Wednesday, March 31, 2010

English III and English I - 3/31 - Announcements

English I - Tomorrow in class you will have a timed writing activity. B-day students, you will have this activity when you come back from break. You will have to write a letter stating who should be held responsible for Desdemona's death and why. There is no wrong answer. You will instead be graded on how well you persuade me and make your case.

English III - Tomorrow we will have bookstore day. Come prepared to learn about a bunch of new novels and be ready to decide which you will study for the last nine weeks. Also, I will be handing back a lot of work to you tomorrow including your quizzes on The Crucible and your timed writing activities. Finally, your Mean Girls/Crucible papers will not be due until we get back from break. I will gladly take them from you early - but you don't have to turn it in until we're back. Because of the extended deadline, I will not accept late papers. No exceptions.

That's all. One more day until break!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

English III Reading

Not much reading tonight: In your textbook please read the next poem by Longfellow as well as the information about the poem. The poem, called "The Cross of Snow" is located on page 172 and 173.

Don't forget that your papers are due to class on Thursday. Come see me with a second draft if you'd like my review.

Monday, March 29, 2010

English I and English III

Freshmen - Your projects are due next class! Be sure that you bring everything to class with you tomorrow. Also, if you haven't presented your speech yet, be sure that you are ready to do that next class.

Juniors - Your papers on Mean Girls/The Crucible are due on Thursday. If you are going to be absent on Thursday, be sure that you turn in your paper before you go.

Friday, March 26, 2010

English I - Last Weekend


This is your final weekend before the Shakespeare/Drama projects are due! If you've been absent the last few classes, it's important to come see me and get caught up.

Let me know if you need help.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

English III - Work for Tonight and the Weekend

Tonight your group needs to get the scripts and costumes together for your presentations. Remember that I need a copy of your script with all of the names of the group members on the top. Everyone in the group will get the same grade.

Also, on Monday you will need to come to class with copies of your compare/contrast essay. Remember - try to keep it in the range of 600-800 words. Come up with a good title.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

English I Reminder - 3/24

We're almost done with our study of Othello. Remember that on Friday/Monday when we present the group translations you will have to turn in one copy to the box for me. The copy for me must be turned in on time to get full credit for your group.

Also, a lot of you are absent for a variety of reasons (school, sickness, etc.) please make sure that everything gets in when it is due. Shakespeare/Drama projects are coming due soon - 30th for A day and 31st for B day. With the closeness of Spring Break, I can't really take these late.

See me if you need help. I'll be around after school next Monday for Study Hall.

English III Work - 3/24

Tonight I would like for you complete an outline for your Crucible/Mean Girls paper.  Please follow the outlining format as much as you can - show me what your thesis is as well as what elements from the texts you will use to prove your point.  Tomorrow we will finish watching the film version of The Crucible and you'll have time to work in your groups.

We'll present the group assignments on Friday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

English III - Reading - 3/23

Your assignment tonight is to read all of Act IV. I would break this up for you, but I think that it's important for you to read the whole act. There are several things that you should pay attention to as you read this section tonight.
  1. How much time as passed between Act III and Act IV?
  2. What is going on in the town of Andover? Why is this important when considering the idea of power and authority?
  3. What happened to Abigail?
  4. What has happened to Parris in Salem? His reputation?
  5. Why are the judges so concerned about postponing the execution of John Proctor?
  6. What has happened to the town of Salem?
  7. The wind reappears toward the end of Act IV - what meaning could this symbol have?
  8. Pay close attention to the scene at the end of John's confession. What's going on here? What is the meaning of the scene about honesty and truth?
  9. What is the irony of Danforth discussing lies?
  10. How is the motif of dark and light used at the end of Act IV?

If you can answer all of these questions about Act IV then you are in good shape. Be prepared to quickly review Act IV tomorrow and then work on a group assignment. Also, continue to work on your thesis statements for your Mean Girls paper. If your thesis was approved today, you may want to think about what you need to discuss to prove this and organizing your information.

If you need help, ask. I'm available after school on Wednesday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

English I - Homework and Reminders


As you prepare to give your monologue, be sure that you have your written paragraphs ready to hand in when you present your speech. One paragraph is on the context of the speech (what is going on when the speech is said) and one paragraph is on the importance of the speech (why is the speech important to the play). If you don't have these to hand in on time, you will not get the points for being punctual.

Also, on Wednesday/Thursday we will have a quiz on Act III. This quiz will have quotes and multiple choice questions. The quote section will ask you to translate lines from Shakespearean English to modern day English. Use the online text to practice. Look at the original, translate, and then check your answer next to the updated version. Also, be sure that you can recognize literary devices like irony (all three kinds) as well as metaphors, similes, personification, and other types of figurative language. Honors students, you will also need to say who said the quotes and why they are important to the story. Be prepared!

If you have questions - please ask! Currently I'm sitting in an empty study hall - this would have been a perfect time to seek help.

English III - 3/22 Notes

Today we finished reviewing Act III. We reviewed the five questions that I posted in the last post. If you were absent today, it is important that you get this information.

Tomorrow there will be a quiz on Act II and Act III. The format will be much the same as before: multiple choice, quote identification, and drawing. We will begin tomorrow's class with the quiz and then move on to work on the compare/contrast essay assignment.

If you have questions, please e-mail

Friday, March 19, 2010

English III - Weekend of 3/19

This weekend you need to finish reading Act III. As you finish the reading of this scene, look for the following elements:
  1. What is the turning point of the play? Why is this so important? What turns? For whom?
  2. Look at group mentality - are there more than just the group of girls? How does this group work? Why does it work?
  3. Watch Proctor's anger. Why does he get so angry? How does he put his anger out against Abby?
  4. Look at Elizabeth's mistake. What is the mistake? Why is it important?
  5. What is the scene of hysteria? Who begins the hysteria? Why?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sick Day - 3/18

A-day students and Juniors -

You both got worksheets today in class which I will check next class for a grade. I hope that you enjoyed the movie day.

Juniors - did you finish Mean Girls?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

English III Homework - 3/16

Tonight for homework you need to finish reading Act II. You may find it useful to begin thinking about how some of the bigger ideas and conflicts are working toward some sort of a resolution. How is Miller continuing to develop this idea of honesty and trust? For what reason?

Tomorrow we are also going to read a really fantastic poem - I think that you all will like it a lot.

Finally, if you need to make up the Act II Quiz - you'll need to do that tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

English III Homework - 3/15

Tonight you need to continue your reading of The Crucible. Read until the appearance of Giles Corey in the middle of Act II. Please do not read beyond this point.

PS - I understand that today was Monday and that many of you were tired today, tomorrow I expect we'll be more awake.

Friday, March 12, 2010

English III and I and the Weekend

Not much longer to Spring Break. We'll make it. I promise.

Juniors - You don't have anything that you absolutely need to do this weekend. If you were absent today or yesterday, you'll need to make up the Act I quiz on Monday, after-school. If you were absent today or didn't turn it in today, make sure that you get it in on Monday. This weekend you do not have any reading that you need to do. If you would like to read ahead in The Crucible, go for it. This will save you from reading homework down the line. Remember, however, that reading quizzes can happen, make sure you know the assigned reading for the next day's discussion.

Freshmen - Some of you have monologues to perform next week. I have seen some people who have not yet even read their play - this is a problem. Some people have brought me their paragraphs for their monologues. Please continue to do so. Also, remember that you can bring drafts of other parts of your project as well. You have an in-class presentation on Tuesday and Wednesday - be prepared for that. Most of you have used your class time really well to prepare. Finally, I have reviewed Benchmark data with all of you and told most of you areas to work on before the EOC - during upcoming study halls I will be offering help sessions on particular areas. You should make an effort to attend these sessions OFTEN!

I am now going to play a few rounds of Call of Duty before I have to do laundry. Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Work for Thursday, 3/10 - English III

Tomorrow you will have a quiz on Act I of The Crucible. The quiz will have multiple choice questions and quote identifications. You will need to review your notes and reading. Also, make sure that you review the information on McCarthy and the Cold War so that you know about the political allegory.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

English III - 3/10 - Reading

Tonight you need to finish reading Act I. Continue to pay attention to the characters and what we learn about them. Also, pay attention to the final bit of Act I - there's a lot of hysteria in the last part.

Tomorrow we will review Act I and have a movie day! Act I Quiz on Friday and Positions Papers due Friday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Please come and see me about your projects! If you want to go over a draft with me before the due date - please do it! Remember that our final due date is 3/30 and 3/31 for the whole project, but some of you have speeches and paragraphs due in just a few days!

Be ready!

Reading Homework - English III - 3/9

Tonight for homework you need to continue reading The Crucible. I want you to continue reading Act I. Read until the entrance of Rev. John Hale. As you read, take note of how Arthur Miller builds upon the idea of secrecy and how Miller develops conflict in the text. Note who is against whom and why.

We'll discuss this tomorrow as well as hopefully finish Act I.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Homework for 3/8

Tonight each class has something to do:

Juniors - You need to finish reading the introductory information in Act I of The Crucible. Do not begin reading the actual play. You should also take tonight to make any revisions to your position papers - please come see me to look at your papers. Your final drafts of these papers are due on Friday.

Freshmen - Today you signed up for spots to give your speeches. You should begin memorizing so that you are ready! Also, you should go ahead and write your paragraphs to turn in on the day of the presentation.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Over the weekend

Freshmen - You should prepare for your quiz on Act II of Othello. The quiz will have multiple choice, and a fill in the blank summary which will test your knowledge of plot events, vocabulary, and literary devices.

Juniors - Your rough drafts of your position papers are due on Monday. Remember to work quotes from both the original source and your research into your writing. You don't need to have a bibliography for the rough draft, but you will need to have one for the final draft. Remember to cite your quotes using parenthetical citation of (Author Last Name, Page Number). If you don't have an author, use the title of the article. Follow the formatting rules for a position paper that we went over in class on Friday. We will really get into The Crucible on Monday.

If you have questions - leave a comment or e-mail!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

English I and III Notes

Both classes had something relatively major today in class.

Freshmen. You had your Benchmark exam today. I feel for those of you that had two exams today, I know that they can be really mind numbing. Over the weekend you need to prepare for your quiz on Othello, Act II. Use the online text a few pages back to help you prepare. You will have multiple choice questions as well as a fill-in-the-blanks summary activity - study your vocabulary!

Juniors. Today you took a "quest" for me. I'll hand those back to you tomorrow. I'm seeing improvement and I like it. Tomorrow we will begin a new unit on Modern American Drama. We will also spend time in the library researching for the position papers.

As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

English III - Test Preparation

Tomorrow you're going to have a quiz/test on Early American Literature. The quiz/test will cover all of the pieces that we've studied so far. Here's a quick list.

Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States

Use of primary sources in the piece, rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos), "unlearning"

Native American Literature

views of nature, organization of society, purposes of mythology, cyclical view of life and nature

Mary Rowlandson's "Narrative of the Captivity"

use of allusions, attitude toward the Native Americans, strong woman

Oluadah Equiano

use of irony, difference between Oluadah and Mary in their story and narration, purpose and rhetorical appeals, appeal to the audience

Phillis Wheatley

poetic style, the use of the master's letter, revolutionary and conformist

Anne Bradstreet

Puritan life and womanhood, poetic style

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

English I Homework/Announcements - 3/2

Tonight for homework I want you to do some work for your project. Answer the following question:

Which speech from your play will you present to the class? Why did you choose this speech?

Write your response as a good, well organized paragraph which is insightful. Really answer the question "why" giving examples from the speech.

Also, you have your Benchmark exam on March 4th (A) and March 5th (B). There will be a quiz on Act II of Othello on Monday and Tuesday of next week! Be ready!

English III Homework, 3/2

Tonight you need to read a few things in the following order.

First, read the biographical information on Anne Bradstreet on page 27. Feel free to skim this. Then read the information on plain style and inversion on page 28, and finally the poem on page 29.

After you've done all of that, you can read the article that I gave you. Think about how the article informs your understanding of Bradstreet and the poem.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Homework for English III - March 1

Happy March!

Take the conversation that we had in class today as a kick in the butt. Rise to the new expectations that have been placed on you and meet them!

Tonight for homework you need to read the packet that I gave you. Read the following from the packet:
  • The biographical data on Wheatley
  • The letter from her master
  • "To the University of Cambridge in New England"
  • "On Being Brought from Africa to America"
  • "To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works"
  • "To His Excellency..." and the attached poem which starts "Celestial choir."

Read the poems, mark notes. Underline lines. Be a good reader and really pick these apart!