Archive for October, 2013


Good morning, young ones! Here’s to hoping you had as lovely a weekend as I did. This week we have two significant events: first, we will be reading several more stories from Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Second, your Outside Reading project is due. Read on for more information.

Monday: We will start the week by reviewing what we have learned thus far about Romanticism. Afterwards I will be handing out our second to last story by Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart. I will be giving you time in class to read it, which the smart kids will probably take as a signal that I will be quizzing them on it later in the week.

Homework: Complete a paragraph-by-paragraph summary of the reading. I’ll be stamping your work first thing on Tuesday.

Tuesday: We start class with a short comprehension quiz on Monday’s reading, which we will then debrief. Again, the focus for our class will be primarily on mood and tone, looking at how Poe crafts his particularly dark and morbid stories. If you need a refresher on either mood or tone, check out this site. Finally, we will be watching a short video of the story and comparing its mood and tone to the original story.

Wednesday: Wednesday will be fun. I will be reading parts of Poe’s classic story The Black Cat in class, which I will be asking you to finish on your own.

Homework: Complete a paragraph-by-paragraph summary of the reading. Make sure to circle words that you don’t know yet, and make notes about the mood and tone of the piece. I’ll be stamping your work first thing on Thursday.

Thursday: I’m going to try and experiment on Thursday. I’ve usually taught The Black Cat on Halloween, but this year I think I’ll try a creepier piece. I’ll be handing out Hawthorne’s short piece Ethan Brand, and lecturing briefly on some of its major symbols and motifs before having students read, which I will try to allow during class. Additionally, I will be collecting your Outside Reading assignments for the first quarter.

Homework: Complete your reading of the story. We will be discussing at length on Friday.

Friday: After we discuss the text (I haven’t the foggiest what that will look like yet), I will be handing out our final story for the Romantics, Melville’s Bartleby.

There will be reading over the weekend. I just don’t know exactly what yet. Stay tuned.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Good morning, young ones! Here’s to hoping you had a splendid weekend. I know that this week will be pretty rad as well, because we get to jump headlong into some stories by Edgar Allen Poe (and just in time for Halloween, too!). Take a look at the week below:

Monday: We will be going over a reading on The Romantic Age in class, and I will be discussing some reading and note-taking strategies that you may find useful.

Homework: Complete a paragraph-by-paragraph summary of the reading. I’ll be stamping your work first thing on Tuesday.

Tuesday: We will be debriefing our reading and discussing what, exactly, Romanticism is. We will also be taking a look at this photo too.

Wednesday: I will be handing out our first story by Edgar Allen Poe, The Cask of Amantillado. You will be doing similar work, summarizing sections of the text. I will be stamping these on Thursday.

Thursday: After discussing our first story, I will be walking you through the difference between mood and tone. We will then apply this to our next short story, The Masque of the Red Death. Again, I will be asking you to provide summaries of each paragraph – just two or three short sentences to explain what exactly is happening in each section. You will add to this a short description of the mood and tone of each portion of the story as well. I will be stamping these on Friday.

Friday: After we discuss mood and tone in The Masque of the Red Death we will transition to our third story by Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart. Finally, here are the questions for Red Death.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Happy National School Lunch Week! I guess…

Monday: This week will start quite quickly, as I’ll be introducing your first real essay of the year. This is a synthesis essay, which may be unfamiliar to many students, so I’ll be sharing examples of previous essays in class. The excellent news is that this is a cooperative essay, which you will write with a partner. I’ll expand on how that works in class.

Tuesday: With your partner, you’ll be crafting a thesis for our Puritan essay. You must have it done to my satisfaction by the end of class, as I’ll be stamping it and awarding credit for it during class.

Wednesday & Thursday: These are both writing days. We’ll be talking about how to craft an essay with a partner, especially an essay as complicates as this one, during class.

Homework: Have two printed copies of your rough draft for class on Monday.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Hola, s’mores! Welcome to National School Lunch Week. Whatever that means. Anywho, this is a big week. We’ll be looking at tone in fair detail, so if you’re absent make sure to get the notes.

Monday: I’ll be introducing how to read for tone and explaining what that means. For a quick list of AP style tone words, check out this page, done by a fellow educator. I’ll also be demonstrating how to read for tone and explaining what that means for your dialectical journals.

Homework: Read chapters 4-6 and complete tone entries in your dialectical journals.

Tuesday: In class we’ll be going over this set of discussion questions for chapters 4-6, then discussing another example of tonal analysis. I’ll end class by giving you the vocabulary list for chapters 7-11.

Homework: Read chapters 7-9 and complete tonal analyses for each chapter.

Wednesday: I have an activity for which you will need your dialectical journals. They need to be up to date, as I’ll be checking them during class. The activity involves looking at each others’ dialectical journals, so you will need yours with you.

Homework: Read chapters 10-11.

Thursday: The smart kids will be ready for a vocabulary quiz in class. Afterwards we’ll be going over the questions for chapters 9-11. I also have the vocabulary for chapters 12 and 13 to give you.

Homework: Read chapters 12-13.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Happy Week 5, young ones. You can thank Mr Molitor for convincing me to show you a video this week. So, with that said, here’s what it looks like this week in good ol’ SE 243.
Monday-Wednesday: You’ll be watching the film version of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, and I expect you to take notes on the way that female characters are treated, how they interact with each other and the male cast, and your general observations about how they fit into the Puritan society in which they live.

Thursday: We will be starting a group project that asks you to begin looking at some of the similarities and differences between the pieces that we have read thus far this year. This project will be presented to the class on Friday. I will post a link to the rubric as soon as I finish it.

Homework: . Finish your poster project.

Friday: First we will be presenting our poster projects. You will be responsible for generating questions based on others’ presentations, and this simply cannot be made up, so make sure that you’re in class. Finally, I’ll be presenting your essay on Puritan values. We will spend a good portion of Monday looking at how to be successful on this essay.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog

Happy Week 5, s’mores. This is a bit of a tricky week, as I’ll be out of the classroom for the first couple of days. Still, in my absence you have some important work to get done that will start to set up our next novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.

Monday: On Monday I’ll need you partner up and begin doing research on the following question: What was Jim Crow legislation, and what forms did it take? You’ll be responsible for putting together some kind of a presentation that demonstrates to me that you have done enough work to be able to answer the aforementioned question. Consider addressing how Jim Crow legislation affected different groups of people, and what forms it took.

Tuesday: This will be a work day for you and your partners. Make an effort to figure out how you will demonstrate your understanding. Will it be a short write up? A PowerPoint? A puppet show? You have some freedom in this, and I encourage you to get creative. Also, remember that your essays are due on Tuesday night.

Homework: . Finish up your projects!

Wednesday: You’ll be presenting your work in class and evaluating each other based on a rubric that I will post later this week. Additionally, you’ll be turning in Lord of the Flies and Fahrenheit 451 and checking out To Kill A Mockingbird.

Homework: . Read the first chapter of TKAM.

Thursday: We will be discussing the first chapter of TKAM, looking at characterization as well as the way in which Harper Lee explores the issue of race in a post-Jim Crow society. Additionally, if you have not turned in your in-class and dialectical journals for 451 please make sure that you do so. I am missing a few.

Homework: . Read the second and third chapters of TKAM.

Friday: We have a short set of discussion questions and a vocabulary list for the first three chapters. You’ll be making journals and including the same type of work we did for 451. All of the work can be found under the TKAM page on my site.

Homework: Read chapters 4-6.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog

1. Consider the images and analogies utilized by Edwards throughout the sermon. What are the prominent themes communicated by the images and analogies that Edwards employs?
2. What is the purpose of this sermon? How are people meant to respond? How does this piece translate today? How might it have been received in 1741?
3. What are Edwards’ sources of authority or credibility? How does he elicit a response from his listeners?
4. Consider your prior knowledge of Puritan life and belief systems. In what way might this sermon
further support that knowledge? In what way does it change your perception of the Puritan culture?
5. What are the most striking parts of the sermon (for you)? Why do they stand out/grab your attention?

Category : 11th Grade | Blog