January 2017

Allusions and Figurative Language

English 8 students continued with poetry and figurative language, working to be able to understand what figurative language adds to a text.

English I Honors students continued with the Odyssey and allusions, specifically allusions in “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by the Police.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: work on the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • consider why the speaker is staring at the ring around someone’s finger (in what situations would that happen?);
    • work on the article of the week.

The most beautiful piece of music ever written for organ.

Program notes (from the YouTube page):

Bach’s Toccata in F major (BWV 540) begins with a large linear canon (one hand imitating the other) over a long pedal point in F major. This is followed by an improvisatory pedal solo based on material from the canon. The entire canon is repeated with hands reversed, and is again followed by a long pedal solo. The canons and pedal solos effect a modulation from the home key of F to the dominant of C; and the entire remainder of the movement constitutes the harmonic return to home base. Hermann Keller expresses his rapture as follows: “At the beginning the extensive linear construction of the two voices in canon, the proud calmness of the solos in the pedal, the piercing chord strokes, the fiery upswing of the second subject, the bold modulatory shifts, the inwardness of the three minor movements, the splendor of the end with the famous third inversion of the seventh chord – who would not be enthralled by that?”

It’s a homework-only day.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read pages 386-398 (quiz Monday).

English I Honors worked on mastering the Homeric simile, something that’s initially fairly but deceptively straightforward. Close reading, in other words.

English 8 students had a final day of practice with figurative language. We’ll finish up poetry in the next week or so.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: complete the article of the week as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • re-read the Cyclops section, finding two ten- to fifteen-line segments that are challenging for comprehension (i.e., either you struggled to understand it the first time you read it, or you still don’t understand it);
    • complete the article of the week as necessary.
Figurative Language Practice and a Seminar

English 8 students had a second day of figurative language practice while finishing up the small poetry analysis assignment we’ve been working on. We went over yesterday’s practice before we got started, and we’ll do the same tomorrow as we get ready for a quiz on Friday.

English I Honors students had a Socratic Seminar/Fishbowl/Think-Group-Share session today about the various visions of Calypso we’ve seen over the last two days.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: re-read last night’s homework, this time looking closely for the Homeric simile that’s located somewhere in the text.

English I Honors students looked at one final version of Calypso, a song by Suzanne Vega:

We’ll be wrapping up Calypso tomorrow with a brief discussion — probably Socratic-seminar-ish.

English 8 students continued with figurative language by having some individual practice after reviewing some group work we recently finished.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read 372-385 for tomorrow.
Calypso and Solo Interpretation

English I Honors began looking at the question of how various artists using various media over various centuries have re-imagined Calypso.

Westall, Richard, Telemachus Landing on the Isle of Calypso, Glasgow Museums

We looked at the etymology of Calypso’s name:

The etymology of Calypso’s name is from kalypto, meaning “to cover”, “to conceal”, “to hide”, or “to deceive”. According to Etymologicum Magnum her name means kalýptousa to dianooúmenon, i.e. “concealing the knowledge”, which combined with the Homeric epithet dolóessa, meaning subtle or wily, justifies the hermetic character of Calypso and her island. Kalypto is derived from Proto-Indo-European *kel-, making it cognate with the English word ‘hell.’

Then we took a look at two paintings depicting Calypso.

Samuel Palmer, Calypso’s Island, Departure of Ulysses, or Farewell to Calypso, 1848-1849

English 8 students examined a new poem, this time on their own, as we wind down our work on figurative language.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • re-read the “Calypso” reading you read for homework over the weekend;
    • complete the “think” part of the Think/Pair/Share we are doing for the second image from today (Samuel Palmer, Calypso’s Island, Departure of Ulysses, or Farewell to Calypso, 1848-1849 above)

English 8 students worked on their Friday inference work. English I Honors students finished up the opening of the Odyssey, seeing in the process that it is a prayer to the Muse for inspiration as well as a prologue.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read the “Kalypso” excerpt.

After building some background knowledge, English I Honors students finally began reading the Odyssey.

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end,
after he plundered the stronghold
on the proud height of Troy.

We’ll be working on the opening lines for a couple of days before we shift into a slightly higher gear and move through the epic.

English 8 students continued working on group analysis of “The Black Earth.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • define “appositive”;
    • find two appositives in today’s reading.

English I Honors finished up the background knowledge development for the Odyssey.

English 8 students continued with their group work of poetry analysis.

Figurative Language and Background Knowledge

English 8 students began looking at the EQ “What does figurative language add to a poem?” We did some schaffolded work with figurative language:

English I students looked at an informational text about archaeological studies of the city of Troy in order to build background knowledge for the Odyssey.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • re-read the text from today;
    • make sure you  have four names, one date, and a few facts about Troy in the “L” section of today’s KWL;
    • look up the words in bold that we worked on determining context clues in class.

After going over the semester exam, English I Honors students had just a little more time on the Romeo and Juliet project before it’s due tonight. Make sure you get that turned in, kiddos!

English 8 students had a final chance to make up any missing work and finish the last inferences work for the quarter.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • turn in the Romeo and Juliet project;
    • study the stems for the test/quiz Tuesday — remember: this could really improve your grade!

English I students had their semester exam. English 8 students continued with poetry in their usual Friday inference work.

Homework

English 8 students finished up the overview of figurative language and next week will begin working on poems that include figurative language.

English I students had a final day of work on the Romeo and Juliet project.

The midterm exam is tomorrow. Make sure you’re prepared.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: study for tomorrow’s exam.