Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eng IV--Things Fall Apart essay

Topic choices for a three-page paper on Things Fall Apart

Topic choice and thesis due in class Wednesday 11/5
(and watch election coverage Tuesday evening)
Draft or outline due in class on Friday, 11/7.

Paper due in class and on by class time on Monday, 11/10.

Choose one of the following topics to develop into an essay based on your understanding of the novel Things Fall Apart. In your essay, refer to specific passages and examples from the novel to support your ideas.

•Is Okonkwo a tragic figure? Review what you know from our study of Greek tragedy and assess to what extent those ideas apply to Things Fall Apart in general and Okonkwo in particular.

•How does Achebe’s narrator both endorse and critique the values and practices of Ibo culture? Why does he present some elements of the culture as problematic or flawed and others as sources of strength for the Ibo people?

•How does Okonkwo determine right from wrong? Choose three examples of decisions Okonkwo makes and examine what belief systems, values, laws or traditions he uses to choose a course of action. Evaluate the wisdom or effectiveness of these decisions.

•What kind of leader is Okonkwo? Choose three strong actions which demonstrate his leadership. Identify the values, beliefs, and/or traditions on which he bases each action and evaluate its effectiveness.

•Of his daughter Ezinma, Okonkwo thinks, “She should have been a boy” (p. 64). Why is it necessary to the story that Okonkwo’s favored child be a girl?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eng IV Assignments October 28--November 7

Tuesday, October 28—Chapters 10-12

Wednesday, October 29—Chapters 13-15

Friday, October 31—Chapters 16-19

Monday, November 3—Chapters 20-22

Tuesday, November 4—Chapters 23-25

Wednesday, November 5—Outline and/or draft due for essay

Friday, November 7—Papers due, both hard copy and, approximately 3 pages typed.

Chapter presentation assignments—DO NOT SUMMARIZE PLOT
• Select the most important information about Ibo culture
• Look up unfamiliar terms, especially Ibo words
• Point out important themes & character qualities
• Select a key question from the study guide
• Answer questions from the class

Noah—chapters 1, 17, & 20
Stew—chapters 2, 18, and 19
Adam—chapters 3, 16, and 21
Steph—chapters 4, 15, & 22
Amrita—chapters 5, 14, & 23
Alfred—chapters 6, 13, & 24
Prateek—chapters 7, 12, & 25
Tyler—chapters 8, 11, & 24
Colin—chapters 9, 10, & 25

Monday, October 20, 2008

AP--Assignments October 20-31

October 20-24

Day 1--Read S&F, pp, 76-179
Days 2 & 3--Read a scholarly article from JStor regarding the novel; begin reading pp. 180-264.
Day 4--Vocab quiz, lessons 10-12

October 27-31

Day 1--Finish reading S&F, pp. 180-264; blog a comment on your scholarly article. Give the citation of the source of the article, quote a brief passage or summarize an idea you found helpful, interesting, or just plain puzzling, and write a brief comment in the form of a blog entry.
Day 2--Begin reading pp. 265-321
Day 3--Continue
Day 4--Finish pp. 265-321

Sunday, October 12, 2008

AP--Essay Grades (Revised)

At the end of your essay are seven scores, all ranked on a scale of 1 (missing), 2 (weak), 3 (present but could be improved), 4 (strong), and 5 (excellent). These subscores are hardly scientific but are designed to give you a sense of your relative strengths and weaknesses, in general or on any specific assignment. The seven categories are as follows:
T: Thesis—your opening paragraph should establish the focus of your essay and contain a statement, phrased as clearly and specifically as possible, of the main point you will prove in your essay. Clarity, specificity, and insight are the essential qualities of an excellent thesis. MS means “more specific,” as in, you should try to be.
P: Paragraph organization—each paragraph should quickly establish a central focus, a statement of idea, not fact, and the paragraph as a whole should stick closely to this central focus. Also, the number, length, and organization of your paragraphs should advance your thesis logically and effectively.
E: Evidence—in each of your body paragraphs, use specific details, facts, and brief quotations from the text to support the central interpretive focus of the paragraph. This reader looks not so much for the number of pieces of evidence as for their appropriateness to your thesis and your ability to integrate them smoothly into your paragraphs.
C: Commentary—Throughout the essay, from the opening paragraph to the concluding one, your ability to write meaningful interpretative statements is crucial. Not too vague, not overstated, not missing the point of the evidence you cite—thoughtful, specific commentary is a must in an analytical essay. Roughly two-to-one commentary to evidence is a highly desirable ratio. Commentary develops your insight into the literature you are analyzing.
D: Diction—Using words accurately and precisely adds to the overall impression of your writing. Avoiding vague abstract language, using specific terms instead, helps greatly. A rich and varied vocabulary, using clear everyday language, avoiding cliche and jargon, enhances the readability of your work.
S: Syntax—Managing clear, uncluttered sentence structure leaves a strong impression in the reader’s mind. Sentences that don’t meander off into the swamps and leave their main ideas in the muck are vital to your success. No fragments either.
M: Mechanics—Agreement, consistent verb use, punctuation, spelling, and the usage of Standard Written English may not make a strong paper, but they can certainly break one.

A paper with 5’s in all categories earns an “A,” a score of 95%. Deduct one point for each score below 5. All 3’s earns a B-, mixed 3’s and 4’s a B, all 4’s a B+, mixed 4’s and 5’s an A-, and all or almost all 5’s an A.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

English IV assignments October 8-24

Wednesday, October 8--"Quest" on One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Thursday, October 9--No class

Friday, October 10--No school--Fall break

Monday, October 13--No school--Fall break

Tuesday, October 14--"The Post Office," p. 411 in World Literature anthology

Wednesday, October 15--"Forty-five a Month" p. 495

Thursday, October 16--No class

Friday, October 17--"Interpreter of Maladies" (handout)--end of first marking period; bring vocab books to class

Monday, October 20--"A Sunrise on the Veld," p. 308.

Tuesday, October 21--"Good Climate, Friendly Inhabitants," p. 316.

Wednesday, October 22--Things Fall Apart (paperback), chapters 1-3

Friday, October 24--TFA, chapters 4 & 5, read historical handout, vocab quiz 10-12.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ivan Denisovich blog 10.2.09

For your blog entry this weekend, write a short piece entitled “One Day in the Life of (insert your character’s name here).” Your character—your fictional character—may be anyone you choose, very likely a PCDS high school student, but certainly someone whose "day" contains events and routines with which you are personally acquainted (rather than, say, a day in the life of an Imperial Trooper or Wizard in Training). The “one day” you choose should be, as it is for Solzhenitsyn, a representative day, one in which nothing terribly out of the ordinary happens but in which the small events of the day reveal the larger pattern of the weeks, months, and years of your character's life. So: no life or death decisions, no momentous workings of fate, no life-changing events. Just a day, like many others, one which contains within it the tensions, struggles, and rewards, the everyday triumphs and failures, faced by your determined, plucky protagonist.