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Taste of Salt

By Frances Temple

Unit Study Guide

“Social Justice and the Loss of Innocence”
Essential Questions
 How are appearances misleading and how can we determine the merit of men?
 Where is the delineation between childhood and adulthood?
 What are the life-lessons we learn from our parents?

Essential Skills
 What are the fundamental components of a strong essay?
 How can I improve my oral language proficiency?
 How can I improve my vocabulary?
 What are the influences authors use to create historical fiction?
 How can I find meaning in poetry?
 How can I analyze the correlations between two works?

Before Reading
Taste of Salt is a coming of age novel based on the lives of two teens trying to
overcome overwhelming adversity in Haiti. Although the work is fiction, many events
and characters are factual.

Concepts to Know
These are fundamentally important historical aspects of the book. You need to
research the following to increase your knowledge prior to reading.
- A brief history of Haiti
- François Duvalier
- Jean-Claude Duvalier
- Jean-Bertrand Aristide
- Public Radio Podcast- Relief efforts for the 2010 earthquake
Overcoming Adversity Moral Education
Political Suppression Loss of Innocence
Humanit/Human Rights Marginalization
Heroism Poverty

Literary Terms
Simile Protagonist
Shift Antagonist
In media res Motif
Alliteration Imagery
Foreshadowing Narrative
Dramatic Irony Tone
Colloquial language Conflict
Bildungsroman (coming of age) - Man vs. man
Historical fiction - Man vs. nature
- Man vs. self
Principal Characters Minor Characters
Djo Pe Pierre
Jeremie Mama
Aristide - Titid Daddy
Titide Eulalie
Lally Lagurie
Fortuné Julio
Marcel Maman
Donay Auntie
Rolo Sister Claire
The Doctor
The Colmado Man
The Abuela
Ma Paulie
The Tonton Macoute

Class Resources
Grade 8 Schedule – complete with daily and in class assignments, homework, and
corresponding due dates.
Grade 8 Wiki – contains the necessary vocabulary list, supplemental video and
audio, and the related poems
Grade 8 Blog- Contains guidelines and examples for a number of the unit writing
Our Scribd Account- you can find all the handouts from class and the RUBRICS.
Our Step Into Our Classroom Twitter Account – we constantly give updates,
notifications, and reminders regarding assignments and activities Where your grades are recorded and tabulated. Use your account
information to log in and view your progress and current grade average.

Your Responsibilities
1) Come to class everyday with you novel and binder
2) *Constantly annotate while reading (at home and in class- see further
information regarding annotation)
3) Complete all at home readings
4) Familiarize yourself with all rubrics, guidelines, and examples prior to engaging
5) Familiarize yourself with all pre-reading historical implications
6) Complete all related A Taste of Salt unit assignments:
- Written
- Oral
- Reading

Break down of assignments

Reading Comprehension 15pts each
Expect when returning to class after having an at home reading assignment
- Literary Term Quiz 40 pts
The format will be the same as previous literary term assessments- You will be given a
series of passages from the novel and asked to identify the literary terms
- Vocabulary Quiz 40 pts
The format will be the same as previous literary term assessments- You will be given a
number of sentences related to the novel and must identify which vocabulary word
best relates.

Written Assessments
- Blog Writing
- Taste of Salt Anticipation Guide- an exercise in drawing upon prior
knowledge, expressing your opinions and supporting them with evidence.
– 15 pts
- Poetry Analysis– an exercise in poetry analysis and annotation – 28 pts
- Podcasts Analysis- an exercise in analyzing media studies and
inner-work correlations- 28 pts
- TOS Character Map – an exercise in characterization – 30 pts
- Vocabulary- Sentence Writing- an exercise in contextual writing, sentence fluency,
word choice, and circumlocution – 28 pts
- TOS Background Information Research- a review of the research process. You will
create prior knowledge to relevant historical and cultural aspects of the novel
through resear5ch and investigation. You will identify the fundamental components
of investigation, how to utilize the library as an information resource, and proper
citation – 54 pts
- Formal Essay (we will be working on this at great length) – 75 pts
Essay Topics… in Frances Temple’s Taste of Salt
Overcoming Adversity
Symbolism and Metaphors
Loss of Innocence and the Passage to Adulthood
Alternative teacher approved topic

Oral Language
- Poetry Recital – an exercise in public speaking, diction, and projection – 40 pts
- In class Reading – an exercise in reading fluency. This will be an on-going
assignment. You will be expected to read in class. You will receive points for your
active participation. – 15 pts
- Oral Commentaries – an exercise in analysis and oral language proficiency– 30 pts
This will be similar to the essay process. You will have to form opinions regarding the
novel, support and defend you viewpoints by supporting evidence from the text.
- Oral Plot Summaries- an exercise in reading comprehension and oral language
proficiency–30 pts
- Readings- an exercise in reading fluency, diction, and pronunciation. You will be
assigned certain pages from the novel and asked to record yourself reading the
passages. We will compile these into a class audio book - 45 pts

Grade- Simply add up all the points you have amassed and divide by the total
number of possible points. This will give you a percentile(our check your engrade).
The Taste of Salt Unit supports the following Virginia State Standards for Grade 8
8.2 The student will develop and deliver oral presentations in groups and
8.4 The student will apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, inflections,
analogies, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development.
8.5 The student will read and analyze a variety of narrative and poetic
8.6 The student will read, comprehend, and analyze a variety of
informational sources.
8.7 The student will write in a variety of forms, including narrative,
expository, persuasive, and informational.
8.8 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization,
punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.

Good luck. You’re

gonna need it!
-The Tonton Macoute

© 2010, Troy White, Step Into Our Classroom