A Single Shared Reading Response Assignment
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A Single Shared Reading Response Assignment


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Single​ ​Shard​ ​Reading​ ​Response​ ​Assignment​

​(50​ ​points) Due 11/1

First Part 25 points

1.) Read Chapters 1 – 7 in A Single Shard by Sue Park.

2.) Use the class generated Multicultural/International Literature Measurement Tool to write a page long critic of A Single Shard. Cited textual evidence to support opinions and findings must be present for all criteria listed in the tool. (Page Long)

NOTE: Make sure that you include a page number for all the things you cite or you will lose points.

Second Part 25 points

3.) Choose one of the following activities to complete and turn in on the due date.


– Design an advertisement for the book (please make it visually interesting and try to include some good quotes from the book).

– Write and imaginary interview with one of the main characters – make it believable by using what you know about the character from the book.

– Write/Design a simplified version of the story in picture book form.

– Draw a mural that highlights events from the book or retells the story.

– Make paper dolls and clothes of the main characters.

– Choose a familiar tune or song and write lyrics about the book to that tune/song).

– Make a board game using characters/elements from the book. – Rewrite the story or part of the story as a news article.


First Part (critical analysis)

A Single Shard is a novel by Park Park. It is a tale of devotion, loyalty and love. The main protagonist in the story is Tree-ear who is an orphan, living under a bridge near the potter' village (Ch'ulp'o), with the 'crane man', who is a disabled old man. Tree-ear has no parents, and he has been living with the crane man ever since he was a small boy, and was left under his care by the monks. There is a distinct loyalty and affection between these characters, as is evident through the feeding of food by Crane-man to Tree-ear, when the latter was too tired after a hard day' work (Park, 2002, p. 22). 

The story has elements of a folktale in its narration, where, the theme is often about winning over life post hardships. Much like the folktales, the characterization is very young, and the protagonists are honourable. The same is evident with Tree-ear' perception towards stealing rice from the farmer (Park, 2002, p.6), or his guilt towards Min, when he damaged his rectangle box (Park, 2002, p.20). Like a folktale, the plot is simple yet, interesting and reflect upon the values of the Korean people. In terms of accuracy, the values of humbleness and hard work amidst the Korean people, which have been portrayed well by Park. Tree-ear develops a bond with the crane man and is constantly unable to break it, which is typical of the Korean community, as is evident from his attempts to hide part of his meal for his 'family'. The domestication of Min' wife, and the constant skilled job labour in the region (a village of potters), are also a typical stereotypical representation of this community. When studying about their daily chores, the attentiveness of the characters towards the respect and cleanliness, and the details about their food habit, it becomes clear that Park has expressed cultural authenticity in the work. The same is represented through the selection of kimchi and bean curd as the food choices.


Part 2 (Interview with Tree-ear).

Question 1: Why did you decided to learn about pottery?

Tree-ear: I come from a village that is known for pottery, here, patrons from around the world comes to collect the ceramic items to give as gifts, or for other household purposes. This was not just an art form, but also required hard work and patience, which gave such tangible and beautiful end results. It was only natural that I find such trade as interesting.

Question 2: Why did you chose to follow Min, as opposed to other younger potters?

Tree-ear: While most potters kept their works hidden, Min was open about his work. He was a perfectionist, who liked his trade, and was always ready with a song on his lips, for he wanted to create something beautiful, and not just earn money. This trait, was the biggest reason for my inkling towards Min' art.

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