First semester set up
The following units / topics / lesson types will be covered in Semester one
- Summer Reading / essay
- Creative Nonfiction reading / Personal Essays (2 writing assignments, one first quarter, one second quarter)
- Language Lessons on various writing techniques
- Stanley Fish, How to Write a Sentence (and How to Read One) - consumable
- Classical Rhetorical Devices
- Logical Fallacies
- Persuasive Essay
- Poetry Unit / Poetry Analysis
- potentially, one or two one-off in class essays
- Independent Reading Requirement
Summer Reading Unit
Summer Reading work included 5 responses to each of 3 total titles:
Heather Christle, What is Amazing (poems)
Tim Obrien, In the Lake of the Woods OR The Things They Carried (fiction)
Joan Didion, Blue Nights OR Slouching Towards Bethlehem (creative nonfiction / personal essay)
There is a literary analysis paper assignment, attached below, which can be completed with either Christle or Obrien.
Notes on assignments 1st sem
Thus far, we've read Didion's "Marrying Absurd" and Nanda's "Arranging a Marriage in India."
We can expect several readings and language lessons in the week of Labor Day.
If anyone wants feedback on the essay due Wed 9-3, I will be checking school email Monday afternoon. Let me know what questions you have about how to go about the essay, and give me at least a piece of it so I can see what you're doing. Refer to the assignment sheet for guidelines and tips.
Obrien/Christle essay grades should be in the gradebook by the end of the day on Wed 9.10.
We've also read P.J. O'Rourke, "Third World Driving Hints and Tips" and David Sedaris, "Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa."
We've also read James Q. Wilson's essay in the Riverside Reader, "Democracy for All?" and, with a partner, have visually mapped Wilson's ideas/chain of reasoning.
We've finished Stanley Fish "How to Write a Sentence (and How to Read one)"
We've read the Lopate essay Modern Friendship in the RR
We've covered semicolons and parallelism during the week of 9.22-26
We've covered the metaphor language lesson in early October.
We've read E.B. White's essay "The World of Tomorrow" on 10.8.
We're learning classical rhetorical devices in preparation for an upcoming quiz, and to use on our Personal Essay #2 assignment.
The rhetoric quiz is taken, and as of 11.3.14 we are preparing for a logical fallacy initial quiz of 4 fallacies.
Recently, we've read Harold Bloom on Harry Potter, Nicola Twilley on the food product Soylent and the premise that it saves meal time for other activities, and Nadine Strossen on Video Surveillance circa 1998. This is all in preparation for a persuasive essay assignment that is forthcoming.
Should you misplace copies of language lessons, the worksheets are here. Keep in mind, each paper requires that you demonstrate pieces of writing technique with various lessons.
It's also a good idea to KEEP USING various techniques and strategies after we learn them -- don't simply cast them aside once you've fulfilled a requirement. Incorporate these strategies into your essays.
Note: For fall 2014 we've consulted Purdue OWL's lesson on concision rather than completed the sentence variation/comma assignment attached here.
Personal Essay #1
The assignment sheet is attached. The due date for this essay is Fri 9-26-14. The rubric is also attached.
Personal Essay #2
The assignment sheet is attached
Classical Rhetoric and Logical Fallacies
I cannot attach the fallacy sheet as I only have a paper copy. If you need one, see me in class.
2 rhetorical devices must be used on PE #2.
The first logical fallacy test date on Ad Hominem, Appeal to Authority, Appeal to Ignorance, and Slippery Slope will be Thursday 11.6.14
Logical fallacies must be avoided on the persuasive essay.
Note: the persuasive essay attached below represents the assignment as of 2013. I expect to tweak the expectations/criteria for 2014. The new assignment criteria are forthcoming.
Quarter 2 Poetry Unit
Information forthcoming on poems studied and writing assignments for the second half of 2014 quarter two and poetry analysis.
Second Semester unit 1: Hamlet
We are applying literary theory to Hamlet. Students choose from a variety of critical lenses, and will help each other learn about the lens in the course of their own research. Their paper for the unit applies the theory they studied to Hamlet in an analytical essay. Assignments through the play include a few quizzes, a few times trying out a lens or two, and class discussions. Students will also present what they've learned about their lens, informally, to the class.
2nd semester research paper unit
guidelines, MLA citation format, and other helpful tools attached.
Don't forget to employ rhetorical techniques we learned in the first semester. Use classical rhetorical devices, parallelism, metaphor, etc. judiciously. And avoid logical fallacies in your reasoning.
Upcoming Semester 2 material
In addition to Hamlet and the Research Paper, semester 2 will include a unit on Orwell's 1984, some AP test prep for both the language and the literature tests, more poetry analysis, other material not yet determined, and a closing unit on Thomas Lynch's book of essays The Undertaking.
Brightbytes survey link
Brightbytes technology survey link: