Friday, May 18, 2018

Reading Period 28: May 18-24: Final

What is this magical land called Done?
We're done!! Good job reading and writing so much this year. Here are a couple of assignments to top off the semester:

Creative Assignments:

Finish the map of your fantasy realm that you started in class. Remember: The map is the plot! You should have a coastline, mountains, hills, rivers, forests and farms, towns, roads, and resources. Think about where your character archetypes live, where the story begins, and where the climax takes place.

OR

Write a description of three or more of the characters you created to fit the heroic archetypes we discussed in class. You could include their name, a physical description, a plan for fitting them into your plot, and even bits of dialogue.

Writing Assignment:

Your writing assignment is to catch up on your Stickybeak Archive for this year. If you're all caught up, then you are already finished!

Quiz:

For the quiz, put the following works in order of which was the most interesting to read, with one being the best and ten being your least favorite. Think carefully -- the one at the bottom of most people's list will be burned off the syllabus for next time around! If you want to give me reasons, you're welcome to, or you can just give me a list with your favorite at the top.

The Three Musketeers
The Black Stallion
Macbeth
Fahrenheit 451
The Story of My Life
The Incredible Journey
Lord of the Flies
The Outsiders
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
The Book of Three

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Reading Period 27: May 11 - 17: The Book of Three

Long Read: 

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

Creative Assignments:

The Book of Three features creatures and ideas inspired by the folklore and culture of Wales. Choose one of the following mythical creatures from Welsh mythology and create an illustration. This will require you to google and learn a bit about the creature first.

Adar Llwch Gwin
Afanc
Ceffyl Dŵr
Cŵn Annwn
Cyhyraeth
Dreigiau
Gwragedd Annwn
Gwyllg
Llamhigyn y Dŵr
Tylwyth Teg

There's one I'm particularly interested in that I hope someone chooses, and it might be the winged toads. Yes, it's definitely the winged toads. In fact if you ALL choose the winged toads, I won't be sad.

OR

Write a short scene (250 words) in which a modern day person your age comes in contact with one of the creatures above. Would it be scary, inspiring, intriguing, enlightening? This will require you to google and learn a bit about the creature first. You can choose to write the scene in first person, as if it happened to you, or in third person. Either way, use Google Maps to find a real life location in Wales for the interaction.

Writing Assignment:

Your writing assignment is the AP Language and Composition prompt that I gave to you about Oscar Wilde's quote on disobedience. I can't copy and post it as it is from a practice exam. However if you got to the AP Central page for Lang and Comp, and look at the Free Response Questions for 2016, you'll find it. Or you can use the print out from class. Don't sweat this assignment too much, as it is a reach for you. However, I'd like you to give your best effort, and try to follow the prompt and dig into your own thinking. You got this!

Quiz:

Finish the series with a character from The Book of Three.

1. Dobby, Gollum, _____.
2. Dumbledore, Gandalf, ______.
3. Harry Potter, Frodo, ______.
4. Hagrid, Beorn, _______.
5. Hermione, Eowyn, ________.
6. Dementor, Ringwraith, ________.
7. Sirius, Aragorn, ________.
8. Voldemort, Sauron, ________.
9. Hungarian Horntail, Balrog, _______.
10. Hedwig, Shadowfax, _________.

BONUS! This one isn't quite right, but maybe you can help me figure it out:

11. Bellatrix Lestrange, Saruman, __________.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Reading Period 26: April 27 - May 3: Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Long Read:

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, chapters 9-12

Creative Assignments:

After reading chapter 12, go through the chapter and underline between ten and twenty words that show the mood. You might choose "grim" or "tired" or "grey" or "uncertain" or "dangerous." After you've chosen your words, think about the despair and sorrow that Cassie feels at the end of the chapter, and write a poem from the words you chose. You can add one word for each of the words you chose, in order to make the poem make sense, but don't feel you have to make complete sentences or a regular rhyme scheme.

OR

After reading chapter 12, go through the chapter and underline between ten and twenty words that show the mood. You might choose "grim" or "tired" or "grey" or "uncertain" or "dangerous." After you've chosen your words, think about the despair and sorrow that Cassie feels at the end of the chapter, and create a piece of art that expresses that feeling. You can use any medium you choose, even music.

Writing Assignments:

In 1978, a mini-series was made of the book, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, with Morgan Freeman as Uncle Hammer. This is a link to the movie, on YouTube, that is an abbreviated version of that miniseries. The movie diverges from the book in places but is true to it in others. You don't have to watch the whole thing, but click around in it until you see at least one or two scenes that are familiar to you from the book. Then write a short essay about why books get made into movies. You could argue that it's a good thing or a bad thing, but use examples from this book/movie to support your idea.

OR

The Logans strongly identify with their home and the land they own. In a short essay, write about the place where you live and how it defines you and your family. You could talk about what is nearby, or how many times you have moved, or how long you have lived there, or who may have lived there before you.

Quiz:

In lieu of a quiz, fill out the Plot Points, Settings, Significant Objects and Characters part of a Stickybeak Scoop Sheet and bring it to class on Tuesday.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Reading Period 25: April 20 - 26: Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Long Read: 

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, chapters 5-8

Poem: 

"Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes

Creative Assignments:

Write a poem about a time in your life when you have had to be very brave. In the poem, you must show a movement from one emotion to another. Maybe your speaker moves from fear to pride, or from anxiety to release, or from anticipation to disappointment. In your poem, give as many sensory details as you can to help your reader experience this emotional shift with you. It's not necessary to explain exactly what the situation was, as long as you give us the emotion you experienced, however if you want to make it more of a narrative that's fine too.

OR

The portrait of Langston Hughes by Winold Reiss in the National Potrait Gallery shows the poet in a pensive pose, with a jumble of sketched images behind him, as if the thoughts in his mind are drawn in the background. (If you click this link and then click on the thumbnail, you can see a bigger image.) Create a self portrait in which you show yourself thinking, and then fill in behind you all of the things that you might be thinking about if you were to write poetry.

Writing Assignments:

Last week you wrote research papers to learn and present information. This week, we write a research paper with a purpose! Your topic will be Langston Hughes, the poet, and your paper will answer the question: why is Langston Hughes an important literary figure? You can choose to argue that Langston Hughes was important because of the life he led and his political and philosophical beliefs, or that Langston Hughes was important because of the poetry he wrote. Here are three sources that you may want to use:

"Langston Hughes 101" from the Poetry Foundation focuses on individual poems that were famous.
Langston Hughes' biography on Kansasheritage.org which focuses more on facts about his life.
Langston Hughes' entry on poets.org which combines both elements.

After choosing which source would be best for your essay, read it carefully a couple of times and then write a 250 word paper using what  you learned. You may look back at your source to remind yourself of facts or details, but avoid copy and pasting sentences from the source into your paper. 250 words isn't a lot of room, so focus on a couple of examples or details that supports your idea -- that Hughes' work was more important, or the life he lived was more important. I realize that both his life and his poetry were very important, but for the purposes of this paper, you will need to pick a side to present. What would his life have been without his poetry? What would his poetry have been if he had lived a more selfish, less open and vigorous life? Take a position, use your research to support it, and at the end of your paper give a link to the source you used.

Quiz:

Define these vocabulary words by using them in sentences about characters from any book we have read this year! Each word must get its own sentence. For example, you might say that Bodger "wheedled" or that Macduff was "dumbfounded." You can write sentences about all different characters or just choose one. If you like, the sentences can combine to make a ridiculous story. If you do that, your story does NOT have to make sense and can be very random, but you must use the words correctly to show you understand their meaning.

1. Wheedle
2. Gingerly
3. Dumbfounded
4. Aloof
5. Bewildered
6. Engulf
7. Gape
8. Interminable
9. Collateral
10. Goad

Friday, April 13, 2018

Reading Period 24: April 13 - 19: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Long Read:

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor, chapters 1-4

Short Read:

"Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid

Poem:

"Sharecropper" by Sterling Brown. This poem tells the story of a sharecropper being interrogated by his landlord to give up information about a meeting of workers who want to form a union. It is violent and harsh and may be upsetting. Don't read it if you're worried.

Creative Assignments:

After listening to Brown read "Sharecropper" several times, and thinking about the symbolism of the last line, where white oak and black oak are planted together, create a piece of art that combines white oak trees and black oak trees in some way. You could show trees planted together, or you could draw their leaves or acorns. You'll need to look up the actual differences in the two trees and learn what they would look like side by side, but you can show them in any way that you want to, to express the theme of the poem.

OR

After reading "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaid, write a piece of flash fiction of at least 300 words where a speaker gives instructions to the reader in the same stream-of-consciousness format. You can put the reader's internal responses in italics like in the Kincaid story. You can use semicolons and dashes, but no other punctuation.

Writing Assignments:

This week's assignment is to write a well-organized informative essay. You'll need an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Your introduction could connect the essay topic to the novel we're reading, or you could use some other introductory strategy like imagery, an anecdote, an interesting fact, or a question. Here are the topics you can choose from. Please note that we are going to write three of these, while we read Roll of Thunder, and you can choose a different topic each week. Your essay should be three hundred words long. We're going to work hard on organization in this block, so when you turn it in, I want you to label your paragraphs in pencil or pen and say what the main topic or idea of each paragraph is. In the introduction, I want you to label it with your "hook" strategy and in the conclusion I want you to label it with your "new place" direction.

Topics:
Sharecropping
Segregation and "Black Codes"
Plessy vs. Ferguson
Brown vs. Board of Education
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Mildred Taylor's life
Please also fill out the easy parts of the Stickybeak Scoop Sheet for  The Outsiders, so that in class on Tuesday we can work on structuring the informative essay and also the themes/motifs/symbols and discussion questions for The Outsiders.

Quiz:

For each character in the book, give a line of dialogue that shows the character's personality. The whole book is Cassie "talking" but dialogue is in quotation marks and is what the characters actually say out loud.

1. Stacey.
2. Mary (Mama).
3. David (Papa).
4. Big Ma.
5. Christopher-John.
6. Little Man.
7. T.J. Avery.
8. Mr. Morrison.
9. Miss Crocker
10. Cassie

BONUS: What does it mean when Cassie says that the Wallaces burning the Berrys was something "that wavered between the known and the unknown"?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Reading Period 23: April 6 - 12: The Outsiders


Long Read: 

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, chapters 9-12

Short Read:

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Poem: 

"Spring," by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Creative Assignment:

"Stay gold, Ponyboy" is one of the coolest things that anyone has ever said in a novel, partly because it just sounds so cool, and partly because it references an awesome poem. Look back through the poems we have read this year, and create catchphrases for each of the characters in your fictional gang of friends, based on these poems. Each character must have his or her own catchphrase and each catchphrase must reference a different poem. When you give the list, tell what poem you're referencing, in case it's not obvious.

OR

Write a counter-poem to Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Spring." You'll need to figure out what her thesis is, and then write a poem that argues with it. If you'd like to wait until after Tuesday to do this one, we will definitely be discussing the poem in class, so if you're having trouble with what your counter-idea should be, hold off until we discuss it. You might even get a start on your poem in class too.

Writing Assignment:

You've been working on your fictional gang in class. If you need to review the worksheet for creating your gang, here it is. You've developed your characters, you've written introductory chapters from their points of view, and you've collaborated on plot ideas where these two gangs will clash. Maybe you and your partner and the other pair you're working with has already developed a list of four scenes. Great! This week's assignment is to write a scene of at least 300 words, showing conflict between the gangs (man vs. man!), either an inciting event or a climactic rumble. You can work with what your collaborators have given you, or you can work on your own idea. If no one can agree, go your own way and follow your own idea! We will try to collect the 8 pieces into a story, but don't worry about that part of the process right now.

Note: There is no assignment about "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" but it would be great if you would read it anyway, because we will be working with it in class.

Quiz:

1. Give your best definition of the word "Tuff."
2. What is the connection between Darry Curtis and Paul Holden?
3. How do the Greasers feel, after the fight is over?
4. What simile does Ponyboy use for Johnny's death?
5. What examples does Ponyboy give of Dally being a hero, not a hoodlum?
6. Give an example of Darry behaving like a parent to Ponyboy.
7. What does Ponyboy confess to Randy and why?
8. Give an example of how Ponyboy's life is different, since the hearing.
9. What does Ponyboy do that worries the Greasers and prompts them to tell him not to "get tough."
10. What do we learn about the book we are reading, when we get to the very end?


Friday, March 23, 2018

Reading Period 22: March 23-29: The Outsiders

Long Read: 

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, chapters 5-8

Poems:

"One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop
"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas

Our assignments this week will connect our collaborative writing project. You will need to thoughtfully consider the "gang" that you have created with your partner in class. Remember that this gang, like the gangs in The Outsiders, believe in their cause and their identity. They work together and support each other. Your gang is a balanced group, and does not solely exist for making mischief. They have to have something they care about, to protect. They have to have something to believe in.

Creative assignments:

Which of your gang members would have as their favorite poem one of the assigned poems from this week? Would your agent of chaos like Elizabeth Bishop's instruction to not hang onto things? Would your rule follower respond to Dylan Thomas' instruction to stand up to death and fight? Write a 250 essay that includes your interpretation of what the poem means to your character, a description of your character, and an imagined reason why the character finds this poem so important.

OR

Choose three of your gang members to illustrate. These can be three that are closely related, three that find themselves frequently in conflict, or another group. You don't have to decide with your partner who will illustrate which members, but you could, if you both decide to work on this assignment.

Writing Assignments:

Choose one member of your imaginary gang, and write an introduction to the group in first person from this person's point of view. Your character should introduce his or her friends, and also talk about what unifying ideas and goals bring the group together. This might read a bit like the first chapter of The Outsiders.

Quiz:

1. What book does Johnny bring back for Ponyboy?
2. What symbolic act do the boys feel forced to do, that makes Ponyboy cry?
3. What natural phenomenon prompts the boys to discuss the Robert Frost poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay"?
4. Who is the Greasers' spy inside the Socs?
5. Why did the church catch fire?
6. Why did Dally hit Ponyboy in the back?
7. How many of the little kids did they manage to save?
8. What is the newspaper headline about the fire?
9. Randy says the Greasers can't win, even if they fight the Socs. Why?
10. What is the only thing keeping Darry from being a Soc?