Thursday, December 10, 2015

AGENDA 12/10

Finish acting out Hamlet V.ii

Share your intended monologues and dialogues for next week's final exam. Here's the lineup so you can see when you are scheduled to perform and if another group is doing the same (or a similar) scene. For those of you who haven't signed up yet, please do!

HW: Finish journal entries, foldables, and begin rehearsing for next week's final exam performances. Remember to think about the suggestion of a costume--even if you borrow my props, you'll need to add something to your character!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Discuss Ophelia's character and the changes in her relationship with Hamlet over the course of the play.

Read aloud scenes from III.i, III.ii, IV.v

HW: Finish the play if you haven't already--tomorrow is the exciting conclusion!

Journal entries:
5 journal entries (A1, A2, two options) from Hamlet following a unifying thread or motif
2 journal entries on independent reading book - one from first half of book, one from second half
1 from Oedipus Rex
(plus the three we've done already: Ready Player One, Bible as Literature, The School for Scandal)

Foldables for Candide, School for Scandal, Pygmalion, Oedipus Rex, and Hamlet

Note: Please plan to turn one of these assignments (the journal or the foldables) in on Friday and the other on Monday.

Monday, November 23, 2015

AGENDA 11/23

Watch and discuss I.iv and I.v of Branagh's 1996 Hamlet
Discuss Hamlet's second soliloquy and Hamlet's "plan" in I.v "O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?" and Hamlet's "plan" speech that he announces to his friends, "And therefore as a stranger give it welcome."

Complete 5 more words for our literary terms glossary in our journals (due at end of semester--look at the one you did in October for School for Scandal to make sure you don't repeat terms. For these, you can either handwrite or type the word, definition, and image--could be hand-drawn as stick figures or clip-art).

HW: Read II.i and II.ii up to "Denmark's a prison" at line 270 for tomorrow.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

AGENDA 11/19

Watch I.i and I.ii of Branagh's 1996 Hamlet
What are the opening "questions" of the play?
How does Shakespeare create a mysterious tone?
Why does Shakespeare employ allusions to ancient Rome?
What paradoxes do we see in Claudius's speech? How do these paradoxes make him out to be the villain?
Why is Hamlet so upset? What does he reveal in his first soliloquy?

HW: Preread the rest of Act I for class tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

AGENDA 11/18

Hamlet preview activity: write and perform dialogues for monster points

Hie thee hither to yon textbook room to obtain copies of The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

HW: Complete online discussion of Oedipus Rex. Complete journal entry #4 for independent reading, first half; journal entry #5 for Oedipus Rex. Complete foldable for Oedipus Rex. Read Act I.i and I.ii of The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark for tomorrow.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Complete foldable entry for Pygmalion
Watch rest of Pygmalion film if time permits

Optional Learning Opportunity for Clybourne Park, with Cast List

Please submit journals.

HW: Finish reading the "Sequel" (epilogue) of Pygmalion if you haven't already and completed your foldable entry.

Friday, October 30, 2015

AGENDA 10/30

Watch Act III of Pygmalion

Reader's Theatre - Act III of Pygmalion
Turn in Journals with topics 1, 2, 3 (#4 will be for your independent reading book, due next week)

HW: Complete take-home quiz over Acts II and III of Pygmalion due Monday.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

AGENDA 10/22

Present "Asides" skits - first without asides (just dialogue), then again from each character's perspective

  1. What do asides add?
  2. What will we look for as we read next plays?
  3. If I were writing an essay about asides in dramatic literature, what would I focus on?

HW: Remember to post in online discussion board on regarding gossip in The School for Scandal. Complete journal entry for The School for Scandal (A1, A2, two options)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

AGENDA 10/21

Lesson: Asides

Watch "Shakespearean Aside" and discuss: What is an aside? How is it used? What are the effects? How would it differ if the other character gave the aside? What might that character reveal differently?

Then, show “Aside” : how can we make our definition/ideas more formal? Why are asides prevalent in Restoration comedies? What are other reasons this drama teacher shares as to why playwrights use asides?

Next, discuss the use of asides in School for Scandal: Which characters use asides most frequently? Why might this be?

Finally, let's practice! Write a short skit for two characters given a conflict. Then, add asides for one character to make the audience sympathetic to that character, make the character more believable or well-developed, or increase dramatic tension. Then try adding asides for the other character. How do the asides change the meaning of the play or influence your understanding of characters?

HW: Continue to work on online discussion of gossip in The School for Scandal  and a journal entry on the text (A1, A2, two options).

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Discuss Act II, scene i with your sharing partners. What did you add to your tree maps as you read last night? What annotations did you make? What unfamiliar vocabulary did you discover? What clarifying questions do you have? What seemed important?

Read Act II, scene 2 silently and continue to make annotations as you read.

Break into groups of 8 people and modernize Act II, scene ii, lines 1-76 of The School for Scandal.


In modernizing, the group will need a clear setting (e.g., we’re all college students gossiping at a Starbucks, or we’re football players gossiping about a rival team, or we’re a bunch of teachers gossiping in the teacher’s lounge, or we’re Harry Potter and friends at Hogwarts squaring off against Draco Malfoy and the Slytherins, or we’re attendees at a Comic-Con, or we’re the characters of Grey’s Anatomy, or we’re the Capulets gossiping about the Montagues, or whatever...) and the details/jargon of their insults should match that setting and the tone of the original play. This should be fun! The goal is to communicate the tone, attitudes of characters, and overall snarkiness of the scene. To get it done in time, students will need to choose out their characters and help each other--some characters have more lines than others, so work as a team. We’ll present these little mini-performances in class tomorrow. Students are encouraged to dress the part or bring props to enhance their skits!

HW: Finish writing/practicing skit and pull together the suggestion of a costume or props. I’ll have placards ready with the School for Scandal character names.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Dear Students,

It's college essay appointment time! I'm using VolunteerSpot to organize our upcoming sign-ups.

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot:
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot...but if you do, VolunteerSpot will email you a helpful reminder before your appointment. :-)

Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.


Thinking Map: Defining "What Is Poetry"

Construct a circle map in plain pen or pencil, with "poetry" at the center, and list out everything you know about poetry (e.g., types of poems, famous poets, what poetry does, literary terms associated with poetry, etc.)

Collaborate with a partner and share maps. Add to your map if you desire.

Return to your seat and apply color to categorize some of the thinking in your map and add a key/legend to explain the meaning of the colors.

Draw a frame around the margins of the page in the same plain pencil or pen. We'll call this our Frame of Reference.

Now, in blue (or banded in blue), label "My Current P.O.V. of Poetry" and write a complete sentence to explain your current point of view: Do you like poetry? Dislike it? Find poetry confusing? Find poetry inspiring? (Remember: Blue is for Point of View)

Get Perrine's Sound and Sense from the textbook room. Read pages 3-10, Chapter 1, "What is Poetry?" Add 3 pieces of textual evidence from the reading to your map and put a green band/circle around it (or write in green if you prefer). Make sure to cite the textual evidence (Perrine #)! (Remember, Green is for the source your ideas spring from or grow from)

NOTE: If, while reading the source, you come up with other information to add to your original circle map, you absolutely should! Just circle that word/phrase in green (in addition to any other categories you've already circled it for) to distinguish that it came from the source rather than your prior knowledge.

Use red to band/frame/write a complete sentence answering "So What?" near the top of your frame: What is a working definition of poetry? Taking together your initial ideas and the reading, what IS poetry?

Use red to band/frame/write a complete sentence answering "So Why?" near the bottom of your frame: Why do people study poetry? Why does poetry endure? Why is poetry important?
(Remember, Red is for Stop and Reflect or Stop and Synthesize)

Bring your completed map to class tomorrow and be ready to discuss. Here's our sample-work-in-progress map with sticky notes giving directions on items yet to be completed.

HW: Finish map/reflection and finish revising Candide papers (final draft due to by Sunday evening!)

Thursday, September 24, 2015


1. Return to the prompt "The Other Paris" that we examined in class. Reread the passage and select the two parts of the passage that best communicate the satire or social commentary. In a sentence or two, explain what Gallant's social commentary is: how is this particular satirist holding up a mirror to society, and what does she see as these couple's (and by extension, society's) flaws? In another sentence, explain what larger meaning Gallant reveals in this short story about love and selecting a partner with whom to share one's life. What are we supposed to realize about love and marriage?

Share three responses aloud with the class. After three responses are read, ask students to discuss: what is similar about each response? What did students do well? What might be expanded on or is missing to analyze the piece fully?

Need a glossary for literary terms? Here's a good one focusing primarily on drama

2. Building Context:
Video #1: All About the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason

Take notes during the video. Consider major ideas, keywords, significant details, connections to Voltaire and Swift, and satire and drama. Following the video, discuss with your sharing partner: what did you decide to take notes on? What seems most important to help you understand the literature of this time period?

Video #2: Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s

Again, take notes during the video. Consider major ideas, keywords, significant details, connections to Voltaire and Swift, and satire and drama. Following the video, discuss with your sharing partner: what did you decide to take notes on? What seems most important to help you understand the literature of this time period?

HW: Continue to draft and revise Candide essays and college essay personal statements.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Shape Notes and Word Clouds - two options for visual note-taking

Brief video on Jonathan Swift and "A Modest Proposal"

Peer review of Candide essay drafts - review rubric and questions on board

HW: Revise Candide essay drafts. Email me for help!

Friday, September 18, 2015


In-class partner work on Swift's "A Modest Proposal"
Discuss Candide post-it thesis statements
A few notes:

  • Avoid using "proves" in your essay. Fiction rarely proves anything. :-) Instead, use "suggests," "contends," "asserts," "reveals"
  • Avoid "you" and "your" in formal writing. Instead, use the first-person plural "we," "us," "our," or third-person singular "people," "society"
  • Keep the focus on the author's choices, not "the reader's" reactions. Try to use the author's name twice as often as the names of any characters.
  • Introductions should include a hook, context, and your thesis. For more help on these components, ask!
  • Your goal is a solid, plausible literary analysis and interpretation of Candide. It should serve as a model for you for the rest of the year.
  • Body paragraphs should incorporate direct/specific evidence (cited in parentheses by page number) and analyze both how Voltaire communicates themes and how he uses language to provoke "thoughtful laughter"
  • The thesis should include not only a discussion of Voltaire's theme, but also why Voltaire uses satire to help convey this theme: What is special about satire that allows it to "pave the way" for this particular conversation with his audience? How does satire function here: does it let him speak challenging truths to people in power? Does it hold up a mirror to society and cause us to reflect gently on our own foibles? Does the exaggeration help us imagine a future or world not too far from our own if we don't change our ways? What's the specific aim of this particular use of satire??? Refer to our Satire Notes for help.
HW: Typed draft of Candide essay due in class on Tuesday. If you need help this weekend, consider sending a chat request through Remind or ClassDojo! I might get to it more quickly that way :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Preparing a thesis for Candide papers

Discuss themes/big ideas in Candide: review and reread the last two pages of the book. Then consider:

  • Why a "garden"? How does this mirror Ch 1 and 2?
  • What elements of Leibniz's philosophy and Optimism does Voltaire exaggerate?
  • What does Voltaire show through the "honest Turk" at the end of the book? How does "cultivating a garden" keep men safe from "weariness, vice, and want"? What does Voltaire think people should do to be happy?
  • What are the roles of women in the book? What does Candide (and through Candide, what do WE realize) realize about "love" and the treatment of/roles of women? How does his perspective change, and what might we learn from this?
  • What is the significance of the paradoxical El Dorado?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Discuss Candide PPT  - learning the context of an author's life and times can help us better understand the themes/arguments the author presents (especially with a satire, which is often topical)

HW: Formulate a working thesis for your Candide paper - we'll be sharing them publicly on post-it notes tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Review Introduction to Satire Notes (generated as a class)

Small groups: analyze William Hogarth's "Beer Street" using OPTIC strategy; discuss and compare with "Gin Lane"

Want to learn more about Hogarth's work and times? Try this link from the BBC

Share out findings

Discuss potential themes and moments of "thoughtful laughter" in Candide

HW: Continue to review Candide; make progress in independent reading; continue to draft and revise college essays

Friday, September 11, 2015


Introduction to Satire Notes (generated as a class)

Small groups: analyze William Hogarth's "Gin Lane" using OPTIC strategy

Share out findings

HW: Review ch 1-13 of Candide; make progress in independent reading; continue to draft and revise college essays

Thursday, September 10, 2015



Watch and discuss college essay videos from Khan Academy:
Writing a Strong College Essay
Avoiding Common Admissions Essay Mistakes
Sample Essay 1 with Admissions Feedback

HW: Make progress in independent reading book. Continue to draft and revise college essays.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT Presentation and Bookmarks for Parents

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Review and approve Independent Reading choices
Take notes, observe, reflect, question as we view and discuss: The Connections Between Art and Bible as Literature: Paintings of New Testament Scenes through the Ages

HW: Start independent reading book. Continue to revise college essay drafts.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Discuss recommendations for Independent reading: select a book from this list and bring it on Wednesday!

Peer revision #1 of college essays - model in front of class and then ask partners to read their drafts aloud while partner sketches/answers questions.

HW: Begin indie reading book--bring it tomorrow!

Friday, September 4, 2015


College Essays: Review and share tips for UC prompts and Common App prompts.

Discuss Reading Journals: Revision and Table of Contents

Independent reading: select a book from this list and bring it on Wednesday! Want suggestions? Ask and I'll help you find the perfect book!

HW: Bring a typed draft of any college essay (Common App, UC, supplement, or any other specific essay prompt you need to write) to class, ready to share on Tuesday. Select an independent reading book from this list and bring it to class on Wednesday (feel free to start reading!).

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Candide reading quiz
Discussion/Escalating Questions: "Or the Bible"from How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Submit Reading Journals #1 and #2 for feedback and scoring

Introduce and discuss UC prompts and Common App prompts: bring a working draft of one essay on Monday for sharing and early revisions

HW: Bring a working draft of a college essay on one of the UC prompts or Common App prompts for Monday. Need extra help? See me today or tomorrow at lunch or make an appointment to meet after school!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Presentation in College Center

HW: RJ Entry #2 due Thursday: selections from the Hebrew Bible/OT. Complete A1, A2, and two options from among B-H. Reading quiz over Candide on Thursday.

Selections: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
GENESIS  Ch 1 to 9; 11, 22
EXODUS  Ch 1-14; 19 to 20
JUDGES  Ch 13 to 16
RUTH  Ch 1 to 4
JOB  Ch 1 to 3; 8 to 10; 38, 42
ECCLESIASTES  Ch 1 to 3; 12
JONAH  Ch 1 to 4

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Finish PPT and Notes: Introduction to the Bible as Literature (Per 5 only)

Finish Allusions Workshop and share out from each group: How do allusions add to the meaning of a work? (Per 5 only)

Begin reading and discussing Thomas C. Foster's "...Or the Bible" from How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Per 2 and 5)

Begin work on Reading Journal Entry #2

HW: RJ Entry #2 due Thursday: selections from the Hebrew Bible/OT. Complete A1, A2, and two options from among B-H. Reading quiz over Candide on Thursday.

Selections: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
GENESIS  Ch 1 to 9; 11, 22
EXODUS  Ch 1-14; 19 to 20
JUDGES  Ch 13 to 16
RUTH  Ch 1 to 4
JOB  Ch 1 to 3; 8 to 10; 38, 42
ECCLESIASTES  Ch 1 to 3; 12
JONAH  Ch 1 to 4

Monday, August 31, 2015


Finish PPT and Notes: Introduction to the Bible as Literature

Finish Allusions Workshop and share out from each group: How do allusions add to the meaning of a work?

Begin reading and discussing Thomas C. Foster's "...Or the Bible" from How to Read Literature Like a Professor

HW: RJ Entry #2 due Thursday: selections from the Hebrew Bible/OT. Complete A1, A2, and two options from among B-H. Reading quiz over Candide on Thursday.

Selections: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
GENESIS  Ch 1 to 9; 11, 22
EXODUS  Ch 1-14; 19 to 20
JUDGES  Ch 13 to 16
RUTH  Ch 1 to 4
JOB  Ch 1 to 3; 8 to 10; 38, 42
ECCLESIASTES  Ch 1 to 3; 12
JONAH  Ch 1 to 4

Friday, August 28, 2015


Continue PPT and Notes: Introduction to the Bible as Literature

Complete Allusions Workshop and share out from each group: How do allusions add to the meaning of a work?

HW: Review Candide: quiz next week!

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Quiz over Course Syllabus and Ready Player One

Continue to explore the Bible as Literature--take notes and share ppt
Our notes from p2, "What is Literature?"
Our notes from p5, "What is Literature?"

Reminder: Screening of World 1-1 tonight, 6pm, Barnum Hall. Hope to see you there!

Please complete Reading Journal #1: A1, A2, and TWO options from among B-H for Ready Player One. I'll be checking these entries on Friday and Monday, along with your signed course syllabus page.

HW: Review the NT reading selections for Monday's class:
MATTHEW   Ch 1 to 7; 24 to 28
LUKE Ch 24
JOHN  Ch 20 to 21

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Getting Started 8/26 - Practice for quiz over syllabus and Ready Player One

Discuss themes and significance of Ready Player One

Reminder: Screening of World 1-1 in Barnum Hall tomorrow night, 6pm. Hope to see you there!

HW: Study for tomorrow's quiz. Add to the reading journal as needed to make sure you complete A1, A2, and TWO options from B-H. (Sorry about the earlier misunderstanding!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Distribute and answer questions about Course Syllabus (quiz Thursday!)

Share and comment on two partners' Reading Journal Entries #1: Complete A1, A2, and TWO options from among B-H. What does your partner do well? What might he or she need to add/revise?

HW: Review Ready Player One and course syllabus for quiz on Thursday.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Getting Started Quickwrite
HW Check: Collect Six-Word Memoir after voting or Pink Sheet

Continue to create Reading Journal Entry #1 for Ready Player One

HW: Complete Reading Journal Entry #1 for Ready Player One and be ready to share it in class tomorrow!

Friday, August 21, 2015


Name tags
Directions for Six-Word Memoir assignment (due Monday)
Explain Reading Journal Options and begin work on Journal Entry #1 for Ready Player One (we'll continue work in class on this on Monday)

HW: Create six-word memoir to showcase your personality and make sure it's bulletin-board worthy! Bring to class on Monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Finish science fiction seminars

Sign up for Magical Realism Presentations: please note that each presentation spot is only FOUR minutes long! (Please also note that 4 minutes is a limit, not a goal. Your presentation should be targeted and brief.) If you and a partner are signing up, choose two back-to-back spots for your presentation, putting your name in one and your partner's in the other. That way I can make sure that no one is overlooked.

If you would like help shaping your presentation or creation, please let me know!

Reminder that ALL components of the poetry project must be submitted to before midnight on Tuesday, 5/26. Please refer to the handouts/checklists and online rubric at Again, if you have questions, problems, or need help--please ask!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Read and annotate science fiction short stories for Tuesday's graded seminar:

"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut
"Bloodchild" by Octavia Butler
"Robbie" by Isaac Asimov
"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury
"A Little Something for Us Tempunauts" by Philip K. Dick
"Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" by Kurt Vonnegut

Select two of these stories to complete reading journal responses for, #10 and #11. Be prepared to discuss all of the stories in class on Tuesday.


Thursday, May 7, 2015


Journal #9: Intro to Science Fiction

Assignment Updates:
Due 5/13 - Hard copies of second drafts (meaning, you've read over your writing at least once and given a basic proofread) of ALL components of the poetry project
1) Annotated bibliography of the 5 sources (3+ biographical, 1 for the work of poems. One source might have been literary criticism, or it might be a fourth biographical source)
2) Poet Biography Essay Outline
3) Poet Biography Essay
4) Poet Vision Synthesis Essay

We will have a peer-revise read-around in class on 5/13 and will revise for the final drafts, which will be due to on 5/18.

We will go over the final project on magical realism in class tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Two Poems, One Plan PPT to review dual-poem essay
Our in-class Jeopardy! Review
Review your foldables for the Open Question

Remember to go to bed early, eat a real breakfast, give yourself enough time for a 10-minute warm-up in the morning (materials will be provided), pack extra already-sharpened pencils and a handful of pens of the same color ink, along with a healthy snack for the break, and be at the South Gym by 7:15am. You'll be fabulous!

Friday, April 24, 2015


Directions: Share your draft(s) electronically with at least one classmate and with me, and address the following questions as you read:

Does the paper present the parts of the poet's life that are most helpful to understanding the poet's work?
Is the paper organized logically? Do transitions make sense?
Is all quoted/paraphrased research information cited according to MLA format in parentheses?
Does the paper maintain an academic voice throughout, while being enjoyable to read?
What parts are unclear or need expanding? What, if anything, could be edited down?
Does the paper have a satisfying conclusion?
Is the paper free of grammatical errors?
To what extent does the paper use varied syntax to communicate ideas effectively?
Does the paper follow MLA formatting guidelines throughout for citations, headers, and margins?

Does the essay begin with an engaging hook or important context?
Does the essay present a logical, persuasive claim that provides a unifying idea for or insight regarding the poet's works?
Does the essay directly quote and analyze at least 3 different poems?
Is all quoted/paraphrased research information cited according to MLA format in parentheses?
Are lines from poetry cited according to MLA format in parentheses, and do quotations use slashes to denote line breaks? (/)
Does the paper maintain an academic voice throughout, while being enjoyable to read?
What parts are unclear or need expanding? What, if anything, could be edited down?
Where does the paper make use of stylistic techniques? Do these support the ideas of the paper or do they feel "tacked on" or "dropped in"?
Does the paper have a satisfying conclusion?
Is the paper free of grammatical errors?
To what extent does the paper use varied syntax to communicate ideas effectively?
Does the paper follow MLA formatting guidelines throughout for citations, headers, and margins?

Use the "Comment" feature to make running comments on the draft(s). Please do not correct grammar or spelling or other writing errors/choices yourself; flag problems in the comments so the student can revise.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Check-in and regroup: Poetry Project components
Examine sample poetry synthesis paper and highlight/discuss in comparison with the assignment sheet and rubric

HW: Continue to read 100 Years of Solitude and prepare for poetry presentations/draft poetry project components.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Here are the directions from the ppt I shared in class to help you start your foldable review

Select 8 works to review, at least 6 of which are texts we studied together (2 can be independent reading books or works you studied in previous years).

For each work:

  • 3-4 important characters
    • Provide a relationship or brief description
  • Two brief, memorizable quotations
  • Theme Keywords & Literary Questions
    • What questions does this work raise?
    • What concepts or motifs recur in this work?
  • Summarize 3 important scenes w/ details
    • Demonstrate you actually read the book
Due 3/27 in class. You may use the colored paper provided, or index cards, or another thoughtful method to organize this information.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Check-in: Poetry Study Project
by end of week, Critical Annotation #3 (biography or literary criticism) and working thesis for poet vision & synthesis paper

Poetry Project Overview

Poet Vision & Synthesis paper, First steps: Select 3-6 poems (based on length and complexity) that you're interested in writing about: what patterns or ideas do you notice? What's worth discussing or noticing?

Biography paper, First Steps: complete 3rd critical annotation and start to think about categories of information that you could use to organize the biography

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Review of yesterday's multiple-choice: trends, what to work on, etc.
Discuss Chronicle of a Death Foretold in groups of 5, examining it in the context of the 1986 Open Question

1986: Some works of literature use the element of time in a distinct way. The chronological sequence of events may be altered, or time may be suspended or accelerated. Choose a novel, an epic, or a play of recognized literary merit and show how the author’s manipulation of time contributes to the effectiveness of the work as a whole.

To break this down:
1) What is/are the meaning(s) of the work as a whole? (e.g. possible themes)
2) How does the manipulation of time help reveal or support this meaning?
3) What evidence (particular scenes/details) might you use to support your ideas?

HW: Critical Annotation #2 due tomorrow: book of poems. Examine the editor's choices in assembling this collection of poems. Pay particular attention to the foreword/preface/table of contents/afterword/back cover as you summarize, assess, and reflect. Revise Critical Annotation #1 if you would like more credit, using my comments to guide you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Multiple-choice practice: Take the passage, then discuss and compare answers, then review

Friday, February 20, 2015


Introduction - The Life and Legacy of Gabriel García Márquez
complete cloze notes
brief biographical video on the life of Gabriel García Márquez from CNN
brief biographical video on the life of Gabriel García Márquez from DemiocracyNow!

Get Chronicle of a Death Foretold; complete reading by Wednesday.

HW: Get Chronicle of a Death Foretold; complete reading by Wednesday. Remember to read actively,

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Front Circle discussions continue

Please turn in reading journals

HW: independent reading--have you been reading lots of poems by your poet? What trends are you noticing?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Finish sharing character poems (from students who were absent)
Continue Front discussions on Open Questions related to Tale of Two Cities

2015 AP Exam Registration flyer
Quick link to Vikings Web Store to purchase exams via credit card (note that a $7 processing fee applies)

Make sure you register for AP English Literature and Composition :-) before 2/27 so you can avoid the $10 per exam late fee!

See Pust for help or questions; see Ms. Chew in M House office, H106, as soon as possible to register in person or if you need financial assistance.

HW: Keep reading your books of poetry. Tomorrow, we'll review the critical annotations and launch the next part. Journals due by Thursday for grading, please.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Share character poems (from students who were absent)
Begin Front discussions on Open Questions related to Tale of Two Cities

HW: Keep reading your books of poetry. Tomorrow, we'll continue to view and score our Front Discussions.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Class presentation on Butterflies Are Free by director Ernest Figueroa and Klarissa Leuterio of the Broad Stage

HW: Complete 1/2 page reflection on today's class: what did you put into it? What did you get out of it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015


2015 AP Exam Registration flyer
Quick link to Vikings Web Store to purchase exams via credit card (note that a $7 processing fee applies)

Make sure you register for AP English Literature and Composition :-) before 2/27 so you can avoid the $10 per exam late fee!

See Pust for help or questions; see Ms. Chew in M House office, H106, as soon as possible to register in person or if you need financial assistance.


Share character charts from Friday
In groups of 3-4, prep for Open Question in journals--write notes and a full thesis statement after discussing with partners, then share out thesis statements and compare/discuss their merits

HW: Get book of poems by your chosen poet and begin reading. Bring book and your notes on two poems for Wednesday's class.

Friday, January 30, 2015


Field trip forms for 2/10 - distribute
Model Character Chart for A Tale of Two Cities
Character’s name
Explore connections to other characters, character’s main traits, overview of the character
items, patterns, or recurring words that help to describe or accompany this character
2 direct quotations with page numbers (if the character changes, try to demonstrate the contrast)
A complete sentence explaining the role of the character as the character pertains to theme or larger meanings: what does the character reveal about human nature or life?

See Sample for Mr. Jarvis Lorry
Choose any two other characters from A Tale of Two Cities and complete the chart. If you work collaboratively, make sure to write the theme statement individually
Characters might include: Monsieur the Marquis, Dr. Manette, Lucie Manette, Mr. Stryver, Miss Pross, Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton, Madame Defarge, Monsieur Ernest Defarge, Monsieur Gabelle

HW: Finish reading A Tale of Two Cities and be ready to discuss. Major #spoilers next week, so get caught up NOW!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Compare/contrast poetry - analyzing "London, 1802" and "Douglass"
How might we explain the larger meaning of each? How would we compare and differentiate their structure, style, and purposes? Write a 1-2 sentence "thesis" exploring the important similarities and differences. HINT: try to avoid talking about similar devices/structure, and instead focus on how they compare in terms of meaning or purpose.

Share out/discuss

HW: Finish reading A Tale of Two Cities for class tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Aloha! Happy Hawaiian Day for Spirit Week!

Select poets for Spring Poet Study Project; review critical annotation requirements
Discuss Book the Second, Chapters 7-12 of Tale

HW: For Monday, bring a typed critical annotation for your chosen poet. Research (from one source, online or in print) your poet's life and write a well-developed paragraph that tackles the following:

  1. Summarize: What did you read about or learn? What are the highlights? Include two specific details (in the form of direct quotation) that you discovered.
  2. Assess: Evaluate the credibility of the source and the accuracy of the information. How do you know you can trust this source? Or if you can't, what clues tipped you off? Also, explain how what you read matches up with your prior knowledge (if you have any) of the poet's life or works.
  3. Reflect: What was interesting or surprising? How might this information be useful as you explore this poet's life and work? What might you want to be cautious about, so that you don't over-assume things about the poetry and lay on autobiographical intent that isn't there.
  4. Use MLA format and include an MLA-formatted citation at the end.
HINTS: This is exactly the same as the Shakespeare critical annotation assignment we did last semester, except that this time, I'm pushing the "reflect" element in the hopes that you will pre-screen the research for its usefulness. Also, if you have difficulties printing things out, feel free to email me the document on Sunday (or before) and I will print a hard copy for you. Finally, if you cannot confine your ideas logically to a paragraph, you have my permission to use additional paragraphs as needed, but this should be viewed as a brief assignment.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Meeting in College Center for Financial Aid and life after college applications (ha!).
FAFSA deadline for CA is 3/2; deadline for private schools is earlier. Also CSS Financial Aid profile must be completed. These applications will take TIME, so don't delay.
Commit day is 5/1--make sure to commit SOMEWHERE even if you're still wait-listed by dream school
Apply to scholarships, but only those you're eligible for--and remember, if there's an essay, your chances are better! ;-) #lifetip

Homework for Tuesday: Timed essay - Two poems. Prepare by reading pages 296-297 in Sound and Sense. Choose one of the paired poems and write an introduction and one body paragraph (Spend 40 minutes maximum on this!). We'll discuss Tale, Book the 2nd, Ch 1-6 on Wednesday.Read and take notes for Tale Book the 2nd, chapters 7-10 for Thursday.

Takeaway: It's not over. Don't think it's over. It's never over.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Reading quiz chapter 1 - 6 (Book the First); use ink!
Begin reading Book the Second, Chapters 1 - 6 and take notes with page numbers on sheet provided.
--->note foreshadowing, symbols, recurring patterns, direct and indirect characterization, and syntax as appropriate.

Homework: Read and take notes through Book Two, Chapter Six.

Takeaway: When analyzing symbols, start by giving the literal context and then transition into themes of the text.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Chapter 4 analysis: Characterization of Mr. Jarvis Lorry
Read & annotate passage individually
Assign groups of 3
Escalating Questions

Two Takeaways: 
Dickens uses stark contrasts to describe Mr. Lorry, through antithesis (in the handout given) to show the difference between his actual being to his facade of the banker and the balance he has in his life. 
Mr. Lorry is very reserved and meticulous, but indulges on occasion (through the fire, cleaning his clothing very well, and his stockings to show off his nice legs). 

HW: Read chapters 5 & 6 tonight. Reading quiz tomorrow over important concepts/words/phrases in chapters 1-6. For example, quiz question might just read "Recalled to Life" and you'll write about its significance.

Monday, January 12, 2015


Whip around: Share poet findings
Continue to explore Introductory material & make connections to ch. 1

Listen to & discuss ch. 2 "The Mail" and characters --> model taking notes for each new character (Mr. Jarvis Lorry & Jerry)

HW: Read Part the First for Wednesday --> continue to make note of character traits/description as new characters appear.
3&4 for tomorrow
5&6 for Wednesday

1. Noticing the connections between the introduction pamphlet and A Tale of Two Cities.
2. Analyzing the author's devices to personalize the character's traits.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Generating Concept Circles for Fiction Unit
Group activity
Round 1: Deal out cards to each group. Sort each term, grouping if possible, then create concept circles and add 3-5 terms
Round 2: Jigsaw--mix groups. Share each previous group's concept circles. Add and revise terms/category names as needed. Rewrite new compiled circles.
Round 3: Trade drafts to new groups. Give final edits/revisions, then turn in final copy to Pust.

Introduce supports for reading A Tale of Two Cities--we'll pick up the book from the textbook room tomorrow (assuming they're processed and ready for us!)

Two Take-aways:
-Grasping the true meanings of poetic devices through association with other devices as well as grouping based on similarities and differences.
-Understand that there are various ways to group the words provided

HW: Review the Poet List and read one poem by FIVE poets--as you read each, notice your reactions, and be prepared to share likes, dislikes, confusion, or sheer love tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Closure on "Mulvaneys" passage from yesterday--sharing concept circles on board, discussing major ideas and devices, etc.

Picture of classroom board with completed Concept Circles (to be added!)

Distribute A Tale of Two Cities scaffolding packet (introductory information and explanatory notes/timeline). Read and annotate--what is significant? What is merely interesting? Use blank parts of pages for tracking connections back in the book as you read.

Takeaways: We learned about the conventions of fiction such as dialogue and diction
Fiction sometimes borrows from poetic writing styles to better convey its meaning

Supports for reading A Tale of Two Cities:
HW: Read the introductory packet for A Tale of Two Cities and annotate it. Try to distinguish between that which is useful, and that which is merely interesting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


1) Seat change + partner sharing about Winter Break highlights
2) Quick overview of semester 
  • Poetry Project
  • Novels: A Tale of Two Cities, 100 Years of Solitude, A Lesson Before Dying, Jasmine
  • Timed essay practice: dual-poem, prose, poetry, open question
  • Full-length exam practice around spring break
3) Analysis and Discussion of Joyce Carol Oates' novel excerpt with thesis claim; found examples of Figures of Repetition, Syntax, Diction, Diction Patterns, Conventions of Fiction/Imaginative Prose, Figurative Language, Others and organized into Concept Circles w/ relevant line numbers

Talking points: Oates uses various devices typically associated with different genres (refrains, asides) to support mood and the themes in her work--heightening the realization of the moment of death as a "theatrical" moment in an otherwise colloquial piece. Other devices are more common to fictional prose.

HW: Bring books to return and ID cards.