What's new and what's due, including homework and handouts -- Ms. Johnson's English Classes

   ( If you are looking for my College Crew class -- 12th Graders ONLY -- go to https://classroom.google.com/c/MjE5NTYzNTI1  ) 

Related image
 Image result for grammar cartoons    


Please note that no work is accepted by email!   Printing is free in lab 105, which is open before school and during lunch. You may not ask teachers to do your printing for you -- they have enough to do, and you are learning to be independent.

We sometimes post work on Google Classroom, so some of our work is explained there and turned in there.  
(Parents, your student will show you these now.)

Here are three links you may need:    Perfecting the Paragraph 1, 2, 3  and  Weave a quote into your own sentence

Announcements for all:
Acting Classes!   The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art is offering a 
Shakespeare master class on January 25th:

Questions?  Email me at dana.johnson@atcschool.org, or text me on your Remind.com account (though if under 13, Remind won't let me text you, so use email).

  Look at this Column for 7th Grade English:
(Longer-term homework makes it here; short-term is on the board and in your planner.)

How did seventh graders do first semester?

32 A's

17 B's

18 C's

 5 D's

  5 F's 

You too can earn an A!  

Pay attention in class -- that is where it's all happening! 

Make sure you never have a zero.  

Use your planner OR a running list of all homework assignments.  

Take a photo of the homework board before or after class if that is helpful.

Schedule time to do the work over a period of time -- not at the last minute.

If you need to memorize any information, several 10 minute periods a day is much better than an hour all at once.

Really focus in class.  Ask questions.  Connect this subject to other subjects.  Discuss.  

Here is a link to the syllabus.  Have a look at what we are going to do this year:     
The Independent Reading Project 
Read a book (or two) of your choice!
(You will practice analyzing literature while you do.)   

Here are the directions:

***Note that for #6, 1 page is single-spaced for the summary, or 2 pages double-spaced.

Here are the due dates (subject to change):

Assignments 1 and 2                      Friday, Jan 5
Assignment 3                                  END of class on Tuesday, Jan 9
FINISH THE FIRST 1/4 of YOUR BOOK        Wednesday, Jan 10
Assignment 4                                   Wednesday, Jan 10
Assignment #5                                Friday, Jan 12
                                                             (with an automatic extension to Monday if needed)

FINISH the FIRST HALF OF YOUR BOOK            Wednesday, Jan 17th
Assignment #6                                                            Wednesday, Jan 17
Assignment #7                                  Friday, Jan 19th
FINISH 3/4 OF YOUR BOOK            Wednesday, Jan 24th
Assignment 8                                    Wednesday, Jan 24th
Assignment 9                                    Friday, Jan 26th
                                                                 (with an automatic extension to Monday if needed)
Assignment 10                                    Wednesday, Jan 31st
Assignment 11                                    Friday, Feb 2nd
Assignment 12                                    Friday, Feb 2nd
                                                                 (with an automatic extension to Monday if needed)

The assignments are explained in great detail at the link above. 
It is important to follow the directions very carefully. 

Here are the directions again:

Independent Reading Assignments, Directions 2018, Twelve Ways to Analyze Lit

 For CharacterAnalysis -- personality

Here is a list of personality traits 


For a break from 1-12, here is something you can use for creative writing:

Read all of these first (we will read them aloud too).  

Write down the opening sentence from the novel that you are currently reading for your independent reading project.

Start with SETTING.

Think of three completely different opening sentences for three completely different stories.  

You can post them on Google Classroom later. 

THE PAST -- in case you want to

 know what we've been doing, or

you missed something:


Independent Reading Book Choice! -- PARENT SIGNATURE NEEDED (overdue)

Students' Book choice for the independent reading unit was due before the break.

You were given a form for PARENT or Guardian TO SIGN, which is here:


After winter break, you will have assignments to complete in your chosen book or books. 

I have parents sign off on the book(s) because I cannot read all books, so parents are asked to supervise this choice.  It should be something the student wants to read; something at an appropriate reading level for that student; and finally, not have content that you would find inappropriate this this student. 

Read the handout above (and in your child's binder) for more information and many suggestions; the novel does not have to be on our lists.  Horror and graphic novels will not work for this assignment; they have not allowed students to be successful in the past (but that doesn't mean you can't read them in your spare time).    

                    PARENT signature (of approval) 

                                        --  due Monday, Dec 11th


                    Book in Hand 

                            (from public library, classroom library, Amazon, 

                                a book store, or borrowed from a friend)

                                       -- due the day you return from winter break

2.  BOOK IN HAND -- Tuesday, day after the break 

A reminder was sent on Remind.com.

What to study for the exam:


                   Exams are important because they count as 

                           20% of your semester grade. 

      Show that you have mastered the skills of this semester.

                                         EXAM #1

1. How to write a "perfect paragraph," using the same format you've used for the last 18 weeks.  Here are the directions that you should also have in your English binder under Essays:  

                Perfecting the Paragraph 1, 2, 3  


2.     How to weave a quote into your own sentence

Directions here:   Weave a quote into your own sentence

Review these skills before the exam. 

You will need to write one of these paragraphs on Rikki Tikki Tavi.  The exam question is given on exam day.

3.     Make sure that you finished reading Rikki Tikki Tavi.

We read the short story here over two class periods, and students who did not finish were instructed to finish for homework.  The entire story takes 30 to 45 minutes to read aloud, according to Audible.com.  Here is the link (Copy and paste to your browser):


If you are a struggling reader, you can find the story read to you on youtube.   

                                                EXAM #2   

4. Review the punctuation that you have learned this year -- how to identify and correct:



Comma Splices

Apostrophe Errors

AND How to identify: 

Parts of speech -- noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, prepositional phrase, pronoun, definite article, indefinite article

Dependent clauses

Independent clauses 

Check your notes from the last 18 weeks to remind yourself of all the rules and to see the examples from class work, including from the last two weeks of review.  If you didn't take notes, can't remember, or still don't understand, you can check out an English Essentials book, and/or you can GOOGLE what you need to review.  Do you need a new explanation of how to fix a comma splice? Google it!  Remember, until you personally decide to learn these rules, no amount of teaching will be able to affect you.  You are learning to be independent learners.  That is actually the most important thing to learn -- how to learn!  

Here are some Kahn Academy videos that may help:

Meet the Comma (video) | Khan Academy

Uploaded by Khan Academy
David and Paige introduce you to the superhero of the punctuation world: the comma! Practice this yourself on ...

Commas and introductory elements (video) | Khan Academy

Uploaded by Khan Academy
Prepare with these 6 lessons on Punctuation: the comma and the apostrophe. ... In English, you use commas ...

Punctuating a list (video) | Khan Academy

Uploaded by Khan Academy
Learn how to use commas to punctuate a written list of people, things, actions, or 

Punctuation: the colon, semicolon, and more | Grammar | Khan Academy

Colons and semicolons are two valuable pieces of punctuation that separate sentence elements from each other. Learn more about how to use them here!

Introduction to the apostrophe (video) | Khan Academy

Uploaded by Khan Academy
David and Paige, KA's resident grammarians, introduce a new piece ofpunctuation: the apostrophe! ... ++ to ...

Another homework assignment (Rikki Tikki Tavi questions)

 has been moved to below: 

(overdue homework) Rikki Tikki Tavi , a great short story by Rudyard Kipling

We read the short story here over two class periods, and students who did not finish were instructed to finish for homework.  The entire story takes 30 to 45 minutes to read aloud, according to Audible.com.  Here is the link (Copy and paste to your browser):


Advanced students and speedy readers, if you finish Rikki Tikki Tavi, please read these in order:

Chapters one and two of The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgeson Burnett

                   This is also about India and Britain

                    The books are on the shelf to the left of the windows, 4th shelf down.

Even more advanced students and insatiable readers:  

      Any or all of the short stories by Ernest Hemingway, at this link:


We are practicing skills with short readings because there is not time to start a novel before winter break.  Exams coming up on the basic skills you've learned this semester.

How to Write an Introduction and a Conclusion: 


Make sure that you have read all of Rikki Tikki Tavi and understood it. We read it in class on Thursday and Friday, so you should be finished.  

The play takes 30 to 45 minutes to read aloud, and you have spent at least an hour on it in class.

Then, answer the questions assigned to your class.  

Period 1 should answer 7, 17, and 20.

Period 2 should answer 8, 9, 11, and 19.

Period 5 should answer 6, 7, 16, and 18.

Google any words you don't understand.  If you don't do the work, it will be a zero. 

Please hand-write answers neatly to turn in on Wednesday.  

6. Why is Rikki-tikki careful not to eat too much at meals?

7. What lines in the story foreshadow a conflict between Rikki-tikki and the cobras? (List at least two lines.) If you don't remember what foreshadow means, google it now. You can use Merriam Webster online, and it will give you examples.

8. What kind of situation causes Rikki-tikki’s eyes to grow red and his tail to fluff up?

9. What motivates Nag and Nagaina to threaten...

• animals in the garden?

• Rikki-tikki?

• the human family?

10. Why is Chuchundra, the muskrat, afraid to tell Rikki-tikki any information?

11. How does Rikki-tikki discover the cobras’ plan to kill the family?

16. Why does Rikki-tikki say that Nagaina “will be worse than five Nags”?

17. Why is Darzee’s wife willing to help Rikki-tikki crush the cobra eggs, while Darzee is not?

18. Why doesn’t Rikki-tikki crush the last cobra egg? How does this turn out to be helpful?

19. Why doesn’t Rikki-tikki allow Nagaina to “go away and never come back,” as she says she will?

20. What causes the animals to believe Rikki-tikki is finally dead?gun a

1.  (OVERDUE)  -- 5 Paragraph Essay on Emma Watson's speech to the United Nations

The video:


The transcript (a transcript is a written copy of a speech):


We are listened to the video twice in class.

Wednesday, students listed 20 pieces of evidence by copying and pasting from Watson's speech.

Thursday, students wrote an outline.

(Done)  THE OUTLINE was due FRIDAY morning by 9 am (if you didn't finish in class).  Spend half an hour on it Thursday night.  This is the most important part of your essay.  

Thesis statement (We have given examples of the thesis statement.  You can perfect yours later, but it must state Emma Watson's MAIN IDEA.)

Introduction -  We will write this after the body paragraphs

    includes the thesis at the end.

    A THESIS is a bold statement you are about to prove in your essay. 

    The thesis for this essay states the main idea of Emma Watson's speech.

1.  Body paragraph -- Write a topic sentence that proves your thesis --

In other words, choose one of the general categories on the board, which you can find below.  For example:    Watson discusses  (fill in the blank)______________.

        a.  Evidence #1 (quote) 

        b.  Evidence #2 (quote)

2.. Body paragraph #2

        a.  Evidence #1 (quote) 

        b.  Evidence #2 (quote)

3.  Body paragraph #3

         a.  Evidence #1 (quote) 

        b.  Evidence #2 (quote)


       (You will work on this later; see handout later)

[The general categories on the board, provided by your classmates, include

her personal story; men's issues; the future; girls' education; global issues; and gender stereotypes.  You can choose three of these, or you can come up with your own.  These become your topic sentences.]

All of your three topic sentences are proving your thesis, which is a statement of Emma Watson's main idea.

You only need 6 pieces of evidence total, not all 20 in your list of evidence.

SEE ALSO the notes where you post each paragraph  --  on GOOGLE CLASSROOM.

Three body paragraphs in 123 format were due before Thanksgiving, posted to Google Classroom.

We will start the introduction and conclusion after Thanksgiving, but if you are ready to work on it now, see the handout of directions in your binder under Essays, OR have a look at the link above the homework column.  

(Mr. Mathis is giving time on this as well in his class on Friday, Nov 17th.)

THE FINAL ESSAY is due the Friday after Thanksgiving.  

. (Done)  Vocabulary Work

Students wrote great stories using their new vocab words.

See the HANDOUT that is in your binder in the Vocabulary section for the 20 words.

Know meanings and spellings by 

                                Thursday, Nov 2nd for a quiz

(Quiz postponed from Wednesday in case of trick-or-treating Tuesday night.)

Extra credit to native Spanish speakers for adding a Spanish synonym (a translation into Spanish) to any of the words.  

Flock Fright!

  1. morph - v- to transform into something else

                                                                    (from metamorphosis, or    en espanol, metamorfosis)

  1. predator -n- a preying animal who lives by eating other animals

  1. imminent - adj- about to happen (En espanol: inminente  )

  1. naïve – adj – innocent, in the way that someone does not know how bad things really are in the big, wide world

  1. mutant - n -  an organism with altered DNA

  1. implode - v - to burst inward

  1. catapult - v – to be thrown as if by a catapult (an ancient machine like a see-saw)

  1. shrapnel - n -   fragments from an exploding shell or bullet; injured by shrapnel

  1. invincible - adj - incapable of being defeated

                                                                            (en espanol:    invencible)

  1. unfurl - v -  to open or spread out, such as wings or a flag

  1. wry – adj – drily humorous:  wry humor or a wry smile

                                                                                 (en espanol:  ironico)

  1. mischief – noun – the trouble that a child gets into

  1. mischievous [Note that this word has 3 syllables, not 4.]

                       – adj – tending to get into trouble; naughty

  1. noun – a person, place, or thing     Concrete Noun -- you can touch it

Abstract Noun -- you can’t: democracy, love, honesty

  1. verb – an action word             

Verb Phrase -- a group of words acting as a verb:  off-roading

  1. adjective – a word that describes a noun, such as tall, beautiful, or annoying

  1. adverb – a word that describes a verb, such as happily, playfully, or tomorrow

Adverbial Phrase:  a group of words that acts as an adverb:

                    They learn on the job.  We competed well for beginners.

  1. gene -- a unit of DNA that controls the appearance and growth of a living thing (En espanol: un gen)

  1. genetic engineering – the science of physically altering genes to create new or different organisms

                                                                                (En espanol: Ingeniería genética)

  1. asphyxiate, page 13  -- to become unable to breathe


  1. nemesis  -->  Find the definitions in the 10th grade column -->   -->

  1. aloof

  1. oblivious

  1. irony

  1. melee

3.  Quiz on Parts of speech = noun, verb, adjective, and adverb

You must be able to identify these 4 parts of speech.  You can learn them all in 1/2 hour if you have never learned them before.  

Nouns -- A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. Practice here:

Identifying nouns (practice) | Khan Academy

Verbs -- action words -- Practice here:

Identifying verbs (practice) | Khan Academy

Adjectives -- An adjective describes a noun -- practice here:

Meet the adjective (practice) | Khan Academy

Adverbs -- An adverb describes a verb.  Practice here:

Meet the adverb (practice) | Khan Academy

Flower used as a noun:    There is a flower in the vase.

Flower used as a verb:     Plum trees flower in May. 

Be able to look a simple sentence like this and label which is the adverb, adjective, verb, and noun:

The tiny bird sang sweetly.

Happy students danced wildly.  

An excited team ran excitedly onto the field.

preposition review from last month:

The cat is ON the table, UNDER the table, BESIDE the table, etc. 


4.    Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

by James Patterson 

A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers in this exciting science fiction thriller.  We wil
In James Patterson's blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...

The Reading Schedule:
Reading quizzes are every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (as always)
Check the board to see which chapters to read, because
 these page numbers are put up according to how much is read in class.

Finish chapter 115 by Monday, October 30th 
Finish chapter 125 by Friday, Nov 3rd
(Chapters are 2 pages long and double-spaced.)

We will be finishing the novel soon!

Grateful thanks to parents who contributed books to our class -- you made a huge difference!  I am able to replace many disgraceful books that were missing pages.
 Learn to fix comma splices so that you write correct sentences.
This has been class work, and we will be reviewing. 
Here is a powerpoint if you need to review.  
Comma splice and runons are sentence mistakes, and will count off on paragraphs and essays, so make sure you get this.  Here is a powerpoint to help you review so that you don't get points off on essays, and your writing is correct.  All of these rules apply to both Spanish and English:  
Punctuation PowerPoint

 Overdue - Story (creative writing) about a flood 

Due Friday, October 6th
We are working on it Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so this is 2.5 hours in class, plus it is homework for Wednesday and Friday, so that is another 1 hour at home.  You have also worked on it in class about 4 hours since the 2nd week of school!  Many students had 5 pages weeks and weeks ago.  (Some students inexplicably have nothing; if this is you, are you throwing your work away each time we write?)
Here are the requirements:

5 pages
Double-spaced, font size 12, with 1 inch margins (This is MLA format.)
        Points will be taken off for larger fonts and larger margins. 
                (Teachers are on to that kind of thing...)
5 elements labeled, all of which have been worked on in class:
  • 1/2 page of conversation 
    • Label it beforehand like this:  [DIALOGUE]
    • This is together in one section, not scattered throughout the story
    • Yes, you can have more than this, whenever  you want to add conversation.  Conversation or dialogue is very important to a story, keeping it in real time, so adds excitement and intimacy.
  • 1/4 page of description 
    • Label it beforehand like this: [DESCRIPTION]
    • Description (or imagery) is what you want your reader to see, hear, smell, taste, or feel (physical feelings, not emotional) in order to really experience your story!
  • Show a character's personality with
    • something they say 
      • Label this [PERSONALITY #1]
    • something they do
      • Label this [PERSONALITY #2]
    • something that someone else says about them
      • Label this [PERSONALITY #3]
HAVE FUN!   This is YOUR story, your characters, your events!  It can be funny, exciting, fantastical.... your characterrs can be realistic, from Mars, or a herd of purple rabbits.  All that matters is that you have fun telling a story.  

Here is a giant list of words that you can use instead of "said."  Contributed by Zoe McDonald!

                           DUE FRIDAY, October 6th POSTED TO GOOGLE CLASSROOM
                                    Draft posted on Wednesday to Google Classroom
                            PRINTOUT also due, extension to Monday for a printout               


(No longer accepted) Analyzing the movie, The Mighty

Answer these questions:

What scenes did the director add that show the spirit of Freak the Mighty? How do they show that spirit

Follow this format:

Choose three new scenes of any length.

First, describe each scene in 2 sentences ONLY.

Then, explain how and why this shows the spirit of Freak, of Max, or of the team, Freak the Mighty.  You can probably do this in three sentences as long as you are clear and you explain what part of Freak, Max, or the team of Freak the Mighty­­ is captured in this new scene.

See the example below.

(Important: A simple list of differences between­­­ the book and the movie is a ZERO because you have not ­followed directions. Do not list differences. This is an analysis. See the example below.)

USE EACH OF THESE WORDS AT LEAST ONCE:  director, scene, chivalry (the moral code of the ideal knight; the qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak), chivalrous, King Arthur, Arthurian legend, love, friendship.

Chivalry:  the spirit, ways, or customs of knighthood, such as behaving honorably and helping other people.

En espanol: chivalry es la caballería, la caballerosidad o la cortesia.

Here is an EXAMPLE of one of your three paragraphs:

The director adds a scene in which Max turns into a Zombie.  When people see him, they run screaming in all directions, while Max eats random people one by one.  

The director added this scene to show the spirit of Max.  Max is basically a mean, brutal, ruthless human being who doesn’t care about anyone but himself.  Eating other people for breakfast reflects his complete inability to feel sympathy for others.  When it comes to Max, chivalry is dead.

(Obviously, you would not say any of this about Max, because it does not describe him at all! Nor were there any zombies in this movie.  What is wrong with you?  Have you been staying up too late?  ;-)

This is classwork and homework. We will finish the movie on Monday. --

   Due:   WEDNESDAY, SEPT 27th

Ten Famous Knights :


                 Know spelling and meaning, using the definitions below  

You have a handout of words -- By Friday Sept 29,
        1)  copy these definitions onto the handout
        2)  write a sentence with each word that SHOWS that you understand the meaning of the word.   Here they are:

to vanquish = to defeat
ornithopter = mechanical bird (think ornithology, the study of birds + helicopter)
demeanor = a person's facial expression and body language
           The prisoner had an angry demeanor.  
to converge = to come towards each other
        The trains converged at a point in Santa Fe.
cavalry = soldiers on horseback 
steed = a horse, especially a trusty one that carries a knight
to seek = to look for      Do you want to play hide and seek?
sought = the past tense of seek            I sought fame and fortune.
unique = unlike anything else                a unique way of building a bridge
fair (as in fair maiden) = beautiful 
            Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

Extra credit:
an aberration = something that is abnormal 
            The white buffalo is a genetic aberration.  
a manifestation =  a physical form of something
            The many Hindu gods are all manifestations of the one creator god.  
to manifest as = to take the form of something  
            Feelings of anger finally manifested as a shouting match between sides.

                                DEFINITIONS AND SENTENCES DUE FRIDAY, Sept 29th
                      QUIZ ON DEFINITION AND SPELLING, MONDAY, October 2nd 

Freak the Mighty!
Perfecting the Paragraph 1,2,3 -- SEE THE HANDOUTS

Students have just revised their first paragraph using the 1,2,3 method of proving a topic sentence, citing a quote, and weaving the quote into their own sentences.

SEE THE DIRECTION ON GOOGLE CLASSROOM AS WELL, WHERE YOU ARE POSTING YOUR WORK.  That shows the work you did in class, or should have finished in class. 

          If you did not finish the edits in class, 
                                      post on Google Classroom by FRIDAY, Sept 29th

 (overdue) Materials Needed for Seventh and Tenth Grade, 2017-2018

Please click on the above link. 

Binder Grade is based on this list.  The labels for your binder are listed in the above materials list. 

3.(overdue) REMIND.COM -- Parents AND students:   Please sign up for Remind.com to receive occasional reminders from me. You can receive messages by text, email, or app.  Here is the link for the 7th grade classes.  Please make sure to put first and last name so that I recognize you, otherwise I may delete you. No one can see your information, including me, so no worries.

Parents, please put (parent of ------) as part of your name.  

                              (copy and paste that link to your browser).  
                                Or, if asked for a code, use: @777-777
            This is a grade -- an easy A! --   It takes one minute to sign up.

For more info:  Remind.com and how to use it 

(Mostly done)   Object Presentation!
See the board for details!   (These may take a month)

7.  (Overdue, but can be turned in LATE through Tuesday, Sept 5th for up to a 60%)      HANDOUT of questions on Freak the Mighty -- How to Infer
To infer is to use hints and facts from the story, PLUS your own emotional intelligence, understanding of how humans' minds work (psychology), and your understanding of what has happened to the characters -- to give an answer at a higher level than just reading what is on the page.

The last 3 questions in particular require you to INFER, interpret, go deeper, etc.  

If you don't get those right, I give the paper back to you to try again. 

Extension on this to                         MONDAY -- August 28th.  

Reading quizzes are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  
These are simple quizzes to check that you are reading, so they are an easy A
if you are reading.  They also require that you remember what you read.  If you have issues with that, this is the time to practice.  
For later:

Slam Poetry Coming Up Later!
To practice slamming your poem, try this first.  Here is a list of nursery rhymes and their words; we practice with these because you will be less nervous reciting something you already know, and that you didn't write yourself.  In groups of 3, pick one and SLAM it with your group for fun!  You will need to change the usual childish attitude to one of a storyteller with strength and purpose.  
(This is a great site, lots of old rhymes and songs in alphabetical order.)

Quarter 3:  (More info on this at the time.)
There are Twelve Independent Reading Assignments, due every two days or so, over a month.  Parents, please sign the upper right-hand corner of your student's copy (which should be in the literature section of their binder.)
Click here if you have lost your handout:
Assignments will also be posted on Google Classroom.  Show your parents your assignments if they are interested!

PRINT Set 1 and Set 2 when those are due, as well as posting them.  This is necessary for grading purposes.  

Creative Stories!
This is a longterm project.
The final story will be at least 10 pages long, due 2nd or 3rd quarter.  
Every so often, students have time to work on their stories, and they are given a task to accomplish. Required:
1) half of a page of imagery (description) in one chunk.
    Label this.  You decide what to describe in great detail.
2) one whole page of dialogue in one chunk.  When showing dialogue, each new speaker is a new paragraph. 
3) at least one element of suspense
4) a certain number of pages written by various due dates.
5) every assigned task above needs to be
            -- IN BOLD
            -- LABELED IN BRACKETS, like this:
6)  And obviously, you can include a lot more than this -- these are the minimum requirements

REVIEW -- Spelling, Definition, Part of Speech
Part of speech is noun, verb, adjective, and adverb.  If you can't remember what these are, you didn't write them down in class, etc., google them now.  You are not meant to memorize which word is which part of speech, but to figure it out from how the word is used in a sentence.
The 10 words, plus 2 extra credit words, are on your handout, which is kept in the Vocab section of your binder.
Students looked up definitions in the dictionary, and then they worked in large groups to write stories using the words.  
If you still have questions, you can ask me or use Merriam Webster online dictionary, or of course a paper version.  
Study 10 minutes twice a day -- research shows this is much better than two hours the night before, because the words get to your longterm memory instead of just your short-term memory. 

 1. Do your work! (No zeros)
2. Turn in all work on time. ATC has a very strict late policy.
3. Never skip an assignment!  A zero really drags your grade down.
4. Study for quizzes.  
5. Read your book when assigned.
6.  Establish a homework routine -- when, where, and for how long each day?  Draw out a chart of your homework times.  
7.  Check grades weekly with parents on PowerSchool.
8.  Get interested -- think about what connects you to what you are studying.  We all learn best if we have some passion or curiosity about the subject.  


Grammar presentations with attitude! 

 Look at this Column for 10th Grade English:
(Longer-term homework makes it here; short-term is on the board and in your planner.)

Welcome to Sophomore English!

World Literature and World Wisdom

Image result for siddhartha

How did sophomores do first semester?

7 A's

10 B's

10 C's

7 D's

2 F's 

You too can earn an A!  

Make sure you never have a zero.  

Schedule time to do the work over a period of time -- not at the last minute.

If you need to memorize any information, several 10 minute periods a day is much better than an hour all at once.

Really focus in class.  Ask questions.  Connect this subject to other subjects.  Discuss.  

Problems speaking in seminar?  See the hints below.  

                   Here is a link to the syllabus. Have a look at what we are going to do second semester: 

                                 Syllabus for Sophomores, 2017-2018

Christianity -- Guest speakers and readings

Father Adam Ortega on January 10th

Here is your handout with a short speech from Pope Francis:


Important quotes from the New Testament, coming up 

The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald

                       ..... by popular demand!   

Image result for great gatsby fitzgerald

You have your own copy, but here is an electronic copy as well:


or here:


The book read to you here, by chapters:


or here, all at once:


Here is the historical context -- in other words, what what happening in the world before and during this time that could shed light on the novel?

(Copy and paste to browser bar.)


Here is a dictionary for the novel:


 (copy and paste that link to your browser)

(Let me know if you have any questions on these words -- or if you see mistakes!

That teacher's directions at the top are NOT my directions.)

Words not in this dictionary:

per·emp·to·ry   (as in Tom Buchanan's "peremptory heart")
  1. (especially of a person's manner or actions) insisting on immediate attention or obedience, especially in a brusquely imperious way.
    "“Just do it!” came the peremptory reply"


highhanded, brisk, abrupt, summary, commanding, dictatorial, autocratic, overbearing, dogmatic, arrogant, overweening, lordly, magisterial, authoritarian

Here is some art that has appeared on the "dust jackets," or covers, of Fitzgerald's many books:



                (subject to change depending on what we do in class)


Chapters 1 and 2            Friday, Jan 5

Chapters 3 and 4            Tuesday, Jan 9th 

                  (Monday is a holiday, so the quiz will be on Tuesday)

                 (It takes one hour to read those two chapters aloud,

                          but you may need more time.)

Chapter 5                        Friday, Jan 12th  (break for Father Ortega)

Chapter 6                        Tuesday, Jan 16th

Chapter 7                        Friday, Jan 19th

Chapter 8                        Monday, Jan 22nd

Chapter 9                        Wednesday, Jan 24th 

Does this novel speak to the American Dream?

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1]

The American Dream is rooted in the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims that "all men are created equal" with the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

                                                                        --  from Wikipedia 

Two Great Essay-Writing Resources:

Have a look at how the AP College Board grades your essays.

There are several essays given in student handwriting.  

After that, there is a half-page explanation of their grade.  

This is the question that you just answered (the bildungsroman).


(Copy and paste that link to your browser.)


How to Argue/Analyze/Interpret a Story, vs Summarize


THE PAST -- in case you want to

 know what we've been doing, or

you missed something:


Review themes.  
Themes are MESSAGES that come across from a novel/poem/play/movie. 
Themes are generally important messages about life (positive or negative.)
Themes are universal -- they apply to most people or to humanity, not just to the characters.

What to study for the exam:


                                          EXAM #1

1. Oscar Wilde
        and his play,
                "The Importance of Being Earnest:
                    A Trivial Play for Serious People"

This is the reading for your exam essay OUTLINE.


The play takes 2 hours to 2.5 hours to read aloud, according to audible.com versions.

Watch the movie on youtube for $2.00 (for 48 hours). Search for "purchase The Importance of Being Earnest."

We have watched the film during class (and the reading also for homework).

2. How to Write an Outline in response an AP Essay Prompt that addresses all parts of the question

You have done these outlines for the last two AP essay prompts.
Make sure to see any edits or comments that I may have emailed you, especially from the last outline.

GRADING of this exam outline will be stiffer than on the last one, because by now you should be doing this completely, having mastered these skills.

Here are the directions from your exam (minus the actual prompt):

Do not write the actual essay.  Instead, you must write a complete outline that shows good reasoning and that proves your thesis.  

(Paragraphs will not be counted.  You are showing a map of your reasoning.]

You may need half an hour to do the THINKING.   ALLOW TIME FOR THOUGHT.

The thinking, logic, or reasoning are what make a good outline.

Remember that in a good outline, the quotes prove the examples.  The examples prove the topic sentences, and the topic sentences prove the thesis.  

You must answer PART A and PART B.  

If you do not answer Part B, you cannot get more than a 70%.  

New requirement:   You are required to have one quote per body paragraph that helps prove one of your examples, so 3 quotes in all.  (These quotes do not have to be woven into a sentence.  They can stand alone because this is an outline and not an essay.)  However, the quotes are the icing on the cake -- make the cake first!  

Here are the COMPLETE SENTENCES that are required for this 13-sentence outline.

This is the SAME outline you did for The Kite Runner, except that you include a quote for each body paragraph, 3 quotes in all.  

THESIS STATEMENT that addresses both PART A and PART  B completely.

    TOPIC SENTENCE #1  that addresses both PART A and PART B, thus proving the thesis.

Example #1 - a complete sentence that states one example that proves the topic sentence.

Plus A QUOTE that supports example #1

Example #2 - a complete sentence that states one example that proves the topic sentence.

(At least one of these examples needs to address Part B.)

    TOPIC SENTENCE #1  that addresses both PART A and PART B, thus proving the thesis.

Example #1 - a complete sentence that states one example that proves the topic sentence.

Plus A QUOTE that supports example #1

Example #2 - a complete sentence that states one example that proves the topic sentence.

(At least one of these examples needs to address Part B.)

    TOPIC SENTENCE #1  that addresses both PART A and PART B, thus proving the thesis.

Example #1 - a complete sentence that states one example that proves the topic sentence.

Plus A QUOTE that supports example #1

Example #2 - a complete sentence that states one example that proves the topic sentence.

(At least one of these examples needs to address Part B.)

Note: These sentences should be the exact sentences that would appear in your essay,

so for example,

“The kite symbolizes x, y, and z, which helps the author to convey the overall meaning

of the work as a whole, namely that ___________________________.”

NOT “I will show how X and Y are true and how this is important to a theme of the play.”

That statement has no information in it and would not be in your essay.

State your full argument; do not leave anything up to the imagination.

If I cannot understand your outline or your reasoning, it is wrong, just as it would be if the AP judges were reading your essay.

Having said all that, YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!

                                                EXAM #2   

3. Review basic punctuation required in your writing -- how to identify and correct:



Comma Splices

Apostrophe Errors

AND How to identify: 

Dependent clauses

Independent clauses

If classroom review has not been enough, you can check out an English Essentials book, or you can Google the rules that you need to review.  This is definitely worth it -- English is unlikely to change, so you will use these rules the rest of your life, and except for apostrophes, they apply to Spanish and other languages as well. 

4.  You will likely have passages to read in order to show the improvement in your reading skills that you have gained over the last 18 weeks.  This is also a chance to practice these skills for the exams to follow over the next few years. 

Lots of essay-writing and outline-writing on Google Classroom.  (Parents, your student can show you that with a few clicks.)

Who was Oscar Wilde, you ask?
Read these sites and then inform each other (Ms. Shain can assign who reads what site, but this is INDIVIDUAL reading.)
1. http://www.wilde-online.info/oscar-wilde-biography.htm
2. http://oscarwildesociety.co.uk/
3. https://www.biography.com/people/oscar-wilde-9531078

REASSIGNED READING FROM ABOVE (as some of you did not manage to read Friday):
        Reading well enough for a quiz,
            Period 3, read #3 only.
            Period 6, read whichever two you didn't read, OR the first two.
                                                                                    OVERDUE on Wednesday

Hafiz, the Poet:


Write a poem in response to Hafiz.  You can use one of his lines, one of his ideas, or just launch from a mood that his poetry produces.  We spent Monday reading/discussing/analyzing these first three poems.  Period 6 took longer, so they did not have time to write poems.  If you have not written a poem, have this done by 

                                                                            -- Wednesday, November 29th 

                                                                                    Handwritten or printed   

(Finished!)  The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini 

Image result for afghanistanImage result for kite runnerRelated image

Image result for beautiful woman afghanistan national geographic

1. (done) Read the novel!

The reading schedule below may change, so be sure to look at the board and write down the chapters assigned:
Quiz to the end of chapter:
11        Monday, October 30th
13        Wed, Nov 1
15        Fri, Nov 3
18        Monday, November 6
21        Wed, Nov 8
23        Fri
25        Monday, November 13th

Free Audio versions of many chapters can be found here:
and possibly on youtube.  (The audible.com version is excellent and read by the author; but if you do not have a subscription, it costs $30.) 

A dictionary to help you understand Kite Runner is here:

Thank you to Mr. Mohamed Sassila for volunteering his time to speak to our students!

Hafez and Rumi are two beloved poets of Persia and Afghanistan.
Here is a note and examples on the difficulty of translation:

2. (Done) Vocabulary Quiz

Increase your vocabulary whenever you can. Americans' vocabulary decreases substantially every decade. English is an incredible language that allows nuance and complexity, but you can't speak or write what you don't understand.
Khaled Hosseini is from Afghanistan, yet uses all of these words in just CHAPTERS 1-5!                          (Here are the definitions!)

Affluent p. 4 - having an abundance of wealth, property, or other material goods; prosperous; rich                                                        

Intricate, p. 4 -complex; complicated                                

Notoriously p.8 - unfavorably famous, notable, renowned (for bad/evil)

Unscrupulous p. 8 - conscienceless; unprincipled.

Congenital p. 8 - pertaining to a condition present at birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment,

Render p. 8 - to cause to be or become; to make; to do

Oscillate p. 8 - to swing or move to and fro

Reverie  p. 8 - a daydream

Garrulous p. 10- excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, especially about trivial matters.

Veracity, p. 23 - conformity to truth or fact

Obstinate, p. 13- firmly or stubbornly adhering to one's purpose, opinion, etc.; stubborn

Havoc p. 14- great destruction or chaos

Virtuous p. 15- conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright

Chortle, p. 17- to chuckle happily

Aloofness, p. 19- the quality or state of being distant, cold; stand-offish.

Melee, p. 20- fight

Valiant, p. 21 - boldly courageous; brave

Contrite p.24- caused by or showing sincere remorse.

Impeccable p.24- flawless

Vehement p. 24- with intense emotion; impassioned -- vehemently denied it

Imbecile, p. 28-  a stupid person

*Nemesis, p. 29- opponent or rival (originally the goddess of revenge)

Oblivious, p. 30- unmindful; unconscious; unaware

Feigned, p. 31- pretended; sham; counterfeit

Irony, p. 32- a result that is the opposite of what was expected

Subtle, p.42- fine or delicate in meaning or intent; difficult to perceive

Nuances, p. 42- a very slight difference

Trepidation, p. 43- tremulous fear, alarm

In "horizontal groups" and also at home, write your own sentence that uses the word correctly.  Use those sentences to help you remember the meanings of the words for a quiz (and for enriching your ability to speak, write, and understand fully.    

               --  Be ready for a quiz (meaning, not spelling) 

                                                                    on Tuesday, Nov 7th. 

Extra credit to native Spanish speakers for adding a Spanish synonym (a translation into Spanish) and/or a Spanish word with the same root, such as:

                 veracity (truthfulness) and verdad (truth).  

3. (Finished!) Aspects of Afghan, Islamic, 

and Middle Eastern Culture

(Afghanistan is said to be in the Middle East or Asia or both)
Each of you will report on one of the following.
Wait until you have been assigned a topic.
Make a 5-slide presentation plus a 3-source (or more) bibliography.

Each slide must have a picture or diagram that ties in with your information (otherwise your audience gets depressed and has trouble following!).  Though the information is more important than the pictures, put thought into the visual.

The bibliography is a separate grade and needs to be a 6th slide, and printed. Use MLA format. You may use Wikipedia as only one of your sources if it helps. Also, Wikipedia may lead you to sources (see their bibliography at the bottom of the page).  You can see examples on the Purdue bibliography website, like this one:
    Bernstein, Mark. "10 Tips on Writing the Living Web." A List Apart: For People Who Make 
                Websites, 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed 4 May 2009.

Follow the conventions of English; it is embarrassing to project mistakes in spelling, apostrophes, sentences or phrases.  

Be able to answer questions.  Prove that you researched the topic and read the research -- not that you just made slides.  Use terms you can explain.  Look them up.  Make sure that you are not just reporting what you and we already know.  

  1. What are the 5 pillars of Islam? 5 slides, 5 pillars.

  2. Who was Muhammad? A biography

  3. Compare Islam, Christianity, Judaism

  4. Languages of Afghanistan

  5. Alphabet and Writing of Afghanistan -- Can you help people write their names?

  6. The ethnic groups of Afghanistan, with emphasis on  Pashtun and Hazara

  7. Kite flying and fighting in Afghanistan

  8. Food of Afghanistan, and what are the rules around food recommended by Muhammad in the Kadith?

  9. Clothing of men and women in Afghanistan and Muslim countries

  10. Sufism, the mystical heart of Islam

  11. Music of Afghanistan and the middle east – bring some in!

  12. Art of the Middle East

  13. Islamic Architecture

  14. Where do Muslims live?  Where do Arabs live?  What is the difference? Statistics.

  15. Are there rules that Muslim women follow? Who made the rules?  How does this differ by country?   

  16. The Quran -- What messages does it contain? Give examples and famous quotes.

  17. The Hadith -- what is it and what does it say?  Give examples and quotes.

  18. Poet Rumi -- give bio and sample poems

  19. Poet Hafez -- give bio and sample poems

    -- Due Friday, November 3rd, at the END of class

    -- Bibliography printing extension to Monday
    -- Automatic extension to Monday if needed, for both

4. Extra Credit -- Present Current News about Afghanistan or the Muslim World

Read the news. Do some research.  
What's happening in Afghanistan now BESIDES how many troops we have stationed there? (That's the only thing we ever hear, so go beyond that.)
Is there still prejudice between tribes?
What kinds of issues are Muslims facing outside of the US?
(Besides terrorism. Go beyond what we normally hear in the news so that you and the class learn something new.)
Some sources: BBC.co.uk, Al Jazeera.com, The Guardian.co.uk, The Telegraph.co.uk, NewYorkTimes.com

Responsibility and Participation Grade:  Time to Upgrade! -- you are a high school sophomore now!  Do you contribute to group work with your voice, opinion, and critical thinking?  What about everyday class discussion? You need to contribute at least 10 times a week because we want your voice! The class is not fun if only a few people participate. Do you ask questions when you don't understand?  Do you facilitate the class, or are you just a silent observer?  Or disrupting it?  Rethink your role at ATC.  You are getting ready to be able to take over the class sometimes -- teach, design, engage, converse, create, educate! 

Seminar Grades: How to Earn them or Replace Them

1) Formulate your opinions on several topics so that you have something to say.

If you struggle to speak in seminar, take the time to develop your thoughts beforehand.

You may want to take notes on the reading, converse with friends about the reading beforehand, or try writing and developing your ideas.

2) If you DID NOT SPEAK during seminar, you can replace the zero with a 60% by choosing two seminar questions and writing half of a page of thoughtful reflection about each.

(This has been a tradition at ATC for several years, including the classes of Mr. Ayers, where students received a zero if they did not speak in seminar.) Without your written opinions, your teacher has no way of knowing whether you have learned, or whether you have developed your thoughts on these issues.

3) If you had an excused absence on the day of seminar, you should replace the zero with 100% by choosing three seminar questions and writing half of a page of thoughtful reflection about each. Your answers need to show an understanding of the reading, the concepts or ideas, and your own processing and opinions of those ideas.

Which of your short stories does this illustration remind you of?

Image result for edward gorey alphabet

Commas are required in Spanish too - 
can you understand the examples?


Image result for siddhartha hesseImage result for hermann hesse

by Hermann Hesse: 

a German-born poet, novelist, and painter whose best-known works explore an individual's search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. -- Wikipedia

1.  ESSAY on SIDDHARTHA  -- See handout with AP Prompt and directions


THESIS:  (See Handout for the prompt, which has two parts)

Part A is "the pivotal moment"

Part B is "the meaning of the work as a whole"

If you are struggling, you can use this wording:

Part A:      A pivotal moment is when........

Part B:      This gives the reader insight into Hesse's message that.....


        ..., revealing the greater meaning of the novel, Hesse's message that....

         ... which develops the message of the novel, that.... 


Part A must appear in each topic sentence.

Part B is discussed within each body paragraph.


Topic sentences could then have this format:

This pivotal moment (or name it) is important because (reason A).  

(Discuss the significance of that moment.  Remember that you will be quoting the text in the 1,2,3 format.)

Partial Draft of Essay on Siddhartha -- Intro and 2 body paragraphs
Final is due Wednesday, so this is keeping you on track for the deadline
Make sure you read and re-read the AP Essay prompt on the handout so that you know you answered the prompt.
Remember that there are two parts to the question, and so there must be two parts in your thesis and body paragraphs.
Remember that your topic sentences need to prove you thesis.  
Topic sentences can just prove part A (pivotal moment), as long as part B is also discussed in that paragraph.  
Your intro should explain parts A and B, and END with your thesis (not start with your thesis)
Yes, use the 1,2,3 format, which means woven quotes in #2 sentences. 
Why is this harder than freshman year and 8th grade? Because you are in 10th grade, and prepping for actual AP essays that must be written in 40 minutes. Our students do well on AP, but it comes with hard work.        
                  --  Partial Draft due by Monday's class, posted to Google Classroom

FINAL ESSAY on Siddhartha (using the AP Prompt and handout)

                          -- Due Wednesday, posted to Google Classroom 

Vocabulary for understanding Siddhartha:

Use any or all of these dictionaries (glossaries) as you read Siddhartha:







Vocab from Part 1 (but does not include Hindu/Buddhist terms):   https://www.vocabulary.com/lists/248525


Merriam Webster Dictionary Online:  


Do you have reading difficulties?

Free audio version online:


To improve your reading, make sure to do some of the reading on your own as well.

En Español -- Aquí está el libro traducido:


What did the Buddha teach? Here is an excellent explanation of the Buddhist teachings, including the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path:




The Dhammapada is a collection of the Buddha's words

Mr. Steele gave 3rd period their own copy!

I have ordered a set for 6th period from his monastery in California; those should arrive this week.

Meanwhile, here are two online translations. The first may be a bit easier:





It takes 6 hours total to listen to the book aloud, according to audible.com.

We take 2.5 weeks because you are learning & discussing new concepts.

Chapter 1             we read together in class                     Monday, Sept 25th

Chapter 2            be prepared for a quiz on 1 and 2 by     Wednesday, Sept 27th

Chaps 3  & 4                               in class   (finish "Awakening")       

Chaps 5                    for Socratic seminar                                               Friday

Chaps 6 & 7                        (Finish "Samsara")                                    Monday

Chapter 8                                                                                Wednesday

Socratic Seminar                                                             Thursday

Chaps 9                         (Finish "The Ferryman")                   Friday

Chaps 10 & 11                                                                         Monday

Chap 12                                                                                Wednesday

Socratic Seminar                                                                     Friday   

We will also be reading the Dhammapada (see the links above).  

The Caste System (in India and in our class, LOL):

Caste graphic


DONE -- Class work on "The Storyteller," by Saki.  Due at the end of classes on Thursday and/or Friday.

DONE -- Read "The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a short story of 4 pages, handout picked up on Wednesday.          

Reading issues?  Here is the book read to you on youtube:


(If you can read it on your own, embrace the challenge, because you will need to do this on standardized tests, etc.  But if you are struggling, it does raise your reading level to listen to a good reader!  Look at the words at the same time to learn the vocab.)

Be ready for a basic quiz to prove you read. The story read aloud takes 15 minutes.  You have time to read it twice!

                                                    Due Friday, Aug 18th

DONE -- Read "The Man to Send Rain Clouds" by Leslie Marmon Silko for Monday, Aug 21st.  Then -- Quiz #2 Monday to check your reading.  

 (Remember that reading homework can be given any night, and that as your grade increases, so do the expectations. Having said that, this is not a long reading at all.)

Please click on the above link.   

Binder Grade is based on this list.  The labels for your binder are listed in the above materials list. 

                                        -- Due Monday, Aug 21st

                        GRADE for binder, dividers, paper, and sharpener


Please sign up now for Remind.com (even if you signed up last year).

Parents are encouraged to sign up too.  

The code for 10th grade announcements is:              @10-10-10

Or you can go directly to https://www.remind.com/join/10-10-10

For more info:  Remind.com and how to use it 

                                                                Due Monday, Aug 21st 

4.  CLASS WORK (not homework, though may be later)  


Monday we will play geography games using sheppard software.  

World Literature and World Wisdom require an understanding of geography!

Here is the link:  (copy and paste link to browser)


or this website will test but not teach:


Choose the countries column, and do Level L (Tutorial) and Level 1. 

Get to 100% on level 1 -- This is Central and South America.  

                                            Quiz on Friday, September 1st.  

                    Asia (Indian region, not far east)        -- Sept 8 quiz 


5.  (DONE) TYPED DRAFT #2 of formal paragraph on "A Man to Send Rain Clouds"

 due FRIDAY posted on GOOGLE CLASSROOM.  For the codes, see Remind.com. (You were required to sign up for Remind by Monday. See above if you need directions.)

The details are there on Google Classroom.  

6.  (OVERDUE) FINAL PARAGRAPH due posted on Google Classroom  

                                        by WEDNESDAY, August 30th at 8 am.

This will be a draft that has been edited and peer-edited. 

Follow exactly the handout on paragraph structure.  

Number 123, 123. 

7.  (OVERDUE) READ the short story by Isabel Allende, called "And of Clay We Are Created."  

Need help reading?

Here is an online version with vocabulary defined on each page:


(Copy and paste link to your browser.)

Here is the story en espanol:


"De Barro Estamos Hechos."

Could you be a writer?  Here is Isabel Allende describing how she writes a book -- 4 1/2  minutes


1.  (done)  VOCAB QUIZ 
Vocabulary needed to understand Hinduism (and Buddhism) --  20 key terms:
For the first quiz, you only need to know karma, dharma, samsara, moksha, monotheism, polytheism, avatar.
(keep your eyes on this site, those of you away on a field trip).

                                             --- due Monday, Sept 11 

2.  (done)  Geography Quiz -- South Asia and Southeast Asia

World Literature and World Wisdom require an understanding of geography!

Here is the link:  (copy and paste link to browser)


or this website will test but not teach:


Choose the countries column, and do Level L (Tutorial) and Level 1. 

Get to 100% on level 1 

                                                --- due Monday, Sept 11 

3.  (Can REDO or turn in late through Monday)  Annotate "Is Hinduism Relevant Today?" Essay
This is practice for analysis of nonfiction, and of course ties in with our introduction to Hinduism. 
I will give you a list of how and what to annotate during class this week.
Annotation is taking notes right on the text.  I have made the handout with very wide margins so that you have plenty of room. 

                                                -- due Friday, September 15th 

4. CANCELED -- Your annotations will have helped you read closely, so I'm canceling this quiz.--   Quiz on close reading of "Is Hinduism Relevant Today?" essay
Your annotations will help you read this well enough for a quiz -- not open notes though.  This is reading practice, and I notice that many of you need this badly.  Remember that you need to reach Level 4 on PARCC by next year in order to graduate. Keep practicing.  

Unit 2: Hinduism: What world wisdom can you find in this ancient and present religion?

In preparation for Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, we look at Hinduism, The Bhagavad Gita, Buddhism and The Dhammapada, world wisdom from the East that still speaks to us today. (Other religions will be featured as the year progresses; Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faith leaders will come and speak to you and answer your questions.)

His wife Krishna and Radha

Ram and Sita

Sita Sings the Blues

This incredibly artistic modern film is the perfect introduction to Hinduism.  Nina Paley retells the story of Ram and Sita from the Ramayana.  If you missed it or want to see it again, here it is, FREE!


To quote the movie for your essay, here is a transcript of Sita Sings the Blues:

        Good article on the film :


        Interesting and useful -- The gods explained as they appeared in 

                        Sita sings the blues:


Intro to the Story of Ramayana, the Hindu Epic Poem:


Valmiki: Sage and Author of The Ramayana:

Who is Hanuman?  Hanuman features in the Ramayana and Sita Sings the Blues.  Here is a rap song by MC Yoga that teaches who he is: 
Who is Ganesh?  And why is he an elephant god?  Another popular song in English:           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3W2eewBTlo

1500-1000 BCE     Vedic Age in India

1000 - 660 BCE      Epic Age in India

Coming up:   Guest Speakers on 
Buddhism (Ralph Steele, Monday, Sept 18th) and 
Hinduism (Shibana Singh, Tuesday, Sept 19th) 
Catholicism, by popular demand, Father Adam Ortega (to be arranged)
Orthodox Christianity, Father John (to be arranged)
Protestant Church: 
Islam:  Mr. Sassila, who enjoys speaking on Islam 
Mormonism:  Mr. Sheffer, to be arranged 
Jehovah's Witnesses 
What else?
If you would like to propose a guest speaker, especially a faith leader, please let me know with name and contact info.  

5.  REVIEW my edits on your final paragraph.
Once you have absorbed those skills and concepts (and we will also go over them in class, you can apply those to your next formal essay or paragraph for 100%.  If you show that you have learned those new skills, I will exempt your grade on your first paragraph, if it was low.   

6.  Extra credit: Writing Contest for Bennington College Young Writers Awards 

Each year, students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades are invited to enter in one of the following categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), or nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). All entries must be original work and sponsored by a high school teacher. Short stories and nonfiction must be fewer than 1,500 words. First-place winners in each category are awarded a prize of $500; second-place winners receive $250. The annual competition runs from September 1 to November 1.     http://www.bennington.edu/events/young-writers-awards                                                                           Submission deadline: November 1st       

7.  Reading for Monday, Sept 18th

Image result for arjuna and krishna on chariot

The Bhagavad Gita (Song of God), a short section of the epic poem, the Mahabharata, in which the god Krishna teaches the great warrior Arjuna about what is important in life and death -- Hinduism's most popular text.

Here is the short excerpt you should read.  Copy and paste the link to your browser -- I have photographed the pages of a beautiful book to make this more meaningful, and the authors have chosen the most profound teachings of this story:        


                                                                    (14 pages plus illustrations.)

(If you would like a longer, more complete version, you can try this one:

          http://www.hinduwebsite.com/chapters.asp ....100 pages?)

            -- Read well enough for a quiz or writing assignment 

and 5 "take-aways" by Monday, Sept 18th

8. Essential Questions for Socratic Seminar on:

Hinduism, The Ramayana, and the Bhagavad Gita

Part of your education comes from the critical thinking necessary to ask the right questions, the important questions, those that matter to people's lives.  Learn to think deeply.  You may need to go beyond your normal thought patterns.  

                                                    -- Due Wednesday for SEMINAR

9. Seminar Grade -- formulate your opinions on several topics so that you have something to say.

If you struggle to speak in seminar, take the time to develop your thoughts beforehand.

If you DID NOT SPEAK during seminar, you should replace the zero with a 60% by choosing two seminar questions and writing half of a page of thoughtful reflection about each. Here are the questions that your classmates contributed:


(You have to copy and paste that into your browser)

This has been a tradition at ATC for several years, including the classes of Mr. Ayers, where students received a zero if they did not speak in seminar. Without your written opinions, your teacher has no way of knowing whether you have learned, or whether you have developed your thoughts on these issues.

If you had an excused absence on the day of seminar, you should replace the zero with 100% by choosing three seminar questions and writing half of a page of thoughtful reflection about each. See the link above.


10. ESSAY: What wisdom does Hinduism offer the world?

Answer this question with an introduction that explains what Hinduism is, who, where, beliefs, sacred texts, etc.

Then, write 4 insightful body paragraphs, each using a different source.

The sources are the Ramayana, as retold in Sita Sings the Blues;

the Bhagavad Gita (excerpt above);

the article on whether Hinduism is relevant today;

the presentation by Shibana Singh.

Each body paragraph needs one example structured in 1,2,3 format.

As you know the 1,2,3 format requires an interwoven quote in sentence 2.

Follow the format exactly.

Weave/embed your quote as show on the 3 handouts you will receive this week.

Make sure to apply the corrections and concepts that I noted on your first paragraph to the ones you turn in on Friday.

                   -- DRAFT posted on Wednesday, Sept 20th on Google Classroom

                   -- FINAL posted by end of class on Friday, September 22nd

         -- EDITS during class on Friday  

                   -- Extensions available to Monday, Sept 25th if needed

11. Schedule this week:

Monday, Sept 18:        Guest speaker, Ralph Steele, Buddhism

                                                (Bring 3 questions)

Tuesday                        Guest speaker, Shibana Singh, Hinduism

                                                (Bring 3 questions)

Wednesday               Due: Draft of essay posted, with 2 body paragraphs 

                                Review of Perfecting the Paragraph 1,2,3

                                How to embed a quote and weave the quote (required)

                                Writing/Typing your essays


Thursday                 Socratic Seminar: Hinduism, Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita

Friday                    ESSAY DUE by End of Class -- Edit essays

                                    (Extensions available to Monday, Sept 25th if needed)

Monday                Begin Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

Advanced Hindu concepts (There are many, but try these!)

"Shakti is the power that is latent in pure consciousness, required to reach pure consciousness and essential to create, sustain and destroy. Just as Energy can never be created nor be destroyed, but changes from one form to another; Adi Parashakti took many incarnations to do different tasks. God is both male and female. But all different forms of energy or powers of God are with the Trimurti in the form of MahalakshmiMahasaraswati and Mahakali. That is to say, a non-dimensional God creates this world through Srishti-Shakti (Mahasaraswati or Sound or knowledge), preserves through Sthiti-Shakti (Mahalakshmi or Light or resources), and destroys through Samhara-Shakti (Mahakali or Heat or Strength). It is also seen that God cannot create, generate or destroy because God does not possess any attribute. So True Energy or Adi Shakti does everything on God's behalf."                       (Quoted from Wikipedia)

(We completed 4 classes of MAPS testing)

D Johnson,
May 25, 2014, 10:12 AM
D Johnson,
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Apr 22, 2011, 2:25 PM
Independent Reading List, Book Suggestions for 2017.gdoc
D Johnson,
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D Johnson,
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D Johnson,
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D Johnson,
May 12, 2011, 4:05 PM
D Johnson,
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