Thursday, December 22, 2011

ROAR III: Book into Film

For this term, select a book from the list below. Read the book, and compose 2 set of ROAR notes. Then, read the film adaptation of your book. Compose 1 post that makes use of film terms and analyzes how it adapts the book.

Do select a book that interests you, but also one that you will be allowed to watch the film version (check to see what the film is rated). Also, check the ROAR selections website that is listed on the right-hand column.
You are required to prove you legally watched the film, so no downloading or streaming.

Playing the Enemy by John Carlin
Invictus is the true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar, to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
Michael Oher is a poor, undereducated teenager in Memphis, whose father was murdered and whose mother was a crack addict. He is shuffled through the public school system, despite his low grade point average and absenteeism. His living situation is noticed by the wealthy Tuohy family. They take him in and he succeeds both athletically and academically, becoming one of the top high school football prospects in the country.

The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson
This is a perfect work of unnerving terror. Four seekers arrive at a notoriously unfriendly location called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick
America in the near future has lost the war against drugs. Though the government tries to protect the upper class, the system is infested with undercover cops like Fred, who regularly ingest the popular Substance D as part of their work. In a bizarre twist, the drug has caused Fred to develop a split personality, of which he is not aware.

The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri
What’s in a name? A MIT professor and his wife face this question, when hospital authorities won’t allow them to leave with their baby until it is given a name. The staff is ignorant of the cultural difference that allow for Bengali families to spend a good deal of time and deliberation before deciding their child’s name. Thus, Ashima and Ashoke are forced to enter a “pet” name for their son- Gogol.

Slumdog Millionaire Vikas Swarup (Q&A)
Jamal Malik is an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved.

A Civil Action Jonathan Harr
This is the true story of a town’s fight against deadly environmental toxins in the town of Woburn, MA. With a class action lawsuit to file, lawyers represent families impacted by the pollution. However, the case that could ruin the law firm firm.

Antwone Fisher Antwone Fisher (Finding Fish)
This autobiography tells how Fisher was born in prison to an incarcerated mother and a father who had been shot. After being placed in foster care, Fisher was treated brutally and blamed for his own misfortunes. Through these experiences, he eventually found his way into a stable job in the Navy.

Everything Is Illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man sets out to find the woman who might or might not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war, and a dog named Sammy Davis, Jonathan is led on an amazing journey into an unexpected past.

Fever Pitch Nick Hornby
Love sports? This book tells the story of the author's unhealthy relationship with soccer. As a fan of Arsenal, a London soccer team, Hornby describes his life as it relates to the successes and failures of his favorite team.

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
Bride & Prejudice

The five Bennet sisters, including strong-willed Elizabeth and young Lydia, have been raised by their mother with one purpose in life: finding a husband. When a wealthy bachelor takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. But when Elizabeth meets up with the handsome and snobbish Mr. Darcy, a battle of the sexes ensues.

Cold Mountain Charles Frazier
A wounded Confederate soldier walks away from the horrors of the war and back home to his pre-war sweetheart, Ada. This love story connects Inman's odyssey through the devastated South with Ada's struggle to revive her father's farm.

Girl With a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier
When Griet becomes a maid in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry, and the care of his six children. What no one expects is that Griet's quiet manner, quick perceptions, and fascination with her master's paintings will draw her inexorably into his world. Their growing intimacy sparks whispers; and when Vermeer paints her wearing his wife's pearl earrings, the gossip escalates into a huge scandal.

Secret Window Steven King (Four Past Midnight)
Mort Rainey is a successful writer going through a rather unfriendly divorce from his wife of ten years. Alone and bitter in his cabin, he continues to work on his writing when a stranger named John Shooter shows up on his doorstep, claiming Rainey stole his story. Mort says he can prove the story belongs to him and not Shooter, but while Mort digs around for the magazine that published the story, people begin to die.

Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution


Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone

Green Zone 

The Juliet Club
Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare's Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Love

Winter's Bone: A Novel

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

127 Hours

True Grit

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

in rememberance pt.2

Another death this week was Christopher Hitchens, an essayist whose work appeared all through out magazines and websites on topics related to politics, religion, and literature. Hitch was a thoughtful writer, and one who loved to pick a fight. He was staunch in his opinions, never backing down, never settling for the "proper" position. I admired his conversational tone, a welcoming voice that encouraged the reader to sit and ponder awhile whatever topic happened to present itself.

Here's a piece from last January, where Hitchens instructs his American audience (he was an Englishman) on the finer points of making tea:
Tea is a herb (or an herb if you insist) that has been thoroughly dried. In order for it to release its innate qualities, it requires to be infused. And an infusion, by definition, needs the water to be boiling when it hits the tea. Grasp only this, and you hold the root of the matter.

Monday, December 19, 2011

in rememberance

There have been some deaths this past week that have made me reflect on art, beauty, and my life. I'm going to share some thoughts and memories, starting with Cesária Évora. Her fado style songs were my first introduction to Cape Verde, a place I had no idea about growing up in Philadelphia. I am thankful to have been given such a lush and beautiful welcome to Cape Verde.

Descansa En Paz, Cesária

Cesária Évora from Manuel on Vimeo.

Homework 12/19

Some astute students noted that there is a discrepancy between the December Calendar and the dates listed on the blog. So, if you wish to turn in your Culture Vulture for term 2 by Wednesday it will be on time.

1) Antigone test
-multiple choice plot/character
-shine a light (remember those Odes)
-Greek Theater background/Civil Disobedience
2) ROAR notes #3

1) Culture Vulture
2) film editing

Film Fest!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Homework 12/15

Culture Vulture proposal!

can you believe it? Get the form signed, and get yer culture!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homework 12/14

-read the selections from Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience"  back-up copy here

-prove your Root Word expertise, you sophmores

Monday, December 12, 2011

Homework 12/12

Here we go!

Finish reading Antigone tonight, see where the play heads and we'll evaluate the stages of a Greek Tragedy.

Root Words- SOPH on Thursday...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Homework 12/9

phew, the weekend. This was a very strange week for me as I processed having to lose my 6th period ELA 10 class and plan for teaching a 6th period ELA 7 class. Thanks for you strong work; it make a difficult week much easier.

For Monday:

-Antigone Scene 3, Ode 3

-revise, type, and print your quatrain from last Friday. We'll share out some good poems on Monday

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Homework 12/8

1) root words "moved" to Friday: fire drills, Oedipus plot, figuring out having a new ELA teacher

2) read Antigone Scene 2 and Ode 2

3) for Monday, type and print your poem quatrain from last Friday (bench, train, anger, thunderstorm)
-be creative with font size and type! No Times New Roman!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

homework 12/7

Read scene 1 and Ode 1 of Antigone!

Root words =) PYR

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

book event, at a Skateboard shop?

here's a great juxtaposition: skateboarding and books

Orchard Skate Shop
156 Harvard Ave, Allston, Boston, MA 02134

Live...Suburbia! Book Release Party and Multi Media Art Show
Saturday December 10th
All Ages Book Reading 6:00-8:00PM

Photography by JJ Gonson, George John, Jason Farrell, Ryan Murphy, Kenny Gibbs, Kevin Hodapp, Geoffrey Kula and Justine Demetrick.

Homework 12/6

1) read and notes on Antigone Prologue and Parodos (968-973)

2) root words quiz on Thursday--> PYR

3) Culture Vulture proposal? 12/16!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Homework 12/5

1) complete your ROAR notes #2 for tomorrow. Happy Bildungsroman!

2) review over the Greek Drama powerpoint, it can be downloaded from the right hand column

3) Root Words on Thursday (PRY)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Homework 12/2

Welcome to December.

This first weekend, get your ROAR reading done and maybe check out a Culture Vulture activity.

For extra credit, compose a paragraph response after reading D.H. Lawrence's first and revised drafts of his poem "Piano."

Find the poems:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Homework 11/29

1) read through the 5 poems, and have questions ready for tomorrow.

Table #1 "Ex Basketball Player" (694)
Table #2 "Meeting at Night" (700)
Table #3 "The Fish" (714)
Table #4 "Sonnet XXX" (732)
Table #5 "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" (792)
Table #6 "Who Makes the Journey" (933)

2) poetry exam on Thursday, w/root words ----> PATER

3) check the list of Culture Vulture activities

Monday, November 28, 2011

Culture Vulture Ideas!


    Art and Architecture Tour @Copley Library

The Boston Public Library offers free tours highlighting the architecture of Charles Follen McKim and Philip Johnson, as well as the many works of famed sculptors and painters. The tours last about an hour. They are led by volunteers and begin at the Dartmouth Street entrance of the Central Library in Copley Square. No appointment is necessary.
The full schedule of Art & Architecture tours is Mondays at 2:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.; and Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.


    Copley Square Holiday Tree Lighting 
Tuesday, November 29, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The free event will feature appearances by Back Bay resident and WHDH-TV anchor Janet Wu, Santa Claus, Rudolph, and the Bear from Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” along with live entertainment including the Trinity Church Choristers, Boston Children’s Chorus, and a holiday sing-along.

Boston’s Official Christmas Tree lighting

6-8 p.m. Boston Common
New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre, American Idol finalist Siobhan Magnus, the Radio City Rockettes, Rockapella, the Boston Ballet, the Boston Children’s Choir, MAGIC 106.7’s Nancy Quill and Mike Addams, and saxophonist Grace Kelly.

As an added element to the City of Boston’s annual tree lighting ceremony, The Skating Club of Boston will present a spectacular skating show at the Boston Common Frog Pond featuring a dynamic and exciting assortment of local skating stars in all the various disciplines of ice-skating.

Winter Holiday Party @Jamaica Plain Library

Thursday, December 8
Join us for our annual Winter Holiday Party! We'll begin the night with holiday crafts and food from 6-7 p.m. At 7 p.m. the Boston Typewriter Orchestra will perform.

Book Reading @Mattapan Library
Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 6 p.m.
 Local author Paul J. Williams reads from his book "I Witness." Paul J. Williams grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts and attended Boston Public Schools. Paul studied at Northeastern University and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Management degree. He serves as a Deacon at Greater Vision Tabernacle Church of Randolph, Massachusetts.

Book Reading @Harvard Book Store
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Tuesday December 6, 2011 7:00 PM
  Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 


Alfred Hitchcock Film Festival @West End Library
Psycho (Wednesday, November 30th 3pm)

Homework 11/28

1) TPCASTT on your table's poem:

Table #1 "Ex Basketball Player" (694)
Table #2 "Meeting at Night" (700)
Table #3 "The Fish" (712)
Table #4 "Sonnet XXX" (732)
Table #5 "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" (792)
Table #6 "Who Makes the Journey" (933)

2) Poetry Examination on Thursday, on ALL poems we have read:
"The Sloth"
"The Red Wheel Barrow"
"Tonight I Can Write"

3) Root Word Quiz (PATER) on Thursday

4) keep up with ROAR reading and find a good Culture Vulture!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Homework 11/21

1) check to see your blog listed on the right column. If it's not there, you have a zero for the Term 1 ROAR notes

2) first set of ROAR bildungsroman notes! Make sure you have at least 60 pages covered by the summary.

3) Poem reading and questions, have these completed for Wednesday.

"The Sloth"
 What is the poem’s structure?    
-stanza and line arrangement?   
-end rhyme scheme? 
What is the poem’s meter?            
-line length (count the syllables)   
What is the poem’s rhythm?    
-scan line eleven (stressed and unstressed)    
-how does line 7 mimic the sloth’s manner?  
What does the Sloth know?
 What is the poem’s structure?    
-line and stanza arrangement?
 -end rhyme scheme?
What is the poem’s sound?  
 -assonance (line 5)
 -Consonance (line 11 and 12)
What do these words mean?    
-vista (2)     -poised (4)     -insidious (5)     -clamour (9)     -appassionato (10)
What image is used to describe sadness in line 12?
"Tonight I can write" (not found online)

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tries to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.
What is the poem’s structure in the translated poem?   
-line and stanza arrangement?   
-why are lines 19 and 20 parallel in the translated poem?    
What is the poem’s structure in the original poem? 
-is there parallelism in lines 19 and 20?        
-end rhyme scheme?  
How does the poem use anaphora? 
-what do you see and hear in line 26?  
What is ironic about the speaker’s feelings in lines 29-32?

 What is the poem’s structure? 
-line and stanza arrangement? 
What is the only line that is not part of an enjambed line?  
How does the poem sound?      -consonance (line 9)     -assonance (line 7)  
How does the speaker have a Bildungsroman moment?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homework 11/17

1) bring your TKAM essay to class tomorrow for some editing work

-new due time 8:00pm, print a copy for Monday

2) print your Culture Vulture final draft for Monday

3) bring a signed copy of your report card for Monday

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homework 11/16

1) using the chart on p.146, complete steps 2 and 3 for your TKAM essay. You need at least one direct quote per paragraph, and remember that a quote can be as short as 2 words.

Here's TKAM as a .pdf file. Makes searching so easy! Click here

2) root word quiz!

3) do you have your ROAR book? Reading? Save up some time this weekend for good reading.

4) print out your Final Draft of Term 1 Culture Vulture, sorry grading has been a nightmare...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Homework 11/15

1) using the example on p.146 (step 1) in our text book, create an outline that shows your thesis and 3 main points. Remember, the paper is due on Friday so if you wish to work at a faster pace you may do so.
Online Book: instructions on registration and book activation code are in the right-hand column.

2) have that ROAR book? Start up your reading!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homework 11/14

1) look at the instruction sheet for your To Kill a Mockingbird essay, compose a thesis sentence for tomorrow

2) consolidate your ROAR notes into one post, upload to and post on your blog

3) Root Words---> MY

4) get cracking on your ROAR bildungsroman

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Homework 11/10

Solid work with the Film Examination today, it felt like you were prepared and well paced through the sections.

Enjoy some non-school time tomorrow, and the weekend as well. We do not have anything scheduled for Monday, but here are upcoming dates:

Tuesday: ROAR consolidated post to on your blog

Thursday: Root Words #8 (MY)

Friday: To Kill a Mockingbird essay

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homework 11/9

1) for the film examination tomorrow, be ready to shine a light on film frames. Also, bring the paragraph reflection you wrote over the weekend on what was learned from the To Kill a Mockingbird exam.

2) ROAR proposal, find them books!

3) root words---> LUN

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Homework 11/8

1) Culture Vulture final draft, submit to

2) practice your film terms on the TKAM frames

3) find a good ROAR bildungsroman for term 2, proposal sheet is due on Thursday

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homework 11/4

1) one paragraph response on what you learned by taking the To Kill a Mockingbird test.

2) Perfectly Printed Paper, moved to Tuesday

3) Culture Vulture final draft on Wednesday,

4) find your ROAR for Term 2, bildungsroman

5) root words #7, LUN on Thursday

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Perfectly Printed Paper!

Here is a mighty challenge. I ask that you prove your MLA and computer skills by printing a perfectly formatted paper. You do not need to write the paper; it's already done for you!

Papers must be printed prior to class on TUESDAY (11/8). My room will be open for printing at 6:45 on Monday. If you are tardy to class, the paper will not count. If your paper does not pass, then you will have one week to make changes.


1) copy and paste SPECIAL (just text) into Word
2) set up a cover page using your name, date, class, and the paper's title
3) center title at the top of the 1st page, hit return and indent the first
4) insert page number with your last name as a header, but do not include the cover page
5) format the essay (double space, Times New Roman 12pt, indent new paragraphs, title of books italicized)
6) format the works cited page

NOTE: the essay should fit on two pages, not including cover and works cited page
-watch paragraph indents
-keep all text Times New Roman 12 pt. font, even the header!
-double space, but no extra space between paragraphs (set to zero for spacing between paragraphs before and after)
-use the paperclip in Word, the help box, or even find a youtube video!
-remember, Gawain can refer to the poem or the character. Notice!

Evaluating the Medieval in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight  

In an era known for chivalry and heraldry, the romance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight weaves an engaging story. It starts with a Christmas feast for King Arthur’s knights, but an uninvited guest interrupts their revels. What follows is dark comedy as the Green Knight’s decapitation leads to the first recorded soccer match. This is entertainment, circa 1375.   

As a romance from the 14th century, the poem displays literary devices common to the medieval era. The Gawain poet created his verse with attention to alliterative patterns, and employed stanzas of unfixed length that are connected through the bob and wheel device. Thematically, the poet places Gawain in situations that test his devotion to the medieval ideals of courtly love and chivalry.   

Ironically, the “secular” text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is preserved in a religious manuscript that also contains three poems: “Pearl,” “Patience,” and “Purity” (Borroff 20). Yet, Gawain opens with a passage more accustomed to the nationalist ethos of epic poetry. The poet offers an account of Britain’s founding, connecting the heroes at Troy with the “Bold boys bred there, in broils delighting,” that inhabit England (line 21). As in Beowulf, alliteration punctuates the poetic line. Where the device once served as a rhythmic and mnemonic tool, the sound repetition in Gawain belongs to a revival of alliterative verse in the medieval period. The medieval audience would have recognized this poetic element as it suggested a popular Anglo-Saxon form of storytelling. Thus, the poet insists for the reader to “listen to my lay but a little while,/ As I heard it in hall, I shall hasten to tell/ anew” (line 30-32). Alluding to elements of Old English oral poetry, the Gawain poet attracts the interest of his medieval readers.   

However, the form of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight breaks from the Anglo-Saxon pattern in its stanza construction. Visually, the poem lacks caesura line breaks that divided the line after two stressed syllables. In its place, the Gawain poet employs a bob and wheel at the end of each stanza. The bob is a two-syllable line that sets a rhyme scheme in the four-line wheel. Most often, the bob and wheel offers a conclusion to a stanza, as shown in lines 485-490: "Such happiness wholly had they that day/in hold./Now take care, Sir Gawain/That your courage wax not cold/When you must turn again/To your enterprise foretold." Here the bob presents “hold” as the initial sound to be rhymed in the wheel; the poet forms the wheel around this sound in an ABABA arrangement. Before expanding the narrative by offering further description or changing scenes, the Gawain poet uses the bob and wheel to alter the physical line length.  

In plotting, the poem exemplifies the paradoxical romantic virtues of courtly love. Sir Gawain is tested to deny his faith and break his word at Lord Bertilak de Hautdesert’s home. The host and Gawain agree to swap their daily earnings: the lord from hunting in the woods, Sir Gawain from interactions with the lord’s beautiful wife. As a guest, Gawain must obey the wishes of his host and hostess- a situation made difficult by the lady’s bold suggestions. Resembling the game animals Bertilak hunts, Gawain nervously evades the lady’s requests. To preserve the marriage vows, their love is never consummated; still, Gawain obeys the lady’s demands and his own desires by sharing furtive kisses. The competing responsibility required by chivalry and courtly love makes Gawain’s temptation emblematic of a medieval romance.  

The Gawain poet makes skillful use of the romance conventions, writing the poem with attention to medieval aesthetics. Modern readers might not share Bertilak’s claim that Gawain is “polished as a pearl,” or worthy to wear the pentangle star after his blatant deception and failure to trust Mary against the Green Knight (line 2393).  Yet, our perceptions are not shared by 14th century readers of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The romance remains a fitting example of medieval literature in its poetic construction and thematic development.

Works Cited
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Trans. Mary Borroff. The Norton Anthology of English     Literature. Ed. M.H. Abrams. 7th edition. Volume 1. New York: Norton, 2000.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Homework 11/2

1) root words--->ISO

2) create your ROAR blog, post your info as a comment here:

Post your ROAR Blog web addresses here!

SPECIAL NOTE: because I have not returned your ROAR notes #3, the assignment listed for Friday is excused. It will have a due date once I give them back to you.

3) Begin work on your Culture Vulture final draft (turning the questions into a newspaper article, advertisement, or journal)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Homework 10/31

1) final set of ROAR notes for tomorrow!

2) create your ROAR blog
-go to
-if you have a Gmail account, log in. If not, then create a Google account
-select a good blog name and url, but do not use your 1st and last name
-pick a nice blog layout design
-post your url as a comment here

3) Root Words #6 -->ISO

4) type and upload your ROAR notes from Term 1 to

Post your ROAR Blog web addresses here!

Comment on this post with the following information:
Student Name:
Blog url:

ROAR Term II: The Bildungsroman

Staircase of a Thousand Steps
by Masha Hamilton
Jammana, a 11-year-old girl experiences an unsettling coming of age in a Jordanian village. She possesses an ancestral gift that allows her to see the past, travels with her mother, Rafa, against her father's wishes, to Rafa's birthplace, the ancient village of Ein Fadr.

Breath, Eyes, Memory
by Edwidge Danticat

After twelve years of being raised in Haiti by her aunt Atie, young Sophie Caco has been summoned by her mother to join her in New York. Sophie is terrified and does not want to go, especially since she does not remember her mother, who left Haiti when Sophie was just a baby. What follows is a painful rendering of horrifying secrets and Haitian tradition that deeply affects Sophie and the way she lives her life.

The Chosen
by Chaim Potok

In 1940s Brooklyn, New York, a horrible baseball accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their religious differences, Reuven and Danny form a deep, if unlikely, friendship. Together they negotiate adolescence and family conflicts.

by Sandra Cisneros

Lala Reyes is the seventh child of the family and the only girl. They live in Chicago, where her dad and his two brothers run an upholstery shop. There are cousins (three brothers named Elvis, Byron, and Aristotle), looong caravan-style car trips to Mexico City to visit the Awful Grandmother, and some snooping into the past by Lala.

Crazy in Alabama
by Mark Childress

Family tumult and social unrest converge to shake the world of 12-year-old orphan Peejoe Bullis in the summer of 1965, "when everybody went crazy in Alabama." Peejoe's relatively tranquil life with his grandmother is jolted by the arrival of his Aunt Lucille, who is on her way to Hollywood to become a star after poisoning her husband. The family moves to Industry, Ala., where racial conflict brings together George Wallace and Martin Luther King Jr.

The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier

Jerry Renault is a typical fourteen-year-old freshman (and football player) at a private Catholic high school. But then he decides to go against the school fundraiser run by a gang called The Vigils. Can Jerry survive at school as the thugs and teachers plot to ruin his life?

by M.T. Anderson

The story begins on the Moon, where Titus and his friends have gone for spring break. He and his buddies all have Feed, which is an online computer implant typically installed shortly after birth. Feed constantly bombards the characters with information and banners, much of which has to do with the latest fashions, upcars, and music. It also provides them with Chat--the capacity to mentally instant message each other. Enter Violet; a girl Titus meets on spring break, a girl who wants to 'fight the feed'.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie

Arnold Spirit, a goofy-looking dork with a decent jumpshot, spends his time lamenting life on the "poor-ass" Spokane Indian reservation, drawing cartoons. When a teacher pleads with Arnold to want more, to escape the hopelessness of the rez, Arnold switches to a rich white school and immediately becomes as much an outcast in his own community as he is a curiosity in his new one.

Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida
by Victor Martinez

The tale follows the life of Manuel Hernandez. Manny's a good kid. He has a slacker older brother, an older sister that flirts with danger, and a baby sibling that doesn't understand the ways of the world just yet. His father is unemployed leaving him regularly drunk and belligerent. His mother, not quite up to facing the problems surrounding her, stays by his side despite the effects of his actions on the kids.

Yoruba Girl Dancing
by Simi Bedford

Remi is born into a privileged large Nigerian family. At the age of 6 she is sent to a very exclusive all girl boarding school in England. Feeling alienated because she was the only black girl in a school full of perfect English girls. She gets ridiculed for her culture and race. It isn't easy being different, but Remi has to cope with it and she needs to understand that people are different.

by Maxine Clair

These interrelated short stories are set in fictional Rattlebone, Kan., a vibrant, close-knit African-American community. Narrated by young Irene Wilson, the confident but naive girl tells how she grows up in a town devoid of whites, falling in love with the boy who sells eggs, and witnessing the dissolution of her parents' marriage.

Betsey Brown
by Ntozake Shange

Betsey is the oldest child in a large, remarkable, and slightly eccentric African American family. Her father is a doctor who wakes his children each morning with point-blank questions about African history and Black culture while beating on a conga drum; her mother is a beautiful, refined, confident, and strong-willed social worker who is overwhelmed by the vast size of her young family and who cares very little for “all that nasty colored music.”

All that Lives
by Melissa Sanders-Smart

The Bell Witch is poltergeist that bedeviled a family of Tennessee farmers in the early 1800's. At age 13, Betsy Bell becomes the focus of the witch's torments. For more than a year, the Bell family is subjected to nocturnal noises, rains of stones, blows from invisible hands and, eventually, belligerent back talk from the articulate spirit.

Rule of the Bone
by Russell Banks

Flunking out of school and already hooked on drugs, the 14-year-old narrator leaves his mobile home in a depressed upstate New York town. Convinced that he is destined for a criminal career, Bone vents his anger in acts of senseless destruction. His wanderings are paused when he takes refuge in an abandoned schoolbus with an illegal alien from Jamaica called I-Man.

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
by Roddy Doyle

An Irish lad named Paddy rampages through the streets of Barrytown with a pack of like-minded hooligans, playing cowboys and Indians, etching their names in wet concrete, and setting fires. Paddy Clarke and his friends are not bad boys; they're just a little bit restless...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homework 10/27

1) ROAR! Happy reading, the 3rd set of notes are due next Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homework 10/26

1) finish your ROAR book for next Tuesday

2) Root Words #5 -----> GRESS

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Homework 10/26

1) TKAM examination!
-be ready to explain symbolism and dual narrative voice

2) Root word quiz on Thursday---->gress

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homework 10/20

1) TKAM read as much as you want, finish the book by Monday!
-I will look over your notes on Monday (questions/comments)

2) for the field trip, meet at our classroom after 2nd period.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homework 10/19

1) log into Jupiter grades, look at how you are doing for ELA and your other classes!

2) read and notes, TKAM ch. 24,25,26

3) root word quiz

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Homework 10/18

1) TKAM notes/questions on ch. 22+23
-Harper Lee bio
-The Scottsboro Trial

2) check your Jupiter Grades!

3) root word quiz--->ERG

4) Culture Vulture Proposal (10/21)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Homework 10/14

1) TKAM reading and notes, chapters 20+21

2) Culture Vulture proposal sheet: Friday (10/21)

3) Root Word Quiz #4 ERG: Thursday (10/20)

4) ROAR notes (2/3 of the book) Tuesday (10/25)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Homework 10/14

1) three chapters of TKAM for over the weekend: 17,18,19

2) Book Fest! Grab that extra credit.

3) bring in your field trip $ and permission slip

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homework 10/13

1) read and notes, To Kill a Mockingbird ch. 15+16

2) You can has Culture Vulture?

Book Fest!

Boston book fest is this weekend! Extra Credit! Culture Vulture! Books!

Here are some highlights:
Funny Kids' Fiction 12:45pm BPL Rabb Lecture Hall
A versatile artist, Julia Alvarez has written several books for children, including The Secret Footprints and How Tía Lola Came to Visit Stay, as well as a novel for young adults, Before We Were Free. Alvarez is best known for her debut novel, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, and her second novel, In the Time of the Butterflies. She also writes essays and poetry. Born in New York City, Alvarez was raised in the Dominican Republic. Her newest book is How Tía Lola Ended Up Starting Over.

Graphic Novels: Drawing the Story 2:30pm Trinity Church Sanctuary
Daniel Clowes is a cartoonist and author who has contributed numerous covers to The New Yorker and whose work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, GQ, and many other publications. He created the comic-book series Eightball, which ran for 23 issues and earned the artist a large following and multiple industry awards, including several Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz awards. The film adaptation of Clowes's graphic novel Ghost World, based on a script by Clowes and director Terry Zwigoff, was released to great acclaim, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and winning the Independent Spirit award, among others. He also created the widely acclaimed graphic novel Wilson, which NPR likened to "reading a series of Bazooka Joe comics written by Jean-Paul Sartre." His serialized comic for the New York Times Magazine, titled Mister Wonderful, was recently collected in an expanded hardcover edition. His newest graphic novel is The Death-Ray.

Fiction: Truth and Consequences 2:30pm BPL Rabb Lecture Hall
Ha Jin’s first full-length novel, Waiting, won the National Book Award for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for fiction. His novel War Trash won the PEN/Faulkner Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of The Bridegroom, Under The Red Flag, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Ocean of Words, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. He has received three Pushcart Prizes for fiction and a Kenyon Review Prize. Many of Jin's short stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies, as well as the Norton Introduction to Fiction and Norton Introduction to Literature. His newest novel is Nanjing Requiem, which Publishers Weekly calls "a convincing, harrowing portrait of heroism in the face of brutality." 

Far Out Fiction 4:30pm Trinity Church Sanctuary
Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including Eating the Dinosaur; Downtown Owl; Chuck Klosterman IV; Killing Yourself to Live; Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; and Fargo Rock City, which won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. The Wall Street Journal has called his essays "relentlessly thoughtful." Klosterman has written for GQ, EsquireThe New York Times Magazine, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, A.V. Club, and ESPN. His latest is The Visible Man, a novel that deals with many of Klosterman's usual concerns: pop culture, the influence of media, voyeurism, and "reality."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homework 10/13

Read and notes, TKAM ch. 13+14

-get that Culture Vulture proposal signed, and head out for some fun times!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homework 10/11

1) Read To Kill a Mockingbird, ch. 11+12

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homework 10/6

1) read, notes To Kill a Mockingbird ch. 4+5 (Friday)
ch. 6,7,8,9,10 (Tuesday)

2) Root Words #4--->erg 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homework 10/5

1) read and notes, To Kill a Mockingbird ch.2+3

-look for the 5 thematic topics!

2) root word quiz--->cycle

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homework 10/4

1) read and notes on To Kill a Mockingbird ch.1

2) root word quiz on Thursday/Everyday Use/literary terms

Friday, September 30, 2011

Homework 9/30

Weekend blessings!

1) read and annotate the "Everyday Uses" paragraphs, Critical Voices handout

2) ROAR reading! Remember your first set of notes (minimum on the first 60 pages of the book) due on Tuesday. Summary/Quotation/Reaction. Check the ROAR blogs on the right column for exemplars.

3) Extra Credit: bring in a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. Make sure you notice that the BPL catalog lists at least 20 different "versions" of the book. Don't just look for the first listing...

4) root word quiz #3 --> cycl

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homework 9/27

1) read "Everyday Use" p.46 in the Literature Book
-compose three quality questions
-compose three literary sentences

Getting Involved w/Arts!

Here is a quick listing of great teen arts programs in Boston. Let me know if I can help you with anything related to applications or additional opportunities.

2011-12 Auditions Tuesday, September 27 6:30-8:30 Saturday, October 1, 4:00—6:00 
To book your audition: or 617-576-9278, ext.207

October 12-November 16 Wednesdays, 3:30 pm-5 pm 
Dudley Branch Library 65 Warren Street, Roxbury 
Citi Performing Arts Center and Dudley Branch Library are looking for youth ages 11-19 for its fall City Spotlights Spoken Word Project. In this FREE program, participants will develop spoken word, storytelling and performing arts skills while exploring hip hop culture. At the end of the six weeks, participants will present their original work during a poetry slam event at the Library!  No prior experience required. Space is limited and registration is first come, first served. Participants must be able to attend all sessions.  Contact Siobhan Brown at 617-532-1250 or with any questions.

City Spotlights Leadership Program
September 27-November 18 Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 pm-7 pm 
Citi Performing Arts Center is looking for teens ages 14-19 for its fall City Spotlights Leadership Program. Teens will develop leadership, music, and spoken word skills while exploring hip hop culture AND earning a small stipend. At the end of the program, teens will present an entirely original performance tour throughout Boston. 
Applicants may schedule an interview by contacting Ramona Alexander at or 617-532-1221. Interviews will take place weekdays from 3-5pm, beginning August 29th.  Previous performing arts experience is not necessary.  Applicants are asked to memorize and present a 2-minute monologue from a scripted play or published poem, sing 16 bars of a song, and bring a resume if possible. 

Visual Art
Teens Art Program: Institute of Contemporary Art
Architecture and Design - Fall 2011  Weds, Nov 2–Dec 14 (except Nov 23), 4–6 pm 
Posters, T-shirts and Sticker Design - Fall 2011  Saturdays, Oct 15 – Nov 5, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm  Learn More DJ School 101  DJ School 101 - Fall 2011  Tuesdays, Nov 22 – Dec 13, 4–6:30 pm 
Fashion Art - Fall 2011  Wednesdays, Sept 28 - Oct 26, 4–6 pm 
Digital Photography  Digital Photograpy - Fall 2011  Tues, Oct 4–Nov 8, 4–6 pm 
Video Game Design - Middle School - Fall 2011  Saturday, Dec 3, 2011, 10:30 am - 2:30 pm 

Museum of Fine Arts
Young Fashion Designers: Design & Sew,
12-16yrs old October 1, 2011, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm  Ten-Session Workshop: Saturday October 1 - December 10 (No class on November 26)
Course Description: Take an existing pattern or piece of clothing and revise it to express

One-Day Workshop: Figure Drawing
Ages 12-18 October 2, 2011, 10:15 am - 2:15 pm 
Workshop Description: Study the human figure and experiment with different drawing techniques using leads, colored pencils

Teen Photo: The City and Ourselves
14-17yrs old October 14, 2011, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm 
Ten-Session Workshop: Friday October 14 - December 9 (No class on November 25)
Course Description: Stretch and take new approaches to your own self-portrait

Mass College of Art
Saturday Studios
Art classes for grades 4 through 12 
Sturdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon October 15 – December 10;
No class November 26
Exhibition of student work, December 5-10
Closing reception, December 10, 11:30 a.m. – noon

Grub Street
Do you like to write poems, lyrics, stories, novels or screenplays? Join Grub Street’s Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP), a FREE creative writing workshop for Boston-area high schoolers.
We offer two sessions of classes each YAWP Saturday: one from 10 AM to Noon, followed by an hour for socializing and lunch (we'll provide snacks, but you are encouraged to bring your own lunch), and another session of classes from 1 PM to 3 PM, followed by an open-mic reading. Each session includes the same classes, and you can participate in both so long as you take different classes. For example, you could take a poetry class in the morning session and a fiction class in the afternoon.
YAWP dates for Fall 2011 (all Saturdays)
September 24th, October 29th, November 19th, December 10th

Teens in Print
Student newspaper!
e-mail application to:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homework 9/26

1) complete the student info sheet/academic integrity contract for tomorrow 
2) read "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker (46) for Wednesday

-sign out a literature textbook for the year
-register for our online book

Go to: classzone
-select Language Arts/MA then find your book
-select McDougal Littell Literature, Grade 10
-click "online book" at bottom left
-create a "student account"

-use ACTIVATION CODE: 4726324-650 to register for our book

3) root words quiz #2 on Thursday (all roots--> Cardio)
4) Extra Credit for bringing a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird to class on Monday
5) at least 60 pages of your ROAR book read for Tuesday (10/4) and your ROAR notes

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homework 9/23

1) Revise The Hunger Games prompt and submit to
     -it will be graded for formatting and a strong theme sentence

2) Root Words! A-Cardio on Thursday

3) ROAR reading

4) Think about a Culture Vulture activity

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Homework 9/22

1) Root Word quiz #2 on Thursday (9/29) all roots---> Cardio [yes, roots from quiz 1 will be included]

2) start reading your ROAR book, you should have read 1/3 of the book by 10/4. Look at the ROAR Blog handout for descriptions of your notes (summary, quotation, reaction)

3) plan out a culture vulture activity! Jazz Fest this Saturday!

4) revise your The Hunger Games essay, submit to for Monday

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homework 9/21

1) Root Word vocab quiz #1 (a-anti)

2) revise your The Hunger Game summer reading prompt, turn in to

3) get reading your ROAR book

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Homework 9/20

1) Read Gary Soto's story "The Jacket" (it's on the back of the Junot Diaz story)

2) submit your ROAR proposal, e-mail me tonight if you are wondering about a book

3) Root Word quiz, (a-anti) on Thursday

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homework 9/19

-read "The Money" by Junot Diaz (click if you lost your copy)
-ROAR proposal for Wednesday
-Root Word Vocabulary Quiz (a-anti), find the roots here

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Homework 9/14

1: signed syllabus and ELA binder for Friday
2: completed ELA Contract (library card #)
3: ROAR book proposal next Wednesday (9/21), pick a good biography!
4: check your Snap(Jupiter) Grades by Monday
5: Root Word Quiz (a-anti) next Thursday (9/22)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homework 9/8

Welcome back to school, and welcome to ELA 10.

1: For tomorrow, please complete your ELA Contract. If you do not know your library card number, you need a way to either get a card or find out your number

2: For Monday (9/12), register for ELA 10 on Find your class ID# and passwords below:

Period 2 4324995 ralph
Period 4 4325000 jack
Period 5 4325003 katniss
Period 6 4325005 peeta

3: For Tuesday (9/13), please upload a typed version of your Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games conflict chart to

4: Lord of the Flies multiple choice test on Monday
The Hunger Games writing prompt test on Tuesday

Monday, June 20, 2011

Homework 6/21

1) ROAR post #2 due today!

2) ROAR and Culture Vulture web page review due Thursday (upload your text to

3) Revised Huck Finn essay on Friday

4) Class survey: review your experience in ELA 10. It's confidential, and will be graded based on the % of students who complete the survey.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things Fall Apart Exam Review

All the characters/place names!

Study Questions!
Chapter 1  1: How was Okonkwo's identity in the village formed?  2: Give some details of Okonkwo's physical identity.  3: How would Okonkwo describe a successful man?  4: Describe Unoka. In whose eyes was he a failure?  

Chapter 2  1: Describe some traditions rituals mentioned.  2: How is justice brought upon the tribal people? Who decides?  3: How did Ikemefuna come to Umuofia?  4: How did Okonwko rule his household?  5: What was Okonkwo's fear?   6: Describe Ikemefuna.  

Chapter 3  1: Describe Okonkwo's childhood.  2: Where do people go to obtain advice for troubles and the future? 3: What ritual surrounded seeing the Oracle?  4: What advice did the Oracle give to Okonkwo's father?  5: How are diseased/dying people treated in the tribe?   6: What privileges are given to a man's first wife?  7: What was needed to approach Nwakibie for some yams?  

Chapter 4  1: Does hard work deserve success?  2: How did the Ibo judge a person?  3: At one point, Okonkwo says that affection is a sign of weakness. Do you agree?  4: How did Okonkwo break the Week of Peace?  5: What emphasis is placed on the "gods" in the tribe?   

Chapter 5  1: Who was the most important god? 2: Describe the New Yam Festival.  3: Why was Okonkwo fond of Ezinma?   

Chapter 6  1: What do you think is the significance of the wrestling matches?  

Chapter 7 1: What influence did Ikemefuna have on Nwoye?  2: Why did Okonkwo tell the boys war stories?  3: What types of stories were told by the mothers? Are each type important?  4: How do the people receive the locusts? Did this reception surprise you?  5: What did the tribe decide about Ikemefuna?  6: Why did Okonkwo go with to kill Ikemefuna instead of staying home? Why did he help kill the boy?  7: What affect did Ikemefuna's death have on Nwoye?  

Chapter 8  1: How did Okonkwo react to Ikemefuna's death?  2: What did he do to make himself forget?  3: What does Obierika tell Okonkwo what he would do if faced with his choice?  4: How did people view the relationship between Okonkwo and Ikemefuna?  5: From where did the people get their laws? 6: What does the proverb 'When mother cow is chewing grass its young ones watch its mouth.'mean?  7: How do the Umuofia view the customs of their clan?  8: What does Obierika's eldest brother say, however?  9: What is euphemism and why do the Umuofia tend to speak euphemistically?  

Chapter 9  1: What is the relationship between Ekwefi and Ezinma?  2: What is an ogbanje? How do the Umuofia explain the premature deaths of Ekwefi's children?  3: What was the ritual to prevent the return of the ogbanje?  4: Why was the child Onwumbiko not given a proper burial?  5: What is chi ?  6: What is the function of stories in the text? Look at the story of the snake-lizard. 

Chapter 10  1: When did communal ceremonies take place and where?  2: Who could be present? Who had the seats of honor?  3: What is the egwugwu house? How did people communicate with their ancestors?  4: What does this suggest about the role of the ancestors in the community?  5: How does music function in the egwugwu ceremony?  6: What is the origin of the nine villages of the Umuofia clan?  7: What is the Evil Forest? Who represents the nine leaders of the clan?  8: What does this say about the power of belief?  9: Why did they have to meet Uzowillu (husband); Mgbafo (wife)  10: How did the community resolve conflicts?  

Chapter 11 1: Who or what is the tortoise? What do you think the purpose of the story is?  2: What is the role of story telling in Ibo culture?  3: Who is Chielo? What does she say Agbala wants?  

Chapter 12 1: What was the marriage ritual?  2: Who are the umunna?  3: What is an uri?  4: The marriage ceremony is considered to be a woman's ceremony. Why?  5: What do you think the village would assemble in the shape of a circle?                                               

Chapter 13  1: Who dies in chapter 13? Who was he?  2: Who participated in the death ritual?  3: What is an egwugwu?  4: What does Achebe say about the domain of the living and the domain of the dead?  5: What is the relationship between the domains of the living and the dead in our society?  6: What was the death ritual and what, surprisingly, happened during it?  7: Why did Okonkwo have to go into exile? What kind of "crime" did he commit?  8: What kind of man was Okonkwo's friend Obierika?  

Chapter 14 1: How did Okonkwo's kinsmen on his mother's side receive him?  2: Who is Uchendu?  3: What had been Okonkwo's greatest passion? What does it say about his chi?  4: Why is one of the commonest names for children is Nneka?  

Chapter 15  1: What happened at the village of Abame?  2: What did the Oracle tell them to do? To what is the white man compared?  3: What was the result of the actions taken by those of Abame?  

Chapter 16  1: What happened when the missionaries came to Umuofia? Who were the early converts?  2: Who are the efulefu?  3: Who was among the converts? Why did he convert?  4: How did community of Mbanta react to the missionaries?  5: What kind of gods did the clan worship according to the evangelists? Do you agree?  

Chapter 17  1: What is the "evil forest"? What land was given to the missionaries for their church and why?  2: How did Okonkwo react to the news that is eldest son was a convert? What happened as a result?  3: How did Okonkwo's reaction affect his relationship to his son?  

Chapter 18  1: What else did the missionaries bring along with religion?  2: What is an osu?  3: Were the effects of the missionaries totally negative?      If not, in what way could they be viewed as positive?  4: How did the people of Mbanta choose to deal with the Christians and their converts?  5: What did Okonkwo think they should do?  

Chapter 19  1: Why did Okonkwo regret his exile? What does this tell us about his character?  2: What did he name the children born to him in exile?  3: How did Okonkwo show his appreciation to his mother's clan?  4: What else does this episode tell us about his character?  5: What is the role of the yam in the life of the community?  6: Why did the stories in the first book vanish?  Is there any change in tone from One to Book Two?  7: Why do the umunna fear for the younger generation?  8: What are the advantages of a people that speak with one voice? What are its disadvantages?  

Chapter 20  1: What had Okonkwo lost during his seven years in exile? Why would these things be important to him?  2: How did he plan to regain his previous status?  3: What is the ozo society?  4: How had Umuofia changed in the intervening five years?  5: Aside from religion, what other institutions did the white man bring?  6: What does the white man think of their customs according to Obierika?   

Chapter 21  1: Did the other villagers feel as strongly as Okonkwo about the new religion?  2: Who is Mr. Brown and how did he treat the villagers? Write down specific characteristics.  3: For what did Okonkwo mourn and why?  

Chapter 22 1: Who is Mr. Smith and how did he differ from Mr. Brown?  2: How does Achebe characterize the whites in the novel? Do they seem to be fully developed characters?  3: "Mr. Smith danced a furious step and the drums went mad." What does this saying mean?  4: What did Enoch, one of the converts, do during the festival of the earth goddess?  5: Which community, the Ibo or the white man, showed more tolerance and why?  

Chapter 23  1: Why is Okonkwo happy at the beginning of this chapter?  2: What happened when a delegation of six went to the District Commissioner?  3: How were Okonkwo and his fellow villagers treated?  4: What do the British assume about how Ibo society works?  

Chapter 24 1: When Okonkwo returned to his village, what did he do?  2: How does Okonkwo define a coward?  3: What did Okonkwo do when officials from the DC approached the assembly of the villagers?  4: What did Okonkwo discover afterwards? How did the villagers react to his response?  

Chapter 25 Why did Okonkwo commit suicide?  1: Why can't Okonkwo's best friend, or any of the other villagers, cut him down and bury him?  2: How does this show the limitations of tradition?  3: What is ironic about the title of the DC's proposed book?  What role will Okonkwo's death play in it?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

homework 6/14

Things Fall Apart ch. 16+17

The ROAR post, last one of the year, is postponed until Monday @2pm

Monday, June 13, 2011

Homework 6/13

Things Fall Apart ch. 14+15

ROAR 2nd post due on Wednesday

BPS ELA Final Exam tomorrow! Meet at the Timothy Smith Computer Lab; bring your text books.

Our Final: 6/16 (common assessment on literary terms) 6/20 (Things Fall Apart, Power Plus Vocab)

Practice Multiple Choice Answers
1: c
2: c
3: a
4: c
5: b
6: b
7: a
8: d
9: b
10: b
11: a
12: c
13: a

1: a
2: b
3: d
4: d
5: c
6: a
7: d
8: b
9: c
10: a

1: c
2: d
3: a
4: b
5: d
6: b
7: c
8: a
9: d
10: d
11: c
12: d
13: c
14: b

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Homework 6/7

Things Fall Apart ch. 7+8

Vocab Quiz #18 on Friday

Keep on ROAR reading :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Homework 6/6

Things Fall Apart ch. 5+6

Vocab Quiz #18 on Friday

ROAR post #2 aka "the final ROAR post" on 6/15

Friday, June 3, 2011

Homework 6/3

Things Fall Apart ch. 3+4

Read that ROAR novella. It's short.

Here's the 826 official e-mail about our June 8th event: click here!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Homework 6/2

Things Fall Apart ch.2
-come ready with some questions

Vocab quiz lesson #17

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Homework 6/1

Vocab quiz #17 on Friday!

ROAR reading

begin your revisions on the Huck Finn essay

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homework 5/26

ROAR posts postponed to Monday, May 30th

Huck Finn Examination
-be ready to defend your argument on whether Huck Finn should be taught in High School by making use of:
1) critical articles
2) your opinion
3) textual examples
4) historical context
5) literary elements [satire, irony, theme, romanticism vs. realism]  

link to Peaches Henry article:
link to Justin Kaplan article:
link to Julius Lester article:
link to Toni Morrison article:

The Daily Show on Huck Finn (contains some objectionable content)
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mark Twain Controversy
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

60 Minutes on Huck Finn

Happy thinking!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homework 5/24

read the article on the reverse side of your May calendar

tomorrow is a reading day, be ready for some strong thinking

Monday, May 23, 2011

Homework 5/23

Well done with your ROAR presentations. Teachers and former students have shared great praise for your work.

Back to vocabulary tomorrow. We'll have a quiz on lesson #16.

So, what's Huck's new plan? You trust him? Jim had a happy ending? Let's discuss.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homework 5/10

read and notes, Huck Finn ch. 24-27

vocab quiz: lesson 15 on Thursday

Monday, May 9, 2011

Homework 5/9

Read and notes, Huck Finn 21~23

ROAR presentation outline

Vocab lesson 15 on Thursday

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Homework 5/8

Happy Mother's Day!

-read and notes, Huck Finn ch. 18-20

-ROAR proposal

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Homework 5/5

read and notes, Huck Finn ch.16+17

vocabulary quiz lesson 13+14

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homework 5/4

read and notes, Huck Finn ch. 12-15

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Homework 5/3

-read and notes, Huck Finn ch.8-11

-vocab quiz #13+14 on Friday

-find that novella!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

ROAR Term V: Classic Novellas

ROAR Term V:
Classic Novellas

For this term, your best best is to select a work from this list. Selections will be scrutinized closely, and must be considered "classic" on the merit of the work or the author.

Animal Farm

George Orwell
-animal fable shows the problems of communism and democracy
(not if you read in 9th grade)

Ayn Rand
-a future world where technology is prohibited so all humans are equal

Bartleby, the Scrivener
Herman Melville
-a boss tries to fire a secretary who “prefers not to” do any work, but Bartleby keeps returning

-a biting satire of faith in God and the futility of finding hope in the midst of disasters

Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel García Márquez
-you and the entire town know he is about to be killed, but Santiago Nasar has no idea

Walter Mosley
-a boy is visited by a mysterious visitor who teaches him to not be a slave or a master

Lan Samantha Chang
-a family struggles with isolation, adapting to a new culture and broken dreams

Pafko at the Wall (Underworld)
Don DeLillo
-a famous baseball game is the background for America entering the Cold War

Seize the Day
Saul Bellow
-one day in the life of a man who has lost his family and his money

Herman Hesse
-a wealthy young man leaves his home to search for meaning in life

The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho
-a Spanish shepherd travels to the Great Pyramids for a promised treasure

The Day the Leader Was Killed
Naguib Mahfouz
-an account of a modern assassination in Egypt

The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy
-a man dies from a freak accident with curtains, but it’s really caused from living a bad life

The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka
-Gregor wakes up one morning, and has been turned into a beetle

The Old Man and the Sea
Ernest Hemingway
-a fateful fishing trip to regain honor ends with the largest fish the Cuban village had ever seen

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Muriel Spark
-the lives of many students are impacted by this remarkable teacher

Homework 4/31

Enjoy this fabulous spring weekend!

part of your fun should involve ch. 3+4 of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Homework 4/28

-vocab quiz lessons 12+13 tomorrow

read and notes for Huckleberry Finn ch. 1+2 (links in previous post)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Homework 4/13

finish up Othello, be ready for pity and fear

ROAR posts!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homework 4/12

Othello 5.1 read and notes

ROAR post 3&4 for Wednesday

begin to review material for Othello test on Friday

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homework 4/11

Othello 4.2

Vocab review quiz: lessons 5-10

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Homework 4/8

Othello Act 3 Scene 4 + Act 4 Scene 1

Vocab Review Quiz on Tuesday (mostly from lessons 5-10)

ROAR posts 3+4 on Wednesday

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homework 4/7

Othello Act 3 Scene 3

Vocab Quiz #10

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

homework 4/4

Othello read to page 96

Monday, April 4, 2011

Homework 4/4

nice symmetry with today's date...

Read and notes, Othello Act 2 Scene 2+3

we'll be acting lines tomorrow, using our group order from today:

(1-10)       Tragedy
(18-29)     Rank and Status
(100-114) Husbands and Wives
(125-138) Turks
(245-259) Moor

vocab quiz #10 on Friday

Friday, April 1, 2011

Homework 4/1

Read and notes Othello Act 2 Scene 1

Vocab Quiz #10, Friday

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Homework 3/30

Othello 1.3
-keep on the look out for the we vs. they separations

ROAR posts! 1&2

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Homework 3/29

read and notes, Othello 1.2

ROAR posts 1 and 2 for Wednesday

Vocab quiz #9 on Friday

Monday, March 28, 2011

Homework 3/28

-Read and notes: Othello Act 1 Scene 1

-ROAR posts #1 and #2 for Wednesday

-Vocab quiz #9 on Friday

Friday, March 25, 2011

Homework 3/26

-Read p.1082-1089 in the Blue Textbook. It is an introduction to Shakespeare; please take strong notes

online refresher?
Go to: classzone
-select Language Arts/MA then find your book
-select McDougal Littell Literature, Grade 10
-click "online book" at bottom left
-create a "student account"
-use ACTIVATION CODE: 4726324-650 for the book

-posts 1 and 2 are due on Wednesday

-lesson 9 (15 words) on Friday

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 Long Composition Prompt Contest

Here are your entries to the competition. Students with the closest guess will earn a non-school lunch of their choice.

In literature as in life...

-character trait that helps overcome obstacles
-struggle with honesty
-change of mind
-character that inspires others
-fidelity in a character
-coming of age
-character matuaration
-dual narrative voice [this one will NOT be the question :)]
-foil character
-character that prevents the protagonist from reaching their goals
-emotional journey
-secondary character that affects the main character
-perseverance through difficult situations
-struggles with a new environment
-importance of setting
-symbolic object
-friend to the protagonist
-character makes a drastic change
-downfall that leads to success
-struggle with society
-difficult decision
-coping with guilt
-courage in a character
-moral dilema
-struggles with assimilation
-mood of the story
-racial discrimination

Homework 3/21


Long Composition is tomorrow, bring your dictionary and review the cheat sheets

ROAR posts: post 1 and 2 will be due on Wednesday, March 30. You can still post this week, but will check for two posts on next Wednesday

Vocabulary lesson 7 and 8 on Friday

Reaching Out Socratic Circle on Friday

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

ROAR IV: History

Time for some historical ROAR! Make a selection by Monday, March 14

No biographies, think about reading a history of a topic that interests you.
-math (the history of zero)
-chem (the discovery of an element)
-history (the Doner Party)
-ELA (history of curse words)

Here are some choice selections from past years:

This book is perfect for anyone who has ever touched a joystick or a D-pad. The premise of this book is how each big company or person that has made gaming history, from Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese), to Shigeru Miyamoto (the man behind Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Yoshi, and Star Fox).

This book was about the war of chocolate. It started off telling about these two men who wanted to pursue a career in creating the best chocolates. The two men were Forrest Mars, and Milton Hershey.

Blue: The History of a Color By Michel Pastoureau
Certain colors were forbidden outside certain social groups. The moral issue was not the actual color, but the product used to create it. This became part of how people distinguished social outcasts. "The crippled, the deformed, lepers, the 'weak bodied,' and those who were 'cretins and funny in the head' were often to wear bright colors" (Pastoureau 91).

Chewing Gum By Michael Redclift
Michael Redclift shows a history of how gum was created. Thomas Adams introduced chicle to the Americans but Wrigley offered baking powder to customers who would buy two packs of gum. He convinced millions of Americans to buy his gum.

As the 1918 season ended it was a significant moment for the Red Sox. Unfortunately, it was the last moment worth mentioning for the next 86 years. That year was full of controversy due to the player strike, threat of government shutting down the season, and the lack of players on rosters.

Beer, spirits, wine, cola, coffee, and tea are six beverages that were each the most influential drinks at particular eras in history. These six beverages form a chain of drinks that were important to many people because they were used for important events.

The book takes you back to when ice cream first came to be, and what an interesting history it is. Marilyn Powell did a great in writing this book. She sure knew how to draw her readers in by intriguing stories, myths, and facts about ice cream.

Chocolate, referred to as "the gods' breakfast" is "just about everyone's drug of choice." In the book Chocolate, Mort Rosenblum describes the history and the processes that make chocolate. Based on history, it is said that one hundred beans of cacao was worth one slave.

The book Can't Stop Won’t Stop was about the hip-hop generation and how it started. Hip Hop was a very popular type of music in the 1979 when it started. It appealed to people because it was a type of music like no other. Hip Hop originated from the Bronx, New York when DJs began isolating the percussion break from funk and disco songs.

In the book the idea of “teenager” was discussed. Amazingly, this word did not always exist. According to Thomas Hine and many other people, teens were invented. "The word was coined during the early 1940's by some anonymous writer or editor to describe an age group that had suddenly become a great interest to marketers and social reformers."

Heroin By Humberto Fernandez
Heroin, the notorious drug known for its addiction and devastation, dates back over 7,000 years ago as the Sumerians made the discovery of opium. One of the main cereal crops that the Sumerians grew was the poppy flower, in which they referred to as "hul gil", or "the plant of joy."

The two men were very alike in physical features, but had different careers. One is an architect, while the other is a killer. Burnham, the architect, was well known for many of his like the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington. H. H. Holmes was at first a doctor who then built a hotel called "World's Fair Hotel” where the guests were brutally murdered.