14 September 2010

McDonald's ain't got nothin' on me.

There's a whole lot to cover, so let's just get into it and skip the preamble, okay?

Last Wednesday, some of you brought in second drafts for revision. Everyone who had a second draft traded papers with someone else and participated in some peer editing. My hope is that you found this practice valuable on two ends: one, by having someone read your work and giving you constructive criticism, and two, by reading someone else's paper and gaining some insight on how you can better improve your draft. I have to admit that I was disappointed in how many chose not to complete their second drafts, and it doesn't bode well for the final drafts.
It's a plot! (Admiral Ackbar would
be proud.)

Everyone who had one turned in a final draft of the personal narrative essay on Thursday. We then switched gears and started our Elements of Literature unit, dealing first with plot. We'll be covering several different aspects of literature and reading a variety of short stories to illustrate them.

Then we had our second Forward Friday. Things did not go as planned, as is often the case when teachers implement new lessons that they haven't tried before. I'm hoping for more success and more focus next time. As we get further along, the plan is to focus on just the task at hand (whether those be released questions or our workbooks) instead of trying to tackle too many things at once.

Monday, we finished our notes on plot and discussed some of the reading strategies that we'll employ as a class.

Today, you received a plot diagram graphic organizer. You'll need to keep track of this as we read Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game, which we began today in class and will continue to do through Thursday. Anything left to read will be your homework that night.

Wednesday, we started our second set of lit terms, which are as follows:

  1. Symbol
  2. External Conflict
  3. Internal Conflict
  4. Denotation
  5. Antagonist
  6. Protagonist
  7. Point of View
  8. Foreshadowing
  9. 1st person pov
  10. 3rd per. Limited
  11. Dramatic Irony
  12. Verbal Irony
  13. Tone
  14. Setting
  15. Mood
  16. Connotation
  17. 3rd per. Omniscient
  18. Situational Irony
  19. Irony
  20. Simile
Again, keep these terms at the forefront of your mind while reading your lit project books because knowing how to find and identify them will be the key to doing well on the annotation.

On Thursday, you received the guidelines for the Article Selection assignment. Last year was the first year that I ever gave this assignment to students and it required a lot more explanation on my part because I had no experience with it. Students had more questions, probably because I didn't have as clear an idea as I do now about what I expect. This year, I planned for the same amount of time to explain it but found that I didn't need it. This is a half-period explanation now, at most. I'll have to take that into account next year if I choose to keep using the idea. Your first Article Selection will be due on September 23.

On Friday, we finished covering the lit terms.

After revisiting the guidelines for MLA format, we read the article Which High School Students Are Most Likely to Graduate From College? from last year's US News & World Report on Monday. Besides some interesting statistics, this article (or Allegory of the Cave) will serve as the basis for a practice precis  that is due Wednesday, September 15. This will also give you a chance for you to demonstrate that you know MLA format inside and out. 

Today, we took a look at advertising slogans. This is a continuation of our philosophy and media literacy unit that we'll tie back to Aristotle. I'm very much looking forward to having a discussion on this concept with you tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a compilation from the Mac Tonight advertising campaign of which my willful participation is now well-known.

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