Class: 1.6.2010

Good Morning.  Today is what is called 12th Night.  The original celebration during the Christmas season where gifts are given.  In Mexico it is known as Reyes Magos, or Night of the Three Kings.

Today’s warm-up.

Movie Scene

Develop a short movie scene where two characters are arguing about one of the following topics.  Remember, you can only use dialogue!

  • Daughter asking Mom for permission to date a new boy who has a strange haircut (at least to Mom).
  • Son asking Dad for the keys to the car after failing a test.
  • A friend trying to convince another friend that his girlfriend is cheating on him.
  • An employee wants time off work, but is afraid of asking her boss (so she has to ask in a clever way).

From the warm-up we turned to questions about the theater in Shakespeare’s day. Use pgs. 772-775 in your lit books (write questions on your paper).

Shakespeare background questions

  1. What is the name of the period of the English Renaissance when shakespear lived, and what were the dates?
  2. How was drama viewed in comparison to poetry?
  3. What were some of the ups and downs of Queen Elizabeth’s reign?
  4. Who took over for Elizabeth I and why was this significant for theater?
  5. What was life like for actors prior to the 1500s?
  6. Describe the Globe theater, Shakespeare’s theater?
  7. What were the poor spectators called?  Where did they sit/stand?
  8. Why were performances during the day?
  9. What did playwrights do to make up for the lack of props or scenery?

Homework is vocabulary (p. 176-178) and bring your IDs tomorrow!

Class: 1.5.2010

Welcome Back

Today’s warm-up.


For each of the following neutral words, write one word with a positive connotation and one with a negative connotation.

Ex: leader   =   captain  /  tyrant

  1. law
  2. curious
  3. rest
  4. thin
  5. bird
  6. bright
  7. plant
  8. decision
  9. young
  10. street
  11. newspaper
  12. disagreement
  13. economical
  14. police officer
  15. dog

This took a while, a quite a bit of thinking for most of our groggy minds.  It seems like we’ve been sleeping in very late over Winter Break.

After the warm-up, we turned to grading the Animal Farm Quiz (chs. 7-10) that we took before we left for break.  Then we had a few minutes left for those of you who have not yet finished your short scenarios that we produced skits for in December.

Homework: Study vocabulary grat/mort (p. 176-178)

Class: 12.14.2009

Today’s Warmup


1) silently: compare today with your past for the following items:

  • a) physical appearance
  • b) favorite things to do
  • c) behavior
  • d) hobbies
  • e) beliefs
  • f) fears
  • g) friends

2) Write a poem in the following format:

I used to be…
But now I am…

Repeat at least 4 times

3) Now as a GROUP compose a similar poem:

We used to be…
But now we are…

Repeat at least 3 times

First Period then took the vocabulary test that I was supposed to give on Friday, but failed at doing.

All periods then filled out envelopes with the addresses of the publishers of their books so they could mail their letters later in the week.

For the rest of class you looked at synopsis of the Russian Revolution and tried to find characters from history that matched the characters from the novel.  The author, George Orwell, was very clever in how he was able to get the fable to match real history.

Your homework is to return with your envelope stamped and to study vocabulary!

Class: 12.04.2009

It’s Friday!  Our vocab test was postponed until Monday because of technical difficulties.

Today’s Warm-up

Alphabetical Machines

Make a list of machines or mechanical or technological devices:




The winning group receives 5 extra credit points.

Today everyone turned in dialectical journals 5 & 6 for their outside reading book.  Then we finished up some of the ideas about propaganda that we covered this week.

On the board were questions:

  1. What is the general idea behind MOST of Napoleon and Squealer’s messages?
  2. What are 2 main goals of the general idea? (These can be feelings or emotions)
  3. What allows Napoleon and Squealer to be effective? Name 2 things.
  4. What is the end result?  How are the animals effected?  What happens to the overall mood/atmosphere on the farm?
  5. In a paragraph, describe how the animals might have stopped this.

We finished answering the questions and then we worked on a WS on irony in Animal Farm.

Class: 12.03.2009

Today’s Warm-up

Metaphor and Meaning

Answer the questions using the excerpt.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.

  1. What is the main metaphor?
  2. What is the metaphorical position/job of humans?
  3. What are the first two “acts” that they play?
  4. What does this metaphor say about life?
  5. What do you think the next two stages might be?

Then we read for about 15 minutes.  Following a very quiet reading time, we continued our discussion of propaganda and Animal Farm.  Today we looked for the proof that was given by Napoleon and Squealer to support their claim that all of the evils that they suffered on the farm.

Your homework is to study for the vocabulary test on fid (p 169) and complete 2 more dialectical journal entries on your outside reading book.

Class: 12.01.2009

Today is World AIDS Awareness Day.  Today I was out writing Letters of Recommendation for my students that are (hopefully) college bound.

Today’s Warm-up


“The fault, my friend, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”


  1. What do some say the stars “hold” for us?
  2. Where does the speaker locate responsibility?
  3. Rewrite this quote in your own words.
  4. Respond in 5-7 sentences describing your view about fate/destiny and free choice.

Then in class you were to finish a dialectical journal about Animal Farm chapter 6. On the board:

In chapter 6, Napoleon begins to re-introduce humans and human behavior to the farm.  To justify the pigs’ actions, one of the commandments is altered.  Napoleon is becoming more unethical and distrustful.  Using quotes from chapter 6, explore the evidence that Napoleon is turning into a tyrant over Animal Farm.  Create a dialectical journal with at least 7 quotes with explanations.

Your homework is to read Animal Farm Chapter 7 and vocabulary page 169, fid.  You need to also be working on your outside reading book.  2 quotes are due on Friday, and then 2 more on MONDAY!

Class: 11.30.2009

Hello.  Back to blogging after a long hiatus.  I thought I was busy when I was in school, but I learned things can always get busier.

Today’s warm up:

We had a handout that listed a number of different roles we can play when working with groups: Encourager, Organizer, Peace Keeper, Idea Person, Helper, Joker, Boss, Sitter, Put-Downer, Talker.  We then brainstormed things that each kind of person might say and wrote them in our journals.

Then I asked you to choose a role you normally would not be and then play-act for about 30 seconds with other members of your group.  We discussed for a moment and then I asked you to answer the following questions:

  1. Which role do you usually play in a group?
  2. Why do you think it’s the easiest role for you to play?
  3. what other role or roles owuld you like to play to help your group?
  4. How does being able to play many roles  make you a more effective member of your group?
  5. How willing are you to try out a a new helpful role today?

We then connected the warm-up to Animal Farm by listing characters from the story and then listing what kind of role each character played.

HW: Vocabulary– fid (p. 167) & Read Animal Farm Ch. 6.