The Color of Water By: James McBride

Alyssa, Adam, Alec, Nicole

Wiki pe requirements for Feb. 8, 2007 classwork:

~ Organize the ideas and comments posted on your page - make different headings, combine similar posts, separate different ideas or elements from your postings, add some kind of organization to help you better understand and make future postings. If you are feeling ambitious, create a table of contents at the top of the page. Look at the source for this page to see how to do it.
~ Compile at least 10 vocabulary words and their definitions and page numbers they appear on. You'll add to this later.
~ Summarize Wednesday's discussion:
At first every everyone read their questions that they wrote down on their preparation sheets. Once a person read their question then we would go around and everyone would answer it as best as they could, if a person had a reaction to something someone said than they would just say it. After that everyone shared and explained the quotes they had and i think that helped us understand the main points of the book and the important parts. After that we just talked about the themes that showed up in the book and tried to help everyone understand it.
~ Create a timeline of events in the novel to help you keep track of important events. For The Color of Water, you may want to create two - one for Rachel/Ruth and one for James. For Frankenstein, you should keep in mind the chronology of events will not follow the order they are presented in the book.
- Start a list of recurring themes from your book. For future homework assignments, ask group members to find images or pictures related to the theme. Not pictures of the book cover, but photographs or other images that illustrate the same themes from the book. Try Flickr , Google images, Yahoo etc...


Note from Mr. Miller: I enjoyed reading your posts about the themes of family and of racism, and how they both play out in the novel. Family is a complex dynamic. Think back to our earlier units and what we discussed about how a family shapes a person's identity. In your discussions and later posts, consider the impact it has on James and his mother, and, most importantly, what they learn from it. With each idea you uncover, consider what impact it had on the development of Ruth and James. The title of this unit is Alienation and Isolation. Do any of these themes tie into how the characters might feel isolated and how that has helped shape their perceptions of who they are? (feel free to delete my comments when you have read and considered them)

Posting on the wiki page/criteria for a good discussion

DAY 1-- We discussed how to post on this page and we also discussed the criteria for a good book discussion. We decided that 4 points of a good discussion were:
-everyone has read the book
-everyone stays on task
-everyone participates/talks
-we should be talking about themes, characters, specific quotes and situations, not just summary.
Day 2---
Day 3---

Groups quotes(Homework # 3):

Alec: Why is the brother of James always so nasty to him?If James would be adopted he would be to
Why doesn't the mother of James respond to the Names everybody calls her?

Alec I don't think that James' brother is being well mean to him he is just teasing him and most older siblings do that to the younger one just because they know they will believe what they say. As for the mother I'm not sure why she doesn't respond to things like that, this was one of my questions as well! I think there is a little more to it then she just doesn't want to make a scene I think she doesn't do anything because she knows her fighting with a few people doesn't change a thing and if she got upset whenever someone was rude towards her she would be fighting with alot of people.



"This is one of the worst places i can think of to grow up in." I put this post-it right at the end of the chapter called "The Old Testament."

"I wonder why the mom doesn't tell her kids about her family and her past." I put this post-it right at the end of page 24, right where the mom said, " my father was a fox, no more questions."


So far in the book "Color of Water" i have found the theme of racism. Throughout the book so far James asks why his mom isn't like all the other moms, and why she doesn't talk to them much. It also says in the story that the Mom barely has any friends and i believe it is because she is white in an all black neighborhood. It also seems like some people treat James differently because his parents are black and white so his skin color is different too. Adam

In the book "color of water" the theme is Racism, the mother is white and lives with her kids that are all colored.The mom is very lonely because she lives in a black neighborhood and she lost her husband. James her youngest son has a lot of problems with his mom being white, he just has a lot of problems I think with his friends that look different at him because his parents are no normal average black family.-Alec

I chose the theme of racism too when I wrote about a theme from this book. I observed the same examples as well and agree with your reason for why she barely has any friends. I haven't noticed that people treat James differently. Actually, I thought that it was weird that people would talk to him and not his mom. I don't think that any other people really treat him differently because of his mom, but maybe they think of him differently. As you continue reading see if the book points out any friends that Rachel has. I don't know how far you've gotten but I think you'll find that regardless of being white, she still manages to have friends who are black. Overall though, I definitely agree that racism is a major theme in The Color of Water.
Rebekah, period 6

I found racism in the book as well. I think the mother's conflict with the blacks in her neighborhood is a great example of that. She doesn't like to talk to the others in her community and some make rude comments towards her because she is the only white woman in the area. James also finds it awkward that his mother is white considering he is black and his friends look like their mothers but he doesn't look like his. The author also mentions that James' mother doesn't have anything to do with the others and she changes the subject whenever this topic comes up in conversation.---Nicole

Homework #4

So far one of the conflicts that has occurred in this book is that James in black and his whole community and neighborhood is black but his mom is white. Sometimes James is ashamed of his mom because she looks different from all of his friends mom. Also James wonders why he is black and his mom is white and he always asks her this and she never gives him a clear answer and she always makes it seem that it doesn't matter. Another thing is that James gets called a "nigger" and other racial names in school. I think it is obvious that the author is transferring the theme of racism to the reader. Race is mentioned in almost every chapter and the author explains how everyone is treated differently according to their race. ---Adam

There are many conflicts in this book. One is person vs. environment, which is James and the kids he goes to school with. James at first goes to a Jewish school then it mentions a Jewish and White school. Like Adam said above he is called a "nigger nigger nigger" in school and it also mentions how he doesn't have many friends and that the others in his school have a tendency to stare at him during lunch and other periods. The other conflict I saw is person vs. environment with the mother vs. her community or neighborhood. The author mentions a couple of times that she is the only white woman in her neighborhood and that the other blacks act negatively towards her. This confuses James alot as a child because he doesn't quite understand why his mother is white and he is black. Like Adam said she never gives a clear answer. I also think racism is a major theme in the story so far.



When i wrote about the theme to this book i choose family, but after reading what your chose i completely agree with you also. You made good observations between James and Rachel, but maybe also there are things that do make them the same that you have to think about. It also seems to me that Rachel doesn't have many friends because she is white living in a mostly black neighborhood, and it sure doesn't help that her family is black and she has to deal with the things that people must say about her and her family. Do you think that the mother doesn't have many friends cause it's hard for her to trust them, because she did have a hard childhood growing up.
Meaghan Period 6

Quotes from the books that support themes

Make this a heading for list of vocabulary words from the book

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