Seniors: Work day, essays due tomorrow

Here are some last minute resources for your essays that are due tomorrow:

Lady Macbeth and the Loss of a Child – We didn’t read this in class

Lit theory lenses – Two psychoanalytic essays, a New Historic reading and a Christian reading

Literary theory questions – Things to ask yourself about the text if you get stuck tonight and aren’t sure what else to write about

JStor.org – A resource of thousands of academic articles and journals

Here’s the rubric: https://www.dropbox.com/s/aqjlherh3hwhp1z/Macbeth%20lit%20theory%20essay%20rubric.docx?dl=0

Good luck! Email if you have any last minute questions.

Freshmen B: R&J Act 1 scene 4

So, Romeo’s a mopey emo mess because the woman he loves, Rosaline, wants to be a nun. What’s going to make Romeo feel better? His buddies Benvolio and Mercutio think crashing a Capulet party will do the trick so that Romeo can meet other women.

This is the first scene where we meet Mercutio, Romeo’s kind of wild and fun friend. This scene, while short, is important because we get to know Mercutio but we learn a little more about Romeo: what are his thoughts on fate and love and dreams — but especially fate? And how do they compare to Mercutio’s?

Take a look at Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech about a fairy who visits dreamers in their sleep and Romeo’s lines at the end of the scene where he says “my mind misgives/Some consequence yet hanging in the stars/Shall bitterly begin his fearful date” (I.4). Follow the directions on the link.

Your superhero essays were due Friday. Make sure I’ve got it.

Seniors: Looking at sample Macbeth essays

There’s no class tomorrow and we’ve decided on a work day for Thursday, and quite a few of you have met with me to go over over ideas (though just as many of you haven’t – get on that). Bring a laptop if you can for Thursday.

Today we looked at two essays per group, one good one and one not so good one. Essays 1-3 are examples worth following and 4 & 5 are ones to use to see what you could do differently: Sample essays – Macbeth

Take a look at what’s different about them. Aside from just a better grasp on using evidence to support their arguments, essays 1-3 are written better because the sentences are argumentative and all have a point. They are clear and concise, probably because they’re avoiding “to be” verbs (are, is, were, was, etc.) and being clear about who and what they’re talking about — you’ll find very little “him”, “her”, “they”, and “who” in essays 1-3.

Freshmen: Romeo and Juliet Act 1 scene 1 to Act 1 scene 3

Freshmen: we started reading Romeo and Juliet! So far we’ve just been introduced to Romeo, his cousin Benvolio, Juliet, Juliet’s nurse, the parents and Tybalt — Juliet’s cousin.

We’ve already seen a major fight, learned that Romeo begins the book in love with a girl (who’s also a nun) named Rosaline and we’ve left off as Romeo and the other Montague boys are about to crash a party at Juliet’s.

We haven’t done any major classwork yet, but if you’ve missed class just make sure you’re up to speed on who these characters are and the basic plot so far.

Also, your superhero essays are due today.

Seniors: 3 levels of perspective

We’ve finished Macbeth! Onward to improving your non-fiction writing skills for college application essays or any creative writing you might be interested in doing in the future.

We started off class talking about three kinds of perspective/introspection in non-fiction pieces.

Level 1 – Very factual, not much analysis of the author’s life or world around them.
Examples:

“My relationship with Allison lasted for six hours: the two hours after school before The Rockford Files for three days in a row.” – High Fidelity

“Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief.” – Jaws

Level 2 – A sentence about “you,” “I” or “we” that offers some analysis or introspection about the world. It’s more than just a factual statement, it offers something deeper and meaningful. Examples:

“You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again.” – Jaws

“Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable, or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” – High Fidelity

Level 3 – A sentence that offers an opinion about human nature, how the world works or other “big ideas.” It generally doesn’t have “I” in it. It’s complete analysis, introspection or study of something. Examples:

“Unhappiness used to mean something. Now it’s just a drag like a cold or having no money.” – High Fidelity

“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns and watching violent videos, we’re scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over, but nobody worries about kids listening to thousands—literally thousands—of songs about heartbreak and rejection and pain and misery and loss.” – High Fidelity

We looked at three pieces: monologues from movies “Jaws” and “High Fidelity” and Peter Keane’s “Everyone Deserves Defense.”

We went through each piece writing down which sentence was what level. For Thursday, come to class with your college essay or piece of personal writing done the same way.

9B: Revising yesterday’s thesis statements

Today we took the thesis statements you ended class with yesterday (see 9A’s post from today for a summary) and revised them. Using student examples from a previous thesis assignment, we used the following checklist to see what constitutes a solid thesis statement:

Today we took themes that we found in our graphic novels and tried to write thesis statements about them. Here’s a recap of class:

Length and format:
-Thesis statements are only 1-2 sentences
Tone:
-Reads like an argument or an opinion
-The argument or opinion is backed up with how the author is going to prove their argument
“So What?”
-Thesis statement specifically references your book or character by name
-Uses the character or book to explain something larger, like something about human personality or society.
Basically, why is this thesis idea important outside of the book?
-Uses strong verbs like “shows,” “demonstrates,” “reveals,”
-Uses key words like “because,” “since,” “however,” “despite” or other words that can connect two ideas
together

Apply this list of thesis characteristics to what you have written down. Does yours do all of these things? How can you add the missing points in to yours?

You should’ve left class today with a pretty solid working thesis statement. You’ll use this to write our first essay.

9A: Developing a thesis statement

Today we took themes that we found in our graphic novels and tried to write thesis statements about them. Here’s a recap of class:

1) First, you should have brainstormed a list of thematic ideas (things, people, places, choices that came up over and over again in your graphic novel). Try writing more than one word. Instead of “depressing” maybe the better theme is “overcoming depression.”

2) Choose one of the topics you wrote down and do a free write: write for ten minutes about that topic in the book without stopping. If you can’t think of anything to write that doesn’t mean stop writing, it means keep writing “I don’t know what to write” until something else comes to mind.

3) Review what you wrote and underline any arguments or opinions you wrote down.

4) This is the hard part: turn those underlined phrases or sentences into a thesis statement.

This checklist should help:

Length and format:
-Thesis statements are only 1-2 sentences
Tone:
-Reads like an argument or an opinion
-The argument or opinion is backed up with how the author is going to prove their argument
“So What?”
-Thesis statement specifically references your book or character by name
-Uses the character or book to explain something larger, like something about human personality or society.
Basically, why is this thesis idea important outside of the book?
-Uses strong verbs like “shows,” “demonstrates,” “reveals,”
-Uses key words like “because,” “since,” “however,” “despite” or other words that can connect two ideas
together

If you left class today unsure today about what you did, we’ll revisit this tomorrow. The goal is that everyone will leave class tomorrow with an excellent and analytical thesis statement.

Seniors: Presentations

Today we heard from the Post-Colonial and Feminist groups. Nice work to both of them — I think we came away with a much better understanding of those lenses and how to apply them to Macbeth.

The other four groups are slated for tomorrow. We’re gonna start right away, so make sure you’re ready to go when you come in. I had some trouble connecting to the internet on my laptop today, so be prepared in case of emergency.

Freshmen B: Prepping for tomorrow

We spent today trying to get you guys prepped for tomorrow’s seminar. Below are the lists of questions each group can use as a starting point for tomorrow. Also, we may have a few visitors watching this lesson.

Batman Year One/Superman: Red Son/Icon: A Hero’s Welcome

Socratic Seminar prep:

Take today’s class to answer as many of these questions as you can. Your answers should reference specific parts of the texts we’ve worked with so far during this unit: your graphic novel, the monomyth/hero’s journey, the Batman/Superman article from Supergods, the short story about dating Lois Lane we listened to called “Just Be Yourself”, President Eisenhower’s military industrialism speech, Brown on hyper-masculine alter egos, articles on WEB DuBois/Booker T. Washington, film noir and the books’ own introductions.

The more questions you answer today the more prepared you’ll be for the seminar tomorrow. The questions on this sheet are the ones you’ll be asked/asking. It’s fine if the conversation moves away from these topics, just make sure you’re still referring to and citing the text.

1) Why do we like heroes who look scary, like Batman? (Inspired by Lennette)

2) In Superman: Red Son, Superman has no alter ego (we never see him as Clark Kent). Do you think if he spent more time as his alter ego Superman would’ve been one with the people and understood his mistakes faster? (Nik)

3) If you were in Raquel’s position (pregnant as a teenager), what would you do? (Tommy)

4) Could someone like Superman or Icon – aliens who crashed on earth – ever fully be a part of/accepted into our society, or would we always see them as foreigners who didn’t quite belong? (Inspired by Tommy)

5) What are common characteristics of superheroes and common characteristics that attract us to them? (Joan)

6) If Superman wasn’t created with a hyper-masculine side, what do you think superheroes today would look like? (Joan)

7) Between Batman, Superman and Icon, whose alter ego/real identity best reflects the average person’s outlook on life? (Joan)

8) In Superman: Red Son is Superman a villain? (Claudi)

9) If you had Superman’s powers would you rule a country like he does in Superman: Red Son? (Inspired by David)

10) Would you want Superman to be in charge of your country in the same way he is in charge of the USSR in the book? (Inspired by David)

11) Does it matter to the story or Superman’s character that he doesn’t have an alter ego in Red Son? (Inspired by Tim)

12) What would Clark Kent be like if he was in Red Son? (Tim)

13) Do alter egos always have to be the opposite of their superhero side? For example, do they always have to be scrawny or weak? (Tim)

14) Why is the one sentence Lex Luthor wrote to Superman so destructive? (Mr. Shulkin)

15) Pick a side in Brainiac and Superman’s argument on page 137. Imagine this conversation between two philosophers who aren’t a superhero and supervillain – who would you side with and why? Explain your reasoning and use quotes from the book to back up your ideas. (Mr. Shulkin)

 

X-Men: Magneto Testament and X-Men comics

Socratic Seminar prep:

Take today’s class to answer as many of these questions as you can. Your answers should reference specific parts of the texts we’ve worked with so far during this unit: your graphic novel, the monomyth/hero’s journey, the Batman/Superman article from Supergods, the Nuremburg Laws, the comics that revealed more than one side to Magneto and even the writer’s notes in the book.

The more questions you answer today the more prepared you’ll be for the seminar tomorrow. The questions on this sheet are the ones you’ll be asked/asking. It’s fine if the conversation moves away from these topics, just make sure you’re still referring to and citing the text.

1) Do you think Magneto/Max was right to kill that mob that kept him from his daughter? (Kenia)

2) Do you believe Magneto can change for the better? (Inspired by Kenia)

3) How do you feel about Magneto. Are his actions justified? (Nia)

4) Does someone who feels remorse for their actions deserve punishment? Does Magneto? (Denezia)

5) How do freedom and fear go hand-in-hand or contradict each other? How do we see both of these in Magneto Testament or the Magneto comics? (Denezia)

6) How has Magneto changed throughout all the comics we’ve read so far? (Rosa)

7) Describe Magda. Did your opinion of Magda change between Magneto Testament and the comics? (Rosa)

8) Do you think differently of Magneto now that you’ve read Magneto Testament? (Stefano)

9) What do you think the quote on the last page of Magneto Testament means? (Stefano)

10) Do you think Herr Kalb shouldn’t have told Max the hammer quote? How does that quote effect Max throughout the story? (Antonio)

11) How might you have done things differently if you were in Max’s family’s shoes? (Antonio)

 

I Kill Giants

Take today’s class to answer as many of these questions as you can. Your answers should reference specific parts of the texts we’ve worked with so far during this unit: your graphic novel, the monomyth/hero’s journey, the Batman/Superman article from Supergods, the short story about dating Lois Lane we listened to called “Just Be Yourself”, the article on fantasies and even the author’s notes in the book.

The more questions you answer today the more prepared you’ll be for the seminar tomorrow. The questions on this sheet are the ones you’ll be asked/asking. It’s fine if the conversation moves away from these topics, just make sure you’re still referring to and citing the text.

1) Do you think Sophia could see the things Barbara does? (Desuray/Tracy)

2) What do you think the chain was that Sophia stepped on in the beginning of the book? (Juan)

3) Why did Barbara see her mom as a monster or something evil? (Tracy)

4) Where do you think Barbara’s dad is? Why do you think he left? (Tracy)

5) Do you think the giants and the titan are real? How come? (Julian)

6) Who is the real enemy in the story? (Julian/Desuray)

7) Do you think these giants represented anything more than just giants? (Desuray/Julian)

8) What did you think was happening the first time you saw Barbara’s name being called from upstairs? (Juan)

9) Did you ever think/do you still think Barbara is crazy? (Juan)

10) What were your feelings at the end of the book? (Juan)

11) On the page where it shows the destruction of part of the city/beach, do you think the storm or a titan caused that? (Juan)

12) Where do you think Barbara Thorson’s fantasies came from? (Sharis)

13) If Barbara’s dad was around how do you think that would’ve changed her fantasies? (Sharis)

And here’s the rubric:

Socratic seminar rubric

10-9 points 8-7 points 6 points or less
Preparation You bring everything needed for the day, including seminar prep sheet and materials we’ve used in class You come with seminar prep sheet but no other materials Your seminar prep sheet barely filled out, unprepared for class
Participation You speak, cite evidence (specifically when able), pose questions to spur discussion and add to peers’ ideas in order to create conversation You speak a little, don’t cite textual evidence, sometimes veer off topic or create arguments/debates where a discussion is more appropriate You don’t speak at all or you don’t add to a productive conversation
Written component You do the written work (handed out tomorrow), demonstrate you listen to group members and do so with an open mind to their ideas or creating a conversation Does some written work, does enough to show they were listening but not enough to demonstrate engagement Doesn’t do the written component, doesn’t demonstrate they were engaged in the group