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2nd Quarter, Language Arts 09

0.0 Start Here (LA 9)

Course Description

Course Skills

Students will:

Engage in attentive reading, writing, and listening through complex works of literature.

Perform critical reading of digital and printed material.

Build knowledge and demonstrate strong reasoning abilities.

These skills, in reading; writing; speaking; and listening, are the foundation for any purposeful expression in language

Class Overview

This is a one quarter (.25 credit) class in Utah State High School Language Arts. 

WHAT THIS CLASS IS: This class is an open-entry, open-exit class. You can enroll at any time of the year, and finish the class as fast as you can get all the work done. 

WHAT THIS CLASS IS NOT: This class is NOT an easy way to get your English credit without doing real work. You will be required to work and learn.

PREREQUISITES

At least 8th grade level reading and writing skills.

A computer with internet access.

A working e-mail address which you check regularly.

Word processing software to type your assignments. Microsoft Word is best.

Acrobat Reader, QuickTime reader, and a PowerPoint reader (all available free online).

How You Will Be Graded

You earn points for doing assignments in this class. Each assignment has a maximum number of points you can earn if you do an excellent job on that assignment. You must do all assignments. You can also submit a revised, improved version of an assignment to get more points for it. Your final grade is determined by your average on assignments, and how you do on the final test. The assignments and quizzes count 75%, and the final test counts 25%.

GRADING SCALE

A 90-100

B 80-89

C 70-79

D 60-69

No credit - below 60

As with all EHS classes, you must also pass a proctored final test at the end of the class. If you score below 60% on the final, you will fail the class and not earn credit.  If you score at least 60% on the final test, your score on the final will be averaged with your scores for class assignments and quizzes to determine your grade in the class. 
 

Final Test

When you have finished all the assignments you need for your credit, you will take the final test under the supervision of a proctor approved by the EHS. You must pass the final with at least 60% to pass the class. 

About Homework

Writing Assignments

Grading rubrics will specify how you will be graded on each assignment submission. 

Class plagiarism policy

Plagiarism is copying someone else's work, in any way, and failing to give credit to the original author. Plagiarism is unlawful and unethical, and against the EHS Honor Code. 

How to turn in homework

IMPORTANT: always save a copy of all your homework on your own computer. Send in each assignment when it is requested in the course module section. 

About Me assignment:

 

Getting to know you! Copy and paste the following questions between the rows of asterisks below into a word document and answer them accordingly.

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

In a numbered LIST, provide the following information:

1. What is your first and last name, parent(s) name(s), and contact information for both you and your parent(s)? 

2. Where do you go to school? 

3. What is your counselor's full name and email address/contact information? 

4. What year will you graduate and have you read the EHS Honor Code and understand that this class needs to be finished within the 10 week limit?

In a few sentences, tell me about yourself being sure to answer the following questions in the process:

          a. Tell me something about yourself. 

          b. Why are you taking this class and what do you expect to get out of it? 

          c. What is one word that best describes you?

By the way, here is 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."

00.00 *Student-supplied Items for English 9 (LA 9)

Most readings and viewings for this class are available free online or at your school or public library. You can also find digital copies of these texts in the URLs found in this module section.

  • First quarter: The Odyssey
  • Second quarter: To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Third quarter: Romeo and Juliet, and one book chosen from the list in the class
  • Fourth quarter: one book chosen from the list in the class

00.00 Start Here (LA 9)

Helpful information: Avoiding plagiarism  

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

07.00 Unit 7: Good Writing Techniques (LA 9)

Author Christopher Paul Curtis, 2014: Jeffrey Beall, WC, CC-BY-3.0Author Christopher Paul Curtis, 2014: Jeffrey Beall, WC, CC-BY-3.0

 

Unit 1: Getting Started

In this introductory unit you will work primarily on language skills, as outlined in the Utah State Core Curriculum for ninth grade English/Language Arts. You will review or familiarize yourself with rubrics, the six-trait model of evaluating writing, and the writing process. Topics in this unit include techniques that will help you improve your writing, sentence structure, clauses and phrases.  There will be several short assignments and quizzes. You should expect this unit to take you anywhere from about three to twelve hours, depending on how much you already know, and how much you need to review.

The "big idea" behind most of the assignments in this class:  Writers choose details, events and characters' words and actions to develop main ideas or themes; readers use details, examples and evidence to understand and infer main ideas or themes.

Class plagiarism policy:

Plagiarism is copying someone else's writing, either copying the exact words or copying the general organization, and paraphrasing some of the ideas. Copying someone else's sentences, phrases or ideas, and failing to give credit to the original author, is plagiarism.

In some papers it is appropriate to quote someone else's exact words, but when you do, that section needs to be set off in quotation marks or otherwise set apart, and the author identified either in a sentence, or in a parenthetical note.  Then you need to supply a "works cited" list of sources at the bottom of your paper. This also applies when you use facts that are not common knowledge.  

If you have not already done so, please review the information about plagiarism on the Start Here page and its links. Plagiarism is unlawful and unethical, and against the EHS Honor Code. If you turn in a plagiarized assignment, you will receive ONE warning. If the problem recurs, you may be dropped from the class with no credit.

07.01 Getting started (LA 9)

Wikimedia Commons, Tulane Public Relations, CC Attribution 2.0 GenericWikimedia Commons, Tulane Public Relations, CC Attribution 2.0 GenericTo get started on this class, complete the "About Me" assignment. Then read through the "Start Here" information, and take the quiz on class policies.

07.01.01 Class policies quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 12 points possible 15 minutes

Read the information on the Start Here page and the Required Resources page first.
Then, go to your main class page and into Topic 3 to take this quiz. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 90%. I want to make sure you understand how the class works!

If you haven't already, also click the link for the About Me assignment, and introduce yourself to me!

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


07.02 How papers are scored, rubrics and the writing process (LA 9)

Clarify how papers will be graded, and review terms used to discuss and evaluate writing:

"Writing is thinking on paper.": by Filosofias filosoficas, CC Attribution 3.0 Unported via WIkimedia Commons"Writing is thinking on paper.": by Filosofias filosoficas, CC Attribution 3.0 Unported via WIkimedia Commons

Here is a brief summary of the "writing process". View the PowerPoint presentation or PDF for more information and click the link below this lesson to listen.

The WRITING PROCESS

begins with prewriting. This can include brainstorming, researching, outlining, and any other way of getting ideas and planning what you want to write.
The next step is often called drafting or composing. This is the part where you are actually writing, whether it is with pencil and paper, or on a computer.
Once you have gotten your writing 'on paper' (or on screen), it is time for revising. This is the step most people are tempted to skip, but the one on which many professional writers spend the most time. You should try different ways of organizing and improving your ideas: changing the order, adding details, cutting out what doesn't belong and improving word choice and sentence fluency--all to make your writing as powerful, clear and effective as possible.
After you are happy with the content of your writing and how you have put it together, the next step is editing. This is when you proofread and fix any conventions errors.
The next step is publishing, or sharing your writing so others can read it.

Rubrics

A rubric helps to define how the teacher will score your assignment, and what the expectations or benchmarks are for certain scores.
If you check the rubric as you revise an assignment, before you turn it in, you can improve your grade by making sure to include everything that is expected.
The rubric can also help the teacher score your paper more objectively, and help you understand why you received your score.

Utah Core standards

Most of the rubrics used in this class are based on the Utah Core guidelines for improving argumentative, expository and narrative writing. Along with the terms below from the Six-Trait system, make sure you understand the following:

  • significant
  • relevant
  • credible sources
  • cohesion
  • syntax
  • transitions
  • formal style
  • objective tone
  • domain-specific vocabulary
  • closure
  • resolution
  • implications
  • claim
  • counterclaim
  • reason
  • evidence
  • reflection

It may help you to look at sample standards that use Utah Core terminology. Here are examples of standards that use many of the terms above:

Category  
Introduction & organization Introduces precise, knowledgeable claim, establishes significance, distinguishes from opposing or alternate claims, and sets up logical organization of claims, counterclaims, reasons and evidence
Development of ideas and content Develops claims and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplies most relevant data and evidence, points out strength and limitations in discipline-appropriate form, anticipating audience knowledge, concerns, biases and values, using credible sources
Development of relationships, cohesion and flow Uses words, clauses and phrases, as well as varied syntax, to link major sections of the text, create cohesion and clarify the relationships between claims and reasons, claims and counterclaims, reasons and evidence.
Word choice, style and tone Establish and maintain a smooth, formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms, vocabulary and conventions of the discipline for which they are writing
Conclusion Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented, while providing a sense of confident closure or resolution, beyond just repetition of earlier statements
Conventions and language skills Has few or no errors in conventions, grammar or usage; uses parallel structure and variety in sentences, phrases and clauses

 

Below is a very brief review of the SIX TRAITS system, which helps define some terms we will use in scoring and discussing your writing. For more information, see the PowerPoint or PDF about the six traits, and go to the Six Trait Writing web page.

1. Ideas & content - Are the ideas well-developed, with supporting details that are specific and concrete? [Instead of "Our kitchen is a wonderful place", which is general and abstract, write something like: - "The stained linoleum is curling up at the edges, and the cupboards need to be re-finished where my brother and I carved our initials the year I was ten, but the old stove always has a pot of chili simmering on top, or a sheet of oatmeal cookies baking in the oven." or - "When I get home from school, I can pop a frozen cheese pizza into the oven. I'd better remember to wipe up any crumbs, because my mom is really proud of the shiny new black granite countertop."]

2. Organization - Are the ideas in some kind of logical order? Does the order help you to understand the ideas, or does it just seem random? Check out the beginning--does the introduction help set up your expectations for the rest of the piece, and/or grab your attention? How about the end--does it just stop, or is there a sense of conclusion?

3. Voice - Does the writer's personality come through? Writing without voice seems generic as if any stereotypical teenager could have written it. It can also seem flat as if it might have been generated by a committee or a machine (or a textbook company!).

4. Sentence fluency - do the sentences flow smoothly if you read it out loud? Are they easy to follow and understand? Good writing includes sentences of varying length and construction. Common faults include short, choppy sentences; sentences that are so long and convoluted they are hard to understand; and non-sentences (fragments or run-ons).

5. Word choice - This is related to both voice and ideas. Are the words and vocabulary the best ones for the job? Nouns should be specific and concrete; verbs should be active and vivid. Generally, it's better to say "poodle" or "German shorthair" than "dog"; better to say "Honda Civic" or "Porsche" than "car" and better to say "waddled" or "leaped" or "slithered" than "went". Words should also be used accurately and precisely.

6. Conventions - Correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, etc.

Symbols I use to mark writing problems:Wikimedia Commons, Mosborne01 image, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedWikimedia Commons, Mosborne01 image, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Generally, I will send you at least one or two comments along with your scores in the rubric for an assignment.  If you want more detailed comments and corrections, let me know and I will go through your work line by line, using these symbols.

(There are traditional proofreading symbols, but they were invented to be written in by hand. I have adapted some for the computer keyboard, and created ways to use the keyboard symbols in proofreading.)

*/* Marks where a run-on sentence needs to be either divided into two separate sentences with a period (or question mark), or properly connected with a comma and/or conjunction.

{ } I use the curly brackets around an incomplete sentence (fragment). It either needs to be connected to a neighboring sentence, or revised so that it can stand on its own as a complete sentence.

/P New paragraph should start here.

^ ^ The “carrots” are around something you left out--often, a missing comma.

< > The pointy brackets are around something you SHOULD have left out--often, an extra comma or word.

Boldface If bold is an option, I try to boldface misspelled words. If I can’t use bold, I will underline or highlight.

Underlining: I underline or highlight words, parts of words, or sentences to draw your attention to them, for either positive or negative reasons. Often, I use underlining to mark awkward sentence structure, capitalization, grammar, or word-choice problems. I will sometimes put an explanatory comment in parentheses right after the underlined part.

NOTE: If I see the same mistake repeated over and over, I may not mark all of them. When I have marked several of the same kind of error, I expect you to take the initiative to check for more of that kind.
If you keep sending more papers with the same kinds of mistakes all quarter, I may begin taking off more points as the quarter goes on. The idea is supposed to be that you learn to do better by reading my comments and suggestions and making extra effort not to repeat past mistakes.

07.02.01 Quiz on rubrics and the writing process (LA 9)

computer-scored 12 points possible 15 minutes

This quiz covers the information in lesson 07.02.  You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 75%.

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


07.03 Good writing techniques: figurative language (English 9)

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

 Figurative Language

Non-literal comparisons – such as similes, metaphors and personification – add 'spice' to writing and can help paint a more vivid picture for the reader. Figurative languageFigurative language
A simile uses "like," "as," or "than" to make a comparison between two things not normally considered alike.

 The trees lined the driveway like an honor guard of soldiers standing at attention.
Her angry words were as sharp as knives cutting into his heart.

A metaphor implies a comparison (without using "like," "as," or "than") by suggesting that one thing IS something else that is not normally considered to be similar.

Mark is the black sheep of his family.
The lone cottonwood tree was a condominium for songbirds.

Personification attributes a characteristic normally associated with humans (or at least with animals) to a non-living entity.

The flood swallowed up the town.
The breezes were playing tag with the whispering leaves.

Hyperbole is deliberate exaggeration to make a point.

I haven't seen you in a million years.
Marisol cried till she thought her tears would fill an ocean.

A pun creates humor by playing on the different meanings of a word (or substituting different words that sound the same).

A horse is a very stable animal.
Atheism is a non-prophet institution

An oxymoron uses two seemingly-contradictory words together, often to creat humor and/or irony.

smallest giant
serious foolishness

(There are many other forms of figurative language, but these are some of the most common.)

More examples:
It seemed like we were moving through traffic as slowly as a California tourist driving through a herd of sheep. Meanwhile, the minutes galloped away from us like race horses being chased by a swarm of hornets. I could just imagine the coach, an angry bear on the sidelines, roaring at the other players about what he would do to me when I finally got there.

"...occasionally someone would lean forward and softly rearrange the logs on the fire so that the flames flapped upward more brightly, and the remains of the steaks sizzled briefly, like a nest of sleepy wasps." - Gerald Durrell, from The Whispering Land

Not a red rose or a satin heart. I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. - Carol Ann Duffy, from "Valentine"

 

07.03.01 Good writing techniques - figurative language quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 15 points possible 10 minutes

This quiz will cover the information in lesson 07.03.

You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 73% to pass.

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


07.04 Good writing techniques - magnify the moment (LA 9)

Writing Standard 3d: Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

 Magnified Moment

Blacksamson echinacea, close-up of the flower&#39;s central disk: Bernie, WMC, CC-BY-SA-3.0Blacksamson echinacea, close-up of the flower's central disk: Bernie, WMC, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Instead of 'speeding past' a moment, zoom in on it. Emphasize it by slowing down and looking carefully at each action, expanding it so that readers can make a movie of what is happening in their mind. Of course you don't want to focus in on EVERY moment and every detail--that would be boring, and it would take far too long--but a common problem in writing is failing to go beyond summarizing what happened.

This is a technique used primarily in narrative writing (though there may be a section of narrative in expository or argument, so it might appear there, too).  It's about telling a story in an interesting way rather than just summarizing it.

Think of a radio sportscaster. If the announcer just said, "In the first inning, the home team had two hits and one run," not only would there have been a half hour of silence while all those things happened, but the audience wouldn't be able to picture the action. Choose the most important parts of your topic (if someone is stealing a base, the announcer isn't going to describe the advertising banners on the back fence), and give play-by-play detail.

To build a magnified moment, think of a time you remember vividly - something that seemed to happen in slow motion - and the details that go along with that memory. It's hard to say why we remember some things like this, as if they just happened the other day, while other things fade out of our memories altogether, or we barely remember the basic event. When you write, try to imagine the experience unfolding in time, split second by split second. Where is it happening? What was the character doing and thinking about? Include the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, motion, and textures as they give context to the event, and the character's emotional and physical feelings as well as thoughts and spoken words. You should be able to develop a paragraph or page of writing based on a brief event.

 

Examples:

 

  Dad's tools thud the dirt. He drops, slides on his backside down the steep riverbank, digs his boots in to brake at the waterlip. A cow is turning in the water, its leg caught in the ropey set of a tree's exposed roots. We go in, one at either side. It tries to keep its head above the surge of ribbony water; strikes out at us but is too bound to be nimble - its head a rounded anvil twisted up to nose the air..... Dad leans his leg into the root that's locked the cow's shin and tries to budge the hoof out. I hold its head above water. The red eartag flicks at my wrist. Dad wants to lift its leg at a different angle, so I haul back its shoulder, the cow's head now submerged at my feet. It can still see me, up from its crooked eye, now enlarged under lucent water. (from "The River" by Andrew Slattery)

When all was ready, the man reached in his pocket for a second piece of birch-bark. He knew the bark was there, and, though he could not feel it with his fingers, he could hear its crisp rustling as he fumbled for it. Try as he would, he could not clutch hold of it. And all the time, in his consciousness, was the knowledge that each instant his feet were freezing. This thought tended to put him in a panic, but he fought against it and kept calm. He pulled on his mittens with his teeth, and threshed his arms back and forth, beating his hands with all his might against his sides. He did this sitting down, and he stood up to do it; and all the while the dog sat in the snow, its wolf-brush of a tail curled around warmly over its forefeet, its sharp wolf-ears pricked forward intently as it watched the man. And the man as he beat and threshed with his arms and hands, felt a great surge of envy as he regarded the creature that was warm and secure in its natural covering.

After a time he was aware of the first far-away signals of sensation in his beaten fingers. The faint tingling grew stronger till it evolved into a stinging ache that was excruciating, but which the man hailed with satisfaction. He stripped the mitten from his right hand and fetched forth the birch-bark. The exposed fingers were quickly going numb again. Next he brought out his bunch of sulphur matches. But the tremendous cold had already driven the life out of his fingers. In his effort to separate one match from the others, the whole bunch fell in the snow. He tried to pick it out of the snow, but failed. The dead fingers could neither touch nor clutch. He was very careful. He drove the thought of his freezing feet; and nose, and cheeks, out of his mind, devoting his whole soul to the matches. He watched, using the sense of vision in place of that of touch, and when he saw his fingers on each side the bunch, he closed them--that is, he willed to close them, for the wires were drawn, and the fingers did not obey. He pulled the mitten on the right hand, and beat it fiercely against his knee. Then, with both mittened hands, he scooped the bunch of matches, along with much snow, into his lap. (from "To Build a Fire" by Jack London)

 

[Background: Nagaina is a cobra, and Rikki-Tikki is a mongoose.] Nagaina gathered herself together and flung out at him. Rikki-tikki jumped up and backward. Again and again and again she struck, and each time her head came with a whack on the matting of the veranda and she gathered herself together like a watch spring.

Then Rikki-tikki danced in a circle to get behind her, and Nagaina spun round to keep her head to his head, so that the rustle of her tail on the matting sounded like dry leaves blown along by the wind. He had forgotten the egg. It still lay on the veranda, and Nagaina came nearer and nearer to it, till at last, while Rikki-tikki was drawing breath, she caught it in her mouth, turned to the veranda steps, and flew like an arrow down the path, with Rikki-tikki behind her. When the cobra runs for her life, she goes like a whip-lash flicked across a horse's neck. Rikki-tikki knew that he must catch her, or all the trouble would begin again. She headed straight for the long grass by the thorn-bush, and as he was running Rikki-tikki heard Darzee still singing his foolish little song of triumph. But Darzee's wife was wiser. She flew off her nest as Nagaina came along, and flapped her wings about Nagaina's head. If Darzee had helped they might have turned her, but Nagaina only lowered her hood and went on. Still, the instant's delay brought Rikki-tikki up to her, and as she plunged into the rat-hole where she and Nag used to live, his little white teeth were clenched on her tail, and he went down with her--and very few mongooses, however wise and old they may be, care to follow a cobra into its hole. It was dark in the hole; and Rikki-tikki never knew when it might open out and give Nagaina room to turn and strike at him. He held on savagely, and stuck out his feet to act as brakes on the dark slope of the hot, moist earth. (From "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling)

07.04.01 Good writing techniques - magnified moment quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 15 points possible 10 minutes

This quiz will cover the information in lesson 07.04.

You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 73% to pass.

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


07.05 Writing a short essay (LA 9)

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions. Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic. Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

 

 

In this set of assignments, you will write a short essay and practice using figurative language and the "magnify the moment" technique.  You will follow the steps of the writing process from pre-writing through editing.

It seems to be human nature to think of the world as consisting of "us" and "them".  We have many ways of doing this, in real life and in our imagination: humans and animals; friends and enemies; family members vs. those from outside our family; Americans and non-Americans; our race and other races; vampires and werewolves; various cultures... etc.  

When "our" group is in charge, we often give ourselves rights or privileges denied to the other group.  Regardless of whether "our" group is in power, we often imagine ourselves to be somehow better, nicer, smarter, cooler - superior - to others.  It is easy to think of examples where this tendency has led to horrific consequences.  However, for this assignment, you are going to be looking at how this way of thinking operates in your own life.

Think about the different groups of people you know so far in your life.  Which groups are you part of ("us")? Which groups seem separate ("them")?  Continue to the specific assignment instructions below.

07.05.01 Short essay pre-writing and first draft (LA 9)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 30 minutes

This assignment has two parts: the pre-writing exercise, and the written draft. Please turn in both parts (the pre-writing lists and the first draft) together.

If you prefer to hand-write as you work, do that, and then type a copy to submit. Remember to create your assignment in a word processor, and save it to your computer, before pasting it into the assignment submission window or uploading your file.

A. Prewriting

1.  Briefly name and describe at least eight groups of people (or ways of classifying people) in the area you live.  You interact with people in different places: your home, your neighborhood, your school, maybe your church or sport or job.  In each of those situations, you see different groups of people.  Identify as many as you can! (5 points)

2. For the groups you identified in question 1, put them into three categories: (5 points)

Which groups do you definitely feel part of?

Which groups do you feel you are sort of on the fringe of - like you are partly or almost a member?

Which groups do you feel you are definitely NOT part of? why is this?

B. Draft

Then write a page (at least 200 words) that shows the reader you interacting with your own group, and with another group. Be SPECIFIC and CONCRETE. Somewhere in your essay, use the two techniques 'figurative language' and 'magnify the moment'. *Star the places where you use figurative language and magnified moment.

 You might include dialogue, but be sure to include your actions and thoughts, showing the reader the differences in how you act with the two groups of people involved. (10 points)

This draft will be scored mainly on ideas and organization, but I may comment on other aspects to help you with revision and editing.

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


07.05.02 Short essay, revised and edited (LA 9)

teacher-scored 28 points possible 30 minutes

Read over your teacher's feedback on the draft you submitted earlier of your essay before you finish and submit this assignment.

Again, this assignment has several parts:

A. Copy and paste in the first version of your short essay that you turned in earlier, without making any changes. Then, below that copy, paste in a second copy to use as you revise.

B. Revise the second copy of your essay.

Look especially at ideas, organization, and sentence structure.
Does it need more (or more specific/concrete) details? Do the details and ideas work together well, or should you delete some and choose different details to help the reader understand what you mean?
Does it need an introduction or conclusion? Are things in a logical order?
Are sentences clear? Do they flow smoothly if you read them out loud? Did you use different lengths and structures for your sentences?
Is there an example of figurative language?  Did you "magnify the moment" for one section?

Make those changes (as needed) in the second copy.

This draft will be scored on ideas, organization, voice, word choice and sentence fluency.

The most common problem students have with revision is replacing general, abstract language with concrete, specific details or examples. Here is an example of "before" and "after" revision that might help you:

Before: too general and abstract:

With my partner, I am part of the debate squad at my high school.  We spend a lot of time together preparing for competitions, and even sit beside each other in classes we both take.

After revision: more specific and concrete, magnifying the moment with actions:

I sit beside my debate partner Phil a lot: when we are in class together, when we are organizing our cases, and when we are in competition.  We often have our heads together, speaking softly so others don't overhear our plans, but by now, halfway through the year, we know each other's ways of thinking so well that often a glance or brief gesture is enough.  If he begins to get annoyed, I rest my hand on his leg for a minute to say, "Relax, it's not a problem." If I'm anxious about making a mistake, he flashes me that hint of a smile that means, "You're doing great."  When we walk into a room to start a round in a tournament and write our names on the board for the judge, we both love to watch our opponents' looks of alarm as they realize who they are competing against.

C. Copy your revised essay and paste it in below the revision. You will use this (third) copy to edit your essay.

Now it's time to look at conventions. In this third copy of your writing, look for spelling, punctuation, capitalization, paragraphing, grammar, incomplete or run-on sentence errors, and fix them. This draft will be scored only on these conventions.

D. Answer the following questions:

1. What was most difficult for you about this assignment?
2. How did you deal with those difficulties?
3. How did you work on improving from your first draft as you revised and edited? (What processes did you use?)
4. What do you think could have helped you more?

When you submit this assignment, copy and paste all three versions of your essay, and the question answers, into the submission window.

Rubric for scoring revised, edited essay:

Ideas

4: This paper is clear and focused. It holds the reader's attention. At least eight relevant, specific concrete details and examples help the reader imagine the two groups of people, and work together to create a cohesive effect and "magnify the moment"
3: The writer is beginning to define the topic, even though development is still basic or general. At least three specific concrete details or examples give the reader clues about the groups, but some information is too general or abstract.
1: As yet, the paper creates no clear picture of the two groups. Information is general, abstract, or missing.

Organization

4: The organization enhances and showcases the central idea or theme. The order, structure, or presentation of information is compelling and moves the reader through the text. There is an identifiable introduction and conclusion.
3: The organizational structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without too much confusion.
1: The writing lacks a clear sense of direction. Ideas, details, or events seem strung together in a loose or random fashion; there is no identifiable internal structure.

Voice

4: The writer speaks directly to the reader in a way that is individual, compelling, and engaging. The reader gets a clear sense of the writer's personality.
3: The writer seems sincere but not fully engaged or involved. The result is pleasant or even personable, but not compelling.
1: The writer seems indifferent, uninvolved, or distanced from the topic and/or the audience.

Word choice

4: Words and vocabulary are the best ones for the job, and used accurately. There is at least one example of figurative language.  Nouns are specific and concrete; verbs are active and vivid.
3: Fairly good use of words, but some word choices are weak or incorrectly used. 
1: Too vague, abstract or generic; needs attention to connotation or even denotation. 

Conventions

4: The writing demonstrates correct use of all writing conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, paragraphing, grammar, sentence structure, etc)
3: The writing demonstrates correct use of most writing conventions, but has a number of errors that distract the reader.
1: The writing contains many errors in conventions, making it difficult to read.

Improvements of revision

4: The writing demonstrates significant improvements in content, organization, sentence structure and/or word choice, incorporating the teacher's suggestions and going beyond.
3: The writing demonstrates improvements in content, organization, and/or word choice, incorporating the teacher's suggestions.
1: Minimal changes or improvements over first draft.

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


08.00 Unit 8: Reading skills (LA 9)

W.H. Drake illustration for &quot;Rikki Tikki Tavi&quot;, 1895: WC, public domainW.H. Drake illustration for "Rikki Tikki Tavi", 1895: WC, public domain

 

Unit 2: Reading skills

In this unit you will work primarily on reading skills, as outlined in the Utah State Core Curriculum for ninth grade English/Language Arts.  Topics in this unit will help you practice and improve your reading comprehension.  There will be several short assignments and quizzes, and one major reading assignment. You should expect this unit to take you anywhere from about two to twelve hours, depending on how much you already know, how fast you read, and how much you need to review.

"Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul."
– Joyce Carol Oates

08.01 Becoming Good Readers (LA 9)

By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, and literary nonfiction, in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Young readers: US government image, public domainYoung readers: US government image, public domain

"There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once upon a time (and I hope this was quite a long time ago, relative to your age), you were a beginner reader. You had to learn the very basics of how letters of our alphabet stand for sounds, and groups of letters stand for words. [Even before that, when you were so young you can't remember it, you were a beginner listener and talker, learning that the patterns in sounds you hear--or the signs you see, if you are not hearing--mean things.] As a beginner reader, you had to memorize or sound out each single word, and you often had a hard time making sense out of a sentence. Before long, though, you could read and understand most sentences, and most likely reading has now become an automatic skill--you do it without thinking about HOW you do it.

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."
– Victor Hugo

We're going to take a few minutes now to think about how we read, and identify some skills that really good readers use. If you already have these skills, great! Whether or not you have been doing these things all along, being aware of how to use these strategies can improve your reading.

 

Before You Read Note: of course, this means before the first time you begin reading at the beginning of a new piece, but it can also apply to intermediate points in your reading - before you read the next paragraph, chapter, stanza, etc. Before you begin reading, you can already begin preparing to read well! I don't mean by choosing a quiet, well-lit, and/or comfortable spot to read in, although those factors certainly can help. I mean prepare yourself mentally:

  • Know the purpose for your reading. Finishing a novel to find out how it ends is different from reading a chapter in a science book to prepare for a test or reading a poem your best friend wants to hear your reaction to.
  • Look over the title, author, and any pictures or subtitles for clues about the subject matter.
  • Activate your prior knowledge. What do you already know about the subject matter or related topics?

While You're Reading

  • Read quickly enough that you don't lose the train of meaning. Don't get so stuck on some difficult point that you forget the main point. Don't move your lips or sub-vocalize ("say" each word to yourself) as you read silently--it will slow you down.
  • "See" what you're reading about. Make a mental movie of what you are reading. Imagine what things in the reading look, sound, smell, taste or feel like.
  • Draw connections and make comparisons between what you are reading and past experiences:
    • text to self: relate what you are reading to personal experiences and memories
    • text to text: relate what you are reading to other things you've already read, or to movies or TV shows you've seen
    • text to world: relate what you are reading to things you know about the world even if you haven't personally experienced them
  • Make predictions about what you expect to happen next, or what point you think the author is trying to make. As you read on, notice whether what you are reading supports your predictions, and if not, modify them.
  • Check your understanding. Try to keep a mental running summary of what you read. If you're not sure you understand, try one or more of these strategies to help:
    • Re-read the sentence or paragraph to see whether you just missed or misread something
    • Continue to read just a little longer to see whether the next paragraph or page clears up the problem.
    • If there is a word you don't know, try to figure it out using context, word structure or grammatical clues. If you still can't understand the word, either look it up, or make a note to look it up later.
  • Notice your questions about what is going on in the reading, and why the author wrote what or how s/he did.
  • Evaluate what you read. Does it make sense? Does it fit with what you already know or believe? If not, why not?

After You Read (Again, this may be after you have completely finished reading, or it may be when you have finished reading a section or chapter.)

  • Review, mentally, what you read. If you will be tested over the material, take this a step further, and write down what you remember, looking back over the reading as needed for details you forgot.
  • Discuss what you read with someone else, or write in a blog or journal about it.
  • Evaluate, again. Did you like it? Was it well-written? Was it convincing? Why or why not? How does it compare to other things you've read? What did the author do well, and what could have been better?

Two Aspects of Reading: Speed and Comprehension

 

When people talk about becoming better readers, they usually mean two things:  reading faster, and understanding harder material.

If you want to learn to read faster, you should spend some time re-reading books you have read before.  Being familiar with the story and main ideas will help you speed up.  Also, double-check to make sure you aren't moving your lips or silently "saying" each word individually to yourself as you read - that will slow you down.

If you want to learn to understand harder material, you should read fairly short passages of more difficult pieces.  Keep them short enough so that you don't get totally lost or frustrated, but hard enough to be challenging.  (Some of the readings for this class are chosen with this in mind.)

08.01.01 Diction, connotation, style and tone (English 9)

Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. Analyze nuances in the meanings of words with similar denotations. Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking and listening at the college and career-readiness level

Thomas Jefferson: Rembrandt Peale, 1800, Wikimedia Commons, public domainThomas Jefferson: Rembrandt Peale, 1800, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Diction

Do you recognize this passage?

"When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody." (H.L. Mencken)

It's the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, in different words--that is, using different diction. Here is the original diction:

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." (Thomas Jefferson)

Both versions mean roughly the same thing, but the effect is very different. The style of the first is (very) informal; the style of the second, formal.

Diction is closely allied with word choice. Like it or not, people will judge you by your diction, both spoken and written. If you always spoke in long formal sentences and used lots of multi-syllable words, most teenagers would probably think you were strange, and maybe stuck-up. Likewise, if you write using lots of slang, text-messaging abbreviations, and non-standard grammar, many adults (including potential employers, bosses and teachers) will probably think you are uneducated, and maybe even stupid.

Beyond that, making your ideas clear to other people requires that you choose your words carefully. The more precisely you use language, the greater chance there is that people will understand exactly what you mean.

Denotation

Denotation is what a word means--its dictionary definition(s). If words are listed as synonyms, they may have very similar denotations--but be careful, because they may still have very different connotations! Don't make the mistake of just substituting a random synonym to avoid repetition, or to try to raise your word choice score.

Connotation

Connotation is (according to my dictionary) "an association or idea SUGGESTED by a word IN ADDITION TO its primary meaning." A word's connotation is what the word implies, beyond the basic definition. Words with similar denotations may have different nuances of meaning. An example may help you understand this better. Consider all these words which mean "a female person":

woman, lady, girl, chick, gal, granny, mother, mommy, girlfriend, honey, lass, nanny, aunt, wife, old lady, princess, nun, debutante

... you can probably think of more. Now, the words on the list don't have EXACTLY the same denotations, but even if you put them into smaller groups with very similar denotations, the implications differ widely.

Some of these words have mostly positive connotations; some, mostly negative. "Woman" is probably the most nearly neutral.

Some of these words seem old-fashioned, and might imply that either the person using the word, or the person being named, was older. Some are in current use as slang, and imply youth, and a certain subculture.

Some of the words imply good looks, or the opposite. Some hint at the person's intelligence, character, relationships or social standing. Be careful about the connotations of the words you use. Connotations can make a sentence mean far more--or less.

Style and Tone

 

A writer's diction has a strong influence on three characteristics of his/her writing: voice, style and tone.  Voice, you may remember from unit 7, has to do with the sense of the writer's personality coming through in the writing.  Tone has to do with the attitude or mood of the piece.  Style is a general term describing HOW the writer says what s/he says.

Tone

 You might think of "tone" as describing the mood or feeling of the writing - is it spooky? suspenseful? peaceful? ironic? sarcastic? matter-of-fact? detached? humorous? respectful? condescending? didactic? One good definition of tone is that it is the writer's attitude toward the subject.

Style

 Style is how the writer uses words, sentence structure, figurative language and organization. Style should be appropriate to the intended audience of the writing.  One simple way of categorizing style is as formal or casual/informal.  Formal is not necessarily better than casual - it just depends on the purpose of the writing.  Think of how you dress differently for different occasions: old jeans and a t-shirt are better if you are doing yard work, but not if you are taking a date to an expensive restaurant and the prom.

 

08.02 Evidence and theme (LA 9)

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details:

Harriet Ann Jacobs as an older woman (1894): Public domain, WCHarriet Ann Jacobs as an older woman (1894): Public domain, WC

Themes, Literary and Otherwise 

The word "theme" has many uses and meanings. In music, the theme is the main, basic melody, which is often repeated with slight variations throughout a song or longer piece of music. When your grandparents or great-grandparents went to school, the word "theme" meant what we would now usually call an essay: a written composition. In general use, 'theme' means the main subject or focus of an event, book, or movie; or a repeated idea: a 'motif'. For example, we might say that we are having a party with a pirate theme, a dance with a Halloween theme, or a conference on the theme of preventing child abuse.

However, in studying literature (and throughout this class), we will be using the literary definition of 'theme': a repeated, unifying idea that underlies a work of literature, stated in a complete sentence. [I hope you either groaned or rolled your eyes when you read that because if not, you probably weren't really paying attention. That definition is abstract and general, about as useful to most of us as a spare tire with no lug wrench or jack--but we're about to make it more concrete and specific.]

 

 

In Search of the Literary Theme: Guidelines

  • The theme is usually implied rather than stated. For most works of literature, you will need to use inference to determine themes. [Inference - 'reading between the lines'; using information in the text to figure out things the author didn't come right out and tell you] There are some exceptions. Aesop's fables end with a 'moral' that tells you the theme of the story. The poet John Keats was kind enough to put the theme of his poem "Endymion" in the first line ("A thing of beauty is a joy forever"). Mostly, though, you will have to work to figure out a theme.
  • A work of literature may have more than one, correct theme. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that just any theme you come up with is a correct one. You must be able to find evidence in the text to support the idea you think is the theme.
  • A theme is usually implied by multiple events, images or symbols in the text. That is, as in music, a theme and variations on the theme are repeated in a work of literature. You should be able to find several examples of evidence for the theme in your reading.
  • A literary theme is stated in a complete sentence. "Love" might be the theme for your prom, but it can't be a theme for a work of literature because it is just a word, not a complete sentence. "True love conquers all" could be a theme. "Love can be fatal," "Love is stronger than hate," "True love wants what is best for the loved one," or "Falling in love makes fools out of everyone" could be themes.
  • A theme is a generalized idea, not specific to a particular story or situation. "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind," by William Shakespeare is showing the theme that love is blind.  "Harry Potter values his friends more than his life" is not a theme because it is specific to the Harry Potter books/movies.

Finding Evidence for a Theme

Let's look at a short excerpt from a book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet A Jacobs:

    I had one brother, William, who was two years younger than myself—a bright, affectionate child. I had also a great treasure in my maternal grandmother, who was a remarkable woman in many respects. She was the daughter of a planter in South Carolina, who, at his death, left her mother and his three children free, with money to go to St. Augustine, where they had relatives. It was during the Revolutionary War; and they were captured on their passage, carried back, and sold to different purchasers. Such was the story my grandmother used to tell me; but I do not remember all the particulars.

She was a little girl when she was captured and sold to the keeper of a large hotel. I have often heard her tell how hard she fared during childhood. But as she grew older she evinced so much intelligence, and was so faithful, that her master and mistress could not help seeing it was for their interest to take care of such a valuable piece of property. She became an indispensable personage in the household, officiating in all capacities, from cook and wet nurse to seamstress. She was much praised for her cooking; and her nice crackers became so famous in the neighborhood that many people were desirous of obtaining them. In consequence of numerous requests of this kind, she asked permission of her mistress to bake crackers at night, after all the household work was done; and she obtained leave to do it, provided she would clothe herself and her children from the profits. Upon these terms, after working hard all day for her mistress, she began her midnight bakings, assisted by her two oldest children. The business proved profitable; and each year she laid by a little, which was saved for a fund to purchase her children.

Her master died, and the property was divided among his heirs. The widow had her dower in the hotel, which she continued to keep open. My grandmother remained in her service as a slave; but her children were divided among her master's children. As she had five, Benjamin, the youngest one, was sold, in order that each heir might have an equal portion of dollars and cents. There was so little difference in our ages that he seemed more like my brother than my uncle. He was a bright, handsome lad, nearly white; for he inherited the complexion my grandmother had derived from Anglo-Saxon ancestors. Though only ten years old, seven hundred and twenty dollars were paid for him. His sale was a terrible blow to my grandmother; but she was naturally hopeful, and she went to work with renewed energy, trusting in time to be able to purchase some of her children. She had laid up three hundred dollars, which her mistress one day begged as a loan, promising to pay her soon. The reader probably knows that no promise or writing given to a slave is legally binding; for, according to Southern laws, a slave, being property, can hold no property. When my grandmother lent her hard earnings to her mistress, she trusted solely to her honor. The honor of a slaveholder to a slave!

        To this good grandmother I was indebted for many comforts....

   It was her labor that supplied my scanty wardrobe. I have a vivid recollection of the linsey-woolsey dress given me every winter by Mrs. Flint. How I hated it! It was one of the badges of slavery.

        While my grandmother was thus helping to support me from her hard earnings, the three hundred dollars she had lent her mistress were never repaid. When her mistress died, her son-in-law, Dr. Flint, was appointed executor. When grandmother applied to him for payment, he said the estate was insolvent, and the law prohibited payment. It did not, however, prohibit him from retaining the silver candelabra, which had been purchased with that money. I presume they will be handed down in the family, from generation to generation.

        My grandmother's mistress had always promised her that, at her death, she should be free; and it was said that in her will she made good the promise. But when the estate was settled, Dr. Flint told the faithful old servant that, under existing circumstances, it was necessary she should be sold.

        On the appointed day, the customary advertisement was posted up, proclaiming that there would be "a public sale of negroes, horses, &c." Dr. Flint called to tell my grandmother that he was unwilling to wound her feelings by putting her up at auction, and that he would prefer to dispose of her at private sale. My grandmother saw through his hypocrisy; she understood very well that he was ashamed of the job. She was a very spirited woman, and if he was base enough to sell her, when her mistress intended she should be free, she was determined the public should know it. She had for a long time supplied many families with crackers and preserves; consequently, "Aunt Marthy," as she was called, was generally known, and every body who knew her respected her intelligence and good character. Her long and faithful service in the family was also well known, and the intention of her mistress to leave her free. When the day of sale came, she took her place among the chattels, and at the first call she sprang upon the auction-block. Many voices called out, "Shame! Shame! Who is going to sell you, aunt Marthy? Don't stand there! That is no place for you." Without saying a word, she quietly awaited her fate. No one bid for her.

At last, a feeble voice said, "Fifty dollars." It came from a maiden lady, seventy years old, the sister of my grandmother's deceased mistress. She had lived forty years under the same roof with my grandmother; she knew how faithfully she had served her owners, and how cruelly she had been defrauded of her rights; and she resolved to protect her. The auctioneer waited for a higher bid; but her wishes were respected; no one bid above her. She could neither read nor write; and when the bill of sale was made out, she signed it with a cross. But what consequence was that, when she had a big heart overflowing with human kindness? She gave the old servant her freedom.

OK--what is the theme? To figure that out, I look for main ideas and repeated details while I read. The first time I read through it, I noticed the overall sense of determination, and the contrast between Harriet's grandmother and Dr. Flint, between her integrity and his lack of it. However, "determination" or "integrity" can't be the theme because neither of these is a complete sentence.

I read back through it again. "Free" and "slave" are repeated many times, but again, that can't be the theme because it is just a single word. There are also other contrasts-- the difference between kindness and cruelty, between the rights of slave-holders and the lack of rights of slaves, between what would have been justice and what actually happened.

A main idea from the excerpt is "Harriet's grandmother was a remarkable woman." However, that can't be a theme because it is specific to this particular story, not a generalized statement. How about this? "It takes both determination and luck to transcend one's circumstances." It's a complete sentence; it is a generalized statement. Can I support it with evidence from the text? Yes, there are multiple quotes I could use from the excerpt to support this statement.

Is it the only theme I could draw from this excerpt? No. I could find plenty of evidence in the text for "Slavery dehumanizes both the slave and the slave-holder" as well as "Character is more important than education." We could also support "People can take a stand, even in a small way, against injustice" with the reactions of the people at the auction.

Throughout this English 9 class, you will be reading for themes and main ideas, and looking for textual evidence to support your conclusions. In your writing, you will work on including evidence, in the form of specific details and examples, to create a theme or support a main idea.

Read the following selections. 
(available online at the links below, or attached as a PDF; note that the PDF version of the Emerson excerpt contains only what you need to read; if you use the online version, scroll down to just below "(*) Landor: Pericles and Aspasia", and read from there to the end).
Look for clues to the themes of these works.

"Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes

"High Horse's Courting" from Black Elk Speaks by John G Neihardt

from "Behavior", from The Conduct of Life by Ralph Waldo Emerson (the essay excerpt, not the poem - if possible, use the PDF attachment version of this, at the top of the lesson)

"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"

The following quiz and assignments will refer to these readings.

08.02.01 Questions on readings (LA 9)

teacher-scored 36 points possible 30 minutes

Camp Scene (Sioux): Alfred Jacob Miller, WC, public domainCamp Scene (Sioux): Alfred Jacob Miller, WC, public domain

 

Answer the following questions about the three readings. Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work using the assignment submission window for this assignment.

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A. "Mother to Son" by Hughes

  1. Prior knowledge: What did you already know about the kind of advice parents give their children?  
  2. Making connections: What personal experiences or other books/movies did this story remind you of, and why?  [Note:  I will not accept "none" as an answer.  If you don't immediately see an obvious connection, think about the themes and how they might apply to your life or other stories.]
  3. Seeing images: Describe the way you pictured one scene from the poem.
  4. Motifs: What actions, symbols or ideas were repeated in the poem?
  5. Theme: What theme can you find in the poem (remember it should be a general statement about life, in a complete sentence)? What evidence supports this theme? (use direct quotes)

B. "High Horse's Courting" by John G Neihardt

  1. Prior knowledge: What did you already know about native Americans, or about how parents treat boys who want to marry their daughters?
  2. Making connections: What personal experiences or other books/movies did this story remind you of, and why? [Note:  I will not accept "none" as an answer.]
  3. Seeing images: Describe the way you pictured one scene from the story.
  4. Motifs: What actions, symbols or ideas were repeated in the story?
  5. Theme: What theme can you find in the story (remember it should be a general statement about life, in a complete sentence)? What evidence supports this theme? (use direct quotes)

C.  from "Behavior", from The Conduct of Life, by Emerson (the essay, not the poem)

  1. Prior knowledge: What did you already know about manners and behavior?
  2. Making connections: What personal experiences or other books/movies did this essay remind you of, and why?  [Note:  I will not accept "none" as an answer.]
  3. Seeing images: Describe the way you pictured one scene or item from the essay.
  4. Motifs: What actions, symbols or ideas were repeated in the essay?
  5. Theme: What theme can you find in the essay (remember it should be a general statement about life, in a complete sentence)? What evidence supports this theme? (use direct quotes)

D.   "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"

Prior knowledge: What did you already know about knights or stories about King Arthur?
Making connections: What personal experiences or other books/movies did this story remind you of, and why?  [Note:  I will not accept "none" as an answer.]
Seeing images: Describe the way you pictured one scene or item from the story.
Motifs: What actions, symbols or ideas were repeated in the story?
Theme: What theme can you find in the story (remember it should be a general statement about life, in a complete sentence)? What evidence supports this theme? (use direct quotes)

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


08.02.02 Reading, theme and evidence quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 20 points possible 10 minutes

This quiz will cover the information in lesson 08.01, 08.02, and the three readings ("Mother and Son", "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", "High Horse's Courting" and "Behavior" ).

You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 70% to pass.

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


08.03 "Reading" the movies (LA 9)

Reading: Literature Standard 1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Reading: Literature Standard 2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Crew members with dolly filming The Alamo (2004): Sean Devine, CC-BY-SA-3.0, WCCrew members with dolly filming The Alamo (2004): Sean Devine, CC-BY-SA-3.0, WC

Films - movies, videos, DVDs, documentaries, TV shows, YouTube, commercials - are a huge part of our culture.

 Most people today spend far more time watching films than reading books.

You may not have given much thought to how all this footage is created, but film-making is an art form, and film production is big business. Someone must come up with the concept for a new movie or show; someone must write the script; someone must decide where to place and focus the camera, and which shots to use in the finished film - just to name a few of the jobs involved.  In this lesson, we will be looking at a few of the techniques and terms involved in creating a film.

 

 

Terms to know:

Audio: the sound in a film

Cut: the end of a shot or take

Dolly shot (also called tracking shot): a shot in which the camera is moving along with the subject (for instance, the subject may be a cowboy galloping along on a horse, and the camera may be filming from a truck that is driving beside the horse).

Fade: a transition in which the shot goes from normal lighting into black (a fade out); or from black to normal lighting (a fade in).

High-angle shot: a shot with the camera looking down on the subject; opposite of a low-angle shot, when the camera is looking up at the subject.

Jump cut: a sudden transition between two shots that may surprise or confuse the viewer, or may move to a different time or place.

Match cut: a transition between two shots such that something at the beginning of the second shot "matches" something at the end of the first shot.  This may be as obvious as a cut from a shot of a painting of a sunset to a shot of an actual sunset, or as subtle as a color, shape, action or idea that is part of both shots.  Match cuts are any cuts that emphasizes spatio-temporal continuity and it is the basis for continuity editing. ... It is a cut within a scene that makes sense spatially. This can be between two different objects, two different spaces, or two different compositions in which an object in two shots graphically match.

Montage: a series of very short shots put together in a sequence.

Motif: like in other literature, a motif is a repeated word, phrase, image or idea related to a theme in the work.

Pan (panorama shot): a shot in which the camera rotates to the right or left (horizontally) to take in different parts of the surrounding area.

Rack focus: changing the focus of the camera to blur everything except one part of the picture, forcing the viewer to look at that one thing.

Scene: a shot or series of shots that work together to make one part of the story (sort of like a short chapter in a book).

Shot: the basic building block of a movie: a single continuous take from the time the camera is turned on to the time it is turned back off, with no interruptions.

Voice-over: narration spoken by someone off-screen (not one of the actors in the scene)

Wide-angle shot: a "long shot" in which a wide-angle lens keeps a large area all visible and in focus; you might think of this as the opposite of a close-up shot.

Zoom shot: zooming in means going from wide-angle to close-up, making the person or thing appear larger and closer (and fill up more of the screen); zooming out means going from close-up to wide-angle, making the person or thing appear smaller and farther away, showing more of the surrounding area.
 

How a film-maker uses these techniques can better tell a story, help us understand a topic, or persuade us to think or feel differently about the subject.  In the next quiz, you will look for uses of some of these techniques in films or commercials you watch.

Begin by viewing at least the top five (required) links below to see some examples of the techniques.

Watch the following links

08.03.01 "Reading" the movies quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 15 points possible 25 minutes

This quiz covers the material from the lesson and viewings in lesson 08.03. You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 73%.  You will need to be able to access YouTube to work on this quiz, so if it is blocked where you usually work on this class, you may need to find alternate internet access.

 

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


08.04 Begin Reading To Kill a Mockingbird (LA 9)

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text; determine a theme; analyze how complex characters develop, interact, and advance the plot or theme.

Mockingbird in North Carolina: Ken Thomas, Wikimedia Commons, author released into public domainMockingbird in North Carolina: Ken Thomas, Wikimedia Commons, author released into public domain
For the rest of this class (second quarter), you will need a copy of the book To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Before you begin, watch the title sequence of the 1962 movie (link below). Begin reading To Kill a Mockingbird. We will be looking at one section at a time in the  lessons and assignments in unit 10.  You might want to check the questions in assignment 10.03.01 now so that you can answer them as you read - or you can read straight through, and answer the questions later.

The questions and quizzes for To Kill a Mockingbird aren't due until unit 10, but I suggest you begin reading it now.

08.04 Begin Reading To Kill a Mockingbird (LA 9)

Buy or borrow a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.  You might be able to get started by looking at one of these on line.

09.00 Unit 9: Language skills (LA 9)

Copy readers in NY Times newspaper newsroom, 1942: WMC, US govt image, public domainCopy readers in NY Times newspaper newsroom, 1942: WMC, US govt image, public domain

 

Unit 3: Language skills and conventions

In this unit you will work primarily on language skills and conventions, as outlined in the Utah State Core Curriculum for ninth grade English.  Topics in this unit include punctuation (especially commas, semicolons and colons), frequently misspelled words, parts of speech, sentence structure, clauses and phrases. You should expect the work in this unit to take you roughly two to four hours of concentrated effort. There will be several short assignments and quizzes. 

 

 

09.01 History of the English Language (LA 9)

Understand the complex history of the English language

The History of English

Why is spelling so difficult in English? One important reason is that our language is really an amalgam of several languages.

We open our mouths and out flow words whose ancestries we do not even know. We are walking lexicons. In a single sentence of idle chatter we preserve Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Norse: we carry a museum inside our heads, each day we commemorate peoples of whom we have never heard. -Penelope Lively, writer (b. 17 Mar 1933) 

Indo-European

Many years ago (we're talking pre-history: thousands of years ago), a group of people lived in what is now central southeast Europe. Over a long period of time these people (whom scientists now call the Indo-Europeans) migrated both east, as far as India, and west, through Europe as far as what we now call England. Naturally they took their language with them. Most languages spoken today in Europe are descended from that ancient language. Therefore English (along with French, German, Latin, Sanskrit and many others) can be classified as an Indo-European language. Some examples of languages NOT in the Indo-European group include Finnish, Hungarian, and Chinese.

Invasions and ConquerorsWilliam the Conqueror: Wikimedia Commons, unknown author, public domainWilliam the Conqueror: Wikimedia Commons, unknown author, public domain

Once upon a time, not quite so long ago as the early Indo-European migration, but still thousands of years ago, most of the people living in England were what we now call Celts (their descendants include the Welsh and Irish). They were called the Britons. Their languages were part of the Indo-European group of languages, but split off from the others quite long ago, and therefore look quite strange to us. We don't speak Celtic today because over the past 4000 years, more or less, England was repeatedly invaded by Europeans who killed many of the Celts, and pushed the small remaining groups out of most of England.

The Romans invaded England about 2000 years ago, bringing with them their language, Latin. However, after a few generations, the Romans withdrew from England as the Roman empire collapsed. [Countries that were part of the Roman empire longer--like Spain, France and Italy--have languages descended more directly from Latin, the language of the Romans. Spanish, French and Italian are called "Romance" languages for that reason. ] Latin would eventually return to England when Christian missionaries converted the people of England--Latin was the language of the early Christian church.  At that time, Latin and Greek were written with no punctuation AND no spaces between words.  Perhaps this was why Old English was also written with no punctuation or spaces between words. (Here's a sample of what some might have looked like:  "OnþyssumgearemanhalgodeþetmynsterætWestmynstreonCyldamæsse"...  Translated, that would be "In this year the monastery at Westminster was hallowed on Childermas day....")

The earliest of the waves of invaders who stayed were Germanic peoples--the Angles & the Saxons--from northern Europe. They brought the language that developed into what we now call "Old English," which was very similar to Old German. Many of our basic, simple vocabulary words, like man, foot, mother, dog, or cow (along with many of our swear words) come from Germanic roots.

A later wave of invaders were the "Vikings" (Danes), Scandinavian people who spoke another Germanic language. For a while, England was divided into two sections: the south, where the Saxons (or Anglo-Saxons) lived and spoke Old English; and the north, where the Vikings spoke Old Norse. Eventually the two groups blended, and then they were invaded by William the Conqueror of the Normans, who spoke French.

For a couple hundred years, the kings of England spoke French as their native language! None of these languages pushed out Old English (or Middle English), but the English borrowed words from all the different languages and added them to the English vocabulary. So the word "cow" comes from old Germanic roots, but if we eat the cow, we call her meat "beef", from the French word for cow (boeuf). To us this seems perfectly normal, but in many languages there is only one word that names both the animal and its meat.

Science & Technology

As science and technology became major influences on culture & life, new words had to be invented for all the new discoveries and inventions. For centuries, Latin and Greek had been regarded as the languages of the highly educated, and used for communication between scientists of different countries. Many of the words created to describe scientific, medical and technological concepts were from Latin or Greek roots.

Pronunciation vs. Spelling

To complicate matters further, the way English is pronounced has changed a lot in the last 700 years. English vowels used to be pronounced much like other European vowels (a as in "father", e more or less like the vowel sound in "bay", i like "ee", o kind of between our current short & long o, and u like "oo" in "boo"). Letters that are now silent in words used to be pronounced. A common example of this is the word "knee". A few hundred years ago, people would have said it something like k-NAY-a.

Also a few hundred years ago, most people were either illiterate, or just barely knew how to read and write. People just spelled words like they sounded. There weren't any dictionaries, so there wasn't a "right" way to spell words. Then one of the kings decided that spelling should be standardized (everyone should spell words the same way). In the time since then, we have kept on using the same spelling even when some of the words aren't pronounced the same way as they used to be.

Today

How does all this affect us? Obviously it makes spelling and reading harder to learn. There is a bright side, though: we have one of the richest and most varied vocabularies in the world, with a wide choice of near-synonyms to help express exactly what we mean. Our language continues to change. A hundred years ago, there was no 'video' or 'pickup truck' or 'laser'. "Rap" had nothing to do with music, and "gay" was a synonym for 'happy'. In your lifetime, English will invent more new words to name new ideas, give old words new meanings, and borrow more words from other languages.

English: Word Origins, 941 To open this resource in SAS® Curriculum Pathways®: Go to: http://www.sascurriculumpathways.com/login Enter the student user name: farm9the In the Quick Launch box, enter: 941 Do "Prepare" and "Identify" (follow the on-screen directions to see all the pages and play the video).

09.01.01 Quiz on the history of the English language (LA 9)

computer-scored 15 points possible 10 minutes

Take the quiz on the history of English (link on the main class page).  You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 65%.

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


09.01.02 Researching your name (LA 9)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 30 minutes

Research on Your Name

You may think of research as just something you do in books or on the internet, but some research involves talking to real, live people. Whenever you get information directly from a person who has personal experience with the events or people, OR from a document or recording (like a diary, journal, editorial, news story, interview) written/spoken by such a person, you are using a "primary source". For this assignment, you will be using family members, if available, as primary sources.

Also use the links below to research the meanings and popularity of your first & middle names.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work using the assignment submission window for this assignment.

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

USMC photo, public domain via Wikimedia CommonsUSMC photo, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Turn in answers (written in complete sentences) to the following questions, and note where you got your answers:

1. Ask family members how or why they chose your first and middle names. Write your answer to this question using at least one complex sentence. Have there been other people in your family, or friends of the family, who had either name? How are they related to you, and when did they live? What other names did they consider? Who was/were your source(s) for this information?
2. Using the internet or naming dictionary, find out: what your first and middle names mean what language or culture your first, middle and last names come from What sources did you use to find these answers? (Give book title, or internet site url's.)
3. Check the lists of the most popular baby names on the SSA website (link below) to see how your first and middle names rank. (If your exact name does not show up, look for similar names.)
(a) Where do your first & middle name fall on the list for the most recent year listed? (Like, are they 10th most popular, 549th, or what?)
(b) Where were they the year you were born?
(c) Where do they appear in a year before 1960?

4. Do you have nicknames? What are they, and how did you get them?
5. Try to find at least three famous real people who share your first, middle and/or last name. Write a sentence that includes all three. Then put your whole name, in quotes, into a Google search. Does it find anything about you? If so, what?
6. What do you like or not like about your name?
7. Try to find at least one movie, TV, game, or book character who shares your name (any of your names).
8. (Yes, I know this may be a long time in the future, but humor me and think about it for a few minutes now.) If you have children, what names do you think you might like for a girl? for a boy? Why?
9. Does your first name seem more formal or informal?
10. What kind of person do you think people would usually expect when they hear your first name? (Not what they think about YOU, but what they might imagine if they just heard the name.) Does it suggest a certain age, ethnic group, or personality traits?
11. Let's say you have to change your identity (maybe you are going into the witness protection program). You have to choose a new first, middle and last name. What name would you choose, and why? What kind of person does that name suggest?
12. What new information did you learn doing this assignment?

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

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


09.02 Greek and Latin roots (LA 9)

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9–10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech.

A pair of Magdeburg hemispheres from 1870s: Adolphe Ganot, Wikimedia Commons, public domainA pair of Magdeburg hemispheres from 1870s: Adolphe Ganot, Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Greek and Latin prefixes, roots and suffixes common in English

Many of our English words, especially in the fields of science and medicine, come from Greek or Latin. Some of the words got into our vocabulary 'by accident,' as people adopted and adapted from various languages. Some of them were deliberately constructed, created, by scientists and writers who needed to name a new concept or thing. If you know the meanings of some of the common prefixes, roots and suffixes, you can figure out what some unfamiliar words might mean.

Study the charts below before you do the quizzes on this material. Remember you can print out the lessons so you can refer to them as you work on the quizzes.

Prefix Meaning Modern example
a- or dis- or non- not;negative abiotic: not living; discomfort: the opposite of comfort; nonconformist: one who doesn't conform
ambi- both ambidextrous: able to use both hands well
anti- against antipathy: a dislike for
bi- double; twice bicycle: a two-wheeled cycle
circum- around circumnavigate: to sail around
counter- against counteract: to act against
de- down descent: the act of going down; demolish: to tear down
hemi- (or semi-) half hemisphere: half the sphere
hygro-, hydro-, humidi- wet humidity: the water vapor in the air; hydro-electric: using water power to generate electricity
hyper- (or super-, supra-) above, over (big) hyperactive: very active
hypo- (or sub-) under, below (small) hypodermic: the needle used to get medicine under the skin
in- or im- or non- not; beyond impossible: not possible; incomparable: beyond compare
inter- between international: between countries
intra- or intro- within intrastate: within a state
mega-, magni-, grandi-, macro- big megalopolis: huge city; grandiose: someone or something pretending to be very important; magnify: to make appear bigger
poly- or multi- many polygon: a shape with many sides; multi-colored: many colored
post- after, behind postmortem: after death
pre- or pro- before, in front of proactive: action taken before problems arise; pretest: a test given before instruction
re- again, back rearrange: to arrange again
sur- over surplus: extra, the amount over what is needed
trans- across transcontinental: across the continent
Roots
-act- to do action: what someone/something does
-bio- living biology: the study of life
-clud- to close exclude: to keep out; conclude: to end
-crac- or -crat- govern democracy: government of the people
-dem- people demographics: information about people
-dict- to say; words dictate: to tell, order; dictionary: book of words
-fer- carry transfer: to move from one person or place to another; ferry: a boat that carries cars or cargo back & forth
-fract- break fracture: break; fraction: a part less than the whole
-graph- or -gram- write monograph: a piece of writing about one subject
-gress- to walk, move progress: to move forward
-ject- to throw eject: to throw out
-mar- sea mariner: sailor; submarine: a "boat" that travels under the water
-mem- remember memorial: something intended to remind us of a person or group now dead
-nav- ship navigate: to travel by boat, or steer a boat; navy: armed force with ships
-pel- to drive, push repel: to drive away; propel: to drive forward
-pend- or -pens- to hang or weigh append: to add on; pendant: hanging down, or a thing that hangs down
-phil- to love hydrophilic: loving water
-pop- people popular: liked by many people; population: the people living in a certain area
-port- to carry import: to bring (carry) in
-rupt- break disrupt: to break up or disturb; rupture: a break in something like a blood vessel, balloon or pipe
-scrib-, -script- to write, writing transcribe: to write down; describe: to tell (write) about
-sect- cut bisect: to cut in half; dissect: to cut apart
-sens- or -sent- feel, sense, perceive sentiment: feeling; sentry or sentinel: watchman; sentient: able to sense the world and have feelings
soph wise, wisdom sophisticated: wise about the ways of society
-tele- far telescope: a device for seeing far; telephone: a device for talking to people far away
-tort- twist distort: to twist out of shape; torture: great pain
-tract- to pull tractor: device for pulling; attract: to pull toward
-uni- one uniform: all the same; unicorn: mythical animal with one horn
-vert- to turn revert: to turn back to a previous form
-vid- or -vis- or -spec- to see television: a device that sees pictures from far away
-voc- or -vok- to call invoke: to call upon
Suffixes
-able, -ible capable or worthy of (adjective) likable: easy to like; flexible: capable of flexing
-ation, or -ment or -ist changes verbs to nouns cyclist: one who cycles; creation: something created; amazement: the quality of being amazed
-fy or -ify or -ize changes nouns or adjectives to verbs purify: to make pure;criticize: what a critic does
-logy the study of (noun) philology: the study of words; astrology: the study of stars to forecast the future
-meter, -metry measurement or measuring device (noun) perimeter: the measurement around the edge of a figure
-phobe, -phobia fear (noun) claustrophobia: fear of small or tight places
-phone sound or speech (noun) homophones: words that sound the same; telephone: device for transmitting sound over distance
Medical terms
cardio heart cardiopulmonary: having to do with heart and lungs
derm skin dermatologist: doctor who specializes in skin problems
gastro stomach gastric ulcers: sores in the stomach
hepat liver hepatitis: inflamation of the liver
myo muscle myocardial: heart muscle
nephro kidney nephrosis: abnormality of the kidneys
neuro nerves neurosurgeon: a doctor who specializes in surgery on the brain, spine or nerves
odont, or dent teeth orthodontist: specialist in straightening teeth
osteo bone osteochondrosis: abnormal development in and around the bone
-algia pain (noun) neuralgia: pain in the nerves
-ectomy the surgical removal of (noun) appendectomy: the removal of the appendix
-itis inflamation (noun) arthritis: inflamation of the joints
-ology the study of (noun) physiology: study of human body functions
-osis diseased or abnormal (noun) halitosis: bad breath

09.02.01 Greek and Latin roots quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 15 points possible 10 minutes

Take the quiz on Greek and Latin roots. Go to the class main page, and to Topic 3, to take this quiz. You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 66%.

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


09.02.02 Root word webs (LA 9)

teacher-scored 16 points possible 40 minutes

Root Word Webs

Choose TWO of the following Greek or Latin roots or prefixes:

mem... port ...fer ...act ...scrib... fract... uni... clud ...sur

Find at least SIX modern words that contain EACH of the TWO roots (that's at least twelve words in all). Make sure the words you choose really do use the original root, and don't just happen to have the same combination of letters. (Review lesson 09.02 for help on this, or use an online dictionary with information on word origins.)

For each of the two groups of words, create a word web around the original word part.

Illustrate visually--with pictures and diagrams--how the current meaning relates to the original root meaning (see examples).

Also include a brief definition of the word that includes the meaning of the original root.

If you do this on a computer, or scan it, you can attach it here (as a .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .jpg, or .gif) or e-mail the assignment. Otherwise, mail me a copy. You don't have to use a computer--you can draw the web by hand. If you want to use the computer, a good program to use for this assignment if you have it available is Inspiration (or Kidspiration). Powerpoint or Word can work, too.

Sample root word webSample root word web

You don't have to use a computer--you can draw the web by hand. If you want to use the computer, a good program to use for this assignment if you have it available is Inspiration (or Kidspiration). Powerpoint or Word can work, too. A FREE website that can help you construct your web is in the URL's.

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


09.03 Spelling commonly misspelled words (LA 9)

Language Standard 2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Eng9205 Loose Talk poster: NARA, ca. 1944, public domaineEng9205 Loose Talk poster: NARA, ca. 1944, public domaine

Why is English spelling so inconsistent and tricky? It ties back into the history of the English language.

"In spelling, the [English] language was assimilating the consequences of having a civil service of French scribes, who paid little attention to the traditions of English spelling that had developed in Anglo-Saxon times. Not only did French qu arrive, replacing Old English cw (as in queen), but ch replaced c (in words such as church--Old English cirice), sh and sch replaced sc (as in ship--Old English scip), and much more. Vowels were written in a great number of ways. Much of the irregularity of modern English spelling derives from the forcing together of Old English and French systems of spelling in the Middle Ages. People struggled to find the best way of writing English throughout the period. ... Even Caxton didn't help, at times. Some of his typesetters were Dutch, and they introduced some of their own spelling conventions into their work. That is where the gh in such words as ghost comes from.

"Any desire to standardize would also have been hindered by the ... Great English Vowel Shift, [which] took place in the early 1400s. Before the shift, a word like loud would have been pronounced 'lood'; name as 'nahm'; leaf as 'layf'; mice as 'mees'. ...

"The renewed interest in classical languages and cultures, which formed part of the ethos of the Renaissance, had introduced a new perspective into spelling: etymology. Etymology is the study of the history of words, and there was a widespread view that words should show their history in the way they were spelled. These weren't classicists showing off. There was a genuine belief that it would help people if they could 'see' the original Latin in a Latin-derived English word. So someone added a b to the word typically spelled det, dett, or dette in Middle English, because the source in Latin was debitum, and it became debt, and caught on. Similarly, an o was added to peple, because it came from populum: we find both poeple and people, before the latter became the norm. An s was added to ile and iland, because of Latin insula, so we now have island. There are many more such cases. Some people nowadays find it hard to understand why there are so many 'silent letters' of this kind in English. It is because other people thought they were helping." David Crystal, The Fight for English: How language pundits ate, shot, and left, Oxford, 2006, pp. 26-9.

Spelling

Yes, spelling can be a nuisance, but yes, it is important. Here are some general guidelines to help you become a better speller:

1) Learn some of the basic rules that work MOST of the time, for instance:

i before e except after c, or when sounded as "ay" as in neighbor or weigh

When you add a suffix to a word which ends with a single vowel followed by a single consonant, double the consonant (fit becomes fitted or fitting);

when you add a suffix that begins with a vowel to a word that ends in a silent e, drop the e and add the suffix (fade becomes fading or faded; fate becomes fated, or fateful).

For words that end in a consonant & y, change the y to i UNLESS the suffix begins with i (fry becomes frying or fries or fried).

 

2) Use the spell-check on your computer, but

3) Don't depend on ONLY the computer spell-check. Your computer doesn't know what word you meant to spell, only whether the words you used match a long list of possible words.

4) Ask a friend or family member who is a good speller to check your work.

5) Make a list of words you have trouble with, and work on learning one of them each day or week.

Common Words that Cause Spelling Errors (these will be on the quiz)

1) there refers to a place (here and there); they're is the contraction for "they are" (They're coming over later); their is the possessive of they, which is why the e comes before the i (Don't touch their fancy car.)

2)Two is the number 2 (I want two cookies); too may mean "also" (I want cake, too) or may add emphasis (It was too hot); to is a preposition or part of the infinitive (I want to go to the store.)

3) conscious means you know what is going on around you (you haven't been knocked out) - (He was conscious of them all staring at him); conscience is the part of your mind that tells you something is morally right or wrong. (Her conscience was bothering her because she had lied to her best friend.)

4) which is a pronoun referring to something (I couldn't decide which one to buy); witch is a woman with magical (often evil) powers. (The witch cast a spell to turn the prince into a frog.)

5) were is the past tense of "are" (They were sad); where refers to a place. (Where are we going?)

6) loose is the opposite of tight (The screw had worked loose and fallen off); lose is the verb related to lost. (I didn't want to lose my earring.)

7) all right is the only correct way to write this expression (there is no such word as "alright").

8) desert is a dry place (Cactus grow in the desert); dessert is the treat you eat after dinner. (We're having apple pie for dessert.) Note that the above two words break the usual pronunciation rule that in two syllable words, vowels followed by a single consonant are long, and vowels followed by a double consonant are short. Desert (pronounced like "dessert" with a long E in the first syllable) can also be a verb meaning to leave (I can't imagine how a mother could desert her children.)

9) everyday is always an adjective. (I wore my everyday clothes except to church.) If you mean something that happens day after day, you write every day. (I get up before noon every day.)

10) definitely means certainly (I definitely want to graduate from high school); defiantly means with defiance (The demonstrators shouted defiantly at the police.)

11) Pay attention to the difference between into and in to especially if preceded by "turned": Correct - The sorceress turned them into frogs. Possibly confusing - I turned into a parking lot. (Did you turn so as to arrive in a parking lot, or were you transformed from a human into flat asphalt?) Correct - He turned them in to the police. Incorrect: He turned them into the police. Correct - I went in to see what was going on. Correct - I was accepted into the club.

09.03.01 Spelling quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 15 points possible 10 minutes

Take the spelling quiz. Go to the class main page, and to Topic 3, to take this quiz. You may take it multiple times, but you must score at least 66%.

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


09.04 Phrases and clauses (English 9)

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. a. Use parallel structure.* b. Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.

Defining Phrases and Clauses

 

&quot;The Treasure Cave&quot;, 1911 illustration: N. C. Wyeth, Wikimedia Commons, public domain"The Treasure Cave", 1911 illustration: N. C. Wyeth, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Phrase: a group of words (not containing both a subject and a verb) working together as one part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) in a sentence

Clause: a group of words that contains both a subject and a verb/predicate.
An independent clause may either be a complete sentence standing alone, or it may be part of larger sentence.
A dependent (or subordinate) clause must be part of a larger sentence that also includes an independent clause. Like a phrase, a dependent clause may function as a single part of speech (noun, adjective, adverb) in a sentence.

In this lesson we will continue our study of phrases and clauses. You may want to review "Phrases and Clauses as Sentence Parts" (link below) or information on parts of speech and parts of the sentence before you continue.

Why learn about phrases and clauses?
As a toddler, you first learned to understand and speak short, simple sentences. In the first few years of elementary school, you learned to read and write simple, relatively short sentences. By second or third grade, your writing might have sounded something like this:

Yesterday we went to the zoo. My mom drove. My best friend came. His name is Joe. We saw lots of animals. My favorite was the giraffe. Joe's favorite was the elephant. We went on the train. It was fun. We walked a lot. I got tired.

By that time, you were speaking in much longer, more complex sentences, and starting to read them, too. In the years since then, you have naturally begun to write in more complicated sentences--adding phrases and clauses--because that is what you are used to hearing and reading.

If you are gifted with language, you might continue to develop as a writer without ever knowing the technical explanations of how phrases and clauses work. In the same way, an exceptionally talented athlete might become a very good soccer player without ever having a coach, just by watching and playing.

However, most of us are not exceptional. Most of us can progress further, and learn faster, with the help of a coach who explains how to improve. That is the point of our lessons on phrases and clauses. We want to help you improve your sentences (and thereby all of your writing) by explicit instruction.

Good use of phrases and clauses can help you combine more ideas into fewer sentences, construct better transitions, and communicate the relationships between ideas more clearly.

Classifying phrases and clauses

 

There are many, overlapping ways to classify phrases and clauses. Think of classifying food: you could group foods by color, by nutritional value, by which meal of the day we usually eat them, by where they are produced, or by whether they are meats, fruits, vegetables, etc. A tomato could be classified in the 'red' group AND in the 'fruit' group (or, if you prefer, in the 'vegetable' group; I'm not going to get into that argument here!). The point is that we don't let it bother us that there are many ways of classifying food, and it doesn't need to bother us that phrases or clauses can also be classified various ways.

One way of classifying phrases and clauses is by function: which part of speech they are serving as in the sentence. Thus, we can have noun, verb, adverb, and adjective phrases (or clauses).

Another way is by the structure (the kinds and sequences of words). We may identify prepositional phrases, verbal phrases (of which there are three sub-types), absolute phrases, and others.

Note, though, that just like the tomato example, a particular phrase or clause may fit into more than one category. We'll get into more of the nitty-gritty of this later, but here we'll look at just one sentence as an example:

They hid the treasure in a cave. In this sentence, 'in a cave' is a prepositional phrase (by structure) AND an adverb phrase (by function--it tells WHERE the treasure was hidden).

Relative Clauses

A relative clause is a dependent (subordinate) clause that modifies a noun (so it's an adjective clause), as in this sentence:

The computer, which was over five years old, was slow. The relative clause is "which was over five years old".

When you have two separate sentences about the same thing, you can often combine them using a relative clause.

Philip bought an aquarium. The aquarium holds 55 gallons.

These may be combined like this: Philip bought an aquarium that holds 55 gallons. The relative clause is "that holds 55 gallons".

Relative clauses may be restrictive or nonrestrictive.

  • Restrictive (also sometimes called identifying or defining ) relative clauses do not have commas around them. A restrictive clause is one that provides necessary information to identify the person or thing begin described.

For example, let's say I have three nephews. If I then say, "I am going to visit my nephew who lives in Hawaii" the clause who lives in Hawaii is necessary to identify which of my three nephews I mean. It should NOT have commas before and after it.

Another example of a sentence containing a restrictive clause: A dog is an animal that wags its tail, barks at strangers, and sheds in your house.

  •  Nonrestrictive (also called non-identifying or non-defining ) relative clauses DO have commas around them. A nonrestrictive clause is providing extra information, not necessary to identify the person or thing being described. Suppose I only have one niece. If I say "I am going to visit my niece, who lives in Washington," the clause who lives in Washington is not necessary to identify which niece I mean--it is extra information. It SHOULD have commas before and after it.

Another example of a sentence containing a nonrestrictive clause: My house, which is fairly small, is not expensive to heat.

Relative clauses usually start with "which" or "that" (if they are modifying things or animals), or "who" (if they are modifying people). They may also begin with "whom", "whose", "to whom", "of whom" , "where" ("in which", "at which"), "when ("in which", "on which") or "why" ("for which").

As a general rule, use "which" for nonrestrictive clauses (with commas) and "that" for restrictive clauses (without commas), if you are writing about things rather than people.

Parallel Clauses and Phrases

 

You may use more than one relative clause in a sentence, but if you do, check for parallelism:

Aunt Sheila wanted a pet that would be hypo-allergenic, that would always be quiet, and that would require little attention. I told her a snake would be perfect. [Three parallel restrictive clauses, italicized]

The tent, which had been old when we inherited it thirty years ago, and the sleeping bags, which could have been purchased on Antiques Road Show, were not suitable for a backpacking trip. [Two parallel non-restrictive clauses, italicized]

Remember that "parallel structure" means the two parallel elements (phrases or clauses) have similar structures and similar functions. You should be able to recognize parallel structure even if you can't necessarily identify the technical terms for the particular kind of phrase or clause involved.

This sentence from above uses three parallel phrases within a restrictive clause: A dog is an animal that wags its tail, barks at strangers, and sheds in your house.

A few more examples:

Morning is the part of the day that is after breakfast but before lunch.

I have a long way to go and a short time to get there.

Mark's sister can be either really annoying or really helpful.

Descending from the clouds, touching down on the runway, and disappearing toward the terminal, the plane was welcomed by a crowd of waiting family members.

My plans to eat a quick breakfast and make an early get away  were foiled by the hurricane's arrival over night.

 

For more information and examples, see the links below.

09.04 Phrases and clauses (LA 9)

09.04.01 Phrases and clauses indicating cause and effect (LA 9)

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.

Sunset shadow: Atmospheric optical effect caused by the shadow of Mount Rainier at sunset: Draxfelton, Wikimedia Commons, released into public domain by authorSunset shadow: Atmospheric optical effect caused by the shadow of Mount Rainier at sunset: Draxfelton, Wikimedia Commons, released into public domain by author
One common (and useful) function of phrases and clauses is to show a cause-effect relationship between ideas. As you might guess, you will often write about cause and effect in an argument essay.

Here is an example of a sentence involving a cause and effect: Jared was late because of the traffic. (It could equally well be written Because of the traffic, Jared was late.) Traffic CAUSED Jared to be late. "Because of the traffic" is a prepositional phrase. Since it tells WHY, it is also an adverb phrase.

We could also express a similar idea using a subordinate clause: Because there was so much traffic, Jared was late. (It could equally well be written Jared was late because there was so much traffic.

However, if we wrote Because Jared was late, there was so much traffic, that would mean something different.) "Because there was so much traffic" is an adverb clause (again, because it tells WHY something happened), and it is also a subordinate (dependent) clause.

Notice a punctuation issue here: When the phrase or dependent clause is at the beginning of the sentence, you need a comma between it and the main clause. However, when the phrase or dependent clause comes at the end of the sentence (after the independent clause), you DON'T need a comma.

Words or phrases that are often used to signal cause-effect relationships include because, cause, since, if, then, so, thus, as a result, due to, therefore, consequently, in order to, hence, when, after, for this reason, which led to, for the purpose of, owing to, accordingly.... Note that SOME of these words are prepositions or subordinating conjunctions (that is, they will introduce a phrase or subordinate clause), but others are conjunctive adverbs (that is, they will introduce an independent clause that either stands alone as a sentence, or follows a semicolon in a compound sentence).

Since, by their nature, phrases or subordinate clauses that identify a cause answer the question "why?", they are adverb phrases or clauses.

09.04.02 Descriptive phrases and clauses (LA 9)

Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.

Chestnut race horse, Japan: Chabata_k, Wikimedia Commons, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedChestnut race horse, Japan: Chabata_k, Wikimedia Commons, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Another common function of phrases and clauses is to add description to a sentence.

Noun modifiers (answering questions like which one? what size? what color? and describing other qualities of a person, place or thing) are called adjectives (if they are single words) and adjective phrases or clauses (if they are multiple words working together).

Verb modifiers (answering questions like when? where? how? how much? or why? and describing other qualities of an action, another adverb, or an adjective) are called adverbs (if they are single words) and adverb phrases or clauses (if they are multiple words working together).

Let's look at examples.
Adjectives and adjective phrases and clauses

The chestnut horse was the crowd favorite. "Chestnut" is an adjective--it describes (modifies) 'horse', a noun, by answering the question 'which one' (or 'what color').

The horse, the color of a newly minted penny, was the crowd favorite."The color of a newly minted penny" is an adjective phrase--it describes (modifies) 'horse', a noun. See how the phrase acts like an adjective to describe the horse?

The horse, who was the color of a newly minted penny, was the crowd favorite."who was the color of a newly minted penny" is an adjective clause--it describes (modifies) 'horse,' a noun.

Note: In English, most of our adjectives come before the nouns they describe. However, most adjective phrases or clauses come immediately after the noun they describe, and in most cases are set off between commas. An adjective phrase too far from the noun it is supposed to modify can create confusion: "The body in the bed, which had been there for three years, was identified as the missing man." (Was it the body or the bed that had been there for three years? We can't be sure from this sentence.)

My younger sister is Sarah. "Younger" is an adjective--it describes (modifies) 'sister,' a noun.

My sister, in the yellow raincoat, is younger. "In the yellow raincoat" is an adjective phrase; it describes sister.

My sister who is younger is Sarah."Who is younger" is an adjective clause--it describes (modifies) 'sister,' a noun. See how the clause acts like an adjective to describe Sarah?

This brings up a punctuation issue (and yet another way to classify clauses!). If you have at least two sisters, the clause "who is younger" is necessary to identify WHICH sister you are talking about. In that case, no commas are used around the clause (technically, this is called a restrictive clause).

However, if you had only one sister, the clause "who is younger" is no longer necessary to identify which sister you mean--it is just extra information. In that case, there should be commas around the clause (technically, this is called a nonrestrictive clause).

More examples of sentences with restrictive clauses: The car that is following us is blue. [Implies that there are multiple cars around, but that the one following us is blue.] The fish that is chasing the others is the dominant male. My cousins who live in California are coming to visit. [You have other cousins, but it is the ones from California who are coming.]

More examples of sentences with nonrestrictive clauses: My car, which has a flat tire, has just been sitting in the driveway all week. [You've only got one car, so saying that it has a flat tire isn't necessary to identify which car you're talking about.] My parents, who can sometimes be a real pain, have been great lately. The big spruce tree, which had been there before the town was founded, blew down in the wind storm.

Adverbs and adverb phrases and clauses

We will arrive early. "Early" is an adverb. It modifies the verb (will arrive) by telling WHEN we will arrive.

We will arrive before the sun comes up over the mountains. "Before the sun comes up over the mountains" is an adverb clause. See how it serves the same purpose in the sentence--telling WHEN we will arrive--as the single adverb, early?

Note: In English, many adverbs can be moved to various places in the sentence without changing the meaning. The same is true of adverb phrases or clauses (unlike adjective phrases or clauses). You can sometimes use this as a test of whether a particular phrase or clause is acting as an adverb: if you can move it around in the sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence, it probably IS an adverb (or adverb phrase/clause).

There, I found my missing glove. "There" is an adverb telling WHERE you found the glove. Notice you could equally well say "I found my missing glove there."

Under the bed, I found my missing glove. "Under the bed" is an adverb phrase telling WHERE you found the glove. "I found my missing glove under the bed" means the same thing.

Punctuation note: Remember that an introductory phrase or clause generally requires a comma between it and the main clause of the sentence. If you put that same phrase or clause at the end of the sentence, it usually doesn't require a comma.

Margaret finished the book quickly. "Quickly" is an adverb telling HOW she finished the book. Notice you could equally well say "Quickly, Margaret finished the book" or "Margaret quickly finished the book."

Margaret finished the book by staying up all night reading. "By staying up all night reading" is an adverb phrase telling HOW she finished the book. Notice you could equally well say "By staying up all night reading, Margaret finished the book" or "Margaret, by staying up all night reading, finished the book."

In the section on cause and effect, we looked at many examples of adverb phrases or clauses that answered the question WHY? Here is one more: Because of the many pot holes in the freeway, it was closed for repair overnight. The adverb phrase could be moved:

The freeway was closed for repair overnight because of the many pot holes. OR The freeway, because of the many pot holes, was closed for repair overnight.

09.04.03 Phrases and clauses quiz (LA 9)

both teacher- and computer-scored 20 points possible 10 minutes

This quiz will cover the sections on phrases and clauses from the lesson. You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 65%.

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


10.00 Unit 10: Narrative (LA 9)

Detail from &quot;Grandfather Tells a Story&quot;: Albert Anker, 1884, Wikimedia Commons, public domainDetail from "Grandfather Tells a Story": Albert Anker, 1884, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

 

Basically, the purpose of narrative is to tell a story. A narrative may tell a true (nonfiction) story, or an invented (fiction) story, but the focus is on what happens.

As far as we know, story-telling is a uniquely human pursuit. No other animals seem to have enough language to tell stories, but we, as humans, all do it. When you talk to a friend, you tell them what you've been doing, or what has happened in your life since the last time you talked to them. That's an example of narrative.

Novels, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, and some essays and poetry are narrative. Most plays, movies and TV shows are narrative in structure, also.

Here are a few terms to review:

Plot - what happens in the story; how events unfold

Characters - the people (or aliens, animals, gods, etc) who do things in the story

Protagonist - the main character or "hero" of the story

Antagonist - a character who opposes the protagonist

Setting - where and in what time period the story happens

Theme - remember from unit 2? A theme is like an underlying message or lesson about life you can infer from the story.

You should be finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird soon.

The major writing assignment is one scene from a story. You should expect the lessons and assignments in this unit to take you about 5-8 hours of concentrated work.

Again, remember our 'big idea': Writers choose details, events and characters' words and actions to develop main ideas or themes; readers use details, examples and evidence to infer main ideas or themes.

10.01 Literary terms review (LA 9)

Reading: Literature Standard 3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme. Reading: Literature Standard 5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise. Language Standard 6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level;

Literary terms: vocabulary and concepts used to discuss fiction [These are words you need to understand and use to write about fiction.]

 

Setting

The setting of a story is where and when it happens.

In some stories, the setting doesn't seem very important. Twilight is set in a small town in Washington state, but the author could have chosen a different town or a different state.

If you wanted to write a story about an American teenager growing up, focusing on relationships between the teen and family and friends, you could choose from thousands of places in the United States to set your story. However, if part of the plot depended on the teenager having a cell phone, you would have to set the story at a TIME after the late 1990's.

In other stories, the setting is key. For instance, the setting of "High Horse's Courting" is in the plains of North America, probably in the early 1800's. Obviously, the events in the story couldn't have taken place in New York City or in the Arctic Ocean. The adventures in "The Song of Hiawatha", The Lord of the Rings or The Perfect Storm are inextricably wound up in their settings.

Plot

The plot of a story is what happens - the events and actions. In a 'plot-driven' story, the action is the main focus.

The conflict is the problem or difficulty in the story. You may be familiar with classifying conflicts as one of these four types: the character against another person, the character against nature, the character against him/herself, or the character against fate (or God).

The climax is often the most exciting part, the turning point, and is usually near the end, when the main conflict is settled. Rising action is the part of the story between the beginning and the climax, and the events and complications leading up to the climax, where the 'the plot thickens.' Usually, in the process of trying to solve his or her problems, the main character gets into progressively worse situations as the story goes on.

The resolution is how the problem or conflict is solved (resolved). Falling action is the part of the story between the climax and the end--the winding down.

There may be one or more subplots - smaller or less important stories connected to the main story. Some (usually longer) stories contain parallel plots A story with parallel plots has two (or sometimes even more) main characters, and what is happening with both (all) main characters is equally (or almost equally) important. For example, a mystery might follow a serial killer, a detective working on the case, and the killer's next chosen victim in alternating chapters.

Suspense is the reader's doubt about what will happen or when it will happen. Usually the reader doesn't know how the story will turn out, and that is what creates suspense. If the writer tells us at the beginning of a story that a character is going to die, the suspense comes from wondering how or when.

A flashback is a way for a writer to show events that happened before the beginning of the story. For example, when Odysseus remembers leaving his wife and baby son, or when Katniss in The Hunger Games remembers how her sister got the cat, that is a brief flashback.

Foreshadowing is a hint about something that is going to happen later in the story. If a gun is mentioned early in the story, probably that is foreshadowing an event later that will involve someone shooting (or getting shot by) the gun. A discussion of death or funerals may foreshadow the death of one of the important characters. In some stories, there is a prophecy, or a character has a premonition that is an obvious example of foreshadowing, but often it is more subtle, and you might not notice it unless you read the story twice. Francis Kirkman, WIkimedia Commons, public domainFrancis Kirkman, WIkimedia Commons, public domain

Character

The characters are the "actors" in the story. Most often the characters are people, but they may be animals, aliens, toys, robots or whatever.

The protagonist is the main character, sometimes called the hero, though he or she may not behave heroically.

In many stories there is an antagonist - the "villain", the character who opposes the protagonist. The antagonist is often evil, but not necessarily so.

Round characters are characters who have detailed, complex personalities, and seem like real people. Flat characters are characters who are often stereotypical, and lack the complexity to make them seem real. Characters can also be classified as dynamic or static.

Dynamic characters change in the course of the story. Static characters stay the same.

A sympathetic character is one that you like, and probably identify with at least to some extent. Generally, the protagonist is a sympathetic character - otherwise, it would be hard for you to care what happens to him or her. In 'character-driven' stories, the characters and how they interact, change and develop are the main focus; the plot arises mainly out of choices made by the characters.

Point of View

Point of view in fiction has to do with who seems to be telling (narrating) the story.

If the story is told by "me" - as if a main character is telling the story - When I woke up that morning... - it is said to be in first person. Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is in first person.

If the story is told as if by an observer - When he woke up that morning... - it is in third person. The Odyssey, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," and most fiction are in third person.

  • If the person telling the story - the narrator - seems to only know what a single person could really know, we say the point of view is third person, limited.
  • If the person telling the story seems to be able to see into the minds of multiple characters, or be observing many places at once, we say the point of view is third person, omniscient.

Narrator

In most stories, most of the time, we as readers trust that the narrator is telling us the truth about the story. An unreliable narrator is one whose version of the story is not accurate. Depending on the circumstances, the narrator may be unreliable because s/he is deliberately sharing an inaccurate version of an event, or because s/he really doesn't know it isn't correct. One common instance of an unreliable narrator occurs when the narrator (or main character, in third person, limited point of view) is seriously ill, injured, mentally ill, very young or naive, or under the influence of drugs, alcohol, poison, or magic.

Other instances may not be so obvious. Probably you can think of a time when you heard someone say that so-and-so is ugly, disgusting, stuck-up, or rude--but you could see for yourself this was not the case. The person making the accusations may have believed what s/he said, but was 'blinded' by a dislike of so-and-so. In the same way, a character in a story may be presenting the 'truth' as s/he sees it, but be passing on his or her misconceptions or prejudices.

In general usage, when we say "unreliable", we are making a negative judgement about a person's character.  That's NOT necessarily what is meant when we talk about an "unreliable narrator" in literature.

  An unreliable narrator is one who either can't  (or, more rarely, won't) explain the whole situation. For example, imagine this situation as a scene in a book:

  Jonathan and Kari have been  happily married for ten years and have a six-year-old daughter, Isabella.  Jonathan has become addicted to prescription pain pills after being injured in an accident, but has managed to completely hide his addiction from his wife and daughter.  He owes a lot of money to the drug dealer, who hires a mentally ill homeless man to go to the house one evening and hold Kari and Isabella at gun-point demanding money.  A neighbor calls the police, who arrive and interrogate all four people, separately.  If each of the four people got to tell this in their own chapter of the book, who will be a reliable narrator?

  The homeless man doesn't know why Jonathan owes money to the dealer, and, more importantly, is delusional and believes Jonathan's mind is being controlled by an alien government that wants to take over more and more people's bodies.  He (the homeless man) is an unreliable narrator because his "reality" is so far removed from the actual situation.

  Kari is totally shocked and doesn't know what is going on.  To her, this is a random act of attempted robbery committed against her family by a stranger. She thinks it must be a case of mistaken identity.  She doesn't know enough about the situation to tell us the whole story, so she would not be a reliable narrator.

  Isabella only understands that a strange man came into the house with a gun and started yelling at her parents until they were rescued by the police.  She is an unreliable narrator even though she would be totally honest; she simply doesn't understand most of the situation.

  Jonathan is the person in the story most likely to be a reliable narrator.  He understands what happened and why it happened.  If we see/hear the story from his point of view, we will probably get a pretty complete picture of what happened.

Dialogue

Dialogue is what the characters in the story say to each other. (In a play or movie, the dialogue is the actors' lines). In stories, it is the actual words spoken, and is put inside quotation marks to set it off from the narration. Most modern, realistic fiction contains lots of dialogue, and as a reader, you can find out quite a bit about a character from what s/he says, or what is said about her/him by other characters. Although in real life we engage in conversation all the time, it can be tricky to write dialogue that sounds natural, like what real people would say.

Theme

The theme of a work (refer back to our longer lesson on theme in the reading unit) is a main general idea, belief or truth about life, and is usually not stated explicitly, but must be inferred by observing what happens in the story. For instance, you might say that the theme of the Star Wars movies is 'good is more powerful than evil.' A work may have more than one theme. The moral of a fable is a simple sort of theme. Sometimes you can figure out the theme of a story by asking yourself "What would the author want me to learn about life from this story?"

A theme is more than just a single word ("love", "courage" or "equality").  The theme must express a message.  For example, "love can overcome hate", "it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in", or "all people should be treated equally under the law" could be themes.

Symbols and symbolism

In literature, a symbol is an element in the story/poem that is doing "double duty" - it is both a concrete object, place or character, AND it also stands for some abstract idea.  A couple examples from Robert Frost's poetry will help you understand.

In Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken", he says, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by..."  The two roads in the poem are, first of all, real roads.  We can picture a fork in the road, one going one way, the other going another way, in the woods in fall when the leaves are yellow.  However, these roads also stand for something else - the decisions we make in life.  The two roads are symbols.

In another of Frost's poems, "Fire and Ice", he starts out, "Some say the world will end in fire; some say, in ice."  Again, these create images we can picture - the world burning up, maybe in atomic war or an explosion from the sun, or the world dark and cold, covered in ice.  But the poem continues, "From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire..." and from that point on, it is clear that the "fire" and "ice" are also symbolic of hate, expressed in different ways. 

10.01 Literary terms review (LA 9)

10.01.01 Literary terms quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 15 points possible 10 minutes

Go to Topic 3 of the main class page to take this quiz. You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 73%. Questions will cover literary terms and may refer back to earlier readings.

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


10.02 Short background readings/viewings (LA 9)

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Pumping water by hand in 1942, Wilder, Tennessee: FDR Presidential Library, public domainPumping water by hand in 1942, Wilder, Tennessee: FDR Presidential Library, public domain
Read/view the selections about life in the Great Depression and in the segregated South, using the links below.

Note that most of these are expository writing - but will help you prepare for the time period you will be reading about in To Kill A Mockingbird.

It should also be noted that these readings are historical in nature and the meanings of certain words and phrases may have changed over time. A few examples of this type of language development may include the phrase "I'm going to lick you". Historical stories may have used that phrase when boys were fighting each other and one was telling the other that he was going to beat him up. Another example is found in the assigned reading, below, "We Are Literally Slaves" where it uses the term "make love" which would have meant, at that time, to flirt with or sweet talk someone. The same story also uses the phrase "seeking an appointment" which would have been similar to asking if they could see them again some time. 

10.02.01 Quiz on short readings (LA 9)

both teacher- and computer-scored 15 points possible 10 minutes

You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 73%.
 

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


10.03 Begin Reading To Kill a Mockingbird (LA 9)

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text; determine a theme; analyze how complex characters develop, interact, and advance the plot or theme.

Mockingbird in North Carolina: Ken Thomas, Wikimedia Commons, author released into public domainMockingbird in North Carolina: Ken Thomas, Wikimedia Commons, author released into public domain

I hope you already began reading, when I put this lesson in unit 8 - but if you haven't started yet, now you really need to start!
For the rest of this class (second quarter), you will need a copy of the book To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Before you begin, watch the title sequence of the 1962 movie (link below). Begin reading To Kill a Mockingbird. We will be looking at one section at a time in the following lessons and assignments.

10.03 Begin Reading To Kill a Mockingbird (LA 9)

Buy or borrow a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.  You might be able to get started by looking at one of these on line.

10.03.01 Begin Reading To Kill a Mockingbird: chapters 1-7 questions (LA 9)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 45 minutes

This assignment is intended to help you make some useful notes about To Kill a Mockingbird.

You may want to try having a pad of small 'sticky notes' handy to stick on pages where there is an unfamiliar word, a good quote, or an example of evidence about the characters or theme, so you can easily find them again later.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word-processing document on your computer. Answer in complete sentences or paragraphs.

Complete the first questions when you have read the first chapter, save it, and then continue reading. When you have completed the whole assignment, submit your work.

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

Please answer the following questions at the indicated point in your reading:

After you finish the first chapter:

1. What is your first impression of this book?
2. Who do you think will be the main character? Why?
3. What is the "point of view" for this story?
4. What is the setting (time and place)? Include three quotes about the setting, and the page numbers on which you found them.
When, in relation to the American Civil War and the end of slavery in the United States, is this happening?
5. What words, or use of words, have you seen that may be unusual, interesting or unfamiliar to you? Include the phrase or sentence in which the word is used - at least three words, for full credit.
6. Briefly describe the members of Scout's family (Scout and the three people who live in her house with her at the beginning of the book).
7. How can you connect characters or situations in this chapter to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)

After you have finished the first four chapters:

8. In what ways do Scout and Jem seem like real kids (or not)?
9. What is an example of a flashback from this section of the story? why is it included?
10. What words, or use of words, have you seen that may be unusual, interesting or unfamiliar to you? Include the phrase or sentence in which the word is used - at least three words, for full credit.
11. What do you predict will happen next?
12. How can you connect characters or situations in chapters 2-4 to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)

After you have finished the first seven chapters:

13. What is the general tone of the book up to this point? What creates that tone?
14. What are Jem, Dill, and Scout mainly focused on? why?
15. What is implied by the cement in the knot-hole?
16. What is your impression of Atticus at this point? Describe how you picture him, and who he might remind you of.
17. How did Jem, Scout and Dill each feel about "playing Boo Radley"? What evidence from the text implies their feelings, and what directly states their feelings?

Jem?
Scout?
Dill?

18. What words, or use of words, have you seen that may be unusual, interesting or unfamiliar to you? Include the phrase or sentence in which the word is used - at least three words, for full credit.
19. How can you connect characters or situations in chapters 5-7 to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)

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


10.04 Reading To Kill a Mockingbird (LA 9)

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text; determine a theme; analyze how complex characters develop, interact, and advance the plot or theme.

The Arnold children, Washington, 1939: Dorothea Lange, Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress, public domainThe Arnold children, Washington, 1939: Dorothea Lange, Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress, public domain
As you read this middle section of the book, watch for foreshadowing--hints of what is coming up later in the story. How do both the tone and focus gradually change? Watch the video of Atticus' speech after you have read through chapter 21 in the book. The trials of the "Scottsboro boys" happened when Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird was young. See the Scottsboro Timeline, linked below, to think about comparisons between the actual incidents and the story Lee wrote.

10.04 Reading To Kill a Mockingbird: chapters 8-21 (LA 9)

10.04.01 Reading To Kill a Mockingbird: chapters 8-21 questions (LA 9)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 45 minutes

by SpeedyEJL, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported via Wikimedia Commonsby SpeedyEJL, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported via Wikimedia Commons

This assignment is intended to help you make some useful notes about To Kill a Mockingbird. You may want to try having a pad of small 'sticky notes' handy to stick on pages where there is an unfamiliar word, a good quote, or an example of evidence about the characters or theme, so you can easily find them again later.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word processing document on your computer. Answer in complete sentences or paragraphs. Questions six, thirteen and nineteen need at least a paragraph each.  Complete each section when you have read those chapters, save it, and then continue reading. When you have completed the whole assignment, submit your work.

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Please answer the following questions at the indicated point in your reading:

After you finish chapter 11:

  1. Why does Jem convince Atticus not to return the blanket that kept Scout warm the night of the fire? What can you infer about Jem, and about Boo Radley, from this incident?
  2. What is the first indication of how the trial will affect their life?
  3. How and why does the incident of the mad dog change Jem's view of his father?
  4. Give at least two reasons why Atticus sends Jem to read to Mrs. Dubose.
  5. What words, or use of words, have you seen that may be unusual, interesting or unfamiliar to you? Include the phrase or sentence in which the word is used - at least three words, for full credit.
  6. How can you connect characters or situations in these chapters to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)
     

    After you have finished the first fifteen chapters:

  7. How does Calpurnia explain to Scout why she speaks differently at church than at the children's house? What can you infer about Calpurnia from this?
  8. How is the relationship between Scout and Jem changing? Give examples as evidence of this change.
  9. How is the tone changing in this section of the book? Give at least two examples.
  10. How much does Scout understand of what happens at the jail in chapter 15? Be specific, and use evidence from the text to justify your answer.
  11. What can we infer about Atticus from the incidents in chapter 15?
  12. What words, or use of words, have you seen that may be unusual, interesting or unfamiliar to you? Include the phrase or sentence in which the word is used - at least three words, for full credit.
  13. How can you connect characters or situations in these chapters to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)

    After you have finished the first 21 chapters:

  14. What are at least three things revealed at the trial that make it clear Tom Robinson was not the one who beat up Mayella?
  15. What does Atticus suggest really happened to Mayella? why?
  16. What is the worst thing implied about Mayella's father by Tom Robinson's testimony about something Mayella said? Quote the sentence that creates this implication.
  17. How have events in this section changed or extended your impression of Atticus? Be specific.
  18. What words, or use of words, have you seen that may be unusual, interesting or unfamiliar to you? Include the phrase or sentence in which the word is used - at least three words, for full credit.
  19. How can you connect characters or situations in these chapters to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)

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


10.04.02 To Kill a Mockingbird: chapters 22- 31 questions (LA 9)

teacher-scored 50 points possible 45 minutes

This assignment is intended to help you make some useful notes about To Kill a Mockingbird. You may want to try having a pad of small 'sticky notes' handy to stick on pages where there is an unfamiliar word, a good quote, or an example of evidence about the characters or theme, so you can easily find them again later.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word-processing document on your computer.

Answer in complete sentences or paragraphs. Complete each section when you have read the those chapters, save it, and then continue reading. When you have completed the whole assignment, submit your work.

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Please answer the following questions at the indicated point in your reading:

After you finish chapter 27 :

1. When does Scout begin to respect Aunt Alexandra, and why?

2. What is the town's reaction to Tom's death, and why?

3. What is the irony in Miss Gates' explanation of Hitler, and American democracy?

4. What three things happened (three things Ewell does) to suggest that Ewell still wants revenge on people involved in the trial?

5. What sentence at the end of chapter 27 foreshadows the upcoming event?

6. How can you connect characters or situations in these chapters to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)

After you have finished the last chapter:

7. Explain what happened on the way home from the pageant, as Scout experienced it.

8. Explain what Atticus initially thought had happened, and why he argued with the sheriff.

9. Explain what actually happened.

10. Why do Atticus and the sheriff agree that Bob Ewell fell on his knife?

11. What does Scout understand as she stands on Boo Radley's front porch?

12. What words, or use of words, have you seen that may be unusual, interesting or unfamiliar to you? Include the phrase or sentence in which the word is used - at least three words, for full credit.

13. How can you connect characters or situations in these chapters to your own experiences, or other books or movies you've read/seen in the past? (5 points)

Retrospective: (each of these questions is worth 5 points)

14. Think back over the main events of the book. Which events would seem most important to Scout?
Which would seem most important to Jem?
to Atticus?
Explain your choices.

15. In what ways (at least three ways) does this story reflect or portray the time in which it happened?
How might things be different now?

16. Name an important theme from this book (remember, a theme is a complete sentence that makes a general statement), and cite at least three pieces of evidence from the story to support that theme.

17. Why do you think the author chose to have Scout narrate the story, rather than one of the other characters?
Was Scout an "unreliable narrator"? Why or why not?

18. Make a list of at least four people from the book who are "round characters," and justify why you classify each of them as a round character.  Use specific details from the book - at least three details per person.

19. Evaluate (what was good and bad?) this book in comparison to other books you have read.
What makes you feel it is better or worse than the other books you are comparing it to? Support your opinions with examples and evidence.

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


10.04.03 To Kill a Mockingbird: quiz (LA 9)

both teacher- and computer-scored 25 points possible 15 minutes

Finish reading To Kill a Mockingbird before you take this quiz.

You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 72%.

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


10.05 Setting in narrative (LA 9)

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details. Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.

T. Imai image, Wikimedia Commons, public domain (copyright expired)T. Imai image, Wikimedia Commons, public domain (copyright expired)
Any story or event happens someWHERE and someTIME. The where and when of narrative are called the setting.

Many folk or fairy tales begin with some variation of "Once upon a time, in a land far away..." This helps set up the expectation that what happens in the story may be quite different from real life in the present day. On the other hand, if a story begins with Nathan's mother driving him to school in the morning, the reader will expect story events to be the sorts of things that might really happen. In a few cases, an author may choose to start a book or chapter with a heading like "Moscow, March 14th, 09:40," but in most cases, the exact time and place will not be explicitly stated.

In much fiction, the place is at least partially invented, anyway. The exact place and time may not be that important to the story. However, what the author shows (or chooses not to show) about the setting can have a big impact on the tone of a narrative, and may contribute to either suspense or surprise--sort of like the soundtrack of a movie may prepare you for something frightening, or lull you into thinking everything is safe.  In stories of outdoor adventures or survival, the setting may be almost like a character in the narrative, as the protagonist must struggle against the forces of nature: dangerous weather, a mountain, or the ocean.

Darkness, bad weather, isolation, old buildings, and rugged terrain (especially in combination) can all contribute to an ominous tone. Light, pleasant weather, beautiful scenery, and familiar or well-kept buildings or landscapes tend to contribute to a peaceful, safe tone.

On the other hand, with just a couple of word choices (such as "seemed"), an author can reverse our expectations. Many accounts of  the terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001 include a description of how that day started out as a sunny, beautiful morning in New York, making the horrific events even more startling in contrast with the lovely weather. 

In narratives set in a different culture or time period, details of the setting help us imagine a life we haven't experienced. Most of us, though, don't want to read through long descriptions, so a skillful writer slips details of the setting into the action and dialogue, and selects which details are important enough to include. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the time period (1930's) and the place (a southern state, which is to say, a former slave state) are integral to the story - it couldn't have happened in, say, Oregon in the 1980's. As we read the story, we develop an understanding of what it would have been like to live in the South during the Depression.

As readers, we can often infer important information from characters' interactions with elements of the setting. As you read, use details of the setting to help you imagine what it looks like, and what the characters see, hear, smell, taste or feel. 

10.06 Narrative writing (English 9)

&quot;A Good Joke&quot;, 1887: Alfred Stieglitz, Wikimedia Commons, public domain"A Good Joke", 1887: Alfred Stieglitz, Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Harper Lee was not a "professional writer." To Kill a Mockingbird was the only book she ever wrote. Some of the details of the book's depiction of life in a small southern town were adapted from her memories of her own childhood. Harper Lee chose to write in first person, from the point of view of a young girl: Scout. Most of the story is made up of things a child would notice, and filtered through the understanding of a child (a very bright child, but a child, nonetheless). Lee had to imagine what it would have been like for a child to live through the events of the book.

For the next assignment, you are going to tell a story through the eyes of a child of about seven to ten years old. Maybe you remember what it was like to be that age, or maybe you have younger siblings, cousins or neighbors you can observe. You may want to look back at a couple chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird to try to figure out how Lee did it.

Be sure to make use of the tools of narrative: dialogue, exposition, description, and reflection.

  • dialogue: conversation between two or more characters. Remember that the characters' actual words are enclosed by quotation marks.

    “Hey.”
    “Hey yourself,” said Jem pleasantly.
    “I’m Charles Baker Harris,” he said. “I can read."
    “So what?” I said.

  • exposition: telling what happens

    Our mother died when I was two, so I never felt her absence. She was a Graham from Montgomery; Atticus met her when he was first elected to the state legislature. He was middle-aged then, she was fifteen years his junior. Jem was the product of their first year of marriage; four years later I was born, and two years later our mother died from a sudden heart attack.

  • description: creating sensory "images" of places, people or things

    Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.

    The night was still. I could hear his breath coming easily beside me. Occasionally there was a sudden breeze that hit my bare legs, but it was all that remained of a promised windy night. This was the stillness before a thunderstorm.

  • reflection: the character's thoughts

    I mumbled that I was sorry and retired meditating upon my crime. I never deliberately learned to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers. In the long hours of church—was it then I learned? I could not remember not being able to read hymns. Now that I was compelled to think about it, reading was something that just came to me, as learning to fasten the seat of my union suit without looking around, or achieving two bows from a snarl of shoelaces.

10.06.01 Narrative writing: pre-writing and first draft (LA 9)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 40 minutes

by US Nessie, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported via Wikimedia Commonsby US Nessie, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported via Wikimedia Commons

Begin working on a narrative piece that tells a story through the eyes of a younger child.

This may be mostly fictional, but base it partly on something you or a family member experienced. You will be writing in 'first person,' narrating the story from the point of view of the child, who may either be experiencing or observing the incident.  It may be entirely realistic (like To Kill a Mockingbird), or it may contain elements of fantasy (like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight).

You will plan out an entire story, but you only need to write and submit your plan and then one scene (at least 400 words) from the story.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work by uploading your file, or pasting it in to the assignment submission window for this assignment.

 

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Prewriting

A. In just a few sentences, briefly summarize the main points (plot) of the story. If you prefer, you may put this in outline form.

B.  Setting: where and when does this story happen? how do the time and place affect the story?

C. Brainstorm details: list at least twelve specific things the child might have noticed (smelled, tasted, heard, seen, thought or felt) about what happened.

D. Frame the story: (remember how Scout began her story by remembering Jem's broken arm? She was older, and looking back at her childhood.) Have your narrator begin by some kind of recollection, looking back, as a teenager, on the story s/he is going to tell about something that happened when s/he was younger. Write this opening, which you will use as the introductory paragraph for your story.

Composing

Have your narrator tell the story. Feel free to adapt the story to make it funnier, more exciting, scarier, or more interesting, but use your experiences to help make it seem real.  Magnify the moment!  Be sure to use dialogue and some of your brainstormed details (from B, above).

Remember, when writing dialogue, to start a new paragraph each time a different person speaks.

Incorrect:

 "Are we going to the zoo?" asked Annabelle. "Yes," said Max.  "Isn't that what you wanted?"

Correct:

 "Are we going to the zoo?" asked Annabelle.

"Yes," said Max.  "Isn't that what you wanted?"

Open with the introduction (from C, above). Then write at least three paragraphs in the body, and a conclusion (the end of the scene you are writing). Your draft needs to be at least 400 words long. It will be scored on ideas and organization, but I will also offer comments on other aspects to help you when you work on your revision.

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


10.06.02 Narrative writing: revision (LA 9)

teacher-scored 24 points possible 40 minutes

After you have read my feedback on your initial draft, revise your narrative piece that tells a story through the eyes of a younger child. For most writers, revision is the main work of writing. Harper Lee (with help from her agent and editor) worked on To Kill a Mockingbird for over two and a half years, revising and editing. According to the Wikipedia article on the book, she once got so frustrated she threw the manuscript out into a snowbank. (Remember, this was long before computers, so there wasn't a back-up copy on her hard drive somewhere!)

As you work on your revision, consider whether--

  • the introduction gives the reader enough background and creates some interest or suspense
  • you might want to change the order or add to your narrative--maybe including a flashback or some reflection.
  • more specific details could help make sections seem more vividly real
  • (if you haven't already) you need to "magnify the moment," so that you "show" the action rather than relating a summarized version through exposition.
  • you have at least eight lines of dialogue
  • good use of phrases and clauses smoothes the transitions and creates a cohesive whole
  • the tone, details, and word choice are consistent with the age and character of the narrator
  • the ending follows naturally from the events in the scene, and provides a sense of conclusion

 

Your draft will be scored according to this rubric. Use the rubric for additional guidance on revising your work.

 

Category 4 (exceeds standards) 3 (meets standards) 1 (does not meet standards)
Introduction & organization Begin with an older teen looking back on a previous time; Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing a point of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth, natural progression of experiences or events. Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events. Event sequence may be confusing or seem contrived
Development of ideas and content Use the most effective narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.  Enough action, specific details and dialogue to "magnify the moment". Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. May use only one narrative technique, such as dialogue or description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters; may lack adequate details
Development of relationships, cohesion and flow Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution). Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole. may not adequately signal sequence, setting shifts, or relationships.
Word choice, style and tone Use precise words and phrases, telling details, figurative language, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. Use abstract, general words and phrases, and/or inadequate details and language, not clearly conveying experiences and events.
Conclusion Provide a satisfying conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative. Ending/conclusion may be missing or seem abrupt, contrived or incomplete.
Revisions Significant, substantive changes and improvements in ideas, organization, and/or word choice, style and tone Some significant changes attempted Few or no significant changes

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


10.06.03 Revise your scene for film (LA 9)

teacher-scored 24 points possible 40 minutes

Reimagine your scene as a film scene.

You may need to review the information about film making from unit 8. 

Imagine you are now the screenwriter and director in charge of creating a film scene from your story scene. You must use at least ten shots, but no more than twenty shots, in planning the filming for your scene. (No, you aren't going to have to actually film it.)

You will turn in the numbered list of shots and dialogue, including the following information for each shot:

  • the type of shot (wide-angle, close-up, panning, low-angle, high-angle, dolly, zoom, etc),
  • what the characters are doing during the shot,
  • who is saying what, and
  • the kind of transition to the next shot (at least three transitions must be something other than a basic cut)

Example:

Let's say my scene has two kids (Thomas and Marion) going into an animal shelter to choose a pet.  These might be my first four shots:

1. Wide-angle shot of a city street outside an animal shelter, zooming in on Thomas and Marion as they approach the front door.  They are talking, but we can't hear them because of the traffic noise. Cut to

2. Fairly wide-angle shot, panning to follow the two kids. From inside the animal shelter, we see Thomas and Marion entering as the door opens.  They approach the receptionist, who meets them at the counter.

RECEPTIONIST: Hi, Thomas!  Hi, Marion! Are you here to volunteer again today?

MARION: No - we get to choose a dog to foster.  Mom -

THOMAS: (interrupting): We talked our mom into letting us foster one of the dogs.  She dropped us off so we can choose one, and she'll be back in half an hour to do the paperwork.

RECEPTIONIST:  That's great! Here, I'll take you back.

She leads them to another door, which she unlocks, and they start to step through.  Match cut to

3.  Low-angle shot, looking up at the door from the other side as they walk through.  The camera is looking up at them from inside one of the dog cages, near the back.  We see the backs of two small dogs standing up and barking at Thomas and Marion at the wire barrier. Marion reaches out one hand toward the dogs.

MARION:  Look how cute!

Match cut to

4. Shot looking at the two dogs from outside the cage; rack focus draws the viewer from those two dogs to another dog, curled up in the back of the cage...

Category 4 (exceeds standards) 3 (meets standards) 1 (does not meet standards)
Organization Create a smooth, natural progression of experiences or events. Create a smooth progression of experiences or events. Event sequence may be confusing or seem contrived
Development of ideas and content   Enough action, specific details and dialogue to "magnify the moment".  Develop experiences, events, and/or characters.  May lack adequate details
Development of relationships, cohesion and flow Use a variety of shot techniques and transitions to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution). Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole. May not adequately signal sequence, setting shifts, or relationships.
Word choice, style and tone At least eight lines of dialogue. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, figurative language, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. At least six lines of dialogue. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. May lack dialogue, and/or inadequate details and language, not clearly conveying experiences and events.
Use of film techniques vocabulary Accurately uses at least three kinds of shots, and at least three transitions other than a plain cut Accurately uses at least two kinds of shots and at least two transitions Inaccurate use of film terms
Editing Good use of conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc) Few errors in conventions Many errors in conventions

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


11.00 Unit 11: Exposition (LA 9)

illustration for Hand-book to the Primates: Henry Ogg Forbes, 1897, public domain, WCillustration for Hand-book to the Primates: Henry Ogg Forbes, 1897, public domain, WC

 

Exposition is writing that describes something, explains, or informs. Expository writing should examine, explain, and communicate ideas, processes, concepts and information clearly and accurately.

Expository writing includes

  • technical writing like the manuals that come with games or software
  • 'how-to' writing like magazine articles about how to fly-fish, build a greenhouse, or make artisan bread
  • descriptive writing like a travel book, an article about the latest fashions, or information about a house for sale on a real estate website
  • books or articles about animals, nature, science, history, etc
  • scientific journal articles describing an experiment or study, and reporting the results
  • news reports about a current event
  • ...and many other forms

By now you may have noticed that the three types/purposes of writing (argument, narrative and exposition) sometimes overlap, and that many pieces of writing include aspects of two (or all three). When you aren't sure how to classify a particular writing, ask yourself what the main purpose is--to argue, to tell a story, or to inform?

Novels, short stories, and biographies are usually narrative though they are likely to include sections of exposition. Arguments are also likely to contain some exposition, and sometimes some narrative. In the same way, expository writing may include some elements of narration or argument, but its main purpose is to inform.

DO NOT use phrasings like "In this essay/report I am going to write about...", or "I'm going to tell you about...", or "This essay will be about...."  Instead, just go ahead with the important ideas straight out.

Techniques or organizational patterns often used in expository writing include description, instructions, information, cause and effect, problem and solution, comparison/contrast and extended definition.  News articles are usually organized in the "inverted pyramid": starting with the main, basic facts (who, what, when, where, why and how), and adding more details and background information later in the article.

All expository writing - but especially description - needs to include specific, concrete details that help support the main idea (thesis, claim).  Be sure to support vague, general or abstract ideas with specific, concrete examples and details.  (This doesn't mean you should include every possible detail - choose the most interesting and relevant details to include.)  As with all writing, try to build mainly with strong nouns and verbs.  Use adjectives and adverbs when needed, but don't go overboard.

More about specific vs. general:

Consider the general word "animal" (a noun).  If you are writing about a two-legged animal with feathers and wings that says "cock-a-doodle-do" in the mornings, you'd almost always be better off saying "rooster" - a more specific noun - instead of adding all the modifiers.

Specific vs. general nouns examples (in random order)
Specific nouns General/generic nouns
girl, boy, aunt, cousin person, people
parachute, wheelbarrow things, object
minivan, sedan, Audi, beetle vehicle, car
high school, lake, canyon place, building
handful, clump, crowd group, bunch
clay, sand, asphalt ground, bottom, top
jacket, skirt, jeans, gown clothes, covering
fedora, Stetson, slippers, flip-flops hat, shoes
steak, pancakes, roar, rumbling food, noise, sounds

 

More about concrete vs. abstract:

Remember the definition that a noun is a "person, place, thing or idea"?  People, places and things are concrete - you can see, hear, smell, taste and/or touch them.  Ideas are abstract - they exist in our minds.  Even things like dragons and unicorns are considered concrete, even though they don't really exist, because if they did exist, they would be things you could see and touch.

Using some abstract words in your writing is fine, but be sure to support those ideas with concrete examples.

Abstract vs. concrete word examples (in random order):

Abstract nouns and modifiers concrete nouns
beauty, beautiful, pretty, gorgeous sunset, tulip, horse
ugly, plain, basic, useful dachshund, truck, skillet
wonder, fabulous, incredible iceberg, spruce, dragon
popularity, wealth, fame, notoriety Madonna, Elton John, king
fear, joy, hope, love tears, smile, grimace
fate, immortality, honor knight, priest, witch
good, bad, moral, freedom chocolate, spinach, eagle
feminist, racism, liberal, conservative senator, secretary, doctor
happy, sadness, cruelty, democracy laugh, scream, house, bed

11.01 Documenting your sources (LA 9)

Integrate information into written text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Djembayz, Wikimedia Commons, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 UnportedDjembayz, Wikimedia Commons, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Expository and argumentative writing often require that you do some research to find information. Both for the sake of your readers (who may want to know where your information comes from), and for the sake of avoiding plagiarism, you need to properly reference and document your sources.

There are several common, standardized systems for exactly how to do this. Two of the most common are called APA and MLA. When your high school or college teacher assigns you to write a research paper, s/he will most likely tell you to use either APA style or MLA style. Many internet sites list all the rules and examples of how to use each of these styles of documentation. For our purposes in this class, we are going to use MLA style.

Be forewarned: you are probably going to think this stuff was invented by someone who had a sick obsession with detail, combined with a desire to torture students.

Get over it. You are NOT going to need to memorize any of the finer details, but you ARE going to need to be able to look at the rules and examples and apply them, to correctly cite your sources. This is a skill you are likely to need in your job and life (not necessarily doing MLA documentation, but being able to apply examples and detailed rules).

Very basically, there are two components to properly referencing your sources:

  1. identifying facts, ideas or direct quotations within your text, to acknowledge that they are someone else's work
  2. listing the bibliographic information in a "works cited" list at the end of your text, so that other people can find your sources and read them, too

Study the more detailed information at the required links, below, and the step-by-step example:

How to use the easybib.com website to create a citation:

Suppose I am citing information from the website at http://indians.org/articles/cherokee-indians.html -

  • I go to the website www.easybib.com and enter the url for the web page with this article, and then click Continue.
  • Since we can't find an author, we skip the Contributors section. (If there was an author/authors listed, I would fill that in.)
  • I notice that part of the website title was cut off, so I type in the "Cherokee Indians", which was missing.
  • To find the publisher/sponsor, I click the "About Us" link on the source page, and I find out that American Indian Heritage Foundation sponsors this web page, so I copy and paste that into the Publisher/sponsor box.
  • Since I don't see a date on the source page, I right-click the page and choose "view page info". That tells me the date the page was last modified, and I put that date into the "Electronically published" boxes.
  • Then I click "create citation". That gives me this correct citation: "Cherokee Indians." The History of the Cherokee Indians. American Indian Heritage Foundation, 15 Jan. 2015. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

11.01.01 Practice with MLA style (LA 9)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 40 minutes

Richard Wright, 1943: Gordon Parks, public domain, Library of Congress, WCRichard Wright, 1943: Gordon Parks, public domain, Library of Congress, WC

 

To practice using MLA documentation, you're going to start with how to cite some of the material you've already read.  Look for a quotation or idea that has to do with integrity in each source.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work by pasting it in to the assignment submission window for this assignment.

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For each source, list

A. A sentence or section about integrity from that source (either a direct quote or a paraphrase).
B. What you would put right after that sentence for a correct MLA in-line citation. (Basically, this means the author's last name - or the beginning of the article title if no author was listed - followed by the page number where the quote was found, in parenthesis.)
C. How you would correctly list that source on a works cited page in MLA style (use easybib.com to help you create the citations).

1. Choose a quotation/idea about integrity from To Kill a Mockingbird. (A print book with a single author)

A. Quotation/idea:
B. In-line citation:
C. Works cited list citation:

2. Choose a quotation or idea about integrity from one of the readings in the links from unit 8.

A. Quotation/idea:
B. In-line citation:
C. Works cited list citation:

3. Choose a quotation or idea about integrity from "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch". (A story with one author - you'll find the link to this in lesson 10.02)

A. Quotation/idea:
B. In-line citation:
C. Works cited list citation:

4.  Choose a quotation or idea about integrity from "A Sports Story of Character and Integrity" (website article with one author - link below)

A. Quotation/idea: 
B. In-line citation:
C. Works cited list citation:

5. Choose a quotation or idea about integrity from "How to Be True to Your Word" (website article with one author - link below)

A. Quotation/idea:
B. In-line citation:
C. Works cited list citation:

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


11.02 Expository essay - extended definition (LA 9)

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Classical definition of knowledge: Szczepan, Wikimedia Commons, released into public domain by authorClassical definition of knowledge: Szczepan, Wikimedia Commons, released into public domain by author
One common form of expository essay has to do with creating an extended definition of a (usually abstract) word or concept. As you may have noticed, dictionaries offer short definitions of words, but sometimes the dictionary definition itself seems pretty abstract and not all that helpful.

In writing an expository, extended definition essay, you use examples, analogies, and comparisons to help yourself and the reader reach a deeper understanding. You might also use illustrations, charts or other graphic elements to help the reader grasp and remember the ideas.

11.02.01 Expository writing quiz (LA 9)

computer-scored 20 points possible 10 minutes

This quiz will cover all topics and readings in unit 11. You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 70%. You may refer to the lessons and readings while you are working on this quiz.

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


11.02.02 Expository essay on integrity: pre-writing and composing (LA 9)

teacher-scored 35 points possible 50 minutes

Courtroom scene from To Kill a Mockingbird movie, 1962: Screenshot from movie, PD-US-no notice, WCCourtroom scene from To Kill a Mockingbird movie, 1962: Screenshot from movie, PD-US-no notice, WC

Begin working on an essay defining integrity.

What is integrity? Some of the readings this quarter all revolve at least partly around the issue of integrity, so you've already done quite a bit of "pre-writing" for this essay without even knowing that was what you were doing. In this expository essay, you will define and explain integrity, as a quality of human character, using examples from the readings and from your own experiences.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work by pasting it in to the assignment submission window for this assignment.

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Pre-writing

1. Using two different dictionaries (print or online), copy the dictionary definitions for integrity, and create a proper MLA citation for each:

  • A. Definition:
  • Citation:
  • B. Definition:
  • Citation:
  • C.  How is "integrity" related to other positive attributes - kindness, courage, and persistence - and how does it differ?

 

2. Using one of the two articles on integrity (linked in lesson 11.01), find two examples of integrity and one counter-example. You may copy exact quotes or paraphrase.  Explain why each example illustrates integrity (or the lack thereof).

  • A. Example:
  • B. Example:
  • C. Counter-example:
  • D. Citation:

 

3. Using one of the readings from unit 8, find two examples of integrity and one counter-example. You may copy exact quotes or paraphrase. Explain why each example illustrates integrity (or the lack thereof).

  • A. Example:
  • B. Example:
  • C. Counter-example:
  • D. Citation:

 

4. Using To Kill a Mockingbird, find two examples of integrity and one counter-example. You may copy exact quotes or paraphrase.  Explain why each example illustrates integrity (or the lack thereof).

  • A. Example:
  • B. Example:
  • C. Counter-example:
  • D. Citation:

 

5. From your own experiences, find two examples of integrity and one counter-example (someone NOT demonstrating integrity). You may ask your parents or friends for ideas, and you may copy exact quotes, or paraphrase. Explain why each example illustrates integrity (or the lack thereof).

  • A. Example:
  • B. Example:
  • C. Counter-example:

Composing  - Decide how you want to organize your essay.

Compose your first draft:  an introduction, at least two paragraphs in the body, and a conclusion.

You may (but don't have to) use one of the dictionary definitions as part of your introduction.

Use at least one example or counter-example from each of the readings in lesson 11.01, and from _To Kill a Mockingbird_, somewhere in the main part of your essay (no, you don't need to, and probably shouldn't, use every example you listed above).

Remember, though, that you are writing an essay, not just listing examples, so use the examples to illustrate your own ideas. Your draft needs to be at least 400 words long. It will be scored on ideas and organization, but I will also offer comments on other aspects to help you when you work on your revision.

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


11.02.03 Expository essay: revision (LA 9)

teacher-scored 30 points possible 50 minutes

After you have read my feedback on your initial draft, revise your essay defining integrity.

Copy your first draft of the essay into a word-processing document TWICE, with a line between the two copies. Leave the top one "as is." Do your revisions on the lower copy, save your work on your own computer, and then copy and paste the whole thing into the submission window for this assignment.

In this expository essay, you will define and explain integrity, using examples from the readings and from your own experiences. As you revise, ask yourself whether you have

  • the best, most relevant evidence, including specific examples from the readings and your own experience
  • explanations based on your own, best understanding
  • an organization and order that makes sense
  • transitions between paragraphs, sentences and ideas that help clarify relationships between the ideas, and support the reader's understanding of what you mean
  • a conclusion that shows the significance of integrity in our lives or in the world

Also add parenthetical (in-line) citations to quotes or paraphrases, MLA style, and a "works cited" page at the end.

Use the rubric below for further guidance in the revision process. Note that conventions will NOT be scored on this draft, though I may include comments on conventions to help you with your editing.

Category 5 (exceeds standards) 3 (meets standards) 1 (does not meet standards)
Introduction, organization, format & media Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings) when useful to aiding comprehension. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings) when useful to aiding comprehension. order may seem random or confusing; may not make effective use of format
Development of ideas and content Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic, drawing on the readings from this unit and from _To Kill a Mockingbird_, and personal experience; includes parenthetical notes and works cited page Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic, drawing on the readings from this quarter and personal experience; includes parenthetical notes and works cited page May lack facts, other information or examples; details may not be sufficient, relevant, specific or important.
Development of relationships, cohesion and flow Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. may not adequately clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Word choice, style and tone Use precise language, vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. Use precise language and vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. Use mostly abstract, general words and phrases; may not establish a formal style
Conclusion Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic), while providing a sense of confident closure, beyond just repetition of earlier statements Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). Writing just stops without a concluding statement or section; May just repeat rather than extend ideas about topic.
Revisions Makes significant, substantive changes and improvements in ideas, organization and/or word choice/style over the first draft Makes a few significant changes from the first draft No significant changes in content
Conventions and language skills (not scored on this draft) Has few or no errors in conventions, grammar, MLA style or usage; uses parallel structure and variety in sentences, phrases and clauses Has few errors in conventions, grammar, MLA style or usage; uses variety in sentence length and structure Has many errors in conventions, grammar, MLA style or usage, interfering with the reader’s ability to follow the ideas

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


11.02.04 Expository essay: editing (LA 9)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 30 minutes

Edit your essay defining integrity.

Copy your revision of the essay into a word-processing document TWICE, with a line between the two copies. Leave the top one "as is."

Do your editing on the lower copy, save your work on your own computer, and then copy and paste the whole thing into the submission window for this assignment.

In this expository essay, you will define and explain integrity, using examples from the readings and from your own experiences. As you edit, ask yourself whether you have

  • correct spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and capitalization
  • correct sentence structure (no run-ons or fragments)
  • parallel structure where applicable
  • MLA-style parenthetical references and works cited page
  • formal, attractive formatting
Category 10 (exceeds standards) 8 (meets standards) 2 (does not meet standards)
Conventions and language skills Has few or no errors in conventions, grammar, MLA style or usage; uses parallel structure and variety in sentences, phrases and clauses Has few errors in conventions, grammar, MLA style or usage; uses variety in sentence length and structure Has many errors in conventions, grammar, MLA style or usage, interfering with the reader’s ability to follow the ideas

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


12.00 Unit 12: Argumentation (LA 9)

Martin Luther King Jr delivering his &quot;I Have a Dream&quot; speech: &quot;Martin Luther King - March on Washington&quot; by Unknown, NARA, cataloged under the ARC Identifier 542069.Martin Luther King Jr delivering his "I Have a Dream" speech: "Martin Luther King - March on Washington" by Unknown, NARA, cataloged under the ARC Identifier 542069.

 

An important 'big idea' we focus on in English 9: Writers choose details, evidence, events and characters' words and actions to develop main ideas, claims or themes; readers use details, examples and evidence to infer main ideas, claims or themes.

In unit twelve, you will consider important components of "argument," both in reading/listening and in writing/speaking.

The purpose of argument is to set forth claims, counterclaims, reasons, and relevant evidence in such a way as to determine and clarify the accuracy or truth of the matter. You should expect the lessons and assignments in this unit to take you about nine to eleven hours of concentrated work.

Some key concepts you need to understand in argument:

 

Fact vs. opinion:  

A fact is a true piece of specific information (People die without oxygen; dogs are four-legged animals; sandstone is a sedimentary rock; the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776).  A fact can be proven true (or false).

An opinion is somone's belief or feeling about a topic or thing. (Pizza tastes better with ranch dressing. Rap isn't really music. Teenagers should all be sent to work in coal mines.)

Logic: systematic reasoning; reaching a conclusion or judgment based on reasons, evidence, inference and/or established principles.

Ethos, Pathos and Logos:

Aristotle classified the techniques of rhetoric into three categories. Their Greek names are ethos, pathos and logos.

Ethos has to do with changing how you perceive the speaker/writer himself (or herself) and his/her credibility or authority.
Do you trust the speaker? Do you like him/her? Does s/he have a reputation for being honest and accurate? If you answer "yes" to those questions, you are more likely to be persuaded to agree with the speaker. An attractive, charismatic speaker who seems to have a strong belief in his/her message will persuade or motivate more listeners.  If the speaker deliberately tries to use and improve his/her credibility as a way of persuading you, that is ethos.  A person's style of writing or speaking can have a major effect on whether you believe what s/he is saying.  In recent decades, many politicians running for president or other major offices have made a deliberate effort to seem more "folksy" or "down to earth" (think "Duck Dynasty") rather than more educated or sophisticated. Note that ethos is not about ethics (except in the limited sense that a speaker/writer might try to persuade you based on his/her ethical character).  Ethos is about the speaker/writer trying to manipulate the audience to trust and agree, based on his/her character, expertise, or position of authority.

Pathos has to do with emotional reactions.
Appealing to listeners' concerns or hopes, the speaker tries to arouse fear, anger, shame, sorrow, happiness or sympathy, often using 'loaded language'--words calculated to 'push your buttons.' (If you're thinking of political speeches or commercial advertising, you're on the right track.) References to patriotism or loyalty to one's group; examples of wounded veterans, dying children, abused animals, or unemployed people losing their homes; or images of sexy models, happy families, beautiful scenery, or the trappings of wealth are all often used to manipulate viewers' and listeners' emotions. It is human nature to be easily swayed by emotion.

Logos has to do with logic, knowledge, reasons, and facts.
The use of statistics, scientific studies, cause-and-effect relationships, and parallels from history are all examples of logos. Note, however, that logos can be used to mislead as well as to impart accurate information. A speaker who is working from false premises will arrive at false conclusions, even using logic.
Logos should be the most important basis for persuasion, but generally, people are more easily persuaded by personal appeal and emotion. Why do you believe the things you do? Probably, in most cases, because your family members or friends believe those things.

In this class, we will use 'argumentation' to mean logos--the use of logic and evidence in communication. Just as a poet or fiction writer uses carefully-chosen specific details to shape and clarify a poem or story, a writer of argument uses facts, examples and evidence to shape and clarify the meaning.

How is argument different from persuasion?

The purpose of persuasion is to convince others of something (regardless of whether it is true). The purpose of argument is to determine and communicate the truth about something. That said, argument may sometimes be used as part of persuasion.

 

12.01 Letter from a Birmingham Jail (LA 9)

Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments. Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1963 (both would later be assassinated in separate incidents): Wikimedia Commons, Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, public domainMartin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1963 (both would later be assassinated in separate incidents): Wikimedia Commons, Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, public domain "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is a modern classic of argument, and a window into the mind of a man who helped bring about major changes in American law and society. In "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," Martin Luther King Jr. discusses actual events, choices and actions. His purpose is primarily to lay out the evidence supporting his position.

Before you read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," review the Gettysburg Address and this excerpt from The Declaration of Independence:

"The Gettysburg Address" by President Abraham Lincoln, 1863

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

from "The Declaration of Independence" by Thomas Jefferson, 1776

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

As you read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (link below), consider what Martin Luther King Jr's arguments have in common with Jefferson's and Lincoln's, and how they differ.

Look for the examples and evidence King uses to support his arguments.

12.01.01 Letter from a Birmingham Jail analysis (LA 9)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 30 minutes

In the course of this assignment, you will need to locate or infer some of the authors' beliefs. Consider events, people's choices, and the consequences of those choices, along with explicit statements you may find.

There are many possible right answers to the questions, but there are also many possible wrong answers. You need to be able to justify your statements with evidence from the texts. Any answer that is right can be supported with evidence from the text.

I suggest you review the unit eight lesson on theme before completing this assignment.

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word-processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself. Then submit your work using the assignment submission window for this assignment.

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PreWriting

  1. Locate and list at least two phrases, ideas or motifs from "The Gettysburg Address" that are used repeatedly during Lincoln's speech.
  2. List a theme from "The Gettysburg Address" that expresses a belief about human rights. Remember, a theme is a complete sentence that makes a general statement. Explain what evidence from the text you can find in support of that theme.
    • a.
  3. Locate and list at least two phrases, ideas or motifs from the excerpt from "The Declaration of Independence" that are used repeatedly in the document.
  4. List a theme from "The Declaration of Independence" that expresses a belief about human rights. Remember, a theme is a complete sentence that makes a general statement. Explain what evidence from the text you can find in support of that theme.
    • a.
  5. Locate and list at least six phrases, ideas or motifs from "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" that are used repeatedly during the letter.
  6. List three themes from "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (either in your own words, or as direct quotations) that express a belief about human rights. Remember, a theme is a complete sentence that makes a general statement. For each theme, explain what evidence from the text you can find in support of that theme.
    • a.
    • b.
    • c.
  7. For which of the readings was it easier for you to identify themes? Why do you think that was?
  8. How are the themes from "The Gettysburg Address" and "The Declaration of Independence" related to the themes from "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"? Consider each of the themes specifically, and/or consider them as a group. Compare and/or contrast.
  9. How do you think reading these three pieces together affected (or didn't affect) the themes you picked out?
  10. In your own words, summarize the most important, main idea from "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".
  11. How does Martin Luther King Jr. use ideas from "The Gettysburg Address" and/or "The Declaration of Independence" to support his claims?
  12. Give an example from "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" of how King deals with a counterargument (an idea that opposes one of his claims, and how he responds).

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


12.01.02 Performance Assessment (LA 9)

In this quiz, you will do a close reading of several excerpts and identify commonalities.  I encourage you to ask someone else to read the following selections and discuss them with you before you compose your answers to the quiz questions.

Excerpt from "Brown vs. the Board of Education" majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Earl Warren in 1954:

In approaching this problem, we cannot turn the clock back to 1868, when the Amendment was adopted, or even to 1896, when Plessy v. Ferguson was written. We must consider public education in the light of its full development and its present place in American life throughout the Nation. Only in this way can it be determined if segregation in public schools deprives these plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws.

Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the armed forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.

We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.

In Sweatt v. Painter, supra, in finding that a segregated law school for Negroes could not provide them equal educational opportunities, this Court relied in large part on "those qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness in a law school." In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, supra, the Court, in requiring that a Negro admitted to a white graduate school be treated like all other students, again resorted to intangible considerations: ". . . his ability to study, to engage in discussions and exchange views with other students, and, in general, to learn his profession." Such considerations apply with added force to children in grade and high schools. To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone. The effect of this separation on their educational opportunities was well stated by a finding in the Kansas case by a court which nevertheless felt compelled to rule against the Negro plaintiffs:

Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system.

Whatever may have been the extent of psychological knowledge at the time of Plessy v. Ferguson, this finding is amply supported by modern authority. Any language in Plessy v. Ferguson contrary to this finding is rejected.

We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. This disposition makes unnecessary any discussion whether such segregation also violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Arkansas National Guard denies entrance to black students at Central High School, September 4, 1957: Will Counts, Arkansas History CommissionArkansas National Guard denies entrance to black students at Central High School, September 4, 1957: Will Counts, Arkansas History Commission

Excerpt from Alabama Governor George Wallace's inaugural address, 1963:

"It is very appropriate that from this cradle of the Confederacy, this very heart of the great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us time and again down through history. Let us rise to the call for freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever...

Let us send this message back to Washington by our representatives who are with us today... that from this day we are standing up, and the heel of tyranny does not fit the neck of an upright man... that we intend to take the offensive and carry our fight for freedom across this nation, wielding the balance of power we know we possess in the Southland... that WE, not the insipid bloc voters of some sections will determine in the next election who shall sit in the White House of these United States... that from this day... from this hour... from this minute... we give the word of a race of honor that we will tolerate their boot in our face no longer... and let those certain judges put that in their opium pipes of power and smoke it for what it is worth."

12.01.02 Performance Assessment quiz (LA 9)

both teacher- and computer-scored 25 points possible 60 minutes

Note that this quiz is different from other quizzes in the class.  It is longer and requires detailed, essay answers. 

You may take this quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 60%.

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


12.02 More about argument (LA 9)

Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

The readings and activities for this lesson will extend your understanding of argument.

“An argument is a set of reasons or evidence (premises) in support of a conclusion. An argument is not merely a statement of views, nor is an argument simply a dispute. Arguments are attempts to support certain views with reasons.” - Weston, Anthony. (1992) A Rulebook for Arguments

Notice, from this definition, that you could structure a simple argument something like this:

The reasons that I believe that ____________ is best include ______________, ______________ and __________________. (if you had three reasons for your view) OR

______________________ is good (or bad) because _____________________.

A few basics of logic EHS imageEHS image

Inductive logic works from specific cases, patterns, or examples to reach a general rule. The more specific cases you observe to support the general rule, the more likely it is that the rule is correct. However, with inductive logic there is a chance that the rule might not always be true. You probably haven't checked all the possibilities. Consider this example:

Back before there were long-distance communications or quick transportation, people who lived in the middle of Utah would have observed that in the cold part of the winter, water freezes. Puddles freeze, bowls of water left outside freeze, lakes freeze, even streams and rivers eventually freeze. This happens year after year, and people (using inductive logic) conclude that this is a universal rule: water freezes in cold winter weather. You and I know that this rule is generally true. However, one winter, someone travels north to the edge of the Great Salt Lake. What's this? A whole lake of water that isn't frozen in the dead of winter? Turns out our 'rule' needs to be revised: "Fresh water freezes in cold winter weather."

Deductive logic starts with a general rule (the premise) and applies it to a specific case.

A premise is a statement that has previously been determined to be true--often, something 'taken for granted.' In formal logic, the premise(s) must be explicitly stated, but in general use, in many discussions of politics, religion or other issues, the speaker/writer may leave some premises unspoken, assumed. In that case, you (as the reader, or listener) may need to question or infer the unspoken assumptions before you can evaluate the conclusions based on this logic.

When you evaluate a claim based on deduction, there are two separate issues you must consider: whether the premises are true, and whether the logic is valid.

  • Are the premises true?

    Consider this example: Premises: All water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below. The Great Salt Lake is water. Today the temperature is 27 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Conclusion: Today there will be ice on the Great Salt Lake. The logic is valid, BUT one of the premises is not true--salt water has a lower freezing point than fresh water. The conclusion is false.

  • Is the logic valid? Consider these examples:

1. Premises: All girls are human. John is human.
Conclusion: John must be a girl. The premises are true, BUT the logic is not valid. The premise didn't say "all humans are girls" or "only girls are humans"; it said "all girls are humans" The conclusion is false because it says John MUST be a girl, and we don't have enough information to know that.

2. Premises: Rabbits are afraid of dogs. Michael is afraid of dogs.
Conclusion: Michael must be a rabbit. Even if we say the premises are true, this logic is not valid. The premise doesn't say "ONLY rabbits are afraid of dogs." The conclusion is false. Robert MIGHT be a rabbit, but we don't have enough information to say he MUST be a rabbit.

Correlation and causation

Human beings all seem to be interested in finding out WHY things happen - looking for causes. When two things happen about the same time, we wonder whether one caused the other. We also have a natural tendency to look for patterns, to remember things that fit a pattern we've noticed, and forget things that don't fit the pattern.

In creating and evaluating arguments, it is very important to understand the difference between correlation and causation.

Causation: When one thing CAUSES another, we say that there is a causal relationship (not to be confused with a 'casual relationship'!), or that we have causation. Consider these examples:

1. When the temperature in the winter drops below freezing, the water in my dogs' outside water bowls freezes. These two things tend to happen about the same time. Is there a causal relationship? If so, what is it? (Yes, I know you're thinking "DUH!" but bear with me.)
Presuming that there IS a causal relationship, it could be one of two: The water freezing in the dog bowls causes the cold weather.... OR... The cold weather causes the water in the dog bowls to freeze. Of course, we know which is the correct relationship, but what if we didn't? Generally, a cause precedes an effect. If we observe carefully, we see that the weather gets cold before the water in the dish freezes, so probably cold weather causes the water to freeze, not the other way around.

2. For three days in a row, you miss the bus and your mom has to drive you to school. Your mom is annoyed with you those three days. Is there a causal relationship?
Well, if your mom is anything like my mom, yes! The reason (cause) that she is annoyed with you is that you were late and she had to take time to drive you to school. [Possibly this relationship goes both ways, if you were late deliberately to annoy your mom!]

Correlation: when two things tend to happen together, whether or not there is a causal relationship, we say they are correlated. Consider these examples:

1. Every year, there are about equal amounts of daylight and darkness. Also every year, there are about equal numbers of boy babies and girl babies born. Is there a causal relationship?
No. The relative numbers of boy and girl babies are not affected by the hours of light and darkness. This is correlation only.

2. For at least 60 years, research has noted that people who don't exercise are more likely to die relatively young. There is a correlation between not exercising and dying younger. Is there a causal relationship?
Yes. Additional research has determined that lack of exercise leaves our hearts and immune systems weaker, so that we don't live as long. This is both correlation AND causation.

3. We might also note that nearly all people who die of cancer slept in beds most of their lives. There is a correlation between sleeping in a bed and dying of cancer. Is there a causal relationship?
No. People who don't die of cancer also sleep in beds most of their lives. There is a correlation, but not causation.

Important: Correlation does NOT imply causation. When you notice a correlation between two things, that is a reason to ask whether there is a causal relationship, and how that might work; it is NOT a reason to ASSUME causation.

You may be thinking, "Those were all stupid examples. How is this important in the real world?" Here are just a couple examples of important real-life issues where we need to figure out whether causation or just correlation are at work:

1. Climate change/global warming: It has now been established beyond a reasonable doubt that the average temperature on Earth has gone up slightly over the past 300 years. Over the same time period, human populations and the burning of fossil fuels have increased dramatically. There is definitely a correlation between global temperatures and human-caused burning of fossil fuels. A huge debate going on internationally is over this question: Is there a causal relationship between human activities and global climate change?
The question is important because if we figure out the causes of climate change, we might reasonably try to take action against climate change. Without knowing causal relationships, any action we take is like a shot in the dark.

2. Economic problems: Over the years 2005 to 2011, various economic problems existed in the US (and to greater or lesser degrees, in many other countries); unemployment was up, the housing market crashed, national debt was up, the stock market was mostly down, health care costs were up. We can find correlations between these problems and other data: who was President, whether the Congress was controlled by Democrats or Republicans, the price of gold, money spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, total snow depth at Alta ski resort, illegal immigrants, global warming, UFO sightings, Super Bowl scores, the wolf population, the discovery of other Earth-like planets, the amount of government regulation, tax rates.... we could go on and on.
Clearly, many of the correlated events have no causal relationship with economic problems. Yet some of the correlated events must have causal relationships with the economic problems. Again, if we can sort out causes from effects and simple correlations, we can attempt to make changes that will bring improvement.

When you evaluate arguments, or when you develop arguments, you need to carefully consider issues of logic and causation.

12.02.01 Inference and implication in argument (LA 9)

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone. Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter). Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Imply: to suggest indirectly (rather than state explicitly); to hint; to suggest that a conclusion necessarily follows from a prior statement (premise)

Infer: to figure out or guess by reasoning from evidence

Here is an excerpt from a famous essay written in 2001 by Anna Quindlen.  It is a good example of inference. Notice how much she infers

[A Quilt of a Country is a commentary written by Pulitzer-prize winning author Anna Quindlen for 'Newsweek' following the devastation of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. The premise behind this article is that despite the diversity that can create a lot of problems within cities across America, diversity serves as a tribute to what makes America special.] http://study.com/academy/lesson/a-quilt-of-a-country-summary-analysis-quotes.html

# # #

A Quilt of a Country By Anna Quindlen

Quindlen, Anna. “A Quilt of a Country.” Newsweek September 27, 2001. (2001)
America is an improbable idea. A mongrel nation built of ever-changing disparate parts, it is held together by a no-
tion, the notion that all men are created equal, though everyone knows that most men consider themselves better
than someone. “Of all the nations in the world, the United States was built in nobody’s image,” the historian Daniel
Boorstin wrote. That’s because it was built of bits and pieces that seem discordant, like the crazy quilts that have
been one of its great folk-art forms, velvet and calico and checks and brocades. Out of many, one. That is the ideal.
 

 

Now let's break down this famous, heavily inferenced, quote. 

 

America is an improbable idea, a mongrel nation built of ever changing disparate parts,

1.  Disparate parts can also be a reference or inference to the melting pot notion that was described in the 1780's to describe the large population of immigrants. 

it is held together by a notion, the notion that all men are created equal,

2.  All men are created equal is a reference or inference to the second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence. 

though everyone knows that most men consider themselves better than someone. "Of all the nations in the
world, the United States was built in nobody's image," the historian Daniel Boorstin
wrote.

3.  Inference to historian Daniel Boorstin

That's because it was built of bits and pieces that seem discordant, like the crazy
quilts that have been one of its great folkart forms, velvet and calico and checks and
brocades.

4.  Inference to Whitney Otto's "How to Make an American Quilt"

Out of many, one. That is the ideal.

5. Inference to The 13-letter motto suggested in 1776 by Pierre Eugene du Simitiere, E pluribus unum (Out of many, one)

# # #

Inference often depends on the reader being familiar with the situations or allusions the writer uses.  For instance, most of us have experience with trying to walk or stand on a steep slope and/or on slippery ground (ice, snow, mud, sand).  At the least, most of us have seen movies where a character is having trouble on steep, slippery ground.  Without that experience, Edwards' points would not make much sense.

When you are making an argument, it is sometimes best to imply a point instead of stating it straight out. For instance, in a debate you shouldn't specifically say that your opponent is stupid... but you might imply that, indirectly.  However, if you refer to an example, it's important to use examples your audience will be familiar with.  If a person knows nothing about World War II, s/he won't likely get the point of a comparison to Hitler or Hiroshima.

When you are developing your argument, also be aware that your statements might imply something you didn't really want to imply; be careful to say precisely what you mean. Only use irony/sarcasm if you are sure your audience will take it the right way.

When you are trying to understand someone else's argument, it is often important to be able to infer more than what is openly stated. For instance, in recent election speeches or debates, if a speaker said it was important for a President, or senator, to have had military experience, you might reasonably wonder whether the speaker really meant that military experience is important, or to draw negative attention to another candidate for avoiding the draft, or to suggest that you shouldn't consider a particular woman candidate (yes, I know women can be in the military, but not many women of the age to be running for national office served in the military).

You should also pay attention to the difference between what the argument actually states, and what you infer; or to the possibility that the speaker/writer is being sarcastic or ironic, and actually means the opposite of what s/he says.

12.02.02 Figurative language in argument (LA 9)

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.

Figurative language, or figures of speech, is what we call use of words or phrases when we aren't using them in the everyday, literal sense. Clear as mud? (Hah! That's an example of figurative language, right there!)

When you look at the examples, it will be easier. You use and hear figurative language all the time, even if you don't recognize the names of the specific types. Whether you are writing argument, description, or narrative, figurative language can make your writing (or speech) stronger. Many difficult concepts are easier to understand when they are explained figuratively, and arguments may be more persuasive or compelling when couched in figurative speech.

For examples of that, let's go back to "A Quilt Of A Country" by Anna Quindlen. These excerpts are from later in the article:

There is that Calvinist undercurrent in the American psyche that loves the difficult, the demanding, that sees mastering the impossible, whether it be prairie or subway, as a test of character, and so glories in the struggle of this fractured coalescing. And there is a grudging fairness among the citizens of the United States that eventually leads most to admit that, no matter what the English-only advocates try to suggest, the new immigrants are not so different from our own parents or grandparents. Leonel Castillo, former director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and himself the grandson of Mexican immigrants, once told the writer Studs Terkel proudly, "The old neighborhood Ma-Pa stores are still around. They are not Italian or Jewish or Eastern European any more. Ma and Pa are now Korean, Vietnamese, Iraqi, Jordanian, Latin American. They live in the store. They work seven days a week. Their kids are doing well in school. They're making it. Sound familiar?"

Tolerance is the word used most often when this kind of coexistence succeeds, but tolerance is a vanilla-pudding word, standing for little more than the allowance of letting others live unremarked and unmolested. Pride seems excessive, given the American willingness to endlessly complain about them, them being whoever is new, different, unknown or currently under suspicion. But patriotism is partly taking pride in this unlikely ability to throw all of us together in a country that across its length and breadth is as different as a dozen countries, and still be able to call it by one name. When photographs of the faces of all those who died in the World Trade Center destruction are assembled in one place, it will be possible to trace in the skin color, the shape of the eyes and the noses, the texture of the hair, a map of the world. These are the representatives of a mongrel nation that somehow, at times like this, has one spirit. Like many improbable ideas, when it actually works, it's a wonder.

These excerpts creates vivid images and a stronger reaction than if she had just said, "Our nation's tragedies join us together."

Specific types of figurative language

You have been introduced to some forms of figurative language earlier in your school experience. At the least, you should recognize metaphor, simile and personification:

Simile: making a comparison between two things not generally considered alike, using comparison words such as 'like', 'as', or 'than'.

"...his wrath towards you burns like fire;"

simile: His breath stank like rotten fish.
not a simile: His breath stank like my grandpa's breath. *Why is this not a simile?

simile: Sharon was as slender as a willow wand.
not a simile: Sharon was as slender as most other ballet dancers. *Why is this not a simile?

simile: The blizzard wind was more powerful than a D-9 Cat piling up the snow.
simile: Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead.

* The two starred sentences aren't similes because they are comparing things that we would expect to be more or less alike, NOT things we normally think of as quite different.

Metaphor: making an implied comparison between two things not generally considered alike, without using 'like', 'as', 'than' or other direct comparative words.

metaphor: The blizzard wind was a D-9 Cat piling up the snow.
not a metaphor: The horse's hoofbeats were like drumbeats on the boardwalk. *Why is this not a metaphor?

metaphor: The horse's hooves drummed a dance rhythm on the boardwalk.
not a metaphor: Lacrosse is soccer played with a stick. *Why is this not a metaphor?
metaphor: The lone tree is a sentinel at the end of the driveway.
metaphor: The bow of God's wrath is bent.

* The first starred sentence isn't a metaphor because it uses "like" to make the comparison, making it a simile. The second starred sentence isn't a metaphor because it is comparing things (two sports) that we would expect to be more or less alike, NOT things we normally think of as quite different.

Personification: referring to non-living things (or sometimes plants or animals) as if they could behave in human ways; you might consider this a sub-category of metaphor

personification: The sun smiled down on their picnic.
personification: The dog danced around, laughing at the treed cat.
personification: "... that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood."

not personification: "That parrot could sing like an opera star. *Why is this not personification?
*The parrot sentence has two problems: first, it might be considered a simile, since it uses "like" to make the comparison. More important, it might be a literal statement. We know that parrots can be trained to talk, so it may literally be true that the parrot sings like an opera star.

Analogy: an extended metaphor or simile that draws parallels between two specific pairs of things for the purpose of establishing a logical connection. The most basic form of an analogy follows the pattern "a is to b as c is to d" (these are often used on standardized tests). In argument, more complex analogies are used as evidence in support of a point. Examples of analogies:

Shoe is to foot as glove is to hand.

"...helping to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at. There is nothing easy about it." - General David Petraeus

Just as the complexity of something like a computer suggests that there must have been someone who designed it, so the complexity of the universe suggests that there must have been a designer.

A submarine can navigate using sonar, much as a bat navigates using echolocation.

&quot;Sent to Davy Jones locker&quot; (euphemism for death at sea): John Tenniel, Punch magazine, 1892, public domain"Sent to Davy Jones locker" (euphemism for death at sea): John Tenniel, Punch magazine, 1892, public domain

Euphemism: a more socially acceptable way of referring to something regarded as objectionable, private, offensive or hurtful. Euphemisms may change over time as expressions once considered too explicit become acceptable, or expressions once considered acceptable become offensive. Examples of euphemisms:

passed away, no longer with us, returned to his/her heavenly Father, left this life, gone ahead (all euphemisms for died)
let go, lost his job (fired)
not playing with a full deck, one brick shy of a load, nutty, not quite all there (crazy, mentally ill)

Hyperbole: a deliberate exaggeration for effect; overstatement. Examples of hyperbole:

I was so hungry I could eat the whole cow.
He drove so fast, he broke the sound barrier on his way to the hospital.
Every person alive loves chocolate.

Understatement: a deliberate minimization. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole. The British have a reputation for understatement. Examples of understatement:

"across the pond" (meaning across the Atlantic ocean)
"a bit breezy" (referring to a hurricane)
"I'd prefer another option" (said by a person about to be hanged)

Oxymoron: an expression that appears to be or contain a contradiction in terms; a paradox. Technically, something only counts as an oxymoron if it was intended to be paradoxical (as opposed to being written or spoken that way accidentally or unintentionally). Examples of oxymorons:

Giant shrimp: by Takeaway, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported via Wikimedia CommonsGiant shrimp: by Takeaway, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported via Wikimedia Commons

dwarf giant, precise estimate, baggy tights, clear as mud, fairly unique, extremely moderate, less is more, original copy, living dead, deafening silence, bitter sweet

 Not quite oxymorons: Sometimes people create contradictions intended to be humorous. Probably the most common example of this is jokes about "military intelligence", when the implication is that military and intelligent are mutually exclusive terms.
"Honest politician" and "educational television" are other examples of expressions that may be used ironically, to suggest that no politicians are honest, and no television shows are educational.

12.02.03 Argument in Poetry (LA 9)

teacher-scored 20 points possible 20 minutes

 

We generally expect arguments to be presented in essays, articles or speeches, but argument can be communicated in other forms.

Read the poem "Just Keep Quiet and Nobody Will Notice" by Ogden Nash (use link below).

Copy and paste the section between the lines of asterisks into a word processing document on your computer. Complete your work, and save a copy for yourself.

Then submit your work by pasting it in to the assignment submission window for this assignment.

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

1. What are some of the apologies that the poem alludes to?  List at least three details from the poem as evidence for your answer.

2. What are three examples of figurative language in this poem? Quote the examples, and identify what kind of figurative language they use.

a.
b.
c.

3. List two examples of ideas implied (not stated explicitly) in the poem, and how Nash implies them.

a.
b.

4. What is the poet's claim (conclusion) in this poem, in their own words? (Your answer to this question should be a direct quote from the poem.)

5. What is their evidence (reason) for this conclusion? (Again, use a direct quote from the poem.)

6. Now, in your own words (two or three sentences), summarize the argument (claim and evidence) this poem presents.

7. Do you concur with Nash's claim? Why or why not?

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

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


12.02.04 Quiz on argument (LA 9)

computer-scored 20 points possible 25 minutes

This quiz covers the material from lessons and readings in unit 12. You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 70%.

 

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


12.03 Write an argument essay (LA 9)

Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto, Germany, about 1941: Unknown photographer, WC, public domainJewish children in the Warsaw ghetto, Germany, about 1941: Unknown photographer, WC, public domain

 

As you begin work on your argument essay, as explained in the assignments below, keep in mind the goals of argument:

  • research the issue
  • gather facts, evidence and examples from reliable sources
  • develop a main claim
  • organize your evidence to support the claim in at least two ways
  • acknowledge a counterclaim, and explain why it is either inaccurate or less important
  • develop a conclusion 

Be sure to choose an arguable issue - one that people disagree about - within the area of the assigned topic.  If everyone is in agreement about the issue, you will end up with another expository essay.  Hint: if you can't find counterclaims, your issue may not be arguable.

12.03.01 Write an argument essay: pre-writing and research (LA 9)

teacher-scored 25 points possible 30 minutes

In his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King articulated his dream that in the future, people would be judged by "the content of their character" rather than by things such as skin color, gender, religion, nationality, age, appearance, or other external factors.  That is a big topic - too big for a short argument essay - so your assignment is to write about how one aspect of that dream has - or has not - been realized in the area where you live.

**Question 3 asks you to group people based on at least three criteria.  Some criteria you might consider include age, gender, economic status, religion, education, hobbies or lifestyle, race, location, background, temperament, fitness, food preferences, style, looks... etc.  Within each criteria, identify two or more groups (for example, if you were grouping people by the kind of music they like, your groups might include hard rock, ska, country, rap, classical, pop...).

Answer the questions below.  Submit the questions and answers either by copy and paste, or as an attached document. 

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

A: Your community

1.  Where do you live? Is it a city, small town, or rural area?

2. How many people live in your town/city? If you live outside any towns, how many people live in the nearest town?

3.  How could you classify the people of your community into different groups?  Consider at least three kinds of criteria for grouping them, with at least two groups for each criteria (see instructions above):

3a.

3b.

3c.

3d. Which groups are in the majority (that is, which groups have the most people)?

4.  Which group(s) have the highest social status/prestige in the eyes of most people in your community?

5.  Which group(s) may be looked down on in the eyes of most people in your community?

B: Character

6.  What did King mean by "the content of their character"?

7.  Give three reasons why judging others based on the content of their character is preferable to judging based on other factors.

a.

b.

c.

C: Your experiences (be honest, and think about these - don't just answer the way you think a person should)

8.   When you meet someone new, what are the first things you notice?

9.  When someone new meets you for the first time, what do you think they notice first about you?

10.  List and explain three times when you have seen someone (or a group of people) being mean or rude to a person, in your community or school.  

a.

b.

c. 

11. In your experience, what are factors likely to cause someone to be treated badly?  List at least five.

12.  Which of the factors you listed for #11 would be part of "the content of their character"?  Which would not?

13.  Write two possible claims for your argument essay about whether King's dream of people being judged by the content of their character has - or has not - been realized in your community.

14.  Research to find at least two quotations from other sources (your local newspaper might be a good source; they may have a website you could search) you could use either to support your claim, or to support a counter-argument.  List the quotations and the sources here.

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

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


12.03.02 Write an argument essay: composing (LA 9)

teacher-scored 24 points possible 45 minutes

In his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King articulated his dream that in the future, people would be judged by "the content of their character" rather than by things such as skin color, gender, religion, nationality or other external factors.  That is a big topic - too big for a short argument essay - so your assignment is to write about how one aspect of that dream has - or has not - been realized in the area where you live.

Include personal experiences, but also bring in at least two quotations or information from other sources.

Remember you need to address a counterclaim in your essay. 

The first draft (at least 300 words) will be scored mainly on ideas and organization.

Category 8 (exceeds standards) 6 (meets standards) 1 (does not meet standards)
Introduction & organization Introduces precise, knowledgeable claim, establishes significance, distinguishes from opposing or alternate claims, and sets up logical organization of claims, counterclaims, reasons and evidence Introduces claim and main reasons; distinguishes claim from counterclaims; sets up basic organization of claims, counter claims, reasons, evidence Introduces topic, but may not make a clear claim or distinguish between claim and counterclaim
Development of ideas and content Develops claims and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplies most relevant data and evidence, points out strength and limitations, anticipating audience knowledge, concerns, biases and values, using personal experiences, logic, information from research and readings, and figurative language Develops claims and counter claims fairly, supplies data and evidence, pointing out strengths and limitations, anticipating audience questions and knowledge, using personal experiences, logic, information from research, and figurative language Supplies reasoning and/or evidence about topic, but may not clearly support claim, or may not supply specific evidence

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


12.03.03 Argument Essay: revising (LA 9)

teacher-scored 24 points possible 30 minutes

After you have read my feedback on your initial draft, revise the first draft of your essay.

  • You may need to add more evidence, examples, or quotes (make sure to reference your sources); remember, you MUST include at least two quotations or facts from your research
  • cut out irrelevant information or weak evidence
  • improve the discussion of counterclaims (it is human nature to focus on what we believe, but for a good score, you need to fairly represent the opposing viewpoint, also)
  • create stronger transitions; clarify cause/effect, comparison, or other relationships
  • improve sentence structure or choice of words/phrases; and/or add to your introduction or conclusion.

Evaluate your essay based on the rubric to help you decide what you need to work on. This draft (at least 400 words) will be scored according to the following rubric:

Category 4 (exceeds standards) 3 (meets standards) 1 (does not meet standards)
Introduction & organization Introduces precise, knowledgeable claim, establishes significance, distinguishes from opposing or alternate claims, and sets up logical organization of claims, counterclaims, reasons and evidence Introduces claim and main reasons; distinguishes claim from counterclaims; sets up basic organization of claims, counter claims, reasons, evidence Introduces topic, but may not make a clear claim or distinguish between claim and counterclaim
Development of ideas and content Develops main general claim and counterclaim(s) fairly and thoroughly, includes personal examples, supplies most relevant data and evidence, points out strength and limitations, anticipating audience knowledge, concerns, biases and values, using at least two other sources Develops claims and counter claims fairly, supplies data and evidence, personal experience, pointing out strengths and limitations, anticipating audience questions and knowledge, using at least two other sources Supplies reasoning and/or evidence about topic, but may not clearly support claim, or may not supply specific evidence; may depend too heavily on pathos
Development of relationships, cohesion and flow Uses words, clauses and phrases, as well as varied syntax, to link major sections of the text, create cohesion and clarify the relationships between claims and reasons, claims and counterclaims, reasons and evidence. Uses words, clauses and phrases to link major sections of the text, create cohesion and clarify the relationships between claims and reasons, claims and counterclaims, reasons and evidence. May not adequately signal sequence or relationships.
Word choice, style and tone Establish and maintain a smooth, formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms, vocabulary and conventions of the discipline for which they are writing Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline for which they are writing Use mostly abstract, general words and phrases or emotional appeals; may not establish a formal style
Conclusion Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented, while providing a sense of confident closure, beyond just repetition of earlier statements Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from or supports the argument presented Writing just stops without a concluding statement or section
Revisions At least six significant, substantive changes, additions and improvements in claims, examples, reasons, evidence, organization, style and/or flow over the original draft Substantive changes in content over original draft No substantive changes

 

Important: Avoid plagiarism by crediting your sources, using MLA style.

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


12.03.04 Argument Essay: editing (LA 9)

teacher-scored 15 points possible 15 minutes

Edit your argument essay to correct all conventions errors (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, indenting, parallelism, and sentence structure).

Make sure you have credited your sources. (Review the information from the previous unit about MLA style citations.)

You need a "works cited" list at the end of your paper; include at least the author's name, article title and publication date for each source.  Then, within the main part of your essay add in-text citations: wherever you use information from one of your sources, put the author's last name (or the first two or three words of the article title, if no author was listed) in parenthesis right after the sentence or section where you used the quotation or information from that source.

Wherever you used any direct quotes, put them in quotation marks (as well as using an in-text citation afterwards). 

Submit the edited version to your teacher. This draft will be scored according to the following rubric:

Category 5 (exceeds standards) 3 (meets standards) 1 (does not meet standards)
Documents sources Uses in-text citations and a works cited list at the end of the essay, in MLA or similar style Uses in-text citations and a works cited list at the end of the essay Does not acknowledge and/or list sources
Sentence structure Uses parallel structure and variety in sentences, phrases and clauses; no fragments or run-on sentences Uses variety in sentence length and structure; less than three fragments or run-on sentences. Errors in sentence structure make ideas hard to follow.
Conventions and language skills Has few or no errors in conventions, grammar or usage; uses parallel structure and variety in sentences, phrases and clauses Has few errors in conventions, grammar or usage; uses variety in sentence length and structure Has many errors in conventions, grammar or usage, interfering with the reader’s ability to follow the ideas

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


12.04 Preparing for Your Final Test (LA 9)

Go to the quiz link in Module 3 on the main class page to take your last quiz.  You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 65%.

This quiz covers all units in the class.  It is sort of like a "mini final test" except that it doesn't have essay questions (your final will include three major essay questions as well as the multiple choice/matching type questions).

Be sure to submit your "Ready" assignment at least 24 hours before you need to take your final test.

12.04.01 Quiz: review for final test (LA 9)

computer-scored 20 points possible 25 minutes

This quiz covers the material from lessons and readings in the whole class, and is similar to the computer-scored part of the final test. You may take the quiz multiple times, but you must score at least 65%.

The actual final test will be longer, and include some essay questions.

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