Mr. Scott

Second period was behind. Indeed, we still are behind. However, we collapsed a lot of things into one lesson today. We’re still very behind with the presentations, but we’ll be starting those tomorrow.

First, fourth, and sixth periods all begain Much Ado About Nothing today. We’ll be deciding parts tomorrow.

  • First, fourth, and sixth periods: none.
  • Second period:
    • read chapters 27-29;
    • three entries per student in the theme database by Monday

First period worked on iambic pentameter to increase their understanding of Shakespeare’s poetic writing.

Second period, quite bluntly, didn’t do the reading for today. This was confirmed, in class, by the quiz results. We did it in class, turning the quiz into study questions for another grade to offset the quiz grades.

Fourth period looked at verb tense consistency. There were lots of issues with verb tense consistency in their Charlie projects, so I decided to add a quick lesson to deal with that teachable moment.

Sixth period began the Shakespeare unit. We’ll likely be doing the verb tense consistency lesson later, for their projects have just been turned in.

  • First period: study questions on iambic pentameter.
  • Second period:
    • For Wednesday (tomorrow): chapters 23-26;
    • For Thursday 4/16: chapters 27-29;
    • For Friday 4/17: chapters 30-33.

    Fourth and sixth: none.

Four classes, four different lessons.

First period began a unit on Shakespeare. We’ll be reading a condensed form of Much Ado About Nothing. We watched a film about Billy’s life and his use of language. Students returned to the topic of poetry briefly in order to learn what specifically blank verse is (unrhymed iambic pentameter).

Second period went over their Lord of the Flies/Antigone projects. We’ll have our first presentation tomorrow. We also looked at Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development during the last ten minutes of class. This will serve as a focal point for analyzing Pip’s actions and decisions.

Fourth period finished the debates. I took on one student in a one-on-one, free-for-all debate. I think he probably won.

Sixth period spent one last day in the library working on their Flowers for Algernon project.

  • First period: look for examples of iambic pentameter in your daily life.
  • Second period: read chapters 21 and 22 of Great Expectations.
  • Fourth and sixth periods: none.
Debates, Havisham, and Newsletters

First period completed their debates. One student volunteered to tally the votes and see whom the class chose as the best debaters.

Second period worked a little more on Great Expectations before watching a PBS version of the film. We watched the scene in which Pip first meets Miss Havisham, and we compared our own visions (sketched out beforehand) with the film’s director’s.

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Fourth and sixth periods continued working on their Charlie reports. Most of them should be done.

After school, everyone was eager to get out — well, almost everyone.

Two first-period students, trying to set a new fashion trend
Two first-period students, trying to set a new fashion trend


Second period: read through chapter 20.

Second period began a small series of lessons on foreshadowing. It’s intended to help students see how authors in general and Dickens in particular use foreshadowing; additionally, students will be learning how to identify clues that could be foreshadowing.

First, fourth, and sixth periods continued their debates. Sixth period finished; fourth period lacks two debates and will conclude after spring break; first period will conclude tomorrow.


Second period:

  • read chapters 12 and 13;
  • work on themes database (you must have an account to access this resource).

First, fourth, and sixth periods began their debates. We just barely got started in first period; fourth and sixth periods made a fair amount of progress. Sixth period, in fact, will most definitely finish tomorrow; fourth period might have to pick it back up after spring break.

Second period discussed the surprises of chapters 8-10 in Great Expectations. The most significant:

All this while, the strange man looked at nobody but me, and looked at me as if he were determined to have a shot at me at last, and bring me down. But he said nothing after offering his Blue Blazes observation, until the glasses of rum-and-water were brought; and then he made his shot, and a most extraordinary shot it was.

It was not a verbal remark, but a proceeding in dump show, and was pointedly addressed to me. He stirred his rum-and-water pointedly at me, and he tasted his rum-and-water pointedly at me. And he stirred it and he tasted it: not with a spoon that was brought to him, but with a file.

He did this so that nobody but I saw the file; and when he had done it he wiped the file and put it in a breast-pocket. I knew it to be Joe’s file, and I knew that he knew my convict, the moment I saw the instrument. I sat gazing at him, spell-bound. But he now reclined on his settle, taking very little notice of me, and talking principally about turnips. (The Free Online Library)

Many more surprises to come, of course.

  • First, fourth, and sixth: complete debate preparation as necessary.
  • Second period:
    • read chapters 11 and 12;
    • work on theme database (using notes from class and readings).
Miss Havisham

Miss Havisham, in art by Harry Furniss
Miss Havisham, in art by Harry Furniss

Second period  went over chapter seven in groups, discussing the themes we’ll be tracing throughout the book. We also began a list of characters, as Dickens’ novels can be a bit on the character-rich side.

We also read aloud the opening of chapter eight, in which Miss Havisham is introduced. “She’s crazy” seemed to be the general consensus.

First, fourth, and sixth periods continued working on their debate preparation. All three periods will begin their debates tomorrow.

  • First, fourth, and sixth periods:
  • complete both outlines of the debate presentation using the Debate Graphic Organizer;
  • complete both speeches (using the outlines to guide you).
  • Second period:
    • complete chapters eight through ten;
    • be prepared to discuss the question: “Is Miss Havisham proud of her broken heart?”;
    • check for a term that means “one who is proud of his/her pain/wounds.”

First, fourth, and sixth periods are taking breaks from their Publish projects. First period, in fact, will be spending no more class time on projects; fourth and sixth will have one more day in the library.

First, fourth, and sixth periods are working on debate preparations. We’re doing a very quick unit on persuasive speaking this week, and students will be debating each other on selected topics. Today, first period began preparations by choosing topics, finding a partner, and filling out a debate graphic organizer.

Second period began teasing out the difficult Great Expectations. It’s like weight-lifting, I told them: you don’t develop any if you never push yourself. This is like putting extra weight on the bar, I explained.

Regarding the Antigone/Lord of the Flies project, I extended the due date to this Friday. I won’t be assessing any of them until spring break, so I gave them the extra time.

  • First and fourth periods: complete the debate graphic organizer.
  • Second period: read chapters six and seven.
  • Sixth period: none.