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. We will be reading poetry, short fiction, novels, and dramatic texts. Our objectives are to master the elements of literature, practice the writing process, and improve organization of writing.

Note: I teach two sections of this class on different days. When possible, I will use the same entry for both Red and Gold days. When impossible, I will post a separate summary for each day.


Week of 5/13–5/17

We finished reading and watching Romeo and Juliet. Students finished taking notes on which characters are to blame for the deaths of the lovers, and they began looking for quotes to use in the persuasive essays they will write as a final next week.

Week of 5/6–5/10

We completed reading and watching through the end of Act III and began Act IV. We also began talking about the final, a persuasive essay in which students will decide who is most to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

Week of 4/29–5/3

We worked through reading the rest of Act II and about half of Act III. Students watched portions of the Zeffirelli version of the film as well.

Friday, 4/26 (Gold day)

Students started class by watching II, ii in Zeffirelli. Then we read II, iii–iv and compared the relationship between the Nurse and Juliet to the one between the Friar and Romeo.

Thursday, 4/25 (Red day)

Students watched I, v in the Zeffirelli version, read II, ii together, then watched II, ii in the same film.

Wednesday, 4/24 (Gold day)

Together we talked about differences between the two film versions of Romeo and Juliet so far, and we read II, ii.

Tuesday, 4/23 (Red day)

On this shortened day for ACT, students returned to Romeo and Juliet by reading I, v together.

Monday, 4/22 (Gold day)

Students returned to Romeo and Juliet today by watching Act I in the new version of the film. Then we read I, v together.

Thursday, 4/18; Friday, 4/19

Students had a work day to revisit their Animal Farm persuasive papers today. First we checked grades and rubrics in the Google docs, something very few students had done on their own. Then we walked students through revisions to their thesis statements and supporting paragraphs as well as mechanical errors to look for and fix. At the end of class, we reminded students to e-mail us when they want us to read these revisions.

Wednesday, 4/17 (Red day)

Both Ms. Harr and I were out of the building today, so students watched Act I of the Luhrmann (1996) film version of Romeo and Juliet, and then answered some questions about it as well as a close read of I, iv.

Tuesday, 4/16 (Gold day)

Students finished I, iv, and then we viewed the first act of the Zeffirelli (1967) film version of Romeo and Juliet. We talked about how it compared to how they imagined I, i-iv when we read them together.

Monday, 4/15 (Red day)

Students viewed the first three scenes of the Zeffirelli (1967) film version of Romeo and Juliet. We talked about how it compared to how they imagined I, i when we read it last week, and then we read I, ii-iii together. 

Friday, 4/12 (Gold day)

Students returned to I, i to find evidence of blame and practice Shakespearean citations. We then read together I, ii-iii and started I, iv.

Thursday, 4/11 (Red day)

We finished our discussion of the prologue to Romeo and Juliet from before break, and then we read I, i together as a class. Students then found evidence of blame in I, i and practiced Shakespearean citations.

Wednesday, 4/10 (Gold day)

We finished our discussion of the prologue to Romeo and Juliet from before break, and then we read I, i together as a class.

Monday, 4/8 (Gold day)

Students completed Shakespeare research in groups and presented the results to the rest of the class.

Friday, 3/29 (A2, A3)

Students finished up their Shakespeare research in groups, presented the results to the rest of the class, and then began reading/paraphrasing the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet.

Thursday, 3/28 (B8)

Students took the test over Animal Farm and then read and paraphrased together the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet.

Wednesday, 3/27 (A2, A3)

Students took the test over Animal Farm and then began the in-class research to learn about Shakespeare and the world of Romeo and Juliet.

Monday, 3/25; Tuesday, 3/26

The Animal Farm papers were due today. In class we talked about irony and reviewed for the AF test next class. Homework: review for the open-book test.

Thursday, 3/21; Friday, 3/22

Wednesday, 3/20 (B8)

We watched and discussed clips from the film version of Animal Farm. And then students began their papers, using the thesis and persuasion map work from the last few class periods, as well as the graphic organizers students should have been completing while reading.

Tuesday, 3/19 (A3)

We watched and discussed clips from the film version of Animal Farm. And then students began their papers, using the thesis and persuasion map work from the last few class periods, as well as the graphic organizers students should have been completing while reading.

Monday, 3/18 (B8)

Students spent the first part of class finishing their thesis statements, which they’d begun last class. Then we reviewed the novel together and talked about the allegory and which characters represented different historical figures in the Russian Revolution.

Friday, 3/15 (A3)

Students spent the first part of class finishing their thesis statements, which they’d begun last class. Then we reviewed the novel together and talked about the allegory and which characters represented different historical figures in the Russian Revolution.

Friday, 3/15 (A2)

We watched and discussed clips from the film version of Animal Farm. And then students began their papers, using the thesis and persuasion map work from the last few class periods, as well as the graphic organizers students should have been completing while reading.

Thursday, 3/14 (B8)

Students read Animal Farm for the first half of class, and then students worked on their thesis statements for the upcoming essay on the novel using these websites as resources to help them:

  1. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/
  2. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/545/01/
  3. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/
  4. http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/thesis.html
  5. http://tipsforresearchpapersandessays.blogspot.com/2008/12/thesis-statement-examples.html
  6. http://www.umanitoba.ca/virtuallearningcommons/page/186
  7. http://uncw.edu/ulc/writing/thesis.html

Wednesday, 3/13 (A2)

Students spent the first part of class finishing their thesis statements, which they’d begun last class. Then we reviewed the novel together and talked about the allegory and which characters represented different historical figures in the Russian Revolution.

Monday, 3/11 (A2, A3)

Students read Animal Farm for the first half of class, and then students worked on their thesis statements for the upcoming essay on the novel using these websites as resources to help them:

  1. http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/
  2. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/545/01/
  3. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/588/01/
  4. http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/thesis.html
  5. http://tipsforresearchpapersandessays.blogspot.com/2008/12/thesis-statement-examples.html
  6. http://www.umanitoba.ca/virtuallearningcommons/page/186
  7. http://uncw.edu/ulc/writing/thesis.html

Thursday, 3/7; Friday, 3/8

Using MacBooks, students access the graphic persuasion map tool on ReadWriteThink.org and created outlines for their Animal Farm papers with a partner. The rest of class was for starting ch. 7 in Animal Farm. Homework: write a list of ten qualities that make a good leader.

Tuesday, 3/5; Wednesday, 3/6

Today we reviewed classroom expectations and also went back over Old Major’s speech in Animal Farm and identified persuasive appeals. In groups, students went over the speeches given by Snowball and Napoleon on p. 43-54 and p. 62-64 of the novel and identified appeals in those speeches as well, including copying down quotes; students turned in these assignments individually for in-class points. We reviewed the progress students had made in the novel and we went over the assignment details for the final paper for the Animal Farm unit. Lastly, we gave back the poetry project final reflections and talked about revisions to those papers for those students who turned them in on time.

Thursday, 2/28; Monday, 3/4

We reviewed the advertising/propaganda examples from last time as well as the three rhetorical appeals, talked about parallel structure, and then reviewed these things using Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Students followed along and made notes on a hard copy of the speech while watching a video of it. Their task was to identify examples of repetition, parallel structure, metaphors, similes, and rhetorical appeals in the speech, then to discuss their findings within a small group, and then together as a whole class. Students then went back to Animal Farm and attempted to do the same to Old Major’s speech at the beginning of the novel.

Tuesday, 2/26; Wednesday, 2/27

Students had a significant amount of time to read today, and the goal was to get finished with Animal Farm through the end of ch. 6. After this, everyone took a quiz over ch. 5 & 6. Students then discussed the advertising homework with a partner, and we introduced the idea of persuasive appeal and the importance of understanding the audience of a persuasive piece. After looking at several examples of persuasive pieces, including advertisements and WWII propaganda, students evaluated which were more persuasive. Homework: write a claim about which picture was more persuasive and to which audience, and identifying if it was emotional, logical, or ethical in its appeal.

Friday, 2/22; Monday, 2/25

Students looked over Old Major’s speech in Animal Farm. We read part of the speech aloud and we discussed how the speech was persuasive for other animals. Then students watched this scene twice — once from the animated version (1954) and the live-action version (1999). The class discussed the differences and similarities between each clip and the book. Students then wrote a paragraph explaining which version they liked better and gave three reasons that supported their claim. Students finished reading chapter four in the novel and took a quiz over chapters three and four. Homework: find examples of advertisements that are persuasive to discuss next class.

Wednesday, 2/20; Thursday, 2/21

Course registration took up a lot of our time on Wednesday; students in both classes got a lot of time to read, with the goal to read all the way through ch. 3. Students then took a practice quiz to try out Socrative, a tool we will be using for actual quizzes starting next class.

Friday, 2/15; Tuesday, 2/19

After finishing up the history notes on Animal Farm, students completed an activity demonstrating the differences between capitalism and socialism and talked about some literary elements relating to the novel. They then received the graphic organizer for characters and started reading the novel in class. (B8 students also registered for next year’s classes, which ate into reading time.)

Wednesday, 2/13; Thursday, 2/14

Students spent the first half of class taking our end-of-unit poetry test. The second half was used for discussing background knowledge necessary to understand our next book Animal Farm.

Monday, 2/11; Tuesday, 2/12

After going over information important to choosing classes next year, we reviewed all of the elements of poetry we’ve been studying since the start of the semester. Next class, everyone will take an open-note test in which they will identify these elements in a poem and talk about how they are used and their effect on the reading of the poem. Homework: go over your notes, organize and rewrite them, and possibly practice finding these elements on your own.

Thursday, 2/7; Friday, 2/8

Students spent all of today working on the final response to the poetry project. We continued to help students through writing each body paragraph separately, at times offering sentence frames or other organizational suggestions. We then wrote introductions and conclusions together with similar assistance. A few students finished by the end of class. Homework: finish your final response over the weekend if you were unable to complete it in class.

Tuesday, 2/5; Wednesday, 2/6

Students finished their poetry project research and started on the final response — an essay describing some of the things they learned while working on parts 1-4 of the poetry project. Rather than writing the entire essay straight through, we helped each class begin the essay in the middle: A2 started with the first body paragraph, A3 started with the third, and B8 started with the second. Regardless of where you start, we’re going to help you write all three body paragraphs first, and then go back and write the introduction and conclusion so that everything makes sense when read straight through. Homework: any students still finishing up research should do so; any student not having completed at least one body paragraph today in class should do so.

Friday, 2/1; Monday, 2/4

After continuing to review and practice with sounds of poetry, students began part 4 of the Poetry Project, the poet/poem research. Students who completed or got mostly done with this today should have enough time next class to get it ready to turn in. Students who have fewer than two notecards finished should work on it at least a little bit for homework.

Wednesday, 1/30; Thursday, 1/31

Students completed the creative response portion (part 3) of the Poetry Project during the first hour of class. Afterwards, we reviewed and practiced with sounds of poetry a little bit more.

Monday, 1/28; Tuesday, 1/29

Students spent the first half of class typing up their two interviews that were homework for today, along with an overall interview reflection (At the end, write one reflection answering what you learned from the entire interview process, what surprised you, and how your thinking of the poem has changed since your initial response and paraphrase. You should also compare the responses you got.). We then worked on continuing to identify examples of poetic sounds in the project poems.

Thursday, 1/24; Friday, 1/25

To start class, we collected the homework and then continued going over interview questions and other tips to be successful in Part 2 of the Poetry Project. Students then interviewed one classmate on their project poems (and were interviewed themselves by the same partner), and then typed up the in-class interview after it was completed. At the end of class, students took notes over some vocabulary terms relating to poetic sounds. Homework: complete two more interviews for next class, when we will type them up.

Tuesday, 1/22; Wednesday, 1/23

We continued working with Sonnet XVII today, reviewing rhyme scheme and then talking a lot about rhythm through counting of syllables, examining stressed and unstressed syllables, and attempting to write sonnets using Shakespeare’s form. Then students received two printed copies of their project poems along with the interview handout, and we all worked together on coming up with good interview questions. Homework: find examples of rhyme and syllable-based rhythm in one of the two printed copies of your project poem.

Thursday, 1/17; Friday, 1/18

Students worked on finishing their initial responses and paraphrases for Part 1 of the Poetry Project today. Then we started talking about the sounds of poetry using William Shakespeare’s Sonnet XVIII, discussing rhyme scheme and end rhyme. Homework: Finish Part 1 if you were unable to do so in class. 

Tuesday, 1/15; Wednesday, 1/16

Students worked on the first part of the Poetry Project todayfinding a poem, typing it, writing a brief initial response, and paraphrasing it. We will finish this portion of the assignment next class.

Friday, 1/11; Monday, 1/14

We went over definitions and examples of some poetic elements today (imagery, simile, metaphor, personification, and hyperbole), and students worked in groups to find these elements in three Shel Silverstein poems.

Wednesday, 1/9; Thursday, 1/10

We returned the paraphrases of “Did I Miss Anything” that students turned in at the end of last class. We finished these paraphrases (some were incomplete), and then talked about the overall message the poet is trying to communicate. We then did the same with a second poem, “Wheels.” I asked students to compare and contrast these two poems, which we then used to springboard into a discussion of what makes a poem a poem.

Monday, 1/7; Tuesday, 1/8

We finished up the film version of Mockingbird, and then we discussed further people’s various feelings about poetry and the difference between “poetry” and “poems.” We did an initial read of a new poem, and students paraphrased the entire poem in groups, due at the end of class.

Thursday, 1/3; Friday, 1/4

We began our poetry unit by talking about “The Lanyard.” We practiced paraphrasing individual stanzas in groups and discussed what each group came up with. Then we watched part of the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, starting from the lynch mob scene and ending in the middle of the trial scene.


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