Archive | December, 2014

Found Poetry

18 Dec

Today we will be creating found poems using our class novels.

Found Poetry– creating poetry from collecting and manipulating words that have been collected from somewhere. It’s sort of like random notes written by a kidnapper that is made up of letters and words cut out of newspapers and magazines, except you are taking full words, phrases or sentences.

You will be writing your own poem of seven lines, using words, phrases and/or sentences from our books (Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, or 1984).  Make an attempt to create meaning from what you find, but understand that much of the meaning can be left up to interpretation.

You will make another poem in collaboration with the other people seated in your row.  Write a line, pass it to the person behind you, and repeat until everyone in your row has written two lines.

10th and 12th Grade:  Don’t forget!  Reading is due tomorrow!  Along with the questions!  Download questions below.

To Kill A Mockingbird Ch 11-19

1984 Section Two

Reading, Questions, and Quick Writes

17 Dec

12th Grade:

Quick Writes:

  1. Listen to Stevie Wonder’s Big Brother.  What elements of the story is he referring to? How is he comparing the condition of Oceania to his own?
  2. Look at the info-graph above.  What are the dangers of information being under control of a select few companies.  Are there benefits?

Complete the following questions on 1984 Section Two by Friday.

9th Grade:

Quick Write:  Write about a time you were bullied, picked on, or excluded from a group.  Who did you handle the situation?

Reading Of Mice and Men in class.

10th Grade:

Quick Write: Write about a time when you either took or did not take the moral high road.  Have you ever done something (or not done something) even though you didn’t want to, because it was the right thing to do?

Reading To Kill a Mockingbird, chapter 11-19.  Answer these questions To Kill A Mockingbird by Friday.

Continue Reading; Vocabulary

16 Dec

12th Grade:

Ubiquitous (adj)- ever present, found everywhere.  —- Ubiquity (n)- state of being everywhere

Ideology (n)- a system of ideas and beliefs that form a theory or way of life

Listen to/ discuss John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero.”


9th Grade:

Define the following words from Of Mice and Men: Aloof, meager, scowl, apprehension, contemptuous, arouse, reprehensible, pugnacious

Continue Reading, with chapter 4.

10th Grade:

Deferred: (v) put off to a later time, postpone

Fester (v)- left untreated to become infected

Read: Langston Hughes’ Harlem (A Dream Deferred)

“What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up

      like a raisin in the sun?

      Or fester like a sore—

      And then run?

      Does it stink like rotten meat?

      Or crust and sugar over—

      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags

      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?”

Work on Reading and Discussing Novels

15 Dec

Quick Write: What are your plans this upcoming vacation?  Do you have anything you want to do/accomplish? What do you look forward to?

12th Grade: Read the opinion piece “We’re Living in 1984 Today“.  Discuss connections between book and real world.

Homework:  Read part 2 of 1984 (up to page 224) by Friday.

9th Grade:  Read Martin Luther King Jr.s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Skills: anaphora, and allusion.

Allusion: reference to a work of literature, art, music, history, person, (anything)… that will call to mind large ideas quickly and simply.


“Don’t act like a Romeo in front of her.”
– “Romeo” is a reference to Shakespeare’s Romeo, a passionate lover of Juliet, in “Romeo and Juliet”.
The rise in poverty will unlock the Pandora’s box of crimes.
– This is an allusion to one of Greek Mythology’s origin myth, “Pandora’s box”.
“This place is like a Garden of Eden.”
–This is a biblical allusion to the “garden of God” in the Book of Genesis.
“Hey! Guess who the new Newton of our school is?”
– “Newton”, means a genius student, alludes to a famous scientist Isaac Newton.  (from

10th Grade: Reading and discussing To Kill a Mockingbird.  Read article by Maya Lane, connecting to events of Ferguson, to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

Homework: Read chapters 11-19 by Friday

Tribute Pieces Due, Reading Questions Due

12 Dec

Today our Tribute Pieces are due. Please complete a reflection sheet when you turn in the paper.

Also, for 10th and 12th graders, our reading questions are due and will be checked.

9th Grade will continue reading of Mice and Men, finishing chapter 3.

10th Grade will be going over our questions and discussing To Kill a Mockingbird

12th Grade will be viewing an interview with Edward Snowden and discussing the connections to that story and 1984.

Tribute Piece and Reading Due Tomorrow

11 Dec

Today we are in the computer lab a206 to work on our Tribute pieces.  You have a lot of options on how to write it (poem, letter, formal essay…) but you must include 3 different skills.

Also remember that our reading and questions are due tomorrow.  We will be discussing those in class.

12the grade: read the first section of 1984 (approximately page 105) answer these questions 1984 Section One

10th grade: read through chapter 10 (approximately page 100) answer these questions to kill a mockingbird 5-10

Reading and Tribute Pieces

9 Dec

Today you will have time to work on your reading or your tribute piece.  We will read a student example of a tribute piece, entitled “My Superman.”  Notice in the piece that an extended metaphor is used throughout, as the speaker compares her grandfather to a super hero who has rescued her.

Skill – Rule of Threes- When giving examples, 3 is a nice round number of examples to give.  It has a finality and satisfaction to it.  It is not too many and it is not too few, it is just right.  Here are some famous examples:

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”
“Blood, sweat and tears”
“Location, location, location”

More  info on the Rule of Threes:  HereHere, and Here  #SeeWhatIDidThere?!


Tribute Piece

8 Dec

Quick Write:

  • List 3 of the  most important people in your life.
  • Choose 1, and write about what makes your relationship with that person special and unique (think memories, good and bad times, inside jokes, how you met…)

Read: “On My First Son” by Ben Jonson… Translate each line into plain speak.

Skill: Iambic Pentameter- rhythmic writing, in which a line is composed of 5 iams.  An iam is a combination of two syllables, 1 unstressed and 1 stressed.

Our next writing piece (due Friday) will be a Tribute Piece

Reading Assignments

12th grade: Read to page 105 of 1984 by Friday and answer the questions handed out in class.

10th Grade: Read to page 99 of To Kill a Mockingbird and answer the questions handed out in class.

Working on Reading Reactions in A206

4 Dec

Today all classes will meet in room A206 (computer lab) so we can work on our Independent Reading Reactions.  The point of the assignment is to pay attention to the craft that goes into writing and to think like a writer.  For this assignment you must do the following:

  • Read 100 pages of any book of your choice (except for books that you have read for school).
  • Write a 1 page paper in which you discuss any skills the author has used.  On the right hand side of this web page you will find a complete list of skills we have covered.  Clicking on the skill will bring you to a page with definitions, examples, and further reading.
  • Name the book and the author.
  • Identify any skill the author has used.
  • Define the skill.
  • Give a specific example from the text of that skill.  (This is important!  Quote from the book and give page numbers.
  • Explain how the skill(s) help develop any of the author’s purposes.

I will be grading your work based on the above criteria.  If you do it all you will get full credit! This paper counts for 5 points of your grade this quarter.

In Class Reading

3 Dec

Today we will continue reading our class reading (1984, Of Mice and Men, or To Kill a Mockingbird).

Tomorrow we will meet in room a206, to have a chance to type up our first reading reaction, which is due Friday.