Friday, May 29, 2009

Quiz Today

Good morning,
Today we took a short answer quiz about our recent readings. If you were here you took the quiz. If you were not here you need to take the quiz.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ernest Hemingway

Alright folks stay with me now. We are romping through the 20th century.
Today is Hemingway. You read another story by Hemingway a few months ago with a sub. It was "Hills Like White Elephants". Today we will skim and scan for some background about his life and then read another of his stories.

1. Get basic background knowledge on Hemingway. I recommend adding notes to your EJ.
2. We will read "The End of Something" together, again with notes in the EJ.

Note #1: Mrs. R will be at a meeting tomorrow. Yes, you have a sub. No, you will not use computers.
Note #2: There is a quiz Friday on The Harlem Renaissance and the reading from today and tomorrow.
Note #3: Mrs. R will not be here at lunch today. Yes, another meeting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Zora Neale Hurston

Good morning,

The trouble with a lot of 20th century American Lit is that most of it is not in the public domain. That means someone still owns a copyright on it and that means it is usually not available on the internet for free.

Lucky for you the essay I was going to have you read from the textbook today is online. You will also need your English Journal open as well.

Today we will examine a work by another famous author of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston and read her famous essay How It Feels to Be Colored Me.

For more information visit

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Langston Hughes

Good morning,
Yesterday we looked at some overview materials about the Harlem Renaissance. Today we will dive more deeply into the poetry of Langston Hughes. You will need the links below to read along. You will also need your English journal open to write about the poems as we read them.

I, Too

Dream Deferred
The Weary Blues
Mother to Son
When the Negro Was in Vogue (essay)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your "to do" list.

Good morning,
Did you miss me? We have a lot to accomplish this week, so let's get started.
1. Open your English Journal and write 5-10 sentences about yesterday. Describe the sub, what you did, how you behaved, how your classmates behaved etc. Be specific.
2. If your "brick" isn't finished and on the wall lets figure out why and get it done.
3. I am trying to decide which resources to use for our study of the Harlem Renaissance. Go find out more about it and see what you can find. Send me an e-mail with the best links you find. You must explain what those links go to and why you think we should spend more time looking at them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Poetry... not that bad...

Good morning,
Did you work on your brick? Do you know what happened at the White House last night? If not check this out. I tried to get you video of it because it sounded really cool, but of course any decent video site is blocked by the paternalistic forces in our district IT department. I can play you a radio segment about it. Prepare to listen. It's that thing you do with your ears.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More about walls...

Good morning,
Your presentations on Friday were great. I was very impressed with the poems you found and liked. I hope you recall the poems by Robert Frost that we read on Thursday while our internet was down. Working from our start with The Mending Wall we are going to look at other poems about walls and find more. First we will revisit The Mending Wall and then move on to First Visit to The Wall and even Another Brick in the Wall.

Questions to consider:
  1. What kind of wall is each of these texts talking about?
  2. What is the purpose of that wall?
  3. What does the poet think about the wall?
  4. What do you think about the wall?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Poetry Presentations

Ready or not you are presenting your found poems today.
After each presentation please follow the link below to grade the presentation you just saw.


When we are done with presentations I will give you a tiny URL you can use to grade your own group.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Comparing two poems...ugh...sort of...

Ok yesterday I taught some poetry and it wasn't that bad. I can do it for another day. One day at a time right? If I can do it you can do it. Today is going to be even better because I'm going to make you do all the work. (I love it when that happens.)

Your task: (With your group)
  1. Take another look at the two poems we looked at yesterday. Mushrooms and A slender fellow in the grass.
  2. Find something you think these two poems have in common. (They have more than one thing in common so you have choices here. Make a list before you choose.)
  3. Find three other poems that have the same feature. (Poems you don't hate would be good.)
  4. Create a presentation to share these three poems with the class. (Hint: GD...New...Presentation...Share it with group.) Decide who will read each part and what you want to say.
  5. Find a visual (picture) to go with each poem you present.

Wow, that was fun (for me). Now I have to go find that Google Form I use when you are grading each other's presentations. Get to work people.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Good Morning,
Poetry is a major portion of American Literature that we really haven't seen much of yet this year. I admit this reflects my personal bias. I did not like poetry in school and I have been reluctant to subject you to it. (That's the slam part, and there's more coming.) I'm not going to pretend I love poetry to try to get you excited about it. I do think though, that there are some poets you need to know about and some things you need to know about poetry. Conveniently, this fits the state standards, but more importantly it just makes you a more educated person.

I promise to only show you poems and poets that I like, and since I am really picky about poetry this could be a short list. I also promise not to ask you to write any poetry unless you really want to. (Actually, I have a selfish reason for this too. Since I don't like poetry I don't want to read more than I have to.) I will ask you to write about the poems we read and the poems you find.

Together we will seek out our favorite poets, our favorite themes, and find ways to make it as interesting as possible. Are you with me? No, wait, don't answer that. Just go read this poem.

Monday Afternoon

Not enough people were done with their Gatsby papers on Friday, so we had one last work session on that and did not watch the end of the film. Today we did finish the film in 4th period and we have five minutes left in third period. Absences seemed a little high today. I wonder if people are staying home because they are really sick or because of fears of the H1N1 virus? Two other high schools in our district are closed for two weeks. I know many of my students are secretly (and not so secretly) hoping that will happen here too.