Mr. Scott

English I Honors students worked on 1.3, looking a little at the hidden stage directions Shakespeare embeds in his work as well as the new characters’ views of love and marriage, finishing up from Friday.

English 8 had a Socratic Seminar to conclude “The Lottery.” I would have posted some pictures, but I didn’t take any because we were all so busy discussing the issues at hand.

  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • by Monday, read 1.4;
    • re-read the Queen Mab speech an additional two times (three times in total);
    • complete the Love Connection graphic organizer.
Friday Work and Love Connections

English I Honors students looked at a few passages in Romeo and Juliet to determine various characters’ views of love. Working in groups, students examined Capulet’s, Benvolio’s, and Romeo’s views on love in the first act.

English 8 students began with their 100% club pictures.

Fifth period
Sixth period

Afterward, we did our typical first-semester Friday work (lesson plan at right) on inferences and article of the week, with the added bonus of a bit of gamified stems practice

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read 1.3.

English I Honors went over 1.1 of Romeo and Juliet, working in Quizlet to see how well they’re understanding the text and then acting out a few select sections.

English 8 students began preparing for a discussion of “The Lottery” by going over some discussion and comprehension questions in their lit groups.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read 1.2;
    • reread this passage from 1.1 and determine what literary device is being used repeatedly here: Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
Lottery and a Brawl

English I Honors students,  after going over the end of yesterday’s lesson and why it was so vulgar compared to what they were expecting (it has something to do with the audience gathering in the Globe Theater),

The Globe Theater

went over the next portion of 1.1, with the brawl and the prince’s proclamation about the consequences for further disruptions.

English 8 students, after going over the article of the week a bit,

finished “The Lottery” and discovered how the mood was setting them up for a little surprise ending.

  • English 8 Studies: complete “The Lottery” as necessary.
  • English I Honors: re-read 1.1, making sure you can answer the following  questions:
    • Where exactly was Romeo when all of this was happening?
    • Why was he there?
    • How do we find out? (What are the mechanics involved in the discovery?)
Mood and Shakespeare

English 8 students began a second story in which we look at irony, tone, and mood: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” We began by looking at all the items that establish the setting (circled in red) and the mood (underlined in blue).

English I Honors began Romeo and Juliet, focusing on the prologue.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: students who have not yet turned in their poetry test need to do so by tomorrow morning.
Donaldson Center

All students went to the Donaldson Center today, which threw English I Honors off a bit: third period didn’t meet at all, so fourth period did some critical thinking exercises instead of getting ahead.

Students learn how to roll fire hoses

English 8 students, having done such fantastic work this week, will have a surprise tomorrow, so we did our Friday work today.

Tone Review and a Test

English 8 students worked tone a bit more after going over another term from our article of the week.

English I Honors students worked on their poetry unit test. We were not quite able to finish it, so we’ll have a few more minutes tomorrow to work on it.

Mood and the End of the Unit

English 8 students began reviewing some of the thinking behind the vocabulary in the Article of the Week.

Afterward, we finished up tone in “The Tell-Tale Heart” and worked on mood.

English I students finished up the last sonnet (130), determining what the couplet brought to the poem.

Finally, English I students had a practice session for tomorrow’s essay test on poetry.

We’ll be having our culminating test tomorrow, though students today received the questions:

  1. Identify tone and tonal shift of each poem. Make sure you quote specific passages of each poem in order to provide evidence.
  2. What is the lyric moment of each poem? What epiphany does the speaker have in each poem?
  3. Compare and contrast the two poems. How are the topics, tones, and lyric moments similar? How are they different?
  4. The author of these poems was an early writer of what’s called “confessional poetry,” in which the “I” in the poem is very often the poet himself/herself. It involves writing not about what’s going on in the world but what’s going on in the heart and mind of the poet. What can you infer about the author if we assume that the “I” in each poem is the poet himself?

Students will receive the two poems tomorrow and have the period to answer those four questions.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: to prepare for the test (if you want extra practice), go to and choose two poems with the same theme (look for the “Theme” menu on the right) and work to answer the questions above for those two poems. (Bear in mind that it might not always work: the poems I’ve chosen for the test work perfectly for these questions, but not all poems about the same theme will work.)
Sonnets and Tone

English 8 students looked at the question of tone (the author’s/narrator’s opinion of the subject at hand) in “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Definition and framing question

English I Honors students finished up their second sonnet, number twenty-nine.

Afterward, we began the final sonnet, number 130.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: do research necessary to complete the analysis of today’s sonnet.
Bike Ride to Budapest, Day 1: Jablonka to Donavaly

Waiting for RainMy wife and I once rode our bikes to Budapest, Hungary from the little village in Poland where we lived. It was a three-day ride on bikes packed heavy with clothes and cameras. (Yes, I was an idiot and took more equipment than I needed. But how many times do you go to Budapest? Well, in our case, “twice” turned out to be the correct answer, but I didn’t know that the first time, so I took everything.)

LandscapeWe were aiming for Banska Bystrzyca our first day – an unrealistic goal, as we eventually found out. Things were going well until somewhere around 80 km, when the road began sloping upward. The gentle slope soon became a several-kilometer camel’s hump with the serpentine road around it with no end in sight (or imagination).


The day started rainy, then turned to muggy/steamy when we hit the major mountain leading up to Donovalay.

First, there was the rain, which made it necessary to wait in Oravski Podzamok for some time. Once we got back on the road, there were several memorable villages. After 101 km, we called it a day and got a nice room for a nicer price in Donovalay.

This is an example of how not to write: dull and flat. Here is how it should have read.

The ride

Back Again

I’ve not been updating this web site all week because of a simple fact: I’ve been moving it to a new host, with three-times the resources. Things should be clicking along very well on the site now.

Today, English I Honors looked closely at the first eight lines of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 29.”

English 8 students looked at the questions of irony and point of view in Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: figure out what the answer to the question “What?!” is in today’s lesson.