American Lit 10/10 – Class work

Hi everyone,

I’m out all day at a meeting, but remember, there’s still stuff for you guys to do. By Thursday, you need to have read through chapter 39 of Huck Finn.

For Friday, your writing on the n-word in Huck Finn is due. Here’s the rubric and the guiding question you need to follow. Like all formal writing, this should have a thesis statement and evidence from at least two texts: N word writing assignment

Good luck!

Advertisements

American Lit 9/14 – Dialect links for class

Today you’re going to take a language quiz with your reading groups that may (or may not) be able to pinpoint what region of the USA you’re from (or at least talk like).

I took the quiz last night and this was my result:

Ok, so I’m not from New York/New Jersey, but this map isn’t entirely inaccurate. For one, see that reddish spot in the middle of Wisconsin? That’s where I grew up and aside from my clear New England speech tendencies (I’ve been here for about half my life, after all) it seems some of my regional dialects have stuck around. The test said that my use of the word “sneakers” pulled my dialect out towards New York/New Jersey, but I can explain that too: my mom grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island, so when we’d go shopping when I was little she’d buy me “sneakers.” I must’ve picked that up from her. So it’s not 100 percent, but it’s not far off!

(My girlfriend also took the quiz and got Worcester, where she was born and raised.)

If you’d like to hear people take the test, go here and push play. There’s a transcript right below the “play” icon.

Take the test here. When you get your results write down the following information for me:

  1. Where did the test say your dialect was from?
  2. Where do you consider yourself from?
  3. If the first two answers are different, can you explain why?
  4. What word did the test identify as the marker for your dialect?

Then, read the “explanatory” before the first chapter and the first chapter with your group in whatever way you all feel comfortable – likely in how you told me you like to read on your index card since I used that information to make these groups.

For tomorrow, pick three sentences each and “translate” them from dialect into how we would say that sentence today.

 

American Lit 9/13 – Early American writers’ influence on society

Hi guys,

We’ve spent two days looking over (and looking at) old and new sources. This weekend, please put it all together for Tuesday. Put your response to the question in the comments.

Here are the resources and rubric. Remember, our question is:

How did America’s earliest writing and writers influence our views on what America is (or could be) today?

Early USA lit values in text set

Letters from an American Farmer

Pioneers O Pioneers

“The Minister’s Black Veil”

Standard upperclassman writing rubric

American Lit 9/8 – Early American writers’ influence on society

Hi guys,

We’ve spent two days looking over (and looking at) old and new sources. This weekend, please put it all together for Tuesday. Put your response to the question in the comments.

Here are the resources and rubric. Remember, our question is:

How did America’s earliest writing and writers influence our views on what America is (or could be) today?

Early USA lit values in text set

Letters from an American Farmer

Pioneers O Pioneers

“The Minister’s Black Veil”

Standard upperclassman writing rubric

American Lit 9/6 – Roles for “Minister’s Black Veil” for Thursday

Hi American Lit,

Here are the groups/roles for Thursday:

Performers
This story, like many of Hawthorne’s works, contains some very dramatic moments. Your job is to perform the final scene from Hawthorne’s “Minister’s Black Veil.” You will need at least three characters (Reverend Mr. Hooper, Reverend Mr. Clark, Narrator). Remember, this is to be a performance, not just a reading, which means you’ll have to block out movement and make choices with the dialogue (volume, tempo, pauses, etc.). Write down at least three choices that you make with the text – things that are the result of your group’s interpretation, and not necessarily visible in the text. Be prepared to explain these choices after your performance. You may leave the classroom to rehearse your performance.

Artists
A marketing firm has hired your group to conceptualize and create two posters for an upcoming movie version of “The Minister’s Black Veil.” The first poster is to appeal to very traditional “literary” audiences, while the second is intended to appeal to younger, mainstream audiences. Carefully consider the power of Hawthorne’s symbols, and how you might utilize them, particularly the veil – is it symbolic of a specific sin of Hooper? Or of a more general sin of mankind? How do the themes of the story appeal to both types of audiences? How can you portray these themes visually in a way that will appeal to both types?

Psychologists
Professional psychologists often refer to the five stages of grief (also called the “Kübler-Ross model”): Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Briefly explain what these stages are, then find and cite an example of each of these stages as people in the story try to understand the behavior of Mr. Hooper. What, exactly, are the townspeople grieving? List the stages, page numbers of examples, and your conclusion.

Poe and the Literary Critics
Edgar Allan Poe said that meaning of Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” is that Mr. Hooper has committed a “crime of dark dye” against the woman whose funeral he conducts. Other critics contend that the story exhibits one of Hawthorne’s favorite themes, that of the “fortunate fall” (“felix culpa” in Latin), which is the idea that a series of miserable events will lead to a better or happier outcome for others. Find and cite evidence for both points of view, then take a stance (as a group) in this debate, clearly supporting one side. Explain why you think the evidence better supports your point of view.

Moralists
At the beginning, Hawthorne labels the story “A Parable.” What is a parable? Write and provide a source for the definition. Compile and cite evidence from the text that both supports and opposes the idea that this story is a parable – including Hawthorne’s assertion that the story is taken from a true incident with a Joseph Moody. As a group, come to a conclusion about whether Hawthorne’s story is in fact a parable, and if so, what lesson (or lessons) is it teaching?