Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 L145 – Adventure of the Round Table

When time was gay, the village was an uproar in happiness, singing like the birds, for a holiday was here, Lancelot was here with it.  Also, present was a friend of the Knight’s by the name of Francis.  These two were talking in earnest, about crops, and swordsmanship, and sometimes political matters.  While talking over the cost of wheat at the time, a rustle of a nearby bush was barely audible over the celebrational noise.  Lancelot held up a hand for silence, and the bush trembled repeatedly.  Lancelot drew his sword and called, “Who goes there?”  No response was given, and other bushes around the clearing started shivering.  Then a distant thunder broke the silence, while many people started to run towards the stone tower in the center of the clearing.  The river of men, women, and children swept Lancelot inside, but not before he managed to take up his lance.  Men with rusty pikes and spears dug out of attics sere positioned at the door to stab at enemies between the slats of the iron portcullis.  As the thundering of hooves grew, so did the bustle of men readying defenses from the tower, such as stored oil and tinder, and some stones, with the addition of many bows and arrows.  The first horseman to appear was a well-built man with hard eyes, bulging arms, a night-black stallion with strong flanks, and armor that was darker than the horse.  His cronies followed him into the village; a gang of green beans with beady eyes and random pieces of armor taken from random peasants in neighboring towns.  More bandits appeared, some short and squat ones that emerged from the bushes, some that did not even seem to see the others and were almost as muscular as the man in the black armor, whom Lancelot took to be the leading officers under the dark-suited man.

After all the bandits were in the clearing and staring up at the tower, the dark-suited man whispered a few commands to his different men, and they gave commands to their men, and the band split up.  Half went around the tower in a ring to prevent escape, while the rest attempted burning out, picking off defenders with bows, and even trying to break the portcullis to invade the tower.  All the while, the villagers had lit the fires and warmed the oil, while stones were constantly falling on the attackers and the children were running and fetching more wood, more stones, and more spears to replace broken ones down at the portcullis.  After a while the dark-suited man shook his head at his troops’ futile effort and took matters into his own hands, breaking an old oak to use as a ram.  At this point it was about noon, and he called his other five muscle-men to help him, and all six of them took out the portcullis at three blows.

The bandits swarmed the tower; though the peasants put up quite a good fight what with uphill battle, they soon gave out under the sheer number of bandits.  Lancelot himself took down many a bandit, but soon was the last defender.  The bandits left him alone, but everyone else was taken prisoner to be slaves.  That was as much as Lancelot was able to intimidate out of one of the bandits he cornered, as well as the location of the castle they were being stolen away to.

He immediately started out for the castle to try to gain it before the bandit pack by using side roads.  As he rode, he came upon one of the brutes the dark-suited man, who was apparently called the Black Knight, had used as ram-swingers.  It was evening and the man challenged Lancelot to a duel to see just how far his own strength would go.  The man was easily defeated as his strength waned with the sun, as Lancelot figured out quickly.  He thus assumed the others did as well.  The man was sent back to Camelot with instructions to go to the king.  He chanced upon the second and third, to whom he gave the same instructions in turn.  Just before the edge of the woods onto the plain leading up to the castle, the two remaining knights were guarding the path.  One was asleep, the other nodding, but he could tell the second was still as alert as ever, which seemed to be not very.  He snuck up from behind the nodding one, and struck out.  What he had miscalculated was that this one wore his armor under his clothes.  This allowed him to alert the other man, who took a second to recover from shock.  Once recovered though, they began circling each other like cornered cats.  The first to lash out was the seemingly armorless one, and as Lancelot parried the first blow the second struck from behind.  Lancelot fell, dizzied by the hilt which had struck the rear of his head, and recovered faster than they expected.  His lightning bolt of a sword flashed, striking them both to the ground before they could blink.  He left them there as he set out across the field towards the castle.

Once up to the door, he used a bronze mallet to put a dent in the gong which announced his arrival.  The Black Knight himself came to see who he was to fight and saw the man who had planned the defense at the village.  Snarling, he called for his sword.  Lancelot drew his, and rushed forward like a mad boar, already flowing into an attack.  The Knight countered as he received his sword, and as the battle raged on into the day, the Knight’s strength increased as Lancelot’s decreased.  By the time the sun reached its zenith, he was doing his best to not be crushed by the flashing blade and flying objects hurled by the Knight.  He then noticed the Knight’s strength quickly failing as the sun fell to twilight, and as the man began an attack, Lancelot slid to the side and kicked the Black Knight in the ribs.  With the man down, he caught the other man’s hilt, gave a quick twist of the wrist, and a flick of his sword and the Black Knight was disarmed and under Lancelot’s leather boot.

As the man was now prisoner, Lancelot was welcomed into the castle as a hero by the slaves and bandits who feared the Black Knight and had just been liberated.  He slaved and scared bandits had revolted against the other men of the group while the Black Knight was gone.  These men he sent back home, whereas the Black Knight he sent to Camelot along with news of Lancelot’s success at ending the terrible reign of the Black Knight.

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Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

E7 L135 Review – Summary of The Taming of the Shrew

          Ove the past four days, I have been reading a play called The Taming of The Shrew by William Shakespeare.  The play is about a parent who has a beautiful young daughter and a shrewd, sharp-tongued, rude older daughter.  He must marry off his older daughter before the younger one, and has a big problem while doing it; who’s going to marry a sharp-tongued little brat who slaps her little sister for no reason? 

          The story starts when a drunk peddler starts yelling at the innkeeper for more wine.  Then he passes out on the tables and a lord arrives.  The lord plays a prank on the peddler, whose name is Christophero Sly, by acting as if the peddler’s a lord.  the result is that the Sly forgets himself and acts like a lord.  they go to a play for entertainment, and the actual story commences. 

          A man with two daughters must marry off both of them, but the older has a sharp tongue while the younger is angelic.  However, the older must be married off first by tradition.  The younger has many suitors while the older has none, and the men would not like a name-caller instead of an angel.  All the nobles of the village get together and disguise themselves as teachers of music to woo the younger daughter.  While this happens, one of the musicians, Petruchio, lays eyes on the older daughter and sees nothing else.  This man also has a sharp tongue, and soon they engage in a word-fencing game.  He then marries her and after he is wedded to her, the real struggle begins.  In the end, another one of the musicians, named Lucentio, gets the younger to be his wife.

          I don’t know the moral of the story, but I do know that sometimes, despite having a purpose, some traditions can be extremely inconvenient.  Mark twain said in his book “Tom Sawyer”, “Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.” 

Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 L130 review – Plymouth Colony

Day before yesterday, I learned about the second English colony in America; how it was founded, the major people, Indian interaction, and then their eventual settling of neighboring areas.  Plymouth was the second colony in America, about the same time as Jamestown.

The idea of a puritan colony was formed after the Puritans had to escape England, and so they went to a Swedish city called Leiden.  It became uncomfortable there, as nobody knew the trades and had to be apprenticed.  Then some random puritan came up with the excellent idea that they should go to America.  The idea was taken up immediately, and the British London Company was asked to support this idea. The company agreed and so the Pilgrims gained transports: The Mayflower, and the Speedwell.  The Speedwell gained a leak about a quarter of the way out to America, though, so the Speedwell was abandoned, and everything placed on the Mayflower.  The journey took about 3 months, and in November of 1620.  The ship had landed at Cape Cod, and their pants and socks immediately froze on the first night.  The Mayflower Compact had been signed just before everyone left, so nobody caused any trouble, and the colony was set up.  The first year was a failure, like Jamestown, because they did not know what crops would grow and which not.  Almost half the settlers died of the cold, and lack of food.  And then a man showed up.  The man’s name was Samoset, and he helped the colonists to thrive by introducing them to the nearest Indian chief, Massasoit.  The Wampanoags helped the Pilgrims along with the guidance of a captured Indian whose tribe was wiped out by sickness.  This Indian’s name was Squanto.  Squanto helped the Pilgrims thrive under harsh conditions and excellent soil.

The Indians’ help saved the lives of the pilgrims, and the Pilgrims knew it.  So, they created a feast in honor of their survival of the first year, along with the second year, at the same time that the Indians were celebrating the annual harvest festival.  Later, this feast came to be called Thanksgiving.

Plymouth followed the pattern of Jamestown, in that they had a hard first year, gained help, and then flourished.  Over time, Plymouth settled the surrounding area, and still exists today.  The impact Plymouth left on us is profound, and the settles of Plymouth will always be remembered in history for their actions.

Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 L125 Review – Queen Elizabeth I

 

            From about the death of Edward Tudor, England was declining in power from the civil unrest between factions of religion and who would be king.  However, after Mary’s death, the Elizabethan Era was born when Elizabeth I stepped up to the throne in the year 1559 AD.  The peace in England lasted for 44 years under the Virgin queen.

            Not expected to rule, Elizabeth did not have much written about her, so we don’t know much about her early life. But we do know that once Mary died, somebody had to step up to the throne, and the only person capable of doing it was the last of that family, the Tudors (whom I call the Tooters).  Elizabeth took a broken government, a ruined country, and a sad people and made it into a happy, prosperous country with fair government and better pay for everyone and a good protestant faith.  Her greatest achievement was said to be the destruction of the Spanish Armada, a huge Spanish fleet of over 300 ships and 27000 men.  This defeat of this huge armada was due to the facts that the English ships were highly maneuverable, and the armada ships large targets and very slow, and the majority were burned up by fireboats while at the same time crashing on English shoals from the weather. 

            Soon, many of Elizabeth’s friends died, and this sent her into the bottoms of the dumps.  It got so bad, it killed “Good Queen Bess” in March of 1603, when she was buried in the same grave as Mary. 

Posted in 7th Grade, English 7

English 7 L130 – Thomas Sawyer’s Vocabulary Examples

 

        In the past week I have studied many different ways of expressing thoughts, including some very interesting ways, like soliloquy, personification, and Imagery.  Each of these words represent a set of things that help the reader better understand what is going on in the book.    Personification is giving an inanimate object, like a gate, human abilities, like in the sentence, “The gate squealed and refused to move.”  Soliloquy basically is a character talking to themselves, to help the reader understand what they were thinking.

          Soliloquy is basically a character’s talking to themselves.  A lot happens during the two chapters “The Pinch-bug & His Prey – Chapter Vand The Cat and the Pain-killer, chapter XII.  During the pinch-bug chapter, Tom kept thinking about the fly which landed on the chair in front of him and what he would do to it after the prayer.  In the pain killer one, Tom talks to the cat, and then decides to do it.

          Imagery gives the reader a visual image that the reader can “see” in their mind.  Some of the images given were funny, like in “the Pinch-bug & His Prey – Chapter V, Tom brings out a pinch-bug and a dog sits on it.  It then becomes a “wooly comet” up and down and up and down the aisles and “everyone in the parish was attempting to hide their laughter behind a fan or handkerchief.” Another one is about Sawyer’s Granma’s cat and painkiller, Chapter XII.  Tom’s grandmother has a yellow tabby, which walks into the room as Tom poured some painkiller into the crack in the floor.  The cat wanted some, so Tom gave the cat the painkiller. The result was that the cat ran around and round the room, making “general havoc” around the house, doing a few cartwheels, and rocketing out the window along with the rest of the flowerpots. These chapters are not included in condensed versions, though, so the ones with a steamboat on a tan background will have these.

          For personification, the cat mentioned above was given the ability to make a war-whoop and say hurrah while racing around.  A fence was also given the ability to stretch forever while Tom was forced to paint it on the weekend for punishment, and at the same time a shoe whistling like a nerf dart for his not doing it. 

          These parts of making an interesting book were well represented throughout the book, especially imagery and personification; so many times, I cannot even put all of them on here without taking up five pages.  Over the book, many things happen, but I would not spoil it with too much information – I’ll leave you to read the book on your own.

 

 

Posted in 7th Grade, History 7

H7 W24 Review – Henry IIX and Edward VI

 

                    In the last to days of this week, I have learned bout the two English kings Henry IIX and Edward VI.  Henry IIX was the King of Six Wives; Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.  Edward VI was a protestant king who was attempting to change England to Protestantism.

          Henry wasted wives like paper, and for a divorce from his firs one he created the English church separate from Rome and Catholicism.  Henry then made his own rules and banished Catherine of Aragon.  This greatly helped his son’s cause later, after taking two more wives finally had a son.  Henry named this boy Edward VI and made sure He would grow up healthy.  Henry went through three more wives and died on the last one. 

          Edward was never king, as he died before 18 years of age, but he greatly influenced the religious matters in England at the time.  He made the English Church lean more toward the protestant faith, and made it much more common in England.  He died before 18 and left the kingdom in Jane Grey’s hands.

          The Tudors were a weird bunch, and despite their many problems, they still did at least something good – they made England Protestant.  Here’s a poem for Henry’s wives, off Wikipedia:

Boleyn and Howard lost their heads,

Anne of Cleves he would not bed,

Jane Seymour gave him a son – but died before the week was done,

Aragon he did divorce,

Which just left Catherine Parr, of course!