Discussion will take place in the library.

Clara Ruiz Linaje Congratulations! You have been nominated for student facilitator!
Brooke Buxbaum
Meredith McLoon
Kaeleigh Morton
Janet Lyons

1. Student Facilitator(s): This person's role will be to read the agenda from his or her computer to direct the conversation. Someone should volunteer or nominate a peer(s). Communicate with each other! Please list all the group members on your wiki page as well.

2. Protocols:

Ten Words or Less - good way to start and introduce the book, also a good way to get everybody to speak.

Whip - a structured way to get people’s thoughts evaluated on and discussed.

Leveled Questions - this could come up if there are any questions about what somebody said during the whip.

Another Point of View - this would be a good spot to evaluate scenes and narration.

Whip - finish with the final whip with final views on the book.

3. Discussion Questions:

What are the issues and ideas within this novel you’d like to discuss with each other? Be sure to consider various parts of the text (beginning, middle and end). Collaboratively create 15-25 open-ended questions that promote discussion and organize them logically. You can use them within a protocol or on their own.
  • Personal Response Questions -- These questions might address your personal reactions to the style and content of the novel and ask group members to share and compare.
  • Do you think Isabel Allende gave accurate details of the culture, historical events, and time period that take place in the book?
  • Do you like how she added fantasy to the story?
  • Open-ended, analytical questions-- These promote multiple perspectives and don’t yield a single answer. They address the WHY and HOW.
  • Do you think you would have slaves if you were a white person in that time and place?
  • Would you try to abolish slavery or remain silent just watching?
  • Would you rather be a house slave like Tete or a field slave?
  • Significant passage questions-- Observe, as you would in close reading, the qualities of the text and how the passage brings meaning to the novel overall.
  • What did you feel when you read the passage when Hortense Guizot slaps Rosette?
  • What would you do if you were Teté when she had to chose between going with Gambo to the mountains, staying in Saint Lazare even though there was going to be a rebellion, or warn the master and take him and the children to the city with the help of Gambo?
  • After leaving them in a safe place, would you leave the children to go with Gambo or stay with them as Teté did?

4. Culture & Context

We recognize that we're reading books that take place in different cultures than ours. What do you need to know about this culture that would give you deeper insight to the story? Use a Historical/Biographical approach and pose questions. The bullets below give you some places to start. Each group member should pose at least one question, and each group member should research a resource and post his or her findings that respond to the question. Post a resource for someone else's question. Label your questions and posts so we can see that everyone contributed to both steps.

    • history and political conflict of the nation depending on the time it takes place: historical articles or current news
    • cultural or religious traditions
    • biographical information about the author
    • articles of literary criticism (using Marvel)
    • author information -- interviews, obituaries, statements
    • book reviews
    • research allusions and cultural references

What impact did the French Revolution have on the Haitian Revolution? -Meredith

5. Pre-Discussion Processing
The purpose of this section is to sort out the basic fiction elements in the novel. We've put it at the bottom of your agenda, but it is the first place you'll start to work. This is a good way to check your understanding of the novel, and the group can use this information as a reference during the discussion. You can use your collective knowledge to answer these questions and build a foundation for your discussion so the conversation can focus on higher level issues.

Post on the wiki prior to discussion and include textual references wherever necessary
  • Characters - List a significant detail for each character
Toulouse Valmorian: believes in slavery as a necessary evil
Eugenia Valmorian: Toulouse's Spanish bride who goes crazy from the island atmosphere after delivering her only son.
Zarité: Purchased for Toulouse and Eugenia as a house slave who eventually becomes a mother-figure for Toulouse and Eugenia's son Maurice.


  • Setting - Locations and time periods
Le Cap- The capital of the French colony

  • Important plot events - Choose at least 3 significant plot elements and explain their importance
  • Preparing Tété to be a house slave for Eugenia
  • Tété and Toulouse's affairs
  • Eugenia's illness
  • Conflicts - Identify and elaborate on the conflicts that drive the plot
Conflict of slavery
Sexual Conflict between Tété and Toulouse.

  • Narration (point of view) - Describe how the telling impacts the story
  • The passages where Zarite speaks are really helpful in revealing how she feels about everything that is happening to her which is very helpful.

  • Important passages - Have at least 5 important passages on the wiki; a brief comment or question about how and why the passage is important should follow each