Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"The Necklace" and "Wings"

You spent several weeks reading, writing, editing, and perfecting your comparative analysis essay of "The Cask of Amontillado" and The Night of the Hunter. This week, you will have those skills put to the test as you write an on-demand comparative analysis essay on Friday. The two texts you are going to compare and contrast are "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant and the song lyrics of "Wings" by Macklamore.

Your essay will be evaluated with this rubric.

Monday, March 20, 2017


If you were absent today, or just want a refresher on the SIFT method of poetry analysis, here is a link the Prezi we viewed in class.

Use the following frame to write an analytical response paragraph to "Introduction to Poetry."

Friday, March 17, 2017

Socratic Seminar

Today is our independent reading Socratic Seminar! If you are absent, you must attend the make-up Socratic on April 5 during advisory and lunch.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Preparing for the Socratic Seminar

Our independent reading Socratic Seminar is this Friday. You must come prepared with your preparation note sheet. Additionally, please add at least three open-ended discussion questions. These are questions that you might ask your peers during the seminar to help move the discussion forward. For example:

  • In what ways were you able to relate to the characters in your book?
  • What was the best part about your book?
  • Can you make a connection between this book and other books you've read?

Here are some more tips to help you be successful:

Basic Setup of the Socratic Seminar

  • Half of the class will be in the inner circle and half the class will be in the outer circle.
  • The inner circle will be given a specific amount of time to hold their discussion.  I will keep you informed about how much time you have left, but it is your responsibility to respectfully and equally discuss the questions with every member of your group. Every person in the group should speak and participate.
  • The outer circle will add their comments to their scoring rubric.
  • Then the outer circle and inner circle will switch places and roles.  The new inner circle will be given equal time to hold their discussion.
Guidelines for Participants in a Socratic Seminar
1.      Refer to the text(s) often during the discussion. A seminar is not a test of memory. You are not "learning a subject"; your goal is to understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in the texts.
2.      Be prepared! It’s the best way to be successful and not feel “put on the spot.”
3.      Do not stay confused; ask for clarification.
4.      Stick to the point currently under discussion.
5.      Don't raise hands; take turns speaking.
6.      Listen carefully to each other and be incredibly respectful.
7. Speak up so that all can hear you… including the people in the outer circle.
8. Talk to each other, not just to the leader or teacher.
9. Discuss ideas rather than each other's opinions.

Easy (and Important) Ways to
Become More Involved in a Socratic Seminar

  • Ask a clarifying question. 
                        "I'm not sure I fully understand what you're saying?  Can you restate what you just said?"  or   "What do you think the author means in line 6?"

  • Paraphrase another participant's ideas for clearer understanding 
                  "So what you're saying is. . ."

  • Ask for specific illustrations
                  "Can you give us an example to illustrate your point?"

  • Search for possible alternate perspectives
                  "Are there other ways to interpret this?" or Think about how                                                might someone from a different perspective view this.

  • Ask for specific textual support

  • Identify connections to previous comments or questions
                  "Does this relate back to the earlier idea about . .  .?"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Writing the conclusion

Contrary to popular belief, the concluding paragraph is NOT just a place to simply restate your thesis; that would be redundant. Also, it is NOT the place to introduce new ideas or topics. Here are some things that you might include in your concluding paragraph:
  • a brief summary of the paper's main points
  • ask a provocative question
  • create a vivid image
  • end with a warning
  • universalize (apply or compare to other situations)
You may find the sentence frames pictured below helpful in crafting your own conclusion.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Writing the body paragraphs

For guidance on writing the body paragraphs, I suggest that you consult one of the compare/contrast outlines that I provided on the back of your graphic organizer ("point by point method" or "block method"). There are also some helpful posters hung up in the classroom. Again, you are not required to strictly follow either of these outlines, however, they will give you a solid organizational foundation. Below are some sentence frames that may guide your use of academic language.

Below are some sample body paragraphs. NEITHER ARE PERFECT! However, they both present  relevant examples, provide insightful analysis, and use strong academic language.
Need some more inspiration? Check out this video tutorial for writing a paragraph about the mood.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Writing the introduction

Today, we will focus on writing your introduction. The following outline and sentence frames may help you to craft your intro paragraph. Remember, these are supports, not requirements!

A more detailed template is linked here.

 Below, see a couple of sample introductions:
If you are unable to finish your introduction in class, please complete it for homework.