Final Day and 3.1

English I Honors had a whoosh through 3.1 of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare is starting to turn the screws increasingly tighter, making things more and more challenging for our young lovers. We’ll be starting our culminating writing project on Monday, so students need to read the song lyrics in the homework to be prepared for Monday.

English 8 students had their final day of planning for their Seven Habits presentations Monday. Outlines are due when the presentations are due.

100% Club

We had a couple of first-time members in the 100% club this week.

Fifth period
Sixth period


All students took the winter MAP reading test today. That means all other classes met only for half a hour. English I Honors students finished up yesterday’s work by looking at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s version of the balcony scene:

English 8 students continued working on their outlining work.

Standards for Today

English 8

  • RI-8.2 Analyze the impact of text features and structures on authors’ similar ideas or claims about the same topic.
English I Honors

  • RL-7.1 Trace the development of a common theme in two different artistic mediums.


  • English 8 Studies: work on this week’s article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 

English I students finished up the first act of Romeo and Juliet. We had a practice test today to see what the actual test tomorrow will look like.

English 8 students began combining skills, using outlining to summarize their current social studies chapter. (The handout is below.)


  • English 8 Studies: complete the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: prepare for tomorrow’s test; begin working on the first forum question.
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.

Hidden Stage Directions and Summarizing

English I Honors students began 1.5 by looking at all the various stage directions that Shakespeare embeds in his text.

We finished up with the tirade Tybalt goes on when he discovers Romeo’s presence.

English 8 students continued with the new unit, which will focus on summarizing and outlining, which in turn relies on determining the main idea of texts. To this end, we reviewed and practiced summarizing.


  • English 8 Studies: complete the final summarizing practice.
  • English I Honors: re-read 1.5 from “She doth teach the torches to burn bright” to the end.
Sentence Analysis and Summarizing

English 8 students began a cross-curricular bit of work (working with Ms. George, the writing teacher) on creating objective summaries.

English I students continued with the phrase work we’ve been doing, applying it to passages from Great Expectations.


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete today’s analysis.

English Strategies students went over their summaries for scene three before working on their summaries for scene four. English Studies students finished act one of Diary of Anne Frank. Students will need to complete the summary of scene four tonight in order to have feedback before writing the summary of scene five. English I Honors students had a quiz on text structures and then worked on their social media STEAM projects in the remaining time.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: complete summary and questions for 1.4.
  • English I Honors: continue working on social media project.

English I Honors students worked on the small STEAM project we’ve been touching at around the edges regarding social media. English Studies students worked on their 1.4 summaries and comprehension questions while English Strategies worked on their 1.4 lit circles.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • quiz tomorrow on text structures;
    • continue working on social media project.

English 8 students finished up their summaries. We had to figure out a new way to turn them in since the Greenville County Schools tech department blocked the Moodle site (as well as this site — if you’re reading this from a student account at school, well, you won’t be reading it) for some as-yet undetermined reason. While this will be a major problem, I am hopeful that I will be able to get the site unblocked within a day or two.

English I Honors students finished up act two scene three, including Friar Lawrence’s long 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 be going through the rest of the act Monday.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the text structures work on the Moodle site (should be available at home);
    • turn in your 2.2 and 2.3 tweets (use the Google Classroom form but also add it to the Moodle turn-in that I recently created);
    • seventh period students, make sure you write your summary of your group’s line on the forum I just created, and go back and read other groups’ summary before attempting the next assignment;
    • determine the meaning of the last four lines of the friar’s soliloquy;

English I Honors continued with the first scene of Romeo and Juliet. English Strategies began working on the summary for act 1 scene 2 of Anne Frank. English Studies finished the summaries.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: finish the summary and turn it in at the Moodle site.
  • English I Honors: finish reading the first scene of Romeo and Juliet. (It’s available here online.)
Anne Frank and a Comparison

English Studies students (fifth period) looked at an actual diary entry from Anne’s diary that corresponds with what we’ve been reading in class. While they compared that with our play text, I had time to consult one-on-one with students regarding their classwork/homework from yesterday, which was actually to annotate the diary entry using our Effective Readers’ Skills. We went over our next focus skill, which is monitoring comprehension and fixing up problems by looking at one passage in the diary entry:

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English Strategies students (fourth period) worked on their first summary for Anne Frank.

English 8 Strategies began the play proper, reading through the opening of scene one. We’ll continue the scene Monday.

English 8 Studies finished up scene one with the comprehension questions and scene summary.


  • English 8 Strategies: use the text to draw what a set for The Diary of Anne Frank should look like.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
Introduction, Project, and Summaries

English I Honors dug into Billy Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry.” We used some of the basic skills of poetic interpretation and came up with some really messily annotated papers.

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English Strategies (fourth period) students continued with Nightjohn and really got summarizing down, I believe. We’ll be having some more work on it throughout the end of this quarter, but it appears to be a skill that most of the students are close to mastering.

English Studies (fifth period) continued working on their Nightjohn theme projects.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: record slide narration for project on your phone as needed.
  • English I Honors: continue working on the short stories project, which is due Friday.
Second period notes

First and fifth periods began a new unit with the thematic question, “What is a hero?” Our primary texts for the quarter are Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl and its dramatic adaptation, The Diary of Anne Frank. We began by writing in our “diaries” — informal response journals — about the character John from Nightjohn and what qualities we admired about him. We’ll be using these all quarter, and the list of topics (for makeup work) is here.

First period hero notes

Afterward, we conducted a written conversation (a group of four students share thoughts in writing) to determine the characteristics, actions, and specific examples of heroism as well as some negative, non-examples. Students then worked in groups to create Frayer diagrams defining “hero” based on their written conversation and further oral conversation.

First period Frayer diagram

Second and fourth periods began the second half of our selected readings of the Odyssey. Odysseus has made it to Ithaca but he’s not yet emerged triumphantly, so to speak. After going over homework, we worked on the differences between summarizing and paraphrasing

Second period notes
Second period notes

In groups, students worked to paraphrase lines 1010-1019 of the selection, when Telemachus expresses doubt that the stranger is his father, Odysseus.

  • First and fifth periods: none.
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • work on group-decided portion of paraphrase lines
    • read the sections entitled “The Beggar and the Faithful Dog” and “The Test of the Great Bow” (pages 1083-1093)

First and sixth periods had their tests on Diary of Anne Frank today. I’ll have them graded and ready for review on Monday.

Second and fourth periods continued working with clauses, following through on our new plan to alternate grammar and Lord of the Flies for a while to give us some breathing room.

Seventh period completed vocab and went over summarizing strategies in anticipation of our drama unit.

  • First and sixth periods: none.
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • read chapter eight of Lord of the Flies;
    • complete chapter four writing assignment.
  • Seventh period:
    • review word list A;
    • complete vocab activity A (related to word list A).