Flowers for Algernon

Phrase Work and Works Cited

Today, first and fourth period reviewed phrases. After going over a difficult sentence as their starter, they went to the books for some extra practice.

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First and fourth period’s starter
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Phrase work from first and fourth periods
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Phrase work from first and fourth periods

Today second and seventh period finished their work cited:online article.They also reviewed their commas within sentences.  They watched Flowers for Algernon as an end-of-class reward.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • Assess chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8
    • Do the workshop on 9 & 10 and 11 & 12

First and fourth periods took a look at how the idea of the Mob Mentality applies in chapter 9 and 10 of Lord of the Flies. Then they also looked at the phrases that they have been learning in class.

Second and seventh periods today were finishing up the claim, counterclaims, and rebuttals. They also watched Flowers for Algernon as an end-of-class reward.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: Finish the Mary Todd Lincoln project due Monday

First and fourth periods today took some class time to read Lord of the Flies and then learned about participle phrases. They then took some notes on participles and looked at examples and practice from a writing textbook.

Second and fourth periods finished up Flowers for Algernon and completed the participation self-evaluation.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: complete questions 1-7 at the end of Flowers for Algernon (page 342).
  • English I Honors: 
    • have chapters 3 and 4 of Lord of the Flies read by tomorrow (feel free to read ahead to chapter 7);
    • complete the writing assignment for chapters 1 and 2 of Lord of the Flies; and,
    • complete end-of-quarter self-evaluations.

First and fourth periods spent some time looking at the rubric for the extensive Lord of the Flies project and then worked in pairs to evaluate a less-than-perfect model selection:

As the boys stranded, and the littleuns completely dependent upon the older children for all their physiological needs, Jack could easily use knowledge of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to manipulate the situation and wrest control from Ralph. Most basically, Jack and his choir boys supply all the meat during their pig hunts, and the littleuns are going to soon get tired of eating just the scraps of fruit they might find on their own. Jack could simply retreat to another part of the island, stop providing food for all the others, and wait for everyone to search him out. At that point, he would simply need to say, “If you want to eat, you’ll stay with me; if you don’t, you’ll go back to Ralph.” In addition, Jack could apply Maslow’s hierarchy by fulfilling the higher level needs with the boys who come along with them. Treating the littleuns like family, he could win their trust and devotion. In such a case, even if he were to be unable to bring food for the group—if, for example, they were unable to find pigs for several days—he would have their devotion to ensure his power until he could find food. Indeed, he might even be able to resort to feeding meat to the littleuns on an increasingly infrequent schedule as he fulfills other, higher needs as well. This would make sure he and his hunters don’t exhaust the island’s supply of swine too early, which would threaten his power in the end. With their inability to care for themsevles, the littleuns are indeed susceptible to manipulation through the application of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

The multiple writing workshops begin now, with the first selection is due for submission on Wednesday of this week.

Second and seventh periods began the concluding project for Flowers for Algernon by having a Socratic Seminar about whether or not the operation on Charlie Gordon was fair.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read chapters three and four of Lord of the Flies for tomorrow;
    • complete the writing assignment for chapters one and two (see the Moodle site for details) by Wednesday evening;
    • complete the end-of-quarter self-evaluations.
Text Marking and Project Work

Second and seventh periods did some heavy lifting today, working with extensive close reading and text marking for Flowers for Algernon.

We first worked to mark the text for unknown words and context clues.

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We then worked to determine the text structure.

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First and fourth periods worked on the small poster project connecting a film to the journey myth with full explanations. The rubric is available here. It will be due next Friday.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: identify the purpose of the last clusters in the reading we had today.
  • English I Honors: work on the Joseph Campbell/film connection project.

First and fourth Periods worked to complete the paraphrasing of each passage everyone was given. After completing this they wrote three things that they think will happen before and after their passages. Finally, they broke up into groups of two and compared paraphrasing as well as preparing to present to the other groups.

Second and seventh periods began with comma practice work for starters, including a trick question: one that doesn’t require any commas at all.

  1. He left the scene of the accident and tried to forget that it had happened.
  2. Oil, which is lighter than water, rises to the surface.
  3. Madame de Stael was an attractive, gracious lady.

Second and seventh periods then continued with Flowers for Algernon, making predictions and working to confirm them.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: rewrite the PASS practice essay by Monday.
  • English I Honors: 
    • finish reading the Odyssey.
    • rewrite the PASS practice essay by Monday.
Media and Puzzle Assembly

First and fourth periods finished up the cyclops scene, adding a new motif to examine as we read the Odyssey: the perfect hero. We began tracing the first element, verbal cleverness:

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Second and seventh periods finished up the jigsaw reading by getting into new groups and teaching other students about the passages of Flowers for Algernon that they examined yesterday.

We ended the day with reward time, and I gave a camera to students and had them take pictures of the festivities. The gallery is available here.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the student evaluations at the Moodle site.
Homeric Similes and Jigsaw Reading

First and Fourth Periods had a short quiz on Odysseus’s encounter with the Lotus Eaters and Polyphemus. They also worked on locating Homeric Similes.

Homeric similes thus far
Homeric similes thus far

Second and seventh periods worked on jigsaw reading for Flowers for Algernon after going over the text structure work we did in class yesterday.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: complete three entries in the “Somebody Wanted But So” reading graphic organizer.
  • English I Honors: assess the soundtrack projects.
Final Discussion and Final Quiz

First and fifth periods completed the work for “Flowers for Algernon.”

Second and fourth periods continued with To Kill a Mockingbird. We began by examining the homework, which was the analysis of the following sentence from the book:

Second and fourth period's sentence analysis
Second and fourth period’s sentence analysis

We also took the final Romeo and Juliet quiz, which covered acts four and five.

Homework
  • First period: on the back of today’s work, write a summary of why you believe the operation performed on Charlie was fair or unfair, just or unjust.
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • continue working on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack project (due 18 March);
    • read chapters 1-4 of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Fifth period: on the back of today’s work, write a Schaffer paragraph in which you explore whether or not the operation performed on Charlie was just or unjust.
Finishing Algernon, Starting Mockingbird

First and fifth periods finished up some work for “Flowers for Algernon” after going over yesterday’s MAP results. We wrote about and discussed the following:

  1. How do feel about your score?
  2. Is it higher or lower than you were expecting?
  3. Why exactly were you expecting higher or lower?
  4. Look back over this school year and list three choices you’ve made that contributed to your score.
  5. List two things you can do for the remainder of the year to make sure you begin to fix some of the problems listed above.

Second and fourth periods began To Kill a Mockingbird. We read about and discussed Jim Crow laws in order to provide adequate background knowledge before beginning the novel.

Second and fourth period notes
Second and fourth period notes

We then turned our attention parsing one of the tricky sentences in the first couple of pages, using arrows to indicate relationships (antecedents, adjectivals, etc.) for better comprehension.

Homework
  • First and fifth periods:
    • complete the essay on empathy (if you haven’t already);
    • annotate the essay by:
      • putting a circled number one at the beginning of concrete details;
      • underlining direct quotes and labeling them with a circled number two;
      • circling your citations and labeling them number three;
      • labeling your sentences that include an introductory phrase with a number four;
    • read to the end of “Flowers of Algernon” (from approximately page 333);
    • complete the questions on page 342
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • prepare for final Romeo and Juliet quiz tomorrow (you can take the practice quiz here);
    • analyze the following sentence from To Kill a Mockingbird in the same way we parsed the sentence today (see above):

      In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of those who called themselves Methodists at the hands of their more liberal brethren, and as Simon called himself a Methodist, he worked his way across the Atlantic to Philadelphia, thence to Jamaica, thence to Mobile, and up to Saint Stephens.

All four classes work working in partners; all four classes were in some stage of planning or writing major analytic essays.

First and fifth periods finished up the planning stage of their empathy essays. Those essays are due Wednesday.

Second and fourth periods spent the day planning their Romeo and Juliet extended essays.

Homework
  • First and fifth periods: complete first draft of essay by Wednesday.
  • Second and fourth periods: final draft due in two weeks (18 March).
Introductions and Conclusions

First and fourth periods worked on their Algernon project. We focused on the introductory paragraph after spending some time continuing from yesterday planning the body paragraphs.

Notes on how to create an introductory paragraph (first and fifth periods)
Notes on how to create an introductory paragraph (first and fifth periods)

Second and fifth periods completed the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet, with the somewhat-controversial final penultimate scene.

Romeo approaches the seemingly dead Juliet
Romeo approaches the seemingly dead Juliet
Homework
  • First period: complete the introduction and body paragraphs by Monday for five points extra credit on the essay.
  • Second and fourth periods: print out the lyrics for your two songs and bring them Monday.
  • Fifth period:
    • complete the introduction paragraph;
    • complete the body paragraphs by Monday for five points extra credit on the essay
Textual Features for Organization and R&J's End

First and fifth periods looked at the essential question, “How do textual elements help me understand the organization of a text?” We looked at a text from the PBS website about Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence as part of our unit on “Flowers for Algernon.” We’ll be using the text tomorrow in our return to quoting and citing.

First and fifth period's work
First and fifth period’s work

Second and fourth periods completed Romeo and Juliet. We read it out — the first item in weeks we’ve read an entire scene in class– and discussed the staging and embedded stage directions.

The "corpses" of Romeo, Juliet, and Paris during fourth period
The “corpses” of Romeo, Juliet, and Paris during fourth period
Homework
  • First and fifth periods: none.
  • Second and fourth periods: reread 5.3, making note of all the places a character expresses some form of fatalism, specifically references to the stars.
Notes from a Video and Blame

First and fifth periods turned to the question of the nature and definition of intelligence as we near the end of “Flowers for Algernon” and prepare for the research element of our third-quarter unit. We watched a video on the theory of multiple intelligences as a way to move our note-taking skills into the audio-visual domain as opposed to simply taking notes from a text.

Second and fourth periods worked on the question of who is ultimately responsible for Juliet’s “death,” which of course leads to her actual death.

Homework

No homework for any classes.

Point of View, Quotes, and Responsibility

First and fifth periods worked with point of view in Charlie’s progress reports from “Flowers for Algernon.”

Effective Reader Skills Review
Effective Reader Skills Review
Indications the Ms. Kinninan is confused
Indications the Ms. Kinninan is confused

Second and fourth periods began looking at one of the big questions of Romeo and Juliet: who is ultimately responsible for what happens to the hero and heroine?

Mirror dreams in the play
Mirror dreams in the play
Fate and the Stars throughout Play
Fate and the Stars throughout Play
Homework
  • First and fifth periods: none.
  • Second and fourth periods: work on final project (soundtrack project).