Nouns and Antigone

First, second, and seventh periods finished up working with specific nouns. We used a couple of examples to see the importance of and practice using specific nouns.

Fourth period continued with Antigone.

The Antigone Chorus
The Antigone Chorus

We also added a new point to the comprehension tips list we’re making. (I added one more to the list that we didn’t go over in class.)

  • First: none.
  • Second and seventh: complete birthday dinner descriptive writing.
  • Fourth:
    • study for parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, and adjectives) test tomorrow;
    • read

First and seventh continued working on improving our use of specific nouns. Second period worked on the same thing, but then, having some extra time, we returned to sensory details to look at how to include them without being so direct: “I smell,” or “I hear.”

Fourth period continued working on Antigone. We began by creating a step-by-step guide on how to parse a difficult sentence in a challenging selection and understand it. A study guide for Antigone is available here.

Fourth period will be having a parts of speech test Thursday on nouns, pronouns, and adjectives.

  • First: none.
  • Second period: re-write the sensory detail example from Friday’s lesson.
  • Fourth period:
    • read through page 129;
    • come ready to share how you parsed two sentences from the reading.
  • Seventh period: finish writing from class.

First, second, and seventh period began working on stems list 21. We looked at the individual stems and how they relate to the words. We will be having a quiz on the first ten words on Friday; the test on all words will be the following Friday.

Afterward, we discussed the important of specific nouns in writing. As our initial example, we explored the various possibilities of a single sentence: “Last night, I ate meat, vegetables, and dessert.”

“What’s wrong with that sentence?” I asked.

“We don’t know what kind of meat,” students responded. We looked at possibilities, and tomorrow we will begin applying it to our own writing.

Fourth period continued with Antigone. Beginning with the prompt, “It is justifiable for a citizen to break the law when…”, we asked the question of when it’s morally permissible to break the law.

  • First period:
    • flash cards;
    • re-examine writing and make five nouns more specific.
  • Second and seventh periods:
    • flash cards;
    • alphabetical listing of specific nouns.
  • Fourth period:
    • read through page 125;
    • continue working on list of allusions (proper nouns and proper adjectives).

Second period (English I) went over the material from the first half of our parts of speech review (nouns, pronouns, and adjectives). We began reading Antigone.

First and seventh periods worked on sensory language a little more. We’ll start applying that to our memoirs on Monday.

Second period didn’t have class due to the magazine sales fund raiser kick off.

  • First and seventh periods: questions 1-4, 7 on page 470 (for the selection from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings).
  • Fourth period:
    • read Antigone through the bottom of page 120;
    • look up any proper nouns/adjectives (i.e., “Argives” on page 115);
    • evaluate Lord of the Flies project according to the modified rubric.
Adjectival Sepia Details

We added some examples of sensory language from Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. For one passage, I showed instead of telling:

I looked around the room that I had never in my wildest fantasies imagined I would see. Browned photographs leered or threatened from the walls.

I took some pictures while students worked, and then transformed them into sepia images for them to see what “browned photographs” look like.

[nggallery id=15]

We then worked on creating some sensory imagery ourselves, using “In the Hallway” as our theme. “What do you see in the hallway changing classes? What do you hear? Smell? Touch?” Students made short lists, then I modeled a first draft by using my own details to write a short description.

For second period, I wrote the following:

The bell rings and off we go. It’s like a race — everyone is pushing and pushing and I feel like a sardine. The nasty taste of dry mouth is all I can think about as the BANG BANG SLAM of lockers closing echoes down the hall. All I want is a drink of water to get this taste out of my mouth, but the students are rushing around me and the bright lights blind me. And then there’s Mrs. Copeland, standing at the end of the hall. If she sees me sneaking around – but no matter. There’s no room for me to sneak, the hall is so crowded.

First and second periods, afterward, developed sensory imagery for their own settings. Some chose their room; some chose sports practice; some even chose the classroom we were in.

Fourth period (English I Honors) began the last part of speech for our first group: nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. We’ll review the work tomorrow and then have a small test on it next week.

After completing the grammar work, I covered some basic introductory elements about Sophocles and Greek drama before beginning Antigone tomorrow.

  • Second period: use the list from your chosen setting to write a description, including all the sensory details you developed for the list.
  • Fourth period: complete the Lord of the Flies project (due tomorrow).

Today we had orientation in the media center. It also was a chance for students to check out books and relax while reading them.


Fourth period: Read the introduction (vii-xvi) of The Complete Plays of Sophocles

This is an example of the Lord of the Flies project that English I Honors students are working on. It has an example of both what to do and what not to do.

MAP Testing

neaAll classes completed the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test today.

The MAP test is an adaptable academic test intended to determine where, on a nationally-normed scale, a student’s present academic abilities lie. It is not a test of potential; it is a test of current understanding.

Northwest Evaluation Association, the developers of the MAP assessment, explain it thus:

Created by educators for educators, MAP assessments provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on their unique learning path. Because student engagement is essential to any testing experience, NWEA works with educators to create test items that interest children and help to capture detail about what they know and what they’re ready to learn. It’s information teachers can use in the classroom to help every child, every day.  (NEA Website)

Teachers in Greenville County generally use the MAP data to measure yearly progress and determine individual needs.



First, second, and seventh periods worked on sensory language in the excerpt from Maya Angelou’s  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. We paid special attention to the following passage:

“It was the best of times and the worst of times . . .” Her voice slid in and curved down through and over the words. She was nearly singing. I wanted to look at the pages. Were they the same that I had read? Or were there notes, music, lined on the pages, as in a hymn book? Her sounds began cascading gently. I knew from listening to a thousand preachers that she was nearing the end of her reading, and I hadn’t really heard, heard to understand, a single word.

This was an example for our examination of how to use sensory language. In particular, we looked at how Angelou described sounds in this passage. (I have highlighted the phrases we focused on.) Notes from today are available here.

Fourth period completed the rubric for the Lord of the Flies project, which is due next Friday. I have created a template for the project. Both the Microsoft Word and Writer version are included in this zip file (Lord of the Flies Project Template).

  • First period: study for vocabulary quiz.
  • Second, fourth, and seventh periods: none.
Pronouns and General Stores

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

First, second, and seventh periods began the selection from Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. We read about Maya’s grandmother’s general store and how it was like a private fun park for Maya growing up. We closed the lesson writing about our own special places.

Fourth period finished up working on pronouns in our review of the parts of speech. We also discussed the journal project (three entries a week, each at least 300 words); I tried to impress upon them the simplicity of the assignment. Here is a sample entry.

  • First, second, and seventh periods: complete “My Special Place” topic.
  • Fourth period: draft/notes of the three examples students will use in the Lord of the Flies project (which will be due next Friday).
Vocabulary and a Rubric

First, second, and seventh periods worked on vocabulary for the reading we’ll be doing tomorrow.

Fourth period had a quiz and Q&A session on the latest chapters of the novel. We ended doing work with pronouns as part of our parts of speech review.

Additionally, fourth period began working on the rubric we’ll be using to evaluate the Lord of the Flies project, tentatively due Friday 11 September. Our notes looked like this:


  • First period:
    • write definitions of the terms;
    • compose sentences using the new vocabulary.
  • Second period: compose sentences using the new vocabulary.
  • Fourth period:
    • complete Lord of the Flies;
    • complete the Lord of the Flies rubric, adding two more strands.

We will be reading a selection from Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings tomorrow as part of our memoir unit. As the selection is set in the Depression, we looked at the Depression a bit today and began thinking about what to expect from the piece.

Second period began wrapping up the symbolism of Lord of the Flies. We determined a few things:

  • The beast represents the evil, selfish urges in all of us.
  • The conch symbolizes civil society.
  • The fire is a measure of how connected they are to the civilization they left behind.
  • Piggy symbolizes the rational drive of humanity.
  • Jack represents the selfish, impulsively selfish side of humans.
  • Ralph represents the rule of law by common consent.

We will be finishing up the selection this week.

  • First, second, and seventh periods: finish the “Letter to Maya.”
  • Fourth period: read chapters nine and ten.

First, second, and seventh periods began looking at specific ways to elevate their writing. Our first step was to ensure paragraph unity: all sentences in a paragraph need to point back to the paragraph’s topic.

We looked at various examples of paragraphs that lack unity.

  • First and second period:
    • Complete the Paragraph Unity handout;
    • Select a topic from writer’s notebook and create a draft of a new topic.
  • Seventh period: “A Dangerous Cook” paragraph from Paragraph Unity handout.

Essential Question:

Overview: Today we went over all types of nouns, and the 4 basic principles.

Materials Distrubuted: Nothing

Homework: Read Chapters 5 and 6 LOTF. Take Vocab. quiz before Tuesday. Go over class discussion questions. Write 300 to 500 word proposal about class talking.