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Reading - English Form 3


Reading is a a very crucial skill since it helps us to acquire knowledge not just in English but also in the other subjects.

In addition, reading skills help us to cope with day today challenges.

Your knowledge about reading diverse material will be required for this topic.

In this topic, we will share with you information about various works of art.

You will learn how to analyse a novel, a play, short stories and poetry.


By the end of this topic you should be able to:

Enjoy reading literary and non literary materials.

Studying the novel

The Title

Think about what the title signifies from your scope of knowledge, for example, what is your impression of the title of Chinua Achebe's 'The Arrow of God?'

As you read the text, your first impression of what the title 'Arrow of God' means may change as you understand the issues discussed in the literary work. The meaning of a title can be literal or symbolic.


Therefore, a discussion on the significance or relevance of a title can only be justified after the whole text has been read through.


The pictures provided below demonstrate various settings in terms of time and place.

This is the geographical place and historical time when events in a work of art occur.

Setting influences the issues brought out in a text as well as the behavior of the characters.


The diagram below illustrates the concept of plot.

Plot - refers to the sequence of events and how they unfold in a work of art.

In a simple linear plot, the events flow thus:

beginning=middle=end. In the beginning, a conflict arises.

The middle involves a struggle by the characters to resolve the conflict. In the end, the conflict is either resolved or unresolved. Some stories, however, have complex plot(s). Following the storyline is key to understanding the issues raised in a text.

If someone writes, 'The cow died and then the calf died.' There is no plot for a story. But by writing, 'The cow died and then the calf died of sorrow.' The writer has provided a plot line for a story.

Plot refers to causal sequence of events; the why for the things that happen in a story. The plot draws readers into the characters' lives thus, helping them to understand the choices that the characters make.

A plot structure is the way in which the story elements are arranged.

Character and characterization

Characters are the imaginary participants in the events that unfold in a text. Characters build the storyline through interaction among themselves.

For one to understand a character, one should note what a character says and does as well as what the other characters say about him or her.

The way in which a writer creates characters is called characterization. Characters may be major or minor, static or dynamic.

Adjectives which describe behaviour are used to state character traits, for instance, a cruel person, a creative person, a hard working person and a mischievous person.

Other examples of adjectives include loving, honest, caring, tactful, malicious, scheming, keen and opportunistic.



Themes are the main ideas or issues raised in works of art through the interaction among characters. Issues are revealed as the plot unfolds.

Love and war are examples of common themes in literary works.

Others are religious conflict, education, corruption, antagonism, rivalry and democracy.

Style (stylistic features)

Observe the following animation.

Style is the way an author uses words effectively in a literary work. It is the vehicle which enables writers to convey their message.

Stylistic features may also be referred to as stylistic devices or stylistic techniques, for instance, if a writer says that he or she saw people dressed in colourful garments, that description may not be as effective as when he or she says he or she saw butterflies.

The term butterfly in this case is a metaphor which conveys an image of bright and colourful clothes.

Apart from metaphors, the other stylistic features are: similes, satire, description, repetition, songs, proverbs, biblical allusion, code-switching and code-mixing among others.

An author can use some of these features of style to effectively convey issues in a work of art as he or she perceives them and in line with his or her expectations.


Attitude refers to our feelings towards someone or something. Broadly speaking, these feelings may be positive or negative.

However, when describing attitude, we should avoid using the terms positive and negative since they are too general.

In fact, we ought to be specific and use terms such as, hateful attitude,loving attitude and spiteful attitude.

In speech, attitude is revealed through what a person says and how it is said while in writing, whatever a person wants to say can be inferred from the words that he or she uses.

When reading a piece of literary work, there is need to consider aspects such as, punctuation, choice of words and the words in brackets since they normally reveal the feelings of a writer.

Now, watch a video that will help you see how the choice of words and the way the words are used can help you understand the message.

video clip of a conversation between

a Deputy Principal and a student


By the end of the topic, you should be able to:

a) Recognize and describe attitude and tone in a piece of writing.

b)Read a range of texts selecting essential points and applying inference and deduction where appropriate.

c) Demonstrate awareness of contemporary issues.

Difference between attitude, tone and mood

Attitude may be defined as the way people feel about someone, something or a place. Our attitude towards something will either be positive or negative.

However, the terms positive and negative are too general such that there is need to be specific and use adjectives like hateful attitude, loving attitude, ambivalent attitude and many more.

Tone is the feeling or atmosphere that an author sets in a story or towards a subject.

It may also be said to be the feeling of a writer towards his subject.

An author's choice of words and the accompanying details will reveal the tone of a particular work.

The author's tone may be negative or positive.

Some possible adjectives to describe tone, are: serious, bitter, joyful, humorous, amusing, angry, ironic, suspicious, and many more.

If for instance, an author is sarcastic towards corruption in a novel for example, the tone in that literary work is sarcastic.

Mood refers to the feelings or atmosphere a reader perceives.

It is the emotions one feels while reading. The mood indicates a prevailing feeling, or frame of mind, especially at the beginning of the story.

It creates a sense of expectation to readers of what is to follow.

Aspects such as setting, images, objects and details contribute in creating a mood.

A good way of illustrating mood is to consider the reader of a poem who feels sad after one of the characters in a poem dies.

Since the poem makes the person sad, then it may be right to state that it has a sad mood.

To sum up, attitude means someone's feelings towards people, events and places while mood refers to the emotions evoked in the reader after reading a literary work.

Does it make one sad? Then it has a sad mood and so on and so forth.

Tone on the other hard is the feelings an author has towards his subject or a character in his work.

The author may be critical or sacarstic for example.

click on the play button to watch a video in which Albert is talking to his guidance and counselling teacher on the same issue.

In the second dialogue, you have noticed the change of approach used by the guidance and counseling teacher in her conversation with Albert; she allows him to freely discuss his views on the previous incident.

Albert is at liberty to say what he wants and is, therefore, able to express himself. The words used by theguidance and counselling teacher such as:

'I remember meeting you yesterday' and 'you said you wanted to talk to me, yes, so? Ok, what happened?' help, Albert to relax and narrate everything about the incident.

The teacher is able to know at what point Albert made a mistake and this enables Albert to admit his mistake and apologise.

This video enables us see how to recognize attitude and tone in speech.


Your ability to understand and makecorrect judgement on a passage will be determined by how well you read the passage.

Comprehension skills are enhanced through frequent reading of texts on various issues.

Click the play button to watchan animated

cartoon turning pages.

Having read the passage 'Shoulder execise' discuss why physical exercise is important for healthy living. Submit your answers to your teacher.


By the end of the topic, you should be able to:

Build a wide range of vocabulary and knowledge through reading.

watch a video clip depicting activity in a gymnasium

Read the passage below in two minutes.

Could you read the entire passage? Keep on reading.

This will improve your speed.


Shape up With Bob Otieno

'The standard on Sunday' : August 15.2010.

The shoulder is an important point that functions with the use of many muscles.

The rotator cliff consists of group of muscles that help stabilize the shoulder.

Shoulder muscles consist of the anterior (front), medial (middle) and posterior (back) parts of the deltoid.

Their function is to help lift the arm to the front, the side, the back and to press overhead.

Other muscles are also involved in these movements to avoid over working the anterior deltoid.

Over-stretching-posture encourages the over-stretching of the posterior deltoid and the tightening of the anterior deltoid.

You tend to hold stress in your shoulders as you pull them up, thus,creating tension.

When working the shoulders, work all parts evenly.

Mr. Gunning, a fitness expert with an international corporate fitness centre, says, over-development of the anterior deltoid and chest gives you that hunched look. The shoulder is considered one of the most vulnerable joints in the body.

It is a ball and socket joint floating in a socket and is held by ligaments and tendons, which make it prone to injury.

When working the shoulder with free weights in a lateral raise, pulling the weight far from the joint while moving it can create instability.

The heavier the weight, the more difficult it is to keep a joint like the shoulder stable.

Lighter weights are better because they work small muscles.

Another part of the shoulder that you must be careful with, is the rotator cliff.

This is because, it is weak and prone to injuries due to over use.

Actively train the rotator cliff with internal and external rotations.

In addition, pay close attention to the vanity exercises that build the muscles.

The tendons and ligaments, too, also need to be strengthened.

Shoulder muscles assist in any upper body exercise, including chest presses and flies, bicep curls, triceps, kickbacks, rows, pull down and push up; so take care of them.

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