Odd Girl Speaks Out

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The national bestseller Odd Girl Out exposed a hidden culture of cruelty that had always been quietly endured by American girls. As Rachel Simmons toured the country, these girls found their voices and spoke to her about their pain. They wanted to talk-and they weren't the only ones. Mothers, teachers, counselors, young professional women, even fathers, came to Rachel with heart-wrenching personal stories that could no longer be kept secret.
Here, Rachel creates a safe place for girls to talk, rant, sound off, and find each other. The result is a collection of wonderful accounts of the inner lives of adolescent girls. Candid and disarming, creative and expressive, and always exceptionally self-aware, these poems, songs, confessions, and essays form a journal of American girlhood. They show us how deeply cruelty flows and how strongly these girls want to change.
Odd Girl Out helped girls find their voices; Odd Girl Speaks Out helps them tell their stories.

I'm always the odd girl out
No one talks to me
I try to be friendly and speak out
But I'm invisible, see?

You know, gossip is a natural thing in high school. I'm one of those girls that will
do it right in front of you. I'll whisper at my friends and look at you the whole time.
Then we'll all cut up laughing. You know we're talking about you.

My best friend and I started being friends with this other girl. But she was fat. It was hard because she always wanted to go down the slide second and she would crush us. We didn't want to tell her she was fat, so we decided to drop her. Her mother called my mother and
told her we were being mean. But we just couldn't be friends with her anymore.

-from Odd Girl Speaks Out
Curriculet Details
54 Questions
59 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 9-10 grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining parallel structure, claims and how they are supported by arguments, and how the structure of an argument can strengthen its claim. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about similes and metaphors and how modern pop culture portrays the topic of bullies. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of how claims are developed, how inferences affect the underlying meanings of claims, and how to overcome being bullied. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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The Sound Of A Girl's Voice

The narrator was concerned about Emma for many reasons. Which was NOT a reason she felt concern? 
One reason that girls don't talk about bullying is that they feel isolated. 
When girls cannot express their feelings openly, they  
Determining an author's purpose can help interpret a text. This author chooses to inform girls of the commonality of bullying, through the stories of girls who have suffered. 
Alisa bullied the narrator in many ways. Which of the following is NOT a way that she bullied the narrator? 
When the narrator was able to see clearly, she realized that Alisa had no talents except the ability to create fear in others. She was popular with people because they did not want her to hurt them. 
Why did the narrator believe she would be invited to Sophie's birthday party? 
What emotion-laden words does the narrator use to advance her claim that Sophie was cruel? 
Notice the repetition of the words "after all that" and "after." Many times, authors will use repetition to emphasize their argument. Repetition is one of the rhetorical devices used to persuade others. See below for more information about this rhetorical device.  (This annotation contains a video)
Quite often in informational text, an author will present a central idea and then develop it. This central idea works much like a theme in literary text. The claim, or central idea, here is that the narrator feels she is quite often not included in what the group is doing. Watch for evidence she presents to support this claim. See below for more information about textual evidence.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which of the following represents evidence the narrator includes to support her claim? 
To describe an important event, oftentimes a clear tone will shine through in an author's work. A tone is defined as the author's opinion about a subject. Pay attention to the word choices of this narrator and try to determine how she feels about these memories. 
Which of the following tones is most evident as she describes her group of friends? 
An epiphany is a life changing moment, much like a climax in a fiction story. 
What claim is evident in this and in previous stories? 
Cliques have been the discussion of popular movies and t.v. shows, as in this Mean Girls clip below.  (This annotation contains a video)
What is one way this girl's experience is different from that of Gretchen in Mean Girls? 
Which character in Mean Girls is most like that of Gossip? 
The central idea that adversity can help you to grow stronger comes through in this text, also. 

"Why Is It My Fault That I Don't Want To Be Her Friend?"

Note the change in the central idea from the last section.  
Who does the narrator infer caused the changes in her? 
The narrator here explains that she doesn't like to communicate her feelings. Perhaps if she had been willing to explain to Maya why she didn't want to be friends, they could have parted ways more easily. 
Why would Camille and Amy being together in class become her "worst fear"? 
Amy does not want the narrator to become more independent, as evidenced by Melissa's call that night.  
Why does the narrator repeat "I will never"? 
The narrator's main claim in this story is that she did not know how to communicate to Jenna that she did not want to be friends. Pay attention to the ways she tries to stop being friends. 
The narrator could not tell Jenna that she no longer wanted to be friends. Which of the following actions did she try to separate from Jenna? 
Not only does the narrator not want to be friends with Jenna, she also does not want to sort out any problems with Jenna. 
What reason does the narrator give for girls who say they're not mad when they seem to be? 
By referring to the Sirens, the narrator is using an allusion, or reference to another literary work. In this case, it refers to the Odyssey, by Homer. 
What advice does the author give to help girls get through the growing pains of a changing relationship? 
The author uses white space and subheadings to help the reader understand that this section is different from the section before it. Pay attention: the central idea is changing. 
What effect does the parallel structure of "you have the right to" have on the text? 
Notice that in all the stories, very few of the girls who were leaving friendships were actually honest with their friends. 
What is a boundary, according to the author? 
The narrator makes a connection with how Mara had no self worth which caused her to be treated poorly. It is a simple cause and effect, but the narrator is only 12 years old. Many times, a writer's world view colors how they write. See below for more information about world view.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why might the narrator not understand what the girl is saying? 
Pay attention to what the narrator is saying about "It" girls.  
Based on textual evidence, what must "it" mean? 
The narrator seems more angry at "nice popular" people than "mean popular" people, perhaps because the "mean populars" are so much easier to spot. 
What arguments does the narrator make to prove she is nice? 
Note the rhyming in several end lines, to emphasize the author's point. 
Why does the narrator choose to begin this as a new stanza? 
The structure of this poem is deliberate. Pay attention to it. 
What is important about the structure of the poem? 
The reader must use inferences to determine that the author does not feel responsible for the fight that separated them. See below for more information about inferences.  (This annotation contains a video)
What clue does the narrator give you to say that she felt they drifted apart through actions that were not her fault? 
Section 1-2 Quiz 

"A Never-Ending Nightmare"

Note the new central idea: how girls feel when their friends turn against them. 
By ending the paragraph with this sentence, the narrator 
A central idea in these essays is that ignoring the problem does not make it better. 
Even in informational text, to connect with their audience writers use figurative language, such as similes and metaphors. In the highlighted text, the narrator uses a simile. See below for more information about this type of literary device.  (This annotation contains a video)
What type of literary device is used here? 
She had to feel that she was in charge of her situation, and by leaving, she took charge. 
The narrator is inferring here that she allowed bullying of others to take place, as long as it did not involve her. 
What evidence does the narrator use to make the claim that "they were never real friends"? 
Note the repetition of "I realized" and "I didn't realize" as she explains how she overcame some of her adversity. Repetition helps emphasize central ideas.  
What central idea do both this and the last story contain? 
Again, this girl believes she is a victim. What reasons does she give to support this claim? 
The narrator gives many reasons why she feels she is an innocent victim in the exchange between herself and her former friends. Which of the following is NOT a reason she gives to support this claim? 
This narrator has a hard time getting past what happened, and cannot see a reason why they all stopped spending time with her. Because the other girls would not giver her a reason why, it is much more painful for her. 
What type of literary device does the narrator use here? 
The advice the author gives is to be honest, and to be patient. 
Based on context clues, what does "silver linings to the clouds" mean? 
In addition to her other pieces of advice, the author reassures her readers that girls can be trusted. Pay attention to her reasons. 
The author gives many reasons why it is worthwhile to trust girls again after being hurt. Which of the following is NOT a reason she gives? 

It's The Way Girls Survive

These stories are from the perspective of the bullies, or at least, of the girls who act in a way they regret. 
By ending the paragraph with this sentence, the narrator is 
Notice that this narrator is using transitional sentences at the end of her paragraph. As she did earlier, she is setting up a change in her story. 
How did the narrator make restitution for what she had done? 
Notice the repetition of the phrase "for a while." 
What connections does the narrator make between her two friends? 
Take note of how the narrator describes herself. 
Whom does the narrator seem to blame for her problems? 
Jody either could not or would not tell an adult. Or if she did, the adults chose not to intervene. 
What does this narrator believe? 
The narrator perceived Mary as popular, and as dictating who she could be friends with. How will Mary react to the narrator's continued friendship with Erica? 
What were the consequences of the narrator's choice not to support Erica? 
The narrator confesses that she never told the other girl why they chose her as a victim. 
Which detail best supports the claim that the narrator and Kayla were very close? 
The reader should infer that Zoe has caused Rebecca and Kayla to act strangely towards her. 
One of the narrator's claims is that Zoe and Rebecca are leaders, while Kayla is a follower. Which detail does NOT support this claim? 
This section is written by the author of the text. She will follow up with advice and research about bullying. 
What does our culture's insistence that girls must be nice cause girls to do? 
If girls are not honest and cannot express their emotions honestly, then they can misinterpret what they perceive. 
Pay attention to the reasons that communicating via IM is a bad idea. 
The author uses many examples to explain why using IM to fight is a bad idea. Which of the following is NOT a reason to avoid IM? 
Now that the author has established that it is important to communicate, she will move on to listening and its importance. 
What is the author's purpose in using the sub headings of "listen" and "stay with the issue" above? 
The message a friend can infer is sometimes directly opposed to what you intended to convey.  
What mistake do both girls who refuse to apologize and girls who apologize all the time make? 
In other words, a sincere, heartfelt apology will work wonders with others. 
Section 3-4 Quiz 

I Wanted To Fit In So Badly

What is unique about the letters in this section? 
This sentence serves to clue the reader in to the idea that worse stories of bullying are on the horizon. 
What event caused the narrator to feel "on the verge of tears"? 
Like many other bullied girls, she had to leave the ones who tortured her for relief. 
How does narrator treat her daughter that is in contrast to the previous story's mother? 
Over and over, the narrator, Anna, feels failed by the adults around her. 
Why did Anna believe her life to be "the lowest of the low"? 
The narrator ends with admitting that she was not perfect, as she has argued earlier in the story. 

Finding Your Inner Strength

What do the girls whose struggles seem to never end learn? 
What follows are some practical suggestions of what to do if you are constantly bullied. 
What is one commonality between the advice of the author and of the song from REM? 
Although this is a fairly famous saying, one band, REM, has written a song about it. Watch this video to understand the idea behind this phrase.  (This annotation contains a video)
The narrator is setting up her argument here, that she did something wrong and as a result received severe repercussions. Pay attention to what those repercussions might be. 
Which argument best supports her claim that she faced severe repercussions for her misdeeds? 
Like some of the other stories in this book, the narrator feels she has overcome her terrible experiences and become stronger. 
Notice how the narrator defines happiness in this piece. 
What did the narrator realize about happiness? 
The narrator's claim is now that her relationship with God transformed her life. Pay attention to the arguments she uses to support that claim. 
The narrator defines happiness in many ways. Which is one way she does NOT define happiness? 
The narrator is admitting here that some of why she felt alone had to do with her own actions. 
What type of literary device is used here? 
Here, the narrator uses a technique called personification, where an inanimate object acts as a person might. See below for more information about personification.  (This annotation contains a video)
Final Quiz