Friday, October 28, 2016

English Essentials 1: Out of Print

Bell Ringer Activity:
In Friday's class, we began watching the moving Out of Print (2013), featuring the voice of Meryl Streep. In this film, researchers explain how the Internet has changed the way we engage with print media (books, magazines).

What's one of the biggest way you see technology changing the way you read and write?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AP English Writing Reflection: Disney's "The Paperman"

Writing Reflection:
This week, we've learned a lot about the power of Disney studios and how their unique style of animation has reshaped (and recreated!) the fairytales we've read this semester.

At the end of our last presentation, I would like for you all to watch "The Paperman," a 2012 black and white short film Disney produced.  While "The Paperman" isn't a fairytale, it is a story that tells the challenges and successes of one particular couple (think princes and princesses).  As you reflect on the video, think about how this short film is different from the Disney films we have watched and how the storyline is different from a traditional fairytale.

Please respond in the comments section below.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cinderella by the Brothers Grimm (pgs. 117-22)

Bell Ringer Activity: 
Watch the opening clips from Cinderella (1950) and Cinderella (2015), pick one, and answer the following questions.

1) What is the big difference you see in how "Cinderella" is depicted in the Brothers Grimm version and one of the two Disney variations?
2) What has Disney changed in one of the versions of this story?

Friday, October 21, 2016

11/12 English - The Butterstick

For 11/12 English, we made a rhetorical commercial using ethos, logos, and pathos. We chose the "butterstick," because we wanted our commercial to be humorous, and to make people interested in our product. We were going to do a commercial on a wishbone but we wanted it to be more interesting. The "butterstick,"is a very practical product and something that everybody can use. 

Logos- This commercial is logical by showing how well the product works, especially when you don't have knives and soft butter. 

Ethos- Our commercial is credible because we thought of the idea, "butterstick," and we show how helpful it is, which will make people want to buy our product. 

Pathos- Our commercial is a good example of pathos because it is meant to be funny, which will entertain people in a way where they will want to purchase it. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

English Essentials Writing Warmup: Becoming Nicole

Bell Ringer Activity:
In yesterday's class, we read an amazing passage from Amy Ellis Nutt's book, Becoming Nicole.  At the end of Chapter 12, Wyatt Maines is performing in the fourth grade Christmas concert, but is faced with a decision: does she wear pants (the uniform of the boys in her class) or a skirt (the girls' uniform)?  Read over the passage below and answer the questions that follow, using the comments section of this post.

But onstage, the girls wore black skirts and white blouses and stood on one side, and the boys, in black pants, white shirt, and a tie, stood on the other.  He [Wyatt Maines] pleaded with his parents to be allowed to wear a skirt.  Wayne wanted no part of the discussion.  Kelly enlisted the help of Lisa Erhardt.

She suggested a solution, a true compromise: Wyatt could wear culottes, the baggy shorts that looked more like a skirt than pants.  On the night of the concert, Wayne, in a rare moment of wanting to please Wyatt, presented him with a bouquet of roses.  Wyatt stood in the girls' section, in his black culottes and white blouse, but whether by design or accident, he also stood right on the seam where the girls' and boys' sides met.  Wyatt was beside himself, beaming with pride and joy throughout the concert.  A transition had begun and no one even seemed to notice.

1) What do you see as the significance of Wyatt standing "right on the seam where the girls' and boys' sides met?"
2) What do you think of Wayne giving young Wyatt flowers? Does he seem to be accepting Wyatt's gender identity?
3) Lastly, the title of this chapter was "Transitions." Look up the definition of the word transitions. How does this definition help you to understand this pivotal scene?

9/10 English Writing Warmup: New Learning in Quarter 1

Writing Reflection:
For those of you who are finished with your test and have responded to the discussion questions on your book, take some time to reflect on what you have learned in quarter 1.  In the comments section below, describe what you believe is your biggest area of improvement in your reading, writing, and speaking.  Be sure to be specific and reference specific learning targets (RL1, RL2, L2).

Bonus: what would you like to learn in quarter 2?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

11/12 Writing Warmup: "Live Tweet" the Third Presidential Debate

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today, please "live tweet" the third and final presidential debate.  Pay close attention to ethos, logos, pathos, and any logical fallacies ("false logic") that appear in Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's rhetoric. Use the comments section below.

Lastly, who do you think won?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

English Essentials 2 Writing Warmup: The Hobbit and the Hero's Cycle

Bell Ringer Activity:
In yesterday's class, we finished Chapter 4 of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and discussed the similarities and differences between the book and the movie.  One of the best ways to understand how the movie makes changes to the original is to look at something known as the "Hero's Journey" (or, "cycle").

For today, complete the EdPuzzle on The Hero's Journey by going to this link.  Dr. B will walk you through the instructions.  You want to watch the video, answer the questions, and demonstrate your comprehension skills.

Learning Targets being assessed:

RL7, "I can analyze multiple interpretations of the same story, evaluating how each version interprets the same source."

L2, "I can spell correctly."

Monday, October 17, 2016

11/12 Writing Warmup: Michelle Obama's Comments on Donald Trump

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today's class, we will be discussing the rhetoric of a very different speaker: Michelle Obama.  After last week's scandal involving Donald Trump and a "hot mic," Obama made a very powerful speech about the way language not only hurts women, but also encourages a culture around the nature of women's bodies, minds, and human rights.

Today, you will be "live tweeting" this powerful speech.  Pay close attention to Obama's use of ethos, logos, and pathos and identify any instances you hear.  Also, feel free to ask questions! Agree with your classmates! Comment on each other's posts! This is a conversation, so have at it.

Note: This is a summative assessment.  Here are the Learning Targets on which you will be scored:

SL1: "I can initiate and collaborate in discussions."

SL3: "I can evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric (ethos, logos, and pathos)."

9/10 Writing Warmup: Fatal Forecast by by Michael J. Togias

Bell Ringer Activity:
Select a passage from the book Fatal Forecast by Michael J. Togias that describes what the crew believes will happen when they leave (before the storm).  What makes them feel so safe in going out? Then, compare this experience with one of your own experiences on a boat.  What similarities/differences do you have with the experiences within the book?

9/10 English Writing Warmup: A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

Bell Ringer Activity:
Find a quote from the play in which Torvald uses a nickname (or pet name) to describe Nora. Discuss why Torvald uses this pet names for Nora. What types of characteristics do Torvald's pet names evoke? What is Torvald's attitude toward Nora? 

English Essentials 1 Writing Warmup: Becoming Nicole and Apostrophe Practice

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today's class, we will be applying what we learned about apostrophes yesterday by finding and explaining how apostrophes are used in Becoming Nicole.  

Flip through your copies of Becoming Nicole and give Dr. B one example of each apostrophe rule we discussed in class yesterday.  Explain how that apostrophe works.  How did you know which rule the apostrophe was using?

Quote: "I think she's trying to take the kids.  I'm getting passports" (19).

This particular quote uses two instances of the apostrophe rule involving contractions.  "She's" is a contraction of "She" and "is."  "I'm" is a contraction of "I" and "am."

 Quote: "One of Wayne's friends was surprised by her..." (44).

The quote uses the possessive form "Wayne" by adding an apostrophe "s" to the end.  Because Wayne is singular (there's only one Wayne), the possessive apostrophe rule is to add an apostrophe "s" at the end.  Also, these are friends of Wayne, so the correct spelling is "Wayne's friends" because Wayne has ownership over them.

11/12 English Writing Warmup: "Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Persuasion/Advertising/Writing"

Writing Warmup:
For today, watch the video, "Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Persuasion/Advertising/Writing."  After each commercial pause and answer the following questions.

Commercial 1: What jobs/experience does Mr. Peterson tell the audience he has?

Commercial 2: What Makes Allstate a credible/trustworthy company for customers? What might be the emotion (pathos) to which the commercial appeals?

Commercial 3: How is an appeal to reason (logos) being used?

Commercial 4: Today we learn a new term, "logical fallacy," the belief that an idea is a good one simply because a large group of people believe that it is good.  What happens in this video? What makes Mr. Burns happy and why?

English Essentials Writing Warmup: Apostrophes

Bell Ringer Activity:
Today, we will be focusing on conventions--the rules of standard written English, including punctuation, grammar, and mechanics.  Please answer the question below about apostrophes.

1) What is one of the reasons why we use apostrophes?
2) Give an example where you use an apostrophe correctly (complete sentence).  Explain how you are using the apostrophe in this sentence.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Creative Writing: Final Project (Art + Literary Analysis)

Bell Ringer Activity: 
In Wednesday's class, we discussed a final project idea that you will be doing for your summative score in Creative Writing: An Art + Literary Analysis of the paintings you created based on the works of ancient Greek mythology, John Keats, John Milton, and others.

For today, I'd like you to post your pre-writing about your Pandora painting along with a quote from the original myth you'd like to use in your portfolio.  If you'd like another copy of your portfolio assignment sheet, you can download it here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

AP English Teaching Presentations

For your first major summative assessment in AP English, you will be teaching one (or part of one) an ancillary article from the back of our The Classic Fairytales: Norton Critical Editions (Ed. by Maria Tatar).  To download the full instructions and a list of groups, please click here.

Teaching articles from the book is one of the best ways to master your critical thinking skills! It also helps you to practice your graduation standards in speaking and listening.  For now, here is a list of standards on which you will be assessed:
    • RL1“I can use evidence to support my ideas (literary texts).”
    • RI1: “ I can use evidence to support my ideas (informational texts).”
    • RL2: “I can determine one or more central ideas of a text and summarize key points.”
    • SL1: “I can come to class prepared with key points and textual evidence to contribute to a discussion and stimulate thoughtful well-reasoned exchange of ideas.”
    • SL5: “I can create original digital media presentations to enhance and/or present my ideas.”

Presentation Dates will be Friday, Oct. 21st, 2016—Wednesday, Oct. 26th.

9/10 English Test

For your first major summative assessment in 9/10 English, please write Dr. B two paragraphs (with little-to-no errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar) that discusses your book's theme and uses two quotes correctly.  Discuss the explicit and implicit meanings of both of your quotes AND use colons and apostrophes correctly.  Students who score a 3 ("Meets") on this assessment will show mastery of the following learning targets:

RL1, "I can use evidence to support my ideas."

RL2, "I can analyze theme."

L2, "I can use colons and apostrophes correctly."

Lastly, don't forget to write neatly and if you can, write in cursive.

AP Writing Warmup: George Gasciogne's "For That He Looked Not upon Her" (10/12/16)

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today's class, you read three AP English essays on George Gasciogne's poem, "For That He Looked Not Upon Her," from the 2015 student essay pool.  I told you yesterday that "one was a high example, one was a low example, and one was a medium example."

In the comments section below, tell us what score you gave each essay and why.  Since our class time is limited, you don't need to describe everything about the essay, just the big things you think the student did right using the scoring rubric I gave you yesterday.

[ Note: I have posted a picture of a constellation above to illustrate the big message I want you to learn about the College Board's policy for scoring AP essays: as a writer, you will be rewarded for what you do right on a whole, not every little thing you did wrong. ]

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

AP English Writing Warmup: The Lady of Shalott and Snow White (10/6/16)

Writing Warmup:
Yesterday, we continued to discuss some of the ways Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott" reminded us of the fairytale, "Snow White."  For today, you want to draw connections between the two stories we have read—well, technically, one "story" and one "poem"—by describing any interesting similarities and differences you see between the two texts (don't forget to use textual evidence!).  You may choose whichever story you like from the "Snow White" section of our Norton Anthologies.  Dr. B will play Loreena McKennitt's "The Lady of Shalott" to get you all feeling as magical as possible.

BONUS! Some amazing resources on the history of the Lady of Shalott myth.  
Check them out!

Oh, and did you know the Victorians photographed women posing as the Lady of Shalott? It's kind of amazing:

"The Tigers Bride" by Angela Carter

The story of the The Tiger's Bride is about a young girl, who was gambled away by her father. They had just moved from Russia to Italy, and it is was a tradition in the city that newcomers must play a game with the most powerful figure in the city, the grand seigneur, or the beast. The beast wears a mask with a mans face painted on it. He also wears gloves and cloaks, to cover his body, and an old-fashioned wig. The beast was much better at cards than the father, and soon he had nothing left to offer, besides his only daughter. He was confident in his hand of cards, but the beast had a better hand, and won. The beast and his valet return the next day of her and her belongings. Her father is begging for a rose as forgiveness, and as she breaks the stem she pricks her finger, getting blood on it. The beast's castle was not beautiful, but rather in a secluded area and vacant. His intention were not to keep the girl as prisoner, but to see her undressed one time, and then she would be returned to her father. She agreed to his wishes and was brought to her cell. She finds her maid there, but with a music box where her heart should be. Her maid tells her that no humans live in the castle, and that she is a machine, ready for her service. A few days after she arrives there the beast gets his wishes. She learns that the beast was a tiger underneath his disguise. The beast agreed to let her go after, but she didn't want to return to her father, who didn't miss her, and who had lost her in the first place. She goes to the beast and there, he licks off her skin turning her into a tiger herself.
In the Disney film Belle takes her fathers place as the beast's prisoner. The beast in the movie is not a tiger, and wears no disguise. He has a beautiful castle with many rooms, and many different servants, who are not human. The focus of the movie is the growing relationship between Belle and Beast, and how they eventually fall in love. In The Tiger's Bride the beast only wants to keep her for one night, but the girl chooses to stay with him.

1, 2 & 3 Questions

1.  Why do newcomers have to play the tiger at a game of cards?
2. Why isn't the tiger interested in keeping her as a prisoner?
3. Why does she choose to stay with the tiger even after he sets her free?

Writing Warmup: Kahoot Apostrophe Game

Bell Ringer Activity:
For today's class, we will be doing a Kahoot practice exercise on Apostrophes! Please go to and type in the game code I put on the board.  This is a timed game, so be sure to answer as soon as you know the answer. But, be wary of just "clicking" on a box, because you won't have a second chance to supply the right answer!

Good luck and may the best Kahooter win!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

11/12 English Writing Warmup: Watch Kids Respond to the Presidential Debate (10/5/16)

Bell Ringer Activity:
Before we finish and present our posters on Donald Trump's rhetoric, I would like for us all to take a moment and think about the little guys (KIDS).  How do you think children would respond to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the presidential debate? Watch the video for today's activity and respond with any thoughts and ideas about today's video.

AP English Writing Warmup: The Lady of Shalott (10/5/16)

William Holman Hunt's The Lady of Shalott (1905).

John William Waterhouse's "I Am Half Sick of Shadows" Said the Lady of Shalott (1915, housed at the Art Gallery of Ontario).
John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott (1888, housed at the Tate Gallery in Great Britain).
Writing Warmup:
Pull out your Graphic Organizer on Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "The Lady of Shallot" and answer the following questions:

  1. What associations do you have with the word "cracked?"
  2. "Mirror?"
  3. "Curse?"
  4. "Shadows?"

In the comments section below, please explain the meaning of one of the above words in the context of the poem.  You may wish to consider why you think the Lady of Shalott becomes "half sick" of the shadows she sees in her mirror.

When you are finished, listen to selections of Loreena McKennit's "The Lady of Shalott" and follow along with the Lady of Shalott PowerPoint presentation.

Multiple Intelligences Survey (10/4/16)

In the comments section below, describe your "intelligence" score from the Multiple Intelligences quiz we took today.  You can take the quiz here.