And of Clay Are We Created

by Isabel Allende

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Find newspaper stories about the 1985 volcanic eruption of Colombia’s Nevado Ruiz Mountain, the September 1999 earthquake in Taiwan, or another large-scale natural disaster. Look especially for stories about individual children trapped and rescued. Do you think the reporters writing these stories respect their subjects or exploit them? How emotionally involved do these reporters allow themselves to become?

What can cause mudslides of the magnitude described in this story? Research the geography and the geology to find an explanation. What parts of the United States and Canada are subject to this danger?

Most students know about the concentration camps run by the Germans during World War II, but fewer know much about Russian camps. Investigate these Russian camps. Who was held in them? What were conditions like? What happened to Russia during and after the war?

Investigate the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings about humans being made from clay and returning to the clay after death—teachings that Azucena would have been exposed to. Find out about other cultures—there are many—that also have stories about the first human being created from clay.

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