Extended Response for Hidden Songs of a Secret Soul

Hi Middle Schoolers,

Here is the extended response we wrote together. Thanks for all of your input.  Write a four paragraph essay answering the extended response question at the end of your packet. Just remember, turn the question into a statement. Establish your argument based on your inferences. Use the body of the essay to argue your claims based on evidence from the text and any background knowledge you may have. In the fourth and final paragraph, do your best to make an honest connection to the major problem or feelings surround the problem or the story. Finally, restate your inferences and evidence just as we did together this morning. Good Luck!

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Why is Lenny so afraid to share his poetry with other people? Use information from the story and your own observations and conclusions to support your answer.

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Lenny was afraid to share his poetry with other people for many reasons. Lenny was a shy person who kept everything to himself. He isolated himself from the world to keep himself from being hurt. Therefore, Lenny was too afraid to share his poetry.

Lenny was a shy person who kept everything to himself – even his poems. The text that supports this statement is, “Lenny had spent most of his life being invisible…and happy that we didn’t rag him like the others did.” Lenny lived alone, without a wife or no other family members. He did not have anyone to talk to.  Basically Lenny went to work, got harassed by his colleagues and then came home to an empty, one room apartment. Perhaps Lenny did want romance-he wrote many poems about romance. Lenny was far too shy to go out and actually meet someone. Because he was so timid, Lenny was not only afraid to share his poetry, he was afraid to share his life with someone special.

Lenny isolated himself from the world to keep from getting hurt.  The text states that when the full timers were bored, they would come over and tease Lenny about his lack of romance. This happened quite often. Lenny did his best to stay away from these people. When the college students tried to encourage Lenny to share his poetry, he replied, “Please, I have to work there.” That infers that if his coworkers found out that he wrote poetry, they would have another reason to bully Lenny. Lenny had good reason for not wanting to share his poetry because he experienced lots of pain due to all of the harassment.

I know how Lenny must have felt. It is very difficult to share your innermost feelings and emotions. It can be intimidating to share one’s hidden talents, especially when those surrounding you constantly make fun of you. Lenny was afraid to share his poetry with other people because he was shy and afraid of being humiliated.

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