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Tuck Everlasting Persuasive Essays

As a child, Natalie Babbitt loved to read fairy tales and myths, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised that her own writing features a lot of fantasy. Novels like Tuck Everlasting, Knee-Knock Rise, The Eyes of Amaryllis, and The Search for Delicious all have varying combinations of adventure, the supernatural, and big questions about mortality, religion, and human relationships. Best of all, Babbitt's stories feature great, relatable young characters at the heart of all the action.

Prompt for Grades K-2 (Level I)

What happens when you and your parents or friends don't agree about something — do you throw a fit or try to compromise? When eight-year-old Phoebe gets tired of all the fancy clothes her mother makes her wear (Phoebe's Revolt), she puts up a fuss and refuses to get dressed for her party. She and her Mom eventually come to a compromise, but only after her Dad gets involved. Tell us about a time you had to make a compromise.

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Prompt for Grades 3-5 (Level II)

In The Search for Delicious, the citizens of a magical kingdom can't agree on the definition of the word "delicious" for their official dictionary. Speaking of definitions… can you come up with a word that isn't in the dictionary but should be? Comedian Rich Hall called these sniglets, but another name for a newly coined word is neologism — "neo" means new in Greek and "logos" means word. Here's an example: the word "staycation," which means a vacation spent close to home, was added to Webster's Dictionary in 2009. Send us up to three new words or phrases, along with their definitions.

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Prompt for Grades 6-8 (Level III)

In Knee-Knock Rise, Egan sets off to discover the source of the noises coming from the mountaintop. He makes a surprising discovery about the noise, but for our purposes we're interested in his journey. The hero's journey, what Joseph Campbell called "monomyth," is a common pattern, or archetype, in stories. It includes three big stages — separation, initiation, and return, with several substages within each one. We'd like you to write a short story that involves one of the stages or substages of the hero's journey.

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Prompt for Grades 9-12 (Level IV)

If you had the choice, would you want to live forever? In Tuck Everlasting, perhaps Natalie Babbitt's most famous book, ten-year-old Winnie Foster faces that choice when she wanders into the woods and comes across the Tuck family who has discovered the fountain of youth. If you were Natalie, would you drink from the magic water of immortality or refuse it?

Write a persuasive essay that takes a position for or against living forever and develop your argument using solid reasoning. Convince us that your position is the right one.


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Resources

More about the Natalie Babbitt

More about word fun

More on the hero's journey

More about persuasive writing

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Overview: After reading through Chapter 22 in Tuck Everlasting, students will create an original thirty second commercial using persuasive techniques to try to convince people to purchase "eternal life" water. The commercials will be created in PowerPoint, saved as a jpeg file, and then uploaded into Animoto. Students will insert their PowerPoint commercial pictures into Animoto to make an original thirty second commercial..
Step 1: Prior to beginning the activity, students will need to view the Persuasive Strategies PowerPoint (attached), and discuss the different ways to create an effective advertisement.
Step 2: Students will need to be introduced to the rubric and assignment requirements (attached).
Step 3: Students will open Microsoft PowerPoint and create their commercial slides.
Step 4: Once the slides are complete, they must be saved as a JPEG file. To do this, have the student go to file, save as, and then select JPEG File Interchange Format from the drop-down box under file type.
Step 5: Have students go to www.animoto.com and log in to student/teacher accounts. (These should be set up prior to activity based on school district policy). Students should select the 30 second feature.
Step 6: Have students upload JPEG PowerPoint commercial slides into animoto. Hold down CTRL to upload more than one slide. To upload one at a time click upload and followed by the "Add More" feature at the bottom.
Step 7: Have student select music for the advertisement. For copyright purposes, it is recommended that students select from the collection available on the website. Once a track is selected, select "Save & Continue."
Step 8: Have students check settings at "Customize Your Video," ensuring that the length, background, and music is appropriate for their commercial.
Step 9: Have students assign a title to their work (ex. lnamefname.tuck ad), a description, and place their name in the "Producer Name" section.
Step 10: Click "Create Video."
Step 11: Animoto will render the video and students can share their work.
Step 12: Animoto allows for downloading of work. If a student share network has been set up, the commercial can be saved to a student share file by clicking "Download," followed by "Save," and then saving the work into the appropriate location.


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