Archive | September, 2014

Two Word Tuesday; Go Over Reading

30 Sep

Two Word Tuesday

Querulous (adj) – whiny, childlike
Transcend (v) – to go beyond the limits; rise above

Transcendentalism (n) – philosophy that focuses on the individual’s intuition, that man is at his best when he is self-reliant and independent.  He is inherently good and society corrupts the purity of the individual, so man must rise above society and be independent and free thinking.
Transcendentalism is a core philosophy to Chris McCandleless (aka Alex Supertramp) and his heroes Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

9th Grade:
Jocular (adj) – a joking or humorous manner
Caricature (n) – an exaggerated, often humorous, version

Discuss Speak characterization and Melinda’s “Tree” art project

10th Grade:
Astute (adj) – clever and perceptive; able to pick up on tiny details
Authentic (adj) – real, genuine

Discuss Lord of the Flies characterization, the Beastie, and Hunting vs. Rescue.


-The first Independent Reading Reaction is due Friday.  Here is what is expected of you, as outlined in the course syllabus:

During the quarter, you must independently read 200 pages of anything of your choosing. You Must Choose a Book You Have Never Read Before. Books For Other Classes Do Not Count. For each 100 pages you read, you must submit a full  page (typed, double spaced, 12pt font) reaction to what you have read. So 200 pages read, with 2 full page reactions = 10pts (5pts each) on your report card. Things to consider for reading reactions: Author’s use of skills/literary devices, your reactions/observations, connections to your life/the world, important quotes/passages. SUMMARIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED! I want to know your thoughts, not a simple summary that can easily be Googled.

-Bring in your independent reading book Thursday, I will be giving you class time to read and work on the reading reaction.

-Seniors: please bring in your college essay question on Wednesday!


Reading Due; Discuss Characterization

29 Sep

12th Grade: Assembly in the auditorium

Reading Due!

We will start class by answer a few questions on the reading.

9th Grade Part 2 Questions

10th Grade LOTF Questions 4-6

Mad Skillz Monday

Skill: Characterization: Characterization is how an author shows a character’s personality. This is done by the character’s actions and the things the character says, as well as the author’s description of those characters.


Descriptions of that character (he is a kind and caring person)

The character’s actions (Tommy stole money from his mother, who is in extreme debt)

The character’s words (“I’d never leave you alone, even if it meant I’d be in trouble”)

Discuss characterization for the following characters:

9th Grade: Melinda, Heather, Rachel, Mr. Freeman, Mr. Neck

10th Grade: Ralph, Jack, Piggy, Simon, The Littluns

Extended Metaphor Writing Piece Due; Quick Write Wednesday

24 Sep

Quick Write:  Showing Not Telling Exercise…

Write about something that you are going to do this weekend, without stating what it is.  Give details and describe what you are doing, but don’t say what it is.  Try to get half of a page.

Writing Piece #2 is Due

Extended Metaphor Poems are due today, typed and printed out.  Complete the Writing Piece Reflection, staple it on top, and turn it in.

*Remember, no late work is accepted, but you may use one of your two extensions (You must have your Super Pass).  In which case, you paper must be turned in within two school days, the last of which is Tuesday 9/30.

Reading Discussion

12th Grade: Read this list of Henry David Thoreau Quotes. Pick one you like and write why you like it in your notebooks (or pick one you don’t like and state why).

9th Grade: Discuss events in Speak using Part 1 Questions

10th Grade: Discuss Lord of the Flies and characterization with this PowerPoint: LOTF characterization

****All Classes****  The second section of our reading is due on Monday 9/29.  Be prepared!

Two Word Tuesday; Work on Extended Metaphors

23 Sep

Two Word Tuesday

12th Grade:
Hindrance (N)- something that causes resistance or a delay; an obstacle.
Glutton (N) – one who over indulges

9th Grade:
Miser (N) – cheapskate
Fracas (N) – uproar, brawl, chaos

10th Grade:
Philanthropy (N) – generosity, love of mankind, act of helping others
Languid (ADJ) – tired, slow, lazy

Extended Metaphor Poems

Our extended metaphor poems are due tomorrow. They must be typed and at least 15 lines long.

Reading Due; Work on Extended Metaphor Writing Piece

22 Sep

Reading Assignment:

Using your books, select two different quotes from the reading that highlight an important part of the story.  Give the page number and explain why that part was important.  Hand in.

Quick Write:

The following quick writes are designed to help give you ideas for your extended metaphor piece, which is due Wednesday. Here are some examples of extended metaphor poems.

A. Write about the object you have chosen for your extended metaphor piece.  Think of characteristics, traits, and details.  Try to get as much down on the paper as possible

B.  Write about traits and characteristics of yourself.  What kind of person are you? What do you like to do? What is your relationship like with others?

Skill: Slashing Prose

Prose: normal, everyday writing without and specific structure; writing that is not poetry.

Slashing Prose: A technique for creating lines of poetry.  Take normal, everyday writing (prose) and chop away unnecessary words, leaving only important phrases.  These phrases can be used as lines of poetry.

Non Fiction Friday; Return Memoirs; Discuss Extended Metaphor Piece

19 Sep

Reminder: Make sure your read part 1 of our book by Monday!

Non Fiction Friday:

In your notebooks discuss the following quotes.

12th Grade: “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” -Henry David Thoreau

9th Grade: “We’ve spent so much time judging what other people have created that we’ve created very, very little of our own” -Chuck Palahniuk from Choke

10th Grade: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” -George Carlin

Quick Writes:

For 30 seconds each, make a list of things: 1. You want  2. You feel  3. You pretend  4.  You worry about.

-This exercise is to prepare us for our next writing piece, due Wednesday the 24th, the Extended Metaphor Poem

Returning Memoirs

Today you will receive your memoirs back.  They are worth 10 points on your average.  You are free to revise them at any time during the quarter, and could potentially earn all 10 points on the assignment.

Some general comments:

  • Break your ideas into paragraphs!
  • Watch for run on or fragmented sentences
  • Title your piece! (“Memoir” is a genre, not a title)

Skill: Showing not Telling– instead of telling us something, show us!


Telling: Roger is mean.

Showing: Roger tripped me in the hallway. At lunch, in between harassing freshmen, he was throwing french fries at our table.

Telling: The girls were excited.

Showing: Giggles and screams filled the arena. The soft curls were now damp with perspiration and the anticipation of the event. They held tight to each other in a mock effort to contain themselves. Arms flailed upward, and voices echoed in varying tones. The moment was here.

Telling: The room was vacant.

Showing: The door opened with a resounding echo that seemed to fill the house. Cob webs once attached flowed freely in the air as the open door brought light to a well worn floor. The light gave notice to the peeling paint on the walls and to the silhouettes once covered by pictures. The new air gave life to a stuffiness that entrapped the room. Faded and torn white sheets covered once new furniture now drowning in dust.

More in depth discussion Here.

There vs. They’re vs. Their; Reading

18 Sep

Technical Thursday

There– location (notice the word “here”, which is also a location, inside the word “There”)

They’re – Contraction for the words “They are.” Used to mimic the sound of our speech.  Avoid contractions in formal writing.

Their – Indicates ownership.  (notice the word “heir” in “Their”)

Quick Write:

Make a list of things you Love, Hate, Fear, Respect, and that make you unique

*Make sure you have a thing in mind you can compare yourself to (think extended metaphor).

12th Grade: Orientation assembly

9th Grade: Read Speak

10th Grade: Read Lord of the Flies

Quick Write Wednesday; Skill: Extended Metaphor

17 Sep

Quick Write Wednesday

12th Grade: If your house was burning down, all people and pets have escaped, and you have time to run in and grab three items, what 3 things would you save? (Never run into burning buildings).

9th Grade: Which lies they tell you about high school (page 5-6 of Speak) do you think actually are lies? Come up with some of your own lies they tell you about high school.

10th Grade: What are some things that you would like if there were no rules or grown ups? What are some things you would dislike?

New Skill: Extended Metaphor

Extended Metaphor- a comparison that lasts more than one line of a piece of writing.

George Gray is “A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor” (Spoon River Anthology).
“My Sorrow” by Isabella Leitner: Her memories of the Holocaust are compared to an annoying travel companion that won’t leave her alone.

Read “George Gray” and “My Sorrow”extended metaphor george gray my sorrow

-What is George Gray compared to? What is the author saying about George Gray as a person?

Two Word Tuesday; In Class Reading

16 Sep

Two Word Tuesday

In your notebooks, write a sentence for each word.

12th Grade:
Brawn (n) – Physical strength.  Brawny (adj) -physically strong
Tout (v) – to brag or try to sell

9th Grade: 
Reprove (v) – To reprimand or scold
Cursory (adj) – hasty, brief, rushed; not thorough

10th Grade: 
Fastidious (adj) – overly critical
Prosaic (adj) – boring, dull

In Class Reading

For the rest of class we will be reading our books together and then silently.  Please remember section 1 is due on Monday.

New Skills; New Books

15 Sep

Mad Skills Monday:

12th Grade: Epigraph– a quote or statement before the beginning of a piece of literature that highlights a main idea or theme in the piece to follow. It can be used to draw a reader’s attention to a certain idea or concept, or to help set the mood of the piece.

9th Grade: Personification- Giving human or life-like qualities to things that are not human or living.  By giving human traits and actions to nonhuman things, we can bring them to life.

10th Grade: Tone– The mood or feeling an author creates (could be scary, funny, tense…).  This is done through word choice.  Choose words that help create a mood.

New Books:

We will be receiving and reading our first books of the year.  Here is the reading schedule.  Approximately 50 pages are due each Monday for the next four weeks.

Reading Schedule:

Section 1 due 9/22
Section 2 due 9/29
Section 3 due 10/6
Section 4 due 10/14

12th Grade: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
1: p1-46; 2: p47-102; 3: 103-156; 4: 157-203

9th Grade: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
1: p1-46; 2: p47-92; 3: p93-137; 4: p138-198

10th Grade: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
1: p1-57; 2: p58-108; 3: p109-154; 4: p155-202

Quick Writes:

12th Grade: Why do you think someone would do what Chris does? Is there any part of you that would want to do that too?

9th Grade: What are some cliques in our school? Do you belong to any?

10th Grade: Describe your bedroom using our new skill Tone.