B Block Humanities I Honors 2018 - 2019


College Board.  Sample:  New SAT optional essay example.  New SAT Essay Prompt / begins March 2016

Dante's Inferno Information:  Maps, etc.  "The World of Dante"

Everyman.  Anonymous Medieval morality play:  Begins on page 1.

Forster, E.M.  "The Machine Stops"

Miller, Arthur.  "Tragedy and the Common Man"

Plato.  "The Allegory of the Cave"



Below are some links to Greek plays.  You may use a sentence spoken by Chorus or a Chorus Leader (Choragos) as the thesis of your critique.

Electra by Euripides (prose)


Hippolytus by Euripides (prose)


Iphigenia in Tauris (verse)


Bacchants by Euripides (prose)


The Trojan Women by Euripides (prose)


Alcestis by Euripides (prose)


Hecuba by Euripides (prose)


Andromache by Euripides (verse) 


The Suppliants by Euripides (verse)


Orestes by Euripides (prose) 


Electra by Sophocles (prose)


Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles (verse)


Philoctetes by Sophocles (verse)


Ajax by Sophocles (verse)


Agamemnon by Aeschylus (verse)


The Choephori by Aeschylus (verse)


Eumenides by Aeschylus (verse)


The Persians by Aeschylus (verse)


Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (verse) 


The Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus (verse)


The Suppliants by Aeschylus (verse)


Reading / Assignment Schedule

Assignment                                    due on                                    date


"The Machine Stops" pt 1 (photocopy)  due on                    Wed, 8/29

Pt 2                                                        due on                    Thurs, 8/30

Pt 3                                                        due on                    Fri 8/31

Vocabulary quiz                                    on                              Friday, 9/7

Iphigenia at Aulis to p. 336 (photocopy)  due on                Tues, 9/11

Essay test                                            on                            Wed, 9/12

Iphigenia to p. 348                              due on                        Thurs 9/13

Medea to p. 50 (photocopy)                    due on                    Wed, 9/19

Finish Medea                                        due on                        Fri 9/21

Study guide due / A. Miller                due on                            Wed 9/26

Essay test                                            on                                Mon 10/1

"The Ledge" (photocopy)                due on                            Tues 10/2

Vocabulary quiz                                    on                            Fri 10/5

Antigone (photocopy) 185-199            due on                    Tues 10/9

200-218                                                due on                    Wed 10/10

FINISH Antigone                                due on                    Thurs 10/11

Vocabulary Quizzes:  Information and Advice


-all words come from our readings / you’ll be quizzed on the words before you encounter them in our readings-


-as we review, feel free to write down whatever advice I offer regarding spelling and usage


-on quiz day I will choose 4 words….and you will write a sentence for each.


-the sentence must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you know the definition of the word (sentence must contain a context clue)


-honors:  word must be spelled correctly or entire sentence is incorrect

-cpa:  if word is misspelled but your sentence proves that you know the definition, half credit


-you must use the word as the correct part of speech or entire sentence is incorrect (use adjectives as adjectives, nouns as nouns, etc)


-you may pluralize nouns, change adjectives to adverbs, change verb tenses….. AS LONG AS YOU SPELL THEM CORRECTLY


-you’ll only have about a minute to write each sentence….. so planning your sentences in advance will help keep you from falling behind.


-getting a definitive context clue into the sentence is the hardest part….. let’s practice!


Sample sentences:  Which would be marked incorrect and why?


1.  The babysitter became frustrated when she realized the children were intractable.


Intractable could mean “dirty” in this context.  How to fix?


2.  Steve was grumpy all day, but no one could mollify him.


Mollify could mean “find” in this context.  How to fix?



Sample sentences:  Which would be marked incorrect and why?


1.  The babysitter became frustrated when she realized the children were intractable.


Intractable could mean “dirty” in this context.  How to fix?


The babysitter became frustrated when she realized that the screaming, stubborn children were going to be intractable.

 2.  Steve was grumpy all day, but no one could mollify him.


Mollify could mean “find” in this context.  How to fix?


Steve was grumpy all day and in need of soothing words, but no one could mollify his temper.


Mr. Tarmey


                           FIRST ESSAY TEST:  Advice


Because this is your first essay test, I will count it only three times rather than five.


Your purpose for the essay test is to note similarities between Forster’s “The Machine Stops” and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.”


You will be allowed to use your copy of “Machine Stops” AS WELL AS a copy of “Allegory of the Cave.”


Paragraph One: 

-thesis statement

-“blueprint summary” = briefly explain (as opposed to “list”) the three specific similarities you will explore in your body paragraphs, preferably devoting a separate sentence to each parallel.




Above and below information has been put in class website!


Website has a link to “Allegory of the Cave”







Topic Sentences and Body Paragraphs:

-three body paragraphs

-TOPIC SENTENCE for each body paragraph notes the specific similarity / parallel the paragraph will discuss.  This will be the opinion your paragraph supports.  Topic sentences should NEVER be simple plot-related facts.

-body paragraph should support the topic sentence by offering a detailed, in-depth discussion of similarities between the works, focusing on the “whys / hows” behind the parallels you draw and the similarities you note.

-Use transition words (also, in contrast, similarly, etc.) appropriately. (what type would be appropriate, and where in the paragraph should it go?)

-because you are paralleling two works, this means that each body paragraph will discuss both works.  Don’t bounce back and forth between them; to keep a strong structure, try to devote a ½ paragraph to each.  Paragraph should not be an unfocused general discussion / “blob”

-the more accurate specifics you include, the higher you’ll score.

-write in present tense / avoid first person and second person (you and I, me, we, us, etc)

-sentence fragments and run-on sentences cause deductions.




NOTE:  There ARE ways to organize central paragraphs in a logical (or illogical) order.  Give some thought to it.





Concluding Paragraph: 

Simply restate what you’ve said in your opening paragraph using different words.  Leave a solid lasting impression-



Organization category (presence of thesis, blueprint, proper topic sentences, logical organization, number of body paragraphs) counts ONCE


Content category (depth, thoroughness, specific references / proper nouns without summarizing plot) counts TWICE


Conventions category (grammar) counts ONCE




Thesis statement:  “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave” and Forster’s “The Machine Stops” share several similarities.

(briefly mention the similarities here, in “blueprint”; one sentence for each comparison)


Body paragraph (3)


Topic sentence:  Must be a supportable opinion that clearly explains one specific similarity, not a “fact” about one or both stories.



Bad topic sentence = Plato’s allegory is set in a cave while Forster’s story is set under the earth. = a “fact” that does not need supporting.


Good topic sentence:  The underground chamber in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” can be paralleled to the underground cells  in Forster’s “The Machine Stops.” = a supportable opinion.