Thursday, December 18, 2008

AGENDA 12/18

Have a safe, wonderful, fun-filled, restful Winter Break!

And of course, enjoy the

Read Chapters 1-23 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Complete three rhetorical terms entries using Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as your example text. Two must be humor devices (see Humor Devices bookmark for details); the third may be any device of your choosing, but I recommend "colloquialism" or "dialect").

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn bookmark - what to notice as you read
Humor devices bookmark - to help with your rhetorical terms

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AGENDA 12/17

Peer Revision Protocol:

First, the author of the draft responds to the following on a separate sheet of paper--
1) What are you happiest with regarding your draft?
2) What part do you want help with?
3) What are you already planning to fix/revise?

Next, give your paper and your "Quick Check" to a partner, who will read both your "Quick Check" and your draft and then answer the following as a response to your "Quick Check":
1) What is the most persuasive/convincing part of the paper? (Give page & paragraph number)
2) Where does the writer address counterargument(s) -- and if the paper does not fully refute/explain the counterarguments, please give guidance!
3) What part is hardest to follow?
4) What part is especially well-written?

HW: Finish up research papers--final & rough drafts due tomorrow or Friday! See Final Checklist for Researched Argument Papers to make sure all requirements--formatting, content, and style--are met. Bring ID cards and The Crucible books for our textbook room trip tomorrow. Tomorrow, we begin Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!

Friday, December 5, 2008


Healthy Kids Survey

Handout: Sample Researched Argument Paper #1 on Gun Control
This paper is well-researched and wonderfully readable--it includes a number of rhetorical techniques and stylistic devices, handles statistics and paraphrased information well, and incorporates the writer's unique voice. It DOES include a few grammatical errors, but despite those minor flaws, the paper is an excellent example of a researched argument paper because it synthesizes information from a variety of sources, and uses those examples and quotations to advance the writer's argument--it doesn't read like a book report on the subject but is truly a persuasive piece.

Handout: Sample Researched Argument Paper #2 on Recreation in National Parks
This paper is a little more traditional--it also received an A and includes terrific examples of how to embed direct quotations using meaningful half-sentences and how to open body paragraphs with clear, persuasive claims. This student also does an excellent job of transitioning between paragraphs and moving on to new ideas. She, too, includes a number of stylistic techniques, and handles a great deal of background information in a way that is intriguing and advances her argument.

**The key idea to take from these samples is that your persuasive papers should be just that--persuasive. Although they must refer to a number of sources, your papers should NOT be dull and boring, but should make a plea, exhortation, convincing case, or demand of some sort--combining appeals to logos AND pathos to win over your audience to your way of thinking. Your paper MUST contain a lot of facts...but do so in a fun-to-read, compelling, mature, sophisticated, stylish, entertaining, passionate way.

Handout: Researched Argument Paper Final Checklist
This handout includes all of the requirements for the FINAL draft. We'll be working on various portions of this over the next two weeks.

HW: Due Monday--Working Bibliography of 20 sources & first quarter of indie reading book read
Due Wednesday--2 rhetorical terms entries (one from "The World House" and one from "What Really Ails America") and "down draft" of researched argument paper (this can be a total disaster--it just needs to be something "down" on paper...preferably 2-3 pages worth--an intro and a handful of body paragraphs...)

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Formulating your thesis for your researched argument paper

Work Day:
Continue prewriting for researched arg paper ("down draft" due Weds - a sample will be given in class tomorrow)
Work on 2 rhetorical terms entries (typed, due Weds), one from "The World House" and one from "What Really Ails America":
suggested devices for "The World House": personification, catalogue, antithesis, metaphor, repetition, anecdote
suggested devices for "What Really Ails America": catalogue, anecdote, statistics, analogy, repetition, allusion, refrain
Read first quarter of indie reading book

HW: Working Bibliography due Monday. First quarter of indie reading book due Monday. (Stand Up seminar on "What Really Ails America" and "The World House" continues Monday. "Down draft" of researched argument paper due Wednesday, as well as 2 rhetorical terms entries.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Announcements & due dates
Stand Up Seminar Preparation to discuss "The World House" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and "What Really Ails America" by William J. Bennett
Begin Stand Up Seminar - continue on Monday

Tomorrow: *Work Day*...Bring McGraw-Hill Reader to work on two rhetorical terms, bring source packet to work on researched argument paper (guidelines & sample to be given in class tomorrow) and bring new indie reading book to get going on that...

HW: Working Bibliography due Monday. First quarter of indie reading book should be read for Monday. Be ready to discuss "What Really Ails America" and "The World House" on Monday. Two rhetorical terms due next Wednesday, one using "What Really Ails America" and one using "The World House." First draft of researched argument paper will be due next Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Computer Lab - Let the bibliography-making continue! :)

Working Bibliographies due Monday 12/8...remember to alphabetize before exporting to RTF or Word, then change the title from "Works Cited" to Working Bibliography, add your last name & page number in the upper right hand corner of each page (Use View-->Headers and Footers) and type your first & last name, instructor's name, course title/period, and the date written as 8 December 2008 in the upper left hand corner. Refer back to the McGraw-Hill Reader or to your Grapes of Wrath paper sample for models.

HW: Read "The World House" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and "What Really Ails America" by William J. Bennett in The McGraw-Hill Reader, pages 338-343 and 443-446, respectively. No writing assignment due--just read these two essays and bring your book tomorrow. Also, please bring your source packet to class each day so that I can score a few at a time. And don't forget to have your indie reading book and be one-quarter of the way through it by Monday, December 8th!

Monday, November 24, 2008

AGENDA 11/24

Computer Lab - Let the source hunt continue! :)

HW: Finish compiling sources & bring packet to class tomorrow for annotating purposes. You'll be spending the class period tomorrow annotating sources. Please number them, 1-20, and label the six "special" sources: the one print source, one experience, one non-commercial website, two 2008 sources, and one chart/map/graph/table. If you finish early, be prepared to work on something else. SOURCE PACKETS DUE WEDNESDAY!

Friday, November 21, 2008

AGENDA 11/21

Computer Lab - Source Packet hunting! :)

Presentation by Mr. Averett on EBSCO, SIRS, and ProQuest databases

HW: Find 20 sources for your source packet by Tuesday...bring to class to annotate.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

AGENDA 11/20

The Crucible Seminar
Turn in preparation & half-sheet on the discussion

HW: 2 Rhetorical terms entries due tomorrow (typed) on The Crucible or indie reading book & 1 free choice

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

AGENDA 11/18

Prepare for Thursday's seminar on The Crucible:
Select and copy a passage from The Crucible that is worth discussing (this could be one long monologue or a series of lines, or something from Miller's narration). Read and annotate "Why I Wrote The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. Then generate 5 "springboards" for discussion--comments, opinions, or questions to generate productive talk about these two texts. Your questions/comments can refer either to your passage from The Crucible or to Miller's essay about the play.

Possible issues we might be discuss include:
  • Where does morality stem from?
  • Using religion to justify controversial behavior
  • Separation of Church and State (politics tied to religion)
  • Mob Mentality: What makes normal people get swept up in hysteria?
  • Individual vs. government
  • What’s right to stand up for--honor, freedom, etc.
  • Gender hierarchy
  • Rights of the accused
  • Can innocence survive?
  • Superstition/supernatural explanation

Monday, November 17, 2008

AGENDA 11/17

Finish "micro-scenes" from The Crucible, Act II

HW: Finish reading The Crucible if you haven't already. Study for vocabulary quiz (which will probably be on Thursday...).

Complete and submit two rhetorical terms entries on Friday (typed). For the two terms entries, ONE must be from EITHER The Crucible or your fall nonfiction independent reading book. The other is a "free choice" and can come from any text--your favorite song lyrics, a Harry Potter book, the Sunday comics, a history textbook, a famous speech, your favorite film...the possibilities are endless! :-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

AGENDA 11/14

Debrief yesterday's field trip

Vocabulary bingo

Start editing scenes down to "micro-scenes" for Monday's presentations

HW: Finish reading The Crucible for Tuesday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

AGENDA 11/13


Begin amassing sources for your source packet!

HW: Study vocabulary. Finish reading The Crucible for next Tuesday. Begin collecting your 20 sources for your research paper source packet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

AGENDA 11/12

Information for tomorrow's field trip: departure/arrival times and procedures

Source packets:
Amass 20 sources on your chosen topic. Of those 20 sources, 5 must follow these special restrictions:

2 published in the last year (2008)
1 from a non-commercial website (.org, .gov, .edu)
1 tangible "print" source (photocopy from a book or a magazine/newspaper clipping. The trick here is that it CAN'T come from the internet)
1 "experience": personal interview, film that you watch, podcast you listen to, etc...the point is that you must EXPERIENCE this one yourself!

It's ok for these "special" sources to overlap a little, meaning that if your non-commercial website source was published in 2008, then it can fill both roles. Please see me or email me for further help narrowing topics or amassing source material. We will be in the computer lab at school on Friday 11/21 and Monday 11/24, and you'll have a "reading" day on Tuesday 11/25 to read through and annotate your source packet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

AGENDA 11/11


Thank you to our veterans and troops for securing and protecting the freedoms we all too often take for granted.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Invisible Children assembly

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Presentations: Scenes from The Crucible

ANNOUNCEMENT: Field trip to UCLA library next week - if any parents are available to help chaperone, that would be terrific...we'll leave during period 1 (8:22) and arrive back at Samohi at approximately 3:30. You'll need to bring $1 for the bus, and either a sack lunch or $ for lunch (suggested amount - $10). If you can donate a few extra dollars to help defray the costs for classmates of yours who might need it, that would be great.

HW: Study vocabulary. Read Act III to page 102, Abigail's line "No, sir" for Monday. Invisible Children assembly tomorrow--come to class to drop off backpacks, etc. before heading to Barnum Hall as a group.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Vocab Warmup: The Crucible
Practice & begin presenting scenes

HW: Continue to practice your scene. Study vocabulary. Type up rhetorical terms entry from "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," and submit it to when finished.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Grammar practice: reviewing active & passive voice
Sample sentences
Revise paragraph

Rhetorical terms entry from "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" - draft due tomorrow
(typed version due on Thursday)

Begin preparing scenes for tomorrow's performances: determine appropriate tone, gestures, props (if needed), and rehearse lines to avoid stumbling, nervousness, dullness, and giggles tomorrow!
Two-person scene: pp. 49-55, from beginning of Act II to Proctor's line, "I'll whip you if you dare leave this house again!" Proctor and Elizabeth
Three-person scene: pp. 63-67, from Hale's line at the top of 63, "Good evening," to Hale's line at the bottom of 67, "I'll bid you good night." Hale, Proctor, and Elizabeth

Monday, November 3, 2008


Introduce new vocabulary: The Crucible, Acts I and II
Review rhetorical terms entry project: Sample page for anaphora

HW: For Thursday, type up a rhetorical terms entry for any device found in "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," and submit to Don't forget to submit your Grapes of Wrath paper if you haven't already.

Friday, October 31, 2008

AGENDA 10/31


Finish PowerPoint: Logical Fallacies
Review logical fallacies practice from Wednesday
Independent reading groups: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos handout

HW: Read the first half of Act II of The Crucible.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

AGENDA 10/30

Logical fallacies practice
Begin independent reading handout : part I independently
Begin reading Act II of The Crucible

HW: Finish reading independent book for tomorrow's group work!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AGENDA 10/29

Vocabulary quiz
Logical fallacies practice handout - label each of the fallacies using your notes from the PowerPoint

HW: Begin reading Act II of The Crucible

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

AGENDA 10/27

Timed Essay: Synthesis

HW: Finish reading Act I of The Crucible and the excerpt from Everything's an Argument on logical fallacies. Study for Wednesday's vocabulary quiz, and finish indie reading book by Friday.

Friday, October 24, 2008


The Orange County Register has done a followup story, including a tribute to Ezra written by his father, Micah. Check it out here:

Again, thanks so much to all of you for your support, love, patience, and kindness during these difficult times. I am honored to be your teacher, and I appreciate the many ways that you are consoling me this week--working with you all is a joy and a comfort.


AGENDA 10/24

Examine sample synthesis essays on flag burning prompt in preparation for Monday's timed essay
Read Act I of The Crucible aloud

HW: Finish reading Act I of The Crucible, and read the excerpt from Everything's an Argument, "Flashpoints of Argument" for Tuesday. Prepare for Monday's timed essay on synthesis.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

AGENDA 10/23

Review synthesis prompt - flag burning
Read and annotate source packet

HW: Write one body paragraph using the flag burning prompt. Bring The Crucible tomorrow. Be finished with independent reading book by 10/31.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AGENDA 10/22

multiple-choice practice

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

AGENDA 10/21

Read Act I of The Crucible aloud

Study guide for Act I of The Crucible

HW: Finish reading independent book by 10/31. Study for vocabulary quiz.

Monday, October 20, 2008

AGENDA 10/20

Finish introducing new vocabulary: Logic Unit
REMINDER: Track your participation in your Participation Logs!

Introduce & discuss synthesis essay: flag burning amendment prompt
Plan a 2-sentence response--defend, challenge, or qualify the claim that the Constitution should be amended to specifically prohibit the burning or desecration of the American flag, and provide one reason to support your thinking

*Submit evidence log/current event if you did not submit it in class on Friday.

Begin reading Act I of The Crucible--we read pages 3-6 in class and will pick up with that tomorrow.

HW: Study vocabulary for quiz next Monday. Continue reading independent book--only 11 days remain until Halloween, when your indie book must be finished!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

AGENDA 10/17

PowerPoint: Rhetorical Appeals
Guided notes: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Complete the "primary appeal" section of your evidence log and submit the evidence log/annotated current event to the turn-in bin

Thursday, October 16, 2008

AGENDA 10/16

Logic Unit vocab warm-up #1

Complete Evidence Log --
1) re-read and annotate current event you brought 4+ times (highlighting/underlining alone is insufficient--you must write comments, like your reactions, questions, thoughts, and opinions!)
2) complete all sections of the Evidence Log in class tomorrow, EXCEPT the "primary appeal/fallacies" section

HW: Read McGraw-Hill Reader, pages 62-83 on Effective Arguments--be prepared to discuss & come with questions on anything you don't fully understand

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

AGENDA 10/15

Introduce Evidence Log for tomorrow--
1) re-read and annotate current event you brought 4+ times (highlighting/underlining alone is insufficient--you must write comments, like your reactions, questions, thoughts, and opinions!)
2) complete all sections of the Evidence Log in class tomorrow, EXCEPT the "primary appeal/fallacies" section

Continue to analyze and discuss "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"--what elements of Puritanism do you see? What rhetorical techniques does Edwards use to get his message across?

Introduce new vocabulary list for Logic Unit

HW: Read independent book--be finished by Halloween! Bring current event and evidence log back to class tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

AGENDA 10/14

Grammar Practice: Active/Passive Voice

Read, analyze, and discuss "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"
What elements of Puritanism do you see in this sermon?
What rhetorical techniques does Edwards use to get his message across?

Monday, October 13, 2008

AGENDA 10/13

Submit The Grapes of Wrath intercalary chapter essays: complete essay reflection sheet, attach to final draft. Put rough drafts behind final draft, then style revision & reflection sheet, then scoring guidelines and turn in! :-)

trip to textbook room to pick up copies of The Crucible. We'll begin reading the book on Wednesday, so if you are purchasing your own copy, please have it by then. (You can always check it out, then return it later.)

Introductory notes & predictions about The Crucible

HW: Continue reading independent reading book--be finished with it by Halloween!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

AGENDA 10/10

Review style requirements for The Grapes of Wrath intercalary chapter essay using Style Revision handout
1 semicolon
1 em dash (or more)
1 colon (up to 3, plus the one in the title--but remember, impact diminishes with each use!)
creative title, with a colon and a literal subtitle

Follow MLA requirements for formatting--see assignment handout if needed.


Thursday, October 9, 2008



Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Vocabulary and visual analysis quiz

HW: Bring drafts on Friday for style revision and BRING INDEPENDENT READING BOOKS with the first 50 pages read and ready for discussion!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Visual analysis practice: Use OPTIC to analyze photographs from photo essay on Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. Complete O, P, T, and I with a group, then write a conclusion paragraph on your own.

HW: Study for tomorrow's vocabulary and visual analysis quiz.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Pass out scoring guide for GW intercalary chapter essays & discuss
Tips for conclusions:
Ask yourself--
  • What does this chapter reveal about human nature? What does it reveal about mankind?
  • What does this chapter say about American society or American values?
  • How do the ideas/arguments in this chapter relate to us today?
Pass out and discuss OPTIC Scoring Guidelines
Work in groups to finish OPTIC analysis of your group's Dorothea Lange photograph. Turn it in when finished, either at the end of class today, or in class tomorrow.

HW: Bring a revised, complete draft (introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion) that is typed to class on Wednesday. We'll be doing some activities to improve the paper's style. Staple your current rough draft to the back of the new draft, and the scoring guide you received today to the very back of the packet.

Continue reading your independent reading book--we've changed the deadline for the first 50 pages to FRIDAY. Bring your indie book to class on Friday and be prepared to discuss the first 50 pages.

Study for your vocabulary/visual analysis quiz, which will be on Wednesday. Part I will include vocabulary words from The Grapes of Wrath AND from Enrique's Journey. Part II will ask you to analyze and write a conclusion paragraph--the "C" from OPTIC--for an image. If you need help with vocabulary, visual analysis, or your Grapes of Wrath intercalary chapter essay draft, see me or email me ASAP!

Friday, October 3, 2008


Visual Analysis: Use OPTIC to analyze Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" (1936) as a whole group

Small groups: Use OPTIC to analyze your assigned photograph
"Migrant Children"
"The Road West"
"I Am an American"
"Men in Fields"
"Men Standing, Arms Crossed"

We'll complete this group activity and present on Monday.

Return comments on body paragraphs
Overall comments:
  • Make sure quotations are introduced with meaningful half-sentences. Point out what we should notice in the quotation. Quotations should NEVER end paragraphs, and they should NEVER begin a sentence.
  • Avoid 2nd person. Revise out instances of "you" and "your" and change to first-person plural "we" and "us" and "our"
  • Avoid writing "the reader." Reframe the sentence to explain what Steinbeck illustrates, conveys, shows, or suggests rather than what "the reader" feels or experiences. Keep it about Steinbeck and his message, not about the reader and his feelings.
  • Check your formatting, and ask me if you need help with creating headers, setting margins, spacing, etc. Refer to the McGraw-Hill Reader and my sample paper for assistance.
HW: Get indie reading book and read first 50 pages by Tuesday, October 7 (bring book to class!). Study for vocabulary quiz--one week from today!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Holt Diagnostic Test

HW: Get indie reading book and read first 50 pages by Tuesday, October 7 (bring book to class!). Study for vocabulary quiz--one week from today!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Introduce Rhetorical Terms Project
Examine sample score of C and sample score of A
Discuss components of a rhetorical analysis body paragraph:
1) Open with a claim (Author uses _______ in order to ______)
2) Introduce evidence by pointing out what to notice before giving the direct quotation
3) Develop paragraph with analysis
  • determine which word from the quotation is the most important and explore its connotations
  • relate this quotation to the overall tone or larger meaning of the passage/book as a whole (larger meaning = author's argument, purpose, or theme)
HW: Two body paragraphs for your Grapes of Wrath intercalary chapter essay due tomorrow. Bring your thesis/introduction paragraphs as well. Get indie reading book and read first 50 pages by Tuesday, October 7 (bring book to class!). Study for vocabulary quiz--one week from today!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


HOLIDAY - No School

Monday, September 29, 2008


Vocabulary warm-up: The Grapes of Wrath
Color-marking introductory paragraphs--switch with a partner and highlight, in four different colors, author's name, title of book, rhetorical techniques, and purpose(s) of chapter. If your partner's paper is missing any of these required components, jot him/her a little reminder!

Examine and discuss "In the Fire" by Roger Angell
What are Angell's arguments or points he makes about the catcher?
What rhetorical techniques does Angell employ to help him make these arguments?

HW: For Thursday, write 2 paragraphs, each on a separate rhetorical technique, for your The Grapes of Wrath intercalary chapter essay. For Tuesday, October 7th, get your independent reading book and read the first 50 pages. Study for your vocabulary quiz (words from The Grapes of Wrath AND Enrique's Journey), which will be on Wednesday, October 8th.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Introduce nonfiction independent reading list

Begin writing introductory paragraphs with thesis statements for The Grapes of Wrath intercalary chapter essay papers
Introductions should include:
  • author's full name (John Steinbeck; elsewhere in paper just use his last name)
  • title (underlined or in italics, if typed)
  • the rhetorical techniques you intend to focus on in the paper
  • the purpose(s) of the chapter
  • the mood, larger meaning, or argument that the rhetorical techniques help convey
  • NOT a bunch of plot summary
Use the Getting Started questions I shared in class to help you.

HW: Get nonfiction independent reading book & read first 50 pages by 10/7. Write introductory paragraph for your GW intercalary chapter essay that includes a thesis and have it ready on Monday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Finish introducing new vocabulary from The Grapes of Wrath.

In small groups, examine the "model paper" for the Intercalary Chapter Essay Assignment. Deduce all you can about both content and formatting requirements, then discuss as a whole class.

If time permits, draw chapters from the Bag of Destiny. Remember, "the wand chooses the wizard"--so it's your destiny to write about the chapter you pull from the bag. Try not to be too querulous or cantankerous if you don't select the chapter you were dreaming about! Find others to commiserate with rather than becoming truculent with Pust, please! :-)

HW: Begin reviewing your assigned intercalary chapter if you drew your number in class. No matter what, bring your copy of The Grapes of Wrath to class tomorrow--this will be invaluable to you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Introduce new vocabulary from The Grapes of Wrath
Presentation by Ms. Wax-Gellis: School policies regarding suspensions and expulsions

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Prepare for Back-to-School Night by writing "Back-to-School Night Letters" to your folks...see you tonight at 7 pm!

HW: none :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Assembly: Sonia Nazario

HW: Select and write down (or type) ONE significant quotation from Enrique's Journey and ONE significant quotation from The Grapes of Wrath. Create 3 thoughtful questions to launch our discussion (the questions may relate to either book, and do not have to be linked to the quotations...although they can be if you wish.)

REMINDER: Supplies check Friday!
3-ring binder with 5 sections: Current Unit, Vocabulary, Grammar, Writing, and Independent Reading
notebook paper
blue/black ink pens
current books: Enrique's Journey and The Grapes of Wrath
Optional: 3x5 index cards for vocabulary, post-its, highlighters

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Group Activity: Share & reflect on baseline essays
Complete Writing Priorities surveys - then rank #1 and #2 on the back
REMINDER: Assembly tomorrow--come to class for attendance and to drop off bags, then we'll head to Barnum Hall together

HW for Friday: Select and write down (or type) ONE significant quotation from Enrique's Journey and ONE significant quotation from The Grapes of Wrath. Create 3 thoughtful questions to launch our discussion (the questions may relate to either book, and do not have to be linked to the quotations...although they can be if you wish.)

REMINDER: Supplies check Friday!
3-ring binder with 5 sections: Current Unit, Vocabulary, Grammar, Writing, and Independent Reading
notebook paper
blue/black ink pens
current books: Enrique's Journey and The Grapes of Wrath
Optional: 3x5 index cards for vocabulary, post-its, highlighters

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Baseline Essay - Enrique's Journey

HW: Supplies check on Friday--make sure you have everything:
3-ring binder or folder with 5 sections: Current Unit, Vocabulary, Grammar, Writing, and Independent Reading
notebook paper
blue/black ink pens
The Grapes of Wrath
Optional: post-its, highlighters, 3x5 index cards for vocabulary

Monday, September 15, 2008


Share out OPTIC photos and observations from Friday
Rhetorical analysis practice: Passage from Enrique's Journey, page 162-163
Mark up text, share with a partner, analyze as a class
Sample essay writeup of passage

HW: Prepare for tomorrow's baseline essay by reviewing your notes from today and the sample essay writeup. Bring blue/black ink pens and notebook paper. Remember, the baseline essay is simply diagnostic--you'll earn 10 points "just for playing." This will allow me to see what your writing skills are like early in the year.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Vocabulary Quiz - Enrique's Journey list
Finish discussing photograph from yesterday using OPTIC strategy
Flip yesterday's handout over for a blank OPTIC sheet

Begin analyzing another one of the color photos from Enrique's Journey using OPTIC:
Complete O, P, T, and I on the sheet--bulleted notes or fragments are OK (no need to write complete sentences until the Conclusion paragraph. Conclusion paragraph can be on a separate sheet if needed and should be approximately 5-8 sentences long, essentially answering the question, "What idea or argument does the artist/photographer convey through this image?" Be sure to include specific details from the image in your analysis.

HW: Complete OPTIC analysis if not finished in class--due Monday. Complete & submit Enrique's Journey Summer Assignment by next Thursday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Vocabulary Practice - EJ Voc Warmup #2
Reflect on yesterday's Immigration Field Hearing Activity
Introduce OPTIC strategy to analyze cover photo for Enrique's Journey
Blank OPTIC handout
Directions for analyzing images from Enrique's Journey and sample OPTIC sheet
HW: Study for tomorrow's vocabulary quiz! Download the Enrique's Journey vocabulary list.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Immigration Field Hearing Activity Presentations
Groups A-E present
Group F: listen to presentations, ask questions, and ultimately vote on which of the eight immigration policy proposals seems most effective

HW: Study for Friday's vocabulary quiz

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Hi everyone,

Just wishing you the best of luck tomorrow on the AP test. Don't forget to bring plenty of pencils and blue/black ink pens for the essays. Get a good night's rest tonight and eat a healthy breakfast tomorrow. It's a long, grueling exam, but you are ready and you will do well! I'm thinking of you. Best of luck, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Dear AP students,

First, thanks for a rewarding, fun, and fabulous year. I have really enjoyed sharing what I know about good writing, and have loved discussing great books and challenging issues with you. You are a talented, dedicated bunch, and I wish you all the best of luck in the final month as you prepare for the AP test, and beyond that as you finish the school year and begin the college preparation process.

I entered some grades into Pinnacle on Saturday; I will finish entering the rest on Tuesday prior to Open House. It's really important that you check Pinnacle on Tuesday night or sometime Wednesday--please double-check that I've entered grades correctly (you'll receive the scored work back in class). I'd appreciate it if you could email any questions or corrections to me at by Thursday evening--if I need to make corrections I'll come back in sometime before next weekend. Since pustlet is due to arrive on Monday, 4/21, I really need to make sure I take care of everything at Samo as early this week as possible.

Please remember that you need to take one of the Final Exam dates--if you did not attend this past Saturday, 4/12, please make sure you are signed up for Tuesday, 4/22 from 3:30pm to 7pm or Sunday, 4/27 from 9:00am-12:30pm. This practice test is NOT optional. If you are absolutely unable to make it to any of the three test date sessions, you need to contact me ASAP so we can discuss options. (And a special shout-out of thanks to the period 2 "heater crew" for bringing cake to Saturday's test--that was awesome!)

I promise to send pictures along as soon as we have some of our new little bundle of joy. Don't forget to vote for your favorite name this week!

Lots of love and best wishes for the AP test and beyond,

Friday, April 11, 2008


Pust's last official day!!!

Announcements: remember to report at 8:45am tomorrow in B200 (Kennedy's room) if you are taking tomorrow's final AP full-length exam. Bring paper, pencils, blue/black ink pens, snacks, and plenty of water. Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast! (I know, I know...I'm already sounding like a mom...)

Grades will be updated throughout the weekend. Thanks so much for your patience!

Today's activity:
Review of satire and humor devices - article from The Onion, "U.S. Finishes 'A Strong Second' in Iraq War"

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Timed essay: "Synthesis 2.0" on global warming

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Vocabulary Quiz over Frederick Douglass and HF lists
Share sample introductory paragraph and thesis for "synthesis 2.0" prompt (importing a hardy but nonindigenous plant species)

HW: Bring blue or black pens for Synthesis 2.0 timed essay tomorrow! Review notes and stop by for extra help if needed (or email me). See notes below for extra help.

Introductions: Can still use introduction structure. Begin with a hook, then provide a little background or context. As you destabilize (flip), point out what is overlooked or often underestimated, or explain how in the past people have focused on the wrong criteria. When you assert your thesis, consider using an affirming transition like "ultimately" or "consequently" or "therefore," and then present what you think is the most appropriate course of action OR a list of things that must be considered and evaluated.

Body paragraphs: Open with claims! When you introduce evidence from the passages, remember to introduce quotations with meaningful half-sentences that help advance your argument. PROVIDE DIRECT QUOTATIONS whenever possible, and attribute them using parenthetical citations. When possible, make the sources interact with each other and point out how they contradict, reinforce, or further develop the issue.

Conclusions: Recommend a solution, policy, or course of action. Weigh the costs/benefits of a particular course of action. If all else fails, address the ultimate "conclusion question": Why is this issue particularly relevant to us today?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Review answers to multiple-choice practice (Swift & Plessy passages)

Introduce "Synthesis 2.0": discuss differences between this and "Synthesis 1.0"

Synthesis 2.0: NOT a simple defend-challenge-qualify

Instead, you are asked to weigh all of the evidence and make an informed recommendation or establish & rank the criteria by which a decision should be made.

The important thing is to assert WHAT should be considered or examined--to provide a focus and recommend a policy or course of action.

Like synthesis 1.0 (argument synthesis), you MUST use 3+ sources well and attribute sources clearly in order to receive higher than a 4.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Review structure of AP Test and scoring of final exam--have you signed up for a final exam full-length AP Practice Test day yet???

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Make sure to turn in any missing or late assignments and to make up any missing tests/test corrections by Friday at the latest. Get in to see me for a writing conference this week if possible--Tuesday @ lunch or after school, Wednesday @ lunch or after school, or Friday @ lunch or after school. Friday will be my last day!! (yikes!) Consider purchasing a copy of The Great Gatsby this week. We'll head to the textbook room on Friday, and you'll need the book (one way or another) by Monday, 4/14.

Share excerpts from successful argument essays on "tacit codes" prompt

Multiple-choice practice: Swift and Postman passages

HW: Complete multiple-choice practice.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Seminar Discussion: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, morality, racism, language, and power.

Turn in seminar preparation sheet stapled to half-page discussion reflection/self-evaluation sheet.

HW: Review notes and previous essays for argument essay tomorrow. Bring blue/black ink pens.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Sign up for AP Practice Test (final exam) day
Finish discussing Senator Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech
Begin seminar preparation - read analysis of speech "Obama Chooses Reconciliation Over Rancor" and the current events articles "Movement to Ban Use of the N-word Picking Up Support" and "Schools Make Effort to Ban the N-word."

HW: Complete HF seminar prep. Read and annotate Gloria Naylor's "The Meanings of a Word" and Charles Lawrence III's "If He Hollers Let Him Go: Regulating Racist Speech on Campus." Be prepared to discuss all of the texts tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Read and discuss rhetorical techniques in Senator Obama's speech "A More Perfect Union"
NOTE: We couldn't watch the speech in class due to technical difficulties, but you can watch it here via YouTube or read the speech transcript and watch it here via the New York Times.

HW: Finish reading and annotating speech--look for rhetorical techniques. (We found anthypophora and antithesis and anadiplosis today among other rhetorical treats! Good times, good times...and guess what? Over the weekend you'll complete a rhetorical terms entry from this speech, so read carefully...)

Get a head start on seminar prep for Thursday's class. Select one of four passages from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and write an 8-10 sentence response--what does Twain seem to be commenting in terms of race/racism through this passage?

Choose ONE of the following four passages:
1) last four paragraphs of Chapter 15: from "Jim looked at the trash..." to "...if I'd a knowed it would make him feel that way."
2) Chapter 23: paragraph from "I went to sleep..." to "...Jim was."
3) Chapter 31: from "Once I said to myself... " to "...I tore it up."
4) Chapter 42: from "...How's that? Where's the raft?" to "...goodness alive, Aunt Polly!"

Monday, March 31, 2008


Quickwrite and discuss:
1) To what extent has America progressed in terms of racial relations since Huck Finn was written?
2) Describe a personal experience in which you (or someone you know) were acutely aware of your race, gender, ethnicity, or religion. How did you know that you "belonged" or "didn't belong"?

Turn in 3 rhetorical devices you completed over spring break using Huck Finn as your example.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Select a practice AP test date for the first part of your final exam--Saturday, 4/12 from 9am to 1pm; Tuesday, 4/22 from 3:30pm-7pm; or Sunday, 4/27 from 9am to 1pm. Consider purchasing a copy of The Great Gatsby--it'll be our next book and you'll be writing a rhetorical analysis paper examining a passage from the novel, so you might want to annotate along the way.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Be sure to sign the Thank You cards for Council Member McKeown and Ms. Julie Rusk.

Turn in slavery letters (be sure to label how you've met the style requirements) and address envelopes for mailing

Discuss Huck Finn to chapter 22

HW: Finish Huck Finn and complete three rhetorical terms entries

Have a terrific and restful Spring Break!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Spring Break Homework:
Finish Huck Finn
Complete 3 rhetorical terms entry for Huck Finn:
1) Free Choice Device: Colloquialism, Colloquial Diction, Dialect, etc.
2) Two entries on a humor device: pun, dramatic/situational/verbal irony, personification, euphemism, hyperbole, understatement/litote
Larger Meaning:
1) What is Twain using this device to satirize? What folly/flaw in human behavior is Twain critiquing? Why does he include this scene? What larger point does it allow him to make?

Chapter 22 Multiple Choice Practice
Discuss Sherburn/Boggs and Sheperdsons/Grangerfords

Homework: Revise slavery letter: add stylistic devices if you haven't already (see "10 Steps to Sexier, Sassier Sentences" handout) BRING TWO COPIES of your letter and an envelope and stamp (or one copy if you are emailing, as a screenshot before you sent the email)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Santa Monica Local Issues Guest Speakers!
Report to B207 at 8:45

Homework: Read chapters 19, 20, 21 in Huck Finn to discuss on Thursday
Complete assembly reflection

Monday, March 10, 2008


EAP Essay

Turn in evidence logs and HF Moral Development sheets.

HW: Complete guest speaker preparation for tomorrow's assembly. Be at Room B207 (my classroom) at 8:45am tomorrow to stow your bags and backpacks before we head over to Barnum Hall at 9am to hear out guest speakers.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Review multiple-choice passage from Chapter 1 of HF with a partner, then as a class

Introduce new vocabulary words: AP Interim Vocabulary #1

Discuss and clarify any remaining questions from Chapters 1-6 of HF; discuss and clarify Chapters 7-9

HW: Read chapters 10-13 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and be prepared to discuss; begin learning vocabulary words.

Monday, March 3, 2008


List 3-5 questions worth discussing about chapters 1-6 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Share out via bag o' destiny
In small groups, discuss questions and responses
Share out with whole class

HW: Read chapters 7-9 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and be prepared to discuss; complete multiple-choice passage over chapter 1.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Happy Leap Day and Pep Rally Day!
Please turn in Evidence Logs and annotated articles on race, culture, and ethnicity in America.

Finish powerpoint on "Anatomy of Satire" and cloze notes

Begin reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, chapters 1-6
As you read, notice and be prepared to discuss:
1) What stages of Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Reasoning are characters operating at? (Pay particular attention to Huck's moral decisions versus those of the adults in the book.)
2) Note uses of colloquial diction.
3) Who uses the "n" word pejoratively?
4) Land vs. River: What differences/similarities do you see between the actions that happen on land and those that take place on the river?
5) What humor devices do you notice and what effects do they create?
6) Why might Twain have chosen an illiterate boy, Huck, as his main character?

HW: Read chapters 1-6 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and be prepared to discuss on Monday. Helpful hint: I will be calling randomly on people for comments related to the questions above. Be ready to say something insightful--if I sense people aren't reading, it wouldn't be unlikely that you will begin to experience the excruciating torment of reading quizzes (note my use of both litotes and hyperbole in that last sentence!)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Return and debrief: Synthesis essays

Discuss and turn in "3' by 4' Green Space Rejuvenates Neighborhood"
Questions for "3' by 4' Green Space Rejuvenates Neighborhood"

Begin "Anatomy of Satire" Powerpoint and Cloze Notes

HW: Complete Evidence Log and annotated article on the topic of race, culture, and ethnicity in America.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Begin mini-unit on humor devices and satire

Read "Fall Canceled After 3 Billion Seasons" from The Onion. Answer the questions and turn in at the end of the period.

Pass out Humor devices bookmarks

HW: Read and answer the questions for "3' by 4' Green Space Rejuvenates Neighborhood" for tomorrow; complete Evidence Log and annotated article related to race, culture, and ethnicity in America for Friday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


TW: Synthesis essay - "Effects of Advertising"

HW: Due Friday--Evidence Log and annotated article related to race, culture, and ethnicity in America

Monday, February 25, 2008


REMINDER: REGISTER FOR THE AP EXAMS!!! Regular registration ends this Friday.

Turn in Kohlberg Homework Assignment and "What Would Thoreau Do?" handouts if you haven't already (these won't be counted as late if submitted today or tomorrow since you didn't have my help if you had questions)

Vocabulary Quiz over Frederick Douglass/Modern Slavery Unit words parts 1 & 2

Review reminders for synthesis essays:
  • Read prompt carefully and determine thesis/position (consider writing thesis as a whole sentence using a "while...ultimately" construction)
  • Read sources carefully and select 3 to use to support your thinking (mark + if the source agrees with your position and - if the source raises a potential counterargument for your position)
  • If time permits, list out your claims (reasons to support your argument/refute counterargument)


  • Write an introduction:
  1. Hook (consider anecdote, startling statistic, shocking statement, universal truth, or fact rather than the overdone "question" beginning)
  2. Acknowledge complexity (consider using words like "While," "Admittedly," "Granted," "However," "Although," etc.
  3. Make thesis clear (consider signal words like "...ultimately," "...Therefore," "...Consequently," or "As a result," etc.
  • Open body paragraphs with CLAIMS
  • Integrate 3 sources smoothly (can tackle two sources in one paragraph as long as you have plenty of your own thinking in between the two sources, or can use one source per paragraph)
  1. After claim, introduce evidence with meaningful 1/2 sentence (consider using author's name if it helps)
  2. Use direct quotations rather than paraphrase whenever possible
  3. ALWAYS cite source and source letter in parentheses at end of quoted or paraphrased information (Source C). Remember--the first thing I do when reading your essay is scan for the three sources. Make it easy on me!
  • Conclusion options: call to action (what we should do about the problem or issue), anaphora, cost/benefit, establish urgency (why this is a problem NOW)

HW: Review notes and examples of synthesis essays in preparation for timed write tomorrow!
Continue working on Evidence Log and annotated article for next week. Topic: race, culture, and ethnicity in America--due next Friday.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Discuss Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience"
Pass out handout: "What Would Thoreau Do?" and current event articles "The Sit-in at the Altar" and "Loyal to Country or Conscience?"

Complete "What Would Thoreau Do?" handout

HW: Begin working on Evidence Log and annotated article for next week. Topic: race, culture, and ethnicity in America--due next Friday. Finish "What Would Thoreau Do?" handout if not completed in class.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


ANNOUNCEMENT: The FINAL draft deadline of the persuasive letter will be PUSHED BACK to FRIDAY, February 29th to allow me to comment more thoroughly on your rough drafts. We'll be doing style improvement activities on the letters next week.

REMINDER: REGISTER FOR THE AP TEST ASAP! Exams are $84 EACH--go to I House Office in T211 before school, at lunch, or after school. You may only register for exams during class time if you have a free period sticker on your ID card. If you need financial assistance, please speak to Ms. Mayoral. EVERYONE is expected to take the AP Language and Composition test.

Kohlberg Cloze Notes
Understanding warrants through Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Reasoning
Begin reading excerpt from Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience"

As you read "Civil Disobedience":
1) Paraphrase/summarize Thoreau’s main idea after every paragraph by writing a brief sentence in the margins.

2) Underline the most compelling sentence(s) - find a part that is memorable or intriguing, and write why you find it compelling or intriguing on the back of the essay, or in the margin space at the end of the essay.

3) Find and label two rhetorical techniques.

HW: Finish reading Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and completing steps 1-3 if not finished in class. Also please finish the Kohlberg homework assignment from Wednesday night (the sheet you wrote your sample scenario on--now you can complete the other questions).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


REMINDER: REGISTER FOR THE AP TEST ASAP! Exams are $84 EACH--go to I House Office in T211 before school, at lunch, or after school. You may only register for exams during class time if you have a free period sticker on your ID card. If you need financial assistance, please speak to Ms. Mayoral. EVERYONE is expected to take the AP Language and Composition test.

Turn in seminar preparation (10 questions on modern slavery, viewing guide from film, Frederick Douglass chapter 10 seminar preparation passage and questions/paragraph, and half-sheet from the discussion day with self-evaluation and discussion notes--if not ready to turn this in today, please submit by the end of the week).

Turn in persuasive letter drafts.

Introduce moral reasoning via "The Ethicist" podcast and discuss
Introduce sample moral dilemma scenario and discuss both what Judy should do and the reasons why
In small groups, discuss two scenarios from the "Moral Dilemma Scenarios" sheet--report out to class

HW: On the Kohlberg Assignment sheet, create a moral dilemma scenario of your own (question 3). We'll complete the rest of this sheet following tomorrow's lesson.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Vocabulary Quiz over Frederick Douglass & Modern Slavery words, part I
Pass back synthesis essays

Discuss tips for synthesis essays and effective samples

HW: Draft of persuasive letter due tomorrow!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Vocabulary warm-up
Share evidence logs & articles and turn in
Read and discuss UTNE article "Putting a Stop to Slave Labor"
Present persuasive letter assignment and sample

HW: No evidence logs due next week! Study for vocabulary quiz on Tuesday over the words from Ch. 1, 2, 7, and 10 of Frederick Douglass and Kevin Bales' "The Social Psychology of Modern Slavery." Begin drafting persuasive letter--draft due Wednesday. Consider writing a rhetorical terms entry this week if you get a chance.

Thursday, February 14, 2008



Seminar: Historic Slavery and Modern Slavery--Discuss elements from chapter 10 of The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and connections to the film and Scientific American article.

HW: Complete Evidence Log and annotate article connected to workers' issues or workers' rights.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Finish viewing Modern Slavery: A Global Investigation
Tomorrow, you'll submit your seminar preparation, quickwrite, and viewing guide.
You can also visit for more information about modern slavery--following our discussion, we'll begin a project to address the issue of modern slavery and exploitation of workers.

HW: For tomorrow--Seminar Preparation--Select a meaningful passage from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, and type, write, or photocopy the passage. Then write EITHER 4-5 discussion questions or a 4-5 sentence response concerning the Douglass passage and connecting to the issue of modern slavery, via the film or Kevin Bales' article. For Friday: complete an Evidence Log and annotate an article related to worker's rights/issues (compensation, strikes, unions, negotiations, layoffs, etc.).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Quickwrite: Modern Slavery
Viewing Guide--Modern Slavery: A Global Investigation, part I

HW: For Thursday--read and annotate Kevin Bales' Scientific American article on "The Social Psychology of Modern Slavery" in preparation for a seminar. Also, read Chapter 10 of The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, up to page 118, to the sentence "Such was his theory, and such his practice." Seminar preparation for Thursday will be similar to the preparation you did for our seminar on The Crucible--you'll handwrite, photocopy, or type up a meaningful passage from Chapter 10 of Frederick Douglass--feel free to use this link to copy/paste your passage--then either write 4-5 discussion questions OR a 4-5 sentence response paragraph, connecting the ideas in the Douglass excerpt to what you have learned about modern slavery.

Also, for Friday, another Evidence Log and annotated current events article is due--this time connected to worker's issues and rights--unions, negotiations, OSHA, layoffs, strikes, compensation, etc.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Turn in rhetorical terms entries on passive voice - please submit to within the week after you make your revisions. Submit to the assignment "2nd Sem RHETORICAL TERMS #1 - passive voice."

Compare and discuss Ch. 7 of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and "Learning to Read" by Malcolm X. Discuss in small groups and present findings to the class:
1) How are the two works similar in terms of each man's attitude toward education?
2) What departures do you notice? How do you account for these departures?
3) How do the tones of the two pieces differ (include an excerpt from each text)?
4) Find a rhetorical technique in each passage.

HW: Evidence Logs and annotated articles due Friday: select an article connected to "workers" -- e.g., strikes, unions, layoffs, negotiations, OSHA, work practices, etc.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Turn in Evidence Log and annotated article related to education
Finish discussing the close reading excerpt from Ch. 2
Discuss Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Ch. 7

HW: Turn in typed rhetorical terms entry on passive voice using the excerpt from Ch. 2 on Monday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Grammar Warm-up: Active/Passive Voice
Discuss and analyze Ch. 1 of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass together as a class:
- Why does he begin his narrative by explaining that he does not know his birthday?
- What contrasts and comparisons does Douglass set up immediately?
- What else seems significant?
Discuss and and analyze excerpt from Chapter 2 in small groups:
- Why does Douglass use passive voice?
- What other rhetorical techniques do you notice?
Report out

ANNOUNCEMENTS: 1) Bring $5 before next Wednesday if you would like to purchase a copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (optional--but this book has the helpful footnotes). 2) If you will be missing class on Tuesday 2/12 for the Marine Bio Field Trip or for any other reason, you MUST come by after school on Friday or Monday for one hour to watch the first half of the documentary that you will miss on Tuesday!

HW: Read chapter 7 of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and be prepared to discuss. Finish annotating article related to education and complete evidence log for tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Quickwrite and discussion: Basic Human Rights and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Vocabulary List

Notes: Introduction to The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

HW: Start learning vocabulary words. Read Ch. 1 and 2 of Frederick Douglass for tomorrow and be ready to discuss. Finish annotating an article related to education and complete an Evidence Log for it for Friday's class.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Synthesis Timed Write: Impact of television on elections

HW: Complete Evidence Log and annotate article related to education for Friday. Bring Frederick Douglass books tomorrow.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Review DCQ paragraphs from weekend: switch with a partner and identify hook, stasis, destabilization, and thesis. Share out any great examples.

Introduce synthesis packet: sources for flagburning essay

Order of Operations for Synthesis Essay:
1) Read Introduction and Assignment
2) Formulate a thesis statement that acknowledges complexity (for example, while...ultimately or ...however...)
3) Read and annotate sources using + to denote source information that supports your position and - to mark source information that goes against your position
4) Outline argument: write down claims if possible and identify which 3+ sources you will use
5) Begin writing!

Pass out Notes on Synthesis Essays and sample student work: essay which scored a 9 and pieces from other effective essays

HW: Review all synthesis notes in preparation for tomorrow's timed write. Bring lined paper and blue/black ink pens. Complete Evidence Log and annotate article related to education for Friday.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Handout: Reflection on First Semester - goal setting
Evidence Log Assignment: read newspaper article (online or in print) related to Education, annotate it and complete an Evidence Log for next Friday, 2/8.
DCQ: Practice prompt on flag burning amendment for Monday--write an introduction paragraph using the introduction structure that acknowledges complexity and bullet three claims (2 in support of your thinking and one addressing/refuting a counterargument)

HW: Complete introduction paragraph and claims for Monday. Start working on article and Evidence Log for next Friday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Reflection on Researched Argument Papers (due today! Final draft followed by Works Cited list, followed by color-marked draft, followed by reflection).

Pass back Arg Essays: Capacity of Entertainment to "Ruin" Society and discuss
Preliminary Notes on Arg Essays: pay particular attention to my body paragraph example on how to incorporate specific details from evidence (the My Super Sweet Sixteen paragraph) and the two sample thesis paragraphs that use the "acknowledging complexity" construction (while...ultimately and/or although...however). These models should help you shape your argument essays.

FINAL EXAM TOMORROW: Study vocabulary (matching & definitions), review the practice passage and multiple-choice questions from The Crucible, and prepare notes/handouts for essay (rhetorical analysis or argument).


Sunday, January 20, 2008

THANKS! the 24 students who were able to show up at the library for a writing conference yesterday, and to all those of you who have met with me for writing conferences after school...

Good luck as you finish your papers, and be sure to submit all of your rhetorical terms entries and your researched argument papers to!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Seminar Discussions: The Crucible

REMINDER: I will be at the Santa Monica Public Library tomorrow for drop-in help with researched argument papers or studying for final exams. Find me on the patio near the Bookmark Cafe, just inside the main entrance. :) Be sure to bring your draft(s) and any additional things you want to work on--if you have a laptop and want to bring your draft on your computer so you can revise on-screen, that's fine, too (and the library has free WiFi!).

I'll be there to help you from noon - 5:30pm. Hope to see you there (and bundle up, in case it's cold!). Visit for more information about the library.

HW: Finish researched argument papers (Due Tuesday, January 22) and study for our semester final exam (Wednesday, January 23).

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Rhetorical Terms Entries DUE!
Announcement: Minor change to researched argument papers
Papers will no longer require style revision on active/passive voice and nominalizations, but will instead require you to submit your color-marked draft and revision plan notes.
Revised Final Checklist for Researched Argument Papers

Seminar preparation for The Crucible: Select a passage and either type, write, or photocopy it. Then write either 4-5 discussion questions or write a 4-5 sentence response related to one of the two major issues:

Government and Authority: Separation of Church and State, Abuse of Power,
Psychology of Fear: Mob mentality, Rationalizations and Superstition

HW: Continue work on

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Final Exam Review Handout
FFN Vocabulary
GW Vocabulary
Crucible Vocabulary
Remember to pick up The Crucible multiple-choice practice handout in class (answers will be given tomorrow)

Essay Tips:
Notes on Rhetorical Analysis

Finish "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"

HW: Rhetorical terms folders DUE TOMORROW! Remember, you need to accumulate 75 points. Late projects will be assessed a 10% per day late penalty. Complete extra terms if you are afraid you'll have trouble writing 5-point entries--anything over 75 points counts towards next semester! Make sure that the devices are arranged in your folder in the order they appear on your Checklist. If you are submitting revised entries, please include the original behind the new revised entry (new, clean copy on top). All entries need to be submitted to by next Wednesday. Final drafts of researched argument papers due next Tuesday. Seminars on The Crucible on Friday; seminar preparation will occur in class tomorrow. info for period 2 info for period 3

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Revision mini-lesson: Color-Marking Checklist
Color-mark your draft accordingly and jot down notes for your revision plan.

Watch "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" episode of The Twilight Zone and take notes about the commentary the episode makes on the following topics:
- Leadership
- The power of suggestion
- Suspicion/mob mentality (whom do they distrust? why?)
- Rationalizing the unexplained
- The culture of fear

HW: Print out a clean copy of your down draft and bring to class tomorrow, along with The Crucible. Finish up rhetorical terms entries and revise/add to researched argument paper draft. Rhetorical Terms Entries folders due Thursday!

Friday, January 11, 2008


Style Mini-Lesson: Punctuation - The Colon, Semicolon, and the Em Dash
NOTE: You must include one colon, semicolon, and em dash in your paper!

HW: Complete Rhetorical Terms Entries (due Thurs 1/18), work on Researched Argument Papers (due Tues 1/22), and read The Crucible (finish by Tues, 1/15).

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Answer any remaining questions about "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"
Review and answer questions regarding MLA format and parenthetical citation
Work time: Rhetorical Terms Entries, Researched Argument Papers, and read The Crucible
Sign up for writing conference (if you haven't already)
Begin writing conferences

HW: Finish The Crucible by next Tuesday. Rhetorical Terms Folders due next Thursday (one week from today!). Final drafts of researched argument papers due Tuesday, 1/22.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Handout: Formatting, Content, and Style Checklist for Researched Argument Papers
Read excerpt from "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards. Discuss elements of Puritanism and identify rhetorical techniques Edwards uses, describing the effects of the various techniques. You can write these up as rhetorical terms entries! (Note: we identified 15 distinct techniques in this one passage!)

HW: Begin reading The Crucible. Continue to work on rhetorical terms entries. Down drafts will be returned tomorrow. Come by after school or at lunch if you need help.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Down drafts due!

Lecture: Introduction to The Crucible and to the tenets of Puritanism
Discuss the title of the play and make predictions
Handouts: Vocabulary for The Crucible and The Crucible Study Guide

Monday, January 7, 2008



Welcome Back!

Down draft of 1,000 words due tomorrow (please include word count)
Rhetorical terms entries due 1/17. Come by in person if you need help with rhetorical terms.

Anticipation Guide for The Crucible: Discuss answers