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.

Advertisements

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