English 8 Students brought to a close the first part of the new English/social studies/math (with a bit of science) STEAM unit. They’re all done with the lit circle work and will move on to the next phase after the break.

English I Honors students looked at the tragedy of Emmett Till as they start their portion of the STEAM unit in English.

And everyone breathed a sigh of relief as we went on break.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read chapters 9-12 of Mockingbird.
Finishing Up Research and Close Reading

English I Honors students finished up the third scene of act two, examining much more closely the friar’s opening words:

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English 8 Strategies students finished up their research for their group writing assignment that is serving as practice for their final project for the quarter. We will begin the planning phase tomorrow (though some groups, working hard, have already begun).


English 8 Strategies basically finished up the research for the practice project we’re working on. Some students will need to work on it in class tomorrow and will get time to do just that, but by and large, that portion of the project is complete.

English I Honors students looked closely at Friar Laurence’s opening soliloquy:

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels:
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave that is her womb,
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

We’ll spend a little time on it tomorrow before finishing up Act 2 tomorrow in class.


Workshops and Research

English I Honors students began anonymously evaluating other students’ work in the second half of their first Moodle workshop experience. Most students managed to finish all three required assessments, but those who didn’t manage to complete them will have until Thursday to do so (on their own time — no more class time).

English 8 Strategies students continued their group research as we practice for our final project for the second quarter.

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Tomorrow will be the last day of group research.


Finish the Balcony, Starting the Project

English 8 Strategies students began preparing for the quarter’s major project, a cause/effect essay.

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Marked text

We’ll be doing a practice project with groups and as a class before we actually start the big project after winter break.

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Notes from text

English I Honors students also began working on their projects in a roundabout way. We’ll be using an online workshop module of Moodle to prepare our projects, and today and tomorrow we’ll be looking at how this works and actually practicing it. To that end, students worked with partners today examining a question about 2.2 regarding Juliet’s decision to become romantically involved with Romeo.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the Schaffer paragraph we began in class and turn it in online at the Moodle site.
  • Journalism: none.

school days left

First and fourth periods were finishing up their research projects, for which the annotated bibliography is due tomorrow. Students also watched a tutorial by Mr. Scott on how to use EasyBib to create the citations needed for their annotated bibliographies. Mr. Scott recommends that students create a free account with EasyBib so that they can save their citations/bibliographies for future editing/use. Students were also shown how to use the template for their annotated bibliography, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Today second and seventh period were writing there storyboard and they were also writing there story.


  • English 8 Strategies: Finish your storyboard and also finish your story  and make 6 paragraphs for each chuck.
  • English I Honors: 
    • a hard copy of your annotated bibliography is due tomorrow;
    • the letter to next year’s students has been converted to a take-home exam: please complete it and turn it in here by Monday at midnight.

school days left


Today, first and fourth periods were given time to work on their Great Expectations research projects. The annotated bibliography for the project is due Friday; a hard copy must be turned in.

Today second and seventh period were working and finishing their story board of the book Monster, and they also were making there own story board.


  • English 8 Strategies: Finish your storyboard and it has to be at least 6 blocks.
  • English I Honors: Finish your annotated bibliography, due Friday.


In first and fourth periods today, they worked on their research project all period. Today second and seventh period were debating about the end of the book Monster and Steve’s, the protagonist’s, guilt or innocence.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: Work on your annotated bibliography
Annotated Details and Debate Preparation

school days left


First and fourth periods looked at annotated bibliographies today. We looked at an example of an annotated bibliography by Mr. Scott, and then discussed the requirements for our annotated bibliographies due next Friday (May 30th). The requirements for our annotated bibliography are as follows:

  • You must have at least one article/journal entry. All of the articles/journal entries are available here temporarily.
  • You must have at least one book source.
  • You must have at least one source that initially looked useful, but you found not to be useful. No more than two non-useful sources.
  • You must have at minimum five sources.
First and fourth period's marked annotated bibliography example
First and fourth period’s marked annotated bibliography example

Today second and seventh were preparing for their debt for tomorrow!!


  • English 8 Strategies: work on outline for final exam.
  • English I Honors: 
    • Have through chapter 58 of Great Expectations read by tomorrow. We will read chapter 59 in class together.
    • Have your annotated bibliography finished by Friday, May 30th.

school days left


First and fourth periods learned about propaganda techniques today in preparation for the EOCEP Exam on Wednesday. Some of the techniques we learned were: bandwagon, testimonials, plain folks, appeal to authority, euphemism, glittering generalities, name-calling, and transfer. After learning about the types of propaganda, we continued our research projects for Great Expectations.

Today second and seventh were reading more of the book monster and they also worked in groups and they also acted it out.


  • English 8 Strategies: begin preparing outline for final exam.
  • English I Honors: 
    • Have through chapter 58 read by Friday.
    • Review for the End of Course exam on Wednesday. (Materials available above had at

school days left


First and fourth periods continued their research project for Great Expectations. Students will have temporary access to the journal articles we’re using in class from this update.

Today second and seventh  were reading more of the book Monster they also acted it out for most of the class.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • Chapter 45 must be finished by Monday.
    • You must have your inquiry question for the research project written by Monday.


As I was out for family illness, I can only write what the plans were for the day: first and fourth periods were to continue their characterization projects and then switch to the research project as the finish; second and seventh periods were to continue reading Monster and start working on a testimony summary chart.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: see yesterday’s update.
Inquiry Questions and Monster


Today, first and fourth periods began with a starter about the types of sentences. We were given two sentences, and based on the number of subordinate and independent clauses were to determine the type of the sentence.

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Starter for first and fourth periods, marked.

We then began working on our research project for Great Expectations, which we will be working on for the next few weeks. To be able to complete the project, students learned about inquiry questions. We learned about what an inquiry question is, and then looked at some examples. Students will need to formulate an inquiry question for their topic, and gather research about it from the provided sources. We will use the gathered information to connect Victorian England to Great Expectations. (inquiry question handout)

Inquiry questions from first period

  1. What role do social classes play beliefs about fate?
  2. Is Romeo’s obsession with fate realistic given his upper-class status?
  3. How accurately does R’s obsession with fate mirror the time period?
  4. How would Romeo, as an upper-class individual, view fate?

Inquiry questions from fourth period

  1. How did the view of fate change between different social classes?
  2. Is Romeo’s obsession with fate in the play realistic in the Elizabethan age? (Y/N question; premise = R’s obsession)
  3. How do R’s ideas of fate reflect the beliefs of the upper class in the E age? (premise = R’s reflecting view of fate)
  4. How do R’s ideas of fate compare to the ideas of the upper class?

Today  second and seventh periods were reading more of the book monster and they also acted it out during class.


First and fourth periods today discussed the ending of The Lord of the Flies and also began learning more about symbols. As we have now finished the allegory, we will now be trying to determine what each character and object is a symbol for.

Today in second and seventh they were working on Works cited:Entries:Online article. They also watched Flowers for Algernon as an end-of-class reward.


  • English 8 Strategies: 
    • Do the last site on the first page on the handout from class.
  • English I Honors: 
    • Complete your submission for either the chapters 5-6 workshop or the chapter 8 workshop by midnight.
    • Complete your assessments for the chapters 1-2 and 3-4 workshops by midnight.
    • Begin preparing your submission for the chapters 9-10 workshop, due tomorrow at midnight.

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.


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