Sunday, February 28, 2010

John Muir

Today we look at another famous nature writer, John Muir. He was America's earliest environmentalist. He founded the Sierra Club and his writings helped to save Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park. Muir spent many years traveling in the mountains of California. Today we will read an excerpt from his most famous book The Mountains of California. This passage is about a storm the Muir witnessed in 1874. Link to excerpt.

Word Cloud from this Excerpt:


Word cloud made with WordItOut

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


No examination of American writings about nature would be complete without looking at Thoreau's most famous work Walden. Today we will read and listen to some excerpts.  You will need your English Journal open as well as a tab for the text. Between sections of the text I will give you two minutes to quick write as much as you can about your impressions of what we just read.

If you are waiting for others to be ready to begin visit the map at the bottom of the blog and find the marker for Walden Pond. Zoom in and switch to satilite view to see the place Thoreau was writing about.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crossing the Plains, 1865

Good morning,
   Lots of fun yesterday with Lewis and Clark. You got to practice finding assumptions and statements about nature. Let's try it again and take it a step further.
   About 60 years after Lewis and Clark a teenage girl named Sarah crossed the plains with her family in a wagon train headed for Montana.  She kept a diary. 
  1. As you read keep looking for ASSUMPTIONS and evidence of NATURE.
  2. When you are done highlighting paste the URL in your English Journal.
  3. Then copy one of your assumptions into your EJ also.
  4. EXPLAIN why you think the part you copied is an assumption.
Awesome Highlighter
Sarah Raymond's Diary (Note the first three paragraphs are an introduction before her actual diary entries start.)


Monday, February 22, 2010

Lewis and Clark

Good morning,
   In 1803 the United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France.  In 1804  Lewis and Clark set out to explore this new territory overland. They were supposed to determine what resources the United States had acquired through this purchase.

Today we will look at some of the entries in the journals of Lewis and Clark. As you read through these look for two things:
1. Any statements they make that relate to the natural space they were in.
2. Any statements that reflect their assumptions or beliefs.

We will use Awesome Highlighter for this today.
  1. Go to The Journals of Lewis and Clark. 
  2. Paste the URL for the journals into Awesome Highlighter.
  3. Highlight statements about NATURE in GREEN 
  5. When you are DONE put the URL for your work today in to your English Journal. 
  6. Example from Mrs. R.
Standard RC 2.5 Analyze an author's implicit and explicit philosophical assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

Friday, February 19, 2010

More of the Fireside Poets

Good morning,
   We don't have all day here. I have a cool video about Manhattan I want to show you after we get this done.
  1. Read 1-2 of these poems. (See links below) 
  2. Paste the URL into Awesome Hightlighter.
  3. Highlight some of the lines about NATURE in the poem you chose.
  4. Paste the URL in your EJ. (English Journal)
  5. WRITE what you think the poet thought about nature.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Do Schools Kill Creativity

Catching up and Moving On- The Fireside Poets

Good morning,

Ok quick quiz: Answer these questions in your English Journal.
What did William Bradford think about the landscape of New England when the Puritans arrived?
How did William Byrd describe the landscape of Virgina?
How are their positions similar to or different from a Native American perspective?

Fun with poetry:
The Fireside Poets, a little power point Mrs. R found on the internet created by The Danna Huff.

A Gleam of Sunshine

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Colonial Views of Nature

Good morning,

Part I.
  1. Open your English Journal and click on the link you created yesterday with Awesome Highlighter.
  2. Compare what you highlighted about NATURE to what a partner highlighted.
  3. Write an entry in your EJ about the comparison. What did your partner highlight that you did not and vice versa? 
  4. Make sure you know what the Puritans thought about the natural world.

Part II
We are going to look at what another early colonial person thought about nature in Virgina.  William Byrd wrote about Virgina in 1728.  We are going to look at this text together. Click HereTo Get The Text.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do you have a computer at home?

If you are a student WITHOUT a computer at home, you are eligible to get a free computer and free Internet. You need to show that you are computer literate or participate in a three day computer training course. Please contact:

YMCA Youth & Community Center
2929 Meade Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 281-8313/FAX (619) 281-8324

Program Coordinator: Cyber Y Technology Center
(x109) Adrian Valdez

Puritan Views of Nature and Awesome Highlighter

Good morning,
   I hope you all had a lovely four day weekend.  You may remember that last week were looking at the Native American view of nature. This week we are going to take a look at the Puritan view of nature.
   You remember the Puritans. They were some of the first Europeans to settle in New England. We read about them in The Crucible.
   The Puritans first arrived in Plymouth in 1620. Their leader, William Bradford, wrote a book about their experiences. He called it "Of Plymouth Plantation".  We are going to look at a very short excerpt from that book. (Also in your textbook if you need it.)
   There are a lot of steps here. Follow them carefully and ask for help if you get stuck.

1. Click on this link for the Excerpt of "Of Plymouth Plantation"
2. Copy the URL for that page. (Highlight and Ctrl+C)
3. Go to The Awesome Highlighter.
4. Delete the http:// that is already there and then paste in (Ctrl+V) the URL for the excerpt.
5. Use Awesome Highlighter to highlight all the sentences or phrases you find in the text that show what the Puritans thought about NATURE in "the new world".
6. Click DONE when you are finished.
7. Awesome Highlighter will give you a custom URL just for your highlighted page.
8. Copy and Paste that URL into your English Journal under today's date.
9. In your English Journal UNDER your link WRITE what you think the Puritans thought of nature.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Evaluating Nature Statements

Good morning
   Let's see how much you've absorbed about Native American viewpoints about nature.  (Keeping in mind that the term Native American includes thousands of diverse tribes from all over the continent and there is some variation in their view points.)

   You are going to look at four statements that relate to nature. You have to decide if the statement is true or false from a Native American viewpoint. Use what you have read this week to help you defend your answers.

Statements About Nature Assessment

Note:  If you have not completed your work from Tuesday and Wednesday you still need to. Read a story from The Native Lore Index Page  Respond to the story here> Quotes from Native American Stories

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Views of Nature

Good morning,
   We are going to look at the ways people in America have viewed nature over the past 400 years. To start we will review some Native American stories to see how Native Americans viewed nature. We will read one together and then you will get to read more on your own.

Please click HERE to get to the story we will start with. "How the Fly Saved the River"

Remember when I asked you to figure out what a the story says about life? Today's variation is "What does the story say about nature?" Use the link to the form below to add your answer to our spread sheet.

Quotes from Native American Stories

There are many more Native American stories. The Native Lore Index Page has a list of 150 stories. Over the next few days your challenge is to read as many of those stories as you can, figure out what each one is saying about nature and add more quotes to the form above.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What do you think?

Wawona, Big Trees, Mariposa, C... Digital ID: 67553. New York Public Library

English Journal Entry:
What does this picture show? What do you think about what you see?  What does this picture say about the interaction between humans and nature?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shhh! Leaked test question from the final...

This leaked question is only for the students I like the most, like you. I like you because you checked the blog for leaked questions. Good job!

Sorry I ran out of time to leak a question on Wednesday. Here's two for Thursday.  See you in the morning.

Which of the following best describes the Puritan view of heaven and hell:
a. It would be fine to go to either
b. They were real places and God had already decided who would go where.
c. They were imaginary places described in the Bible to encourage goodness.
d. Heaven was boring and hell would be a lot more fun.

 What is the tone of Chief Red Jacket's "Lecture to a Missionary"?
a. respectful
b. angry
c. sarcastic
d. aloof