Ironically, all classes in one form or another prepared for a Socratic Seminar tomorrow. English I Honors will be working off the reading we had in class today about Jim Crow laws as we begin To Kill a Mockingbird while English 8 students will be working with topics gleaned from our latest passage of Frederick Douglass’s autobiography.

  • English 8 Studies: work on the article of the week as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete the reading about Jim Crow laws for tomorrow;
    • prepare for a discussion on the following question (among others): What do you think the total effect of Jim Crow laws was meant to be?

English I Honors continued working on their narratives. Tomorrow will be the last day in class. Students will need to work on their rubrics at home (see below).

English 8 students had their last day of annotating texts for the Frederick Douglass autobiography.


English I Honors had a quick quiz on the at-home, flipped-class narrative lessons the have been working on. Our focus today was on dialogue and avoiding verb tense shifts.

English 8 students began the second part of Frederick Douglass’s autobiography.

  • English 8 Studies: work on today’s text as necessary.
  • English I Honors: work on narrative as necessary.

English I Honors students continued working on their narrative assignment.  We’ll be having a quiz on the flipped-classroom material tomorrow.

English 8 students finished up their Socratic Seminar connected to the Frederick Douglass text we’ve been reading in class.

  • English 8 Studies: finish up the poetry project for tomorrow.
  • English I Honors: 
    • finish up the flipped-classroom material on Moodle;
    • prepare for tomorrow’s quiz.
Project Plus

English I Honors students began working on an experimental, flipped-classroom project for the culmination of the Odyssey. We’ll be working on this for a week or so, and it’s all very experimental, which could be just a little stressful for us all.

English 8 students continued with the toughest text we’ve had in class, working on our schaffolded practice for reading and annotating Frederick Douglass’s autobiography.

Finishing and Starting

English I Honors began the final stages of the Odyssey project.

English 8 students began their new unit, a STEAM unit with social studies and math.

  • English 8 Studies: continue with the poetry project.
  • English I Honors: read the final section of the Odyssey (to page 416 — not sure about the hundreds in that, but it is definitely x16).

English I Honors students worked with the Joseph Campbell text on the monomyth. We’ll be finishing it up tomorrow.

English 8 students began their final project for the poetry unit.

  • English 8 Studies: continue working on the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: continue working on the article of the week.

English I Honors students began working on a look at the monomyth (i.e., Joseph Campbell) and how the Odyssey is an example of that. We’ll be finishing up the Odyssey shortly.

English 8 students are nearing the end of their studies of figurative language in poetry. We’ll be finishing up next week.

  • English 8 Studies: 
    • finish the in-class work on figurative language interpretation;
    • continue working on the article of the week as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • work on the text from class, annotating the text and preparing a Cornell outline of the material;
    • begin reading the next section of the Odyssey;
    • continue working on the article of the week as necessary.
Allusions and Figurative Language

English 8 students continued with poetry and figurative language, working to be able to understand what figurative language adds to a text.

English I Honors students continued with the Odyssey and allusions, specifically allusions in “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by the Police.

  • English 8 Studies: work on the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • consider why the speaker is staring at the ring around someone’s finger (in what situations would that happen?);
    • work on the article of the week.

The most beautiful piece of music ever written for organ.

Program notes (from the YouTube page):

Bach’s Toccata in F major (BWV 540) begins with a large linear canon (one hand imitating the other) over a long pedal point in F major. This is followed by an improvisatory pedal solo based on material from the canon. The entire canon is repeated with hands reversed, and is again followed by a long pedal solo. The canons and pedal solos effect a modulation from the home key of F to the dominant of C; and the entire remainder of the movement constitutes the harmonic return to home base. Hermann Keller expresses his rapture as follows: “At the beginning the extensive linear construction of the two voices in canon, the proud calmness of the solos in the pedal, the piercing chord strokes, the fiery upswing of the second subject, the bold modulatory shifts, the inwardness of the three minor movements, the splendor of the end with the famous third inversion of the seventh chord – who would not be enthralled by that?”

It’s a homework-only day.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read pages 386-398 (quiz Monday).

English I Honors worked on mastering the Homeric simile, something that’s initially fairly but deceptively straightforward. Close reading, in other words.

English 8 students had a final day of practice with figurative language. We’ll finish up poetry in the next week or so.

  • English 8 Studies: complete the article of the week as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • re-read the Cyclops section, finding two ten- to fifteen-line segments that are challenging for comprehension (i.e., either you struggled to understand it the first time you read it, or you still don’t understand it);
    • complete the article of the week as necessary.
Figurative Language Practice and a Seminar

English 8 students had a second day of figurative language practice while finishing up the small poetry analysis assignment we’ve been working on. We went over yesterday’s practice before we got started, and we’ll do the same tomorrow as we get ready for a quiz on Friday.

English I Honors students had a Socratic Seminar/Fishbowl/Think-Group-Share session today about the various visions of Calypso we’ve seen over the last two days.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: re-read last night’s homework, this time looking closely for the Homeric simile that’s located somewhere in the text.