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Sing To The Dawn - Minfong Ho

(Synopsis)
Chapter One:

Dawan and Kwai sat on the rickety old bridge above the river

Dawan asked Kwai what would he do if he got the scholarship

Dawan felt that she would not get the scholarship because she is a
girl, instead Kwai might get the scholarship

Talked about how unfair it is that the sacks of rice stacked up beneath
the house is for the tax collector

Their parents thought that it was foolish and wasteful to send girls to
school

Chapter Two:

Teacher asked students what they saw beneath their house in the
morning
Had a long discussion with the students about the landlord taking
away sacks of rice beneath their houses
A student spotted the headmaster After her grandmother talked to
Dawan, she decided to go
When she was boarding the bus to go to the city, Kwai was nowhere to
be seen
Although many people in the village sent her off, she was not happy
as Kwai was not there
During the bus journey, she saw Kwai on the bridge that they usually
went to, he was waving at her. Bidding goodbye
heading to their class and the student shouted "he's coming"

Teacher and student immediately pretended that they are having


Geography lessons until the headmaster went away

Teacher and student discussed what they should do if they won the
scholarship

Teacher announced that Dawan won the scholarship

Chapter Three:

Classmates surrounded Dawan as soon as they heard that she won the
scholarship

Kwai was unhappy and sad that Dawan won the scholarship instead
of him

Dawan told her family that she got the scholarship and that made her
parents angry. Her father was especially angry and said that she took her
own brother's chance away from him.

Dawan's grandmother however supported her

Dawan and her grandmother headed to Noi's house and halfway,


Dawan's mother decided to go with Dawan instead of her grandmother

Chapter Four:

Noi said that going to the city was useless


Army officer made deal with Noi's family in order not to bring Ghan
to the army

Chapter Five:

Kwai realised that Noi and Ghan do not support Dawan in going
to the city

Kwai came in second in the examination

If Dawan does not go to the city, Kwai gets to go instead of her

Chapter Six:

Dawan's father didn't want her to go to the city

Kwai asked his father if he had won the scholarship, would he allow
him to go to the city

Kwai's dad thought that boys going to the city to futher his studies
would be better than girls

Chapter Seven:

Dawan went to the marketplace alone and met a girl that sells lotus
bud and caged sparrows

Dawan realised that the girl, Bao, was the sister of her classmate

Chapter Eight:

Dawan went to see the old monk

Dawan's teacher and the old monk are good friends

Old monk does not really see why Dawan should go to the city school

Chapter Nine:

Bao allowed Dawan to free a bird for free

Bao's brother, Vichai, came to the market stall and hit her because
she freed a bird for free

Kwai stopped Vichai from hitting Bao

After realising that Bao knew about what happened between Dawan
and Kwai, Kwai wanted to slap Bao

Kwai pushed Dawan away when she tried to stop Kwai, unfortunately
she landed on top of a pile of broken bird cages, injuring herself

Cousin Noi helped Dawan with her wound

Chapter Ten:

Dawan and Kwai were at the river

Kwai was thinking about Dawan's words, about him being a bully

Dawan passed Kwai her umbrella caringly as it was raining

Kwai made a decision

Chapter Eleven:

Kwai's father heard from his teacher that he got second in the test and
was angry at Kwai for not telling him so

Father spoke to both Kwai and Dawan together

Father was very reluctant and unconvinced that Dawan should go to


the city school

After much persuasion from Dawan and Kwai, father finally allowed
Dawan to go to the city school

Chapter Twelve:

Kwai will miss Dawan once she goes to the city school, no one will be
there to watch the sunrise with him

Chapter Thirteen:

At first Dawan was unsure if she wanted to leave as she will miss
everything in her village

After her grandmother talked to Dawan, she decided to go

When she was boarding the bus to go to the city, Kwai was nowhere to
be seen

Although many people in the village sent her off, she was not happy
as Kwai was not there

During the bus journey, she saw Kwai on the bridge that they usually
went to, he was waving at her. Bidding goodbye
~End~

A Poison Tree Themes


Anger
"A Poison Tree" is a poem about anger, and, more importantly, some of the
destructive consequences that can result when we cultivate our anger,
rather than try a more productive outlet for this pot...
Language and Communication
In the first stanza of "A Poison Tree," the speaker says, "I told my wrath,
my wrath did end" (2) and "I told it not, my wrath did grow" (4). The poem
suggests that talking about emotions is an imp...
Lies and Deceit
"A Poison Tree" is all about lies and deception. The speaker suns his anger
with "soft deceitful wiles," and this anger eventually produces an apple that
is deceptively bright and shiny.

Bring on the tough stuff - theres not just one right answer.

1.

Why do you think Blake chose an apple rather than, say, a pomegranate, or an orange, or a kumquat?

2.

Would you teach Blake's poem to your children in order to teach them about anger? Why or why not?

3.

Why does the enemy want to eat the speaker's apple? Why is it so attractive?

4.

Who is to blame for the enemy's death (if you agree that he's died in the poem)?

Charles Causley: What Has Happened To Lulu?


Context

Charles Causley (1917-2003) was a Cornish Poet and


writer. His father died when Causley was only fifteen years
old. He went to grammar school, where getting 10 out of
10 for a sonnet was one of the early signs of his poetical
talent. When he was 16 his mother announced she had got
him a job in a builders office, something that filled him
with despair. Later Causley became a teacher.
His work is characterised by its simplicity; his poems for
adults are very similar in style to those written for children.
His poetry often has deeper meanings hidden behind the
simplicity. Causley often includes spiritual references, and
takes inspiration from the folklore of his native Cornwall.
He often wrote in ballad form, as in this poem.
Subject matter

What Has Happened to Lulu? is a poem told in a childs


voice about his older sister running away.
A child is asking his mother what has happened to his
sister, Lulu. There is nothing in her room, and her moneybox has gone, with only an open window and an old rag-

doll left behind. His mother is crying and burning a note.


He thinks he heard voices and a car in the middle of the
night, but his mother tells him he was only dreaming.
Form and structure

The poem is a ballad, written in four line stanzas where the


second and fourth lines rhyme. This regular and simple
form seems appropriate for the voice of the narrator, which
is of a young child.
It is a first person dramatic monologue that is addressed to
the mother of the narrator. It is almost entirely written in
questions, both reflecting the age of the speaker and his
puzzlement at what has happened to his sister. The form
suggests the childs innocence, while allowing the reader to
read between the lines and understand what has
happened.
themes and ideas

The tone is one of puzzlement.


What Has Happened to Lulu? deals with themes of grief
and love. The mother is grieving over her lost child. The
fact that the child has run away does not make the grief
less significant. The confusion of the narrator about his or
her parents reaction also tells us something about the
nature of grief.
The poem also considers how we deal with children, in
dismissing what they have heard or seen. The child

narrator has some valid knowledge of what has happened,


but his mother tells him he dreamed it. The poem raises
the question of how the child can react, when he has been
told nothing is the matter, when clearly it is. Ironically the
mother does not know what to do, as the final stanza
makes clear.

What Has Happened to Lulu?


Charles Causley
(August 24, 1917 November 4, 2003)

What has happened to Lulu, mother?


What has happened to Lu?
There's nothing in her bed but an old rag-doll
And by its side a shoe.
Why is her window wide, mother,
The curtain flapping free,
And only a circle on the dusty shelf
Where her money-box used to be?
Why do you turn your head, mother,
And why do tear drops fall?
And why do you crumple that note on the fire
And say it is nothing at all?
I woke to voices late last night,
I heard an engine roar.
Why do you tell me the things I heard
Were a dream and nothing more?
I heard somebody cry, mother,
In anger or in pain,
But now I ask you why, mother,

10

15

You say it was a gust of rain.


Why do you wander about as though
You don't know what to do?
What has happened to Lulu, mother?
What has happened to Lu?

20

Railway Children : Moral Values

Based on the novel you have read, write about the moral
values you learnt from this novel. Give examples to support
your answer.
Tips

State at least 2 moral values


Give an example for each moral value stated
Describe and elaborate the examples

Note: In order to earn Band A marks, you should have


detailed
development of the examples or events.
Model Answer:
I read the novel, The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit. I have
learnt a lot of moral values from this novel such as, being brave
and kind.
The first moral value is being brave. The best example in this
novel is when the children saved the train. One day, the children
took a walk along the top of the hill beside the railway line.
Suddenly, they heard a noise and saw half the hillside crashed
down onto the railway line below. The children realised that the
11.29 a.m train was in danger. They used the girls red petticoat to
make six flags to warn the train. The train came down the track too
fast. Bobbie was afraid that it would not see them. She ran onto the
line waving two flags. The train stopped just twenty metres away
from Bobbie. This event has shown how brave the children were
and they should be sampled by other children.
The second moral value is being kind. One good example of such
is when The children asked to have the cakes on Thursday. They
wanted to make a birthday tea for Perks. Peter wanted to ask
everybody in the village to help them give Perks a nice birthday. On
Thursday, the children went around to collect presents the people
had promised. At three oclock, the children took the presents and
the pram to Perks house. When Perks came home and saw the

pram and the presents, he was angry. He thought people would


laugh at him for being poor and needing their things. Bobbie
explained that the people wanted to give him the presents because
they liked him. Perks calmed down. He was glad that his neighbours
thought so kindly of him. By being kind, the children had made
Perks happy.
The children have shown good moral values in this novel
and they should be taken as role models.

The Railway Children : Hardship faced by


the main character

Choose an event in the novel that portrays the


hardship faced by the main character. With close
reference to the text, discuss how she / he tackles
the problem.
Model Answer
I studied the novel, "The Railway Children " by Edith
Nesbit. In this novel,Roberta or Bobbie and her siblings
lived with their parents in London. One day, two strangers
came and took their father away. After this sudden event,
they had to move to a small house in the country. Their life
changed and they had to face a lot of hardships.
Bobbie, the eldest child in the family and the main
character in this novel directly felt the hardship. An event
that portrays the hardship faced by Bobbie is when Mother
fell ill. Peter fetched the doctor and before the doctor left,
he listed the things needed for Mother. They did not have
the money to buy all the things listed. Bobbie loved her
mother very much and had to think of a way to overcome
the problem. She and her siblings wrote a message on a
white sheet for the old gentleman on the 9.15 train. It told
him to look out for something at the station. Phyllis gave
the old gentleman a letter. The letter explained what
happened to Mother and asked the old gentleman for help
to get the things on the doctor's list. That evening, Perks
delivered a large box to the house, Inside the box were all
the things on the doctor's list and some other extra things.
Bobbie finally got all the things in the doctors list for her
mother with the help of the old gentleman. Two weeks
later, Bobbie and her siblings wrote a message on a white
sheet telling the old gentleman that Mother was getting
better.

This event shows how Bobbie, the eldest child in the


family tackled the problem. Although Bobbie was still a
child, she had a lot of good qualities which other children at
her age do not possess.

The Railway Children - Character I Dislike


Question : Based on the novel you have read, write about a
character you dislike. Give reasons and examples from the novel to
support your choice.
Model Answer:
I studied the novel, "The Railway Children" by Edith Nesbit. The
character I dislike is Mother.
Mother has many positive qualities a mother should have but , I
dislike some of her actions toward the children. One example is
when she fell ill. The doctor listed out all the things needed for her to
get well. They did not have the money to buy all the things listed.
The children asked the old gentleman to help them get the things on
the doctor's list. That evening, Perks delivered a large box to the
children's house. It was given by the old gentleman. Inside the box
were all the things in the list with some extra things. Mother
recovered and the children told her about what they had done.
However, she was very angry with them. I think this is unfair to the
children. They did what they could so that Mother get well and I
think what they did is not wrong and should be praised by Mother.
I also dislike Mother because she did not tell the children what
had really happened to Father. She kept it a secret. On the evening
of Peter's birthday, two men came and took their father away.
Mother was upset. She tried to comfort the children but did not tell
them what had happened. They moved to the country and began a
new life there. The children had no idea what really happened. They
always thought of their father but did not talk about it as they were
afraid it would upset Mother. I disagree with Mother for keeping it a
secret. I feel that the children have the right to know what happen to

their father. Although they are still young to understand, they should
know the real story about their father so that they are mentally
prepared to face the change in their life.
Although Mother had her own reason for doing the things she
had done; scolded the children when they seek the old gentleman's
help and did not tell the children about what happened to their
father, I think that she was being unfair to the children.

The Railway Children : Interesting Event

Question : Based on the novel you have read, write about an


interesting event. Give reasons for your choice.
Tips:
1. State the event
2. Describe the event
3. Give at least 2 reasons
Model Answer:
I studied the novel ' "The Railway Children " by Edith Nesbit. An
event which I find interesting is when Bobbie and her siblings saved
the train.
One day, the children took a walk along the top of the hill beside
the railway line. Suddenly, they heard a noise and saw half the
hillside crashed down onto the railway line below. The children
realised that the 11.29 a.m train was in danger. They used the girls
red petticoat to make six flags to warn the train. The train came
down the track too fast. Bobbie was afraid that it would not see
them. She ran onto the line waving two flags. The train stopped just
twenty metres away from Bobbie.
I find this event interesting because the children have shown
their bravery to save the train. They were not afraid instead they
were willing to risk their lives to save the train and the passengers in
it. Bobbie was brave enough to run onto the track when she realized
the train would not stop. This act should be praised.
Another reason is their team work. They worked together to save
the train; tore the girls' red petticoat and made six flags to warn the
train. Here, I could see that they cooperated to accomplish their
mission, that was to save the train.
This interesting event makes the story more interesting. Reading
about the children's courage and the adventure they went through is
definitely exciting.

The Railway Children - Thoughtfulness is


the key to happiness
Question:
Thoughtfulness is the key to happiness. Based on the novel
you have learnt, describe an event that shows
thoughtfulness.
Model Answer
I read the novel, "The Railway Children" by Edith Nesbitt. In this
novel, there are many events which show thoughtfulness. One of
them is when the children asked to have cakes on Thursday.
They wanted to make a birthday tea for Perks. Peter wanted to ask
everybody in the village to help them give Perks a nice birthday. On
Thursday, the children went around to collect presents the people
had promised. At three oclock, the children took the presents and
the pram to Perks house. When Perks came home and saw the pram
and the presents, he was angry. He thought people would laugh at
him for being poor and needing their things. Bobbie explained that
the people wanted to give him the presents because they liked him.
Perks calmed down. He was glad that his neighbours thought so
kindly of him. By being thoughtful, the children had made Perks
happy.
In this event, Bobbie and her siblings had made Mrs Ransome
happy. They found out that Mrs Ransome was not happy because no
one remembered her birthday and she did not want to join them
and give Perks a birthday present. The next day, Bobbie and Phyllis
gave Mrs. Ransome roses and a handkerchief for her birthday. Old
Mrs Ransome thanked them for the roses. She gave them apples for
Perks. By being thoughtful, the children had made a lot of people
happy and this definitely proves that 'thoughtfulness is the key to
happiness.

The Railway Children - Interesting


Character
Question
Based on the novel you have read, write about an
interesting character. Give reasons and examples to
support your answer.
Model Answer
I read the novel, "The Railway Children" by Edith Nesbit. In this
novel, I find that Bobbie is a very interesting character.
I find her interesting because, she is a brave girl. This is shown
when there was a landslide. Half of the hillside crashed down onto
the railway line. The train was in danger. The children used the
girls red petticoat to make six flags to warn the train.The train came
down the track too fast. Bobbie ran onto the railway line waving two
flags. The train stopped twenty metres away from Bobbie. Here, it is
very clear that Bobbie is a brave girl and I am sure not many
children her age would do this.
She is an interesting character because she is very loving. This is
shown when Mother was ill. The children did not have money to buy
the things listed by the doctor. Bobbie and her siblings got help. She
loved her mother very much and got all the things in the doctors list
for her mother with the help of the old gentleman. The old
gentleman gave all the things in the list and some extra things.
Bobbie has many good qualities and that is why I find her
interesting. We should make her our role model.