Friday, March 24, 2017

Reading Period 21: March 24-30: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Long Read: 

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, through August 1, 1944.


Anne Frank's poem written in a friend's album:

‘Dear Eva,
Share your joy with many,
fun and pleasure with everyone,
your sorrow with only a few,
and with those you love your heart.
In memory of your friend
Anne Frank’

Watch this paint marbling video featuring the works of Vincent Van Gogh. We're going to be working on a marbling project in class:

Creative Assignments:

The last Dutch artist we're going to study is Vincent Van Gogh. Take a look at this painting by Van Gogh, Bedroom in Arles:

Here's a link to a larger version. Now read this note, written by Van Gogh to his brother, about the painting:

My eyes are still tired by then I had a new idea in my head and here is the sketch of it. Another size 30 canvas. This time it's just simply my bedroom, only here colour is to do everything, and giving by its simplification a grander style to things, is to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the imagination.The walls are pale violet. The floor is of red tiles.
The wood of the bed and chairs is the yellow of fresh butter, the sheets and pillows very light greenish-citron.
The coverlet scarlet. The window green.
The toilet table orange, the basin blue.
The doors lilac.
And that is all--there is nothing in this room with its closed shutters.
The broad lines of the furniture again must express inviolable rest. Portraits on the walls, and a mirror and a towel and some clothes.
The frame--as there is no white in the picture--will be white.
This by way of revenge for the enforced rest I was obliged to take.
I shall work on it again all day, but you see how simple the conception is. The shadows and the cast shadows are suppressed; it is painted in free flat tints like the Japanese prints. It is going to be a contrast to, for instance, the Tarascon diligence and the night café.
Your assignment is to create a colorful picture of a room in your house, like Bedroom in Arles, along with a note to describe it, naming each color used. Use the coolest color words you can, like "citron" and "scarlet."


Miep Gies as an older lady. She died in 2009.
Write a poem about the helpers in the book. Write to thank them for being brave, write to say how their actions inspire people, write to honor their fear and their doubts, and write to keep their place in history alive. Choose a central image for your poem -- maybe the "Happy Pentacost" cake or the strawberry canning, the radio they used to get their news, or a blackout curtain. Your poem does not have to rhyme or have a regular meter. Here are the main ones -- you can choose one or all:

Miep Gies – Secretary to Otto Frank
Bep Voskuijl – Secretary to Otto Frank
Jo Kleiman -- Accountant
Victor Kugler -- Employee

Writing Assignments:

We discussed in class how Anne's diary was meant to be private, and she wrote things in the diary that she wouldn't have written for public consumption. However, her father decided to publish it, and that's how we have access to it today. When we post things on Facebook or other social media, often those words are sanitized to make everything seem great, uncomplicated, but in a private diary, where we can be more "real," we may decide to release some darker thoughts or secrets. Your assignment is to write about the difference between public and private speech. You may either write this as a personal essay, in which you talk about your own experiences and the things you choose to say privately or publicly, and how you protect your words, OR you may write this as a persuasive essay in which you pick a side and argue that Anne's father was right or wrong in his decisions to edit and publish her diary.


Instead of a quiz, write an essay including as many homophones as you can. For a topic, take the idea that you are two people -- one in public in everyday life, and one in the private space in your head. For inspiration and direction, take the last entry in Anne's diary. Your essay can be serious or funny. Since Google+ won't let you format your post with italics or bold, I recommend writing this in Google Docs, bolding or italicizing all your homophones, and then giving us a shareable link.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Reading Period 20: March 17-23: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Due dates:
Quiz: Monday, March 20
Assignments: Wednesday, March 22

Long Read: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: Thursday, July 29, 1943 to Wednesday, March 22, 1944.


what if a much of a which of a wind
by e.e. cummings

what if a much of a which of a wind
gives the truth to summer’s lie;
bloodies with dizzying leaves the sun
and yanks immortal stars awry?
Blow king to beggar and queen to seem
(blow friend to fiend:blow space to time)
—when skies are hanged and oceans drowned,
the single secret will still be man

what if a keen of a lean wind flays
screaming hills with sleet and snow:
strangles valleys by ropes of thing
and stifles forests in white ago?
Blow hope to terror;blow seeing to blind
(blow pity to envy and soul to mind)
—whose hearts are mountains,roots are trees,
it’s they shall cry hello to the spring

what if a dawn of a doom of a dream
bites this universe in two,
peels forever out of his grave
and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
Blow soon to never and never to twice
(blow life to isn’t:blow death to was)
—all nothing’s only our hugest home;
the most who die,the more we live

Creative Assignment

Parts of this section contain Anne's descriptions of her "ordinary days." She breaks it into parts of the day, and delivers incredible detail of the life in hiding and all the mechanics of the hardship she experiences. Pretend you are writing a diary entry explaining your average, normal day to a stranger from the future who wants to understand your habits and the factual details of life in 2017. Write a descriptive essay of 250 words in which you give, in detail, every moment of your day. If you can, write just about your morning, or evening routine. Include as many vivid details as you can, so your reader can really picture the experience.


Read this article about Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, and learn about his belief that abstraction could portray reality better than realism. Then create your own composition in the style of Mondrian. You must use color, but you can use a digital medium. Along with your composition must come a description of the real thing that you're portraying.

"Broadway Boogie Woogie" 
"Still Life with Ginger Pot II"
"Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Grey and Blue"

Writing Assignment:

Explore this representation of Anne Frank's "secret annexe." Anne herself said she sometimes felt guilty about feeling sorry for herself because others had it far worse than she did. At times she was very cheerful about her hiding place, and at times she hated it. Write an essay about the conflicting feelings Anne experienced, using at least three quotes from the text to support your points. You could find one quote where she's making the best of it and being cheerful, one quote where she is feeling uncomfortable and confined, for example. Use quotation marks to show where you're quoting directly from Anne's diary, and write a 250 word essay about her attitude toward the hiding place.


Anne says, "If you were to read all my letters in one sitting, you'd be struck by the fact that they were written in a variety of moods." How would you describe the tone of Anne's diary? From what specific language does that tone originate? Write a 250 word essay in which you analyze the tone using at least three quotes from the book to support your points. Maybe your idea is that the tone is constantly changing. You may find three quotes that illustrate three different tones. Maybe your idea is that the tone is very emotional. You might find three different quotes. Each quote needs its own paragraph to set it up and then explain it, and you'll need an introduction and conclusion to help the reader understand your main idea.


1. Choose a quote that shows Anne's attitude toward her mother.
2. Choose a quote that shows Anne's attitude toward her father.
3. Choose a quote that shows Anne's attitude toward Dussel.
4. Choose any other quote that demonstrates Anne's feelings about another person, and give the character and the quote.
5. What author is Anne's father so amused by?
6. After the news of Italy's surrender, what three songs were played on the radio? (Sept 10, 1943)
7. What did Mrs. Van Daan have to sell, that made her so furious?
8. What happened to Anne's fountain pen?
9. Why does Anne call her mother "Momsy" or "Moms" instead of Mom?
10. What might the Germans do to Holland to defend it, if the British invade?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Reading Period 19: March 10-16: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Due dates:
Quiz: Monday March 13
Assignments: Wednesday March 15

Long Read: The Diary of a Young Girl, Sunday 14 June 1942 - Monday 26 July 1943

Creative Assignment: 

In the early days of the diary, Anne Frank is in school. She gets in a lot of trouble for talking out of turn, and has to write several punishment essays, titled "A Chatterbox" and then "An Incurable Chatterbox" and then "Quack, Quack, Quack says Mrs. Natterbeak." Pretend that you frequently get in trouble for talking in class. For some of you, this will not be a difficult stretch. Imagine that you have been given the assignment to write an essay called "A Chatterbox" as punishment. What would you write? Write 250 words in your own voice.


While we read Anne Frank's diary, set in the Netherlands, we're going to be studying some Dutch artists. This week, I'd like you to work through all of this Khan Academy set of videos and articles, about Rembrandt, Vermeer, and a few other Dutch artists from the Baroque period. When you're finished with it, create your own copy of one of Rembrandt or Vermeer's most famous works:

The Night Watch by Rembrandt

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer
If you pick the Rembrandt, you can copy just one piece of it if that makes it easier -- the video may show you certain figures to focus on. Either way, do watch the Khan Academy video about the piece, which shows each one in a museum context and gives some close-ups and commentaries.

Writing Assignment: 

Work through the introductory lesson on the web site of the Anne Frank house. At the end of this lesson, after watching a short video, you will have put together a timeline that connects events in Anne Frank's life with world events going on in World War II. When you have finished the lesson, write a 250 word essay in which you explain what was happening in the world that led up to the Frank family going into hiding. You can use this timeline to help you as well. Your essay should serve as background information for the diary, and bring the reader "up to date" on world events up to June 1942 when the diary begins. You can talk about when the Franks moved from Germany to the Netherlands, which was at the same time that Hitler rose to power in Germany. This Wikipedia page will also be helpful (The Netherlands in WWII) but please visit it with a parent.


One of the things that makes Anne Frank's diary such a beautiful, moving piece of work is the honesty that Anne gives us in her entries. Sometimes her very confessions of feelings toward her family members are almost uncomfortably personal. Take a look at, for example, Saturday, 30 January, 1943; Saturday, 7 November, 1942; Monday, 28 September, 1942. These deeply personal confessions are what makes Anne a character we can relate to so easily, and they bring her story of the events of the "Secret Annexe" to life. But would we be brave enough to share such private thoughts if we knew our diaries were going to be published? Do you think it is fair to Anne that we are reading her private thoughts? Choose one of these entries and write a 250 word essay about it. In the essay, summarize Anne's confession, and answer the question: is it fair to Anne that her words, written in the heat of the moment, and only for her own private diary, should be read by strangers?


1. In what city does Anne Frank live?
2. Where does Anne Frank go to school, before the family goes into hiding?
3. What is the main function of building that holds the "Secret Annexe"?
4. List the members of the Frank family along with one word to describe each one.
5. List the members of the Van Daan family along with one word to describe each one.
6. List two of the helpers who bring the Frank family food and supplies.
7. How do the Franks get their news?
8. What is a ration card?
9. With what person does Anne share a bedroom?
10. Why is Anne going without shoes?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Reading Period 18: Feb 24 - Mar 2: Twenty Thousand Leagues

Due Dates:
Quiz: Monday, February 27
Assignments: Wednesay, March 1

Long Read: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, Part 2. This is a lot! You can do it though! And remember, we'll have a "rest week" after this, so if you don't get it entirely done, you can catch up then.

"The Kraken" by Lord Alfred Tennyson
"The Chambered Nautilus" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Creative Assignments:

Write a poem with one of the following first lines:

Far away into the sickly light
In roaring he shall rise
On the sweet summer wind
In gulfs enchanted, where the siren sings
The stars, she whispers, blindly run
O heart, how fares it with thee now?

Your poem must contain simile, metaphor, alliteration, and both visual and aural imagery.


Create a colorful illustration of Captain Nemo's ship, The Nautilus. You can put it in any environment you choose -- maybe in a kelp forest, or on the surface of the ocean, or mounted in a case in a museum. You should use details from the book to create your illustration but you can also use your imagination. PLEASE CONSIDER DOING THE POEM IF YOU CAN MANAGE! Remember we are all (all!) going to submit to the Norfolk Public Library Poetry Contest.

Writing Assignments:

At the end of the novel, we are left wondering who Captain Nemo was, why he was so bitterly set against society, and whether he even survived the Maelstrom. Write a 250 word essay about Captain Nemo in which you use quotes and specific details to describe his character. In your conclusion, give your opinion about why Jules Verne left his identity and fate a mystery, and whether this was a good idea.


Remember H. G. Wells' rhetorical technique of "the plausible impossible"? Do you see places in the novel where Jules Verne is using this same technique? The Nautilus visits real places like shipwrecks of real battles and the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, but the ship also visits made up places like the lost city of Atlantis. How does Jules Verne make the unbelievable believable by giving lots of details and making things seem normal? How does he make the impossible seem plausible? Maybe it's his choice of narrator, of the way things are described, or the diction. Write a 250 word essay in which you give several examples, including quotes.


Define these vocabulary words and use them in a sentence.

1. Ambient
2. Ardent
3. Despotism
4. Effulgence
5. Indefatigable
6. Promontory
7. Sonorous
8. Tacit
9. Undulation
10. Capricious

Friday, February 17, 2017

Reading Period 17: Feb 17-23: Twenty Thousand Leagues

"Hey yeah it's Jules. Victorian
Sci-Fi is kind of my thing."
Long Read: 

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, chapters 7-24. (To the end of Part 1)


"With Rue My Heart is Laden" by A. E. Housman

WITH rue my heart is laden
  For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
  And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping        
  The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
  In fields where roses fade.

"The Winds Out of the West Winds Blow" by A. E. Housman

THE WINDS out of the west land blow,
  My friends have breathed them there;
Warm with the blood of lads I know
  Comes east the sighing air.

It fanned their temples, filled their lungs,        
  Scattered their forelocks free;
My friends made words of it with tongues
  That talk no more to me.

Their voices, dying as they fly,
  Loose on the wind are sown;        
The names of men blow soundless by,
  My fellows’ and my own.

Oh lads, at home I heard you plain,
  But here your speech is still,
And down the sighing wind in vain        
  You hollo from the hill.

The wind and I, we both were there,
  But neither long abode;
Now through the friendless world we fare
  And sigh upon the road.

Creative Assignments: 

Create an color illustration for "With Rue My Heart is Laden" in which you include all the images of the poem. Yes, this is yet another memory strategy! Speak it, write it, illustrate it, listen to it, look at it, and when you get to class, be ready to recite it.


Choose one of the four A.E. Housman poems we've read, and write a poem with a similar theme. Living in the moment, regretting not listening to wise advice, or missing friends. Here are the rules for this poem: 1. You must use the word "rue." 2. You must write in four-line stanzas. 3. You must include some kind of rural imagery.

Look, it's Shropshire!
Writing Assignments:

Conseil is an interesting character. He's not the hero, but he does play an important role. His name means "advice." Write a 250 word essay about Conseil, in which you describe his character using quotes and specific words from the text to back up your analysis. What is he like? What does he do? What role does Conseil play in the story -- sidekick? foil character? comic relief? Why is he there? Decide which archetype you think best fits him, and make a case for it using events from the book.


You may have seen movies or read books about travel to faraway stars, or even just to our neighboring planet, Mars. Fictional people who embark on voyages like this find themselves in similar circumstances to what Captain Nemo describes for himself and his crew: outside of society, no longer bound by it, and not able to return to it. Thinking about the prospects of adventure that Nemo offers to Arronax, and the prospect of long-term space travel that you yourself may embark on one day, write an essay about the decision to leave what you know behind, possibly forever, and exchange it for the chance to explore the unknown. Is this something that you would ever do? Would the benefit of satisfying your curiosity for new worlds outweigh the sadness of leaving behind the world that you know? What would you do? Write a 300 word essay in which you discuss this.


Captain Nemo gives an inspiring speech about the freedom of the seas. Research the phrase "international waters" and write a 300 word essay explaining what is meant by this. Are the seas really free? What can you do in the middle of the ocean and who has jurisdiction? Where does one country's sovereignty end and another's begin? What about air space? The sea bed? Are these areas really free? Use a quote from Nemo's speech in the book (chapter 10) in your essay, and cite your source.


1. What do Ned Land and Dr. Arronax discover about the giant narwhal?
2. Translate the phrase "Mobilis in Mobile."
3. What condition does the captain put on his "guests" as they stay aboard the ship?
4. Why does Arronax not believe that the Nautilus is powered by electricity?
5. How does Captain Nemo explain his collision with the Scotia?
6. During their exploration of the Forest of Crespo, which is impossible: sleep or speaking?
7. What was so terrible about seeing the ship, The Florida?
8. At the new year, Conseil and Ned Land have different opinions about their time on the Nautilus. Which wants to stay and which is anxious to escape?
9. What is Captain Nemo's solution for getting off the reef on which the Nautilus is stuck at high tide?
10. Why do Arronax, Land, and Conseil have to leave the island in a hurry?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Reading Period 16: Feb 10 - 16: Twenty Thousand Leagues

Long Read:

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne, chapters 1-6

Creative Assignment:

Write a 250 word newspaper article in which you start a completely fantastical rumor that you've spotted a sea monster. Use H.G. Wells' technique of "the plausible impossible" by using very specific details and believable elements in your story.


Claude Monet's "Impression, Sunrise" was painted two years after the publication of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. This was the work that gave Impressionism its name. Using crayons, colored pencils, acrylic paint, watercolor, or any other colorful medium you choose, create your own version of this famous painting. You can try to replicate the original as closely as possible, or you can put your own spin on it by changing the colors, the style, the elements of the painting, or whatever else you choose.

Writing Assignment:

At the end of chapter 4, Dr. Arronax explains why people can live with atmospheric pressure, and why fish at the bottom of the ocean would have to be metal plated to withstand the water pressure at great depths. Investigate the validity of this science, and write a 250 word essay in which you give your reader Dr. Arronax's explanation, say whether or not it's correct and why, and then describe the real situation if otherwise. This should lead you to at least three paragraphs. If you are in Ms. Cynthia's physics class, you must explore this option,.


Chapter 1 mentions "the inclination of the human mind to seek the fantastic" and then goes on to describe how the possibility of a "monster" came into fashion in "all the big cities." Do you think if a sea monster was spotted that people would write songs and plays about it? Do you think that the battle over "the monsters subject" should be won by believers or unbelievers? Write an essay of 250 words in which you give your opinion, supported with evidence, on whether people do indeed seek the "fantastic" or want to believe in monsters in the world, and whether or not this is a good thing. If you are in Ms. Maryann's class, you must explore this option.

If you are in Ms. Cynthia's class *AND* Ms. Maryann's class, you can take your pick.


1. Which event is referred to in the first paragraph?
2. Give an example of Jules Verne using H.G. Wells' technique of the plausible impossible.
3. Describe the hole in the Scotia's hull.
4. What does Dr. Arronax suppose the giant creature is?
5. What is a babirusa? Look it up and give me a link to a picture.
6. What is Ned Land's job?
7. What promise did Captain Farragut make to his crew on the second of November?
8. Who was the first to spot the creature?
9. What strange phenomenon did the crew observe about the creature?
10. In what situation does Professor Arronax find himself at the end of chapter 6?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Reading Period 15: February 3 - 9: The Time Machine

Lunch with Eloi
Due Dates:

Quiz: Monday, February 6
Assignments: Wednesday, February 8

Long Read:

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, chapters 6 - Epilogue


Loveliest of Trees the Cherry Now by A.E. Housman (1896)

When I was One and Twenty by A.E. Housman (1896)

Creative Assignment: 

Pretend you are 5000 years in the future, and you are touring a museum of 2017. What will you find there? Think of ten and only ten items to include as exhibits in this museum. You may choose to illustrate this on unlined paper in color, with the items clearly labeled, or write a list with a short description of each one.


Choose two paragraphs from the book which you feel create two very different moods. It might be you choose one paragraph describing the pleasant life of the Eloi, and one describing the dangers of the Morlocks. Which specific words in the text contribute to the mood you're experiencing? Create an illustration for each one of these paragraphs, in which you incorporate the words you identified. They can be part of the drawing, or you can write them over the drawing, or the words can take the shape of trees or plates or stalactites -- however you choose.

Lunch with Morlocks
Writing Assignments:

The Time Traveler refers to mistakes that he made, either in his judgment or in his decisions. Of course we know that the author, H.G. Wells, created this character and wrote those mistakes for him. Why? Write a short essay about the Time Traveler's mistakes and their meaning. Choose two or three mistakes that you feel the Time Traveler made, and for each one, discuss what it was, how it affected the plot, and why you think Wells thought that mistake was necessary, either to further the plot or for the reader's understanding.


Reread the first four paragraphs of chapter 10. The Time Machine was written in 1895, when technology was progressing at an intense pace, almost as fast as it is progressing today. Think about the changes that have taken place in our world in the last twenty years -- the internet, mobile phones, social media. Do you think that in our society there is an Overworld and an Underworld? A part of the world more connected to pleasure and prettiness and a part of the world more connected to machines and work? Write a short essay in which you compare the Overworld and Underworld in the book with our world today.


1. What piece of equipment does the Time Traveller wish he had taken into the future?
2. Reclining under the stars, what food does the Time Traveller decide that the Morlocks must be eating?
3. What, according to the Time Traveller, was the original purpose of the Palace of Green Porcelain?
4. At night, what does Weena want to play with that troubles the Time Traveller?
5. The Time Traveller says that as the Morlocks attack him “The darkness seemed to grow luminous.” What causes this?
6. How does the Time Traveller get inside the pedestal to his Time Machine?
7. Where does the Time Traveller go in his Machine?
8. Upon returning to his laboratory, what does the Time Traveller see Mrs. Watchett do?
9. After telling his story to his guests, how does the Time Traveller reassure himself that the story is really true?
10. What does the Medical Man want to take with him?