Tag Archives: TechnicalThursday

Social Commentary: Research and Planning

8 Jan


The Social Commentary will not be due until Tuesday 1/13.  I think a little more time to research and explore the genre and potential topics would be helpful to everyone.  Also, as we finish our class reading (which is due Monday), I want you to think about how the events in the story add to the author’s message and create social commentary.  All of this will help you develop your own social commentary piece.

Today we are in the computer lab A206.  Here is your assignment:

1. Find 3 examples of social commentary on the internet.  This can be pictures, movies, music, articles, etc…. articles about pictures, movies, music etc. Pretty much anything goes.  Look for 3 things that make some sort of statement about society, people, politics, relationships, technology, lifestyle, etc.  (Remember: it is ok if that statement exists primarily in your own mind).

For each example, explain the message and how it is delivered.  Also, discuss whether and why you think the statement is true or false.

2.  In 50 words, explain what you are going to write your social commentary piece about.

3.  Name 3 skills you will use to write your piece (a complete list of skills is on the right hand side of this page).  For each skill, explain how you plan on using it and why it is an effective technique for writing this piece.

Make sure you have this assignment completed and with you in class on Friday!

Here’s an example of what I am looking for in question 1:

This Calvin and Hobbes comic strip is questioning some of the core aspects of education.  Rather than teaching deep understanding, higher level thinking, and application of knowledge, the educational system is placing a growing importance on testing.  Students simply need to memorize information, irrelevant to their lives, long enough to repeat it on a high-pressure examination.  Rather than develop critical thinking, students are learning to game the system. There’s a lot of truth to this statement.  Students are subjected to increasing numbers of high-stakes tests, instead of activities and projects that will have real-world applications.


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

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

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.

Fewer vs. Less; 101 Things I’m Thankful For Piece

20 Nov

“Don’t confuse ‘less’ and ‘fewer,’ fool!” -Mr. T

Technical Thursday

When to use “fewer” and when to use “less.”

The Rule:  If a thing is quantifiable (you can count how many there are) use “fewer.”  Otherwise, when you can count how many of a thing there are, use “less.”

Example:  I have less money than Mr. T.  You can not say you have 15 moneys.  Since you can’t count it, use “less.”
Example:  I have fewer dollars than Mr. T.  You can count how many dollars you have, so use “fewer.”

Example: I have fewer songs on my iPod than you.  You can count the number of songs, so use “fewer.
Example: I have less music on my iPod than you.  You can not count how many musics I have, so use “less.”

More info on the topic: here and here.

Exercise: In your notebook, write a sentence for each of the following words, using “less” or “fewer.”    Pain, injuries, care, wrinkles, wrinkling, art, painting, time, minutes, homework, assignments.

Assignment Grade!

I will be checking your work in your notebook on Advanced Imagery. Make sure you have done everything from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  If necessary, look at the previous three posts on this site.

101 Things I am Thankful For Writing Piece

Our next writing piece (#2) is due on Tuesday 11/25.  You will be writing a free verse poem of 101 lines about 101 things you are thankful for.  This is an exercise in using specific examples.  Don’t just say I’m thankful for my mom.  Instead say, I’m thankful for mom’s homemade breakfasts on Sunday mornings.  By thinking this way, you will be able to come up with multiple reasons you are thankful for your mom, and your piece will be more meaningful than a nondescript list.

Technical Thursday: Simplify Your Writing

13 Nov

Less is More!

Skill: Five Words, Not Fifty-  Whenever possible, try to express your ideas in as few words as possible.

Somewhere along the way, we have been taught that complicated, wordy writing equals good writing.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The whole point of writing is to communicate ideas.  Cloaking simple ideas in complicated wording defeats this purpose.  I believe it was Bruce Lee who said “Simplicity is the height of sophistication.”  In martial arts, as in many arts, the most effective manuevers are usually the most basic.

Review this web page on writing sleek sentences.

In your notebook, rewrite the following overly-complicated sentences:

1. We are no longer able to reconcile; therefore, attorneys will be used to effect the dissolution of our marriage.

2. The weather had adverse impacts on our boat resulting in the necessity to rescue us from the water.

3. The leak in the bottom of the boat was due to poor maintenance on the part of the crew.

Next, go through your writing portfolio folder and look for three sentences or group of sentences that can be simplified.  Write the original sentence in your notebook, followed by the simplified version.

Writing Piece #1 Due Tomorrow!

Tomorrow you must bring your type, 100 word story to class.

For this writing piece you will be writing a story of exactly 100 words, no more or less. Here are the guidelines:

  • The story must be exactly 100 words (not 99, 98 or 101… only 100 words).
  • You must use two Skills. (A complete list of skills is on the right hand side of this web page).
  • 1 Vocabulary word

Also, you must do any of the following:

  • Write a story that takes place entirely in a character’s head.
  • Focus your story on one tiny detail or item.
  • Write a story made up of mostly 3 word sentences.

Technical Thursday: Misplaced Modifiers

6 Nov

Misplaced Modifiers

Today we will study a common problem in writing, misplaced modifiers.  Here are the notes(Misplaced Modifiers), and here is the worksheet (Misplaced Modifiers worksheet) that is due in class tomorrow.