English 12 IB HL‎ > ‎

Homework -

April 25-May1
REVIEW the specifics of the works.  Re-Read articles and sections of the textbook on poetry and fiction, on style specific to our authors and in general.  Study the vocabulary lists.  Pre-write brief summaries of the four main writers for Paper 2 - these will help you frame clear orientations when you need to in paper 2.   Review notes on the specfic novels (Wikipedeia has an excellent listing on A Fine Balance), characters and plots, settings.  Read some of the extra articles on O'Connor, and try Gordimer's Noble Prize accaeptance speech for thought-provoking wordings about the power of writing. 
April 13/16 - Read "A Good Man is Hard To Find" and pages 177-180 in your textbook - background  on O'Connor.  We will also read   "The Life you Save May Be YOUr Own", "The Artifical N....", "Displaced Person" , "Good Country People",  and an essay by O'Connor in Supplementary LIterature called "The Nature and Aim of Fiction".
Returned papers note:  All those check marks are my attempt to practice the IB scoring - each check indicates  a GOOD idea or phrase, an importnat concept.  THey are similar to my + marks - elements that support your thesis and/or are appropriate to the discussion, and LITERARY terms cited purposefully.  
April 11/12
Outline an essay for an 800-1000 word response to one of the following prompts, choosing as examples  two stories from Gordimer and EITHER The Trial OR A Fine Balance.  Do not worry about quotations per se, as in the Paper 2 setting you do not have the works there to reference. 
 Post your outline to turnitin.com by Friday.  Use a numeric code if you prefer not to be identified in peer review.  Be sure to identify which prompt you are using.
Previous exam prompts :  CHOOSE ONE
 Prose:  The Novel and Short Story                       
  1. By what means and to what effect have writers evoked sympathy for those characters who suffer injustice in their society?
  2. “The characters of a novel can only be individualized if they are set in a background of a particular time and place.”  How important is the setting of a particular time and/or place to the development of the characters?  Refer in detail to at least two novels or short stories.

General Questions

  1. “Fact versus fantasy; this is a clash that can have comic or tragic results.”  Bearing this statement in mind explore the results of realism and fantasy in any two or three works you have studied.
  2. Compare how writers in your study have explored the themes of judgment and punishment, OR disguise and deceit, OR love and friendship, and with what effect.



  Lesson Plans for Tuesday, April 10, 2012                                             Period 3B English 12 IB

Homework assignment:  Read “Safe Houses”  and ” The Journey” .  Make well-worded notes on the stories.  Be sure to bring your book to class on Thursday. That will be our last class on Gordimer.

1)      Set the purpose:  to look at journalistic uses of language and how you see it as meaningful

AND to work on explaining the effect /impact.


Pass out “Hope is  four-legged and woolly”

Students should read and then write in their journals (do not collect)

-           a list of five striking uses of language

-           and for each write an effect of this language: Write a clearly worded explanatory sentence.

-          Allow 20-25 minutes. 

2)       In small groups of 6 discuss the stories “Some Are Born to Sweet Delight” and “Jump”

-each group should first just discuss the stories and their impacts/meanings/problems.

-Each group should write three questions Gordimer is trying to ask the reader s or answer through the story.   Write these poster paper (they can use the yellow paper).

Post the questions and discuss or just compare. Groups can informally explain.

3)      If there is left-over time have they may read homework.

March 29 Read pages 21-60 and 85-95 in the textbook. 
March 28 
Read in the textbook pages pages 54-60, 85-95.  Bring ID and your copy of Jump if you purchased it.  We will pick up copies from the library.  If you would like to return your Kafka at this point you may, or you may keep it for review before the exam.
March 27
Write for 45 minutes about specific literary strategies that Kafka uses. See handout. 
 March 14/15 and over Spring Break
1) Finish reading The Trial if you have not done so.
2) Also read the article under Supplementary Literature called "The Impossibility of Being Kafka". Make a THOROUGH reading --- it is a highly academic article that will need your full attention.   Look over the vocabulary at the end and learn it! 
We will try to use at least some of thsoe words in our writing.
3) Prepare to write on one of the paper 2 style prompts about the book. Here are your choices:  
    A.   By what means and to what effect have writers evoked sympathy for those characters who suffer injustice in their society?
    B.   "The characters of a anovel can only be individulaized if they ar set in a bacground of a particular time and place."  How improtant is the setting a a particular time and/or place to the development of the characters?   Refer in detail to at least two novels or short stories.
    C.  "fact versus fantasy; this is a clash that can have comic or tragic results."  Bearing this statement in mind, explore the results of realism and fantasy in any two or three works you have studied.
    D.  Compare how writers in your study have explored the themes of judgment and punishment, OR disguise and deceit, OR love and friendship, and with what effect.
March 4/5
1)  Polish , perfect and print both World LIts.  Include on each:  word count, your name, your IB number (on every page) page numbers and Bibliography.  If you have a passage interp World Lit 2, place the passage before the interpretation.  If you have a 2b, the Statement of Intent should appear before the creative response.  Be sure the Intent explains what you are attempting to better understand or explicate through the creative rendering.  These must be mailed -- Wednesday would be perfect but I have to have EVERYONE's.  They are going to Singapore and have to arrive by next week. 
2) in Kafka, read through "the Whipper" page 90.  
Keep a character list.  What role does each character play?  We need to finish the novel before Spring Break - Mar 16.  
Orals March 1, 2012.     If you need to trade around times or schedule differently, make the trades or contact me.

Nick Lamia




Danica O’Malley







Axel Ramos




Sandra Suttiritana












Samantha Galang




Cindy Wang




Morgan Ebbert








February 27/28
Read Chapter 1 of the Trial.  It's going to seem a little strange, but stay with it.  Especially pay attention to how Kafka creates the effect he does -- what distortions, visual images, abrupt juxtapositions, etc. impact his story?  
FYI -- Frau means Mrs., Fraulein means Miss, and Herr means Sir or Mr.  Keep track of the various characters and their names.  

The orals schedule for Tuesday is
Eunice          7:20    PAC  all day
Norma          8:20
Axel             8:45
Nick             9:10
Ruella           9:35
Anessa          10:20
Josh Adler    10:45
Savannah      12:30
Clint             12:55
Kelsey           1:25

For Wednesday Feb 29 (Leap Day!) :
Nate             8:20
Daniel          8:45
?  someone filled in... 
Max             9:35 
Sneha           10:20
Josh Wahba  10:45
Cristina        12:30
Tanessa        12:55
Andrea         1:25

I'll post the March 1 schedule on Tuesday.  

February 16/21 Homework:
Read the article handed out in class, or on the homepage of English 12Ib called "article to imitate".  IN order to focus on Mistry's style, write a Mistry-esque piece that uses the content of one (or both) of the people in the article.  If we were to meet these characters in his book, how would he present them?  If you need to make up details or various parts to make this work, feel free to do so.  Don't try to keep up with Mistry's full episodes - 500 +/- words is good.  At the end of the piece, identify what elements of his style you were trying to imitate. 

You will write a Paper 2 style essay in class on Thursday/Friday Feb 23/24. Be sure you have a clear command of the names and plot details you would need to include from memory in discussing the novel. 

Orals Preparation
English 12 IB Orals reminders

1. Read and re-read the rubric to help yourself remember terms and issues on which to focus.

2. Prepare a mental list for yourself of the important characteristics – and the words for them – for each author.  You need to know names of characters, plots, titles, themes, and of course style.

3.  Prepare a few sentence starters for yourself that can help you focus your speaking.

Works to review:

Howards End Plot by chapters, characters, significant conversations or narratives that support theme and character development

HamletPlot by acts, major characters, important scenes that involve more than one character, cuttings of around 40 lines

Poetry of Boland:            The Pomegranate, Lava Cameo, The Achill Woman, The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me, Object Lessons, Outside History, The Death of Reason, In a Bad Light, Writing in a Time of Violence, Quarantine  Reread essays of Boland.

Poetry of Bishop:  One Art, Sestina, The Prodigal, The Armadillo, The Man-Moth, Argument,  House Guest, Sandpiper, Anaphora.  Reread the critical essays on Bishop


 Naipaul Essays:  Jasmine, East Indian, Power?, Two Worlds, The Crocodiles in Yamassoukro, Steinbeck in Monterey

   Read critical articles on Naipaul.


Consider:  What does the work mean? What is the "story"? How does it fit in the context of the works?   What are features of style? themes ? characters ?        plot ?    symbols?    Background;   signature language and/or devices.; motifs;  vocabulary      


Howards End


Boland Poems:
The Pomegranate
Lava Cameo
The Achill Woman
The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me
Object Lessons
Outside History
The Death of Reason
In a Bad Light
Bishop Poems:
One Art
The Prodigal
The Armadillo
The Man-Moth
House Guest
Naipaul Essays
East Indian
Two Worlds
The Crocodiles in Yamassoukro
Steinbeck in Monterey


Tues/Wed Jan 24/25

From the poems posted under BOLAND on the English Homepage (the never made it into the Supplementary Lit file)  - , PRINT, read and annotate three poems by Eavan Boland:  "Pomegranate", "Achill Woman' and "Lava Cameo"

For Term 2 Jan 19/20

For first class next week, finish through page 398 in A Fine Balance  

When you can, follow this length to read about an Indian photojournalist. Good background and continuing understanding-building of India.  http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2012/01/20/145484804/indias-first-female-photojournalist-captured-a-nation-in-transition?ps=cprs

Jan 10/11  You are responsible for reading and analyzing at least these E. Bishop poems in addition to the ones we have already explored: 

"One Art,"  "Sestina", "The Prodigal,"  "First Death in Nova Scotia" (all of these are in the textbook); "Man-Moth",  "Argument", "The Fish", "Questions of Travel" , "The Armadillo", "Visits to St. Elizabeths", and "At the Fishhouses".  In addition, you should read a variety of other poems by Bishop  on the Elizabeth Bishop website at Poets. org.  You are becoming an expert on her style, content, strategies, and topics.  The "final" will be a cold read of a Bishop poem we have not necessarily studied, bringing to bear the patterns and effects  you can see in her work.  

www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/7   or  poemhunter.org   


A collection of most of the poems listed above is in the Supplmenetary Lit link. Also read the Borges article on Poets, How to Read a Poem,  and other resources in the Poetry section of the Supplementary Lit.  

For additional information and commentary model, look online for the LA Times article on Bishop dated March 11, 2011  headlined "An immersion in Elizabeth Bishop".


 Jan 6/9  


Read, annotate and prepare to explain in 5 minutes the assigned article. ( additional orals practice)

 If you were the first speaker in your group, read ThePower of Reticence

2nd speaker - Exile's Return

3rd Speaker - The Art of Changing

If you are confused, read the one on Bishop's metaphors.



Jan 5 -


Read at least through page 100 or so in AFB.  Choose another passage of no more than 40 lines to speak about in class as we did today.  Prepare with talking points/notes and a focus.  

Work on World LIt 2 papers - find a partner, send him/her your paper, have him/her review in general terms (not proofreading other than in a general way); partner sends you and me a copy of the comments. cthompson@conejo.k12.ca.us


Jan 3/4, 2012!

 1) Read and respond to a Subject A -45 minutes or less

2) Come to class with one  passage to complete an oral dialectical journal in small group.

3)  Set up your own electronic peer partner to review  World Lit 2.  Copy me for your review.  Final copies of WL 1 and 2 due January 20

Useful resource: Samantha Galang suggested this website if you are having trouble with the Indian words in A Fine Balancehttp://elephante.pbworks.com/w/page/18754825/Glossary%20for%20A%20Fine%20Balance (cut and paste link, it doesn't work directly from here)
A Day Dec. 12; B Day Dec. 13 (- sorry, but I think we have to write on Thursday)
Read in the textbook pp 1498-1505, poems on 1130; 1135 and the handouts.  Prepare to write in response to a selected passage from Hamlet - so you need the facts and a sensitivity to the language and literary elements.   
To get another  perspective, skim through the excerpt from Shakespeare is Hard but so is Life in the Supplementary Literature section under Hamlet.   Know the play! 
Analysis relies on patterns for evidence.   
Plus you can peruse this link -- a concordance is an analysis by word or concept that catalaogues usage of words and phrases - take a look for one of the motifs you have noticed.

Have a restful, thankful and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. Notice and appreciate your world .    Mrs.Thompson

 Bday Nov.22                                                                                                                                                                       Re- view and re-think  Act I . Go to Nicenet.  Contribute to the conversation - two questions to briefly answer.        

Class Name: English 2011 3B         ClassKey  B326095E96     Go to http://www.nicenet.org to enter the key and join your class.


A Day - Nov. 21

 Review Act I  and go to Nicenet.  Contribute to the conversation - two questions to briefly answer. 

Class Name: English 3A                           Class Key: Z326093E49

  Go Nicenet's home page to join your class:    http://www.nicenet.org/

Nov. 17 and 18
Work through the Act 1 quiz in the Hamlet section of Supplementary Literature.  Bring your answers to class.
November 15 and 16
Read pages in the textbook including a short paly at the beginning of the Drama section 1161-1179,  Also read the introduction to Shakepearean drama on pp.1302-1306.  These readings are going to offer some repetition and some new information - or perhaps a diffferent organization to information you have. 
Be preared  to answer questions.  Enjoy the short play!
Nov. 8/9
Choose a stylistic feature you identify with Naipual's essays.  Make your own annotated list of at leat 5 places in different essays where you see this developed.  Consider that we are looking for PATTERNS in the writing. [think:  If I picked up another unidentified essay how would I know it was by Naipaul?]  We will have seminar on  Monday and Tuesday -- so be preared with clear and concise evidence.  You need to be able to articulate what the effects are in each instance and overall of this stylistic device. 
Re-read "B. Wordsworth" and bring your copy to class.
Nov. 4/7
Bring Howards End to turn in.
Read "the Crocodiles of Yammasoukra"  by Naipaul, found under the essays.  
In Lit book (you don't need to bring the book next class) read p697, 993-995
Prepare to write a short TOPIC-based essay for the practice:  explore the local, national or international news sources as well as your own personal 
experiences to find an issue or simply a topic that is of interest to you. Think about your travel experiences, observations you make, etc. 
October 2728 
 Download, read and annotate the Naipaul essay entitled "East Indian".  Complete your Howards End journals.
October 25/26    October 26 class was devoted to the assembly, so we will tkae up the articles on Friday. 
Same as before.  Finish double entry journals.
October 21/24
Read and annotate the assigned article from the list under Howards End in Supplementary literature.
I have added the resources you were having trouble finding.
October 11/12
Continue reading in Howards End through chapter 25. You need to aim to finish the novel for a plot quiz October 26/27. 
One complete college essay due by October 20. WL revision due by October 17. 
October 7/10
Read Howards End through chapter 22.  Note passages for dialectical journals.
Read and annotate Forster's essay "What I Believe."  To what degree do you see what he believes in the novel?  How does he express his ideas.
September 28/30 
Read Chapters 1-5 of Howards End.  Begin with one dialectical/double-entry 300-word journal response to a passage you have selected and copied. 
A -day - Study for the Vocabulary test on LIterary Terms (pink sheet) on Monday.  B day tests on Friday (yes, it's out of order!). 
A day - BRING WORLD LIT 1 papers to class! Yes, find it, print it, bring it.  This will be the only class time devoted to consider revisions!
B Day bring World Lit papers Tuesday. 
September 21/22 - Choose one poem we have not discussed and that is not discussed in the text as an example.  Use the middle pages of the textbook Collection fo POems.
Develop your own interpretation -  Make a copy of the poem which you may annotate.  Do any research you find helpful.  Choose at least two literary terms from the pink sheet that you can apply to a discussion of the poem and its overall meaning or effect.  We will write an in-class poem commentary next class. Plan a little bit about what major points you want to make and wht coheisve statement about the poem you can argue convincingly. 
September 16/19
Read the poetry section in the text  pages 721-744.  Pay special attention to the Rhythm and Meter. Choose one poem to read from another section of the book. 
September 14/15Complete reading Lyrics and Poetry.
Bring your sonnet or villanelle to class.
Read the Poetry section from 703-721.  Take notes. Focus on symbolism.
September 12/13
A DAY -Read in Critical perspectives section and take notes,2084-2092.
2) Write a sestina or a villanelle for Friday. Concentrate on letting the form help you make meaning .
3) Read the downloadable file on Supplementary Literature called Poetry and Lyric.   
September 9
Read the article "Breakfast with Miss Bishop" with care. Look up at least five words or references you do not understand. 
Write (journal, not to turn in now) a 300 word discussion of how your impressions and understandings are affected by the reading. 
Apply to "One Art" and "Sestina".  Be ready to share in class, both new words/info and refelctions on understanding.
Continue to research/think about the poem on which your group is becoming expert.
Unholy Sonnet
by Mark Jarman
After the praying, after the hymn-singing,
After the sermon’s trenchant commentary
On the world’s ills, which make ours secondary,
After communion, after the hand-wringing,
And after peace descends upon us, bringing
Our eyes up to regard the sanctuary
And how the light swords through it, and how, scary
In their sheer numbers, motes of dust ride, clinging-
There is, as doctors say about some pain,
Discomfort knowing that despite your prayers,
Your listening and rejoicing, your small part
In this communal stab at coming clean,
There is one stubborn remnant of your cares
Intact. There is still murder in your heart.
September 7/8
Homework:  Read pages 2079-2084 in text and take notes on the biographical and historicist perspectives.  Also read short piece on William Carlos Williams, p. 1156 AND biographical information on Dickinson on pages 824-829.  Also read and take notes on the following pages of text:  686-702; poems:  "Mending Wall" - 876-877; "Desert Places" - 890; "Design" - 891; PLUS download and print copy of "Sestina" from the following website, annotate and bring to next class.  (I apologize for it not being here! ) I had also assinged page 999 on A day.  We will also look at that.







  September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,

It's time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle's small hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac

on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmotherand her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.

But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in the front of the house.

Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.

To complete Sept. 2/3
1) Finish reading and understanding"The Art of the Personal Essay".  (If you do not have the handout, it is available on the Supplementary Literature tab.  Scroll to Essay and V.s. Naipaul, then scroll down to find the "Art of the personal Essay").
2) Write a personal essay draft (300-500 words) using at least one of the strategies that Lopate explains.
Here are some various college prompts if you do not have one.  If you are going to be writing for a university check the website for a prompt you will actually write.

College Entrance Essay Prompts – Personal Statement From the Common Application:

The personal statement helps us become acquainted with you in ways different from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data.  It will demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts and express yourself.  We are looking for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student.   Please write an essay (250 words minimum) on a topic of your choice. Suggestions follow.

  1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you
  3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
  4.  Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
  5.  A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the education mix.  Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an other experience that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.
  1. Topic of your choice.

Other possibilities:

  1. If you could have dinner with any two figures from history, fictional or real, who would they be?  What would you wish to talk about or ask?
  2. Describe who you are by using an animal or object as a metaphor.  What features of the metaphoric object/animal are like your own?
  1. What character or work of literature, fiction or non-fiction, has affected  you?  What made it significant to you? 

Essay #1:
Please write a brief biographical sketch about yourself.
Limit your response to 300 words.
Essay #2:
Please describe your educational, professional, and other goals. Describe how BYU will help you achieve them. Limit your response to 300 words.

Essay #3:
Please list and/or describe your participation and leadership during the last three years in   extracurricular activities, including performance groups, athletics, cultural and civic clubs, and church and community service. Limit your response to 300 words.


To Complete Aug 30/Sept 1
1) Read "The Mole People" by Jennifer Toth and "Bernard's Tunnel" by Jennifer Toth.  Compare and contrast the two articles by the same author
 Type up a 500 word paper on this comparison/contrast.  (Consider content, allusions, purposes, intended audience, etc.)                                                   Submit this paper to turnitin.com...see class id and password on this website's 12 IB homepage.  Write this more formally, including an introduction that sets out your purpose - which is to persuade the reader of your thesis idea.    BRING A PRINTED COPY OF THIS PAPER TO NEXT CLASS that does not have your name on it.   
 TURNITIN.COM information:
 English 12IB 2011-12 3A   Class # 4289842      Password:  beautiful
  • English 12IB 2011-12 3B  Class  #4289924       Password:  terri

 To complete Aug 26/29

1) Read and make notes on textbook:    “Reading Poems” and “Types of Poetry,” 670-685; “Midterm Break,” 1081-2; “Barbara Allan,” 932-33; “Let me not to the marriage of true minds,” 981; “One Art,” “The Prodigal”, "Unholy Sonnet" (handout).   The handout poems may be found by clicking Supplementary Literature at the bottom of the main page, scrolling to folder POETRY, and clicking on poems. TAKE NOTES.  ASK QUESTIONS in those notes.  (On A day I said not to worry about the extra handout poems, so we can address those in class or next homework).

 2) Also, write a personal reflection, using Richard Rodriquez’s, “It occurred to me the other day…” as a model.  What “occurs to you”?  What do you “imagine”? Use the handout or, if lost, download the Rodriguez article from my website by clicking Supplementary Literature on my main 12 IB page, and finding it in the first set of documents.  You may word-process or handwrite in ink.

Review your Literary Terms on the handout, and prepare for a first quiz on the meanings of the terms on Sept 1/2.  We want to begin to think, speak and write  in this vocabulary early -- almost all of it you know.

To complete Aug. 24/25
1)   Finish Reading "The Elusive Big Idea"
     Look up one allusion and think about how knowing it adds to your iunderstanding. Also write out one question you have after reading
      the article.
2)  Read the beginning of the Critical Theory section of the textbook:
     pages 2068-2076.  Write a brief personal response to the poem and the story. 
     Make notes that will help you remember and apply the features of analysis using the Formalist Perspective.

Book Review Instructions:

At the top of the paper, include as a list:


Title of Book, underlined or italicized


Date of Publication and Publisher

Number of pages

Price if it is a recently purchased book, or source where available (Library?)

REVIEWED By:  Your name


You are writing an essay (at least 500 words), in the sense that it is one cohesive piece of writing that argues a position.  In this case, the position is how you value the book.  So, yes, this essay should have organized paragraphs.


Your review should begin with a general statement that orients the reader to the subject of the book (a brief summary of the plot) and your overall assessment of / reaction to the book.  Is the book one you will remember?  Is it one you recommend?  What were you looking for in choosing this book?  Did it meet expectations?  Answer these types of questions, and set up the specific reasons that you evaluate the book as you do.


Compare the book – and the experience of reading it – to another reading experience you have had (perhaps in reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hamlet, Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, or 1984 or Brave New World or earlier reading like To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, etc., etc.!!!).  Did you enjoy reading it?  Does it have a slow or fast pace?  Is it predictable?  Satisfying?  What elements are effective:  plot, characters, setting, and controlling idea.


You may include some biographical information from inside of the book, or a couple of sentences about what the writer’s biography adds to your reaction to the book.  Certainly, if you know of other works by the writer, compare or comment on that.


Quote from the book – to demonstrate the content and style.  Example:  Incorporate a quotation from a page and explain what came before and after, and why the quotation is meaningful in the larger context of the book.  Quote from other reviewers.  You may use another literary critic to reinforce your opinion or to contrast to your opinion.


Finish with a commentary on what you believe the writer was trying to accomplish.  To what extent did the book succeed?  Explain the elements that you consider most.  End with a strong statement about who should read the book and what readers will understand – or wonder.


The Book Review must be posted to turnitin.com. We will do brief “book talks” summarizing your response to the book in class on May 31/June1. You Book review must be posted to turnitin by that day.

May 13-22
Select a book that is interesting to you to read and review by June 1.  Unlike our other writing on literature, this will focus on EVALUATING the work according to some criteria that you define as what you expect from a "good book".  So as you read think about what you like and don't like and why. We will imitate a professional book review for style and format.
Our other assignment will be to write our ESLR, a detailed reflection on and assessment of your educational career in high school. It will be due May 26/27. 
Our last day of class is June 3/6!   

April 24-25 
Read one critical analysis of Mistry's A Fine Balance, Kafka's The Trial, O'Connor's or Gordimer's stories.  Use any on this or Ms Conner's website, or research your own SCHOLARLY article (cite).  You may use Nobelprize.org or one of the school data bases, as well as seek magazine articles from the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times Book Review or other journals. 
Prepare notes speaking points to present your reading to your classmates.  Enter your bulleted notes on the nicenet website under the writer's name so that we can develop a meaningful network of ideas.
If you have not done a short piece (350-500 words) on the importance of one of the minor characters of The Trial, please do so and upload to Turnitin.com.
March 26/27
Read Chapters 2 and 3 of The Trial.  Make notes and return to class prepared to speak for 3 minutes on a passage you select from these two chapters. When we write at the end of the novel we will concentrate on the importance of one of the minor characters.
March 24/25
For our next meeting read Chapter One of The Trial.  Compose (write out)three clearly worded questions. I do not recommend reading the Forward/Preface, as it contains information about the pl
Mar 16-17-18-19
Read all of the stories listed below. 
Additional reading will be the Nature and Aim of Fiction, which is O'Connor's essay.  We will have copies in class for Tuesday and Wednesday, and the article is on the Supplememntary literature as well. 

Be prepared to write on a Paper 2 on O'Connor, Gordimer and Mistry.  You must cite specifics from each work.  We will do this on Thursday, Mar. 24 and
Friday, Mar 25.  accordin to the Finals Schedule which gives you the 115 minute period.  
Unhappily, I will be absent on Friday, as I have Jury Duty. 

The  first week of April we will begin reading The Trial, finishing it before Spring Break. 

Mar 14-15
Download and print the critic's comments on O'Connor from the Supplementary LIterature section.  Read the comments for wordings that describe the features that characterize O'Connor's style.  As you read the other stories, look for specific evidence of these features. Make notes, lists , keep reminders.
Read the stories in the following order:
"A Good Man is Hard to Find"
"The Life You Save May Be Your Own"
"Good Country People"
"The Artificial Nigger"
"Everything That Rises Must Converge"  p. 207 in the textbook
 Also read the background pages on O'Connor starting on p 177 and the commentaries/critics' remarks after the stories
Next week we will write on O'Connor and Gordimer.
Mar 7/8 and 9/10
We will complete reading and discussion of JUMP - we must turn in the books so that Ms. Conner's class can use them.  We will pick up Flannery O'Connor's book on Wed/Thurs.  
As you prepare for the orals, be sure that you read some of the related readings and that you bring at least one new idea on the writer from research you have done.  This will help give your  oral authenticity and interest.  Your textbook is an excellent source or ideas and language about poetry, and fiction.  The non-fiction of Naipaul may be better researched on the web and data bases, as well as the research article I offered. 

Mon - Fri Feb 28-Mar 4
1) Prepare for your oral.  
  • Remember to try to memorize at least one line from each of your works - something that helps you think about the meaning and effect of  the work.  
  • With poems and Naipaul, be sure you can reference at least two or three pieces that you can add to any explanation through comparison. 
  • Make a list of at least 5  literary terms that you will use in discussing the writer.
  • Know author background, vocabulary in the works, and have an analysis of the way the literature reflects the writer.  
Be sure to check your appointment time and do not miss it.  If you are sick, please call and let me know.  Monday  March 7 the orals will be in the IB office.  Meet me there. 

2) Continue reading the selection of stories by Nadine Gordimer: 
"Jump", "Once Upon A Time", "The Ultimate Safari", 
"A Find", "Some Are Born to Sweet Delight", "the Moment Before the Gun Went Off", "Safe Houses" 
Choose two-three stories to know very well for the writing in May. 
Complete the style chart looking for the elements that characterize Gordimer's writing. Do some extra research on Gordimer as well - at least one article on her or a substantial review of the book or one story. 
Mon/Tues Feb 7/8
Read and annotate the article you can find in the Supplementary Literature section under A Fine Balance called "On Re-Orientializing the Indian Novel"  It is the first pdf in that section.  If you prefer not to print write out at least 5 full statements that you find important.  Be prepared to write in class your response to one of the claims in the article.  

I you have not yet posted on Nicenet, do so.  This is a graded assignment and a valuable opportunity to continue articulating your thoughts and questions about the novel.  It is a chance to participate in the conversation even if you do not have the opportunity (or the inclination) in class.  

Feb 3/4

Nicenet Internet Classroom – talking about A Fine Balance

Major topics:  Write a 150-200-word thought paper on one of the following topics.  Post it under its appropriate heading in our English 12 IB, 2011 Nicenet class, found at http://www.nicenet.org.  You need to join the class with your REAL NAME, using this key code: B88N3F46 .  The Password is Plato.  You will find the four topics under Conferencing.  You are required to post one by Monday, Feb. 7.  You are also required to comment on TWO other postings by Wed. Feb. 9.

a)  Balance                                                           c)  Setting

b)  The power of “place”                                   d)  Mistry’s Style

Other postings:  Choose ONE topic from ONE of the sections below and write your answer to the question.  Be sure to label it as such (i.e.—Overall impression #1, with your name.)  Save this document on your computer and then post it under Documents.  Since you will be labeling it, I will know and the other members of the class will know what question you answered.  Write your answer as a cohesive essay.  Use good sentences to answer the question; include literary terminology.  Practice good analysis writing!  This posting is due by Friday, Feb. 11.

Overall impressions:

  1. "People forget how vulnerable they are despite their shirts and shoes and briefcases," says Beggarmaster, "how this hungry and cruel world could strip them, put them in the same position as my beggars" [p. 493]. Does A Fine Balance show people's vulnerability, or their fortitude?
  2. What effect is achieved by the novel's mildly comic ending, with Om and Ishvar clowning around at Dina's door? Is the ending appropriate, or off-balance?

Characterization – both major and minor:

  1. Why do Ishvar, Om, and Dina survive, in their diminished ways, while Maneck finally gives up? Is it due to something in their pasts, their childhoods, their families, their characters?
  2. After Dina's father dies, her family life is blighted until she marries Rustom. In later years, she chooses to withdraw from her natural family; it is not until her year with the tailors and Maneck that she again comes to know what a family might be. What constitutes a family? What other examples of unconventional "families" do you find in the novel?
  3. How would you sum up Beggarmaster: Is he ruthless, kind, or a bit of both? Does he redeem himself by his thoughtful acts, the seriousness with which he takes his responsibilities toward his dependents? How does Mistry present this character?  Consider wordings and descriptions.  What does Mistry suggest about categories as "good" and "bad"?

Symbolism and Style

  1. Why does Avinash's chess set become so important to Maneck, who comes to see chess as the game of life? "The rules should always allow someone to win," says Om, while Maneck replies, "Sometimes, no one wins" [p. 410]. How do the events of the novel resemble the various moves and positions in chess?
  2. Dina distances herself from the political ferment of the period: "Government problems and games [are] played by people in power," she tells Ishvar. "It doesn't affect ordinary people like us" [p. 75]. But in the end it does affect all of them, drastically. Why do some, like Dina and Maneck, refuse to involve themselves in politics while others, like Narayan and Avinash, eagerly do so? To what extent and through what devices does Mistry reveal his own attitude?
Feb 1/2
Reread the Boland poems.  Choose a literary technique that she uses in at least three poems.  Come to class prepared to write about the effect of this strategy on Boland's poetry.  If you can find it also in the essays, you may add that as well.  Basically I am interested in your finding a STYLISTIC PATTERN across three or more of her works in order to comment on its effect.  (Remember that it is hard to comment on purpose, but the effect on you is what you do recognize.) Plan to write in class.  Youmay use annotated copies of the poems and notes, nothing printed from the internet. We are writing to organize our thoughts, to practice good use of academic diction, and to generate fluency.  Demonstrate your command of the poetry you choose.  Please turn this in before leaving. First grade of the new term! :-)
Also bring your A Fine Balance book to class to read if you finish early.
 January 28/31
Boland poetry : "Death of Reason," "In A Bad Light,"  "Writing In Time of Violence."  Also read the  essay excerpt you did not read previously.   
Of course, finish A Fine Balance for Mon/Tues.
January 26/27
Read the Preface to Boland's ESSAYS from her book titled Object Lessons.  If you want to annotate, please print your own copy from the website.  Plan to return the handout at the next class.  In either case, I recommend making some notes. Consider some fundamental questions: How is her essay different than her poetry?  What do you notice about Boland the essayist? The poet? is the voice the same? Why write both?
Also read the poems  "Object Lessons", "Quarantine," "Outside History"  - how are these poems connected?
Keep reading A Fine Balance.  Make meaningful notes.  Due Date to finish is February 7.
January 24/25
Download, read and annotate poems by Boland: 
"The Pomegranate," "Lava Cameo," and "The Achill Woman" ( these may be cn the bottom of the page, not in the "Supplementary Literature" part)
January 13/14/18/19
1) Complete, clean up, reprint and correctly format World Lit Papers.  Worth 50 points for acceptable completion( an easy way to push your grade up!). 
2) Continue reading in A Fine Balance.  FINISH date is February 7, so don't put it off or expect to read 300 pages the night before! Keep notes and questions. 
3) Reread and bring to class all E Bishop poems.  Please choose one supplementary E Bishop essay - off my webiste or Poets. org or another SCHOLARLY resource.  Critics help us understand largely because those who are published have studied and examined much ore material than we have, and thus have a deeper and more founded insight into what we are reading for the first time. 
January 7/10
1) Read and annotate  E Bishop poems:  "The Fish", "At the Fish Houses", "Armadillo" and "Questions Travel".  Complete all of the questions on one poem of your choice.  As you are studying these poems, look up vocabulary, references and ideas that require clarification.  Consult critical articles on bishop on the website,  or try Poets.org.   
2) Continue reading in A Fine Balance to be ready for Seminar Thurs/Fri class meetings.  
3) Complete revisions for  World LIterature Papers - Due January 20/21.
January 5/6 
1)  Download the Poetry Packet with poems by E. Bishop and E Boland.  For tonight, read and annotate "Manmoth", "Sandpiper", "Anaphora", "Argument" and "Prodigal" (I think we already read this in September).  Use the handout "A tool for studying poetry" - complete the whole series of questions, front and back, for one poem and bring that to class.
Other copies of the handout can be downloaded from below. 
If you need hard copies of the poems, I do have some that I can give to those having problems downloading.
2) Keep reading in A Fine Balance.  We will have a seminar discussion next Thursday/Friday up to page 221. Pace yourself.  Calculate how much you must read each day and keep on schedule. 
3) don't forget to get your World Lit papers rewritten and formatted with your IB # and last name on each page in the top right corner, page numbers through the document on the bottom, word count and identification of World Lit Paper 1 or World Lit Paper 2 at the beginning, as well as the title.  You must include a complete and correctly formatted Works Cited (Bibliography is possible if you have a WL 2B)
Rewrite and polish is worth 50 points -- almost like free! 





November 23/29
Continue to read -- Act III, essentially.  If you are scheduled for a presentation, choose a 40-line [or so] passage from any of the Acts  we have read.  Be specific.  

November 19, 22
Read Act II of Hamlet.  Watch for and take notes on one or several motifs or ideas that recur.  We are looking for patterns in the diction and imagery.  Your final paper will be an analysis of how Shakespeare uses repetition to deepen an idea or explore its nuances and thus construct meaning.  We are looking to go beyond the obvious here.   
November 10/12
Finish reading "Politics and the English Language." As you read, pay attention to style as well as meaning.  
Begin to work on your own Naipaul-esque essay - possibly choose an encounter or a travel experience.  Due Wednesday/Thursday next week.
Monday/Tuesday will be our final day with Naipaul - general comments, evaluations, etc.
November 8/9
Download - or take read and take notes on -" The Crocodiles of Yamoussakro"
Complete your freewrite on California myths. If you were absent last week, be sure to do the writing integrating two of your dounble entry journals and turn all in to me. 
November 4/5
Read and bring to class "Jasmine," "East Indian," and "Power?"by Naipaul
What strategies does Naipaul use as an essayist to communicate his ideas? What literary devices does he use?
October 29/30  ( We are temporarily on a B/A schedule) 
CHANGE!!!! The Double Entry Howards End Journals will be due NEXT WEEK - On Thursday/Friday.  The point of the journals is to encompass the writing/thinking about the novel.  No polished freewrite at this time. 
The immediate homework is: 
Write the poem in response to  the Mummies or the alternative assignment,  and finish reading Howards End.

For next Monday/Tuesday, 1) download the assigned critical reading article from the Supplementary literature, annotate it carefully.  Be ready to explain to your peers the thesis, the evidence and process of the essay, and your evaluation of how convincing you find the ideas.  
2) Study your vocabulary words from Howards End. Test will be Thursday/Friday.  
3)  Download, print and read to understand "Jasmine", by V.S. Naipaul.  Keep in mind that it is an essay. Be conscious of how the writer develops his point... and how that is different from the way a novelist does. In class we will discuss/freewrite about the essay.    
October 15/18
Read chapters 16-20 and Forster essay "Tolerance". 
Clarification on journal entries (change from assignment sheet description): Copy a passage with page number (several sentences up to a paragraph - choose interesting wording).  Write your response of 250 words.  Comment on the word choices the language that interests you and how it affects you.
October 13/14
As a follow-up to the film, go to www.Bartleby.com, search for Pygmalion by G. B. Shaw, and read the Sequel (after the last Act).  How does this add to your understanding of Shaw's message and its relationship to Forster's attitude in Howards End?  Add a few notes to your original comment on the play.
Continue reading, Chapters 11-15 and E.M. Forster Essay "What I Believe".  Presentations next time will be on Chapters 6-10 and 11-15.  please check with the other person presenting.   Friday:  Harrison, Melissa, and Chloe (Taylor C if you can address Chapter 4 or 5) 
Monday: William, Andrew,Brian 
You should have printed and read Forster's Essay on "Not Listening to Music" as well  as "What I Believe".
 Check Ms. Conner's website for these downloads
October 5/6
Prepare for Literary terms test and In-class write to end this introductory Poetry and Prose
unit.  We will write on an unseen poem, and I will expect you touse appropriate literary terminology
as well as develop the insights into the work.  Plan to write for 1 hour 15 minutes - allowing 15 minutes for the vocab quiz. 
September 29/30

In class:  1.  Discussion of "Prisoner's Dilemma" papers...using power point.  Please take notes.

2.  Student presentation .

3.  Group work on poetry.

4.  Read "The Function of Education" by Krishnamurti.  Free write your response.

Homework:  Print "The Art of the Personal Essay" -- read and annotate.  Bring to class.  Also, bring a college application essay prompt and / or any drafts you are working on for college applications.

Sept. 27/28

1.  Freewrite -- a place you like to/have traveled.

2.  B. Wordsworth discussion. 

3.  First student presentation

4.  Discuss poetry homework. 

HOMEWORK  Pages 721-744 -- take notes PLUS take notes on "A noiseless patient spider" -- pages 988-989; "Sailing to Byzantium" -- 1042-1043; " La Belle Dame Sans Merci" -- 957-958; "I taste a liquor never brewed" - 833.

September 23/24
Read in the textbook Symbolism, Allegory and Syntax pp 715-728. Take notes.  Also read "Ode on A Grecian Urn", p 969-970, "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", pp 1011-1014, "A Work of Artifice" p 1096 and "The Wild Swans at Coole",  p. 1041.  Annotate one poem carefully. Presenters choose one.
September 21/22
Read "Shiloh" in text  and short Story section. pp 60-73
Download and read "B. Worsdworth" from Supplementary Lit. File
Write a 400-500 word "thought paper" blog style and post it to turnitin.com
class # 3511742 password: nphs
September 17/20
Read and make notes on pp 703-728.  Select one poem in the group to prepare to present. Also read
"We Wear the Mask"  p 1010 ,     "The Death of a Toad" p1036 
"Poetry" (Moore) p. 1021; or if you have read that, try Ars Poetica by MacLeish p 1019
Write the freewrite at home:  On any topic, write a piece that demonstrates a "voice" - write in a persona or try a dialogue (think "In the Orchard").  Topic can be serious or light.
September 15/16
Read and annotate the handout article "Breakfast With Miss Bishop". Look for interesting facts about the writer, but also underline/highlight at least one line that demonstrates a well-phrased or insightful way to describe Bishop's work -- study Vendler's use of words as a critic. 
Read in the textbook pp 686-703 on poetry.  Also read the handout "Sestina", and "They Flee From Me" p 999.
September 13/14
Read and make notes - textbook pp 43-45 and 54-60 (assuming you already read "Guests of  Nation"). 
Also, print from the Supplementary Literature "Prisoner's Dilemma".  Annotate it and bring to class
Sept. 8/10    
Read in textbook "Critical Perspectives'  pp 2068-2096. Take brief notes on each perspective.  Also read "Guests of a Nation" on pp 43-54.   
You have been assigned one perspective in class. Apply this perspective to one of the short stories and one of the poems we have had in the homework reading.  Be prepared to share your interpretation in class.  
Formalist    Biolographical  Historical    Psychological   Sociological (Feminist or Marxist)     Reader-Response 
Sept 3/7:
Read Short Fiction section as assigned in class. 
Also read and annotate the handout article on the Digital Age and Plagiarism.  
Bring your small poster and letter to turn in. We will post them in class. 
Sept. 1/ 2:               
 1) “Reading Poems” and “Types of Poetry,” 670-685;

“Midterm Break,” 1081-2; “Barbara Allan,” 932-33; “Let me not to the marriage of true minds,” 981; “One Art,”-Bishop; “Unholy Sonnet: After the Praying”- Jarman (locate in Supplmenetary Lit, Poetry), “The Prodigal” -E. Bishop(Supplementary Lit, Poetry). .

 MAKE NOTES, Think while reading!  Choose two poems to annotate carefully.


2)Create a small poster that presents a sobriquet (look that up), icon or quintessential part of your identity(81/2x11).  Also write a letter to me explaining the "label" and giving a little info about what is especially important to you, your aspirations, expectations, goals.  Due Next Week - Tues/Wed.  



 Sept. 8/9
Read 43-73 in text.  Make notes on plot, character, setting, point of view.  Answer for yourself the questions at the end of each story. 
Also read  short story "B. Wordsworth" ( consider Point of View).- access in the Supplementary Literature on the class page
Download, read and annotate "Breakfast with Miss Bishop" found in "Supplementary Literature"   below.
Read in your textbook the Critical Theory section  on the Biographical perspective (pp2079-2081). We will consdier the impact of the formalist vs. Biographical on our understanding of "Sestina" and "One Art".

Sept. 13/14    Read in the textbook pp 686-708, making notes especially of terms and strategies for interpreting.   Also read
"They Flee From Me"  p 999
"We Wear the Mask"  p 1010 ,     "The Death of a Toad" p1036 
"Poetry" (Moore) p. 1021; or if you have read that, try Ars Poetica by MacLeish p 1019
"You Will Be Hearing From Us Shortly" - handout
Choose one of the poems on which to focus.  Make a list of commentary points you might raise.

September 25/29 (Friday/Tuesday)
Self assess after Interactively reviewing your notes thoroughly.  Highlight, add comments and clarifications, remind yourself of new things you see. Make it clear that you have re-seen (i.e. reviewed) your own notes.   Prepare for the Literary Terms test and to write an essay on an unseen piece of poetry.  Bring all of your skills and knowledge to bear!   
September 23/24
Study your literary terminology for test - Friday/Tuesday.
2) Read in the textbook pages 805-821 - "Writing About Poetry"  Also
Read the "How to Read a Poem" on the web.  Practice with a few poems on your own - notes but not a paper.  Especially make lists of literary terms you could apply to each poem.    
September 21/22
Finish reading the chapter "Elements of Poetry - pp. 744-755.
Also read the Critical Perspectives "Structuralist" and Deconstructivist." 
The latter will require some concentration to understand -- take notes and formulate questions that you have.
September 17/18
1) Read in the Poetry section pp 728-744 "Rhyme, Alliteration, Assonance".
Makes notes, question, analyses.
2) Read the Critical Theory section on Mythological perspective  pp 2097-2099
3) Write a "mini-lit" story as described in the article in class.  Six words?  Twelve words?  Do not exceed 20.
September 15/16
1) Read actively and make notes on pp 715-728  in the Poetry section of the text, "Symbolism and Allegory" and "Syntax".  2) Also read the Reader Response section of "Critical Theories,"  2093-2096 3) Choose one poem in the sections that you have been assigned to consider.  Write one page+ explaining three different interpretations you can make by applying different critical perspectives.  Look up a short biography of the author as needed.  Be sure to apply all the formalistic features we have read about through page 728 ... use appropriate literary terms as they may help.  (Remember that Vocabulary terms list?  a test is coming!)  
September 11/14
Read in text pp 709-715 making notes on terms and analyzing the poems. 
  Also read Critical Perspectives pp 2088-2093 Sociological (Marxist) and Feminist
Study and compare the two versions of "Valediction Forbidding Mourning" on the handout.    Clarify for yourself the form and intention of a valediction Write your own valediction to an object, a time, or a person. Bring a copy identified with your student number to turn in next meeting.  

Christine Thompson,
Nov 1, 2009, 8:45 AM