Thursday, January 29, 2015

Poetry response revision

On Tuesday you completed an on-demand paragraph response to the poem "Introduction to Poetry." Today, we will examine a couple of well-written student models (there is also an annotated version of these models in our shared English folder in Google Drive). Afterwards, you will have the option to revise your own response if necessary. If you choose to take your response home to revise it, make sure to turn it back in tomorrow.

*If you have extra time today, get a jump on tomorrow's article of the week "Visit to the World's Fair 2014" -- located in our shared folder in Google Drive.

Monday, January 26, 2015


If you were absent today, or just want a refresher on the SIFT method of poetry analysis, here is a link the Prezi we viewed in class.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wrapping up your letter to McBride

Today you were asked to come to class with your letter complete. Guess what? You still have one more opportunity to improve it before it's graded! Today we will do some peer editing and you will have until tomorrow to make any final revisions. In addition to the peer feedback you receive, I am also posting a strong student model for you to consider.

AND, there is one last task for you to complete regarding your letter. In order gain practice speaking aloud academically, you will need to read me your letter over the phone. It's really easy! Just follow these steps:
  1. Practice reading your letter out loud before you call may catch some errors!
  2. Dial (619) 354-4443 and be prepared (there is a 2 minute time cap on the voice mail). Begin the voice message by stating your name and period. This is crucial!! Otherwise I won't know it's you. 
  3. Read your letter and then hang up. It's that simple!
 You have until 9pm tonight to call. If you think you will not be able to access a phone/your letter at home, please come by at lunch or after school and you can use our classroom phone to call.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Writing Task Continued...


Directions for the response:
Write a one-paragraph response to the essay following the order of the steps below:

  1. In the first sentence, state whether you agree or disagree that we have become a “hip hop planet.”

    Example: I agree/disagree with your assertion that we have become a hip hop planet.

  1. Choose one to two main idea statements from McBride’s essay, and explain to him how you agree or disagree with the statements by providing reasons and examples from your own experiences and observations.

  1. Close your paragraph by stating whether McBride’s essay was strong or weak, and explain to him why he did or did not make his point.

Reminder for the response portion of your letter:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Writing Task-- "Hip Hop Planet"

Summarizing and Responding in a Letter to James McBride

Now that you have considered the topic of hip hop and its global influence, you will write a summary and response in the format of a letter.

Your task is to compose a letter to James McBride with the purpose of letting him know what you think about the claims he makes about the importance and power of hip hop in his essay.

The first portion of the letter will be a summary where you show McBride that you understand the main points of his essay. The second portion of your letter will be a thoughtful and formal response to his ideas.


Directions for the summary:

FIRST, create the document where you will complete this assignment. Open "Writing Task - Hip Hop Planet" in our shared folder in Google Drive. Make a copy. Name it properly -- period lastname assignment. Finally, share it with me ( and Ms. Black if you are in period 2 (

Begin your letter with a one-paragraph summary of the essay following the steps below:
  1. In the first sentence, state which of his texts you read in “quotation marks” and the subject of the essay (using the summary frame pictured below will help with this).

  1. Next, inform Mr. McBride that you understand what occasion may have made him want to write this essay.

  1. Follow this with two to three sentences summarizing the key ideas of the article.

  1. Your last sentence should state what you believe was his purpose for writing the essay and his intended audience.

Reminders for the summary portion of your letter:
·         Address the author as Mr. McBride.
·         Use your own words. Do not include quotations or direct sentences from the article.
·         Keep your opinion out of the summary. A summary is not the place to agree or disagree.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stylistic Word Hunt

All writers are mindful of the language they use in order to make their audience feel a certain way. McBride does the same with his article, "Hip Hop Planet." Today you will analyze the word choices (sometimes called DICTION) that McBride makes.

Today's assignment is in our shared English folder in Google Drive. It's called "Analyze Stylistic Choices." As always, you will first make a copy of the document. Then, rename it properly (period lastname assignment). Finally share it back with me ( and Ms. Black ( if you are in period 2.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wrapping up the semester and preparing for the final

Finals are next week!
The final exam consists of 33 multiple choice questions. There is no writing in the exam.
The questions are based on short passages that you will read during the test. There are four passages.
In order to help you prepare, please review the study guide. You can view the guide here. 

You will also want to make sure that your interactive notebook is up-to-date and organized. There is a STRONG possibility that you will be able to use your notes during the final.

As we wrap up the semester, you also have a book review due this week (1/15). This must be the book I have seen you reading IN CLASS. You will have the option to complete the review at home or in class. Feel free to bring notes and use the provided template to help you. You will likely NOT have access to computers while writing your review in class.