Category Archives: 9th Grade: Intro to Literature

Two Hours’ Traffic (and then some)

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Violent delights have violent ends!

Violent delights have violent ends!

Romeo and Juliet is finally here!  I wanted to share a few wonderful resources to keep you on track during our reading, including a few winners from last year’s Shakespeare’s World Research presentations (hint hint).  As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of information to keep track of.  It’s all worth it though!  Remember, we don’t agree with Plato – art isn’t useless!  Look at what Lady Gaga pulled off in yesterday’s Super Bowl:

Theatrical skills can really pay off later!  These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works.  Also, although it’s a little early to be thinking about it, you can expect some potential Unit Test items below…

Here’s a link to a brief timeline of the life of Stratford’s most famous son:

http://www.earlyshakespeare.com/images/Timeline.pdf


This YouTube video takes a humorous look at introducing Shakespeare (make sure you stick around until the ironic, slow open is over):


Of course, here’s the Canadian Folio copy of the play we use in class:

http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/folio/folio.html


And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:

The Readiness is All!

9th – City Dionysia WebQuest

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Dream job - making high-quality educational websites.  Also, having likeness preserved on a jar.

Dream job – making high-quality educational websites. Also, having likeness preserved on a jar.

Freshmen!  Welcome to theater.  We begin this week in, er, the Beginning!  The Ancient Greeks are credited with the invention of modern theater, and you are learning all about ’em this week through the City Dionysia packet.  To complete the prompts, visit the most excellent resource of ARTSEDGE, the Education in Arts wing of the Kennedy Center.

Visit the site, which opens up in your first section: Prologue.

http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/interactives/greece/theater/prologue.html

Due at the end of the week, this is your first chance in Semester 2 to earn KLEOS – TO GLORY!

Mr. E is Missing! (But are you missing him?) The Faraway Saga Continues: Part 3

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Hey, hey Wednesday!  I’ll be brief, as your Remind text probably sent you here while you should be getting ready for school.  Skim through these notes while you slug that skim milk.

Just kidding – no one should drink skim milk:

I know what I'm about.

I know what I’m about, son.

9th: Important goings on in class today!  But first: Werewolf socks!

What happens in Vegas...causes people to head back home as cursed, but fashionable, monsters.

What happens in Vegas…causes people to head back home as cursed, but fashionable, monsters.

Okay, now that that’s covered – your own Wolf Week continues in class today, involving group collaboration to synthesize (Vocab! see the board’s Thinking Strategy poster) some article pieces from the Casper Star Tribune in 2015.

Gray Area: Twenty years after wolves were released into the wild

There are photos and links to help each group, but especially pertaining to those of you in Group 3 for the Timeline, which has a much larger version available through the article.

12th: It’s your final official work day for Unit 1 Projects, so make some magic happen!  Or else.

Poof goes your grade.

Poof goes your grade.

1010: Today’s the day for your Town Hall! Unless you want to do it tomorrow.  Whatever works – it’s your class.  Just live in that character card, keep your manners clean, and don’t be throwing anything besides carefully considered arguments and objections.

It's all good fun till someone loses a pie. Ooh! Or, don't use any custwords (Get it? Cuss words and custards? Ha. Punny.)

It’s all good fun till someone loses a pie.
Ooh! Or, don’t use any custwords (Get it? Cuss words and custards? Ha. Punny.)

 

Mr. E is Missing! (Kind of.) Updates from the Faraway.

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It’s mid-October again!  Time to repost some “Magicke Moste Foule”.  Sadly, I won’t be with you in this most wonderful week – what with 9th graders contending with wolves, Brit. Lit. finishing their pilgrimage to Canterbury, and the 1010 peeps playing Devil’s Advocate – out am I making conferencing!  Just because I can’t be with you doesn’t mean I’m not here to help.  All week, I will send you updates from my conference, and give you an opportunity to check in with me about assignments and other nonesuch.  Be good to your sub, and check in every day for bonus items and reminders.

It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore.  Here are some of the resources from class, by your request, that captured through digital wizardry (a most mysterious magic) the senses, tales, and spine-tingling thrills of the school year in October.

9th – Intro to Literature: This week, you’ve got suspenseful wolf texts to read and watch.  All worksheets and reading notes will be due at the end of class Thursday.  Today it’s “The Interlopers” – if you don’t finish in class, you can find the story online or pick up a print copy in the classroom.  Also, because it’s the song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you, here’s “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae.  Look for the wolves in the lyrics!

Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.

 

Brit. Lit:  You’re finishing Unit 1 this week, with an emphasis on what this unit does for our class.  Why study Early and Middle English?  Answer this question with your impressive project, due Thursday.  In today’s class you met Death – don’t incur another visit by turning in that project late!  Remember: project reflective essay, rubric.  All due Thursday!

For those of you looking for more Chaucer inspiration, here’s “The Canterbury Tales: Part I”, from Christmas Films, Pizzazz Pictures, and Right Angle.

These episodes aired on the BBC in 1998-2000, excerpting highlights from Chaucer with inventive animation swings.  Not for the faint-hearted or tidy-minded, but then, a lot of the fun stuff from different historical eras isn’t.

Part II: https://youtu.be/9i97vbwSSMM

Part III: https://youtu.be/4pG5G45m6dg

 

ENGL 1010: Oh, my eggheaded darlings.  I haven’t forgotten you.  If you think I have, let’s play Devil’s Advocate about it!  That’s your goal this week, and to help you poke holes in arguments you don’t like, we won’t just shout “WRONG!” or console ourselves with “That’s your opinion”.  Get logical!  Here’s the link to our favorite Book of Bad Arguments.  Sometimes the best way to be right is simply being less wrong – point out those fallacies in your content this week!

https://bookofbadarguments.com/

by Ali Almossawi!

by Ali Almossawi, who made it FREE on the web!

Tomorrow I’ll send you an update from the AECT in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.  Teachers don’t have it all bad, I suppose.  Now, get to work!

First Folio! – Felicitous Fall Fare

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The Shakespeare season is upon us!  Before you go further unto the breach, check out what I mean by visiting this 23rd of April post from this site:

The Wonder of Will

Still unsure what a Folio actually is?  Check it out!

Now that you know tthe readiness is all, are you ready for the Extra Credit?  (By “Extra Credit”, I mean one of the three options – a HW pass, points on a low-scored assignment, or an item from the Time and Space Box.)

It’s simple, by Jove – go see the exhibit!  That’s it.  Brush up your Shakespeare with a visit to the State Museum, and prove it with a selfie in the exhibit!

Your selfie must be in the exhibit, however!

Your selfie must be in the exhibit, however!

The Museum is located at 2301 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne (mind the road closures at 19th street).  The hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday (Fridays and Saturdays are your best bet unless you’re on a field trip I should’ve been invited on, fustilarian!).  Admission is FREE!

There is also an opening night reception, featuring guest lecturer Professor Peter Parolin of UW’s English Dept. (one of the best classes I took there)!  This event is tonight (8th September) from 5-7 pm to see the folio, and the lecture runs from 7-8 pm.  So fair a day you shall not likely see, and you can get extra credit if I see you there!

So that’s it!  Check in with me for more info should you need it – better three hours too soon than a minute too late!

Book it!

Book it!

Mapping the Homeric World

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Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.

Image from Eclectic/Eccentric.

The Odyssey is one of earliest, and best, works in the “big trip” genre, so grand they named half the genre after it!  For freshmen looking to complete a 3D Map for their Odyssey project, here are a few tips.

First – the in-class map is by no means definitive, but has two components that I think are key: an oversized Ithaca and an Underworld far (far) to the west.  You don’t have to reach the Pillars of Heracles, but I like the idea of going to the edge of the known (Mediterranean) world.

Second – use your resources to help you tell the story!  Some of my favorites are on Google Earth (download it if you haven’t – it’s worth it!), especially the Odyssey on Google Lit Trips, which features facts and artwork at the locations in each episode.  Your map doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but consider adding stickers, flags, or figures to keep the travels alive.

Third – you don’t need to use salt dough, but this is a straightforward method to make your map 3D that is both easy and useful!  The video below was made in jazzy style by a very good friend of mine some years ago, and gives you a nice breakdown of the salt dough process.  I definitely expect your map to be in color, so grab the appropriate food coloring to go with it or paint it after it dries (a few days later)!

For Glory!

Shakespeare Test on The Ides of March!

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Violent delights have violent ends!

Violent delights have violent ends!

This message is intended for the freshmen classes!  I wanted to share a few wonderful resources from a 3rd Hour Shakespeare’s World Research presentation today.  As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of subjects included on Tuesday’s Ides Test.  These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works.

Here’s a link to a brief timeline of the life of Stratford’s most famous son:

http://www.earlyshakespeare.com/images/Timeline.pdf


 

 

This YouTube video takes a humorous look at introducing Shakespeare (make sure you stick around until the ironic, slow open is over):


 

Of course, here’s the Canadian Folio copy of the play:

http://www.canadianshakespeares.ca/folio/folio.html


 

And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:

The Readiness is All!

Magicke Moste Foule – October Threads

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DeltaRae

It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore.  Here are some of the videos from class, by your request, that captured through digital wizardry (a most mysterious magic) the senses, tales, and spine-tingling thrills of the school year in October.

Intro to Literature: “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae

The song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you.  Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.

Brit. Lit – The Middle Ages: “The Canterbury Tales: Part I”, from Christmas Films, Pizzazz Pictures, and Right Angle.

These episodes aired on the BBC in 1998-2000, excerpting highlights from Chaucer with inventive animation swings.  Not for the faint-hearted or tidy-minded, but then, a lot of the fun stuff from different historical eras isn’t.

Part II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6tvT3NQ_o

Part III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCq6117mYqg

 

ENGL 1010: Facundo the Great! from StoryCorps

The now-epic story of a stand-up guy who made room for others to stand up.  Keep checking out the StoryCorps animated features and other site items.  The Great Thanksgiving Listen is coming up soon! https://storycorps.me/about/the-great-thanksgiving-listen/

Thanks for reading/watching.  Now, get to work!

Reading Picks: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness. Candlewick Press. 2011

A Monster Calls. Patrick Ness. Candlewick Press. 2011

I’m in the midst of grad school books (in addition to my upkeep with To Kill a Mockingbird and Beowulf), so there isn’t much to share in my current readings that most students would be interested in.  Conversations in the senior classes, however, reminded me of a very, very good book I picked up in our school library a few years ago that is perfectly timed for the change in seasons.  If you aren’t already excited to read this month’s pick by the compelling cover art alone, the above book should appeal to you for many, marvelous reasons.  Not least of which is the promise of the title – indeed, A Monster Calls (from Candlewick Press, 2011).

A Monster Calls was inspired by an idea from author Siobhan Dowd, a famed, prize-winning British writer of young adult fiction who died from a severe case of breast cancer in 2007.  Her (unfortunately) short list of completed works were widely recognized by literary awards, including the Carnegie, which is the British version of the Newbery Medal.  In the words of Patrick Ness, who completed this story: “She had the characters, a premise, and a beginning.  What she didn’t have, unfortunately, was time.”  Ness, author of the Chaos Walking series, picked up her idea and ran with it to a Carnegie Medal of his own for this novella, which details the troubled nights of Conor – a 13-year-old boy with an ailing mother and an inhuman visitor.

Illustration by Jim Kay from A Monster Calls.

Illustration by Jim Kay from A Monster Calls.

The Monster in this book is of the Wild – a creature of the thresholds who is literally made of the natural world, visiting Conor each night seven minutes after twelve.  The creature is vividly brought to life in award-winning illustrations by Jim Kay, and the images blend seamlessly into the words much as the natural world slowly encroaches on our own concept of “safe” “civilization”.  The theme of slow, inexorable changes settles in the pages: in Conor’s attitude, his mother’s health, and the changing role of the monster who visits Conor night after night, stories in hand.

Storytelling is the one of the main takeaways of this novel, which addresses all of the English classes this year.  I won’t say any more about this book in the hopes that you will check it out for yourself for a monstrously-good read in this most exciting of seasons.  Again, the book is available in our own school library, as are the Chaos Walking books, and a host of other Carnegie winners (and fantasy/young adult fiction books).  If nothing else has you looking for this pick, think of it as a chance to read it before it gets cool – the upcoming movie adaptation is due October 2016, written by Ness, and starring Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones.

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