English Studies

Daily classwork and homework updates for English Studies.

English I Honors had a work day today, spending most of the class period working with a partner on their latest Schaffer analytic paragraphs. We’ll be turning them in tomorrow during class.

English 8 students worked on finishing up chapter three of Nightjohn. Students worked on their during-reading work (an “It Says/I Say” graphic organizer) as well as the comprehension questions for chapter three and the motif work we’ve been doing over the last couple of days.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: complete chapter three work as necessary.
  • English I Honors: complete the final draft of the characterization/character motivation piece on “Thank You, Ma’am.”
Planning, Inferences, Book Fair, and Chess

English I Honors students worked on their planning for their third Schaffer paragraph. We’ll be finishing up in class Monday, so make sure you are done with your regular planning and writing and just need to put the finishing touches and complete some editing. They also went to the book fair.

English 8 students worked on their regular Friday work and went to the book fair.

Journalism students took a break and played (or learned) chess.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the first draft of your paragraph on “Thank You, Ma’am.”

English I Honors students completed the parts of speech presentations. They’ve now covered all eight parts of speech:

  • nouns
  • pronouns
  • adjectives
  • verbs
  • adverbs
  • prepositions
  • conjunctions
  • interjections

We’ll begin practicing and quizzing on it next week.

They also began planning their third analytic Schaffer model paragraph, this time on “Thank You, Ma’am.”

English 8 students worked through chapter three of Nightjohn. We’re working toward mastery of effective reader’s skills by implementing a modified “It Says/I Say” strategy.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: complete today’s work on chapter three.
  • English I Honors: 
    • determine a TS and quotes for a CD from today’s Schaffer planning work;
    • determine the part of speech for each of these sentences:
      • All people should ask themselves if they are doing the best they can with the talents they have.
      • All gave some; some gave all.
      • It seems unlikely that anyone could hold their breath for such a very long time, but the world record is over twenty-four minutes.

English 8 students began looking at what a motif is (a repeating image or idea that appears throughout a literary work) as we began moving toward the question of what a theme is and how to determine it.

English I Honors students went through verbs today after going over the homework.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete assessments on Moodle (see yesterday’s homework for a direct link);
    • read “Thank You, Ma’am.”

English I students began working on their third topic in the short stories unit, this time on characterization. English 8 students, after some technical difficulties that I think I’ve finally solved, worked on their comprehension questions for Nightjohn after the article of the week.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • assess your assigned paragraphs;
    • complete the TS and get quote ideas for the CD for the paragraph we’re planning for “The Old Man on  the Bridge” (see class notes below).
Class Notes

Notes for the day's classes are available here.

Please note that this is a composite file including notes from all classes, though occasionally it might only be one or two classes. I don't differentiate in the file; that is up to you to do.

Pronouns and Voice

English 8 students went over the final part of the voice and diction lesson, learning how diction (word choice) contributes to voice (the distinctive sound of an author or text).

We looked at passages in Nightjohn in which Sarny, the narrator, “sounds like a slave,” as one student suggested.

English I Honors students focused on the part of speech project today, going over pronouns. I did a little re-teaching at the end, making sure indefinite and demonstrative pronouns were clearer.

Homework
Class Notes

Notes for the day's classes are available here.

Please note that this is a composite file including notes from all classes, though occasionally it might only be one or two classes. I don't differentiate in the file; that is up to you to do.

Quotes and Diction

English 8 students worked on diction and voice.

We examined some passages from Nightjohn in which the narrator, Sarny, “sounds like a slave,” as one student aptly described.

We looked at the author’s use of non-standard grammar and non-standard vocabulary to create the voice of a slave.

English I Honors students continued working on their narrator and voice paragraph before beginning their jigsaw review of the parts of speech.

Homework
Quote Integration and the Start of the Novel

English I Honors students worked on their quote integration skills with topics and quotes from “The Sniper,” a story we read earlier in the year.

Students worked on developing the skills necessary to selecting good passages to quote in support of a thesis and effective integration with one’s on writing. Afterward, they had final minutes to prepare for tomorrow’s group teaching efforts with the parts of speech project they have been working on.

English 8 students began Nightjohn and looked for evidence in Sarny’s words that indicate she is a slave. We’ll be using this tomorrow to explore voice and diction, determining what those words mean and how to analyze a piece of writing in those terms.

Journalism students worked on their articles and went on walkabout with me to take a look at how easy it is to find a topic for articles.

Homework

English 8 students worked on their Friday inference work that we will be doing through at least the first semester.

English I Honors students worked on their newest Schaffer paragraph, which is on point of view in “The Interlopers.”

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 

English I Honors students worked on planning a Schaffer paragraph based of the topic sentence we came up with yesterday. Here are the ideas they came up with today:

  • Third period:
    • TS: You can’t change the point of view from first person because the credibility of the narrator would be compromised through getting C’s pov on the mirror
    • CD1: Clara the only one interacting with mirror “Hey Gus.”
    • CD2: Mom discovers it but doesn’t interact (beginning)
  • Fourth period:
    • TS: You can’t change the pov from first person because the story would lose the mystery caused by an unreliable narrator.
    • CD: became less and less certain which side [of the mirror] was life and which reflection
    • CD: sound from which side

English 8 students had a quick lesson in how habits of today can shape their lives much further into the future than they might necessarily imagine. This was precipitated by the fact that so few students completed the short homework assignment from yesterday. Hopefully the thoughts shared were of use to the students.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: complete the article of the week as necessary. (You should have your summary almost complete when you walk into class tomorrow.)
  • English I Honors: 
    • work on the “Dangerous Game” assessments;
    • read “The Interlopers” for tomorrow.
Socratic Seminar and Background Knowledge

English 8 students began their new unit on Nightjohn. We began building background knowledge today so that we can make better sense of the book as we begin.

English I Honors students had their first Socratic Seminar today. We’ll be doing this throughout the year, and today’s was just an introductory exercise. After the session, students had a few minutes to work with their groups for the parts of speech project.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: complete the text begun in class.
  • English I Honors: 
New POV and a New View of Literacy

English I Honors students began working on their newest literary criticism effort, this time dealing with the effect of point of view on the narrative structure. We began by exploring the truism that what you see depends on where you stand — so we stood in a few different, unusual locations to experience it literally. We also read “In the Family” as our first analytic piece.

English 8 students began a new unit with an overarching EQ, “How does literacy change lives?” We completed the anticipatory lesson today getting everyone ready and excited for the first novel of the year.

Homework

English I Honors students were working on their “Dangerous Game” paragraphs today. English 8 students had their first taste of Friday inference work. And journalism students continued their first round of assessments.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
Socratic Seminar, First Paragraph, and Assessments

English 8 students had their first Socratic Seminar today. It was, given the fact that it’s the first time we did it, a splendid success.

English I Honors students began planning their first analytic Schaffer model paragraph. We’re writing about “The Most Dangerous Game” and will continue it tomorrow, putting off our parts of speech project for a couple of days.

Journalism students turned in their first article and began the assessment process for the first time.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: work on the Schaffer planning for tomorrow (it will be due at the end of class).
  • Journalism: none.