Below, you will find lesson logs, links to assignment requirements, and other helpful info.
FOURTH TERM LIT:
THE GREAT GATSBY
F. Scott FItzgerald
5/10-13 We checked in the copies of The Great Gatsby. We then peer and self-reviewed the essays on e e cummings from last time. We then took a sentence structure quiz.
5/8-9 We continued our discussion of writing analyses of poetry. We examined four poems by e e cummings and then wrote prompts based on the class' choice. We then exchanged prompts and wrote the essays. You will need to make it up if you were absent.
5/6-7 We discussed analyzing poetry quickly and writing AP-style essays based on the analysis. We examined four poems by Emily Dickinson and wrote prompts and practice essays. We will write an assessment essay next time.
5/2-3 We discussed themes of Chapter 9. We went over how to complete the comparison/contrast section of the creative projects. We looked at several examples together and discussed relative strengths and weaknesses.
4/30-5/1 We completed the book reports in class. These were long-term assignments and won't be accepted late for credit. However, you must still complete the book report or face an incomplete. See me if you have questions.
4/26-29 We read Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 (finishing the novel). We briefly discussed the end (we will do more after the book reports). The creative project requirements were given. Find them HERE and also talk to me if you were absent.
4/24-25 We discussed "interpretation" and how to manage the ambiguity of comparing and contrasting valid interpretations of a work. We watched several different interpretations of Chapter 7. We discussed the relative merits and compared their validity.
4/22-23 We read and discussed Chapter 7 in relationship to "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost. We discussed, briefly, this term's deeper learning goal. See me if you were absent.
4/18-19 We took the test on Chapter 6. See me if you were absent.
4/16-17 We peer-assessed the "3 parties" essay. We then read and discussed Chapter 6. There will be a test on Chapter 6 next time.
4/12-15 We had an in-class collaborative assignment to pull subtext from Chapter 5 and connect the meanings to two poems. See me and talk to someone who was here if you were not.
4/10-11 "Winter Dreams" essays were returned. Keep them. They go in your portfolio. We watched and discussed Chapters 4-5 from the 2013 film. We discussed some of the symbolic references and how the themes connect to two poems: "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost and "In Just" by e e cummings. Read Chapter 5 for next time.
4/8-9 We discussed what makes a good thesis statement (again) and looked at some examples from the "Winter Dreams" essays. We then had an in-class timed write (AP-Style essay) comparing and contrasting the first three chapters of the novel. This one will go in your portfolio. See me if you were absent. The homework was to read Chapter 4 before next class period.
3/28-29 We watched the first three chapters from the 2013 film version. We then began an assignment to prepare for the timed essay that will be given next time. The essay prompt will ask you to compare and contrast the three parties and make an argument about what purpose they serve in the novel so far. You must have read Chapter 3 and completed the assignment before next time (after the break).
3/26-27 We read and discussed the rest of Chapter 1 and all of Chapter 2.
3/22-25 Copies of the novel were checked out. We read and discussed the first half of Chapter 1. You should talk to someone who was here if you were not.
3/20-21 We had an in-class timed write based on "Winter Dreams" and "The Man Who Was Almost a Man." See me to schedule a make-up time if you were absent. We then discussed the geography of the setting for The Great Gatsby. We will begin the novel next time.
3/18-19 We read and annotated "Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. We will have an AP-style writing prompt based on the story at the beginning of class next time. BOOK REPORT REQUIREMENTS WERE POSTED LAST WEEK -- PLEASE GET STARTED.
3/14-15 We have a new seating chart. We turned in our synthesis of 1920s culture after discussing the American dream and the class system. We then read and discussed "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" by Richard Wright. We examined the story for what Dave's dream actually is and how he responds to not getting it. We will be reading a comparative story next time.
3/12-13 We continued our discussion of 1920s culture and attitudes in prep for our upcoming novel. Get the notes from someone if you were not here. We also went over the new policies for 4th term. Come see me if you have questions.
3/8-11 We began building our schema for the upcoming term by examining the idea of "culture" and what the culture of a time can tell us about the people. We started with Victorian/Edwardian America as a basis for comparison, and then we moved to the 1920s. We examined several cultural artifacts in order to build a synthesis of the 1920s culture. We will continue next time.
3/6-7 We checked in the copies of the novel. We then discussed possible grading procedures for fourth term. We then went over the second collaboration rubric and practiced the principles in a collaborative project to design an effective playground that is safe, fun, and enriching for elementary-school-aged kids. See me for details.
3/1-5 We discussed the AP essays and the scores. We went over the rubric and scored some papers with it as a familiarity practice. There was an in-class assignment to rewrite and revise a section of the essay based on the rubric or scorer suggestions. We then discussed playground design as an introduction to our focus on creativity and problem-solving.
2/27-28 We discussed the bell schedule and the use of time for the best benefit of student academic success. We had an in-class collaborative project to create an ideal bell schedule for next year that would both make the "teenage you" happier about school and the "future you" better prepared for higher education, career, and life in general.
2/25-26 We discussed standardized assessments and Campbell's law. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of several forms of assessment. We had an in-class collaborative project to propose how academic success should be measured to avoid the negatives and promote the positives.
2/21-22 We completed the book report in class.
2/20 ACT TEST DAY
2/15-19 We went over some basic test-taking strategies for the upcoming ACT. We also discussed Chapter 20 and the overall themes of the novel. Talk to someone who was here if you were not. Book reports are due next time.
2/13-14 We completed an AP-style timed essay in class. See me if you were absent. We then read Chapter 20 which we will discuss next week.
2/11-12 We read and discussed Chapter 18 as a class and Chapter 19 in small groups. Make sure you are up to Chapter 20 for next time. We will be writing an in-class essay next time based on the book so far.
2/7-8 We discussed Chapter 14 and 15 (from your homework reading assignment). We then read and discussed Chapter 16 and Chapter 17. We had a short in-class assignment to write Janie's internal monologue from Chapter 17 (since the novel doesn't provide one for us). See me for details.
2/5-6 We took some notes on relative pronouns in sentence structure. We then filled out the ACT demographic information on your answer documents in preparation for the upcoming test. We then discussed Chapters 11, 12, and 13. Read Chapters 14 and 15 for next time.
I APOLOGIZE FOR SOME MISSING DAYS. I WAS UNABLE TO EDIT THIS SITE DUE TO SOME TECHNICAL ISSUES. TALK TO SOMEONE WHO WAS IN CLASS, OR COME SEE ME IN PERSON TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU MISSED IF YOU WERE ABSENT ON ONE OF THE MISSING DAYS.
1/28-29 We had our in-class collaboration assessment on Chapter 6. If you were absent, you will need to come see me for information on how to make it up.
1/24-25 The counselors took this class period. Remember to bring your Chapter 6 annotations next time. Also, be working on your book report.
1/22-23 We read and discussed Chapter 5 as a class. Then, the class was given an assignment to read and annotate Chapter 6. The annotations should focus on the symbolic and thematic events in the chapter, specifically concerning Janie and Joe's relationship and Hurston's gender commentary. The annotations need to be brought to class for a collaboration assessment assignment on Monday and Tuesday (next time, the counselors are taking the class period).
1/17-18 We read and discussed the rest of Chapter 2 and All of Chapters 3 and 4. We had a short, in-class assignment to write about Janie's relationship with Logan.
1/15-16 We discussed ACT test prep and some resources to help improve scores. We then discussed and began our novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. We read and discussed all of Chapter 1 and part of Chapter 2 (up until the word "lacerating"). There was no assignment, but you should talk to someone who was here and do the reading if you were absent.
1/11-14 We read and discussed "How it Feels to be Colored Me" by Zora Neale Hurston. We had a collaboration practice assessment similar to last time. This time, we went over the rubrics and offered a score for our group members.
1/9-10 We added to our notes on sentence structure (talk to someone who was here if you weren't). We then discussed some principles of effective collaboration and the reasons why collaborations are often unproductive and unsuccessful. We then practiced two principles of successful collaboration by completing a collaborative, in-class assignment based on analyzing two poems: "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath and "Self in 1958" by Anne Sexton.
1/7-8 We completed an in-class assignment based on our gender message discussions from last time. We read, discussed, and wrote about "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Talk to someone who was here if you weren't.
1/3-4 We continued our discussion of societal expectations for gender roles and analyzed the gender arguments in several pieces of media created by men (including several television ads) and some created by women (including poem and song). We then read and discussed a short story by Kate Chopin called "The Story of an Hour." There was an in-class assignment that was handed in at the end of class.
12/19 We completed a class and instructor evaluation.
12/17-18 We further discussed sentence structure and completed some practice. We then discussed societal expectations and how those expectations shape and are shaped by literature and the media.
12/13-14 We discussed sentence structure and the structure of the language in more detail. We also began discussing the schema for our next novel for 3rd term. You should get the notes from someone if you were absent.
12/11-12 We discussed what grammar, spelling, and punctuation communicate apart from the language itself. We discussed the origins and structure of American English. Get the notes from someone who was here if you were not.
12/7-10 We discussed two opposing arguments (mainly from Dalton Trumbo and Albert Maltz) about how to view people's actions in conflicts like the one in the play and the one in the film. We had an in-class writing assignment based on connecting current situations to the one's in the literature and then hypothesizing on how that situation could go "perfectly." See me for details.
12/5-6 BOOK REPORTS WERE HANDED IN TODAY. I MUST HAVE IT BY 2:30 FOR IT TO RECEIVE POINTS. We finished and discussed the film. There was an in-class writing assignment connecting the film to the play. See me if you were absent.
12/3-4 We discussed and began viewing Good Night, and Good Luck. See me for details if you were absent.
11/29-30 We read and discussed Act IV. We had an in-class assignment to write an academic paragraph arguing what the overall theme of the work is and how the elements of the play create that theme.
11/27-28 We read Act III in small groups and completed an in-class assignment to identify the arguments, evaluate their effectiveness, and examine the reaction from the opposition. These assignments were handed in at the end of class.
11/20-26 We watched and discussed Act III. Get the notes from someone who was here.
11/16-19 We discussed Act II's use of the elements of structure: exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, characterization (including direct, indirect, static or flat, and dynamic or round), setting, allusion, and irony (including verbal, situational, and dramatic). We then had an in-class assessment to identify specifically how two of those elements were used in Act II and the effect they had on the meaning of the act.
11/14-15 We read and discussed Act II. We examined, again, some of the psychology exhibited by the characters and the situation. In specific, we talked about the psychology of broken relationships and the effects of cognitive dissonance. Get the notes from someone if you were absent.
11/12-13 We finished discussing Act I, and we examined some of the psychological implications of it's events and characters. We focused on how the movement got started, how similar movements still get started, and how we, ourselves, can become caught up in them without realizing it. We looked at the author's choices of how to structure the opening of the play. There was no assignment, but you should be working on your book reports.
11/8-9 We read and discussed Act I of The Crucible. Talk to someone who was here for insights.
11/6-7 We discussed the opening essay of the play and some modern connections to the arguments Arthur Miller presents. We read and discussed two of the supplemental readings, "The Cottage School: One Year Later," and "Paying the Price for Her Silence." Get the notes from someone if you weren't here.
11/2-5 We discussed the documentary from the previous class period. We then discussed some of the human nature involved in how these kinds of things happen. We discussed F. Nietzsche's quote, "Whoever fights monsters should take care that he does not become a monster; and when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you. We then watched some clips discussing these ideas. Watch the two below in relation to the idea of motivation and fighting "monsters."
10/31-11/1 We discussed the history and the major beliefs of Puritanism in preparation for reading the play. We then watched part of a documentary entitled "Witches: a Century of Murder" that discusses the history of witchcraft accusations and trials in England and Scotland. We took notes on the motivations for the accusations and the confessions.
10/29-30 We had an in-class assignment to identify the structure, appeals, and fallacies in two opposing arguments. The assignment also required comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the arguments to determine which one was rhetorically better. The arguments are "The Case for Official English" and "Why Fear Spanish" and can be found in the blue literature anthologies. See me if you have questions.
10/25-26 We discussed the structure of argument, the three appeals, and logical fallacies. We had an in-class assignment to write an argument with all of the structural elements, at least one labelled appeal, and at least one on-purpose logical fallacy. The argument should take a position on the effects of horror literature. See me if you were absent.
10/23-24 We finished our discussion of the horror genre by discussing two theories regarding its effects on individuals and society, the theory of catharsis and the alligator theory. We discussed these theories in some detail with examples. We then discussed argumentation and the differences in structure and intent between argument and contradiction. Next time, we will be constructing an argument in class.
10/16-17 We continued our genre discussion. This time students were asked to take notes on their impressions of a few example stories. Next time, we will be discussing theories as to the effects of the genre and how to create an argument.
10/12-15 We began our genre discussion focusing on the questions of why the genre exists, why it is so popular, and what effect it has on consumers. Get the notes from someone if you were absent.
10/10-11 We had an in-class figurative language practice to identify and explain devices in several poems. See me if you were absent. We also had an in-class extra credit activity.
10/8-9 We had a writing assessment on active voice, academic voice, and subtext extraction. You will need to make this up if you were not here. This is a non-optional assessment assignment. See me.
10/4-5 We took a pre-test on figurative language devices. We had an in-class assignment to write examples of each of the devices we discussed in class. See me if you were absent.
10/2-3 Book reports were handed in. We had an in-class practice for academic voice, active voice, and inference. We read and discussed "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot. We discussed the poem's possibilities in small groups and then wrote an academic paragraph arguing for the overall subtextual argument. These paragraphs were peer-assessed and turned in.
9/28-10/1 We wrote an in-class essay (full essay) on the subtext and overall meaning of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. This was a non-optional, assessment assignment and will need to be turned in to avoid an incomplete for the class. This was a timed writing assignment and will need to be made up in person. See me. Book reports are due next time. NEXT TIME.
9/26-27 We finished reading the novel. We discussed the subtext possibilities in terms of what Hemingway said about the book and its meaning. We discussed the role of the reader in determining subtext. Next time, we will write an in-class essay on the overall meaning of the work.
9/24-25 We discussed active and academic voice (see the rubrics HERE). We then wrote an in-class academic paragraph to practice using good voice. The paragraph should still contain a quality thesis statement, concrete detail, and commentary. The prompt was to select one element from pages 71-100 in the novel and create an argument about that element's possible contribution to the subtext of that section. We self-assessed these paragraphs in class, and then continued reading a short section of the novel after page 100.
9/20-21 We discussed the writing prompt for today. We discussed possible symbols and subtext from several elements of the novel (including the marlin, the sea, the islands, the boy, the left hand, the wounds, the sharks, etc.). We then read, discussed, and annotated the section of the novel from the top of page 71 to the very top of page 100. We will be writing about that section next time at the beginning of class.
9/18-19 We took a short reading quiz on the reading assignment from last time. We read and discussed the next section of the novel (up until page 71).
9/14-17 We checked out copies of the book in the media center. We then read and discussed a significant portion of the novel. There was a short reading assignment (read to the bottom of page 43. Read closely and be prepared to answer questions next time.
9/12-13 We discussed the writing prompt and the validity of the argument that ignorance is bliss. We read the first couple of paragraphs of the novel, discussed the subtext, and did a great deal of schema building about the setting and fauna of the novel. Talk to someone who was here if you were not.
9/10-11 We briefly discussed "The End of Something" and then wrote an academic paragraph to assess thesis statements, concrete detail, and commentary. The prompt was to explain the subtext of the story. These were peer-assessed in class. After I assess them, they will go into Skyward as three scores. As this is an assessment assignment, it must be made up. If you missed this assignment you should see me ASAP. Your grade will change to an incomplete until this assignment is made up.
9/6-7 We peer-assessed the paragraphs from last time. We then discussed and took notes on Ernest Hemingway's biography. We read Hemingway's "The End of Something" which we will be writing about in class next time.
9/4-5 We read and discussed "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway and extracted subtext by inference from the dialogue, setting, and characterization. We then read "Here We Are" by Dorothy Parker and wrote an academic paragraph describing what the story means and how it creates that meaning (with a focus on the subtext).
8/30-31 We finished our discussion of "The Masque of the Red Death." We then reviewed the components of an academic paragraph (topic sentence/body thesis/claim, concrete detail/evidence, commentary/warrant, and conclusion or segue). We then wrote an in-class academic paragraph describing what the story means, how it creates that meaning, and what impact it has on readers. We then discussed our assessment rubric for those paragraph structures and self-assessed and peer-assessed those paragraphs. We briefly discussed the difference between implication and inference.
8/28-29 We discussed Edgar Allan Poe's biography and writing style. We read and discussed his story, "The Masque of the Red Death," together. You can find it HERE if you were absent. We then discussed some of the subtext and modernist themes that can be extracted from the story. Talk to someone who was here if you were not. We will be writing about this story next time.
8/24-27 We discussed the history and tenets of American Modernism. Get the notes from someone who was in class. We analyzed a short poem to demonstrate how the modernists constructed their texts.
8/22-23 We went over the disclosure document, class policies and website. The disclosure document is due on Tuesday the 28th for A day and Wednesday the 29th for B day. We then discussed some ways to offer helpful criticism. We then watched a short film and wrote a literary analysis as a pre-assessment. Those analyses were then graded by peers according to a simple, single-point rubric.
8/20-21 We discussed what it means to take responsibility for one's own education. There was a short writing assignment after the discussion to define that responsibility. We then discussed why failure is something we should seek, and why we should seek criticism. We discussed the meanings of the term "nice" and some of the disadvantages to being "nice." We added to the previous writing assignment with a discussion of why "nice" may not be so nice in certain situations. These assignments were handed in at the end of class.