Hourglass by Myra McEntire: Essay & Project Topics

School may be out for summer, but when you go back in the fall, we want you to be armed with ideas for using exciting new books in the classroom. That’s why we’ve put together these essay and project topics using Hourglass by Myra McEntire — which you can share with your teachers, or use as inspiration for some of your own essays and classroom projects.

Essay Topics:

* Compare the elements of time travel in Hourglass to time travel in the classic novel The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. How does the “time slip” element of Hourglass compare to the use of a device in The Time Machine?

* Explore the definition of “time slip” through the way time travel is employed in Hourglass. Can you think of any other literary examples where such a device is used?

* Part of Hourglass includes Emerson’s glimpses of the past. Explore the different historical references in the text, and how they relate to Emerson’s story.

* Michael wears a ring with the infinity symbol engraved on it. Explore the meaning of this symbolism and how it relates to the rest of the story, the idea of time travel, etc.

* The characters in Hourglass have a very “X-Men”/super hero team quality to them. Explore the nature of “super hero teams” and how this dynamic applies (or doesn’t, if you think that’s the case) to the characters in Hourglass.

Project Topics:

* The idea of time is such an important part of Hourglass. Create a collage of different representatives of time: clocks, hourglasses, watches, etc. What other imagery can you think of?

* Create your own version of Michael’s infinity ring or Kaleb’s “hope” disc.

* In Hourglass, Emerson sees visions of the past: Southern belles, Civil War soldiers, a jazz trio. Create a drawing or painting of these historic images as you think Emerson might have seen them.

* Emerson’s brother is an architect in the South. Create a model of a piece of classic Southern architecture.

For the comments: What other ways can you think of to use Hourglass in the classroom?

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