Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ideal America Presentations, Day 2: Dec 21 or 22, 2016

Focus: What American ideals do we share?

1. Remembering the presentation order with you and establishing a timer

2. Reminding you to be a good audience
  • Listen. I mean, actually listen.
  • Respect the speaker's vulnerability, especially when you don't agree with their points.
  • Nod. Smile. Be kind to each other. 
3. Starting our presentations!

HW:
1. Sleep lots.
2. Eat yummy food.
3. Hang out with good people.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ideal America Presentations, Day 1: December 16, 2016

Focus: What American ideals do we share?

1. Sharing the presentation order with you and establishing a timer

2. Offering you a few thoughts on being a good audience
  • Listen. I mean, actually listen (without judgment).
  • Respect the speaker's vulnerability, especially when you don't agree with their points.
  • Nod. Smile. Be kind to each other. 
3. Starting our presentations!

4. Concluding with my final grade math

89.50% = A -
89.49 = B +

79.50% = B -
79/49 = C +

HW:
Good luck with your finals! See you next week! Please note that I will not be in the building on Monday or Tuesday next week, but I will be checking e-mail.

4th hour: 
Wednesday, Dec 21: 7:21-8:46 am

6th hour:
Thursday, Dec 22: 8:56-10:21 am

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Final Day of Book Clubs: December 15, 2016

Focus: What are your transcendentalist book club take-aways?

MAKE SURE YOUR GOOGLE SLIDES FOR YOUR PRESENTATION 
ARE IN YOUR SHARED FOLDER.

1. Warming up by contributing a real, live book review to a reading community
2. Enjoying your final day of book clubs
  • Structure and Shift: Reread the last couple of pages, Then reread the first couple of pages. What has shifted, and why?
  • Theme and Tone: What does your author want us to understand better or differently?
3. Composing an exit ticket on the dynamics of your book club

4. Recapping speech expectations and answering any last-minute questions

From last Friday's blog:
  • What will be the first thing you say to us?
    • Be vulnerable (pathos/ethos).
    • Consider telling a story (ethos).
    • Consider addressing/involving your audience (pathos).
    • Consider shocking/intriguing us with a fact (logos).
  • What will be the last thing you say to us?
    • Make us believe in your ideal.
    • Consider calling us to action.
    • Your speech took us on a little journey. The ending should be even better than the beginning.
    • "And that's my speech about ____."  "And that's pretty much it."
  • What will be on the slides behind you?
    • An image?
    • A single word or short phrase?
    • A quotation?
    • A graph or chart?
    • A video you made that's no longer than 20 second in duration?
    • Remember to avoid guiding bullet points or any writing that goes beyond a phrase or single quotation.

HW:
Prep that speech! MAKE SURE YOUR GOOGLE SLIDES ARE IN YOUR SHARED AMERICAN LIT FOLDER.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Modern Transcendentalism: December 14, 2016

Focus: How is transcendentalism relevant in America today?

1. Warming up by finalizing your recent blog posts and leaving comments to your blogging buddies
  • What transcendentalist concepts are you seeing that are relevant to you?
  • What's being transcended, and how?
  • What overall transcendentalist patterns are you noticing?

2. Exploring modern transcendentalist communities (some are actual places; some are cyber spaces)
  • What are the goals of each community?
  • Which transcendentalist concepts (self-reliance, strong connection to nature, living deliberately, redefining "essential," and civil disobedience) are celebrated in these communities?
  • Do any of these communities appeal to any part of you? Why or why not?

Others??--Look at this link for a quick overview and pictures of additional societies!

3. Discussing transcendentalist concepts in grid groups OR designing your own transcendentalist utopia

Grid group option: Create six questions (Level 2 and/or 3) that provoke thoughtful discussion of transcendentalist concepts. Discuss and jot down notes, grid-group style. Click HERE for the grid.

Design your own transcendental utopia option: With your group, create an illustration/map of a transcendental community of your design. Include your mission, your core (transcendental) values, and some details about how your society works.


HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow. Remember that your book must be finished by tomorrow.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16. Do not be absent this day.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Penultimate Day of Book Clubs: December 13, 2016

Focus: What larger patterns and themes are emerging in our transcendentalist texts?

Shortened class due to assembly schedule

1. Warming up with a story (and, perhaps, an example of being vulnerable)

2. Enjoying the penultimate day of our transcendentalist book clubs

Challenge 1: Putting the puzzle pieces together
  • What patterns (motifs) have emerged at this point?
  • What are some of the prominent symbols, and are their meanings shifting?
  • What larger themes are starting to take form?
Challenge 2: Making the transcendentalist connection

We've dabbled in the following transcendentalist concepts:
  • Self-reliance
  • Nature (and its connection to human nature)
  • Living deliberately and redefining "essential"
  • Civil disobedience
Which ones are surfacing in your books? How so?

3. Wrapping up with an informal exit (no clicking necessary--simply discuss with your groups): What do you hope to accomplish in your final book club meeting on Thursday? What questions need to get answered? What topics need to be discussed?

HW:
1. Final assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Thursday. Remember that your book must be finished by Thursday.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16. Do not be absent this day.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Civil Disobedience: December 12, 2016

Focus: What is civil disobedience, and when is it justified?

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Sharing with you a trick I played on my unsuspecting Honors American Lit class back in the day and playing a round of "Yes, No, Maybe"
Follow-up questions:
Think about these “new requirements.”  What common denominator(s) do these requirements share? 
What relationship do they create between the government (in this case, the administration) and the individual (the student)?
Where did you draw the line for yourself, and why?


3. Engaging in high-velocity, highly opinionated writing using some of Thoreau's and Martin Luther King's statements from their time in jail

4. Finding your own understanding of "civil disobedience" on your blog
  • Develop your own definition based on what we've read and reflected on today.
  • Find an example of civil disobedience (any time from the last century is fine) and connect it to Thoreau or MLK.
HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow. Remember that your book must be finished by Thursday.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16. Do not be absent this day.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.




Friday, December 9, 2016

Preparing a Strong Speech: December 9, 2016

Focus: How do I organize and prepare a strong speech?

1. Warming up by reflecting on your Gothic paragraphs

2. Looking through your raw materials and finding patterns (color-coding can help with this)

3. Using those patterns to organize and develop ideas; click here if you'd like a prep sheet.

4. Fine tuning important details:
  • What will be the first thing you say to us?
    • Be vulnerable (pathos/ethos).
    • Consider telling a story (ethos).
    • Consider addressing/involving your audience (pathos).
    • Consider shocking/intriguing us with a fact (logos).
  • What will be the last thing you say to us?
    • Make us believe in your ideal.
    • Consider calling us to action.
    • Your speech took us on a little journey. The ending should be even better than the beginning.
    • "And that's my speech about ____."  "And that's pretty much it."
  • What will be on the slides behind you?
    • An image?
    • A single word or short phrase?
    • A quotation?
    • A graph or chart?
    • A video you made that's no longer than 20 second in duration?
    • Remember to avoid guiding bullet points or any writing that goes beyond a phrase or single quotation.

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Tuesday. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Transcendentalist Book Clubs, Day 3: December 8, 2016

Focus: How can we be more "deliberate" in our Transcendentalist discussions?

1. Warming up by browsing each other's "Nature" and "Walden" blogs and leaving comments:

Click HERE for your blogging buddy groups.
  • Make sure your "Nature" and "Walden" blogs are complete and posted.
  • Leave comments on the your blogging buddies' posts. Here are some ideas:
  • At least one, deep, philosophical question inspired by the blog/"Nature"
    • Ex: Why do the blue skies of winter make us feel distant from nature, while the blue skies of summer make us feel wrapped up in nature?
  • At least one intellectual reaction and/or emotional reaction
    • Ex: I think people connect most to the human-like aspects of nature, such as the arm-like branches of trees, or the toughness of a single, tiny ladybug.
    • Ex: I loved this line from Emerson's "Nature," too. I definitely felt more connected to nature as a child.
  • At least one comment on transcendentalism: To transcend is to rise above and beyond, to exceed limitations. What is being transcended here?
    • Ex: Your photo and the Emerson line you chose remind me of the importance of looking up, both literally and metaphorically. In the daily grind, it's easy to forget how vast the Colorado winter sky is. For some reason, it makes me think about tomorrow instead of today. It makes me think about possibility instead of reality.
  • Bonus: Make one connection between the blog and what you're reading for your book club.
2. Sharing a little feedback from Tuesday's exit tickets

What you need to do:
  • Stay up with the reading.
  • Annotate.
  • Make sure all group members are heard.

What I need to do:
  • Keep leaving you feedback on your syllabus.
  • Be available to help when invited.
  • Give you more time.

3. Enjoying your third book club discussions!

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Tuesday. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class TOMORROW for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Walden: December 7, 2016

Focus: What's essential to living a fulfilling life? What does it mean to live deliberately?

PLC: Shortened Class

1. Warming up by taking inventory of your material possessions

Start a new post on your transcendentalist blog in which you try the following:
  • Make a list of the material possessions you use on a daily basis. 
  • Which ones are essential to you? Put these in bold or a different font color.
  • How did you define "essential" as you were doing this exercise?

2. Meeting the Man Who Quit Money
  • What is essential to Suelo?
  • What is deliberate about his lifestyle?


3. Reading the excerpt from Walden
  • How does Henry David Thoreau define "essential"? In other words, what do humans need to live a fulfilling life?
  • What must humans transcend in order to live a fulfilling life, and how do we do this?

                                                                           Walden Pond
HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class this Friday for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

3. Click HERE if you'd like to preview the rubric for your transcendentalist blog posts. Your blog must be completed by 3:00 pm on Thursday, December 15. Please note: This will be one of the few assignments that you will not be able to revise or take extra time on because we are at the end of the semester.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Transcendentalist Book Clubs, Day 2: December 6, 2016

Focus: What role does nature play in what you're reading and what you're doing?

1. Warming up with Grammar You Must Know, Lesson #3: Run-ons

2. Highlighting some book club successes from last Thursday; having a look at the feedback I left you on your syllabi
  • Look in your Transcendentalist folder.
  • Your Book Club folder must be in there.
  • All syllabi must be in the Book Club folder.
3. Enjoying your second book club discussion!

4. Completing an exit ticket

5. Browsing each other's "Nature" blogs and leaving comments:
  • At least one, deep, philosophical question inspired by the blog/"Nature"
    • Ex: Why do the blue skies of winter make us feel distant from nature, while the blue skies of summer make us feel wrapped up in nature?
  • At least one intellectual reaction and/or emotional reaction
    • Ex: I think people connect most to the human-like aspects of nature, such as the arm-like branches of trees, or the toughness of a single, tiny ladybug.
    • Ex: I loved this line from Emerson's "Nature," too. I definitely felt more connected to nature as a child.
  • At least one comment on transcendentalism: To transcend is to rise above and beyond, to exceed limitations. What is being transcended here?
    • Ex: Your photo and the Emerson line you chose remind me of the importance of looking up, both literally and metaphorically. In the daily grind, it's easy to forget how vast the Colorado winter sky is. For some reason, it makes me think about tomorrow instead of today. It makes me think about possibility instead of reality.
  • Bonus: Make one connection between the blog and what you're reading for your book club.
HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Thursday. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class this Friday for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nature: December 5, 2016

Focus: What is the relationship between nature and the human spirit?

1. Warming up with three good things and offering you a little scientific evidence that you and the universe are composed of the same stuff

2. Getting into nature (literally): Going outside and looking for evidence of the human spirit in nature
  • Take photos of all aspects of nature that, to you, represent some aspect of human nature/the human spirit (kindness, melancholy, independence, acceptance, competition, etc.).
  • You will have 7 minutes (we'll set our timers together).
  • You must stay on campus, preferably within earshot.

3. Reading Emerson's "Nature" together and finding lines that support/add complexity the photos you took

4. Creating your next transcendentalist entry on the blog
  • Upload your photos from today (or other relevant nature photos you happen to have). 
  • Explain what aspect of the human spirit you see in each natural image. 
  • Bring in a line or two from Emerson's "Nature" that supports/adds complexity to each image and reflection.

5. Synthesizing the two Emerson pieces ("Self-Reliance" and "Nature") with a poetic film clip (1:03:34)

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class this Friday for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Delivering a Good Speech: December 2, 2016

Focus: What delivery skills do we need to practice?

1. Warming up with an overview of public speaking tips and the American Lit speech rubric

2. Getting into four groups to practice your 60 second speeches

a. Assign one time keeper
  • Hold up your hand when there are 10 seconds left. 
  • The speaker must remain standing for at least 50 seconds, even if that person runs out of things to say. 
  • You can let the speaker go 10 seconds over, but then you have to cut him/her off.
b. Assign someone to film each speech. 
  • The filmer must send the video to the speech giver once all the speeches have been given.
c. Please be efficient in transitioning from one speaker to the next. This entire activity shouldn't take more than 15 minutes in total.

3. Reviewing your 60 speeches individually by watching the film of you and filling out the rubric (this is a great time to ask questions about the rubric if you're confused)

4. Writing your speeches

Option 1: A traditional speech with an intro, two or three main parts, and a conclusion. See Ted Talks for examples. Click HERE if you'd like a planning sheet.


Option 2: A poetic speech, such as a spoken-word poem or a song that you compose and perform.
  • Click HERE for a sample spoken-word poem.
5. Wrapping up by highlighting a few basic rules for your final speech:
  • Your speech needs to be 3-4 minutes long. You will have a 10 second grace period.
  • You may have one index card (not a phone) with notes, or no notes at all.
  • Presentation should include media (e.g. technology, visuals, music, art).  Use of media should be supplemental and minimal; YOU MAY NOT USE GUIDING BULLET POINTS.
  • If you include a video, it must be one that YOU made (not something you found on youtube), and it may not be more than 20 seconds in duration.
  • Everybody must be prepared to go on Friday, December 16. If your name is drawn out of the hat that day, you will deliver your speech regardless of how prepared you are.

HW:
1. Work on your speech.
2. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating.
3. Bring your coats, hats, and mittens to class on Monday.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Transcendentalist Book Clubs, Day 1: December 1, 2016

Focus: What does it take to be self-reliant?

1. Warming up by exploring your transcendentalist blogs and connecting self-reliance to your books (15 minutes)
  • Priority #1: Finish your blog entries for "Self-Reliance" (and make sure your blog is accessible). Here are the directions from yesterday:
  • Journaling...
    • Find 3-5 lines from the essay you appreciate/love/agree with. Enter them in your blog journal.
    • For each line you've chose, reflect and react. You can simply write, you can create a short video, you can draw and upload your drawing, or you can include a combination of photographs and writing. 
    • Use your reaction to figure out why you're connecting to the lines you've chosen. Why does this matter to you? Why should this matter to everyone?
    • "To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature...The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child." -- from Emerson's "Nature"
    •  I chose this image of my three-year-old and five-year-old, bundled up in sweaters, jackets, and hats, because they beg me each morning and afternoon to go outside. They enjoy the quiet darkness of a winter morning. They can't wait to kick their legs on the swings in the summer. In the fall, they chase leaves, In the spring, they taste rain and leave sloppy footprints in the leftover snow. When did I stop going outside to play? 
  • Priority #2: Leave comments others' blogs. Intellectual reflections? Emotional reactions? Questions? Please be specific and thorough (much like Fishbowl blogging).
  • Priority #3: In your book club book, try this out: Flip through the reading you've done in your book so far. Are there any lines in your book that connect to "Self-Reliance"? Or to the idea of transcending something? Mark them on comment in the margins, or add them to your blog or syllabus.
  • As a class: According to Emerson, what must we do to be self-reliant?
2. Engaging in your transcendentalist book clubs: Day 1 (30 minutes)

3. Completing a quick exit ticket on your bookmarks:
  • Name one success from today: What's one thing your book club should keep doing?
  • Name one failure (if applicable): What's one thing your book club needs to do to improve?
4. Selecting one-minute speech topics for Friday
  • Your speech needs to be 60 seconds long. You will have a 10 second grace window.
  • You need to have one prop.
  • It's preferable not to have notes. However, if that's too scary, you may have one index card.
HW:
1. Prepare to give your 60 second speech for tomorrow. Remember your prop. You encouraged to try this without any notes at all, but you are allowed to bring one index card (don't use your phone). Bring headphones to class tomorrow.

2. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Self-Reliance: November 30, 2016

Focus: What does it mean to be self-reliant, and why did the Transcendentalists value self-reliance?
Start yourself a brand-new Transcendentalist document 
(to go inside your Transcendentalist folder, of course).

1. Warming up with a satirical criticism of millennials and their lack of self-reliance
  • Before watching: What does it mean to be self-reliant? Create your own definition.
  • While watching: To what extent is the video's criticism accurate? Do you think millennials lack self-reliance? What enables this?
  • After watching: Based on your definition, would you describe yourself as self-reliant? Why or why not?
2. Setting up your Transcendental journal and offering you some tips on reading Transcendental essays

Setting up Your Journal...
  • Create your own blog (you can use your Google account to sign into www.blogger.com).
  • Make sure your first name and last initial are in the title, along with the word "Transcendentalist."
  • Send me your URL and make sure your blog is accessible to all humans with Google accounts.
  • You will use this space to share your Transcendentalist findings with everyone else.

Reading...
  • Read Emerson's "Self-Reliance" (there's a vocab sheet if you're getting stuck).
  • Let your eyes skim over the lines that don't interest you as much.
  • Let your eyes settle on the lines that resonate with you. Underline them.
Journaling...
  • Find 3-5 lines from the essay you appreciate/love/agree with. Enter them in your blog journal.
  • For each line you've chose, reflect and react. You can simply write, you can create a short video, you can draw and upload your drawing, or you can include a combination of photographs and writing. 
  • Use your reaction to figure out why you're connecting to the lines you've chosen. Why does this matter to you? Why should this matter to everyone?
  • "To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature...The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child." -- from Emerson's "Nature"
  •  I chose this image of my three-year-old and five-year-old, bundled up in sweaters, jackets, and hats, because they beg me each morning and afternoon to go outside. They enjoy the quiet darkness of a winter morning. They can't wait to kick their legs on the swings in the summer. In the fall, they chase leaves, In the spring, they taste rain and leave sloppy footprints in the leftover snow. When did I stop going outside to play? 

3. Taking time to read "Self-Reliance" and journal/blog

If you finish early, click HERE for a recent article about helicopter parenting.

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus creating for tomorrow.
2. Bring headphones on Friday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Going Book Clubbing: November 29, 2016

Focus: How do we set up successful Transcendentalist book clubs?

1. Warming up with  the role of Romanticism in American culture today

Typical, non-Romantic Clorox commercial
Clorox: Mermaid
Clorox: Pirates

  • What elements make these commercials Romantic?
  • Do you think the use of Romanticism is effective for selling this product? Why or why not?

2. Offering you an overview of book clubs: Your freedoms and responsibilities
  • Click HERE for a sample book club syllabus.
3. Setting your own schedules and manifestos
  • Fill out the bookmark: Which reading will be due which days? Who will be in charge of the syllabus each day? Please write this on your bookmark AND in your calendars.
  • Create a shared folder called "Book Club Folder." It should be shared with each member of your group and placed inside your Transcendentalism folder. ALL SYLLABI AND CLASSWORK must be placed inside this folder.
4. Wrapping up: Listening to your memoir feedback and filling out your reflective sheet


HW:
1.  Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Thursday.

2. If you did not finish your memoir reflective sheet in class, please do so tonight and submit it tomorrow when you walk into class.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Emotional Landscapes: November 28, 2016

Focus: What were American Romantics interested in?

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Exploring American Romantic art

3. Connecting to Longfellow's poetry with a partner
  • For each painting, try to find one line from one of Longfellow's poems that connects.
  • In the margins, explain the connection.

4. Closely reading the Romantic metaphor in "The Cross of Snow" in small groups

In the Romantic metaphor, an object (often relates to nature or childhood) is used to express the complexity of a human emotion.

Round 1: Explore the denotations (dictionary definitions) and connotations (personal/cultural associations) with the word "cross."

Round 2: Color code all the words/phrases/images that relate to one of your definitions of "cross"; then color code all the words/phrases/images that relate to a different definition of "cross." In the margins, explain what you see as the role of the word "cross" in this poem.

Round 3: What emotion do you think Longfellow is trying to convey through the cross of snow? What details in the poem evoke the complexity of this emotion? For example, why does the cross have to exist in the "sun-defying," "deep ravines" of nature?

Round 4: Trying this out with one more poem (group's choice): What's the central object in the poem, what human emotion does it convey, and how?

5. Considering the role of Romanticism in American culture today

Typical, non-Romantic Clorox commercial
Clorox: Mermaid
Clorox: Pirates

6. Getting outside and creating your own short video: What is American Romanticism?

  • Using your phone, create a 20-30 second video in which you explain or exemplify what we need to know about American Romanticism (based on what we uncovered today in class).
  • Choose a setting that suits the topic!
  • E-mail it to me when you're done.


HW:
1. Book club approval form due tomorrow.
2. Bring a copy of your actual book to class tomorrow.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Researching Your Ideals: November 18, 2016

Focus: How do I start gathering research on my American ideal?

1. Wrapping up loose ends (5 minutes):

  • Forming/finalizing your transcendentalist book groups
  • Resolving Turnitin issues 
2. Finding your Friday inspiration


3. Gathering personal stories for your speech topics
  • Why does this topic matter to you?
  • Describe a time (or several times) in which you had a personal encounter with this topic. Tell me the story. Let yourself be vulnerable here (easier said than done).
  • Why should this topic matter to us right now?
  • Where and how has this topic surfaced in the units we've explored so far? (Salem witch trials, cultural hysteria, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Gothic literature, The Village, Romanticism...)
4. Researching the American history of your speech topic (making a timeline)
  • Where has your topic surfaced in significant events in our country's history?
  • How has your topic evolved (or devolved, or wavered) over time?
  • What kind of progress would you like to see (regarding your topic) in five years? Ten years? Twenty years? Tomorrow?

5. Staring to organize your ideas
  • Click HERE if you'd like an outline to help you organize your ideas.
  • You don't have to give a traditional speech, by the way. Spoken-word poems, songs, and other kinds of communication are welcome.

HW:
1. Have a relaxing Thanksgiving!

2. Complete your transcendentalist book approval form and purchase/check out your book NOW! You will need a copy in your warm, little hands on Tuesday, Nov 29.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Romanticism with a Capital "R": November 17, 2016

Focus: What is Romanticism with a capital "R"?

1. Warming up with a few Romantic questions: Mini writes and musical chairs

  • How are you affected by nature? Do you find comfort in it? Do you reflect the moods of nature? 
  • What is the role of nature in your life? 
  • What is meant by an individual's spiritual side? How to you define it? 
  • Is there a connection between the individual's spirit and nature? If so, what is that connection? 
  • What does it mean to know something intuitively? For example, has a parent or a sibling ever known something was wrong with you without having talked with or seen you? What do we mean when we say "I just know it"? 
  • How do you demonstrate that you are an individual? Do you think independently of others or do you follow the crowd?


2. Visiting nature images and creating Romantic metaphors

3. Exploring the Romantic metaphor in Longfellow's poetry with a partner
  • Peruse the poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and American Romantic poet. 
  • Make a list of the topics you're noticing in these poems.
  • Make a list of stylistic elements you're noticing (sounds, images, rhyme, etc.).
  • Settle on one poem that you like. In the margins, explore and explain the central metaphor in this poem. You can do this in the margins or in your notes. 
    • What stands for what? (ex: Lighthouse stands for paternal love) 
    • How so? What are the connections between these two things? Consider the metaphor exercise we did earlier in class.
4. Forming book clubs (size 3-5, strictly enforced)
HW:
1. If you have not finished your end-of-unit essay, please finish that tonight and submit it to www.turnitin.com by 11:59 pm.

2. Complete your transcendentalist book approval form and purchase/check out your book NOW! You will need a copy in your warm, little hands on Tuesday, Nov 29.

3. WHAT? YOU STILL HAVE YOUR ELIC BOOK? FORK IT OVER!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Transcending to Book Clubs: November 16, 2016

Focus: What will our transcendentalist unit look like?

PLC: Shortened class today

1. Warming up with an unclear pronoun "quiz"

2. Setting up transcendentalist book clubs: Click here for the letter, book list, and approval form

3. Making your wish list; finding others who share the same interests (no fewer than three, no greater than five)

Click HERE to find your makers and breakers:

  • teasers
  • sample pages
  • book lengths
  • reviews of the books

Book Club Meetings
  • Tuesday, Nov 29 (you need your book and approval form by this date)
  • Thursday, Dec 1
  • Tuesday, Dec 6
  • Thursday, Dec 8
  • Tuesday, Dec 13
  • Thursday, Dec 15 (book must be finished by this date)

HW:
1. If you have not finished your end-of-unit essay, please finish that by 11:59 pm November 17 and submit it to www.turnitin.com.

2. Complete your transcendentalist book approval form and purchase/check out your book NOW! You will need a copy in your warm, little hands on Tuesday, Nov 29.

3. TURN IN YOUR ELIC BOOKS BY WEDNESDAY, POR FAVOR.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mastering the Gothic Unit, Part 2: November 15, 2016

Focus: How can you apply what have you learned from the Gothic unit?

1. Warming up with a sample close reading: Try revisiting the first line of the story.

What is being taken over by what?

Using Evidence:
My trick: I use a Level 1 statement (context/plot summary) to lead into the evidence.
I use some Level 2 thinking to lead out of the example (what does it symbolize? What Gothic element is revealed? What role does it play in the text?)
I blow the reader's mind with a Level 3 statement (what larger importance does it have?).

Sample Close Reading of One Quotation:
As "the monsters" descend upon the village, Ivy refuses to hide with her family, insisting instead on standing on the porch and holding out her hand. Her arm in this scene is outstretched into the night, and in the background, a red-cloaked monster approaches. The vulnerability of her hand symbolizes the strength of her hope and her belief in the power of love. It also foreshadows the bravery she will need later to enter the woods to save Lucius. Most importantly, Ivy's willingness to reach into the unknown dark represents that love, no matter how slight it appears or how much it trembles, should always overpower fear.

2. Using the checklist to see what your essay needs

3. Drafting/revising your end-of-unit essay

4. Submitting it to www.turnitin.com

You shouldn't need this, but in case you do:
Setting up www.turnitin.com and submitting your memoirs; if you have never used Turnitin, please click HERE for the full directions. Otherwise, log into the account you already have and use the class ID and password below.
  • 13921837
    Class ID
  • Leclaire2017
                                               Password
HW:
1. If you have not finished your end-of-unit essay, please finish that tonight and submit it to www.turnitin.com.

2. If you haven't yet entered your speech topic, take care of that ASAP!

3. Heads-up: Unclear Pronoun "Quiz" on Wednesday (open-note, open-everything).

4. TURN IN YOUR ELIC BOOKS BY WEDNESDAY, POR FAVOR.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mastering the Gothic Unit: November 14, 2016

Focus: How can you apply what have you learned from the Gothic unit?

1. Warming up with three good things: kleclaire@lps.k12.co.us and close reading the scene from The Village

What is this scene really about to you?

Sample Thesis: In The Village, M. Night Shyamalan uses the Gothic element of the forest's uncanny sounds to illuminate that our greatest fears result not from external forces but from our own insecurity and imagination.

Using Evidence:
My trick: I use a Level 1 statement (context/plot summary) to lead into the evidence.
I use some Level 2 thinking to lead out of the example (what does it symbolize? What Gothic element is revealed? What role does it play in the text?)
I blow the reader's mind with a Level 3 statement (what larger importance does it have?).

Sample:
As "the monsters" descend upon the village, Ivy refuses to hide with her family, insisting instead on standing on the porch and holding out her hand. Her arm in this scene is outstretched into the night, and in the background, a red-cloaked monster approaches. The vulnerability of her hand symbolizes the strength of her hope and her belief in the power of love. It also foreshadows the bravery she will need later to enter the woods to save Lucius. Most importantly, Ivy's willingness to reach into the unknown dark represents that love, no matter how slight it appears or how much it trembles, should always overpower fear.

2. Taking the Gothic end-of-unit assessment:
  • Please read the directions carefully.
  • Take your time reading and annotating/journaling about the story.
  • Brainstorm and plan your literary paragraph.
  • Start drafting.


3. Wrapping up with an exit ticket to help me plan class tomorrow

HW:
1. If you have not yet started the writing portion of the assessment, please work on the Gothic end-of-unit assessment tonight. We will continue drafting tomorrow.

2. If you haven't yet entered your speech topic, take care of that ASAP!

3. Heads-up: Unclear Pronoun "Quiz" on Wednesday (open-note, open-everything).

4. TURN IN YOUR ELIC BOOKS BY WEDNESDAY, POR FAVOR.

Mastering the Gothic Unit: November 14, 2016

Focus: How can you apply what have you learned from the Gothic unit?

1. Warming up with three good things: kleclaire@lps.k12.co.us and close reading the scene from The Village

What is this scene really about to you?

Sample Thesis: In The Village, M. Night Shyamalan uses the Gothic element of the forest's uncanny sounds to illuminate that our greatest fears result not from external forces but from our own insecurity and imagination.

Using Evidence:
My trick: I use a Level 1 statement (context/plot summary) to lead into the evidence.
I use some Level 2 thinking to lead out of the example (what does it symbolize? What Gothic element is revealed? What role does it play in the text?)
I blow the reader's mind with a Level 3 statement (what larger importance does it have?).

Sample:
As "the monsters" descend upon the village, Ivy refuses to hide with her family, insisting instead on standing on the porch and holding out her hand. Her arm in this scene is outstretched into the night, and in the background, a red-cloaked monster approaches. The vulnerability of her hand symbolizes the strength of her hope and her belief in the power of love. It also foreshadows the bravery she will need later to enter the woods to save Lucius. Most importantly, Ivy's willingness to reach into the unknown dark represents that love, no matter how slight it appears or how much it trembles, should always overpower fear.

2. Taking the Gothic end-of-unit assessment:
  • Please read the directions carefully.
  • Take your time reading and annotating/journaling about the story.
  • Brainstorm and plan your literary paragraph.
  • Start drafting.


3. Wrapping up with an exit ticket to help me plan class tomorrow

HW:
1. If you have not yet started the writing portion of the assessment, please work on the Gothic end-of-unit assessment tonight. We will continue drafting tomorrow.

2. If you haven't yet entered your speech topic, take care of that ASAP!

3. Heads-up: Unclear Pronoun "Quiz" on Wednesday (open-note, open-everything).

4. TURN IN YOUR ELIC BOOKS BY WEDNESDAY, POR FAVOR.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Exiting The Village: November 11, 2016

Focus: What Gothic elements does The Village use, and to what purpose?

Reminder: I'm grading your Gothic journals; if you have anything you need to hand in, now is the time.

1. Warming up with mental jousting on The Village

2. Watching the ending of The Village with a critical eye

3. Performing a sample close reading of a scene together to get you ready for your end-of-unit assessment on Monday

Gather evidence: List at least five specific details from this scene that could be read symbolically. Look especially for details that can be read in at least two different ways.

Find the pattern: Choose the three strongest pieces of evidence and highlight them. Brainstorm what ideas they have in common.

Connect to something bigger: Look through our Gothic mysteries and your Village viewing guide. Select one Gothic element that might connect to the ideas/evidence you just explored.

Draft a thesis: Compose a thesis statement that asserts how one of the Gothic elements reveals a larger theme (a Level 3 idea) in The Village.

Sample: In The Village, M. Night Shyamalan uses the Gothic element of the forest's uncanny sounds to illuminate that our greatest fears result not from external forces but from our own insecurity and imagination.

Draft a little more: Try leading into and out of at least one of your pieces of evidence with Level 1, 2, and 3 ideas.

HW:
1. Today is the deadline to revise/redo any assignments from the past six weeks. This includes cultural hysteria essays, missed fishbowls, ELIC journals, Gothic journals, grammar fixes, and anything else in IC that doesn't accurately reflect your learning. 

All revisions/redos/make-up work due next Friday, November 11.

Reminders:
(1) If you're revising your cultural hysteria essay, you must conference with me before Friday.
(2) If you add to a journal or any other assignment, please e-mail me.


2. Decide on your speech topic and enter it on the sign-up sheet by the end of class today. Don't worry if it's not too specific yet; look to your index cards, and work with one of the ideas you put on top when you ranked them in terms of personal interest.

4th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.
6th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.

Sample topics: 
  • Increasing diversity in schools
  • Being an athlete on the inside (even if you're never going  to win any medals)
  • Failing your way to success

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Questioning The Village: November 10, 2016

Focus: What Gothic elements does The Village use, and to what purpose?

Reminder: I'm grading your Gothic journals; if you have anything you need to hand in, now is the time.

[If you were absent yesterday: Setting up our close reading of The Village
  • Click HERE for the viewing guide.
  • Make a copy and save it in your Gothic lit folder.
  • This will turn into your Gothic unit assessment; please use the viewing guide thoughtfully and thoroughly.]
1. Responding to yesterday's blog questions with either possible answers or follow-up questions; brainstorming possible symbols

2. Watching The Village with a critical eye

3. Wrapping up with responses to today's focus question

HW:
1. Make sure your Gothic journals are shared with me; if you handwrote, take a photo and put it in Google doc in your Gothic Lit folder (you should have 4 entries, one of which has been graded).

2. Tomorrow is the deadline to revise/redo any assignments from the past six weeks. This includes cultural hysteria essays, missed fishbowls, ELIC journals, Gothic journals, grammar fixes, and anything else in IC that doesn't accurately reflect your learning. 

All revisions/redos/make-up work due this Friday, November 11.

Reminders:
(1) If you're revising your cultural hysteria essay, you must conference with me before Friday.
(2) If you add to a journal or any other assignment, please e-mail me.


3. Decide on your speech topic and enter it on the sign-up sheet by this Friday, Nov 11. Don't worry if it's not too specific yet; look to your index cards, and work with one of the ideas you put on top when you ranked them in terms of personal interest.

4th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.
6th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.

Sample topics: 
  • Increasing diversity in schools
  • Being an athlete on the inside (even if you're never going  to win any medals)
  • Failing your way to success

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Entering The Village: November 9, 2016

Focus: What Gothic elements does The Village use, and to what purpose?

Reminder: I'm grading your Gothic journals; if you have anything you need to hand in, now is the time.

1. Setting up our close reading of The Village
  • Click HERE for the viewing guide.
  • Make a copy and save it in your Gothic lit folder.
  • This will turn into your Gothic unit assessment; please use the viewing guide thoughtfully and thoroughly.
2. Watching The Village with a critical eye

3. Wrapping up with your viewing guide questions on the class blog

HW:
1. Make sure your Gothic journals are shared with me; if you handwrote, take a photo and put it in Google doc in your Gothic Lit folder (you should have 4 entries, one of which has been graded).

2. There is one week left to revise/redo any assignments from the past six weeks. This includes cultural hysteria essays, missed fishbowls, ELIC journals, Gothic journals, grammar fixes, and anything else in IC that doesn't accurately reflect your learning. 

All revisions/redos/make-up work due next Friday, November 11.

Reminders:
(1) If you're revising your cultural hysteria essay, you must conference with me before Friday.
(2) If you add to a journal or any other assignment, please e-mail me.


3. Decide on your speech topic and enter it on the sign-up sheet by this Friday, Nov 11. Don't worry if it's not too specific yet; look to your index cards, and work with one of the ideas you put on top when you ranked them in terms of personal interest.

4th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.
6th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.

Sample topics: 
  • Increasing diversity in schools
  • Being an athlete on the inside (even if you're never going  to win any medals)
  • Failing your way to success

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What Are We Willing To Sacrifice? November 8, 2016

Focus: What larger ideas should we take from American Gothic literature?

1. Warming up with the reaping scene from The Hunger Games
  • As you watch, try to make at least three specific connections to "The Lottery" (in your journal or in your notes--up to you).
  • Why do you think the topic of catharsis of aggression is still so popular today?

2. Discussing "The Lottery" in grid groups:
  • Pick any three of the discussion questions at the end of the story (or create your own). 
  • Click HERE for the grid, make a copy, and save it inside your Gothic folder.

3. Creating a larger definition of American Gothic literature
  • What ideas are Gothic authors interested in?
  • What is a Gothic setting?
  • What are Gothic characters like?
  • What are some patterns you're noticing in Gothic lit?
  • What is the tone of American Gothic lit? (Click here for some tone words.)
  • What do you think the purpose of American Gothic literature is?
Row 1: Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask" and Ashleigh's response poem 
Row 2: "The Fall of the House of Usher"
Row 3: "The Tell-Tale Heart"
Row 4: "The Minister's Black Veil"
Row 5: The 4 Gothic Mysteries
Row 6: Google search "American Gothic Literature" for supplementary info

4. Setting up our close reading of The Village
  • Click HERE for the viewing guide.
  • Make a copy and save it in your Gothic lit folder.
  • This will turn into your Gothic unit assessment; please use the viewing guide thoughtfully and thoroughly.
HW:
1. Make sure your Gothic journals are shared with me; if you handwrote, take a photo and put it in Google doc in your Gothic Lit folder (you should have 4 entries, one of which has been graded). Click HERE if you'd like to check out the journal rubric.

2. There is one week left to revise/redo any assignments from the past six weeks. This includes cultural hysteria essays, missed fishbowls, ELIC journals, Gothic journals, grammar fixes, and anything else in IC that doesn't accurately reflect your learning. 

All revisions/redos/make-up work due next Friday, November 11.

Reminders:
(1) If you're revising your cultural hysteria essay, you must conference with me before Friday.
(2) If you add to a journal or any other assignment, please e-mail me.


3. Decide on your speech topic and enter it on the sign-up sheet by this Friday, Nov 11. Don't worry if it's not too specific yet; look to your index cards, and work with one of the ideas you put on top when you ranked them in terms of personal interest.

4th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.
6th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.

Sample topics: 
  • Increasing diversity in schools
  • Being an athlete on the inside (even if you're never going  to win any medals)
  • Failing your way to success


Monday, November 7, 2016

Catharsis: November 7, 2016

Focus: What is catharsis, and how does it help us understand American literature?

1. Warming up with Grammar You Must Know: Lesson #2
  • Please make a copy, save it in your grammar folder, and attack it!
2. Releasing Gothic Mystery #4: Catharsis
  • Please make a copy, save it in your Gothic Lit folder, and explore it.
  • If you're interested, click HERE for an article about the faulty psychology behind The Purge
3. Reading Jackson's "The Lottery" with a critical, cathartic eye

NOTE: WE ARE SKIPPING "A ROSE FOR EMILY" FOR NOW. 
READ "THE LOTTERY," which is the last story in your packet.

HW:
1. Finish reading "The Lottery" and complete your final Gothic journal entry for tomorrow!

2. There is one week left to revise/redo any assignments from the past six weeks. This includes cultural hysteria essays, missed fishbowls, ELIC journals, Gothic journals, grammar fixes, and anything else in IC that doesn't accurately reflect your learning. 

All revisions/redos/make-up work due next Friday, November 11.

Reminders:
(1) If you're revising your cultural hysteria essay, you must conference with me before Friday.
(2) If you add to a journal or any other assignment, please e-mail me.


3. Decide on your speech topic and enter it on the sign-up sheet by next Friday, Nov 11. Don't worry if it's not too specific yet; look to your index cards, and work with one of the ideas you put on top when you ranked them in terms of personal interest.

4th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.
6th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.

Sample topics: 

  • Increasing diversity in schools
  • Being an athlete on the inside (even if you're never going  to win any medals)
  • Failing your way to success




Friday, November 4, 2016

What Will Your Verse Be? November 4, 2016

Focus: What will your verse be?

1. Warming up with delivering lines/paragraphs from your memoir

"That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse."

From Walt Whitman's "Oh Me! Oh Life!"

2. Brainstorming possible topics for your speeches on ideal visions of America
  • As you peruse the links below, take out one index card for each commercial. 
  • Jot down the specific vision of America that each offers. 
  • Another way of thinking about it: What do we, as Americans, value? What do we want our country to be?

Michael Phelps/Rule Yourself
Women's Gymnastics/Rule Yourself
Jeep: Free To Be
Jeep Superbowl: Portraits
Liberty Mutual
Nike: The Jogger
Nike: Excuses
Nike: Extra Time
Go Army
iPhone/FIFA
iPhone/Olympics 2016
Dicks Sporting Goods: Gold in US
Visa Go World
Dove: How Our Girls See Themselves
Be Brave
Michael Jordan: Failure
Subaru: Daughter
Ram Trucks: Farmer
Ram Trucks: The Courage Inside
Still I Rise: University of Phoenix
McDonalds
Panera: Eat Clean
What Will Your Verse Be?

If you can think of other ads/short videos that focus on ideal visions of America, please e-mail them to me right away & I'll add them to this list.

3. Collecting, ranking, and specifying your ideals by personal interest and importance

4th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.
6th Hour: Click HERE to enter your topic.

4. Starting the research process (if time allows and you're ready)

  • New folder: Speeches
  • New doc inside that folder: Research
  • Speed-browsing for possible articles/sites that you could help you answer the following questions:
    • What is the history of this topic in the United States?
    • What is the current status of this topic in the United States?
    • What are the possible futures for this topic in the United States?

HW:
1. There is one week left to revise/redo any assignments from the past six weeks. This includes cultural hysteria essays, missed fishbowls, ELIC journals, Gothic journals, grammar fixes, and anything else in IC that doesn't accurately reflect your learning. 

All revisions/redos/make-up work due next Friday, November 11.

Reminders:
(1) If you're revising your cultural hysteria essay, you must conference with me before Friday.
(2) If you add to a journal or any other assignment, please e-mail me.

2. Decide on your speech topic and enter it on the sign-up sheet by next Friday, Nov 11.