Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Reading -- Their Eyes Were Watching God

You have an opportunity to work ahead on this unit so that when we return we can go into a multimedia project studying video games as new narratives. Like Sonny's Blues, we are going to looking at Theme and Motif as important literary elements. These patterns in narrative are subtleties that reflect the ability of mature and talented writers.  As you read through this text, look at the narrator's voice--is it first or third person?

Is VOICE important here? How is language and and dialect important in helping us to understand place, time, and culture?

Syllabus and C level ILP

For this assignment, please do the study questions, and then be ready to create a board game. Here is an example of a novel that has been turned into a board game:

Recreate the character's journey through the novel and create wrong turns and snafus that still allow the player to advance to some end--you decide what the novel was about--was it about self-realization, liberation, civil rights, separatist colonies, ethnography, love? Look at the themes, setting, plot, motif, and characters and create a well-designed game board that embodies the storyline of the novel  that 2 - 8 can play.

Make sure that spaces on the board change with cards, and that the characters, places, symbols and imagery play key roles.

 The Jane Austin Pride and Prejudice Board Game

The Pride and Prejudice Board Game attempts to develop a thematic board game about Pride and Prejudice.

The central mechanic of the game is collection. The player controls a couple, suggesting that the couple that winds up marrying has this as their intended goal through the entire game. In the board game, navigation is central, and is the means for acquiring tokens. For the players, navigation enables a sense of vicarious exploration. It gives the player an opportunity to tour and visit the memorable locations from the book.
Instead of creating a procedural representation for the story conflicts in the game, it is likely that the players will create their own story variations as explanations for their actions. So, while the game does not represent the dynamics that happen in the story, the players can construct their own stories, based on their knowledge of the story world, and on what their characters are doing in the arena of the game itself.

This is a place to start

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Countdown to Break

Schedule for the coming days

Black American Voices

Dec. 11
Present Story Boards
Dec. 14
Quiz/ Complex Sent.
Dec. 15
Lackawanna Blues
Dec. 16
Lackawanna Blues
Dec. 17
Lackawanna Blues
Dec. 18
Lackawanna Blues
  American Literature

Dec. 9
Mid-term compositions due/ last day for ILP
Dec. 10
Writer’s workshop – 3 drafts of essay for work shop due/ sonny’s blues
Dec. 11
Final essay due for work shop/begin Sonny’s Blues **Answer preview /review questions
Dec. 14
Dec. 15
/ Sonny’s Blues create framework for story board with substantiated “most important” scenes.
Dec. 16
Create images of scenes with quotes, lit elements, and text
Dec. 17

Monday, November 30, 2009

should you get a degree? here is what unemployment averages say

The recent unemployment numbers were interesting, and encouraging.

Educational attainment              Sept. 2009  Oct. 2009
Less than a high school diploma         13.7%       14.7%
High school graduates, no college       10.0%      10.2%
Some college or associate degree         8.1%       8.5%
Bachelor's degree and higher                5.0%       4.6%

these figures come from the bureau of labor statistics  

what it says: if you have a bachelors degree or higher as of October, you are part of 4.6% of the population that are unemployed. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Contemporary connections to the Scarlet Letter

Somali woman stoned for adultery

A 20-year-old woman divorcee accused of committing adultery in Somalia has been stoned to death by Islamists in front of a crowd of about 200 people.
A judge working for the militant group al-Shabab said she had had an affair with an unmarried 29-year-old man.
He said she gave birth to a still-born baby and was found guilty of adultery. Her boyfriend was given 100 lashes.
It is thought to be the second time a woman has been stoned to death for adultery by al-Shabab.
The group controls large swathes of southern Somalia where they have imposed a strict interpretation of Islamic law which has been unpopular with many Somalis.
According to reports from a small village near the town of Wajid, 250 miles (400km) north-west of the capital, Mogadishu, the woman was taken to the public grounds where she was buried up to her waist.

Read more. . . . 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exam Questions for Am Lit, Nov. 30, 2009

Here are the exam questions for November 30th.

Make sure you have read the instructions and know how to answer the questions by reading the scoring rubric.

You should have already put together your answers before you come to class -- this is why you are getting them now!

We will be going to  the computer lab so that you can word process them.

Exam questions: LINK

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sonny's Blues

Everything you should know about Sonny's Blues to help  you: LINK

Complete project LINK

Over the next two weeks we will be reading Sonny's Blues

We will be creating a story board.

Here is the full text

Here are Enotes

Parts of interest for AP test:
V:  Imagery

VI:  Themes

Questions for Understanding "Sonny's Blues"

What is meant by the word "blues" in the title?  What are Sonny's blues?

What are the narrator's emotions when he reads the news about Sonny in the newspaper?  How would you describe the relationship between these two brothers?

What is the narrator's occupation?  How is his occupation significant vis-à-vis Sonny's story?

What event in the narrator's life acts as a catalyst to encourage him to contact Sonny in prison? 

Why, according to the narrator, were Sonny and his father estranged from one another? 

What does the narrator's mother believe to be his responsibility to Sonny? 

What is the significance of the scene with the street singers?

Give two different explanations for why Sonny leaves Isabel's family's home while the narrator is in the military. (One explanation would be from Isabel's/narrator's perspective, the other from Sonny's).

What might be some reasons for why the narrator buys Sonny a drink at the end of the story?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BAV - Piano Lesson

We will finish up this play with a story board.

You can work independently or in a group to create images, quotes for the text, and explanations using literary elements to show:

  • Plot, 
  • Point of View, 
  • Voice, 
  • Character, 
  • Setting, 
  • Tone/Mood, 
  • Theme, 
  • Figurative Language, and Symbolism.
Remember, you will be expressing yourself mainly with imagery here. Use color, shade, tone, and content to tell the story. Remeber there are subtexts and symbolism. Create your pictorial language to tell the story. Each student must have their own reflection explaining each panel. There are a minimum of 8 panels, and each panel must have a summary and important quote so that we have a strong sense of the importance and feeling.

Here is the scoring rubric

Am Lit -- you spoke, I listened.

Individual Learning Plan

When you click on this link, you will have access to your own individual learning plan.

There are still minimum requirements, but you will plan and schedule your time, how you interact with the teacher, as well as products for proof of learning.

I am hoping this provides you with choice, empowerment, and agency.

You may work in groups, or individually.

You may schedule teacher-time as appointments during class.

The class may schedule lectures, examples, yoga, meditation, exam prep, and strategy sessions.

As an independent learner with an ILP, you may choose not to participate in this class-scheduled event.

You will still have a required number of texts, and a quiz for each text, and you will still have an exam each quarter.

The teacher will give you the outline for the exam, and it is still open note, web, and book --still no group test-taking though.

There will be one extra-credit project each quarter at the discretion of the teacher. These will come in the form of a project. The proposed extra credit projects are:
  1. Video game walkthrough and literary analysis
  2. Rhythm and Flow
  3. Grade the News
We will finish the Scarlet Letter this week and you will make decisions on your ILP by Friday.

The quiz for the Scarlet Letter will happen on Friday.

We will no longer be offering a mandatory reading Friday, as you can schedule this by consensus or personal planning. All reading of non-assigned books can now be done during your own time.

I hope you are exctied about this, as I am hopeful that you are ready for this kind of classroom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Enlightenment and Dark Ages

Hawthorne and the Enlightenment

Yesterday in class I spoke on the Dimmesdale as representing Religion, and Chillingsworth as representing science and the Enlightenment in Europe.

What are the characteristics of Dimmesdale, and thus Hawthorne's views on how religion was conducted?

What are the characteristics of Chillingsworth, and thus Hawthorne's views on how Science was conducted?

How does each view the other?

Read this section from pages 84 and 85:

There was a fascination for the minister in the company of the man of science, in whom he recognized an intellectual cultivation of no moderate depth or scope; together with a range and freedom of ideas, that he would have vainly looked for among the members of his own profession. In truth, he was startled, if not shocked, to find this attribute in the physician. Mr. Dimmesdale was a true priest, a true religionist, with the reverential sentiment largely developed, and an order of mind that impelled itself powerfully along the track of a creed, and wore its passage continually deeper with the lapse of time. In no state of society would he have been what is called a man of liberal views; it would always be essential to his peace to feel the pressure of a faith about him, supporting, while it confined him within its iron framework. Not the less, however, though with a tremulous enjoyment, did he feel the occasional relief of looking at the universe through the medium of another kind of intellect than those with which he habitually held converse. It was as if a window were thrown open, admitting a freer atmosphere into the close and stifled study, where his life was wasting itself away, amid lamp-light, or obstructed day-beams, and the musty fragrance, be it sensual or moral, that exhales from books. But the air was too fresh and chill to be long breathed, with comfort. So the minister, and the physician with him, withdrew again within the limits of what their church defined as orthodox.

How does the  Enlightenment eventually influence the British colonies to self-govern, separate church and state, and lead to democracy -- one man one vote?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

fluency growth scale

When we read, or listen to reading, how do we know good reading?

When we began this course, we participated in Minnesota Can Clap -- this gave us some ideas about how we could create a framework for quality, growth, and assessment.  Today we will talk about what is fluent reading and compare to what we hear and perform in class.

On Reading Friday, we will begin our literacy coaching with the guidelines for fluent reading.

Agenda for Thursday:
  1. Finish-up Scarlet Letter and packets
  2. Finish up Piano Lesson and packets
  3. The role of voice in reading fluency -- the creation and awareness of voice as a reader/performer
  4. Reading Friday

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scarlet Letter / / BAV

Literary Interpretation and Criticism

This last week we examined Hester Prynne as a scapegoat for the wealthy citizens and their disregard and flaunting of the sumptuary laws and the current parallels in society-- moral issues becoming more prominent than big issues: like obfuscating the national debt with emotional issues like same-sex marriage etc. rather than the way the rich are getting richer and the middle class has more debt than it ever has.

We also explored the book from the feminist perspective when we looked at the role of religion and intermingling of religious belief and law -- connecting the patterns of rule through the original sin and the vilification of women and matriarchal religious belief systems such as the original sin, sexuality, and agency. In brief, we examined the state of women and the roles of women in this narrative.

To look at gender equity, please look here to gain better understanding of global rights based upon gender

These two perspectives come from established traditions of literary theory and criticism.

You should not be surprised if this type of content is on your next open-book exam after Thanksgiving Break.

Literary Theory

In 1957 Northrop Frye published the influential Anatomy of Criticism. In his works Frye noted that some critics tend to embrace an ideology, and to judge literary pieces on the basis of their adherence to such ideology.


The English literary critic and cultural theorist Terry Eagleton defines Marxist criticism this way:
"Marxist criticism is not merely a 'sociology of literature', concerned with how novels get published and whether they mention the working class. Its aim is to explain the literary work more fully; and this means a sensitive attention to its forms, styles and meanings. But it also means grasping those forms, styles and meanings as the product of a particular history."[1]
The simplest goals of Marxist literary criticism can include an assessment of the political "tendency" of a literary work, determining whether its social content or its literary form are "progressive"; however, this is by no means the only or the necessary goal. From Walter Benjamin to Fredric Jameson, Marxist literary critics have also been concerned with applying lessons drawn from the realm of aesthetics to the realm of politics.
Feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theory, or by the politics of feminism more broadly. Its history has been broad and varied, from classic works of nineteenth-century women authors such as George Eliot and Margaret Fuller to cutting-edge theoretical work in women's studies and gender studies by "third-wave" authors. In the most general and simple terms, feminist literary criticism before the 1970s -- in the first and second waves of feminism -- was concerned with the politics of women's authorship and the representation of women's condition within literature. Since the arrival of more complex conceptions of gender and subjectivity and third-wave feminism, feminist literary criticism has taken a variety of new routes. It has considered gender in the terms of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, as part of the deconstruction of existing relations of power, and as a concrete political investment.[1] It has been closely associated with the birth and growth of queer studies. And the more traditionally central feminist concern with the representation and politics of women's lives has continued to play an active role in criticism.
Lisa Tuttle has defined feminist theory as asking "new questions of old texts." She cites the goals of feminist criticism as: (1) To develop and uncover a female tradition of writing, (2) to interpret symbolism of women's writing so that it will not be lost or ignored by the male point of view, (3) to rediscover old texts, (4) to analyze women writers and their writings from a female perspective, (5) to resist sexism in literature, and (6) to increase awareness of the sexual politics of language and style.[2]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The American Dream continued -- BAV

The American Dream

The term the American Dream was first used by James Truslow Adams
in his book, The Epic of America (1931). He states: "The American
Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer
and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or
achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to
interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary
and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages
merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman
shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately
capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the
fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." (p.214-215)

This notion lays at the heart of the U.S. and there are many rich
examples throughout our history: people left the big cities of the East
coast to search for gold in the West; immigrants came to the country in
the pursuit of happiness, liberty and their Dream; when veterans returned
from World War II, they yearned to settle down with a home, family and
a car; and Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of a dream when we would not
be judged on the color of our skin but the content of our characters.

You might argue that the American Dream is now a slightly different
concept, in which we dream about winning the lottery, becoming famous
or becoming a millionaire, rather than having moral or ethical goals.
Some families where the head of the household must work two jobs to
make ends meet might not be living the American Dream. On the other
hand, you might feel that the American Dream is about living a simpler,
more fulfilling life.

Sumputuary Laws and Inequity in Early America

From the Wikipedia:

Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) are laws that attempt to regulate habits of consumption. Black's Law Dictionary defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter of apparel, food, furniture, etc."[1]. Traditionally, they were laws that regulated and reinforced social hierarchies and morals through restrictions on clothing, food, and luxury expenditures. In most times and places they were ineffectual.[2]
Throughout history, societies have used sumptuary laws for a variety of purposes. They attempted to regulate the balance of trade by limiting the market for expensive imported goods. They were also an easy way to identify social rank and privilege, and often were used for social discrimination. This frequently meant preventing commoners from imitating the appearance of aristocrats, and sometimes also to stigmatize disfavored groups. In the Late Middle Ages sumptuary laws were instituted as a way for the nobility to cap the conspicuous consumption of the prosperous bourgeoisie of medieval cities, and they continued to be used for these purposes well into the seventeenth century.

In the Scarlet Letter, Hester sews fancy clothing like wedding veils, linings for coffins, and outfits for the magistrates and the ministers for religious an government ceremony.

Is there a contradiction here? Hypocrisy?

That Hester should be an outcast by the town, but provide finery for their most important citizens and civil and religious ceremony?

In fact, why is that the ordinary citizens should be subject to sumptuary laws, but the wealthy and powerful should not?

What are the belief systems that justify this?

Do the poor create valor for their sacrifice?
How do the wealthy justify their privilege?

Is this an issue today?

A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research at United Nations University reports that richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total assets.

In the United States

In the United States at the end of 2001, 10% of the population owned 71% of the wealth, and the top 1% controlled 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% owned less than 1% of the nation's wealth.[15]
In 2003, the 1% with the highest salaries paid more than 34% of the nation's federal income tax; the 10% with the highest salaries paid nearly 66% of the total income tax; the top 25% of paid 84% of the income taxes; and the upper 50% accounted for nearly 97% of US income tax revenue, primarily because, as stated above, the bottom 40% had comparatively no wealth (less than 1%) to be taxed in the first place. [16] The US has a progressive tax structure which taxes less for smaller incomes; correlating income taxation to wealth is misleading. Also, wealth is not taxed in the United States except with estate taxes upon death, so a small amount of wealth has nothing to do with who bears the most income tax.


A one percenter or 1%er is an individual that lies in top 1% of the American Tax bracket. These are the top earners in American society. It has been noted that the richest 1% of the American population owns as much as the combined wealth of the bottom 90%. Typical 1%er's include top-level executives, high-rung politicians, professional athletes, celebrities and wealthy heirs. Ivy League educations are common amongst these individuals. Famous 1%er's include Bill Gates, George Bush, Tiger Woods, Stephen Spielberg and Paris Hilton.

Debt in inches  =  11 trillion

189, 393, 936 in Miles

distance to Sun

93,000,000 Miles

debt= 11, 959, 391, 588, 204.

$38,937.72. per citizen

$3.92 billion per day

With this in mind, is there a reason the wealthy would prefer that we focus on moral and privacy issues and sin rather than wealth and sumptuary laws? 

Why did the leadership allow Hester to be made an outcast? 
Does it focus attention away from the social financial inequities? 
What are the belief systems that enable this scapegoating?

Is there irony in her producing the finery that decorates weddings, funerals, civil, and religious functions?
How do the townspeople feel about her living a more charitable and plain life than most of the other townspeople?  

Friday, October 9, 2009

Am Lit --The Scarlet Letter /// BAV Langston Hughes Packet

The Scarlet Letter
Painted by T.H. Matteson

Audio Files for listening 

Redemption Monday will be rescheduled for Tuesday, October 20th.

We will begin the Scarlet Letter on Monday, October 12th, 2009

and end this unit with Exam 2 on Monday, November 9th, 2009

There will be one more quiz before Exam 2.

I would like to suggest that you purchase this book or go to the library and borrow it -- reading it in class will not be enough. In college, one must often read a thing twice to really get it.

A strategy for you:

  1. Read the Enotes
  2. Read the Packet B and GUESS --yes -- Guess, but write in pencil; then write the correct answer when you find it in the book.
  3. Read the book before we meet so you can participate in discussion and ask questions about the classroom activities -- packet A
  4. Take notes on vocabulary, note page numbers in your packets and journals for the open-notebook exam.
  5. Answer the study guide packets thoroughly since this is where the next quizzes will come from.
  6. Form discussion groups and really use them -- test each other; create a project to help you extend beyond memorization.
One of the key differences between high school learning and college learning is the difference between




Typically students are not asked beyond facts--things recalled from the reading. In college you will be asked to take what you remember from the books and formulate theories and inference about what is going on, or what could possibly happen in the story, equation, or setting being observed. This is called hypothesis testing, where you create a theory based upon the available evidence, make a prediction to test the theory, and then see if the theory passes the test.

The ideal is not to prove your theory, but to test your theory and find a truth.

Being correct does not make a thing a truth.

A truth needs testing.


Langston Hughes

Go through the packet and follow the directions. You may work with one other person, no more.

This packet is due when I return on Tuesday and will be part of the next quiz and exam -- do a good job!

Monday -- Am Lit // BAV

Redemption Monday

We will be 
  • going through the Quiz 
  • reviewing the cooperative work from Girl 
  • Getting ready for Scarlet Letter    ////////////   Radio Golf

Obama wins Nobel

OSLO — The Nobel Committee announced Friday that the annual peace prize was awarded to Barack Obama, just nine months into his presidency, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Barack Obama speaking at the United Nations on September 23.
out nuclear weapons.”

Read more . .. .

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tuesday -- Am Lit // BAV

Always remember 
the library is where they keep banned books

Am Lit

pages 3 through 10

pages 10 to end

Journal 13: Review the Authors style identifying themes, syntax, and word choice.

Review reading guide and vocabulary


Compound sentences packet due at beginning of class
Quiz -- from study guide and compound sentences packet

10 questions / 30 points
Restate question - Complete Sentences -- Correct answer with support.

Chapters 1 - 5

Chapters 6 - 11


Compound sentences packet due at beginning of class
Quiz -- from study guide and compound sentences packet

10 questions / 30 points
Restate question - Complete Sentences -- Correct answer with support.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monday -- Am Lit // BAV

 This picture might give you some sense of what it might have looked for the early American colonists.
We briefly explored who these people were, and why they might have come to America:
  1. Speculators
  2. Tradespeople looking to create new markets
  3. People wanting their own land and escape from feudalism
  4. Indentured servants
  5. Criminals
  6. People facing religious persecution

We will be reading in class, however, BAV has their own books, so I would like to see you reading ahead.
We also have access to the study guides -- which you should print out and put in your 3-ring binder.

We will be briefly going over 7.5 in class from your SYNTAX packet on Compound Sentences
We will read with the audio file playing for both classes.

Be sure to have all handouts and any papers that have been returned in your 3-ring binder for a grade for being complete to this day -- all handouts.

If you do not have them, you should go to the blog and print them out.

We will have a quiz on Thursday from the study guide and SYNTAX packet.


7.5 due in class Monday

Complete packet for compound sentences is due on Thursday at the beginning of class! 
Look for a POP - Quiz Thursday -- no notes -- all questions come from packets.



7.5 due in class Monday

Complete packet for compound sentences is due on Tuesday! 
Look for a POP - Quiz Thursday


Study Guide for Frederick Douglass

Audio/ MP3 files for download 

Time line of Early African American Experience

Slavery in the Colonial United States

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Again -- the American Creed revisited

You may recall that we asked what the American Creed was about three weeks ago for Journal 6. In this entry, Neil Postman's question: what is the American Creed and Spirituality?

One of our reasons for thinking about this due to the prevailing themes in early American (as well as most other cultures) writing that focused on the spiritual and religious. You will see that this is one of the themes pointed out in the slide show shared with you on Thursday.

Take a look at this article;

Why are increasing numbers of Americans declaring themselves as having “no religion”? Don’t automatically assume that a new wave of godlessness is sweeping the land, writes Christopher McKnight Nichols in the Fall 2009 issue of Culture magazine. Nichols attributes the trend to three different factors, none of them having to do with humanism, paganism, socialism, or Satanism taking over:
“First, over the past few decades there has been a marked trend toward sharper polarization among religious outlooks.” Nichols cites the rise of evangelical Christian influence under the George W. Bush presidency, but also the more recent emergence of polemic “new atheists” such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris.
“Second, diverse changes on the geopolitical stage have had profound impacts on images of public religion.” Americans’ common enemy used to be the godless powers of Europe and Asia. Now we are chilled by the specter of Islamist extremists driven by a deep religiosity—and suddenly it’s not so clear whose side God is on. “No doubt there will be important consequences for American civic culture,” he writes, “now that affirming America’s godliness no longer servers to distinguish ‘us’ from ‘them.’ ”
“Finally, alienation from organized religion is growing for other reasons.” While Nichols is hard pressed to speculate on these reasons, he notes that while fewer of us are calling ourselves “religious,” more of us are calling ourselves “spiritual,” indicating a growing acceptance that the two are not synonymous—and that “one can believe in God and yet have no religion.”
Source: Culture (article available in PDF)

Extra Credit Opportunity

Event: Sound Unseen Local Shorts Program
      "Local films! Local music! Local!!"
What: Movie/TV Night
Start Time: Saturday, October 3 at 7:00pm
End Time: Saturday, October 3 at 9:00pm
Where: Oak Street Cinema

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Give a summary of the films you saw, a program and ticket stub.

10 points towards journals

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thursday Am Lit/ BAV - Legend of Sleepy Hollow -- F. Douglass -- Syntax Analysis -- review 7.5

We will review the home work on 7.5 from the packet and then read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow together--

Written by Washington Irving in the early 1800s. They are presented to the reader as true tales from the collected papers of one Diedrich Knickerbocker. Both take place in the late 1700s and are placed in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York. Irving was an American romantic writer, so all of his writing has elements of the supernatural. His stories also exalt the natural world. Indeed, the The setting, with its rolling hills, deep, hidden valleys, rushing streams and rivers, and quiet ponds, lends itself well to the story which uses folklore and superstition to build their respective story lines. -- the Hudson River valley and the Catskill mountains are not only the setting for these tales, they are also characters in them

Let's read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Postscript on the next page-- LINK to STORY  -- I will have print copies of the story in class, but you might want to read it at home too.

We will then take a paragraph and look at the voice regarding SYNTAX and voice regarding word choice, diction, and coordinating conjunctions and punctuation.

Choose a paragraph with a partner, choose a paragraph and see hao many compound sentences you find.

What do they do to the story?

Packet for compound sentences is due on Tuesday! 
Look for a POP - Quiz 

Study Guide Questions for Sleepy Hollow
Enotes for background

Audio for online listening or download to MP3

 BAV -- Black American Voices
Remember the key elements of this course are: voice, social justice, the American Creed, the role of education, and the the perspectives of those who might not have been invited to the table to be heard.

First published in 1845, the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass became Frederick Douglass's most well known work. It is as the name implies his autobiography.
Frederick Douglass was born a slave and underwent horrendous treatment at the hands of his owners. He later escaped to the north and became an outspoken abolitionist. Not only did he have a great life story to tell, his skill in telling it has long been admired. Douglass traveled throughout Europe lecturing about slavery.
After publication, the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass quickly became a best seller and within three years there were over 11,000 copies published in the United States, had been reprinted nine times and had been translated into two languages (Dutch and French). The book was so well written that some argued that an ex-slave could not be as articulate as Frederick Douglass demonstrated himself to be. Of course, Douglass did write the book and it stands today as a monument to the human spirit and what may be achieved with hard work no matter where in society somebody may begin.
Frederick Douglass had to leave the United States and flee to Ireland for a period after the books publication and its immediate success for some believed that Douglas' ex-owner Hugh Auld might try to get his "property" returned. After two years he was able to return to the United States after his freedom was purchased for $710 from Auld.
If you are interested in learning about the life of a great man who rose above his birth as a slave and became one of the greatest literary figures in American history, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is the book to read.

From Chapter 1 -- key quotes

By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs, and it is the wish of most masters to keep their slaves thus ignorant" (p. 21). [The intentional ignorance of slaves plays an important role in Frederick's understanding of the system.] (Education)

"He was a cruel man, hardened by a long life of slaveholding" (p. 24). [This is an important point that Frederick will continue to make throughout the narrative.] (History)

"It was the blood-stained gate, the entrance to hell of slavery, through which I was about to pass" (p. 25).

Home work for Thursday Night -- Early American Lit

This slide show gives a beginning to our investigation of Early American Literature leading to our current current experience and expectations for the future.

Familiarize yourself with the time line by taking notes and listing important vocabulary and themes (ideas) from the slide show below -- expect a quiz on this and our packet on compound sentences and its contents.

Wednesday -- Syntax -- Compound Sentences and beyond

You will need your notebooks here to create a series of outlines on SYNTAX.

You may remember that SYNTAX is an element of voice.

You will want to be ready for a mini-quiz on Syntax and compound sentences, coordinating conjunctions, punctuation, and what they mean in the sharing of ideas, as well as composing ideas as text.

Also, what is a text?

Today, get out your CORNELL Notes

We are going to be creating an organizer for elements of syntax and how it works with voice to recreate meaning working ahand-in-hand with punctuation, grammar, meter, themes, pitch, emphasis, and word choice.

All language, including slang, has syntax, grammar, and punctuation.

Language is cultural, political, and has a basis in power.

What are these syntax, grammar, and punctuation used to convey?

What might a coordinating conjunction do to influence meaning?

What are CCs?

Key words today: vernacular, dialect, slang, grammar, punctuation, coordinating conjunction, independent  clause, sentence types.

,    ;    --    .    . . . 

Know what these symbols are and represent, as well as what they do!

Let's read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Postscript on the next page-- LINK to STORY  

Then we will see if we can identify some of the features listed above, and that you practiced in your compound sentences packet. 

Make sure to finish the compound sentences packet tonight as homework. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wednesday -- BAV -- SYNTAX -- Frederick Douglass

We are beginning the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass."

You have the book -- here it is online LINK

You should be looking beyond me and what I offer in class to see what other people say about him and learn what he was about. Do not come to trust and rely upon one source of information-- choose to extend yourself and invest your time and thought into things you do not know and in the process become more than yourself presently.
This, the act of learning, is becoming.

We have agreed that we will read the first chapter together, and that the compound sentences packet is due Thursday, October 1.

We will begin looking at VOICE -- especially SYNTAX -- to ready ourselves for our first quiz next Monday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Redemption Monday

This image, by Pedro Bull is called "Redemption"
If you look carefully to the eye and whats comes from the back of the man and remember Dali it will look like Dali"s mustache and eye .
It is a portait of Dali's pride according to the artist

Let us redeem any points missed on Thursday's exam.
You will receive print-outs of your online exam and we will go over the questions.
You may correct your answers and describe why they are right to get half-credit on what you missed.

Compound Sentences
This is going to be our entry into syntax and grammar, as well as punctuation.
These three elements describe voice as static print to make voice come alive.
As we become aware of how they work in literature and conversation, we will begin to see how important they are for us to know -- and how easy they are!
We will start with compound and then learn other categorizations, as well as clauses and phrases as we go deeper into VOICE.

Make sure you take a packet and begin work on exercises 7.1 -- 7.3 and have them ready for class on Wednesday!

Don't be surprised if we have a quiz on these items.

If we have time, we can do a short relaxation and explore the role of breath in voice and oral reading -- and how this coincides with syntax and punctuation, as well as grammar.

Weird how it is all tied together -- I think it is cool and makes it easier to understand!