What happened? Look back at the text as we put the events in sequence. • 1. • 2. • 3. • 4. • 5. • 6. • 7

  11. Issues of Power and Privacy Did the camera men have the right to take pictures? Should Granddaddy get in trouble for ruining the camera and film? What do you think should happen next? How does this story present issues of power?

  12. Exit Slips • Write one or two sentences on your index card about this question: • Were Granny and Granddaddy’s response to the photographers justified?

  13. Day 2 Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird

  14. Civil Rights Movement

  15. 1960s moments • • Play Civil Rights video

  16. Looking at Characters, Second reading

  17. Granny

  18. Granddaddy

  19. Dialect

  20. Third reading • Nonstandard grammar • Unusual vocabulary • Idiomatic expressions

  21. Dialect discussion • Give me one example of each of these: • Nonstandard grammar • Unusual vocabulary • Idiomatic expressions

  22. Dialect and Author’s Craft • Why do you think the author wrote the story in dialect? • How does using dialect evidence power? • Do you think the use of dialect was effective?

  23. Exit Slip • Write one or two sentences on your index card to answer this question: • In what ways did the author use dialect to develop the characters of Granny and Granddaddy?

  24. Day 3 • Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird

  25. Refreshing our Memory • What happened in the story? • Why is the time period that the story was written important to our understanding? • How was power portrayed in the story? • What do you think about the privacy issue illustrated in the story?

  26. Making Connections Develop a scenario taking place today that concerns issues of privacy. In groups of 3 or 4, come up with a scenario that could happen to YOU or to someone else who is living today.

  27. Back to the story • Were Granny and Granddaddy’s response to the photographers justified? • Think of three reasons why it was and three reasons why it wasn’t. Write them down.

  28. Writing: Taking a stance • Write a paper taking a stance about the issue of privacy using ideas from the story and those from your life. I will number you off by 1s and 2s. People who are 1s will be pro-privacy, people who are 2s will be anti-privacy. You will have 15 minutes to write.

  29. For or Against? • Do you think the government has the right to invade the privacy of citizens who receive benefits? Develop a paper using examples from the story and from your own life.

  30. Final words… Literature has the capacity to help us understand human behavior in the past, and it also helps us think about current issues. When we identify themes in literature, we are able to understand ourselves and our world in new ways.

  31. Take it home… • Ask your parents/guardians what they think about the issue of privacy. • Continue this discussion on our classroom blog. • Look at the website links I’ve posted on our class website to learn more about the author, the Civil Rights Movement, and hawks.