Mr. Scott

First, fourth, and sixth periods spent some time in the library doing research for their social position papers (i.e., persuasive essays) on capital punishment. We’ll be spending one more day in the library before returning to the classroom to begin writing our actual essay.



As part of a cross-curricular project with Ms. Green, the social studies teacher, students in first, fourth, and sixth periods will be spending this week working on social position papers about the capital punishment.

Today, we discussed the issue and made lists of pro and con arguments.

Tomorrow, we’ll be going to the library to do some research on the subject.


First, fourth, and sixth periods: none.

First period reviewed direct objects from yesterday and went over indirect objects today.

Second period completed act 3 scene 5, with Capulet’s famous tirade (lines 145-173):

Soft! take me with you, take me with you, wife.
How! will she none? doth she not give us thanks?
Is she not proud? doth she not count her blest,
Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought
So worthy a gentleman to be her bridegroom? […]
How now, how now, chop-logic! What is this?
‘Proud,’ and ‘I thank you,’ and ‘I thank you not;’
And yet ‘not proud,’ mistress minion, you,
Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds,
But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next,
To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,
Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.
Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!
You tallow-face! […]
Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me;
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child;
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her:
Out on her, hilding! […]
God’s bread! it makes me mad:
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her match’d: and having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train’d,
Stuff’d, as they say, with honourable parts,
Proportion’d as one’s thought would wish a man;
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,
To answer ‘I’ll not wed; I cannot love,
I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.’
But, as you will not wed, I’ll pardon you:
Graze where you will you shall not house with me:
Look to’t, think on’t, I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in
the streets,
For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to’t, bethink you; I’ll not be forsworn.

After going over it in the original, we had the students act it out using a modified, modernized version: some eyes were wide hearing just how nasty Capulet was being with his daughter.

Fourth and sixth periods used the persuasion maps we created yesterday to begin writing a draft of their persuasive essay.

  • First period: none.
  • Second period:
    • finish reading act 4;
    • complete the study guide through act 4;
    • take the act 3 quiz.
  • Fourth and sixth periods: complete the essay started in class.

First period worked on a review of direct objects. Afterwards, we began organizing our persuasive writing pieces. During exploratory, students completed a first draft.

Second period completed R&J act three scene two. We noted several parallels between how Juliet describes Romeo in the opening soliloquy and how Romeo describes her in act 2 scene 2. There are also some parallels in how Romeo describes his mixed emotions in act 1 scene 1 and how Juliet describes her feelings in act 3 scene 2.

Fourth and sixth periods began organizing their persuasive essays.

  • First period: finish essay (if not in class).
  • Second period:
    • read act 3 scenes 3 and 4;
    • compare and contrast Romeo’s reaction to Juliet’s; and
    • complete the study guide through act 3 scene 4.
  • Fourth and sixth periods: none.
Building an Argument to Roper Mountain

First period worked on developing an argument. We looked at how to take an initial argument — such as the argument from emotion — and developing it into a full paragraph.

Second, fourth, and sixth periods did not have class with me as I was on the field trip to the Roper Mountain Science Center.





Persuasion and Inauguration

First period worked on persuasive techniques, covering the arguments from

  • authority,
  • reason/logic, and
  • emotion.

Second period — well, Min should be covering that shortly.

Fourth period watched the inauguration.

Watching the Inauguration
Watching the Inauguration
Friar Laurence and Selling Ourselves

First, fourth, and sixth periods presented their persuasive argument about who should win the prize — a bit of free time at the end of class tomorrow. The groups presented in random order, and an outside teacher evaluated the arguments in two of the three classes (she was busy in sixth period).

A group from fourth period presenting.
A group from fourth period presenting.

Second period finished working on sentence types:

  • simple,
  • compound,
  • complex, and
  • compound-complex.

Afterward, we finished R & J act 2 scene 3.

  • First period: none.
  • Second period:
    • read act 2 scene 4;
    • quiz on act 2 scene 4 coming up;
    • complete study guide through act 2 scene 4.
  • Fourth and sixth periods: “Persuasion all around us” activity.
Complex Persuasion

Second period took a break from Romeo and Juliet to look at the four types of sentences:

  • simple,
  • compound,
  • complex, and
  • compound-complex.

The other periods began with a quick starter. One exercise: make a prediction about the following passage:

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new game arcade began quietly. The ceremony was solemn, with builders, bankers, and investors making nice speeches about the value of the arcade for the community. Twelve kids had been invited to break the ground. They waited with their shovels. The signal came for the first boy to dig a shovelful of dirt. He dug; but he could not resist tossing the dirt high into the air so that it fell on the next kid in line. There were giggles from the young people and glares from the adults. The next person, Ellie, stepped up and dug a chunk of dirt, her eyes twinkling.

Fairly obvious what happened next.

Afterward we began our persuasive writing. There will be a prize for a select number of people Thursday, and the winners will be determined in a debate, with another teacher serving as the judge. We’ll then go back and look at the arguments to determine which persuasive techniques each group used.

Today, we prepared the presentations:

Fourth period preparing
Fourth period preparing
Fourth period preparing
Fourth period preparing
Fourth period preparing
Fourth period preparing
Sixth period preparing
Sixth period preparing
Sixth period preparing
Sixth period preparing
Sixth period preparing
Sixth period preparing
  • First, fourth, and sixth periods: none.
  • Second period:
    • read the review of sentence types;
    • complete the activities.

Addendum: if you’re using a Greenville County Schools computer, you will not be able to access this grammar review because it’s blocked. I suppose it’s somehow an inappropriate resource.

The GCS filtering software blocks the University of Ottawa
The GCS filtering software blocks the University of Ottawa
Balcony Scene

Students lead first period in a quiz bowl starter
Students lead first period in a quiz bowl starter

First period had an extended review/starter. It didn’t work out quite as well as the student-leaders planned as their prepared Power Point materials decided not to cooperate.

Second period completed act 2 scene 2 — the most famous scene in theater: the balcony scene.

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!

Fourth period began a two-day lesson on narrative poetry.

Sixth period had the same guest teacher as fourth period had yesterday.

  • First period: none (except completing the poetry project to turn in Monday).
  • Second period:
    • take the quiz on act 1;
    • use the online forum to do the rewrites of act 2 scene 2.

    Fourth and sixth periods: none.

Queen Mab and Other Adventures

First period finished up “Runagate Runagate”, looking at one passage in particular.

Moon so bright and no place to hide,
the cry up and the patterollers riding,
hound dogs belling in bladed air.
And fear starts a-murbling, Never make it,
we’ll never make it. Hush that now,
and she’s turned upon us, levelled pistol
glinting in the moonlight:
Dead folks can’t jaybird-talk, she says;
you keep on going now or die, she says.

There is also a nonfiction selection in our textbook about Harriet Tubman, and it relates this scene. We read a passage from it and then discussed the narrative elements in the poem.

Min and his class-assisted interpretation of Queen Mab
Class-assisted interpretation of Queen Mab

We finished the day by working on poetry projects (due Monday).

We took some time to examine closely one of the most famous passages in all of Shakespeare’s writing: Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech.

As we took it apart, we had an artist in the class create a dry-erase on white-board interpretation of Mab.

O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders’ legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,
The traces of the smallest spider’s web,
The collars of the moonshine’s watery beams,
Her whip of cricket’s bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm
Prick’d from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on court’sies straight,
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O’er ladies ‘ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as a’ lies asleep,
Then dreams, he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage:
This is she–

By the end, everyone was in agreement with Romeo: “Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace! / Thou talk’st of nothing.”

Fourth period had a guest teacher.

  • First period: none.
  • Second period: complete all materials in the study guide for act 1 of R & J.
  • Fourth period: none.
  • Sixth period: six-stanza ballad.
Introducing the Ladies and Narrative Poetry

I copied the file onto my server only to prevent the hot-linking that would occur otherwise, given the media plug-in I use on this site. The song is from here.

First period finished up “Ballad of Birmingham” by paraphrasing each stanza and then listening to the song version:

Ballad of Birmingham

Second period continued with Romeo and Juliet.

Juliet and the Nurse (engraving by James Parker)
Juliet and the Nurse (engraving by James Parker)

Second period went through two scenes from act 1: scenes 2 and 3. Students looked carefully at the natures of Juliet, Lady Capulet, and the Nurse, coming up with three adjectives for each, and backing up those descriptions with quotes from the play.

(We actually did 2.5 scenes, as we really did the last half of scene 1 at the beginning of class.)

Fourth period did much the same as first period.

Sixth period was a little behind from yesterday. We went through “Ballad of Birmingham” and played catch-up with first and fourth periods.

  • First period: paraphrase the following lines from “Runagate, Runagate”
    • 1-7
    • 21-29
    • 45-53.
  • Second period:
    • read act I scene 4;
    • complete questions from study guide.
  • Fourth and sixth period: none.

“Juliet and the Nurse” from WikiCommons.

Ballads and Brawls

Second period began Romeo and Juliet. We made it through the brawl scene that introduces the first conflict in the play. It’s already clear that this will take a bit longer than I thought, due to the challenging language of the play.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Wikicommons)
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church (Wikicommons)

First, fourth, and sixth periods continued working on ballads. We finished “Boots of Spanish Leather” and began working on “Ballad of Birmingham,” which deals with the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.

We used the two ballads to determine what are the characteristics of a ballad in general.

  • First period: continue working on poetry project.
  • Second period: re-read Act I Scene 1, looking for stage directions hidden in the dialogue and preparing parts for tomorrow.
  • Fourth period: no homework.
  • Sixth period:
    • read “Ballad of Birmingham”;
    • quiz tomorrow.


The semester exam for English I honors will be Wednesday 14 January 2008. The stude guide is available here. (Note: only students — i.e., individuals with accounts — will be able to access this document.)