English 9B

Class Info

This class is an opportunity for students to develop and practice their skills in reading and analysis of literature as well as writing. Our various texts will be the vehicles through which they will hone their critical thinking abilities, and our writing exercises will be an outlet of expression for these abilities. During this semester we will be reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Romeo and Juliet, and we will also study a unit on The Hero’s Journey. Our objectives are to apply a mastery of the elements of literature, continue to practice the writing process, and better develop organization of writing.


Wednesday, 5/20

Today we finished watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Hero’s Journey text for the final. After that, we had work time for outlining the final exam essay (How is this text an example of the Hero’s Journey?) and for late work/revisions for the two other essays this semester. Homework: late and revised essays due Friday.

Monday, 5/18

Today we talked details of the final as well as the graded Romeo and Juliet essays. Revisions and late essays are due on Friday. Then we began viewing our text for the final: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Thursday, 5/13

We discussed “Helen on 86th St.” as yet another example of the Hero’s Journey. We also practiced the organization of the essay you will write for your final with this text — “How is this text an example of the Hero’s Journey?” Homework: work on revisions and late essays.

Tuesday, 5/11

We finished our discussion of Pirates today. I also collected the independent Hero’s Journey homework, graded it, and handed it back. The rest of class was spent reading “Helen on 86th Street” in the textbook and trying to figure out the Hero’s Journey in a piece of literature for a change. I collected textbooks from students who had them at the very end of class.

Friday, 5/7

We finished our viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean today and began discussing the hero’s journey in that film. Homework: watch another film of your choosing, one that fits the hero’s journey pattern, and complete another observation form for that film.

Wednesday, 5/5

We continued our viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean today, working on filling out the observation sheet as a study of the Hero’s Journey.

Monday, 5/3

I collected the Romeo and Juliet papers at the start of class — if you did not have it finished by then, it is now late. Then we started our last (brief) unit on the Hero’s Journey with some notes and an accompanying lecture/discussion. Following the overview on the Hero’s Journey, we started watching Pirates of the Caribbean while filling out this observation sheet.

Thursday, 3/29

I checked the Romeo and Juliet rough drafts which were due today. Students with a complete rough draft worked on peer editing with their classmates over Google Docs. Those whose drafts were incomplete had more time to work on writing them. At the end of class, we discussed proper formatting of the papers: 12 pt. “Serif” font (Google Docs doesn’t currently offer Times or Times New Roman), double-spaced, with a header at the top. Also, once your paper is finished, you need to change the filename to read “FINAL DRAFT.” That is how I will know to grade it. Homework: get that paper finished up!

Tuesday, 3/27

I checked everyone’s Romeo and Juliet outlines for a grade. Students either began their rough drafts in Google Docs or finished their outlines on paper. Homework: complete your rough draft for a grade and for peer editing on Thursday.

Friday, 4/23

I was out today. Students worked on their Romeo and Juliet essay outlines in preparation for writing their rough drafts next week. Homework: finish the outline if you did not get it done in class; either way, please compare your outline to the rubric before you start writing your draft.

Wednesday, 4/21

Today we finished our viewing of the 1996 Romeo + Juliet. We discussed the film a little bit and continued work on the review handouts from Monday. I also passed out and discussed the formal assignment for the Romeo and Juliet paper. This paper will be due May 3. Homework: be ready to work on your R&J outline on Friday.

Monday, 4/19

I had a meeting all afternoon, so my 9B classes had a sub today. She checked the homework for me, handed out this review-and-prepare-for-the-essay in-class worksheet, and then screened the beginning of the 1996 Baz Luhrman Romeo + Juliet adaptation.

Thursday, 4/15

We finished reading the play today. I handed out the last of our pre-essay worksheets, asking students to find supporting quotes for Romeo and Juliet being responsible for their own deaths (along with Fate). We also watched the last two acts of the Zeffirelli film. Homework: finish the worksheet, which I’ll check on Monday.

Tuesday, 4/13

We read IV, i-ii together today. Then students read IV, iii individually and took an open-book quiz on what the read. We went over this scene together, and also read V, i.

Friday, 4/9

Today we used the English department netbooks to start getting better organized for the Romeo and Juliet papers coming up in a couple weeks. Students opened this worksheet in Google Docs, made a copy, and shared it back with me. We then discussed and shared everyone’s findings. After this, we started reading Act IV.

Wednesday, 4/7

Today I checked the homework of the key scenes handout at the start of class. We then finished reading, and watching, Act III.

Monday, 3/5

Welcome back from spring break! We jumped back into Romeo and Juliet with a viewing of III, i-ii. Then we read III, iii-iv out loud. Homework: complete the key scenes handout for Wednesday.

Thursday, 3/25

Students began the class reading and paraphrasing Juliet’s opening soliloquy in III, ii. We read the scene together, and then we (once again) practiced finding quotes in that scene.

Tuesday, 3/23

We read III, i of Romeo and Juliet as a class, and then students found quotes supporting four different topics as more practice.

Friday, 3/19

We finished reading Act II of Romeo and Juliet today. Afterwards, I gave this in-class assignment to begin thinking about who might be to blame for the way the play ends (and also to do more practice in finding supporting quotes). I took a completion grade on this assignment, and then we discussed what everyone found.

Wednesday, 3/17

We read II, iii-v today and started talking a little bit about the roles of the Friar and the Nurse in the wedding of Romeo and Juliet. More on this on Friday.

Monday, 3/15

After a brief check-in on how CSAP is going for everyone, we watched the remainder of Act II of Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet and then we read II, i-ii as a class. 

Thursday, 3/11

I was forced to miss school again today. The sub gave an in-class assignment to paraphrase all of II, i, and the first 49 lines of II, ii. After this was a viewing of the beginning of Zeffirelli’s Act II.

Tuesday, 3/9

I was away from school today. The sub showed Act I of the Franco Zeffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet.

Friday, 3/5

Today we reviewed the CSAP schedule one more time, and then we read Act 1, scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet. Afterwards we did our last round of CSAP review to get ready for the tests starting next week.

Wednesday, 3/3

Today I returned those Mockingbird papers that were submitted on time. I also went over the guidelines for revision for those students still eligible — namely, 1.) review your graded paper against the full rubric, 2.) meet with me starting Friday for 3-5 minutes to discuss the changes you plan to make, 3.) make those changes, 4.) submit the revised paper with the original scored paper attached. Revisions without originals attached will not be accepted, no excuses. We also went over the CSAP rosters and schedules for next week and we practiced more for the test again.

Monday, 3/1

Today we spent some time doing pre-CSAP practice. We also reviewed introductions and conclusions a bit, both as prep for CSAP and as some re-looping of these concepts from the Mockingbird papers. We then read R&J I, iv.

Wednesday, 2/24

I started class by collecting the cause and effect homework/classwork from Monday. Students read I, ii by themselves and tried to summarize it on their own. We then read I, ii and I, iii together as a class

Monday, 2/22

Answering the questions on this cause and effect handout started class for today. We then took our time reading through I, i of Romeo and Juliet. Homework: complete the cause and effect handout again on the back, this time examining an event from I, i, and it’s causes/effects.

Thursday, 2/18

Today I collected the Mockingbird papers. If you were absent, please contact me immediately. If your absence today was unexcused, you can only receive half credit for the paper. I also collected Mockingbird books from the students who had them and were finished with the papers. Then I introduced Romeo and Juliet by talking a little bit about plays in general and Shakespeare specifically. We read and paraphrased the prologue at the start of the play to get started with the text.

Tuesday, 2/16

Today was a work day for the Mockingbird paper. I also checked rough drafts and went over the essay formatting guidelines — incorrectly formatted papers will not be accepted and will be late. Homework: finish the paper and turn it in at the start of class on Thursday.

Thursday, 2/11

Today was a work day for the Mockingbird paper. A completed outline was due for a grade at the end of class. I made the following suggestions for how to best complete the outline:

  1. Choose a prompt if you haven’t already.
  2. Decide the main ideas for your body paragraphs. These will support your opinion about the prompt. Many students chose to write about three different characters as each of these three main ideas.
  3. Write a draft of your thesis. It doesn’t have to be perfect at this point, but it should state your position and preview the main ideas.
  4. Pull together evidence to support your main ideas. This should be quotes from the text (three per main idea) and explanation/elaboration for each quote.
  5. Flesh out the introduction and conclusion.
Homework: the rough draft of your Mockingbird paper is due next Tuesday, our computer lab typing day — if your draft is not complete, you will not be allowed to type until it is.

Tuesday, 2/9

Today I handed out the revised Mockingbird paper assignment, this time with the final rubric attached. We finished the film version of Mockingbird today and started work on the papers. The outline of your paper will be due at the end of class on Thursday, and the rough draft will be due at the start of class next Tuesday. Homework: determine your thesis and main ideas and find those quotes!

Friday, 2/5

Today we went over the assignment for the Mockingbird paper — I don’t have a rubric ready for you you yet, but I will try and have it on Tuesday. Then we began our viewing of the film version of Mockingbird. Homework: decide on a prompt, think about your thesis, begin collecting and organizing quotes

Wednesday, 2/3

Today we took a quiz over the last chapters of the novel, and then discussed the ending. Period 3 also was placed in to a seating chart.

Monday, 2/1

We discussed ch. 22-26 in Mockingbird today using these discussion questions. We also began discussing the organization for the paper, which will be due in about a week and a half. Homework: finish the novel for Wednesday.

Thursday, 1/28

After a quiz, we found evidence to support all three of the main ideas on this handout. We used this evidence to discuss the conclusion of the Tom Robinson trial. At the end of class, everyone picked one of the three main ideas to form into a paragraph, complete with topic sentence and detailed support. Homework: read ch. 22-26 in Mockingbird.

Tuesday, 1/26

With only three more class days left after this till we finish the novel, and considering how important the trial is, I gave a good chunk of time today for students to get caught up (or get ahead!) on the reading. We did take a quiz over ch. 15-17 and discussed those chapters too. Homework: read ch. 18-21 for Thursday.

Friday, 1/22

Today we reviewed ch. 12-14 in Mockingbird, using these discussion questions as a starting point. Then we reviewed paragraph writing and talked about the things everyone did well on the school lunch letters — as well as those things that needed improvement. The last 20 minutes of class were for writing a revised version of this letter. This was due at the end of class unless I told you otherwise.

Homework: read ch. 15-17 in Mockingbird.

Wednesday, 1/20

Today we took a quiz over ch. 10-11 of Mockingbird. We discussed these chapters, specifically focusing on the ideas of characters/people not always being who they seem to be. We also talked about how they reinforce the “walking around in someone else’s skin” idea and how they serve as some important character development for Atticus and Jem (and to a lesser degree, Scout). Homework: read ch. 12-14 for Friday.

Friday, 1/15

Today we began with a quiz over ch. 8-9. Students then completed discussion questions on their own before having the discussion about the same chapters. We wrapped up with a practice writing prompt which we’ll use more  next week for talking about good paragraph organization.

Homework: read ch. 10-11.

Wednesday, 1/13

Today we started with a quiz over ch. 4-7, and then we reviewed those chapters. I gave students another 10-15 minutes to finish up the writing prompt from Monday. After that, we did more practice with quoting and citing portions of the text to support the claim that Scout and other characters show empathy.

Homework: read ch. 8-9.

Monday, 1/11

Today we began our discussion of To Kill A Mockingbird. I asked students to spend 15-20 minutes describing the following people/places in ch. 1-3: Atticus Finch, Scout Finch, Jem Finch, Maycomb, Calpurnia, Dill, The Radley Place, Boo Radley, Stephanie Crawford, Miss Caroline, Walter Cunningham, and Burris Ewell. We discussed this list, which helped us review pretty much all of ch. 1-3, essentially the exposition to the novel. I then gave a writing prompt which I collected at the end of class.

Homework: chapters 4-7 are due on Monday.

Thursday, 1/7

Today I began where English 9A left off, and we jumped right into the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. We started with an activity in which students viewed four optical illusions which possibly challenged their perception. We talked about influences on our perception (not just visual perception), and then I connected those ideas to the necessity of the novel’s main characters (Scout and Jem Finch) to try and see things the way others see them. I then passed out copies of the novel, along with reading schedule bookmarks detailing when every chapter of the book needs to be completed. Students then began on their reading of the novel in class.

Homework: read ch. 1-3 of TKAM for class on Thursday.


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