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Comprehension Guide
Bronx Masquerade
Bronx Masquerade
by Nikki Grimes
Dial Books for Young Readers/PenguinPutnam, 2002
ISBN: 0-8073-2569-8
Knowledge 1. Define the following poetic terms: simile, metaphor, alliteration, rhyme, personification, and hyperbole.
2. Quote three favorite lines of poetry from the book, and explain why they are your favorites. (Be sure to write down page number, title of poem, and author.)
3. In three of the student poems, identify as many of the poetic elements as you can find.
Comprehension 1. Discuss why OpenMike gets so many students to reveal their dreams and fears more than a typical class. Discuss whether it would work at your school or not.
2. Cite examples of which students inMr.Ward's class are most affected by OpenMike Fridays.
3. Predict what happens next year in Mr.Ward's English class.
Application 1. Pretend you are writing a feature article about Mr.Ward's OpenMike Friday. Write at least five questions you might ask to one of his students. Then, choose a student, and answer them as you think they would.
2. Try to write another poem through the eyes of your favorite character. Compare it to the other pieces from that student and be sure it has a similar voice and format.
3. Write a one-paragraph book review for Bronx Masquerade. Try to distill the premise of the book into just a few short sentences. Check out sample reviews in journals like School Library Journal, The Horn Book, and Kirkus. You can even post your review at!
Analyze 1.

Examine the types of poems in the book: free verse, rhymes, and concrete. In a short paragraph explain why the author chose a variety of formats, and which one you find most compelling and why.

2. Focus on a single character and show how he or she changes over the course of the book. Give specific examples to show the change in attitude or actions.
3. Compare and contrast the problems of the teenagers in Mr.Ward's class with those you think are in your current class. How are they alike?How are they different?
Synthesize 1. Create a new character for Mr.Ward's class. Write two journal entries and one poem through the eyes of your new character.
2. Explain how the urban setting operates as the 19th character in the class. How does setting affect story?How would this book be different if relocated to ruralMontana?Or you own hometown?
3. Make a handout of ways that a poet can revise before a final copy.
Evaluate 1. If you were Mr. Ward would all students get an "A"for their Open Mike Friday performances?Why or why not?

Pretend that the school administration has threatened to pull the plug onOpen Mike Fridays, believing it is not contributing to the new focus on standards of learning and is a waste of time. How would you defend the practice?What have students learned?How has it changed them?

3. Predict the future for each of the students in Mr.Ward's class.
Teacher's Guide provided by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. Visit her website by clicking here.

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