Posted in Conversation Classes, Reading Classes, Uncategorized

Persepolis Journal: Chapter 2, The Bicycle

persepolis pic

This is the second part in a series of posts based around the graphic novel “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. I’m currently working through the book with three separate groups of adults with a level ranging from A2 – C1 and one teenage individual with a C1 level. Each week I set the next chapter of the book as homework and we dedicate the first 15-20 minutes of each class to vocabulary and grammar issues that arise and a discussion of the various issues that come up.

Chapter 2, The Bicycle

Here is some of vocabulary that came up in class:

to awake

a synonym of “to wake up” but used for more poetic writing, or in older texts. Note that there are irregular conjugations of the verb = awake, awoke, awoken but also regular ones: awake, awakened.

To blame something ON somebody.

The shah blames the fire on the fanatics.

pronunciation of Iran and use of different regional adjectives: Iranian, Middle-Eastern, Western etc.

unshakeable

The collocation unshakeable faith, an indestructible faith. Also verb “to shake” – shake shook shaken. (James Bond Reference)

forbid forbade forbidden

In reference to the police stopping people from rescuing the people trapped in the burning cinema.

fickle

a good adjective to teach students to describe Marji, in the last chapter she wanted to be a prophet and was obsessed with religion and now in this one she wants to be a revolutionary like Fidel Castro or Che Guevara. Fickle describes a person who changes their loyalties and tastes very easily and often.

Discussion questions

  • What happens in this chapter?
  • How does Marji’s attitude change?
  • Who does she idolise? Is she fickle?
  • How does the novel portray the Rex cinema fire? (one of the worst terrorist attacks of modern times, read the wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_Rex_fire)
  • What do you think of the way Marji’s parents are raising / educating her? (with Descartes, Marx etc.)
  • Do you think that children today study reliable history of these events?
  • If you are old enough to remember the Iranian revolution, what do you remember? How was it perceived in your country?
  • Do you remember where you were and what you were doing at the time of a big atrocity? (in reference to the Rex fire, possiblities could be 9/11, the London bombing, the Madrid bombing etc.)

Homework

Set chapter 3 entitled “The Water Cell” for students to read for next class.

For each class I am making a set of vocabulary flashcards on the website http://www.quizlet.com so that at the start of each class we can briefly revise vocab from the week before.

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Author:

Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

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