What's going on?


Updated 4/5/2017

We are currently reading Sophocles' play Antigone in small groups. Students are also taking English AIR tests this week.
The play Antigone deals with the themes:

Updated March 6th, 2017
Videos: "Smoke-filled room" (from class)
"It's complicated"

The Ayn Rand Essay Contest first draft is due 11:59pm Sunday night (March 12th).
This week you should do the background readings and discuss your ideas with other students and Mr. Watkins. Then, choose your one topic and get started writing.
What to do;
    1) Read the contest topics.
    2) Read "Soul of a Collectivist" - a page of notes, your observations/thoughts, and questions.
    3) Read "Soul of an Individualist" - another page of notes, your observations/thoughts, and questions.
    4) Use the writing process: Think, Brainstorm, and Write.

Vocabulary 7,8,9:
The 7,8,9 vocabulary test is March 14th.
    Review 7 & 8. (Google forms, Quizlet, Notecards, etc)
    Learn Unit #9:
  •         Google Form
  •         Crossword
  •         Introductory packet (the standard packet with "Completing the Sentence", etc.)
  •         Worksheet of Unit #9 words.
  •         Analogies practice.
Remember to differentiate between the words you own, and the words you need to study.

Updated February 24th 

Here is a link to Gwen and Madi's interactive Prezi:

Updated February 23rd 

See  "Vocabulary" page for the PowerPoint reviews from class.

Below are Google Forms quizzes:

PRE-test for vocabulary #8: definitions

Practice Quiz For Vocabulary #7: pictures

Updated February 17th, 2017
Presentations are going great. Students' time, thought, and creativity are apparent in the high-quality of most of the presentations. 

Here is a link to Gwen and Madi's interactive Prezi:

Next we are reading Ayn Rand's Anthem. After reading all students will submit an essay to the Ayn Rand Institute's essay contest for the chance to win real money.

Updated February 6th, 2017
Tomorrow is a poetry test using an AP-style prompt and a poem we have not studied.
I recommend looking at the examples from today's "The Walnut Tree" to examine how the responses are structured.
Also see the Resources Page for today's PowerPoint.

Here's tonight's Homework:
•Revisit Dickinson 479:

In Sentence Form:

–Poetic devices, effect of poetic devices,
–Who is the speaker? (NOT DICKINSON),
–Attitude of the speaker toward subject,
–Concise thesis/Introduction.

Updated January 13th
It's the end of the first semester. We've done a lot, but there much more to do. For second semester we will read a few plays including Antigone by Sophocles, and A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare.
Our next novel is Anthem by Ayn Rand. Before Anthem we will have a few readings from the textbook. Also for this novel we will enter the Ayn Rand essay contest. Students can actually win cash for their essays. My classes had two big winners last year.

Here's a review for Vocabulary #6 put together by Ben and Hollie.

Keep reading in your Non-fiction book, which is the homework for most nights. The next due date is Thursday, January 19th. 

Put your answers into this Google Form: BE HONEST!

Updated Monday Jan 9th
Use the key to check your answers. Then use the scoring guide to check your "Writing Skills Score". Did you do better than the average Junior?

Updated Wednesday, January 4th:

We've been critiquing student example essays to determine the principles of strong writing (and how to revise weak writing).

Go to the "Resources" page for the slides from January 4th. These slides should help with how to write about non-verbal texts. Also some criteria for the Human Nature essay.

Also here's the painting and here's a link to the film 

Updated Monday, 12/19
Next we will be reading "literary non-fiction". 
Students will read in self-selected groups from 1 person to 5 people. Students will choose the book they want to read, then read as a group.
There are individual journal responses, group written-responses, and a culminating group presentation.
Here's a slideshow with the possible choices.

Updated Tuesday, 12/7
No homework for tomorrow, but use this time to develop your paper, or possible get the first draft done.

Link to Midterm Exam Vocabulary.

Updated Monday 12/6
HOMEWORK: Complete a "Standard Reading Response" for "Balance".
  • Submit to Turn it in.com before your class period.
  •  (If you really can't get to a computer to submit, you may hand write it, for now.
Watch it again: Link to "Balance"

Updated Tuesday 11/29
What's the difference between Ambition & Greed?
These two weeks we will look at a similar theme across multiple media. 
Below is a link to Hieronymus Bosch's The Haywain. Apply the strategy of
1) Making Observations, 2) Identifying Patterns, then 3) Drawing Conclusions
To help, first make note of Curiosities, Repetitions, Opposites, and Links.

This week: 
Due Tuesday 11/29: "Activity #2" from textbook, page 253
Due Wednesday Night 11/30: Response to "How Much Land...?" 
to Turn it in.com 
Due Friday 12/2: CROL chart for The Haywain.
Due Sunday night 12/4: Response to The Haywain to Turn it in.com 

Updated Friday 11/5/2016:

Sunday Night
: Submit your final rhetorical anaysis to Turn it in.com by 11:59pm on Sunday 11/6

Monday 11/7: individual writing conferences during class. You will be completing textbook Unit #4 during class time during individual conferences.

Tuesday 11/8: Election Day!

Wednesday 11/9: Vocabulary #4 is due, individual conferences will continue, and you will keep working on Textbook Unit #4. (We'll grade vocabulary at the start of the period)

Thursday 11/10: Individual Conferences & independent work on unit #4 continue.

Friday 11/11: Finish Conferences and submit "Culminating Activity" for textbook Unit #4.

Updated 11/1.
Rhetorical analysis, sample 1st paragraph:
In her essay, “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone”, Lenore Skenazy argues that parents should give more freedom to their children and let them take risks so that they can grow up and become independent.  Skenazy’s essay is a reaction to the “helicopter” style of parenting in which parents hover over their children and micromanage their every move. She achieves her purpose of convincing parents to let go a little by providing anecdotal evidence from her life. She recognizes common fears but challenges current parental wisdom with statistics and expert opinion. While constructing a seemingly strong argument, she largely ignores real dangers in favor of a relaxed style of parenting.  

Updated Halloween Night, October 31st 

In class you will have time (and ChromeBooks) to work on your rhetorical analysis. To prepare, you should re-read and annotate Old Major's speech. As you annotate, notice how Old Major uses things from the orange rhetoric sheet in his speech.

What is Rhetorical Analysis?
The textbook says if persuasion is an art, then "rhetorical analysis is an appreciation or critique of that art." You are writing an appreciation (and critique) of Old Major's art of persuasion.

Slides from class today:
1.Establish the rhetorical situation (SOAPS)
2.Re-read & Annotate:

  A. Make Observations,

  B. Identify patterns: CROL, Rhetorical Strategies, Pitfalls.

  C. Draw Conclusions

3. Craft your thesis statement.

1.Look for repetitions
2.Start with formula, include SOAPS, state thesis
3.Consider the alternative choices the speaker could make:

Ex: why one word instead of another? You can write about this in your analysis.

4. SOAPS is not a tool (you don’t use SOAPS like you use an appeal to ethos for example).

Informational Text Pre-test Form 

Grammar Pre-test Form

Updated 10/19
I'm pleased to say we are starting Animal Farm which is a short, yet highly-influential book. 

Students should read the first 50 pages by Wednesday 10/26. We'll take a quiz on that day. Students should also complete 4 double-entry journal entries by that date.

The rest of Animal Farm and 3 more journal entries are due Monday 10/31.

For Grammar, we are working on Dangling Modifiers, Parallel Structure, and Passive Voice.

Updated 10/7
This week an next we are building our Toolbox for Analyzing Rhetoric.
DUE MONDAY: Finish the textbook Unit #3

Pages 71-82,

Read and take notes,

Activity on 72, green on 75, Activity on 77, Activity on 78, Activity on 82.


Also our first Vocabulary test is on Tuesday, Oct 11th. 
On Friday students were given a way to study vocabulary by matching the words to the definitions. Students should use this to identify their own weaknesses in their vocabulary knowledge.

See the Vocabulary page to download the review sheets.

Updated 9/29/2016
Read 55-61, Take Notes,
Answer: bottom of 56, bottom of 57,
Activity pg 60, Activity pg 61.
Due Monday 10/3

DO NO do the writing that was originally assigned. We're moving on!
Update 9/23/2016
Upcoming Due Dates are... 
Monday 9/26: Vocabulary #3, 
Tuesday 9/27: Presentations, 
Thursday 9/28: Quiz over 66-End of "Of Mice and Men", 
Friday 9/29: 2nd novel response due.
I enjoyed our discussion today on some of the intricacies of the novel Of Mice and Men. It was quite enjoyable and I hope you were able to see the value of looking very closely at a piece of literature.

Update 9/19

Response for Chapters 1-3

Read Of Mice and Men pp. 1-65

Review pp. 34-38 in textbook (literary elements)

 After reading, respond to the following prompts. Each response should be in the form of a well-developed paragraph. Include direct quotes/evidence from the book. Cite page numbers.

 1. Examine the author’s use of direct and indirect characterization. How does the author reveal information about the characters? Choose a character and talk about the direct characterization and the indirect characterization? Find and explain examples of each Direct & Indirect. Speculate on the role this character will play in the novel.(300 words)

 2. Choose one of the following literary techniques and apply it to the novel. To get started, refer to the key questions on pp. 34-38 in your textbook. (300 words)

  • point of view
  • plot and conflict
  • setting
  • theme

Please type your responses and submit them to turnitin.com before class on Thursday,  September 22.

TURN IT IN: Go to the Turn it in website and "Join" a class. Use the numbers below:
4th period: 13509685   Password: ThinkBig4
5th period: 13572170   Password: ThinkBig5
7th period: 13572193   Password: ThinkBig7
8th period: 13572225   Password: ThinkBig8

Updated 9/18
Due Mon: Textbook pages 44-52. Take notes, answer green question on 46, Do activity on 49 and activity on 52.
Be ready to discuss and share your work on Monday 9/19.

Updated 9/8/2016
Homework postponed: the Unit #2 textbook work is now due on Monday 9/12
NEW Homework: We are practicing using the Pattern Types* from the textbook. Use the four pattern types to brainstorm a page based on the Lewis W. Hine biography and photos. You will share this tomorrow (Friday 9/9) with your group.
This will lead us toward developing a "Gallery Program" to introduce Hine's work to new viewers.
  • from class:
  • Use the 4 “Pattern Types” to examine the pictures and text.
  • Brainstorm a page of these observations to share with your group.
  • Due tomorrow.
*4 types 
Here's how to sign up for the e-textbook:

Updated 8/29/2016
For the first part of this week I will be meeting with students individually to discuss writing. While I'm meeting with other students, you will have time to work on the assignments below.
Due Thursday, September 1st.
Vocabulary #1
Textbook Unit #1, pages 1 to 20
Take notes as you read,
Answer all green questions (there are 6),
Answer page 7, letter b.,
Activity on page 15
Analysis on page 16
Questions for analysis pages 18 & 20.

Questions for readings Thursday 8/25/2016

"Parking" article:

After reading…

  1) State the main idea of the report.

  2) Identify one claim and it’s support.

"Secret of School Success" 

1.This article opens by… and closes with…
2.State the main idea of this article.
3.What are three supporting ideas?
4.What does the research in this article indicate?
5.Choose 1: is this writing Persuasive, Informational, or Entertaining? Explain.

6.What is your opinion of this article?

Day 2 Notes:

Stating the Main Idea

Main Idea = Topic + Specific Statement
i.e. General idea and what the article says about that idea.
Ex: The Hot Zone
Topic = The Ebola virus…

Specific = …has a deadly history in Africa, and has emerged within the U.S.

Goldilocks Syndrome: statement of main idea isn’t too small or too large, it fits just right.

Be sure a statement of the main idea isn't too general (many different texts could fit the statement), but that it isn't too narrow that it only covers part of the text.

End Day 2 notes.

Write a one-page explication of ONE of the two Dickinson poems. Hand-written or typed. Due tomorrow. See "This Week" page for details,


See "This Week" for first day writing assignment, due Thursday 8/25.

Sign up for "Reminds"

Send the text below to this phone number 81010

4th period: @ae2p4

5th period: @acceleng5

7th period: @accelengp7

8th period:@accelengp8

Upcoming Accelerated English II Students:

Thanks for checking here. It's a good sign that you are taking an active role in your education.

Here's a link to the college bound students reading list. It can be a great way to use your time over the summer. Be aware that some of these will be required reading during your high school years.

Here's a practice ACT. Keep track of questions you have. You can even take a screen shot so we can discuss any issues in the fall.

I look forward to hearing about good and great books you've read and working with you in the fall.

-Mr. Watkins

BELOW IS FROM THE 2015-2016 SCHOOL YEAR. Ah, memories:

EXAM: See exam review for a complete list of what's on the exam. Below are some highlights.

1. Grammar Skills: be sure to practice these. ChompChomp.com has some good exercises.

        Dangling Modifier

        Parallel Structure

        Subject/Verb agreement (in more complex sentences)

2. Cause-and-Effect

        Video 1: We watched this in class, but it's a good reminder. Presenter: Ionica Smeets, TEDxDelft

        Video 2: This one USES the concept of cause-and-effect, watching it will help make the exam easier. Presenter: Amy Cuddy, at TED.

3. Vocabulary #13: the are Completing the Sentence questions, so be sure to practice the definitions.

4. A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Know the characters so you can match them with a quote.     


Creative Writing:

Update 5/31: By now you should have submitted a draft of your creative writing. 

Make revisions, then you can submit to the Revision Assignment by Wednesday night.

If you were unable to get Peer Marks, then share with 2 students through Google drive and get feedback from each other. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Here are a few links related to A Midsummer Night's Dream:

Columbus is fortunate to have a great theater company which performs FREE Shakespeare plays each summer in Schiller Park. I make it a point to go to one or two each summer and they are always good productions. This summer they will do Othello which is one of the better know plays. It's a great tale of RACE and JEALOUSY that has been remade many times.  Go see it. Below is a link for more information.


 Here's a facsimile of what the original reader's of this play would have read in 1623.

Here's a full-length stage version from a few years ago. The University of California performed a kind of 60's music-style version. I was amazed at how they took the full text and made it musical. It's quite good and brings out an interesting care-free, bohemian element in the play

Titania mentions "Nine Men' Morris" which is an ancient game that could be played in an open park space. Here's an online version. It's kind of fun. 

Linguistics: Dialect Map. "How Y'all Doin'?"

If you aren't in class on Friday 5/6, then do this over the weekend:

Read A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 1 Scene 2. Read it twice (or more).

Respond to these 4 items:

1. What are these characters doing?
2. Who is in charge? (Support/Examples)
3. Pick 3 characters and describe their personalities. (Support/Examples)

4 .Choose 1 line you would like explained.

We'll start reading the play together on Monday, May 9th.


OLD English Characteristics article on the "Resources" page.

What will be on the History of English & Ovid test. Posted below and available on the "Resources Page"

What will be on the Ovid and History of English test for Tuesday, May 3rd?

I.                   Part I: Cannot use your notes

A.                 History of English

1.                  For each of the 3 eras of English

a)                 Year

b)                 Event

c)                  Literature

B.                 Ovid’s Metamorphoses

1.                  6 images, match to each story

2.                  What’s the metamorphosis? Short, Single-sentence answer

a)                 In “Apollo & Daphne”

b)                 In “The Death of Orpheus”

3.                  Using reading skills to generalize.

4.                  What aspect of nature is explained by the “Pyramus & Thisbe” story?

II.               Part II: Can use your notes.

A.                 Given 5 fragments of English writing –mostly translated into Modern English.

1.                  Use your notes to determine the era/years of each.

2.                  Write an argument explaining the reasons for dating each of the 5.

 B. A few questions on the Bayeux Tapestry.

Part A Example:

 “I have determined that fragment 1 was written between *** and *** in the *** English era. The poem has [characteristic] as seen in line ***…” Etc.


April 20th:

The vocabulary 10, 11, 12 test is Friday, April 22nd.

You probably don't need to study all 60 words, so use the words to definitions sheets from class to differentiate which is which. Documents and a key are available at the Vocabulary Review page.

Once you know which words you need to study, make flashcards and test yourself.

 Kahoot and Quizlet are also good ways to  study.

March 18th

In class we are writing AP-style essays to get used to the expectations on the AP English tests.

For homework: read your independent fiction book. We'll have a reading check next week, March 23rd. Be on track to finish for April 4th.

Begin developing your  Independent Fiction Project.

Next Weeks's Schedule on "This Week" page.

March 16th & 17th

Here are links to two models for quality AP answers. They always put the high-scoring models first. Notice what these students do right.



“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka’s

What do I hope my students will get out of this story?

“The Metamorphosis” is a story about the pressures of life: What pressures we put on ourselves, what pressures do to others, and how we respond to the to the burdens and expectations.

It’s a complex story that requires careful reading and rewards thoughtfulness with new insight and new appreciation. On every level, the story challenges us to understand. It’s like weight-lifting for your brain: the more we struggle with it, the stronger we become.  

It’s about transformation: tomorrow we will be a different person than we are today; a year from now, even more different; and 10 years from now, we will be very different. How do we respond to changes? How do circumstances change and we change around them?


What should I be doing March 3 - 6?
Review vocabulary 7, 8, & 9. Test is Friday March 4th.
See the vocabulary review page for a specialized "test prep" page.

"The Value of Evidence": Here's a link to the analysis video. Watch it twice. The second time through, make note of the interpretive claims he makes and how he does (and does not) provide convincing evidence. Find at least  3 claims. 

Get started on "The Metamorphosis". It's a pretty long story so give yourself enough time to read carefully. the full story (all three parts) is due Wednesday 3/9.

What should I be doing? February 19th - Feb 26th 
Vocabulary #9 is due Thursday, Feb 25th. 
If you have presented your non-fiction book, then here's some things to do:
1) Research your fiction book choice. Give yourself a few options, then commit to one book. Don't just decide at the last minute.
2) Get your chosen book: Go to Barnes & Noble (or some other bookstore) and buy a copy, get on the library website and order it, go to the library and borrow a copy, ask a friend for hers/his, if you are ordering it from Amazon or another website then order very soon so that you have a copy in your hands.

3) Have your fiction book in your hands by Wednesday 2/24.

4) Work on Vocabulary #7 and #8 crossword reviews.

If you have not presented your non-fiction book yet, make sure you are preparing to present well. Also,

Due Dates

      -Tuesday 2/16: Vocabulary #8
  • Wednesday, 2/17: Begin Presentations
  • Friday, 2/19: Alternate assignment for Outline

This Week Feb. 8- Feb 12
    What to work on:
    • "Senior Startups" outline practice due Monday 2/8.
    • "What Makes a Good Presentation?" worksheet due Wednesday 2/10.
    • Start non-fiction presentations on Thursday 2/11.
    By the end of the week you should...
    • Shown that you can create a formal MLA-style outline,
    • Put into practice what you know about what makes a good presentation,
    • and have presented or have your presentation ready.

By the end of Term 2, Week 2:
Know what you're doing for your non-fiction presentation,
Be able to do a formal outlining (including knowing the sequence),
Understand of the play Antigone with depth.

What to work on: Finish your non-fiction book for Monday, 2/1.
Vocabulary #7 due Tuesday 2/2. I'll also collect all of the Antigone textbook questions on Tuesday 2/2.

If you missed any part of Antigone, here are the pages and questions:

1. 980 – 987: B, C, E, H
2. 988  –  993: A, C, G, H, J
3. 994 – 997: A, D
4. 998 – 1006: F, G.
5. Page 1007: # 7, 12  

Second Week of 2015, Jan 11th to Jan 15th
Continuing Cause-and-Effect and Correlation: this week we will continue using and discussing cause-and-effect thinking by applying this type of analysis to one more article, this time about "Chasing Happiness." We will also have a quiz Monday to check individual understanding of this current unit. 

This week I will give you time in class to...
1) Work on cause-and-effect articles,
2) Begin work on the final response to Cause-and-Effect,
3) Research the grammar skill #5: "Redundancy in Writing"
4) Complete Vocabulary #6 (for Friday)
5) Continue reading your non-fiction book. The first half is due Thursday, Jan. 14th

Monday: quiz over Cause-and-Effect thinking, then work as above.
Tuesday: Get vocabulary #6, then work as above.

Minor Skill: properly stating the main idea of an article. We are using the formula that a main idea is the "topic + something specific". 

Major Skill: Evaluating Cause-and-Effect and Causation vs. Correlation.
We are reading several non-fiction articles and analyzing the content of the article using the concepts behind causation and correlation.

Click here for the introductory notes on Cause-and-Effect and Causation vs. Correlation.

For exam review, see the Midterm page at left.

Monday 12/14: Which one is most like "Balance"?  

Make a judgment then support it:

We have studied Animal Farm, "How Much Land Does a Man Need?", The Haywain, "Balance", and "Greed is Good". Consider the various elements of each, then formulate an opinion stating which work you think is most similar to "Balance". Then make a convincing argument as to why you are right.

Write a one-page response convincing us of your opinion.

We will randomly choose 3 names to read their opinion to the class. 

You may want to begin with a brainstorm listing every element you can think of

Over the Weekend: 
1) Read/Respond to Time Magazine's "Greed is Good" Article.

2) Be thinking about & research which nonfiction book you'd like to read with a group

3) If you care to, read what other people have to say about "Balance". There is some interesting discussion out there.

Non-fiction Books: By the middle of next week you should have picked a non-fiction book from this list of recommendations. You will read these with a small group who will also, independently, read the same book. See the Readings & Worksheets page for slides of the recommended books.

If you missed class on Thursday: Since we talked in-depth about "The Haywain", you should read this interpretation of the painting. Some of this material will be on the mid-term exam.

Link to "Balance" if you'd like to watch it on your own.


Wednesday, 12/9: No official homework tonight. But you should have your poem explication essay read by your reader and responded to for Friday.

Also the weekly schedule from now to exams is available  on the "This Week" page.

Last: if you want to get ahead, here is a link to the short film "Balance" which we will watch in class. It is very strange at first, but give it a chance. Try to think of the relationship to Animal Farm, "How Much Land...?", and The Haywain.

One-day extension: Due to difficulties with the online textbook, I am giving a one-day extension to anyone who needs time to complete the "How Much Land...?" reading. Thanks 12/7/2015

Online textbook
The online book should be available with the new code:
    Activation Code:  8927924-10
However, I have seen some users still having technical difficulties. If you sincerely tried, but need more time, I can give a one-day extension.

Ah, technology.

-Mr. Watkins

Due Monday 12/7: Grammar Skill #4 "Subject/Verb Agreement".
Due Monday 12/7: "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" (See below)

Change to Week 13 calendar: on Friday cross out the "Reading Art" assignment and replace with...
Read “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” pages 646 to 661.
Answer: A,B,D,E and page 663 #1-3
Due Monday, Dec 7th.

Currently we are reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. Students should complete the entire novel for Wednesday, December 2nd.  When we have finished reading, we will do some discussion and analysis emphasizing the concept of propaganda in the novel.

On December 2nd we will have a test that is a combination of objective questions with a few short essays. The short essay questions (which will count heavily toward the book's grade) will be similar to the quiz questions from Of Mice and Men and Anthem.


Due Dates:
Monday, November 30th: Vocabulary #5 Intro Packet 
Monday, November 30th  by 11:59 PM : Submit Final Draft of Poetry Essay.
Wednesday, December 2nd: Animal Farm complete

Due Friday 11/19: 
5 analogies with Vocabulary #4: You write 5 analogies. 
For each you must use at least one word from the current vocabulary, unit #4.
Below are two examples of what your analogies should look like. The current vocabulary is highlighted in blue.
Example 1:

Arduous is to Easy


Auspicious is to Ominous

Example 2:

An Opening is to Breach


An Edge is to Precipice

Create 5 analogies, use at least one Unit #4 vocabulary word in each.

Due Thursday 11/19: Have read and responded to "What is an Essay?"

Poetry Help: Having trouble finding a poem to write about?
    2) Joy Harjo has two poems that I've seen in a few anthologies: "Anchorage" and "The Book of Myths"
    3) Walt Whitman:
  • "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer",
  • "O' Captain My Captain" ,
  • "I Hear America Singing" , 
  • "Spontaneous Me", 
  • "As I ebb'd with Ocean of Life",
  • "The Wound-Dresser", 
  • "Beat-Beat Drums", 
  • "Chanting the Square Deific", 
  • "A Noiselsess Patient Spider", 
  • "A Backward Glance o'er Travl'd Roads", 
  • and any section of Leaves of Grass are the more famous ones. 
    4) Common Emily Dickinson poems:
  •             130
  •             632
  •              67
  •             249
  •             280
  •             287
  •             303
  •             324
  •             441
  •             465
  •             754
  •             986
  •             1624

Due Wednesday: Brainstorm about the poems in the packet.
What should I do?
For each poem in the packet, brainstorm a list of items from each of the poems. These can be characters, settings, images, similes, metaphors. You should come up with at least 4 items for each, but try to get more.

What's the purpose?
In class on Wednesday we will create analogies and do some other creative connections to elevate our thinking on these poems and poetry in general. If we start with a big list of items generated independently, then we can work together as groups to come up with creative connections between the poems.

Below is an example for the first work in the packet. Do this for each of the poems:

Due Monday 11/16: Explication of "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman.
HELP! I'm having trouble with explicating this poem.
Whitman is known for celebrating humanity, the self, the human body, and the individual's relationship with Nature.
  • Remember your skills: 
  • Paraphrase lines or groups of lines,
  • Identify unknown or unusual words (loafe, creeds, abeyance, "original", remember "soil" is Earth).
  • Focus on the Speaker of the poem (what is he physically doing?, literally saying?, saying about himself? then expand).
  • Look for contrasts (what is good, what sin't so good?) 

Due Friday 11/13: Complete Vocabulary #4.
I changed the schedule to delay the Grammar Skill 4: Subject/Verb Agreement.
HOWEVER, you must do a "PeerMark" assignment at Turnitin.com for 2 essays by the end of Friday.
If you have a busy night on Friday, why not get one done Thursday night?

Due on Thursday 11/12: Annotations and Explication of "Oranges" by Gary Soto. You should begin by identify the speaker of the poem, then telling the narrative (story) of what happens in the poem. You should also deal with any imagery or symbolism present in the poem.
You will hand in all of the Poem Explications tomorrow (Thursday) in class.

For Monday 11/9:
 Annotate and Explicate 2 poems: Poem 479 in packet, and the poem determined by your group.
For each, read the poem a few times, then go back and make notes such as... 
words to define, 
words with meaningful connotations, 
phrases to explain or paraphrase,
anything that helps bring out the meaning or an interpretation.
Put an explanation into words by writing out an explication of the poem. This should explain its meaning as interpreted by you. Remember, that you are responsible to your group for your poem: you should provide a thorough and well-considered explanation so that they understand the poem. 
Your explications should be meaningful and satisfying, so between one and two full pages of writing.
Above is an example of annotations. This was done in class, so your annotations should be more thorough than the example here.

If you were absent, get the packet here.

Due Tuesday 11/3 by Midnight Tuesday Night: First draft of Anthem Essay due to Turnitin.com

Due Wednesday 11/4: "Analogies 1-3" page.

Due Thursday 11/5: Grammar Skill 3: Dangling Modifiers.

Due Friday 11/6: Final draft of Anthem essay due before class Friday, submitted to Turnitin.com

Full text of Anthem here. You can use this to search for particular passages.

Brainstorm Help:
  • Re-read the prompts several times.
  • Identify words that either need defined, or that you think it might help to define.
  • Look up these words from above:  Often a definition can help get you started in your thinking.
  • Consider what the author wants you to take from the work. Why did she call it Anthem?
  • Look up ways to brainstorm. One I find helpful is to put a topic in the center, then write words and ideas branching from the topic, then branch words and ideas out from there.
  • Here's a link to "How Does One Lead a Rational Life...?" related to prompt 2.
  • Consider the text-related tasks from class:
  • In our world, who are “rule breakers” of the past who have come to be accepted as innovators?
    What are rules or ideas of the past that have been overturned? Past “sins” that are now accepted
    Brainstorm the names given in the novel. 
  • Pages 72-74: What are the councils’ criteria for dismissing Equality and his invention?

Due Friday 10/30:
Brainstorm toward essay: Fill a page with graphics, ideas, definitions, thoughts, bullet points, and/or other pre-writing to start working toward your Anthem essay.

Go to the "Vocabulary Review" page for a link to exercises and a PowerPoint review to prepare for tomorrow's test.

Due Thursday 10/29: 
Ayn Rand's Anthem, pages 68-end + "Informal Response". 

An Informal Response, you may recall from the beginning of the year, is an open-ended response in which you should express your opinions and observations about the story and what it means. 
For example, you may address the question of "Why did Ayn Rand write this?" or "Why has the novel become more popular recently" or "Why high school students may like/dislike this story" or any combination of these ideas and your own observations, thoughts, and opinions.

Due Monday 10/26: 
Passive Voice Grammar Skill. See "Current Grammar Skill" page for the worksheet if you need a copy.
Due Tuesday 10/27: 
Ayn Rand's Anthem, pages 17-67 + Chapter Questions. 

Below is the Essay Assignment for the novel Anthem:

Anthem Essay 2015


Graded on a 50 point scale

Essays will be graded on whether the writer is able to argue for and justify his/her point of view. Grading will look for writing that is clear, articulate, logically organized and, most of all, convincing.

Essays must be between 600 and 1,200 words.

Must be typed and submitted to Turn It In.com by ___________________


·         “It is a sin to write this.” So begins Anthem. But by the end of the story, Equality 7-2521 has a different moral assessment of his action. Do you think Equality’s eventual assessment of his sin is correct? Why or why not? Explain.

·         By the end of the story, Equality 7-2521 has changed his mind and become very critical of the leaders of his society, denouncing them in moral terms. Do you think he is correct to do so? Why or why not? Do you think he would agree with the advice that Rand offers in her short essay “How Does One Lead a Rational Life in an Irrational Society?”? Explain. *

·         Anthem portrays a totalitarian world of the future. In contrast to other such portrayals, the world of Anthem is technologically primitive. What does this imply about the nature of science and technology and the conditions for technological progress, and how do events of the story establish that view?

Of Mice and Men  and Characterization Test, Thursday 10/22
Characters to know:
   OMM:     Whit
                    Curley's Wife
    "Shoofly": Riyad, Johnny, Mattie
    "Evil": Mrs. Strangeworth

For Short Answer on Setting:
Chapter 1: the Pond
Chapter 2: the Bunkhouse
Chapter 3: also the Bunkhouse
Chapter 4: Crook's room (the only chapter that starts with a character, not a place. Hmmmm...)
Chapter 5: the Barn
Chapter 6: the Pond, again

This week's due dates:
Due Wednesday, 10/21 - Character Scene (see below)
Due Thursday, 10/22 - Test of Of Mice and Men
Due Friday, 10/23 - Vocabulary #3 and "Active & Passive" Worksheet

Character Scene assignment, Due Wednesday 10/21:
The purpose of this assignment is for you to use your creativity to show you understand how an author uses direct and indirect characterization.
You will write a scene centered on one particular character. You will likely include other characters as well. In this scene you will give your character traits, speech, and action to help your reader "see" the character you invent. These traits will allow your reader to also infer things about your character. 

Additionally, your character should have some effect on the characters or environment around him/her/it. 
By the end, your reader should have a feel for who your character is and be able to infer things about him/her/it.

Here's a link to the Breakfast Club scene. Consider how the viewer learns about who these characters are. What is explicitly stated, and what can the viewer reasonably infer?

Character Scene FAQs: 
1) Do I have to write a whole story? NO, this should be one small slice of a story. 
2) Does my character have to be human? NO, be creative and do what works best for you.
3) Does it have to be typed? NO, but a classmate should be able to read it without difficulty.

10/12/2015: This week:
  • Finish Of Mice and Men for Wednesday (7th & 8th periods) or Thursday (2nd & 3rd periods).
  • Complete Character Scene for Thursday 10/15. POSTPONED to next week.
  • Parallel Structure Video Worksheet for Monday 10/19.
See the "This Week" page for a more detailed plan for Week 7,  October 12 - 16.

10/5/2015: see the "This Week" page for the plan for Week 6: Oct 5th through Oct 9th.
"Possibility of Evil" due Wednesday,
Of Mice and Men pages 1 to 65, due Thursday 10/8

9/28/2015: see the "This Week" page for the plan of Sept. 28 to Oct. 2nd 
Literary Analysis papers are due, printed on Wednesday, September 30th 

9/20/2015:  See "This Week" page for the upcoming week's plan.

9/17/2015: Over the weekend, be thinking about and planning out your Formal Literary Analysis paper. 
On Monday, we'll discuss Emily Dickinson's Poem 1263 ("Tell all the Truth") and revisit our "Think Tank" & relate-to-images exercise.

9/16/2015: Read both "Women" and "Bring on the Elites!". Then choose one, write about it and relate it to one of our other readings. About 3/4 to 1 page.

9/15/2015:  Write an Informal Response to "Searching for Summer": Why do you think Joan Aiken wrote this story? Support with specific details. About 1 page.  Due Wednesday 9/16

9/14/2015: Read and respond to "Searching for Summer" Questions A-K, #1-4, and #9, 10. Due 9/15

9/11/2015:  Informal Response to "Everyday Use"
Why do you think Alice Walker wrote this story?
Focus on your group's assigned passage.
Due Monday 9/14

9/10/2015: Read "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker. 
pages 46-55,  answer A,B,C,D,G,H,I,J,L and pg 57 #1-4.
Due tomorrow.

9/8 to 9/9/2015: In class discussion and close reading of passages on "Harrison Bergeron".
Collected "Harrison" listed below.
Also collected Informal Responses to "Tomorrow" and/or "Harrison".

09/04/2015: see below

09/03/2015:   Due Tuesday 9/8
                            Read "Harrison Bergeron" in textbook. 
                                    Answer A-K (skip G)
                                    Answer pg 41 #1-4
                                Write about your observations for 2 of the 5 "Common Themes"
                            Complete Vocabulary #1 Packet
                                (Be sure to complete the WHOLE packet! Your freshman teacher may have broken it up into parts, but you need to do the whole thing, front and back. Thanks).

09/02/2015: "Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow" reading and questions, due Thursday 9/3

09/01/2015: "Editing Practice" due tomorrow, Wednesday, August 2nd. 

08/31/2015: "First Day Writing", due tomorrow. Tuesday, September 1st. 
Subpages (1): Non-Fiction Book Choices