Monday, September 19, 2016

English 11 Flannery O'Connor

Hey English 11! 

In case you missed it, we read this short story by Flannery O'Connor:

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

also available in video form, if you'd like: TLYS short story video

So here's your assignment:

This story ends abruptly, and leaves the reader feeling like there is more that needs to be said. Your assignment is to write a continuation of the story that involves one of the characters-- Mrs. Crater, Lucynell, Mr. Shiftlet, or the hitchhiker. What happens to Lucynell once she wakes up at The Hot Spot? Where is Mr. Shiftlet is going and what will he do there? What happens to Mrs. Crater? The options are endless!

Your new ending must be AT LEAST two pages, double-spaced. Make sure you use correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Try to copy the style of Flannery O’Connor to make your new ending believable. DO NOT try to write an outlandish or absurd ending—make it REALISTIC. Endings that show little or no effort or attempts to follow the story will not receive credit.

You will have Wednesday (A Day), Thursday (B Day), and the first 25 minutes of class on Friday (A Day) to work in the lab. This assignment is DUE by September 30th.

You can email your new endings to me, or you may type them up and bring them in. I will choose the top 5 endings, then as a class we will choose the best new ending. Winner will receive 5 Schrute Bucks!

Intro to Frankenstein

English 12- This one's for you!

We are starting our unit on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley this week, but before we do, please complete the following:

Frankenstein Anticipation Guide

HEY PARENTS/ GUARDIANS! I want to get you involved too! Answer the Frankenstein anticipation questions yourself, then email me the answers or send them in with your student. We will compare the student answers to the adult answers to see where age/wisdom and youth disagree :)

We will go over the anticipation guide together in class on Monday, please come prepared!

For class Wednesday, we will read the intro to Frankenstein, "The Mother of Gothic Horror." 

After reading “The Mother of Gothic Horror” and discussing it as a class, answer the following questions: 

1. What surprised you? 
2. What are things you’ve learned in your reading that still have you thinking? 
3. What challenged, changed, or confirmed what you already know? 
You can listen to two podcasts about Frankenstein for extra credit: 

After listening to one (or both) of the podcasts, write down and answer these same three questions, then bring them in for some extra points: 

1. What surprised you? 
2. What are things you’ve learned in your reading that still have you thinking? 
3. What challenged, changed, or confirmed what you already know?

New Year, New Rules!

To all my new students in this 2016 year, welcome! I'm glad to be your guide on this journey of learning.

First off, you need to be familiar with the class rules and guidelines. Please read this in its entirety so that you know what I expect from you each and every day. Please sign and return the Behavior Contract-- this will stay in your personal folder in the classroom in case you need reminding at any point.

I'll upload more posts with information for individual classes, but just a reminder that every student will have a book report due at the end of the semester. Here is the list of Book Report options for you to review. I recommend that you settle on a book and THREE book report options by the end of October so that you have plenty of time to work on your book report!

Stay tuned for more information for English 11 and 12!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"I Am"

I am really lucky, in that my mother-in-law is director of a library and she comes across all kinds of cool documentaries that she then shares with me. And then, in return, I share them with my students!! 

My family watched "I Am," and my mind was blown. I loved it. I knew I had to share it with my students!

I showed it to my English 12 class, and had questions for them to answer (which I'm linking up to below). They loved it too and we had an amazing hour long discussion afterwards. I also showed it to my English 9 class, but I think it was a little beyond them. They watched it and had easier questions (also linked below), but to me it seemed like it's a film that possibly needs a more mature audience. I'm also including the teacher copy of the questions to help aid in discussions. 

For my English 11 class, we'll watch this movie after we discuss Transcendentalism. I think it will go perfectly with Emerson and Thoreau!

Watch this movie, love it, share it, and let's change the world!!

I AM English 12 Questions
I AM Easier Questions
I AM Teacher Edition

Monday, April 15, 2013

March and April 2013

After reading Daniel Half Human in English 9, I did a creative writing unit. Creative writing can be difficult because some kids hate to write, so the whole unit can be like pulling teeth. I got lucky somehow, because almost every single student LOVED this unit. They were so excited to write and share that I had to start turning some away. It made me re-think some of the units I teach. I usually do very few units on writing creatively (poetry, descriptive writing, etc), simply because I've had so many students who hated it, did nothing, and were super disruptive the entire unit because they were bored. But maybe I can start trying more?? We'll see. Each day in class, students had to walk in and grab their reading journals, then pick a creative writing prompt and write, using the prompt to help start their story, for about 15 minutes. Then we could share prompts if they wanted. For our assessment of this unit, students will be creating a final creative & descriptive story using one of the prompts they did in class. 

Creative Writing Prompts
Creative/ Descriptive Writing Paper 

In English 11, we covered The Scarlet Letter, then "The Crucible." My students are probably sick of Puritans but they sure understand them now! I love when we read "The Crucible" because some students REALLY get into it and read their lines with passion. And everyone hates Abigail (me too). She makes them so angry! But anger means they're paying attention & getting involved, so I'll take it!!

In English 12, we started the semester with Beowulf, created our own Utopian societies (which our computer lab then deleted 3+ weeks of work... whomp whomp), and then read and discussed Frankenstein. My students didn't love the novel as much as I'd hoped, but then again it's one of my favorites so I'm a little biased about how much they should adore it! 

Links to my The Scarlet Letter, "The Crucible," and Frankenstein assignments, as well as other creative writing assignments, can be found on my page:

Hey Mrs. P page

And if you're looking for some fun and interesting information, check out why the Mantis Shrimp is hella cool.

The Mantis Shrimp (by The Oatmeal) 

Happy Spring!!   

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"The Wave"

It's been a while, but I wanted to post the new things I've been working on. As I've been teaching Daniel Half Human, it's so much reading in class and I wanted to do something that was a change of pace for my students. I was organizing our school library when I came across a book called The Wave.

It's about real events in California in the 60s, when a teacher was trying to help his students understand how the Holocaust happened. His students just didn't understand how people could go along with the Nazis. This is a question I get asked a lot as well. I read the back of the book, became intrigued, quickly read the whole thing (it's short) and then googled it and found the movie "The Wave," based on the novel. Here is a link to the short movie on youtube (it's 47 minutes):

"The Wave" based on the novel by Todd Strasser

There are a bunch of different versions, but this is the one I chose and downloaded. The quality isn't great, because it was made in 1981 and hasn't been adjusted since. There is a newer version of the movie from Germany, "Die Welle," that is a full-length movie. It's a good version too, but my students hate subtitles, and the movie was a little long for what I wanted to do. Also, the ending is totally different and a lot more violent than the 1981 version. Look up both and choose what is best for your students. Here are links to my comprehension questions for "The Wave."

"The Wave" comprehension questions
"The Wave" Teacher Edition comprehension questions

I'm excited for my students to watch this. I think it will really help them understand the Holocaust and how people were able to turn a blind eye to what was happening to their friends and neighbors.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall Semester Cont.

First off, can I just ask, was I the only person who got teary as they listened to Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC the other night? I've always admired her and our President and her speech was amazing. It just uplifted me and made me admire this country.

On a different note, here is the aforementioned stuff I promised I would talk about and upload from my last post. I got out of the habit of doing reading journals every day during the summer (read: I was lazy), and I decided I wanted to get back into it but I needed to be much more structured with it. So I created this list of reading journals based on quotes and the day they would be completed in a chart. This way, students who are absent will still have access to quotes, and starting class with a reading journal entry will get students perhaps a little more focused and brain-ready for class.

Reading Journal entries Fall 2012

Also I said I would write what my units are per class for this fall. I already discussed what we're covering in English 12. I my English 9 class, we're going to start with a unit on short stories, and read mostly some stories from our literature book. Here are links to the questions for those stories (I pretty much just copied the questions from our textbook so these are not original to me):

The Story of an Hour questions
The Sentinel Questions
"Hey, Come on Out!" questions

After short stories, we will do a unit on the novel Whirligig, which has been great in the past and I am excited to teach it again. We might have time for a short story unit, but if not, we will jump right into "Romeo and Juliet." (All assignments for those units can be found in my scribd account.)

In English 11, we are starting with a unit on Transcendentalism (see above Transcendental cartoon). I LOVE teaching Transcendentalism, although it does tend to bring out my super hippie side. I'm okay with that though. Here is a link to my teaching unit, which has served me well.

Teaching Transcendentalism

Following transcendentalism, we will move into realism and read My Antonia my Willa Cather. I've never taught this before, so I'll post assignments and worksheets when I get there (if I get there, I guess, I may do a different novel instead depending on student abilities). After that, we'll read and discuss "A Raisin in the Sun." I did this play for the first time last year and loved it. It is such a great play and not too difficult. The movie is astounding as well.

That's all for now. I'll post more as I do more and if I have the time :) Have a great fall!