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1st Quarter, Language Arts 12

0.00 Start Here (English 12)

Course Description

READ CAREFULLY THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION

The skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate in this class have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace.

In this class, students:

  • undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature.
  • habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally.
  • actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews.
  • reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic.

In short, students who meet the the requirements in this class develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.

PARENTS:

The "parental notification" file provided at the top of this page will show you how to set up ways to keep track of your student's progress.

 

Class Overview

WHAT THIS CLASS IS: This class is another way for you to earn your English 12 credit.   This is a one-quarter (.25 credit) class. You will work on your reading, research, writing, viewing, listening and speaking skills as specified in the Utah State Core Curriculum for Language Arts.

WHAT THIS CLASS IS NOT: This class is NOT an easy way to get your English credit without doing any real work. If that is what you are looking for, you will be disappointed. Plan on spending approximately the same amount of time on this class as you would in a traditional English class.

PREREQUISITES

At least 11th grade level reading and writing skills.

***COURSE REQUIREMENTS***

To take this class, you will need:

  1. A computer with internet access.
  2. Word processing software to type your assignments. Microsoft Word is best.  

    You MUST have the ability to submit documents in one of the following file formats: .doc/.docx (Microsoft Word), .ppt/.pptx (PowerPoint), or .pdf. 

    If you use another program such as Pages or Open Office, make sure that you save your documents in one of the above formats before you upload them.

     *****! ! ! ! Contrary to what you read in the "homework note" in Module 1, DO NOT use "Notepad" or "Text Edit." (that note is intended for classes other than this one). I would prefer all documents to be submitted in one of above three formats as attachments or uploads.

  3. A .pdf converter if your word processing software doesn't allow you to save in one of the above fiile formats. Several are available free online from sources such as adobe, nemopdf, cutepdf, etc. 
  4. Acrobat Reader, Quicktime reader, and a PowerPoint reader (all available free online)

 

COURSE OUTLINE

Each quarter will include the following requirements:

Reading Assignment.  A full-length book (or 2 plays--4th quarter). Details are given in the first overview of the quarter.  Many of the assignments you do throughout the quarter will relate to the book you are reading, requiring that you get a copy and get into it quickly.  You will also be required to respond to questions given on the novel study guide.  So you will need to copy it to your computer or print it out to have it available as you read.

Unit assignments:  These assignments are varied and are based on the skills outlined in the Utah State core.  Because the assignments are designed to build upon previous assignments, make sure that you do them in order (unless otherwise instructed.)  Most assignments require material that is available at links given.  Make sure that you access all required links. The information there is links is essential to completing the assignment accurately, and most of the quiz questions come from this material.

Vocabulary:  Vocabulary words are found on reading guide and/or the first overview of the quarter.  You will need to master these words--understand them and be able to use them in your writing.  These words will show up in quizzes and tests.

Skill Builder assignments:  These are mandatory reviews of writing skills or mechanics, usage, and grammar rules.  The are all are based on skills needed to complete an assignment and/or the most common errors in student writing.  Each review will come with explanation, and links for more help.  You will find many quiz and test questions coming from these reviews as well.

Literature Connection:  Within each unit is an assignment which will connect the ideas/skills from that unit to the novel you are reading.  These assignments are designed to help you read with more focus and skill and also to write effectively on the book.

Quizzes & Tests:  There will be quizzes for each unit and one final exam.  The final exam will need to be supervised by an approved EHS proctor.  The instructions at the "arranging to take your proctored final," will explain how to set up and take the test.  Note:  You must pass the final exam with a 60% or higher to receive credit for the course.

SUBMITTING ASSIGNMENTS:  Read instructions carefully to make sure you have fulfilled the requirements of each assignment.  Make sure that you do all your work on your own word processing software first. This way you will have access to the spelling and grammar checkers typically offered with this software and you will be able to archive your own copy of each assignment.  Unless you have made other arrangements with me, plan to save each of your assignments as .doc/docx, .pdf, or ppt/pptx files and submit as attachements or uploads.

HOW YOU WILL BE GRADED

With each activity, I’m looking for in-depth, critical thinking, creativity, and clear expression of ideas. The rubrics for each assignment will vary slightly depending on the objective of the lesson, so read each rubric carefully before you even put pen to paper, or in this case, finger to keyboard. This is much like the six-trait assessment you may have had experience with. Each assignment has a version of the rubric below.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Thesis statement is clear and all requirements for assignment are met.   /4  
Support   Supporting paragraphs include detail which is specific and directly supports the thesis.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

What do the numbers mean?

  • 4 – Great – Did what was required and did it well.
  • 3 – Good – most of requirement elements there.
  • 2 – Fair – missing several of the required elements.
  • 1 – Needed much more work to be satisfactory.

If you think better in the A,B,C,D arena, you can correlate each number with a grade.

Grading

Important: because learning and writing are processes, you may always submit a revised, improved version of any assignment to improve your grade. Your final grade is determined by your average on assignments and quizzes, as well as your final test grade. The assignments and quizzes count 75%, and the final test counts 25%.

Grading scale:

  • A 90-100*
  • B+ 86-89
  • B 80-85
  • C+ 76-79
  • C 70-75
  • D+ 66-69
  • D 60-65
  • No credit - below 60

*Note:  An A grade will not be awarded to a student with zeroes on any of his or her assignments.

Time Requirements:  You have 10 weeks to complete the course.  You will have 2 weeks to complete each unit, and 2 weeks to get your final exam taken.  My suggestion:  Get out of the gate early--don't procrastinate.  Invariably, complications will arise in your life, and if you have given yourself a time-cushion, you won't get stuck with too much to do in too little time.  Even though you have 10 weeks, you may certainly choose to complete the course faster than that.

Suggested deadlines are as follows:

Unit 1, including the "About me," novel choice, and overview assignments:  2 weeks from the day you are enrolled in the course.
Unit 2 - 4 weeks from enrollment date
Unit 3 - 6 weeks from enrollment date
Unit 4 - 8 weeks from enrollment date
Final Exam - 10 weeks from enrollment date

The syllabus will give you an approxmiate length of time each assignment may require to complete.  Keep an eye on those time estimates to help you judge your time wisely.  There is also also a reading requiement (novels in quarters 1-3 and 2 plays in quarter 4).  You will also want to allow for 5-10 hours of reading time for the quarter reading assignment as well.

I'm glad to have you in my class.  Please review my contact information and feel free to contact me whenever you have questions or concerns.

00.01 Software Needs

00.01.01 Student Software Needs

 

Students need access to a robust internet connection and a modern web browser.

This class may also require the Apple QuickTime plug-in to view media.

For students using a school-issued Chromebook, ask your technical support folks to download the QuickTime plug-in and enable the plug-in for your Chromebook.

$0.00

00.01.02 ABOUT ME

Write a short paragraph to the teacher. Introduce yourself. Use proper sentence structure including capitalization, punctuation and spelling. In this paragraph please also include the following information:

  • What year you are in school. 
  • Name of High School you attend.
  • Your counselor's name and email address.
  • The number of quarters of English 12 you will be taking from EHS and when you expect to graduate.
  • Parent's name and contact information.
  • A contact phone number for you.
  • Any specific information that would help me to understand how best to support you in this class.
  • IMPORTANT:  Click on the "How to review your assignments" link at the bottom of the page.  Review this short video and then include a sentence in your response letting me know that you understand how to see comments and feedback for your assignments.

VERY, VERY IMPORTANT:  By submitting your "About Me" you are agreeing to the stipulations set out in the "start here" section and to abide by the EHS honor code:  "As a student of the Electronic High School, I agree to turn in my assignments in a timely manner, do my own work, not share my work with others, and treat all students, teachers and staff with respect."

Make sure you've carefully reviewed all information in the "Start Here" section--especially the Course Requirements--and let's get to work.

00.01.03

01.00 Stories Matter (English 12)

Whether it is the latest best-seller, your favorite epic video game or just gossip over the back fence, we seem to spend a great deal of our time engaged in stories. Brain researchers believe that as human beings, we are actually hard-wired to seek out and to tell stories. That is the focus of this quarter: to engage ourselves more fully in stories—our own personal stories and the stories others tell which give us insight into our collective human experience.

READING ASSIGNMENT

To get this quarter started, you will first need to choose a novel from the list below.   Some of these selections are considered classics; others are more recent. 

Important:

1. You must choose a book you have not read before (or studied in another class before)

2. You will need to make sure that you will have access to the novel throughout the entire quarter.  You may find a couple of these titles online at a site such as Cleavebooks.com, but otherwise you will need to purchase the book or get it through your local library.  If your library doesn't have the title you want, talk to the librarian about an inter-library loan.

To help focus your reading, you will need to download the reading guide (.pdf found at the top of the page).  There will be times when I will tell you what to write on your reading guide, but I will rely on you to fill most of it out on your own--as you read your novel.  Hold on to the guide until you have finished your final writing assignment and turn it in with that assignment.

Let me take a minute to discuss the final writing assignment.  You will be asked to write a literary evaluation based on a specific theme in the novel you choose to read.  The more effort you put into your reading guide, the easier the final writing assignment will be.  To make sure you are headed in the right direction, view the short video found at the link below.

Novel Choices

Achebe, Chinua:  Things Fall Apart

Hesse, Herman:  Siddartha

Potok, Chiam:  The Chosen

Hardy, Thomas:  The Mayor of Casterbridge

Lahiri, Jhumpa:  The Namesake

Tan, Amy:  The Joy Luck Club

Hurston, Zora Neale:  Their Eyes Were Watching God

McBride, James: The Color of Water*

Walls, Jeanette:  The Glass Castle*

*These are memoirs, or true stories

 

Vocabulary Assignment:  For your vocabulary assignment this quarter you need to have a working knowledge of the words found at the link "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know." 

  • Access the link.
  • Click on the drop down window on the right side of the page that says "order" and choose "easy to hard."
  • Start with the first 25 words ("wrought" to "homogeneous").  Some of the words you will already be familiar with, but review the definition, pronunciation, synonyms, and usage examples for each word. 
  • You will be quizzed on the first 25 words in the first unit quiz, the next 25 in unit 2, the next 25 in unit 3, and the final 25 in unit 4.

01.00.01 - Vocabulary Assignment

01.00.03 Getting Ready to Read

teacher-scored 12 points possible 30 minutes

While you are choosing a novel, let’s take some time to discuss how to focus your reading. There are two information sheets from the Purdue Online Writing Center (OWL) which I'd like you to read and respond to as you get you started on your novel:

 "Close Reading of a Text" and "Reading a Novel or Story"

Copy the questions between the rows of asterisks and paste them into a word document.  Then answer them and attach them to the activity which follows this page.

*************************************************

1.  What are the four suggestions for close reading?

2.  Describe the three suggestions in "Reading a Novel or Story."

3.  What is the book you have chosen to read for this quarter?

*************************************************

Review the rubric below to see how this assignment will be graded.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Each question answered completely and in a way that shows knowledge and understanding of the selection.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused & well organized—didn’t give me any “huh?” moments.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

 

 

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.


01.00.03 - Close Reading of Text

01.00.04

01.01.00 - SKILL BUILDER - USING SOURCE MATERIAL

As you begin to read the novel you chose, remember to apply the reading strategies you just reviewed (in the previous assignment) to help you get the most out of the book.

The next assignment in this unit requires you to do some research.  Any time you research you have to consider how to legally use the information you find.  But can’t I just cut and paste anything I find from the internet? You might be surprised how many students think that's okay.   You've heard the term "plagiarism," but do you know how to not plagiarize? The purpose of this exercise is to teach you how to properly use and cite material you get from sources.

Read the information carefully at the three links given below and answer the questions.  Copy and paste the section between the asterisks into your own document and then and then answer each question.

****************************************

1. What is plagiarism?

2. What are 3 strategies for avoiding plagiarism.

3. What makes an acceptable paraphrase of source material?

4. What is a citation?  Include the "5 situations" where you need to cite. (this is on the quiz)

5. When should you use single quotes instead of double quotes?

6. What’s the difference between a bibliography(works cited page) and an annotated bibliography?

7. For practice, go to the EHS webpage (ehs.uen.org) and find the honor code section (one of the bullet points about half the way down the page). Now, paraphrase this section correctly and give a complete citation in MLA format.*

 ****************************************

*What's MLA format?  MLA (Modern Language Association) is the standard format for writing and citing sources.   To cite sources in MLA, your information needs to be in a particular order and be given in a certain way. 

The basic formula is:

  • author (last name, first name)
  • title (in quotation marks),
  • medium - book, magazine, webpage, etc. (underlined or italicized),
  • publishing organization
  • date - date of publication, date of issue or volume, date you accessed the web page (day/month/year),
  • If you are citing a web page, include the web address (in angle brackets < >).

 

The EHS site you will be referencing for number 7 in this assignment doesn't have an author, so the title comes first.  Your citation would look more like this:

           "Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It." Writing Tutorial Service. Indiana University, Bloomington IL. Web. 27 May 2014.

It can get complicated sometimes, especially when you are dealing with an online source.  To set up your citation, you can refer to MLA style guide, or you can use one of the help sites which will set up your citation for you.  I have listed several links below which will help you. 

01.01.01

teacher-scored 12 points possible 60 minutes

Review the rubric below to see how this assignment will be graded.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Each question answered completely and in a way that shows knowledge and understanding of the selection.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused & well organized—didn’t give me any “huh?” moments.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

 

 

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.


01.01.02 - Required Links

01.01.03 - Additional Helpful Links

01.02.00 - YOU MAKE AN ENTRANCE

Demonstrate ability to conduct informal interviews and to integrate information into a cohesive writing project. Demonstrate ability to correctly use information gathered from a source and properly cite that information.

For this activity, you will need to conduct some informal interviews, to do a little research, and to present your results.

A.  To start off, I want you to collect some information about the day you were born. What do you know about the circumstances surrounding your birth? Of course you won't remember much, so you’ll need to talk to some people who do—parents, other relatives, friends, and neighbors who knew you then. You may want to consult photo albums and scrapbooks and perhaps your baby book, if you have one.

Decide whom you want to interview and list some questions you would like to ask. Here are some ideas that might help (you don't need to ask these specific questions--these are just to get you thinking)

What day of the week were you born?

  • Where were you born?
  • Do you know anything about your birth? (Was it early in the morning? Did you take a long time to arrive? Did you come out hollerin'? Was your father present at the delivery? etc.)
  • How did your parents announce your birth?
  • If you were adopted, tell about your first meeting with your parents. Did they pick you up at the hospital or perhaps meet the plane bringing you to this country? How much time did your parents have to prepare for your arrival? What else do you know about your adoption?
  • What kind of baby were you? What can other family members tell about your first year or two?
  • Talk about your name. Were you named after anyone in particular? What does your name mean? Do you know anything about your surname and/or its history? Did you ever have any pet or nicknames? What other names were your parents considering for you? What would your name have been if you had been born of the opposite sex?
  • Where did you fit among your brothers and sisters? If you have older brothers and sisters, how did they feel about your arrival?

 

B.  Now that you know what was going on immediately around you when you were born, the next step is to find out what the world was like when you were born.  You came to a family, but also to a community, a country, a world, and a planet.  Research a few of the things that were going on that year you made your entrance.  Use the link below to also include a geological or geographical change that has taken place over your lifetime.

Links to help with these steps are given below.

 

C.  Now decide how you would like to present your findings. There is a lot of latitude here, but you need to use both text and non-text (non-text can mean pictures, graphs, sound, etc.) media. You could put together a collage, a PowerPoint or Prezi type of presentation, a traditional report, a brochure, or get really creative and put together a video.  Include the information you collected from your interview and at least two events from your research. 

IMPORTANT:  As you might guess, I'm also looking for you to apply what you learned in the previous assignment.  Make sure your paraphrases of information are "acceptable," make sure that any wording taken directly from a source is quoted correctly, and include a works cited page where your sources (including your interview source) are given in correct MLA format.   Remember to include a complete citation and not just a URL.  Use the links here and in the previous assignment for help you with this.

01.02.01

teacher-scored 20 points possible 60 minutes

 

Assessment Rubric:

 

Content   Shows the required research; includes a wide variety of information.   /4  
Support   Each item included has sufficient detail to show it's significance.   /4  
Presentation   Presentation of research is creative and interesting.   /4  
Clarity   Information presented is clear and easy to navigate.   /4  
Conventions   Sources are clearly referenced and there are no significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.


01.02.02 - Helpful Links

These links might prove useful in conducting your research.

01.02.03 - Helpful links

01.02.04 - Setting up a Works Cited Page

01.03.00 - LITERATURE CONNECTION - A CHARACTER IS BORN

Each unit will contain one "literature connection" assignment.  Your response for these assignments goes in two places.  First, you need to turn it in here, but, because this is information you may use in writing your final assignment, you also need to copy it to the section indicated on your reading guide. 

Just as your own amazing story began with the birth of its main character–you--the novel you have started to read began with a birth of its own main character. 

Review the information at the link, then, considering both direct and indirect characterization, in 2-3 paragraphs, discuss the main character of your novel.  Include in your discussion quotes from the text that show characteristics of the main character.

Consider these questions:

What does the character look like? 
How old is he or she?
How does this character speak? 
What are some of this character’s ideas or opinions?
What are some of his/her weakness or strengths?
What is your impression of this character?   Is this someone you relate to?  Is this the type of individual you ‘d like to know personally?

Include at least one quote from the book that shows a description of the character, and include at least one quote from this character him/herself which shows his/her personality.

01.03.01

01.03.03

teacher-scored 16 points possible 30 minutes

Remember:  This assignment should be written in paragraph form--not just answers to questions.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Shows the required analysis.   /4  
Support   Specific details given to support characterization,  including quotes from the novel.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused & well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.


01.04.00 - WHAT'S A NARRATIVE?

The novel you are reading is written in a narrative style.  Simply put, a narrative is the telling of a story. Narratives can be biographical, autobiographical, fictional, or historical; they can start at the beginning of the event being told, in the middle, or sometimes even the end. But in every case, the author is attempting to share something significant with the reader.

This idea of using a story to make a point is evidenced very clearly in Aesop's Fables--you know the ones you read when you were a kid about the tortoise and the hare, the lion and the mouse and the fox and the sour grapes? Written by the Greek slave Aesop around about 600 B.C., these simple narratives delivered clear messages.  Remember “The Tortoise and the Hare”?  It taught us that “slow and steady wins the race.” 

While not all narratives are as moralistic as Aesop's Fables, most good narratives do convey some point or idea. For this activity, I'd like you to read and respond to the narrative by British author George Orwell entitled, "Shooting an Elephant." Before you attack the story, a little background is required to help you identify important elements of the story. Read the information found at the file "Orwell-background."(link given above)

01.04.01

teacher-scored 16 points possible 60 minutes

Now link to the story, "Shooting an Elephant," and respond, in writing, to the following questions:

**********************************

1.  What specific language (the actual words or phrases) in the text creates vivid images in your mind as a reader?

2.  What point, idea, or theme does the narrative suggest? Show me proof. What specific language in the story suggests this theme?

3.  Both of these statements contain a paradox.  Choose one of the statements and explain: what the paradox is, what the message or meaning of the paradoxical statement is, and why you think the author chooses the paradox to convey this particular point.

  • "I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys."
  • "[A] story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes."

4.  What irony do you see in the scene where the speaker finds the elephant?

5.  Knowing what you know about the background of the story, what could the elephant symbolize? What does the elephant going wild symbolize? What does shooting the elephant symbolize? Show me proof—details from the story—for your answers.

*******************************

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.


01.04.02

teacher-scored 12 points possible 15 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Content   Includes required elements.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Support   Sufficient evidence given for each response.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.


01.05.00 - WRITING A PERSONAL NARRATIVE

Now that you’ve read a personal narrative, you need to prepare to write your own.

For your first step, I’d like you to write a list of events that you remember because they were important, they taught you a good lesson or they made a difference in the way you looked at yourself, people around you or your world.

Then, choose a time where you can clearly identify some lesson, concept, insight or idea that became "yours," and that shifted or expanded your understanding or awareness. Think about (1) what happened, and (2) what you want your readers to get from reading about it.

The possibilities for this assignment are very broad. The experience you choose to focus on need not be an earth-shattering event. Many excellent narratives deal with subjects that might seem quite unremarkable to the casual observer. The trick is to spend some time remembering things you've experienced; then spend even more time reflecting on their significance.

For this assignment, I’d like you to write about the personal experience you choose and I’d like you to shift from the more common deductive approach in writing to utilizing an inductive essay structure. Vocabulary time again. What is the difference? The deductive approach introduces an idea or thesis and defends it with supporting details and evidence. This approach is much more direct. It requires that you state your main idea early in your writing and devote the rest of your writing to illustrating and supporting its validity. Most scientific writing, report writing, academic writing and informative writing is generally organized deductively.

The inductive approach, however, is most frequently used in narrative writing. It also effectively transmits an idea, but an essay organized inductively shares the details first and leads up to the main idea, which may be explicitly stated or implicitly implied. An effective narrative will allow you to make a statement or idea very clear by relating in detail something that has happened. It makes a comment about what happens in general by recounting a story that tells what happened specifically. If you need more help understanding the difference between deductive and inductive writing, take a look at the link given below. Then take a look at the requirements for this writing exercise. Requirements:

  1. Use an inductive organizational strategy.
  2. Use this narrative to illustrate a theme or idea--maybe a lesson this experience taught you.
  3. Use vivid, concrete language when describing settings, characters and actions

To get you there, follow these steps:

A.  Choose a topic for your narrative.  This topic should be narrow--So rather than writing about "the history of my relationship with father" you would choose just one experience with your father that, in the telling of it, would characterize the relationship, and then show (rather than just tell) the point you'd like to make about that relationship.  Can't come up with a topic?  Peruse the topics at the "50 Writing Topics" link below.  This link also has some exellent, short personal narratives you can read as examples or pattern yours after if you'd like.

B.  Read the information at the "Tips for Writing a Personal Narrative" at the top of the page.  Then choose a structure for your narrative--chronological approach, flashback sequence, or reflective mode.

C.  Choose a tense and point of view.  Will you write in past or present tense (hint: past is much easier)? Will you tell the story from the first or third-person point of view?

D.  Consider the tone and the message, or main idea, you want to convey.  You want your words to draw your reader into the experience with you and to be able to feel and understand at least part of what you did.

E.  Think about your audience.  Try to take "I'm writing this for my teacher" out of that decision.  Who might be interested in your story?  Who might benefit from your story?  Who might be entertained by your story?  Get someone, or a group of someones, firmly in your mind and write to them.

F.  Now remember:  inductive style, "show don't tell," "let people talk." Look at your first line as you begin to write--are you starting to tell a story or does it sound more like you are setting up an introduction for a 5-paragraph essay?

Please submit this assignment as a .doc/docx or .pdf attachment.

01.05.01

teacher-scored 16 points possible 60 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Essay has a clear focus and illustrates an inductive structure.   /4  
Support   Writer uses specific, sensory to detail create vivid images for the reader.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.


01.08.01 - Helpful Links

02.00.00 - UNIT 2 FAMILY CONNECTIONS

When you were born you became part of a complex fabric of ancesters, times and places, and events and stories. If you are the main character in your own story, part of the “setting” setting for that story is your family, your culture, your ancestors, and the stories you heard and experienced as you grew up. 

Even in my middle-age, my brothers, and sister, and I still sit around and tell the stories that made up our unique experience—the dramatic ones, the funny ones, and the stories that harken back generations to other countries and other times.  As my children sit around and listen in, and as we pass on cultural, religious, and family traditions, our family “setting” is beginning to shape their lives as well.

02.01.00 - FAMILY LORE

What do you know about the people who came before you?  What stories or information have you been told about your ancestors? In 2-3 paragraphs, respond to as many of the following prompts as you can:

  • Who are the individuals who make up your family setting?
  • What do you know about your ancestors who are not living any more?
  • Who were your immigrant ancestors?  What were their countries of origin?
  • Do you know about your family surname? Origin? Meaning? Has it undergone changes? Are there traditional family names--first names, nicknames?
  • Are there stories about how a great fortune was lost or almost (but not quite) made? Do you believe them? Are these incidents laughed about or deeply regretted?
  • Do you have a notorious or infamous character in your family's past? Do you think the stories about this person are accurate? Exaggerated? Feasible?
  • Are there objects of sentimental or monetary values that have been handed down? What family heirlooms does your family have? What are the stories connected with them?
  • What particular expressions are used in your family? Are there stories which explain their origin?
  • Are there recipes that have been preserved in your family from past generations? What was their origin? How were they passed down--word of mouth, observation, written recipes? Are they still used today?
  • What other stories have been passed down?

02.01.01

teacher-scored 12 points possible 60 minutes

 

Assessment Rubric:

 

Content   Responds to a number of the prompts given.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.


02.02.00 - BIOPHASE IESSAY

In the first unit of this quarter, you had some experience with an informal interview. For this assignment, you will conduct a more formal interview of a living ancestor and write an essay based on your interview.

A.  Interview Plan.  First, you will need to prepare for your interview.  Your preparation needs to include 3 steps:

1. To begin you will need to choose a subject. (If a parent or grandparent is not available, consider interviewing a guardian or an older member of the community.)

For the purpose of this assignment, you will concentrate on asking questions about a specific period or "phase" in the life of your interview subject. For example, you might choose to focus on your subject's childhood, college life, time spent serving a religious mission, military service, courtship and marriage, professional career, family-rearing, or retirement years. Pick whatever period seems interesting to you or that your subject would like to talk about.

2.    Once you've decided what phase to focus on, you'll need to prepare for the actual interview, which will need to be recorded somehow. (If recording equipment is not available, a detailed transcript of the interview may be submitted instead.) Take a minute to read “How to Interview a Relative” to give you some ideas how to plan/conduct your interview. Next, you will need to make a list of specific questions you'll want to be sure to ask. (Some suggested questions are available at the “interview questions” site.)  During the interview, you don't need to follow your list exactly, but a prepared list will give a solid organization and cohesiveness to your interview.

As you organize your ideas, put the simplest questions, like biographical data, at the beginning, and the most complex or sensitive questions at the end. Group the questions logically, so you and your subject can easily follow the progression of ideas or chronology in the interview. Concentrate on posing open-ended rather than close-ended questions. Close-ended questions, which are typically about some fact, can be answered with a very short, specific response. For example, "What is your maiden name?" or "What year did your grandfather die?" are close-ended questions. Some close-ended questions will be necessary, but, where possible, try to pose open-ended questions that allow your subject more latitude in terms of his or her response. For example, "What sorts of responsibilities did you have as a child?" or "What can you remember about your grandfather?"   Before you go on to the next step, answer the questions below, and include them with your final submission.

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1. Who did you choose to interview?

2. How will you conduct the interview—in person, on the phone, computer, etc.?

3. On what phase of this person’s life will you focus (you may change your mind about this once you begin to interview your subject, but it’s important to have an idea to start with)?

4. How do you plan to record the interview—tape, cell phone, computer, video recorder, hand-written notes, etc.?

5. What are the main questions you plan to ask this person?

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B.  Interview.  Next, set up and conduct your interview.  Review the suggestions you read in the article “How to Interview a Relative,” and then review your questions. Make sure, however, that your interview is not just about rattling off a series of previously prepared questions in rapid-fire succession.  An effective interviewer, although prepared with specific questions, goes with the flow of the interview. Some of the most interesting information you discover will come about as you spontaneously formulate questions in response to information your subject reveals--questions you could have never anticipated in advance of the interviewing occasion. As an interviewer, consequently, you must listen carefully in order to ask thoughtful questions. Most of all, enjoy the time you get to spend with your interview subject.

C.  Biophase Essay.  Once you've conducted your interview, you'll be ready to start thinking about the corollary essay. Review the audio recording of your interview. You might want to take some notes about various experiences or thoughts that the subject mentioned that seem particularly relevant to you. Look over your notes and ask yourself a question: If you had to make a single generalization that would adequately characterize what this phase in the life of your subject was like, what would it be? The answer to this question will serve as the thesis statement to your Biography Phase Essay. For example, you might say "Grandpa's experiences in the military taught him many valuable lessons" or "Grandma had many responsibilities very early in her life."  As you get ready to proofread and edit your final draft, review any comments I made to your Personal Essay (Assignment 1.05) which may help you find and fix mechanics, usage and grammar errors.

Whatever thesis statement you choose, you'll need to establish it in an interesting way to introduce your subject. Then, the major portion of your essay should be devoted to providing specific supporting evidence from your interview in an organized and coherent way that supports the thesis you've established. Look to include carefully selected, specific quotations from your interview in order to add color to your essay.

You should be able to produce at least three well-developed supporting paragraphs to substantiate your thesis. In your concluding paragraph, touch on what you've learned as a result of the interviewing experience.

You can send me the recording or transcript of the interview in many ways. You can record it on your phone or make an audio file and attach it to the assignment. You can take notes and scan and attach them to your essay. Or you can even snail-mail me a tape, CD or transcript. If you take this option, please send an email to me requesting the mailing address. Please include a stamped, return envelope, if you'd like the cassette, notes or CD returned.

 

Please submit this assignment as a .doc/docx or .pdf attachment.

 

02.02.01

02.02.02

teacher-scored 20 points possible 30 minutes
Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.


02.02.03

teacher-scored 24 points possible 60 minutes

For this submission you will need to turn in your interview plan, your biophase essay, and the recording/notes from your interview.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Phase of life is clear and essay follows outlined instructions.   /4  
Support   Supporting paragraphs include detail which is specific & directly supports the thesis.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  
Interview Plan   Responded to each question on the interview plan   /4  
Interview Recording   Recording or written transcript included   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.


02.03.00 Family Connections in Literature

Family connections are examined by more authors than any other topic. 

Choose one of the following short narratives to read.  As you read, I want you to pay attention to relationships (especially family relationships) between the characters, listen to what characters say about, and to, each other, look for re-occurring images and phrases.  To this list I want to add--pay attention to stories, traditions, beliefs, lessons, etc.

“The Way to Rainy Mountain,” N. Scott Momaday

“A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood,”  Judith Ortiz Cofer

Once again, copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word-processing document. Answer the questions, save a copy for yourself, and then submit your work to me.

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1. What does the speaker remember about his/her grandmother?

2. The setting in this story almost acts like another character.  Describe what you learn about the setting.

3. What role does each of the following play in the story and in the speaker’s life?

                Religion & beliefs

                Stories

                Culture and Heritage

4. Why is this experience important to the speaker?

5. What might the cricket in front of the moon (Rainy Mountain), or the braiding of the speaker’s hair (Puerto Rican Childhood) symbolize? 

6. What might the grandmother symbolize for the speaker? (What makes the grandmother so important to the speaker?) 

7. Finish this statement:  One of the things the author seems to be saying in this story is ______________. (theme)

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02.03.01

02.03.02

teacher-scored 12 points possible 15 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Each question answered completely and in a way that shows knowledge and understanding of the selection.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused & well organized—didn’t give me any “huh?” moments.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.


02.04.00 - SKILL BUILDER - PUNCTUATING DIALOGUE

Before we get to the next activity, let us review one of the requirements: dialogue.

One way to make your writing come alive is through dialogue. Dialogue can add detail, depth, and interest to your writing—it lets the reader be a part of the experience instead of just hearing about it.

For example, look at the two writing sections below. The first one is okay, but the second one is much more interesting to read.

She was too poor to afford things like pink-sparkled slippers, but I begged my mom for them anyway.

 

“But why?” I sniveled. “You never buy me anything new!” I knew why, but I had never seen such beautiful shoes in my life.

She glanced at the pink, sparkling, slippers and sighed. “Please honey, you know I only have enough for the bread and eggs.”

“But Mom, pleeeaase.”

She shuffled to the isle. “Maybe we can get them another time,” she offered. But we both knew there wouldn’t be another time.

02.04.01

02.04.02

teacher-scored 8 points possible 30 minutes

Punctuating dialogue can be tricky, so first, click on the “punctuating dialogue” and the "punctuation with quotation marks" links provided for a short review.

Then, to finish this activity, I’d like you to craft an argument between two people—it could be an argument you’ve actually experienced or one that is totally fabricated. Each person in the dialogue needs to have at least three things to say, and you must use at least one comma, one question mark, and one exclamation point.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   The requirements detailed in the instructions have been met.   /4  
Conventions   Dialogue is punctuated correctly.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 4 of your enrollment date for this class.


02.05.00 - FAMILY INTERACTION ESSAY

For this assignment, I’d like you to think about the people in your family and your relationships with them.

In an essay, I’d like you to describe a specific interaction you have had with a member of your family who is (or has been) a significant part of your life. Before you begin to write, you may want to spend some time brainstorming. Think about people in your family--a parent or step-parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin. Identify someone you believe has significantly influenced your life. Then, remember specific interactions you have had with that person (for example, a fishing trip, a cooking lesson, or Christmas morning when you were ten). Then narrow your list of interactions to one (or maybe two) that best reveals your relationship with this person. The interaction need not be a dramatic one. An experience that does not seem earthshattering at the time can leave a lasting impression when you have thought it through.

Your essay should lead your readers to gain insight into why this person is important in your life. This insight is the main idea or thesis of the paper. After you have chosen the “interaction,” between you and this person, describe the scene and participants so that readers can visualize them. Remember to use an "inductive" narrative structure and to use dialogue to make the participants come alive for your readers.

As an alternative to a single, specific interaction, you may choose to identify a ritual or activity that occurs frequently (fixing Thanksgiving dinner or a summer family reunion) and describe that interaction as it typically occurs.  You may also want to jot down some notes about what the person looked like, the setting of the event, your state of mind when the interaction took place, and your state of mind after reflecting on the interaction. Choose the details you wish to use and expand upon in order to develop your essay. Each paragraph should contribute to the development of the main idea, so that the reader is led to the conclusions you wish to establish about this family member and why he or she is significant to you.

IMPORTANT:  As you get ready to proofread and edit your final draft, review any comments I made to your Personal Essay (Assignment 1.05) which may help you find and fix mechanics, usage and grammar errors.

02.05.02

teacher-scored 16 points possible 40 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Essay has a clear focus and follows guidelines given for a narrative essay.   /4  
Support   Writer uses specific, sensory detail, including dialogue, to create vivid images for the reader.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 4 of your enrollment date for this class.


02.06.00 - LITERATURE CONNECTION - SETTING

On your reading guide, you answered some questions about setting.  Here I'd like you to write 3 paragraphs discussing setting in more detail.    For this submission, I'd like you to write 3 paragraphs following the instructions below. 

Paragraph 1 - explain the impact the physical setting (the place) has on the main character

Paragraph 2 - explain some of the events that were happening at this time in history and discuss how these events affected the main character's life.

Paragraph 3 - discuss what impact family relationships, family history, and family stories have on this character.

Remember to copy your response to your reading guide as well.

02.06.01

teacher-scored 16 points possible 40 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   All three paragraphs address topics given.   /4  
Support   Detail is thorough and gives sufficient support for topic questions.   /4  
Research   Shows evidence of research and analysis.   /4  
Clarity   The ideas are clear and focused.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 4 of your enrollment date for this class.


03.00.00 - UNIT 2 - LITERARY DEVICES

Before you go on to unit 3, I'd like you to copy your submissions for the following assignments:
1.05 - Personal Narrative,
2.01 - Family Lore,
2.02 - Biophase Essay, and
2.05 - Family Interaction essay
as subsequent pages to your assignment 1.02 - You make an Entrance.  That puts all you have written about you and your family this quarter in one spot--in a file you can keep, look at or add to later, even show to your kids someday--as something permanent that makes your time in the class worthwhile beyond the "English" objectives.

Now on with unit 3 and our discussion of literary devices.  Understanding of some of these literary devices is essential as you proceed with this unit. You’ve heard these terms before, but let's take a vocabulary moment and review them before we move on. 

 

03.00.01

teacher-scored 8 points possible 20 minutes

Copy the terms between the asterisks into a word document and then using the "Literary Terms Glossary," write definitions for these terms:

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  1. symbol
  2. metaphor
  3. connotation
  4. denotation
  5. allusion
  6. persona
  7. theme
  8. irony
  9. archetype
  10. motif
  11. imagery
  12. tone.

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I don't want you to just "cut and paste" (remember the plagiarism reading you did in unit 1?) because that doesn't really help you learn anything. I'd like you to put these definitions in your own words.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Correct definitions given in student's "own words."   /4  
Clarity   Definitions show understanding of elements.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.


03.01.00 - WHAT'S A "THEME" AGAIN?

The next three assignments help you look deeper at some of these literary devices.  Let’s talk first about theme.  To start this assignment off, take a few minutes to view the video "How to find a Theme."

So, remember  what a theme is not: it is not the plot, and it is not a symbol, a motif or an allusion of any kind. All these, however, can help lead you to a theme; indeed, that is generally why the author has put them there. Remember that all writing is an attempt to communicate an important idea. The theme is that idea--the statement or view of life, people, and the world that the author is trying to convey.

The other distinction to make here is between ”subject or topic” and “theme.” No matter what a number of sources would have you believe, a topic is not a true theme. For example, in To Kill a Mockingbird, “racism” is a topic, but not a theme. You need to know what the author is saying about racism to find a theme, so “racism is a result of ignorance” could be a theme.

Now, to give you some practice with theme, I’m going to have you analyze a couple of poems written on the same topic--death. Thoughtfully read each poem and answer, for each of the poems, the questions below. Make sure that your answers are written in complete sentences.

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“Do not go gentle into that good night”  by Dylan Thomas

  1. What is the tone of the poem?
  2. The topic of the poem is death, but what is the speaker’s attitude toward the topic?
  3. In one sentence, write a statement that explains what this author is saying about death--This is the theme.
  4. Prove it: What words, lines, symbols, images show that is his attitude?

 

“Fear  no more the heat o' the sun," by William Shakespeare

  1. What is the tone of the poem?
  2. The topic of the poem is death, but what is the speaker’s attitude toward the topic?
  3. In one sentence, write a statement that explains what this author is saying about death--This is the theme.
  4. Prove it: What words, lines, symbols, images show that is his attitude?

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03.01.01

03.01.02

03.01.03

teacher-scored 16 points possible 30 minutes

 

Assessment Rubric:

 

Content   Analysis shows understanding of the poems and addresses the questions given in the instructions.   /4  
Support   Gives supporting detail from the poems to support analysis.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.


03.02.00 - PARADOX AND IRONY

Shakespeare writes in Hamlet “I must be cruel to be kind.”  Aren’t “cruel” and “kind” opposites.  That’s a literary paradox--a contradiction that sounds absurd on the surface but directs you to a deeper meaning.  A writer uses a paradox to be witty, to be sarcastic, to be dramatic, but often also to present main ideas or themes of the writing.  So it’s important to pay attention.

Here are some examples of paradoxical statements:

"I can resist anything but temptation."-Oscar Wilde
"What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young." - George Bernard Shaw
“Men work together whether they work together or apart.” - Robert Frost
"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" George Orwell,  Animal Farm.

Paradox is often to irony as metaphor is to symbol.  While metaphor is the words, the symbol is found in the connotations of the words.  Similarly, a paradox is a statement,  but irony is often present in the meaning suggested by the paradox.  Can you see irony in these statements as well?

 

My Heart Leaps Up

  by William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold
   A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
   Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

03.02.03

teacher-scored 12 points possible 20 minutes

For this assignment read the poem, ”My Heart Leaps Up,” by William Wordsworth, and look at paradox in the line "The Child is Father of the Man."  In a paragraph, discuss this paradox--what might the poet be saying, and what this paradox does for the meaning of the poem.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Shows required response and understanding of the poem as well as the paradox.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.


03.03 - Allusion

Authors often use allusions as well as symbols to convey connotative meaning. This exercise will focus on allusion. For this activity, you will read the poem “Demeter’s Prayer to Hades.” This poem has an allusion to a mythological story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone. For an allusion to be effective, you have to know the story, so If you are not familiar with it, read a short version given at one of the links below.

03.03.01

03.03.02

teacher-scored 12 points possible 20 minutes

Once you have read the myth and the poem, answer these questions (make sure that you answer in complete sentences):

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1. How does knowing the story change the meaning of the word “prayer” and of the tone of the poem?
2. What particular lines did you find most effective and why?

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Assessment Rubric:

Content   Shows required response and understanding of the poem as well as the allusion.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.


03.04.00 - "I AM A ROCK" - METAPHOR AND SYMBOL

The truth is that the idea of "symbols" and "symbolic meaning" used to intimidate me.  But in truth symbols are not just something we talk about in literature class. Every day of our lives we are surrounded by symbols. A green light tells us it is our turn to go; a bell may signal the beginning of a school day; and a gold cross on a necklace suggests the wearer is a Christian.

Most important life events are charged with symbolic significance--from the color of the clothes we wear (white at weddings and black at funerals) to everyday symbols like a wedding ring as a symbol of eternal love or a driver's license as a symbol of freedom. Schools and sports teams imbue mascots with symbolic significance, and states select certain symbols as embodiments of cherished values or ideals. Indeed, as human beings we are all symbol makers, and writers use symbolic expression to communicate their ideas and emotions with us.

When song writer Paul Simon writes the lyrics, “I am a Rock,” he has penned a metaphor right?  But to understand what that means, you need to look at the symbolic meaning of the statement as well.  The meaning of the symbol comes from the connotation of rock. 

A. Read the lyrics at one of the links below and then copy the questions within the asterisks into a word document and answer them.  I'll have you add something else to that document before you turn it in though.

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  1. How is the persona like a rock or an island?
  2. Why do you suppose the artists chose to use these objects to represent their persona?
  3. How does this help us understand the difference between connotation and denotation.
  4. Now listen to the song.   How does the music affect the tone of the lyrics? Listen at the link provided.

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Because we can easily identify the characteristics of a rock and of an island, we can understand what the speaker is implying when he compares himself to them. 

B.  To complete our examination of symbol, I'd like you to select an object that symbolizes who you are and what you're about. Think figuratively, not literally. This should NOT be a picture of you, but rather something that gets at the essence of who you are or what you're about beneath the skin. Look around you. Go beyond the surface and seek for some concrete thing that seems to appropriately represent you. Ask yourself if you were an animal, a beverage, an instrument, a fruit or vegetable, a car, a breakfast cereal, a tree, or anything else, what would you be? Note that there's a substantial difference between being a Porsche, which might suggest boldness and confidence, and a Pinto (a car made in the 70's which, due to a design flaw, tended to explode into flames when hit from the rear) which seems to embody failure and inadequacy.

Another way to approach this assignment is through a web simile. Write your name in the center "bubble," then brainstorm words that describe you. Then try to think of objects or things that seem to embody the descriptive words. For example, perhaps you are goal-oriented. Ask yourself what object might embody such a trait? A compass maybe? Perhaps a map? Either would be a great personal symbol for you.

Thinking about ourselves in non-literal ways requires a sort of poetic creativity. By selecting a metaphor to represent you, you can convey your thoughts more powerfully. For example, if you write "I am frustrated" or "I feel inadequate" you give your readers nothing to do--they say "so what?" On the other hand, if you say, "I am a firework that didn't ignite," your readers can think about and choose from many possible meanings. Along with your symbol, you will need to compose a written piece--either poetry or prose--that explores or comments on the significance of the symbol you've selected. The requirements here are fairly loose. Your piece should clearly establish your connection with the object, and it should also try to give some insight into your voice or personality.One suggestion: If you choose poetry, you might consider free verse. Sometimes it’s easy to get too caught up in looking for the rhyming words that the meaning doesn’t come through as clearly as it might otherwise

03.04.01

03.04.02

teacher-scored 20 points possible 80 minutes

For this assignment, turn in both your answers to the questions and your personal symbol piece.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Symbol is given, and several details show the writer's connection to the symbol.   /4  
Support   Specific detail shows the connection of the symbol to the individual.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  
Additional Requirements   Complete answers to questions included.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.


03.05.00 - LITERATURE CONNECTION - LITERARY DEVICES

Writers write to communicate—to say something important. Whether it is your neighbor’s letter to the editor or a poem from Emily Dickinson—the writer wants to persuade you to feel something, believe something, or learn something. The exciting task of the reader is to unravel that message and evaluate it—not just for its claims, but also for how artfully the author has made those claims. As you have been reading your novel, you should have been looking for ideas, themes, symbols, and other literary devices used by the author.  You should be getting close to the end of the novel by now and may already be formulating ideas for the essay that you will write on the novel. If you are not finished yet, plan to finish the novel by the time you get to unit 4.

03.05.02

teacher-scored 12 points possible 30 minutes

This activity corresponds to sections V & VI on your reading guide.  Turn in to me what you have written in those two sections of your guide so far.  Since this is the analysis which will help you most when you write your essay on this novel, you will want to keep adding to this section as you finish reading the novel.

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Complete answers given for each question.   /4  
Support    Answers given show thought and effort and include specific references to the text   /4  
Clarity   Ideas are clear and show understanding of text.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.


03.06

We have reviewed some of the literary elements commonly found in poetry--but, of course, there are more.  For this assignment, I'd like you to review more of those elements as well as practice your skill at analyzing those elements in poetry.

Now try it yourself.  Read  "Nothing Gold Can Stay," by Robert Frost and respond to the questions below.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

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A)   find and explain:

  1. a) theme
  2. a) a symbol or metaphor
  3. c) irony or paradox
  4. d) allusion

B.  Describe the tone

C  What are the images in the poem that are strongest for you?  What words were used by the poet to create those images?

D)  Look at the list of other literary elements at one of the links below.  Explain two others you see in this poem.

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03.06.01

03.06.02

teacher-scored 16 points possible 45 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Each question answered completely and in a way that shows knowledge and understanding of the selection.   /4  
Support   Each answer includes the specific language from the poem to illustrate analysis.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused & well organized—didn’t give me any “huh?” moments.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.


04.01.00 WRITING A THEMATIC ESSAY

The next few assignments will guide you toward writing the essay on the novel you have been reading. The novel you chose at the beginning of the quarter is organized in an inductive pattern, but you will now be required to use a deductive approach on your essay for this novel. So for the next few assignments, I’d like you to learn about and practice the important elements of this type of organization. The first key to a good deductive essay is a strong thesis up front--very often right in the first paragraph. Take some time to answer the questions that accompany these two guide papers:

1. “What makes a good Literature paper?” - What are the two elements of a good literary essay?
2. “Close Reading of a Text” - (This is a guide you looked at earlier) Explain the four pitfalls you should avoid.

04.01.01

04.01.02

teacher-scored 8 points possible 20 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Comprehensive answers given in complete sentences.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 7 of your enrollment date for this class.


04.02 EVALUATING ESSAYS ON THEME

You should now have begun formulating some ideas about how you'd like to write your essay on a theme from your novel. Before you begin to craft that essay, I'd like you to take some time to evaluate a couple of others.

At the "Essays on Theme" .pdf above, you will find two essays written on the same novel. It may be a novel you have read, or not--that doesn't matter. What I'd like you to do is to evaluate those two essays. One is significantly better than the other, and, in determining why, I hope you will learn how to avoid some of the most common problems students face when writing a literary evaluation essay.

For this portion of the exercise, once again, copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word-processing document. Answer the questions, save a copy for yourself, and then submit your work to me.

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Essay 1
1) What is the thesis statement?
2) What is the "evidence" the author has given to support that statement?

Essay 2
1) What is the thesis statement? 2) What is the "evidence" the author has given to support that statement?

Evaluation
1) Which essay provides better support? What makes that support better?
2) What should a writer avoid when writing this type of essay?

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04.02.01

teacher-scored 12 points possible 45 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Shows the required analysis.   /4  
Clarity   Conclusions are clear and writing is focused and well organized.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 7 of your enrollment date for this class.


04.03.00 WRITING AN OUTLINE

You should be finished with your reading assignment novel by this point. On section VI of your reading guide, you have been taking notes on 6 different questions. Choose one of these questions as a prompt for your final essay. The answer to each question will lead you to a theme--the message the author is trying to convey on that topic.  Now look at secion V of your reading guide.  This is where you have been taking notes on literary devices.  In your essay, I'd like you to include one of these devices and to explain how this device contributed to the development of the theme in the novel.  For this assignment, you will be required to draft an outline for your essay which includes a theme you’ve chosen to write about and the specific examples from the book that you belive illustrate that theme. Using To Kill a Mockingbird, again, here is an example:

Theme:  In coming from innocence to maturity, one has to confront evil and inequality in the world.

Support:

a) The Symbol of the killing of a mockingbird represents those who would attempt to harm or destroy innocence. Miss Maudie’s explanation that it is a sin to kill mockingbird shows the moral imperative to stand up for those who would be harmed by evil forces in a society.

b) Children begin to confront their fear of Boo Radley. He begins as a superstition and gradually Lee begins to 'flesh' him out and he becomes more human. The children begin to change their opinions of him.

c) Scout is able to hold on to faith and move forward, but Jem is more damaged by the revelation of the evil that racism is in his community. Scout’s name foreshadows her ability for forge the path from childhood to maturity while maintaining faith in humanity.

Before you begin your outline, view the video at the link below. Make sure that you understand the distinction between "topic," "theme," and "thesis." If that isn't clear, let me know.

04.03.01

  

04.03.02

teacher-scored 12 points possible 40 minutes

To help me evaluate your outline, make sure that you include the title of the novel. Assessment Rubric:

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Content   Outline shows clear theme.   /4  
Organizatino   Ideas written in clear outline form.   /4  
Support   Includes three supporting details or examples from novel   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 7 of your enrollment date for this class.


04.04.00 ROUGH DRAFT AND THESIS STATEMENTS

Now review your outline and your choices. Does the outline reflect what you want to say in your essay?  Do you have enough "evidence" from the book to support your thesis?   If so, you are ready, you are ready to write a rough draft of your essay introducing that theme and supporting it with specific evidence from the text.

Pull your reading guide out.  This is where you are going to be able to use details, quotes, examples that you have recorded there.  In your essay, I'd like you to include at least one quote from the book and as many specific details as you can to support your ideas.

Remember that I don’t want a summary of the story. I want you to tell me something other than the plot--I’ve read these books; I know what happens. I want you to tell me what it all means.

A. Review the information at the “Thesis Statement” link and follow those guidelines to draft your introductory paragraph to include a solid thesis statement.

B. Using your outline as a guide, continue writing your rough draft following your outline.  Get all of your ideas out and don’t worry about language conventions issues at this stage.

C.  Now that you have your ideas down, it's time to evaluate what works:

  1. Did your paper head in the direction your thesis statement said it would?
  2. Do you have specific detail from the novel to support that thesis?  

 

If you have a solid "yes" to those questions, your rough draft is in good shape, and you are ready to turn it in to me, if not, take some time to work with it until you are confident it meets the two criteria above.

IMPORTANT:  Please save your assignment as a .doc (Microsoft Word) or  .pdf file before you upload it.  That will allow me to make comments that you can easily review.

 

04.04.01

04.04.02

teacher-scored 12 points possible 75 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Rough draft shows understanding of novel and includes a "debatable" thesis statement which centers around a theme in the novel.   /4  
Support   There are at least three concrete examples from the novel to support the theme or thesis.   /4  
Clarity   While not a polished essay, the ideas are clear and lead to discernable conclusion.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 8 of your enrollment date for this class.


04.05.00 - REVISING

If you’re more of a right-brained individual, the most interesting part of writing this paper might be finished.  Right-brainers tend to love the conceptualizing and creating process but tend to be less enthusiastic about the revising.  If you’re more of a left-brained writer, you are probably breathing a big sigh of relief now that you have the ideas worked out because the revising, refining part is more in your wheelhouse (what does that phrase mean anyway?).

But either way, it’s time to get this assignment perfected and this quarter finished (Yea!)  While you are waiting for me to make some comments on your rough draft, I’d like you to review important basics in revising your introductions and conclusions.

A.  Introductions.

An introduction provides the reader with a “first impression.”  You want your introduction to draw the reader in and convince the reader that you’ve got something important to say.  You’ve got great ideas and support for those ideas, now give those ideas the introduction they deserve.

You won’t find total agreement on what makes a good introduction, but there are some basic ideas to follow.

Watch video "The Power of a Great Introduction" and look at the suggestions given in the link, "Writing a Strong Introduction."  Now it's time to put pen to paper, or, more accurately, finger to keyboard, and revise your introduction.

B.  Conclusions

Conclusions can be difficult.  Often the writer doesn’t know what to say and is tired of writing, so he ends up with a weak conclusion.  After you have so brilliantly executed the rest of your essay, it would be a shame to let the conclusion kill the reader’s enthusiasm (especially if the reader is a teacher—you don’t want her last impression, the thought just before she awards your grade, to be “ho-hum.”)

Read through the 4 strategies given in the link, "Strategies for writing a Conclusion."  Choose the strategy which  would work best in your essay.

For your submission, you need to give me your revised introduction (include the introduction from your rough draft, so I can see the evolution) and your conclusion strategy choice.  You don’t need to give me the revised conclusion yet; it’s better to hold off until you have revised your entire essay.

04.05.01

04.05.02

teacher-scored 12 points possible 60 minutes

This submission should include your original introduction, your revised introduction (lable them appropriately), and your conclusion strategy choice.

 

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Includes original and revised introductions as well as a conclusion strategy.   /4  
Presentation   The revised introduction is interesting and shows application of ideas from reference material.   /4  
Clarity   Introduction is well organized and provides a clear lead-in to the thesis and to the direction of the essay.   /4  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 8 of your enrollment date for this class.


04.06.00- WRITING A FINAL DRAFT

Once I have sent you comments on your rough draft, you are ready to revise it.  You had to wait a day or two for my response, so you should be able to look at your rough draft with "fresh eyes."

To begin, read through this article, “Revision: from first to final draft.” Now, using these guidelines, begin to revise your essay. Work with it as much as you need.

When you are confident in the content of your essay, head to the editing/proofreading stage. Read the article “Proofreading & Editing checklist" and make sure you have addressed each item on the list to polish your essay.   Keep in mind that these are the standards to which I will hold you when I grade the assignment.

For this submission, please turn in both your rough draft and your final draft so I can see the evolution of your writing.

Important:  Here you will also need to turn in your reading guide.

04.06.01

04.06.02

teacher-scored 44 points possible 60 minutes

Assessment Rubric:

Content   Interesting introduction; clear thesis statement; shows understanding of novel and the theme.   /4  
Support   Supporting paragraphs include detail which is specific and directly supports your analysis.   /4  
Clarity   Writing is clear, focused and well organized.   /4  
Organization   Essay is organized so that the ideas follow logically from one to the next.   /4  
Conventions   No significant errors in grammar, usage, punctuation or spelling.   /4  
Extra Points   Rough Draft is included.   /4  
Extra Points   Reading guide is complete and shows thought & effort.   /20  

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 8 of your enrollment date for this class.


4.07 EXTRA CREDIT

teacher-scored 0 points possible 0 minutes

Any extra credit points will be recorded here.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 9 of your enrollment date for this class.