Mood and Shakespeare

English 8 students began a second story in which we look at irony, tone, and mood: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” We began by looking at all the items that establish the setting (circled in red) and the mood (underlined in blue).

English I Honors began Romeo and Juliet, focusing on the prologue.


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: students who have not yet turned in their poetry test need to do so by tomorrow morning.

English I Honors students began planning their first analytic paragraph using the Schaffer model. We’ll be working on it further tomorrow. For now, the notes for anyone who needs them are below.

English 8 students finished up their first application of effective readers’ skills. Anyone who is not done should finish it up for homework.

Journalism students worked on their first inverted pyramid story based on fairy tales.


  • English 8 Studies: work on “Thank You, Ma’am” annotations as needed (due tomorrow).
  • English I Honors: read (or reread) “The Most Dangerous Game.”
  • Journalism: complete the first inverted pyramid story by tomorrow for turn-in.
Class Notes

Notes for the day's classes are available here.

Please note that this is a composite file including notes from all classes, though occasionally it might only be one or two classes. I don't differentiate in the file; that is up to you to do.

Intro to Moodle and Socratic Variations

First and fourth periods used a modified Socratic Seminar (see slideshow below) to discuss the relationship between conflict and setting in “The Sniper.”

Second and seventh periods got an introduction to the Moodle site we use in class and some more practice with Schaffer model elements by identifying selected sentences in paragraphs.


  • English 8 Strategies: complete yesterday’s homework assignment (as necessary).
  • English I Honors: 
Reading Skills and Planning

First and fifth periods continued working on effective reader skills with the informational text about slave codes. We’ll be applying the skills to the novel we’ll be focusing on during this quarter.

First period working on "Say Something" engagement
First period working on “Say Something” engagement
Text from first period's "Say Something engagement
Text from first period’s “Say Something engagement

Second and fourth periods took one more day analyzing short stories’ settings and conflicts while planning their first major Schaffer-based essay.

Group work for essay planning
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  • First period: work on goals essay.
  • Second and fourth periods:
  • Fifth period:
    • complete today’s reading classwork;
    • work on goals essay.

Second and fourth periods began looking in earnest at how to write about literature, specifically analyzing the relationship between setting and conflict in “The Sniper.” Our notes are available here:

First and fifth periods worked on turning their Schaffer outlines into actual paragraphs. It is the last day we’ll be working on this in class.

  • First and fifth periods: begin working on transforming the essay preparation notes from class into a final essay (tentatively due Monday)
  • Second and fourth periods: read two short stories:

First and sixth periods continued with short stories: first period looked at the importance of setting while sixth period looked at the importance of point of view. Second and fourth periods continued working on the Scottsboro research. Seventh period looked at figurative language and began vocabulary for the next batch of poems.

  • First period: none.
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • propaganda business letter due tomorrow;
    • continue researching as necessary for Scottsboro paper;
    • complete the following survey.
  • Sixth period: write about your selected incident from “Charles” from the point of view of another character.
  • Seventh period:
    • vocabulary quiz tomorrow (List A words);
    • complete exercise B (List B words).

First period began “Tears of Autumn,” looking at the importance of setting. Second and fourth periods continued their research for the Scottsboro Boys trial paper. SIxth period read “Charles” while thinking about the effect point of view has on a narrative. Seventh period continued working with figurative language, reading “The Courage That My Mother Had” and “Loo-Wit.”

  • First period: complete “Tears of Autumn.”
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • continue with research;
    • prepare final draft of propaganda business letter.
  • Sixth period:
    • finish reading “Charles”;
    • locate three more places in the narrative that the narrator seems unreliable or biased (giving only one side of the story).
  • Seventh period:
    • re-read “Loo Wit” (page 539);
    • find one simile, one metaphor, and one example of personification.

First and sixth periods worked on setting and the story “Tears of Autumn.” Second and fourth periods began researching for a compare/contrast essay culminating project for To Kill a Mockingbird. Seventh period shared the poems that students wrote for homework, and then we worked on vocabulary for the next section of poems.

  • First period: prepare final draft of persuasive essay, due Friday.
  • Second and fourth periods: continue research as necessary.
  • Sixth period:
    • prepare final draft of persuasive essay, due Friday;
    • prepare for quiz tomorrow (on last two stories).
  • Seventh periods: study for quiz Friday.

Second and fourth period continued wrestling with the question of setting and conflict in “The Most Dangerous Game.” Looking over the homework, we determined that we’re still writing more summary than analysis, so we took a deep breath and a step back: we began reevaluating the story’s setting and conflict (class notes available here), finishing up with some pair work to re-write our analyses.

First and second period continued working on the relationship of voice and word choice. We’ll continue working on this throughout the Nightjohn unit. We began a word map of the term “voice” and will add to it throughout the unit.

  • First and sixth periods: none.
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • complete in-class writing;
    • read pages 124, 125;
    • take notes on handout from the beginning of the unit.

First and sixth began a new unit in which we read the book Nightjohn and culminate with a literacy memoir. To that end, we began thinking, writing, and talking about literacy by using Patricia Polacco’s Thank You, Mr. Falker.

Second and fourth periods began a brief introductory unit on the basics of writing about literature. It will also include a review of literary terms that we will be using throughout the year. Today we read a short story entitled “The Sniper” and worked on how we would respond to the question, “How does the setting contribute to the conflict.” Second period’s notes are here; fourth period’s notes are here.

  • First and sixth periods: complete a Sneeze on the question, “How would your life change if you could not read or write?”
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • using notes from class, write a one-paragraph response to the question, “How does the setting contribute to the conflict.”
    • read the following stories from the purple text book:
      • “The Most Dangerous Game”
      • “Harrison Bergeron”

First period read in class for the most part: many students were out finishing up their MAP testing from earlier in the year, so I decided not to go further without them.

Second and sixth periods began a new story, “Tears of Autumn.” It’s a challenging story about a young Japanese woman heading to America for an arranged marriage. We use it to look at two things:

  1. The effect of word choice on mood
  2. How setting affects characters and mood

Fourth period continued working on sentence types. We’ll start Dickens tomorrow.

  • First period: read chapters six and seven but do not read ahead to chapter eight.
  • Second and sixth periods:
    • finish reading “Tears of Autumn”;
    • be prepared for quiz on the reading tomorrow.
  • Fourth period: