Unit IX Part 1 The Seasonal Round
Lesson 2 Constructing Personal Calendars
Name ____________________________________________ Date __________________
1. Read the oral history excerpt by Mary Claire Wilfert, which describes seasonal change in Robert's Cove, Louisiana. Circle or note any words you don't understand to look up later.
2. Discuss the story with a classmate, telling
them about any personal connections you can make to the incidents in this story.
3. Select some descriptions
or quotes that are meaningful to you and write them in the left
column. You might choose one that is funny, makes you remember
something similar in your life, or has interesting language.
4. In the right column, write your response or reaction to the passage. Tell what it made you think of.
I remember as a child when the rice fields were drained, the crawfish were thick in the fields. It was something to see all the crawfish standing on their tails with their claws up to defend themselves. We'd collect them by the sackfull. At first I was scared to catch them, but I learned how to catch them by the back.
In those days there were big binders, machinery with a saw-toothed blade that cut and bound the rice. The black men who came to work in the fields would have to put the rice in shocks to dry. I remember seeing these men come out of the fields with maybe a half dozen birds hanging from their belts. They would kill the birds that came to eat in the fields and take them home to cook. In those days they had bird fries. There was one brown bird, a rail, and a blue one that we called a blue peter.
--Mrs. Mary Claire Wilfert, October 1993
1. Read the contemporary poem Robert's Cove, c. 1930, by Sandy Hebert LaBry of Lafayette. Circle or note any words you don't understand to look up later.
2. Choose some descriptions in the poem that you find effective and write in the left column below the poem.
3. In the right column tell why they are effective and what they mean to you.
Robert's Cove, c. 1930
Fields of gray-brown earth
Split open for spring planting
Lie waiting for the seed
Like hungry mouths to feed
Kissed by providence
Green shoots rise straight as needles
From hard cradles freed
These hungry mouths to feed
Tender green turns gold
Grain ripens to its fullest
The heavy heads do plead
For hungry mouths to feed
Mottled rails and men
Are called to harvest table
Man brings his family's need
Their hungry mouths to feed
In a drama fleet
Man-gatherer turns hunter
For neither sport nor greed
But hungry mouths to feed
The hungry mouths they feed
--Sandy Hebert LaBry
Answer the following questions:
1. What images are most vivid for you?
2. What more would you like to ask Mrs. Wilfert if you were interviewing her?
3. What would you like to ask the poet,
Sandy Hebert LaBry?
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