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Respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in a text

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author


Grade 9


Module 14

To respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in a text

Activity 1:

To read for information and respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in the text

[LO 3.1]

  • In today’s world of technology, we have lost the art of listening to and reading stories. Today, stories are visually represented – on television, in films. To follow a story on television requires no effort; we merely follow the picture sequence.
  • “What is wrong with that?” you might ask. One certainly can learn much from these media. But the opportunity of using the imagination is lost! The producers of the stories on television and in film force us to see what they have imagined.
  • You should use your own imagination. It is a part of dreaming, and we all know that without dreams we have no motivation. So here goes:
  • You are going to read, listen, really listen, and imagine (what the characters looked like, the place that they visited…), while your educator reads the following story with you.
  • Your educator will explain any difficult words. Then read through the story twice more, or as many times as may be necessary for you to be quite sure that you understand what it is about.
  • Once you have understood it, read through the questions that follow very carefully. Having read through all the questions, answer them to the best of your ability in the spaces provided.
  • Remember to answer in full sentences, and in your own words as far as possible.
  • When you are asked to quote, you must use quotation marks (. . .)

Rooted Out

“… so now you can water and feed your Coral tree, and when we visit Granny this holiday we shall take a walk and I’ll show you mine!”

After having spent many happy evenings paging through the family album and giggling at the podgy little cherub that was now their elegant mother, waddling along, galvanised watering-can clutched purposefully in her hands, they had looked forward to seeing the blossoms of their mother’s childhood in real life.

But the excitement of the day soon turned to disbelief, anger and then bewilderment.

The long leafy lane provided pleasant relief on their walk that humid afternoon. The house at the end of the road, on the corner stood proud and gabled, just as in the photographs. The original colour had changed and the present garish orange was probably a warning of what was to come.

They followed the worn footpath round the west side, to the far corner of the fence. Instead of a welcome flush of the deep orange-red of the Coral Tree, there was nothing.

Not even a stump remained.

Her beloved Coral Tree - the symbol of her birth, her gift by proxy to the earth- uprooted.

Carelessly; and not even an exotic substitute grew there apologetically.

What remained of the family tradition of planting a tree on the birth of a child, was a broken heart.


a) Explain the degrees of emotion: “disbelief”, to “anger” and then “bewilderment” that the family felt in paragraph 3. (3)

b) Can you recognise a figure of speech in paragraph 4? Quote it and name it. (2)

c) What family tradition is this story about? (2)

d) Why do you think the tree had been removed? (2)

e) What does the author feel is the worst thing that happened in the story? (1)

f) Who is the biggest threat to our fauna and flora? (1)

g) Who is speaking in paragraph one?


h) Quote synonyms (words of similar meaning) for the following words: (4)

Table 1

i) Quote antonyms (words of opposite meaning) for the following words: (4)

Table 2

j) What do you consider the value of a tradition to be? (2)

k) In this story, the Coral Tree had a symbolic meaning: marking the birth date of a child. Can you think of three other reasons why trees are important? (3)

Activity 2:

To read for information and to summarise

[LO 3.1, 3.4]

  • It is important to be able to pick out the relevant facts from a piece of writing. The media bombards us with opinions, irrelevancies and all kinds of comments to mislead us. We must develop the skill to pick out what is appropriate. This is why we do summary exercises.
  • Now read the following article and list 11 points, in no more than 100 words, that characterise a ‘suitable dog owner’.
  • When doing a point-form summary, there are certain requirements for format, so, refer to the checklist at the end of the passage to see that you are doing the summary correctly.

What makes a suitable dog owner?

Dogs require more than just a bowl of food and the odd walk.

To ensure a healthy happy pet there are certain guidelines that one can follow:

Breed must suit lifestyle and environment. Take into consideration when choosing a dog that some require a great deal of space. Some dogs are also noisy and yap a lot and one needs to think of one’s neighbours before settling on one of these.

Puppy evaluation. Have a vet assess your puppy to check for congenital defects, illness and temperament. This will ensure that you know what you are purchasing and will not buy any undesired surprises such as a ‘redesigner of gardens’!

Vaccination and deworming. It is very important to deworm your pet as it affects not only his health but that of one’s children too, as most pet worms are transmissible to humans.

Identification. There are various ways of identifying a pet e.g. collar and tags, microchips. Collars and tags can easily be lost. Microchips can be scanned by any vet or animal welfare officer which makes them a sensible choice.

Collar and lead. A dog must be able to be controlled in public areas and thus a collar and lead must be fitted on the dog’s first day home. Within a week the dog should be used to walking on a lead.

Training. A puppy learns most during the third to twentieth week of its life. A good time to start puppy socialisation classes is at eight weeks. In order to sustain the bond between you and your dog, training must continue throughout the dog’s life.

Diet. Dogs must receive balanced, scientifically formulated food. It is essential for your pet’s good health as well as being practical and economical. Do not feed dogs where they are in view of one another as food dominance is natural and they will always fight over it.

Sterilisation. Spayed and castrated dogs live longer, are less aggressive and are more sociable pets.

Regular walks. Dogs need to go for walks beyond the confines of the garden. It is necessary for sensual stimulation and to broaden their horizons. Remember always to remove the ‘doggy do’ and do not walk them where they are not welcome, as on some beaches.

Canine friends. Most dogs enjoy one another’s company. If you have two dogs, they should be of opposite sexes. Never have two pups from the same litter, as they bond with each other rather than with the owner. One will also always try to dominate. Dogs need a doggy friend to prevent boredom.

Part of the family. A dog must be seen as a family member. Everything should be shared: visitors, being indoors and outdoors. Intimate contact with one’s dog is important: rub its tummy, massage its skin, fiddle with its paws and ears, open its mouth, brush its coat. Do this from puppyhood and your dog will be your lifelong best friend.

(Adapted from the Your Family November 2002)

Do your rough draft here: (The wording of your facts is very important. Remember that you have been asked to list points characterising a suitable dog owner, so you should be saying things like, Good dog owners give their dogs a good deal of attention. A good dog owner ensures that his dog is well fed) . . .

Now edit your summary. Check that you have listed only characteristics of a good dog owner and no other irrelevant information.

Use the following CHECKLIST to ensure that you have done exactly what is required of you:

Table 3
What to remember to do Tick
Always use your own words.  
Always write in full sentences.  
Do not quote.  
Do not exceed the stipulated number of words.  
Number each point.  
List only one fact per line.  
Leave a line between each point.  
Always give your summary a heading which you can either underline or write in capital letters.  
Your heading must be factual, not creative.  


Table 4
LO 3
Reading and ViewingThe learner will be able to read and view for informa­tion and enjoyment, and respond critically to the aesthetic, cultural and emotional values in texts.
We know this when the learner:
3.1 reads a text;3.2 understands some elements of poetry;3.4 reads for information.



It is important to introduce the learners to the world of reading in an enthusiastic and inspiring manner. Make sure that you have read the story carefully and understood it fully. Ask the learners what they picture in their mind’s eye. What the characters look like, what the photographs look like, what the road and house look like; what they feel for the various characters, what expressions might have been evident on their faces firstly at the start of the outing and then at the end.

It is always fun to let the learners pretend that they are film producers. Let them answer the above questions in this context. How would they tell their ‘actors’ to act, look, move, feel etc.

Emphasise the importance of presentation of work:

  • - They must write as neatly as possible and
  • - Pay attention to spacing.

Also emphasise the importance of the mark allocation in dictating the length of the answer.

  • One word answers cannot possibly warrant 2 marks.


(a) They were taken aback at not finding what they took for granted would be there. The disbelief turns to anger at the thoughtlessness of people disposing of a plant and not replacing it and then they feel helpless because there is nothing they can do about it. (3)

(b) “The house … stood proud … ” is personification. (An inanimate object takes on human qualities i.e. standing. This is the ideal opportunity to revise basic figures of speech with the class i.e. similes, metaphors, alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia.) (2)

(c) Traditionally in this family, on the birth of a child, a tree was planted in the garden of the parents to commemorate the happy occasion. (2)

(d) Perhaps it was not to the taste of the new owners of the property. Perhaps it had become diseased and had died. Whatever the reason, they had no emotional connection to the tree and got rid of it. (Give credit for any relevant answers) (2)

(e) The new owners appeared to have modernised the house (colour) and did not like the old traditional appeal of the tree. They simply did not like it. (2)

(f) Man is the biggest threat. (1)

(g) The mother of the children. (1)

(h) podgy cherub blossoms substitute (4)

(i) childhood garish worn exotic (4)

(j) Traditions provide a frame of reference for people. They give a context and meaning to life. They provide a form of security. It is comforting to know that in a changing world, certain values remain constant and are commemorated at a certain time in a certain way. It provides an identity to a people. (2)

(k) Trees provide oxygen.

They prevent erosion from taking place.

They house all kinds of creatures.

They provide shade.

They provide fruit and nuts; their roots are even a source of water.

Paper is made from them.

Timber is provided which has many uses.

(Any relevant answers) (3)



Suitable Dog Owners

  1. Good dog owners give their dogs a good deal of attention.

2. They ensure that their dogs are well fed.

  1. They take care in what and how regularly they feed their dogs.
  2. They take their dogs for regular walks.
  3. Their dogs are suited to where and how they live.
  4. Their dogs have been checked by a vet to ensure a healthy specimen.
  5. They de-worm their dogs.
  6. They have their dogs vaccinated.
  7. Their dogs have clear identification tags.
  8. Their dogs are accustomed to being on a lead.
  9. They take their dogs to training.
  10. They feed their dogs balanced meals.
  11. If they have more than one dog, they feed them separately.
  12. They have their dogs sterilised.
  13. They remove their dogs’ faeces from public places.
  14. If they own more than one dog, they are of opposite gender.
  15. They do not choose dogs from the same litter.
  16. They own more than one dog.
  17. They treat their dogs as part of the family.
  18. They have close contact with their dogs by rubbing, brushing and cuddling them

(Words: 100)

(Any 11 relevant facts are acceptable)

The mark allocation is as follows:

Table 5
11 facts 11
Heading 1
Numbering 1
Lines between facts 1
Number of words indicated 1
TOTAL [15]
Language/punctuation errors - 1
Full sentences hardly used - 1
Words exceed limit - 1 / word
Sentences taken directly from passage (own words not used) - 1

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