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What If?

BRONX MASQUERADE by Nikki Grimes


Class Packet
Pre-reading
You really like someone at school and have wanted to date this person all year long. You
are very shytoo shy to actually have a conversation with the person. You are a good
writer, so you decide to write a poem (or rap) that tells this person how you feel.
You show your poem/rap to your best friend, but she thinks its silly. She also thinks you
will scare the person away with emotional poetry. She thinks that you would make a
much better impression if you just start a conversation. You really want to tell the person
how you feel, but now you are more confused than ever.
Make notes about how this would affect you.

What decision would you make?


Why would you choose either the poetry/rap or the conversation?
How would you react if someone wrote you a poem/rap?
How would you deal this situation?

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Is poetry (rapping is poetry too) more powerful than conversation? Summarize
your thinking.
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Prediction Guide:
Fill out the following chart as you read Bronx Masquerade. Choose a line from each poem that best represents them, and
predict how each student will change by the end of the book.

Character
Wesley Boone

Tyrone Bittings

Chankara Troupe

Raul Ramirez

Diondra Jordan

Devon Hope

Lupe Algarin

Description

Conflicts

Line from poem

Prediction

Gloria Martinez

Janelle Battle

Leslie Lucas

Judianne
Alexander

Tanisha Scott

Sterling S.
Hughes

Amy Moscowitz

Shelia
Gamberoni

Steve Ericson

Raynard
Patterson

Porsha Johnson

Define the following terms and provide examples from the poems in the book.
Define
Simile
Metaphor
Alliteration
Rhyme

Example from Bronx Masquerade

Personification
Hyperbole

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.)
Favorite Line and why

page #

Poems Title

Poet

This is a definition map of the concept of prejudice. On the next page, fill out
the definition map of the new term.

DEFINITION MAP

What it means:

An
unfair
opinion

A rude
judgment

Unfair
Ignora

What its
nt like:
Mean

Key
Concept:
Prejudice

Racism

Sexism

Disliking
poor
people

Some examples

DEFINITION MAP

What it means:

What its like:

Key
Concept:

Encourag
e

Some examples

Write a sentence using the word prejudice, and then write one using the word
encourage.
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BRONX MASQUERADE: Reading pages 1-33


Personal Response Although the students share poetry, some of them also express
their feelings in other ways. Tyrone raps. Raul paints. How do you express yourself? Why?
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Major Character What makes Tyrone the main character? Use the word participate in
your response.

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Paraphrase What does Chankara mean on page 13 when she says about Johnny,. . . I
looked in his eyes and saw my sisters reflection?
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Generate Questions Write questions you have about the book so far.
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Irony
Think about Diondras and Devons feelings, interests, actions, and poetry. Compare and
contrast using a Double Bubble.
Devon

Same

Diondra

Understanding Terms What is ironic about the similarities between Diondra and
Devon? How might a friendship between the two of them make their lives better?
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BRONX MAQUERADE: Reading Pages 34-73


Personal Response Gloria feels overwhelmed with the responsibilities of raising a child
and going to school. What responsibilities do you think teenagers your age should take
on? Why?
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Characters Point of View Reread page 47. How does Janelle describe Open Mike
Friday? How does reading her poem make her feel? Use the word express in your
response.
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Paraphrase What does Leslie mean on page 53 when she says, Dead is dead, and
lonely is lonely, and they both stink?
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Generate Questions Write questions you have about the book so far.
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P ersonal Experience Two themes in the students poetry are loneliness and insecurity
about appearance. Write the feelings Janelle, Leslie, Judianne and Lupe express about
these topics in the T Chart.

Insecurities about Appearance

Loneliness

Connect Think about what the characters are feeling about their insecurities and
loneliness (based on the T Chart). Can you relate to any of the issues expressed in their
poetry? How do you deal with these feelings?
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BRONX MASQUERADE: Reading Pages Respond to Pages 74-120


Personal Response Sheila wants to be called by a different name because she thinks it
will better express who she is. If you could change your name, would you? Why or why
not?

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Conflict Reread pages 82-83. Mike is prejudiced against people who like to read for fun.
How does Mikes attitude affect Devon? Use the word prejudice in your response.
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Opinion Raul tells Steve, If a dream is in your heart, you never lose it. Do you agree
with this statement? Why or why not?
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Generate Questions Write questions you have about the book so far.
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Character The students are changing because of Open Mike Fridays.


Create 3- 5 Brace Maps to show how each student is changing

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(Student that is
Changing)

Synthesize What has each character gained from participating in Open Mike Fridays?
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BRONX MASQUERADE: Reading Pages 121145


Personal Response After Steve proves he can flow, Tyrone wonders what else Steve
can do. What is a talent or passion you have that others might not know about?
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Judgments Is it important that Wesley encourages Sheila to stop trying to be something
shes not and just be herself? Why or why not? Use the word encourage in your
response.
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Metaphor The newspaper article about the Open Mike session is titled Student Poets
Bloom in the Bronx. What is the reporter comparing the students to? Why?
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Generate Questions Write questions you have about the book so far.
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Opinion Raynard, Steve, Sheila, and Janelle share their poems in this section. List what
the characters do or feel and what this shows about them. Use the Chart to answer the
question.
Character Description Chart
Character
What the
Character Does

What This Shows


About the Character

Raynard

Steve

Sheila

Janelle

Which character takes the biggest risk to share his or her poem? Why is sharing the
poem so risky? Would you be able to share your feelings like this character?
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BRONX MASQUERADE: Reading Pages 146end


Personal Response Lupe, Diondra, and Tyrone are all making plans for what they will
do after high school. What are your goals for the future? How do you plan to reach those
goals?
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Mood What is the mood in this section? Why do you think the mood has changed as the
students have learned to express themselves? Use the word unique in your response.
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Characters Motive Why does Porscha decide to participate in Open Mike Fridays?
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Connect Look at your response on the first page of this packet. Think about what might
happen if you had to choose how to best express yourself. Compare this to Bronx
Masquerade. Did the students learn more about each other by talking or by sharing their
poetry?
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