Monday, June 1 - Friday, June 5, 2020 

I no longer need your choice for grading for this semester.  BCPS has now decided to collect this information via guidance counselors.  Please respond to their email messages or calls.  Thanks to those who completed the Google form anyway!

Hi, Students,

I hope that all of you and your families are doing well as we continue with another week of social isolation. Remember to wash your hands, and follow all precautions recommended by state and local officials. Also, stay healthy, and do positive things that make you happy and keep your mind engaged.

As many of you know, the district has lunch locations set up throughout the county for all BCPS students. Scroll directly below this message for a list of Grab and Go school locations and transportation.  Don't let any student you know go hungry!

Check here periodically for updates as our School Board is in an ongoing process of assessing the situation and determining district policy regarding your education for this semester; for now, the county has developed a Distance Learning Plan.  You will find assignments and directions listed below:

Assignment for Phase 4 - Monday, May 18 - Friday, May 29
    College Preparatory Students: 
        Note: This Common Lit. passage work may be done online OR on                 paper using the packets that I sent home the last time that we had                 class.  If you lost your packet, the school will announce a work pickup             day.
        *Common Lit. Online (Option 1) 
            -2nd period students https://www.commonlit.org/en/students/student_lessons/5211238
            -3rd period students https://www.commonlit.org/en/students/student_lessons/5211237
        *Common Lit. Packets (Option 2)
            -On page 35, read "American History" by Judith Ortiz Cofer.
                All sections are independent reading.  Obviously, there will be no                    partner or class readings.
            -Answer selected questions in the margin on the right side of the                     passage.
                For Phase 4, answer the questions in the margins for paragraphs                    1-34 on packet pages 35-41.  Even though it says things like "Turn                 and Talk," just answer the questions given for each paragraph.
        *Enrichment / Optional Assignment (for optimal level education)
            Things Fall Apart 
                Use this time to finish the  novel if you haven't already.  Notice how                 the author completely changes the narrative perspective in the last                 chapter.  How does this affect how the reader views the story of                    what happened to Okonkwo's culture?
            Things Fall Apart pdf http://marul.ffst.hr/~bwillems/fymob/things.pdf
            Things Fall Apart en Espanol pdf

    AP Preparatory Students:
        Note: This Common Lit. passage work may be done online OR on                 paper using the packets that I sent home the last time that we had                 class.
        *Common Lit. Online (Option 1) 
            -4th period students https://www.commonlit.org/en/students/student_lessons/5211236 
        *Common Lit. Packets (Option 2)
            -On page 35, read "American History" by Judith Ortiz Cofer.
                All sections are independent reading.  Obviously, there will be no                    partner or class readings.
            -Answer selected questions in the margin on the right side of the                     passage.
                For Phase 4, answer the questions in the margins for paragraphs                    1-34 on packet pages 35-41.  Even though it says things like                         "Turn and Talk," just answer the questions given for each                                paragraph.
        *Les Miserables - Please bring your novel to me between classes or                     after school on our first day back, whenever that may be.
                Use this time to finish the novel if you haven't already.  Hugo brings                 the entire work together in a rich final amalgamation of the                             storyline and conflicts.  How many different subplots combine and                 reach a resolution?  How is the central conflict resolved?

St. Denis Abridged Reading List https://docs.google.com/document/d/1u8ehD8W0gqcaa1tbUhJMr_jvOYL0GppRf4ZtkuD9zN0/edit?usp=sharing

Valjean Abridged Reading List https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Dr0SHQHIdfjYyLLkEFTiEoZAu5Mf2KezRpQrd4rUOc8/edit?usp=sharing

Again, I will be updating this site regularly throughout the week, so please check back. Otherwise, stay safe, and use this opportunity as a chance to use your best qualities in some way!


Mr. Cullen

Grab and Go Lunch and bus info: Updated 6/1

BCPS Families,

With the school year coming to an end on Friday, we wanted you to be aware of our summer feeding program, which starts Tuesday.
Grab-and-go meals will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays in the car rider lines at:

  • Table Rock Middle  
  • Mountain View Elementary 
  • Valdese Elementary  
  • East Burke Middle  and 
  • George Hildebrand Elementary  

We also will offer a mobile food program on Tuesdays and Fridays at:

  • 11 a.m. at Hillcrest Elementary  
  • 11:45 a.m. at PPG Paint Store on Burkemont Ave
  • 12:30 p.m. at Walker Road Baptist Church  

Thank you and have a great evening.



Summer Feeding 2020.jpg 

Appalachian State Gear Up Grant: FREE TUTORING- click here     (Required for rough drafts)
 FOR 9TH AND 10TH GRADERS (Upload a paper and within twenty-four hours have the paper critiqued by highly qualified             writing center tutors at Appalachian State. Students can also work with an online writing tutor in a virtual chat room for FREE!)
                                    Username = lunch # and password is gearup (unless students have reset them)

MLA Resources for 11-13-19:

World War I Webquest 2019

All Quiet on the Western Front:

Sin Novedad en el Frente:

Purdue OWL - Sample Works Cited page (2018)


Purdue OWL - Works Cited Basics


Spoon River dates:

    Tuesday, January 2 - Narrative essay is due

    Monday, January 8 - Tombstone is due
                                   -  Character presentations are due

Holocaust Webquest: 

Practice ACT Link:  https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Preparing-for-the-ACT.pdf

Purdue Owl resource - Citing Books and Translations


MLA In-text Citations:  Purdue OWL


Purdue OWL resource - Citing Online and Web Sources:


Purdue OWL resource - thesis statements


Purdue OWL resource for Thursday 5/25/2017


Spoon River Anthology PDF


*Pre-AP English II 2016 summer letter:

Freedom High School Pre-AP English II

Instructor: Brian Cullen



Dear Parents and Students:


Greetings to all rising sophomores.  I am eagerly anticipating the upcoming year with my English II students as our curriculum continues to evolve in a new and effective way through the integration of Pre-Advanced Placement English content.  As always, many opportunities await students to excel through literary study and critical thinking; expect to read, write, evaluate, and study grammar on new and challenging levels.  Also, be prepared to further refine your literary analysis and academic writing skills as we work towards the next level of your English education.  For all students, please note that Honors Communication Skills and Pre-AP English II have been looped to create what is, in essence, a year-long class. The enclosed prerequisite reading list is for Pre-AP English II, which is only offered in the spring, so your reading list will be due in January of 2017.  Honors Communication Skills does not have a summer reading requirement.


For the upcoming school year, the Humanities program will continue to grow in a way that will make it even more effective in preparing students to be college-ready critical thinkers.  Class emphasis will remain on literary analysis, critical thinking, and academic writing; however, we will continue to integrate Pre-Advanced Placement content and curriculum with Humanities English II classes.  The same spirit of positive challenge that has always produced successful students will remain, but the integration of Pre-AP content will strengthen the existing course goals while better preparing students who have aspirations to take AP Language and Literature courses in subsequent years.  Furthermore, the Pre-AP program is aimed at honing fundamental English skills, so this is a good implementation that will help all students regardless of whether or not they actually enroll in AP English courses in subsequent years. 


Since literary analysis will be heavily emphasized in English II classes, one of the first steps towards preparedness is to read the literature on the required reading list; again, this list will be due in the spring when English II starts in January.  The selected works present concepts and themes which will be revisited in our coursework, so thorough reading of them is vital.  In addition, reading is absolutely indispensable in preparing for the SAT, AP Exams, End-of-Course testing, and college.  Enclosed you will find an overview of the primary readings for the 2016-2017 Honors Communication Skills and Pre-AP English II classes.  Reading of those books labeled as “Prerequisite Reading” will be due on the first day of the spring term; sophomores have Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Lord of the Flies by William Golding; again, please keep in mind that English II is a spring class, and these titles are not a part of the Honors Communication Skills curriculum.  I have class sets of all course readings; however, I find that many students choose to use their own books so that they can highlight and take notes in them.  In addition, these titles are scheduled to be available soon as free e-books on the Follett Reader Program through our library.  Since availability is only projected at this point, those who are interested should periodically visit Freedom’s web page and go to the Media Center link to learn details.  Whether you prefer to turn a page or read on a mobile device, I urge you to acquire these books so that you can really engage the texts you will be reading by annotating them.  However, Freedom High School will also be providing novels for any students who wish to check them out rather than purchase them.  Sophomores may stop by my room after school in the fall to check out books since English II is a spring class. 


In addition to the reading list, there are a few other items for students to consider.  For example, all classes will continue vocabulary study in The Word Within the Word.  If you own one of these books or have the lists, find them now and prepare for the upcoming term.  Since the lists are foundational, a review of last year’s words and roots may help make your vocabulary grades a source of strength.  Sophomores will review freshman curriculum in the fall and study Lists 41-50 in the spring.  In addition, sophomores will have a State End of Course Examination at the culmination of English II since North Carolina has implemented the Common Curriculum.  Sample test items may be found at www.ncpublicschools.org by doing a site search for English II sample questions.  Sophomores should make note that the old 10th Grade North Carolina State Writing Assessment has been abandoned, but this allows more time on task to work on A.C.T. writing; therefore, expect to write, edit, and revise extensively as we prepare.  Also, a significant portion of the English II course grade will involve the completion of an academic literary analysis research paper in M.L.A. style. 


As the summer begins, I look forward to meeting and challenging my sophomores in the fall.  Until then, I hope that you enjoy your summer vacation.


Best wishes,

Brian G. Cullen

Humanities / Pre-AP English II Instructor

Freedom High School English Department