Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 28, 2013

Focus: Getting into a poetic state of mind with Rivers and Tides

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Shaking hands with the place...exploring a few soundbytes from Andy Goldsworthy and establishing purpose

3. Viewing Rivers and Tides

1. Complete your poetry project proposal by Monday.  Poetry paper outlines are optional.
2. Use this rare, novel-free time to work on your projects and papers.  The deadline is only two weeks away!  Yikes!
3. On the horizon: You will soon be asked to decide between reading Slaughterhouse-Five and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 27, 2013

Focus: Revising your timed writings

1. Announcements! Please turn in your Beloved books.

2. Warm-up: Connect the dots

Green = Something you like
Yellow = Something you're slightly iffy about
Red = Something that you need to change

3. Musical chairs editing of yesterday's timed writings:

a. Content (thesis, specific examples, close readings, analysis of the work as a whole)
b. Logical, compelling organization (thesis, topic sentences, transitions, order of body paragraphs)
c. Style (diction, syntax, overall "command")

1. Poetry project proposal is due Monday (link is above website calendar); poetry paper outlines are optional.

2. Projects and papers are due the Monday of TCAP week, which is not so far away....this is one of those very, very few times in AP Lit when you're not reading a novel, so take advantage and get started!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 26, 2013

Focus: Synthesizing larger, complex meanings in Beloved

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Try finishing some or all the following statements...

  • Beloved (the character) is ___________________, but she/it is also __________________.
  • 124 is ______________________, but it is also ______________________.
  • In Beloved, the past is ____________________, but it is also ____________________.
  • Sethe thinks she wants ___________________, but what she really wants is _________________.
  • The final pages of Beloved suggest ____________________, but they also __________________.

3. Tuesday Writing #4: Beloved

1. Make sure your big question blog on Beloved is finished. Turn in your Beloved books tomorrow.

2. Check on your grades.  Except for the Critical Review, they are up to date. Overall grades in progress will be posted this Friday, so make sure any missing work has been turned in.

3.  If you are doing the poetry project, your proposal is due next Monday.  If you are working on the poetry paper, you may turn in an outline for feedback, but it is not required.

Monday, February 25, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 25, 2013

Focus: Analyzing the climax, resolution, and structure of Beloved

1. Announcements! Return timed writings (2 sets) and collect metacognitive writings

2. Warm-up: Revisiting the first and final page of Beloved

a. How do the first pages set up all of the novel's central tensions/problems?
b. How do the final pages respond to/resolve these tensions/problems?

3. Final Socratic seminar: The ending of Beloved

HW: Compose your big question entry for Beloved.

Friday, February 22, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 22, 2013

Focus: Interpreting the stream-of-consciousness voices of Beloved

1. Announcements! And a challenging literature crossword for your enjoyment...

2. Warm-up: Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 are told from the stream-of-consciousness perspectives of Sethe, Denver, and Beloved.

If you have a spade, you will be Sethe in this exercise.  You will be using Chapter 2.
If you have a club, you will be Denver.  You will be using Chapter 3.
If you have a heart, you will be Beloved.  You will be using Chapter 4.
If you have a diamond, you will be Beloved.  You will be using Chapter 5.

a. Sit in groups of 3 or 4 with each of you representing a different chapter.  Sit with your backs to each other.  
b. Through a blend of prose and poetry, you will bring synthesize the voices of these characters by writing a line from your chapter that you find significant and passing it to another "character" in your group. 
c. That "character" will then find a meaningful response or question from his/her assigned chapter, write it down, and pass it to whichever "character" he or she wants to.  
d. Continue passing the sheet of paper until it's mostly full, and be prepared to read it aloud.

As you listen to other groups share their poems, what do you notice about the voices of Sethe, Denver, and Beloved, and what do you notice about the complex dynamics of their relationships?

3. Socratic seminar: Beloved, Part 2, Chapters 1-5

1. Finish reading Beloved to prepare for our final Socratic seminar on Monday.  Please complete your timeline as well.

2. If you have not yet turned in your metacognitive, please do so on Monday.  Be sure to include a hard copy of your poem as well.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 21, 2013

Focus: Taking the first, metacognitive step towards understanding your poem

1. Announcements!  Take a look at the sample poetry collections I brought in for you.

2. Warm-up: Reacquaint yourself with the overview and examples of metacognitive writings

A few reminders:

  • You should be referencing (directly quoting) the poem constantly.
  • The writing should be a journey, meaning you want to end in a better place than you started.  In the second half your writing, try moving from questions to possible conclusions.
  • This will count as one of your Tuesday writings.

3. Time to metacognate!

1. Prepare for tomorrow's Socratic seminar on Beloved and continue working on your timeline.
2. If you don't have the collection for your poem, make sure to get your hands on it ASAP.  See me if you need help.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 20, 2013

Focus: Putting together Beloved's fragmented pieces of narrative

1. Announcements!  And a throwback literary crossword for your enjoyment...

2. Wrapping up yesterday's poetry activity

Select ONE of yesterday's poems and brainstorm how reading the other James Wright poems has shed a little light on the poem you have selected.  In other words, how does the poem open up a little when you read it as part of a collection?  A few sentences will suffice.

3. Socratic seminar: Beloved, Chapters 16-through Part 2, 1st half of Chapter 1

1. Finalize your poem for your project/paper; make sure you have an easily accessible copy of it for tomorrow's metacognitive writing.  We will meet in the library computer lab tomorrow.

2. Start preparing for Friday's Socratic on Beloved, which will cover the 2nd half of Chapter 1 through Chapter 5 in Part 2.  Continue working on your timeline, which will be due when you finish Part 2.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 19, 2013

Ever wonder who's really grading all of your essays?

Here he is grading the good essays...

And here he is grading the not-so-good essays...

He says he apologizes for the slow turn-around time, but he is still trying to learn the alphabet.  English is tricky!

Focus: Indulging in a collection of poetry

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: A little poetic inspiration from Mr. Keating

3. Using the MMMM approach to understand a James Wright poetry collection

Please mark up each poem as you read it.  Small groups will discuss each poem "save the last line" style.

"Autumn Begins..." : Moments
"A Blessing": Moments and Movement
"Redwings": Moments, Movement, and Multiple Meanings
"Lying in a Hammock...": Moments, Movement, and Multiple Meanings

Moment: Which moments in each stanza make you pause and why? After marking them based on intuition, unravel which devices are subtly at work, commanding your attention.

Movement: Where does there seem to be movement/shifts?  Lack of movement?  Repetition?

Multiple Meanings: Try to find a pattern among the moments and movements you have discussed.  Right now, your thoughts may largely be taking on the form of questions.

Large group discussion: How do reading these poems together offer a new meaning to any/all of the poems? In other words, how do these poems collectively tell a story?

1.Prepare for tomorrow's Socratic seminar, which will cover the first half of Ch 1 in Part 2.  For your reading ticket, which you're not going to turn in until the end of Part 2, I'd like you to put together a timeline in which you figure out the exact chronology of events as they actually happened (NOT the order in which Morrison presents them).

2. You need to have "finalized" your poem for your project/paper by Thursday; remember that you need a poem that's part of a collection by the author.  We will meet in the library computer lab this Thursday for our metacognitive writing on the poem.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 14, 2013

Focus: Workshopping your Tuesday writings on "The Century Quilt"

1. Announcements (and a little poetry check)

2. Circle discussion of "The Century Quilt"--what unlocked this poem for you?

3. Perusal of the official rubric and sample essays

4. A different (and slightly braver) style of editing: Putting your essay out there for the large group

Content (specific strengths and weaknesses)
Organization (try to outline as your listening)
Style (commanding choices and moments of writing immaturity)

1. Start deciding on what collection of poetry you'd like to read for your project/paper. You will need to finalize your choice by Thursday, Feb 21, which is when we will be composing the metacognitive.

2. Prepare for our next Socratic seminar on February 20, which will cover the first half of Ch 1 in Part 2.  For your reading ticket, which you're not going to turn in until the end of Part 2, I'd like you to put together a timeline in which you figure out the exact chronology of events as they actually happened (NOT the order in which Morrison presents them).

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 13, 2013

Focus: Interpreting relationship dynamics in Beloved

1. Announcements and snack!

2. An extra twist for your next poetry paper/project: Examining a collection of poetry by a single poet

3. Warm-up: A mini lesson on magical realism

4. Socratic seminar: Beloved, Chapters 13-15

1. Prepare for next Tuesday's Socratic seminar
2. Start thinking about a collection of poetry to read for your poetry paper/project.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 12, 2013

Focus: Strengthening your skills as an interpreter of poetry and a timed writer

1. Announcements!

2. Surprise: A collaborative timed writing

Try to incorporate the three elements mentioned in the prompt  (structure, imagery, and tone) as well as at least ONE sound device (euphony, cacophony, alliteration, rhyme, etc.).  Feel free to use any packets of poetry terms you have lying around.

Prepare for tomorrow's Socratic seminar on Beloved, chapters 13-15.  For your reading ticket, select one paragraph and perform a close reading of it, examining not only imagery and diction but also syntax, sound devices, tone, metaphorical language, and any other elements you find useful.

Monday, February 11, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 11, 2013

Focus: Investigating Beloved's assault on/seduction of/rape of  Paul D

1. Announcements!

2. Watching an interview with Toni Morrison:  What does she reveal that sheds light on your reading on Beloved?

3. Investigating how the opening and closing lines of the first twelve chapters prepare us for the "red heart" scene

4. Socratic seminar: Chapters 9-12 of Beloved

1. Work on your critical review.  Just kidding!  You're already done!
2.  Begin reading for Wednesday's Socratic seminar, which will cover chapters 13-15.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 8, 2013

Focus: Approaching Beloved like a poet

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Tell a secret

           Sample secret: Before I met you, I once burned with love for someone else.  I kind of still do.

           Sample poem

3. Poetically reshaping and reinterpreting Morrison's words and phrases

4. Time to start reading chapters 9-12, hopefully

Read chapters 9-12 for Monday's Socratic; for your reading ticket, I'd like you to imitate what we did in class today by gather phrases and words and reshaping/reinterpreting them by using them to compose a poem, a prose paragraph, a dramatic script, or a letter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 7, 2013

Focus: For what purpose does Morrison "mark" her characters in Beloved?

1. Announcements!

2. Warming up with your old friend, How To Read Literature Like a Professor

"Marked for Greatness"

"Sameness doesn't present us with metaphorical possibilities, whereas difference--form the average, the typical, the expected--is always rich with possibility" (Foster 194).

"These character markings stand as indicators of the damage life inflicts...illustrating the way life marks all who pass through it" (Foster 195).

"...more often than not physical markings by their very nature call attention to themselves and signify some psychological or thematic point the writer wants to make.  After all, it's easier to introduce characters without imperfections" (Foster 200).

"Nice To Eat You: Acts of Vampires"

"...[Vampirism] is about things other than literal vampirism: selfishness, exploitation, a refusal to respect the autonomy of other people" (Foster 16)

"In those works that continue to haunt us, however, the figure of the cannibal, the vampire, the succubus, the spook announces itself again and again where someone grows in strength by weakening someone else" (Foster 21).

Vampires often reveal..."the consuming spirit," "psychosocial imbalance," and "the way society...battens on and consumes its victims" (Foster 20).

3. Socratic seminar: Beloved, chapters 6-8

1. Your critical review essays are due tomorrow. Please refer to yesterday's blog for editing help.
2. Please bring your Beloved books to class tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 6, 2013

Focus: Strengthening your writing style and voice through the critical review

1. Announcements!

2. Quick warm-up: How little choices can have a big impact...

"It's my pleasure"   vs.   "You're welcome"

Morrison sweeps up her readers in a state of tortured yet meaningful confusion.
Morrison neglects her readers in a state of tortured and insubstantial confusion.

3. Editing the critical review

  • Do the opening paragraph and the plot summary clearly and powerfully convey the tone and purpose of the review?  If not, suggest places where the writer can clarify and strengthen the tone.
  • Do the opening paragraph and plot summary clearly establish the novel's genre, year of publication, structure, and other basic information?

  • Do the body paragraphs evaluate the author's craft as effective or ineffective?
  • Do the body paragraphs focus on specific elements of the author's craft, such as characterization, setting, symbols, motifs, and themes?
  • Remember that the focus here is on how the author effectively or ineffectively creates compelling characters, significant setting, etc.; this differs from straightforward literary analysis.
  • Do the body paragraphs justify the writer's claims by bringing in specific examples/quotations?

  • Does the closing paragraph drive home the writer's evaluation of this novel?
  • Some possibilities for the conclusion: Possible audiences for this book, your projected future for this book, a comparison/contrast to other books by this author...

Please click on the "Writing Reviser" link using FIREFOX, and I will walk you through how to use this tool to edit for active voice, diction, and syntax.

Proofreading checklist:

MLA heading and title
12 point font, double spacing, margins, etc.
Headers on each page (Walker 2)
Quotation citations (Morrison 28)
Italicized titles
Properly spelled author and character names
Formal punctuation
Omitted words
Works Cited

1. Final draft of critical review is due Friday.
2. Next Beloved Socratic seminar is tomorrow; reading ticket is on imagery.

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 5, 2013

Focus: Empowering your responses to Question #3 on the A.P. exam

1. Announcements!

2. Making a concise, student-friendly rubric: In a word, a 9 is..., an 8 is..., a 7 is.... (etc)

3. "Thursday" workshop for your Tuesday writing on The Stranger:

     a. Perusing the real 2004 rubric

     b. Playing everybody's favorite game....which is the 5, and which is the 7? Examining two sample essays

     c. Musical chairs editing for content, organization, and style

1. Bring an electronic or hard copy of your critical review essay to class tomorrow for editing.  We will be meeting in the library computer lab tomorrow.

2. Keep reading Beloved (next Socratic is on Thursday). Your reading ticket needs to be centered on specific imagery, but the format is entirely up to you.  Feel free to be creative!

Friday, February 1, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 4, 2013

Focus: Analyzing the characters of Beloved

1. Announcements!  Anybody else going to college? Cake for the winners!

2. Quick character focus groups:

What does this character think he/she/it wants?

What is pulling this character apart?  In other words, what internal conflicts does this character face?

What does this character really want?

3. Socratic seminar: Beloved, Chapters 3-5

A reminder of Socratic seminar expectations:

1. You must have your book, and you should be referencing it frequently.

2. If you are sitting out, you need to be using your time productively for AP Lit (reading, scribing, keeping a conversation chart, etc).

3. You should be participating in the vast majority of seminars; at most, you should only be missing one or two per novel.

4. You should be engaged in the conversation by looking at the person speaking, perusing your book for important passages, and/or jotting down notes.

1. Continue working on your critical review essay; we will edit on Wednesday (final drafts due Friday).
2. Start reading Chapters 6, 7, and 8 for Thursday's Socratic; for your reading ticket, please focus on significant imagery in these chapters.  The format of the reading ticket is up to you.

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, February 1, 2013

Focus: What do the opening scenes of Beloved reveal to us?  What do they conceal?

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Finding patterns in each other's Beloved metacognitives by creating handmade Wordles

3. Socratic Seminar: Beloved, Chapters 1 and 2

1. Complete a draft of your critical review essay by Wednesday.

2. Read Beloved, Chapters 3, 4, and 5 for Monday's Socratic seminar; for your reading ticket, please focus on ONE character (you may include the house as a character).  Type three passages that reveal something about that character, and then type three questions you have about this character.  Leave plenty of space in between each passage and question.