Sixth period finished Monster; first period finishes tomorrow. Fourth period had their final exam, a letter to next year’s E1 students. Second period worked on the final day of planning for the Great Expectations paper. Seventh period finished up persuasion.
Second and sixth periods: exam tomorrow.
Second and fourth periods: finish up the Great Expectations paper (due Tuesday).
First and sixth periods are almost finished with their critical reading of Monster. We’ll soon be having a debate on the book and the protagonist’s guilt/innocence.
Second and fourth periods had the End of Course Exam for English I Honors today. This means that, for all intents and purposes[1. Remember when you thought that was, "For all intensive purposes"? Well, maybe that was just me.], the school year is over for them[2. I know that with that previous footnote, it should have read, "Well, maybe that was just I," but it just doesn't sound as good to modern ears.]. Perhaps not for all intents and purposes, but for the state of South Carolina’s intents and purposes, it certainly is.
Seventh period finished up working with persuasive writing.
Second and fourth periods:
continue working on the Great Expectations final paper;
First and sixth periods continued with Monster. We used our graphic organizers to make some notes about probable guilt/innocence: first period’s notes are a little different than sixth period’s notes, but we’re reaching the same ends.
Second and fourth spent a final day outlining. I realized they needed a day with me there to answer questions, so we spent the time finishing up the outlines. Most are finished, but those who are not will need to finish for tomorrow.
First, sixth, and seventh periods all had a stems quiz today. First and sixth continued working on the persuasive techniques unit. Seventh period worked on using our pre-writing from Friday to create an essay.
Second and fourth periods spent literally ten minutes going over gerunds and gerund phrases before spending the majority of the class planning their project, tentatively due Friday 21 October.
First and sixth periods: decide on a topic of national importance (death penalty, illegal immigration, balancing the budget) that can be used for your coming persuasive writing sample.
Second and fourth periods:
Use each of the following gerund phrases in a sentence of your own. You must use one phrase as a sentence subject, one as a sentence object (direct or indirect), and one as the object of a preposition. Underline the gerund phrase.
getting up in the morning
arguing among themselves
refusing any help with the job
sharpening my pencil
listening to Scott Joplin’s ragtime music
Additionally, continue planning for the Odyssey project. I’ve created two new tools for you to use.
A planning forum (for writing your instructions — I wanted to make a wiki, but that would be too much work to make it separate for each group).
An online chat (for corresponding in real time — I’m not sure how well it will work, so someone needs to try it and see how well it works.)
First and sixth periods went over persuasive techniques. Things went better in sixth period, and we were able to get a bit more accomplished. We’ll continue working on persuasion for the next couple of weeks.
Second and sixth periods began a whirlwind overview of phrases. Today we looked at prepositional phrases and how they can be used as adjectives and adverbs.
Seventh period did some more work with the story “Papa’s Parrot” and context clues.
Sixth period: Use a make-believe study looking at the effect eating breakfast has on test scores (it raises them) to create an argument from authority to support the need for students to eat breakfast..
Second and sixth periods continued working on the Odyssey project. Today was one of the final days of full in-class preparation. The project will likely be due 21 October (but no earlier).
Seventh period read “Papa’s Parrot” as we continue working on context clues for words and narrative structure.
First and sixth periods: find an opinion piece (either online or in a newspaper) and find one example of one persuasive technique. Copy the sentence, identify the technique, and bring it to class tomorrow.
Second and fourth periods: read “Odysseus’s Bed” (in other words, complete the Odyssey).
First, second, and sixth periods spent time planning their persuasion projects.
Fourth period went over meter: “iambic pentameter” finally makes sense to them now, as does “dactylic tetrameter” and any number of combinations. We also decided — rather, I decided and announced today — to change the poetry unit major project. In short, we’re simplifying and unifying it: students will be required to
memorize and recite (old school, but good for fluency and textual wrestling) one of Shakespeare’s sonnets and
write a sonnet of their own.
Others who’ve tried to write a sonnet in class have declared, “Mr. Scott, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever written.” We’ll begin in earnest tomorrow.
three potential propaganda topics;
four indicators for project rubric, with criteria for highest scores.
First and fourth period were both engaged in inductive reasoning to come up definitions. First period has been defining propaganda. After looking at specific examples of Nazi propaganda yesterday, we came up with a class list of characteristics of propaganda, then worked to create a definition from those characteristics. First, individuals created definitions. Then pairs consulted and created new definitions. Next, pairs of pairs shared, and we continued until we got to two groups. Tomorrow we’ll combine the two definitions into a class definition and use that to make determinations about our cumulative project.
Fourth period did something similar with the ballad form, continuing from yesterday’s lesson. We finished up “Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather” and also read “Ballad of Birmingham.” Homework will entail a further examination of the ballad form.
Second and sixth periods began planning their final project for the persuasion unit. We’ve decided to have two options (which comes as a surprise for second period):
Poster “advertising” something by using persuasive techniques.
A re-do of the first presentation that began the unit (“Why we should get the prize!”)
First, second, and sixth periods took a Friday off from heavy lifting (to varying degrees: one period had some problems getting themselves together): we looked at a blues song that actually employs a couple of persuasive techniques. We then helped the bluesman out by adding a few of our own. It was a good idea, but I think second and sixth period would have done better if we hadn’t had a quiz at the beginning, thus taking fifteen to twenty minutes of our time.
Fourth period finished up sonnets. We now know, in theory, the similarities and differences between English and Italian sonnets. We’ll be doing meter Monday to learn what iambic pentameter.
First period: convert draft lyrics to final lyrics by rewriting with rhythm.
First period reviewed the notes from reading yesterday. Yesterday’s lesson was a two-fold lesson: first, they got information about bias; second, they worked on note-taking skills. Yet the second objective can foil the first, so we made sure everyone knew what innuendo, stereotype, proof surrogate, and other bias-related terms meant.
Second and sixth, after starters, applied their knowledge of persuasive devices to persuasive pieces. Looking at several articles, they identified the persuasive devices in action. We worked via Moodle in the computer lab.
Fourth period began the classic poetic form: the sonnet. We looked at Robert Frost’s “Once By the Pacific” to begin with. We quickly moved on to Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet, the eighteenth. We ended with one of my all-time favorite sonnets (though really almost a pseudo-sonnet), William Merideth’s “The Illiterate.” Tomorrow we’ll examine the poems closely in order to determine what exactly makes a sonnet a sonnet.
First period finished up notes on bias. We’ll do some work with it in class tomorrow, finishing up the week with propaganda.
Second and sixth periods were introduced to the Moodle site I run (courses.ourenglishclass.net). They worked on identifying persuasive techniques in action, then spent a little time exploring the site.