Storyteller’s Toolbox Anchor Chart



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Storyteller’s Toolbox Anchor Chart


Name:

Date:




Voice

Body

Tone and volume

  • How does the storyteller’s tone reinforce emotion?

  • Is the storyteller talking loudly? When is the storyteller talking softly?




Facial expression

  • Is the storyteller’s face mirroring the emotion behind the story?

  • Is the storyteller’s face helping me picture the character?

Speed

  • Why is the storyteller speeding up or slowing down her voice?




Hand and body motions

  • How do the hand motions mimic or reinforce the words?




Repetition

  • What is the storyteller repeating? Why is this an important phrase to remember?







A storyteller uses these tools in order to:

Reinforce the action of the story

Reinforce or mirror emotion of the characters

Help the listener picture the action





Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


Name:

Date:

Chapter 10, Paragraphs 1–3, 5, 6, 10–13


Background: When he was 16, Douglass was sent to a new master, Thomas Auld, who owned a plantation in St. Michael’s, Maryland. Auld found Douglass defiant, and rented him out for one year to a nearby farmer, Edward Covey, who had a reputation for “breaking” slaves.


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1. I had left Master Thomas's house, and went to live with Mr. Covey, on the 1st of January, 1833. I was now, for the first time in my life, a field hand.

Field hand—someone who works in the fields on a farm





Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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2. I lived with Mr. Covey one year. During the first six months, of that year, scarce a week passed without his whipping me. I was seldom free from a sore back. My awkwardness was almost always his excuse for whipping me. We were worked fully up to the point of endurance. Long before day we were up, our horses fed, and by the first approach of day we were off to the field with our hoes and ploughing teams. Mr. Covey gave us enough to eat, but scarce time to eat it. We were often less than five minutes taking our meals. We were often in the field from the first approach of day till its last lingering ray had left us; and at saving-fodder time, midnight often caught us in the field binding blades.

Scarce—barely
Endurance—the capacity to do something difficult for a long time
Saving-fodder time—the weeks in the year when they were cutting the hay and storing it for winter
1. Why does Douglass say that the slaves were worked up to the point of endurance?


1. What type of figurative language does the phrase “midnight often caught us” use?

metaphor


simile

allusion


personification




Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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3. Covey would be out with us. The way he used to stand it, was this. He would spend the most of his afternoons in bed. He would then come out fresh in the evening, ready to urge us on with his words, example, and frequently with the whip. Mr. Covey was one of the few slaveholders who could and did work with his hands. He was a hard-working man. He knew by himself just what a man or a boy could do. There was no deceiving him. His work went on in his absence almost as well as in his presence; and he had the faculty of making us feel that he was ever present with us. This he did by surprising us. He seldom approached the spot where we were at work openly, if he could do it secretly. He always aimed at taking us by surprise.

2. What does it mean to “urge us on with ... the whip?”


Faculty



2. Why does Douglass use the word cunning to describe Covey, rather than intelligence or effectiveness? How does that connect to his purpose in telling this story?



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Such was his cunning, that we used to call him, among ourselves, "the snake." When we were at work in the cornfield, he would sometimes crawl on his hands and knees to avoid detection, and all at once he would rise nearly in our midst, and scream out, “Ha, ha! Come, come! Dash on, dash on!” This being his mode of attack, it was never safe to stop a single minute. His comings were like a thief in the night. He appeared to us as being ever at hand. He was under every tree, behind every stump, in every bush, and at every window, on the plantation.

Cunning
Detection
3. How did Covey make sure that the slaves were working hard all the time?





Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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4. If at any one time of my life more than another, I was made to drink the bitterest dregs of slavery, that time was during the first six months of my stay with Mr. Covey. We were worked in all weathers. It was never too hot or too cold; it could never rain, blow, hail, or snow too hard for us to work in the field. Work, work, work, was scarcely more the order of the day than of the night. The longest days were too short for him, and the shortest nights too long for him. I was somewhat unmanageable when I first went there, but a few months of this discipline tamed me. Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit.

Dregs—the last, usually not very good tasting, sips of a drink
Breaking

“The longest days were too short for him, and the shortest nights too long for him.”
3. What is the name for this type of figurative language? What does this sentence mean? How does it help Douglass make his point about Covey?



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!

Languished—did poorly
4. The word “disposition” means tendency or frame of mind. What prefix does it use? What root?
Brute—a beast
5. How did working for Covey affect Douglass?


4. Douglass says that the “dark night of slavery closed in on me.” What device from the poet’s toolbox is he using? Why is darkness a powerful image here?
a. simile

b. metaphor

c. personification

d. apostrophe



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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5. Sunday was my only leisure time. I spent this in a sort of beast-like stupor, between sleep and wake, under some large tree. At times I would rise up, a flash of energetic freedom would dart through my soul, accompanied with a faint beam of hope, that flickered for a moment, and then vanished. I sank down again, mourning over my wretched condition. I was sometimes prompted to take my life, and that of Covey, but was prevented by a combination of hope and fear. My sufferings on this plantation seem now like a dream rather than a stern reality.

Leisure
Stupor
Wretched
Take my life—kill myself
6. What did Douglass do on Sundays?








Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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6. I have already intimated that my condition was much worse during the first six months of my stay at Mr. Covey’s, than in the last six. The circumstances leading to the change in Mr. Covey’s course toward me form an epoch in my humble history. You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.

Intimated—suggested
Epoch—important period of time



“You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.”
5. How does this sentence preview the rest of the story? What does Douglass want his audience to pay attention to?

Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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7. On one of the hottest days of the month of August 1833, Bill Smith, William Hughes, a slave named Eli, and myself, were engaged in fanning wheat. Hughes was clearing the fanned wheat from before the fan. Eli was turning, Smith was feeding, and I was carrying wheat to the fan. The work was simple, requiring strength rather than intellect; yet, to one entirely unused to such work, it came very hard. About three o’clock of that day, I broke down; my strength failed me; I was seized with a violent aching of the head, attended with extreme dizziness; I trembled in every limb. Finding what was coming, I nerved myself up, feeling it would never do to stop work. I stood as long as I could stagger to the hopper with grain. When I could stand no longer, I fell, and felt as if held down by an immense weight.

Fanning wheat—a process of separating the grain part of the wheat from the stalk it grew on, by using a fanning device
Attended with—accompanied by
Hopper—the place in the machine where Douglass was loading the wheat
Immense
7. Why did Douglass stop working?



6. In this paragraph, Douglass describes how terrible he was feeling. List three words or phrases that help create the mood in this paragraph.

Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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The fan of course stopped; everyone had his own work to do; and no one could do the work of the other and have his own go on at the same time.







8. Mr. Covey was at the house, about one hundred yards from the treading-yard where we were fanning. On hearing the fan stop, he left immediately, and came to the spot where we were. He hastily inquired what the matter was. Bill answered that I was sick, and there was no one to bring wheat to the fan. I had by this time crawled away under the side of the post and rail-fence by which the yard was enclosed, hoping to find relief by getting out of the sun. He then asked where I was. He was told by one of the hands.

Hastily—quickly
Hands—workers


7. Why does Douglass describe the kick Covey gave him as “savage” and not “hard”? How does that contribute to the description of the events?



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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He came to the spot, and, after looking at me awhile, asked me what was the matter. I told him as well as I could, for I scarce had strength to speak. He then gave me a savage kick in the side, and told me to get up. I tried to do so, but fell back in the attempt. He gave me another kick, and again told me to rise. I again tried, and succeeded in gaining my feet; but, stooping to get the tub with which I was feeding the fan, I again staggered and fell. While down in this situation, Mr. Covey took up the hickory slat with which Hughes had been striking off the half-bushel measure, and with it gave me a heavy blow upon the head, making a large wound, and the blood ran freely; and with this again told me to get up. I made no effort to comply, having now made up my mind to let him do his worst.

Gaining my feet—standing up
Slat—piece of wood
Comply—obey
8.What did Covey do to Douglass when he found him in the shade?





Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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In a short time after receiving this blow, my head grew better. Mr. Covey had now left me to my fate.








Douglass at this point decided to go to his master (Thomas Auld, who had rented him to Covey for one year) and ask for help. He walked to his master’s, but his master sent him back to Covey the next morning.

Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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9. I reached Covey's about nine o’clock; and just as I was getting over the fence that divided Mrs. Kemp’s fields from ours, out ran Covey with his cowskin, to give me another whipping. Before he could reach me, I succeeded in getting to the cornfield; and as the corn was very high, it afforded me the means of hiding. He seemed very angry, and searched for me a long time. My behavior was altogether unaccountable. He finally gave up the chase, thinking, I suppose, that I must come home for something to eat; he would give himself no further trouble in looking for me. I spent that day mostly in the woods, having the alternative before me,—to go home and be whipped to death, or stay in the woods and be starved to death.

Afforded
Unaccountable—unable to be explained
9. What problem would Douglass face if he did not return to Covey?






Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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10. That night, I fell in with Sandy Jenkins, a slave with whom I was somewhat acquainted. Sandy had a free wife who lived about four miles from Mr. Covey’s; and it being Saturday, he was on his way to see her. I told him my circumstances, and he very kindly invited me to go home with him. I went home with him, and talked this whole matter over, and got his advice as to what course it was best for me to pursue. I found Sandy an old adviser. He told me, with great solemnity, I must go back to Covey; but that before I went, I must go with him into another part of the woods, where there was a certain root, which, if I would take some of it with me, carrying it always on my right side, would render it impossible for Mr. Covey, or any other white man, to whip me.

Fell in with—ran into and spent time with
Course to pursue—plan to follow
Solemnity—seriousness
Render





Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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He said he had carried it for years; and since he had done so, he had never received a blow, and never expected to while he carried it. I at first rejected the idea, that the simple carrying of a root in my pocket would have any such effect as he had said, and was not disposed to take it; but Sandy impressed the necessity with much earnestness, telling me it could do no harm, if it did no good. To please him, I at length took the root, and, according to his direction, carried it upon my right side.

Rejected
10. Disposition (Paragraph 4) is a noun, meaning tendency or frame of mind. Disposed is the verb. What does it mean?

11. What does Sandy tell Douglass he should do?







Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass



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11. This was Sunday morning. I immediately started for home; and upon entering the yard gate, out came Mr. Covey on his way to meeting. He spoke to me very kindly, bade me drive the pigs from a lot nearby, and passed on towards the church. Now, this singular conduct of Mr. Covey really made me begin to think that there was something in the ROOT which Sandy had given me; and had it been on any other day than Sunday, I could have attributed the conduct to no other cause than the influence of that root; and as it was, I was half inclined to think the root to be something more than I at first had taken it to be. All went well till Monday morning. On this morning, the virtue of the ROOT was fully tested.

Bade—told
Singular conduct—unusual behavior
Virtue—power
12. How does Covey behave towards Douglass when he first arrives back at the farm?



8. Why does Douglass end the paragraph with the sentence: “On this morning, the virtue of the ROOT was fully tested?”




Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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12. Long before daylight, I was called to go and rub, curry, and feed, the horses. I obeyed, and was glad to obey. But whilst thus engaged, whilst in the act of throwing down some blades from the loft, Mr. Covey entered the stable with a long rope; and just as I was half out of the loft, he caught hold of my legs, and was about tying me. As soon as I found what he was up to, I gave a sudden spring, and as I did so, he holding to my legs, I was brought sprawling on the stable floor. Mr. Covey seemed now to think he had me, and could do what he

Curry—comb and brush
Engaged—busy
Spring—jump


9. What details does Douglass provide that portray Covey as a bully and not a fair fighter?


Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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pleased; but at this moment—from whence came the spirit I don't know—I resolved to fight; and, suiting my action to the resolution, I seized Covey hard by the throat; and as I did so, I rose. He held on to me, and I to him. My resistance was so entirely unexpected that Covey seemed taken all aback. He trembled like a leaf. This gave me assurance, and I held him uneasy, causing the blood to run where I touched him with the ends of my fingers. Mr. Covey soon called out to Hughes for help. Hughes came, and, while Covey held me, attempted to tie my right hand. While he was in the act of doing so, I watched my chance, and gave him a heavy kick close under the ribs. This kick fairly sickened Hughes, so that he left me in the hands of Mr. Covey.

13. How does the fight between Douglass and Covey start?

14. Paraphrase the sentence that shows Douglass’s response: “Mr. Covey seemed now to think he had me, and could do what he pleased; but at this moment—from whence came the spirit I don't know—I resolved to fight; and, suiting my action to the resolution, I seized Covey hard by the throat; and as I did so, I rose.”




Assurance—confidence






Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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This kick had the effect of not only weakening Hughes, but Covey also. When he saw Hughes bending over with pain, his courage quailed. He asked me if I meant to persist in my resistance. I told him I did, come what might; that he had used me like a brute for six months, and that I was determined to be used so no longer.

Quailed—weakened, became less





13. With that, he strove to drag me to a stick that was lying just out of the stable door. He meant to knock me down. But just as he was leaning over to get the stick, I seized him with both hands by his collar, and brought him by a sudden snatch to the ground. By this time, Bill came. Covey called upon him for assistance. Bill wanted to know what he could do.

Strove


10. Why does Douglass describe Covey as “puffing and blowing at a great rate?”



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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Covey said, “Take hold of him, take hold of him!” Bill said his master hired him out to work, and not to help to whip me; so he left Covey and myself to fight our own battle out. We were at it for nearly two hours. Covey at length let me go, puffing and blowing at a great rate, saying that if I had not resisted, he would not have whipped me half so much. The truth was, that he had not whipped me at all. I considered him as getting entirely the worst end of the bargain; for he had drawn no blood from me, but I had from him. The whole six months afterwards that I spent with Mr. Covey, he never laid the weight of his finger upon me in anger. He would occasionally say he didn't want to get hold of me again. “No,” thought I, “you need not; for you will come off worse than you did before.”

15. What does Bill do that helps Douglass?

16. How does the fight end?



17. Why doesn’t Covey try to whip Douglass again?



10. Why does Douglass describe Covey as “puffing and blowing at a great rate?”



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

Third Read Questions

14. This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning-point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood. It recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired me again with a determination to be free. The gratification afforded by the triumph was a full compensation for whatever else might follow, even death itself. He only can understand the deep satisfaction which I experienced, who has himself repelled by force the bloody arm of slavery. I felt as I never felt before. It was a glorious resurrection, from the tomb of slavery, to the heaven of freedom. My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place;

Rekindled
Expiring embers—the last coals of a fire, just going out
Revived
Gratification—pleasure, satisfaction
Triumph—victory

Compensation—payment
Repelled
Resurrection—rebirth


11. Why does Douglass refer to the fight as a “resurrection?” To what is he alluding? Why would this appeal to his audience?



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


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Second Read Questions

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and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. I did not hesitate to let it be known of me, that the white man who expected to succeed in whipping, must also succeed in killing me.

18. Why was the fight with Covey important for Douglass?



I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact.”
12. What does that mean? How does the rest of the paragraph support it?


15. From this time I was never again what might be called fairly whipped, though I remained a slave four years afterwards. I had several fights, but was never whipped.






Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Boston, Massachusetts: Anti-Slavery Office, 1845. Project Gutenberg. Web.



Excerpt 4 Text and Questions: The Fight with Covey

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


Whole Excerpt

PURPOSE: How does this excerpt support the two positions Douglass held about slavery that are listed below?

1. Slavery is terrible for slaves.

2. Slavery corrupts slave holders.





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