Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday and Tuesday, 12/14-12-15

  • Monday we read for about fifty minutes.
  • Tuesday we read for about seventy-five minutes.


Monday (two-hour delay, due to fog)

  • We discussed people's wiki posts for Professor Foster's chapter about the sonnet.  We all agreed that the chapter was helpful in clarifying and simplifying what a sonnet is, and how it does what it does.
Poetry Essays
  • I handed back the Vendler and Frost points, and I gave copies of the following people's responses to show examples of making your thinking clear:  Sarah, Jack, John and Tyler.
  • We talked about the Vendler quote about mastery of language and imagination--that was one that almost everyone identified as important.
Shelley's "Ozymandias"
  • We talked about our wiki posts regarding the pictures of Ramses II, and the audio of different people reading the poem aloud.
  • We got into pairs/trios, and we discussed RJ questions 1-4, as well as Vendler's quote about mastery of language and imagination.
  • We got back together as a group to briefly talk about the poem again.
  • Read the Keats poem, "When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be", and reply to RJ ?s 1, 2, and 3.
  • Study for the Animal Farm vocabulary quiz (Thursday).
  • Work on your sestina (Friday).
Homework Due
  • Three RJ questions over "When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be"
Talking About Poetry
  • We took a few minutes to read over our Vendler and Frost notes, and we read other people's as well.
  • I then asked people to make connections between a point they say in Vendler or Frost, and any poem we've read or discussed since we started in August.  
  • Five or six people shared their insights, and we are definitely on the right track as far as making connections.
  • We will continue this throughout the week, until everyone has shared his/her connection.
Listening to Poetry
  • We listened to Ben Kingsley reading "Ozymandias", and we were all suitably impressed. :-) 
  • We talked about the sounds in this poem, in Kingsley's reading of it, as well as in the poem itself.
  • We stamped out some rhythm, as a way of being aware of the iambic pentameter.
  • We listened to a reading of "When I Have Fears...", then talked about what the poet was worrying about.
  • We listened to "Invictus" as a follow-up to Nick's comments about the movie and the poem yesterday.  This lead to a brief discussion of apartheid in South Africa.
Free Write #7
  • We wrote for ten minutes about what personal characteristics we think will live on after our deaths.  People could write about anything related to immortality, the poems we've been reading--each person followed a different path.
One of My Favorite Poems
  • I played an audio of Billy Collins reading his poem, "The Lanyard".
  • For homework, I asked everyone to write a letter to someone who's impossible to adequately thank--but try to do so anyway.
  • We reviewed for five minutes.
  • Thank-you letter to someone you could never adequately thank (due tomorrow)
  • Animal Farm vocabulary (quiz Thursday)
  • Sestina (read aloud Friday)

Our Focus for the Week:  SHOW, DON'T JUST TELL!


Homework Due
  • Answerless Questions
  • We looked at the E. B. White Sentence on page 53.  We took notes, then discussed as a class, about how one word can make a dramatic difference in a sentence.
Writing to Describe
  • I read an excerpt from Dinesen's Out of Africa about iguanas (p. 58).  People circled words that were powerful (DICTION), and they underlined phrases that put an image in their heads (SHOWING).
  • We discussed people's responses.
Writing Experiment #9--a super-shorty!
  • We made a list of perfect moments in our lives.  We kept this list in our own binders for later use.
  • With a partner, we discussed our ideas for the portfolio.  We talked some as a whole class about how those ideas are coming along.
  • We passed back bunches of papers, and we read comments and did a folder log-in.
  • I updated everyone on the status of our Santa's Helpers project.
  • None

Similes and Metaphors

  • We took notes on page 54 when we combined words to create similes.
  • We defined "simile", and talked about how they are, of course, similar to metaphors.
  • I read and discussed the metaphors and similes on page 63 from Albom and Boyle.  We talked about how the writers used metaphors and similes to SHOW, and not just tell.
  • We looked at how similes and metaphors can go horribly wrong--pages 64-5.  :-)
  • ...and we discussed WHY they were going wrong.

Writing Assignment--Perfect Moment
  • Everyone shared the perfect moment they're going to write about.
  • I handed out and explained the pink prep sheet.
  • We took about ten minutes to work on them, then handed them in.
  • I read all the wishes, and we had the reveal of whose was whose.
  • Twenty-minute free write--select one choice from page 48, and respond to it.

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