Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Watch the beginning of the Branagh Hamlet up to the end of his soliloquy: 21:56.
Complete the soliloquy handout and work through it at tables--turn in at end of period.

HW: Review Act I scenes i and ii. For EACH of the two scenes, you’ll write two questions and choose one quotation. For the questions, one needs to be a level II (author’s style) question and one can be a level I or III (something within the play or beyond the play). Then, choose one brief quotation (about three-four lines’ worth, ok if it’s shorter or a chunk of a longer speech) to represent the most important ideas of each scene. Write down the quotation, then a brief justification of why you chose that quotation to represent the scene. You may want to type this assignment as you can use this work in your review sheets that are typically due at the end of studying each work!

EXAMPLE Level II Author’s Style Question:
In Act I, scene ii, Shakespeare has Claudius describe his marriage in the following way:  “With mirth in funeral, and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole, Taken to wife”.  How does Shakespeare use juxtaposition in these lines to characterize Claudius and Gertrude’s marriage?

EXAMPLE Quotation and Justification:
Act I, scene i
BER.  Who’s there?

This quotation begins the tragedy of Hamlet, and establishes the mysterious tone that pervades the play.  Bernardo does not know whether the noise he hears is one of the other guards, or the ghost that they have seen twice.  Shakespeare opens this play with a question, signaling to the audience that questions are important throughout the play.

Monday, February 27, 2017


Take out paper and respond to Journal Questions (please allow 3-4 minutes of quiet thinking and writing time after posing each question, thenshare out at tables, then a few share out with class):

  1. How common do you believe the act of revenge is in everyday life? What acts of revenge (small or large) have you observed?
  2. Would you characterize yourself as more of a “thinker” or a “doer”? Do you think your approach is successful? Would you rather be more thoughtful or more decisive?
  3. To what extent do parents have the right to “spy” or check up on their children as they grow up? Give specific examples/boundaries if you can.
  4. How are relationships between step-children and step-parents often depicted in stories and film? What complicates these relationships?
  5. If you could hear a message from someone who has passed away, what would you most like to hear, or who would you like to hear from?
  6. Are parents generally blind to their children’s faults, or over-critical of their children?
  7. Have you ever been the victim of unrequited love? How did you handle (or how do you wish you had handled) that rejection?
  8. Have you ever been the recipient of unwanted attention? How did you handle (or how to you wish you had handled) rejecting someone else?
  9. What are you most looking forward to in reading this play? What questions do you have as we start?

HW: Bring textbooks to class tomorrow. Pre-read Hamlet, Act I scene i and scene ii, tonight.  Read to find out what questions are circulating at the start of the play, what King Claudius asks of Hamlet, and what Horatio and the guards have seen. Consider watching the beginning on YouTube or finding an audiobook to hear it as you read. Watching/listening first then reading really helps!

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Critical annotations directions

Show the video “Shakespeare--In a Nutshell” and explain that my critical annotation was a writeup of that video. Please have students analyze my directions and sample to understand how to do this assignment. Then, they may take computers and research Shakespeare’s life and times--they can examine video sources on YouTube, or use traditional web pages. A good place to start is with our library’s databases: http://www.samohi.smmusd.org/library/index.html , then select “Proquest.” Login is SMMUSDS and password is LIBRARY. Select “SIRS Knowledge Source” and “keyword” search, then enter your search terms, like “Shakespeare’s life and times.” Students may also use traditional search engines like Google. Whatever website or short video they choose, students should summarize the source with key details, assess its credibility and expertise, and reflect on how this adds to their understanding of the topic.

HW: Finish the critical annotation on Shakespeare’s life and times for Sunday - due to Turnitin.com by 8pm Sunday. Here again is my sample writeup of the Shakespeare video watched in class; students should select a different source giving information on Shakespeare's life or times.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Writing skits for introduction to Hamlet
Some sites to try:

Complete Google Form to request poet(s) for research papers.

HW: Finish skits and be ready to perform on Wednesday. Approximately 5+ lines per character, enough to tell the story of the scenario, and in Shakespeare's English.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Sharing poems and thinking about potential poets to research

HW: Poet Shopping, using the Poet List provided in class or your textbook. Read up on 5+ potential poets and check the index starting on page 1641 of your textbook. You might also try the websites listed on the Poet List. Early next week, we will choose poets for our projects using a Google Form.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Review of Fixed Form in Poetry: Sonnets and Villanelles
Read and discuss four villanelles - look for clues to structure
Share out

HW: Complete a TPS-FAST analysis of ONE of the four villanelles on the handout and bring to class tomorrow. You may write directly on the handout or on a separate sheet of paper, provided I can read your thinking!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Continue to review TPS-FAST using the two poems, "London, 1802" by William Wordsworth and "Douglass" by Paul Laurence Dunbar

HW: Finish your two reading journal entries, due in class on Friday: (1 from Prologue, Scene 1, Scene 2; the other from Scenes 3 and 4) and your Review Sheet for Oedipus Rex due to Turnitin.com by Sunday evening.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Happy Groundhog Day!

Perform Scene 4 of Oedipus Rex

HW: Begin work on your two reading journal entries: (1 from Prologue, Scene 1, Scene 2; the other from Scenes 3 and 4) and your Review Sheet for Oedipus Rex due by next Friday, 2/10. Review Sheet will be submitted to Turnitin.com; journals will be turned in during class.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Perform Scene 3 of Oedipus Rex
Collect one-pagers from people who haven’t
AP Exam Registration Friday

HW: Finish reading Oedipus. We’ll finish performing as well, then we’ll be doing journal entries and review sheets...if you’d like to start on these, yay!