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.