Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quizlet Vocabulary

The final exam words have all been entered on Wallyjr's Quizlet account. Check it out for studying purposes.

Click here for the link.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Final Exams

The vocabulary final on second semester words will be on Monday, June 7. You have gathered the word lists to know in a vocabulary packet. They are Things Fall Apart, Carlito, Night, Phobia and Friends.

The final exam during your finals block will involve creating a comic strip that captures a common theme and four characters encountered this year in English 10. The final assessment also involves reflection papers on what you were trying to accomplish in the comic strip.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Night Reading Schedule

Reading Due Date:

Thursday, April 15: 1-20
Friday, April 16: 21-43
Monday, April 19: 45-62
Tuesday, April 20: 63-80
Wednesday, April 21: 81-98
Thursday, April 22: 99-109

Friday, April 23: Final Exam

Friday, April 9, 2010

Research Letter Grading Criteria

Here's what you need to turn in by 3:10 on Monday, April 12 and how the assignment will be graded. Remember that you also need to give a brief speech about your letter.

1. Research Letter

•Topic is relevant and well-selected
•Letter makes a persuasive, well-organized argument about your chosen ethical issue
•Includes citations to at least 3 credible sources
•Includes some background information and acknowledgement of the opposition
•Illustrations/ quotes provide strong support for your topic
•All quotations and paraphrases are introduced with a signal phrase that indicates the source of the information
•Tone is appropriately formal and serious
•Sentence are fluid, concise
•Word choice is precise
•Letter reflects revision and evidence of engagement with the writing process
•Letter is properly formatted according to business letter model and single-spaced
•Entire packet is submitted in a neat, orderly fashion with attention to detail

2. Works Cited Page

•Properly formatted according to MLA standards
•All Entries Double-spaced
•Inclusive of all sources cited within the text of the letter

3.Printed copies of sources

•Copies of all sources are submitted with essay
•Sources show evidence of annotation or proof of careful notetaking

4. Flow Map of Credibility for all sources not found on school database

•One flow map is submitted for each source that is not from a school database
•The information on each flow map is specific to the source being evaluated

Monday, April 5, 2010

Research Passwords

Some of the databases require passwords, so check out the list below that has user name as U and password as P. Please print off these user names and passwords and tape them to your computer at home. I will only leave them live on the blog for a few days.

U: ehornets
P: ehornets

Culture Grams
U: edina
P: hornets

U: edina
P: hornets

U: mnkedina
P: elm4you

U: Of4crftbvf
P: welcome

SIRS at home
U: MN0307h
P: 55439

World Book
U: edina
P: worldbook

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Research Letter Due April 5 to April 12

Individual Persuasive Letter Based on Research


To demonstrate your understanding of the research process and to engage in a thoughtful analysis of a meaningful contemporary issue, you will write a letter to a publication, person, corporation or organization that persuades them on a specific ethical issue. For your research, examine a contemporary ethical issue tied to current corporate and consumer practices. Although you may research and write about a food-related issue, do not write about the same topic that your group did after watching Food Inc.

Letter Paragraph Organization

Your persuasive letter paragraphs do not need to follow the PIE format of literary analysis. In fact, business letters are brief, rarely do they go beyond one page of single-spaced type. Click here to see a business letter format for typing. Your letter should follow this organizational plan:

• Introduction—creative attention device and specific ethical thesis—the point you want to prove. (2 sentences)

• The basic arguments on both sides of the ethical question. Consider the consequences, pros and cons of each position. You may need to include some brief background information. Information in these paragraphs will be supported with in-text citations. Using “according to” or other signal phrases works well in a business letter; however, you may use parenthetical, in-text citations. (2 – 3 paragraphs)

• Conclusion—Based on your research, what is the best ethical response to your issue? In other words, what’s your call to action? What do you want people to do? Why? (1-2 sentences)

Note Taking
Complete some type of note-taking that ensures you are properly paraphrasing and correctly using direct quotations so that you do not plagiarize. Annotating printouts works well for note taking. Alternatively, you use paper or note cards to capture information without printing it. Just be careful to use quotation marks when you are copying lines exactly.

As you research, remember that you must reference a minimum of three credible sources.
Credible web sites have a known author (usually one that can be contacted), links that work, few grammatical errors, and listed resources.
• If you use articles from the school’s on-line databases, you are assured that they are credible.
• If you use a source not from the school’s database, create a flow map that shows why you determine the source was credible. See the flow map glued in your notebook.

Final Products
1. One-page letter (typed, single spaced block formatting, 12-point font, one-inch margins)
2. A properly formatted MLA works cited page
3. Flow maps that trace the credibility of Internet sources not found on school databases.
4. Some evidence of notetaking, probably annotated Internet printouts.

Help Available
Remember that The Writing Center is open before school and during lunch to assist you. Also, check out the teacher’s blog for links to citing sources and formatting a business letter.

Due Date
Your letter is due anytime between Monday, April 5 and Monday, April 12. You will not receive late points if you turn in the paper by Monday, April 12 at 3:10 p.m.--the last day of the due date window. I will grade the papers on "a first in, first graded" basis in case you want to take that into consideration when planning your due date.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Nectar Reading Schedule and Test

The final exam for Nectar in a Sieve is on Friday, March 19. That test will also include vocabulary words from the Carlito song.

Here is the reading schedule for Nectar:

The date indicates the night you should read the assigned pages as homework:

March 2: Chapters 1 & 2, pp. 3-17
March 3: Chapters 3 & 4, pp. 18-30
March 4: Chapters 5 to 7, pp. 31-45
March 5: Chapters 8 to 10, pp. 46-57
March 8: Chapters 11 to 13, pp. 58-77
March 9: Chapters 14 & 15, pp. 78-91
March 10: Chapters 16 & 17, pp. 92-102
March 11: Chapters 18 to 21, pp. 103-123
March 12: Chapters 22 to 24, pp. 124-149
March 15: Chapters 25 & 26, pp. 150-164
March 16: Chapter 27, pp. 165-176
March 17: Chapters 28 to 30, pp. 177-186

Tribal Scars Extra Credit

Another 3rd quarter extra credit opportunity is to read the short story "Tribal Scars" that is available in class. Read the story and answer the 13 questions in the packet for 5 points of extra credit by Monday,

Extra Credit Memorization for Quarter 3

You may memorize "Work Without Hope" to recite in front of the class for five points of extra credit. You must recite the poem on or before Thursday, March 18.

Work Without Hope
A Sonnet by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1825

All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair –
The bees are stirring – birds are on the wing –
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.

Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrighten’d, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Did you know? My Top 5 Reasons for Reading World Literature

#1 Because the people of the world are becoming more and more connected culturally and economically, my students need to experience other cultures through reading. (Dependent clause/comma/independent clause)

#2 I enjoy easy-to-read, escapist books like Twilight; however, I also know that intellectual stimulation and critical analysis requires more difficult texts that my students would most likely not read on their own. (indenpendent clause/semicolon/conjunctive adverb/comma/independent clause)

#3 Since the Minnesota State Language Arts Standards require students to read literature beyond the United States and the United Kingdom, Edina Public Schools has placed an emphasis on World Literature in the sophomore year. (Dependent clause/comma/independent clause)

#4 I believe that being fully human requires an understanding of the world beyond our backyards, so I attempt to bring the world to the pages my students read in English 10.(independent clause/comma/coordinating conjuction/independent clause)

#5 I know that my students may still not agree with me that the world is getting smaller and reading can help bridge culturally understanding; nevertheless, English 10 will continue to have a world literature focus because citizens of the U.S. need to be in the "know," so I want my students to watch the short video "Did you know?"
(Dependent clause/semicolon/conjunctive adverb/comma/independent clause/dependent clause/comma/coordinating conjunction/independent clause)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Things Fall Apart Peer Review

Writer: Tell your responder what you need from them.

1. Write down these questions or concerns at the top of the paper.
2. Read introductory paragraph. How does the author draw you in? Put a Bracket around the thesis.
3. Before continuing your reading, check the topic sentences of each body paragraph – does each correspond to an idea mentioned in the thesis? Underline the ideas in the topic sentences that correspond to the thesis. If you cannot do this, the topic sentences need revision.
4. Read the body paragraphs. Identify the points and illustrations. Put a P and I in the margin by each point and illustration.
5. Evaluate each explanation – does the writer clearly explain how a literary device helps prove the point? Write + or - in the margin next to each E if a discussion of a literary device is evident.
6. Read the conclusion. Circle the section where the author shows how this topic connects to life.
7. Go back to the essay to help the writer with her/his particular questions or concerns. Talk together about them, and come up with a plan for the writer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Upcoming Due Dates

Tuesday, Feb. 23--Final Exam on Things Fall Apart and corresponding vocabulary.

Wednesday, Feb. 24--Rough Draft of Things Fall Apart essay due.

Monday, March 1 (3:10 p.m.)--Final day to turn in Things Fall Apart essay.

PIE on p. 130 Passage

POINT - Achebe’s sensory imagery and personification portray the earth and the land as a living and often angry being in Igbo culture to further the idea that people need to revere and respect the earth and nature, and this imagery connects to Okonkwo's angry character.

ILUSTRATION/ WITH PLOT CONTEXT - Achebe vividly describes the land of Mbanta shortly after Okonkwo’s banishment from Umuofia. “All the grass had long been scorched brown and the sands felt like live coals to the feet. Evergreen trees wore a dusty coat of brown.. The birds were silenced in the forests, and the world lay panting under the live vibrating heat…[the earth] was angry, metallic, and thirsty” (Achebe 130).

EXPLANATION – The earth has turned from a lush, productive being to a withering and angry soul who is “panting” and gasping for air. The “scorched brown” color, “silence in the forests” and “vibrating heat” create images of earth as a place that resembles hell more than it does earth. The personified earth is also weary as it wears a “dusty coat of brown” and is “angry” and “thirsty.” Okonkwo and the earth meld into one person through these images; both beings are full of angst and hungry for the lush life that they once knew..

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Proverb and Stories Homework

Do the following homework for Friday, February 12:

Proverbs in Things Fall Apart

“The sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them.” p. 8

“If a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.” p. 8

“Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break.” p. 19

“A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness.” p. 19

“A toad does not run in the daytime for nothing.” p. 20

“The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no one else did.” p. 21

Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching.” p. 22

“Looking at a king’s mouth, one would think he never sucked at his mother’s breast.” p. 26

“Those whose palm-kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.” p. 26

“When a man says yes his chi says yes also.” p. 27


Pick three proverbs from above to study more closely. For each proverb:

Write the meaning of the proverb (explain it using your own words).

Write the relevance to the novel (how it is used, why it is used).

Consider its relevance or irrelevance to today’s world. Can you think of a time when the wisdom of the proverb was applied to a modern situation? Can you think of a time when the wisdom of the proverb should have been applied and wasn’t?

Next, write two or three proverbs of your own about:

Edina High School
Life as a teenager

We’ll share the best ones. Have fun. Be creative. Be smart. And include some of these literary devices: alliteration, parallelism, rhyme, ellipsis,, hyperbole, paradox, and/or personification.

Follow your proverb homework with an analysis of the tortoise story in Things Fall Apart. The tortoise is the trickster in Ibo culture.

Re-read the tortoise story on pages 96-99 and do the following:

  1. Re-tell how tortoise tricks others in three boxes of a flow map. You may do this in a comic strip of three frames.
  2. State the moral of the story (theme).
  3. Discuss why you think Achebe included this story in Things Fall Apart? Examine connections to the novel.

Sympathy and Empathy Etymology

Sympathy is a Things Fall Apart vocab word, and empathy appeared in The Namesake on last semester's flocabulary list. I know that you are wondering the root words since the words are so similar. Here goes:

path = feeling

sym = together

en = in (switched to em because spelling developed after people had been pronouncing the words)

sympathy = together feeling or "an expression of pity for another"
empathy = in feeling or "feeling another's pain as one's own"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Etymology Questions from Yesterday

Some students had questions on etymology yesterday. Here are the answers I found.

Bison does not mean "two horns." Bison is a French word meaning "wild ox" and refers to its musky smell.

Quotidian is not related to quad (meaning four). Every qu word does not relate to quad.

Quotidian which means "daily," comes from the Latin quotus "how many" + dies "day"

Knowing Etymology Builds Vocabulary

When you were in elementary school, you learned to read by learning the phonics of the English language and how to decode words. Now you need to keep working on your reading skills by learning to decode more complex words by learning classical roots and affixes (prefixes and suffixes). Often when people are trying to spell a difficult word they claim, "English is such a weird and crazy language." English is not crazy. It's just that English has influences from Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Greek, French, and other ethno-cultural words. Historically, England has been conquered by a variety of cultures, so the story of the language is just as diverse.

We started our study of classical roots yesterday with numerology because many of you know the number prefixes of uni, bi, tri, quad, pent, etc. Now throughout the semester we'll keep building our A to Z Taxonomy of classical roots and affixes to improve your decoding skills while reading.

If you ever want to look up the etymology (the word's history) of a word, a great resource is this etymology online dictionary.

Besides the number roots, yesterday we learned male (badly), mal (bad), bene (good) and volle (will) so that you could decode malevolent, malicious, and benevolent.

Things Fall Apart Reading Schedule

Reading Due Dates:

Feb. 4: pp. 1-15, Chaps 1-2
Feb. 8: pp. 16-45, Chapters 3-5
Feb. 9: pp. 46-62, Chapters 6-7
Feb. 10: pp. 63-86, Chapters 8-9
Feb. 11: pp. 87-109, Chaps 10-11
Feb. 16: pp. 110-142, Chaps 12-15
Feb. 17: pp. 143-161, Chaps 16-18
Feb. 18: pp. 162-177, Chaps 19-20
Feb. 22: pp. 178-209, Chaps 21-25

Things Fall Apart Essay Due February 24

In “An African Voice” by Katie Bacon of Atlantic Unbound Chinua Achebe is described as “the founding father of African literature in the English Language” because Things Fall Apart “was one of the first books to tell the story of European colonization from an African perspective.” In Things Fall Apart, not only does Chinua Achebe incorporate Igbo words, proverbs and stories to bring an African perspective, but also he develops central messages or themes that emerge from the clash of the Igbo and British cultures from an Igbo perspective.

Essay Prompt:
In a well-organized and polished essay, explain what lesson about life (theme) is revealed by examining the cultural clash in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

• Create a multi-flow map that analyzes the causes and effects of a specific conflict between one British character and one Igbo character to represent the overall class of cultures. What causes these two characters and two worlds to collide? What emotional and physical effects result from this clash?
• Then, carefully consider how the characters and the settings function in the play. What incites humor? What introduces conflict? How do characters reveal themselves and/or grow and change? How does conflict resolve?
• A thesis may follow this format: In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, ___________ and ____________clash in order to reveal/prove/illuminate ____(thematic statement)__________.
• Then, write at least two body paragraphs. Each body paragraph will include at least two PIEs. In the Explanation of each PIE, you’ll discuss how one literary device such as imagery (similes, metaphors, etc.) or word choice in the quotation selected furthers your argument. In other words, each Illustration should contain a literary device that furthers your thesis on theme.

Evaluation: Your essay will be assessed according to these criteria

• Thesis statement reflects deep thinking about theme.
• Topic sentences are analytical and clearly connect to thesis statement.
• Each body paragraph contains at least two PIEs with quotes smoothly integrated.
• Explanations contain analysis of literary devices.
• Essay reflects original, independent and creative thinking. Do not visit the Internet for ideas!!! Those ideas may find their way into your paper which is not only plagiarism if not properly cited, but also those ideas do not display independent and original thinking.

• Introduction is engaging.
• Each body paragraph has a topic sentence and a concluding sentence
• Transitions are used between paragraphs and between PIEs.
• Closing paragraph makes a relevant connection to your essay reader’s life.
• The author addresses how the ideas have evolved during the essay, and may include connections to other pieces of literature or real life.

• Errors in mechanics, grammar, or usage do not detract from the meaning of the essay.
• Careful word choice enhances the meaning of the essay, as well as the enjoyment of the reader.
• Proper MLA format is followed throughout including document design, direct quotation citations, and a works cited entry for Things Fall Apart.
• Sentences flow nicely because the writer has varied sentence types and openings.
• Essay reflects hard work in editing and polishing.

**The Writing Center can help you at any stage in your process! Please visit The Writing Center, as they are prepared to offer extensive one-on-one support. They will not grade your essay; however, they will conference with you to discuss your questions regarding ideas, organization, and usage. Students who have visited The Writing Center have reported that they feel it helped.

Due Dates

• Rough Draft: Wednesday, Feb. 24 (peer review day)

• Final Essay Window: Thursday, Feb. 25 to Monday, March 1 at 3:10 p.m.

• Papers turned in on Tuesday, March 2 will receive a one-grade deduction. However, if you have visited The Writing Center at any time during the writing process, you may turn in your paper on Tuesday, March 2 or Wednesday, March 3 without any point deduction. Just make sure that you have Ms. Gonzales or Ms. Mohs sign your rough draft to show that you visited The Writing Center.

• Papers turned in on March 4 or later will only receive half credit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Upcoming Tests

On Monday, January 25, you will have a final multiple choice and matching exam on A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Then on your final exam day (January 27-29), you will take a comprehensive vocabulary exam. That means that you need to study all of the words for the year so far since you don't know which 50 will appear on the test. The vocab list for A Midsummer Night's Dream will be tested as part of this final vocab exam.

On final exam day you will also write a group essay where you will receive an individual grade based on your group dynamics during the prewriting activities (idea generation and organization plan) and your final written product. Each person in the group will write a different section of the essay, and you will be graded on your own final product. One person is assigned to write the introduction (with attention-getter and thesis) and the conclusion with a modern, universal connection. The other three group members each write a body paragraph. The essay prompt will give you the opportunity to discuss a number of books read this semester.

Literary Terms

When speaking and writing about literature, you should employ the vocabulary of the discipline to discuss the effects of an author's style on the reader.

You may wish to add more literary terms to the A to Z taxonomy that you created in class.

To view a list of literary terms to use when analyzing literature, click here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Shakespeare Paraphrasing Homework

Paraphrase two of the four selections on the Shakespeare sheet that you received in class.

Annotate literary devices. Circle or underline similes, metaphors, personifications, imagery, etc. and identify the literary device.

Analyze the theme of the selection. Write one sentence that tells what Shakespeare is teaching in the monologue or sonnet.

Turn in the sheet on Monday, January 11.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vocabulary Tests

Study your "Shakespeare is Hip Hop" flocabulary list for a test on Tuesday, January 12.

On that Tuesday you will also receive a list of words found in Midsummer Night's Dream. There are a lot of words from our SAT flocabulary list because Shakespeare loved words--even inventing words and morphing existing words.

The Midsummer vocab words will appear on the comprehensive vocabulary final exam during finals week. That test will cover all words studied so far from our SAT list.