Heading back to the 1830s seems like another lifetime; however, the ideas of writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Herman Melville are still relevant today. You use the saying YOLO? Well, Thoreau expresses that same idea. To understand why our society values the ideas it does, it's important to go back to the thinkers of the past.
Background links for Transcendentalists
1st discussion board for term 4. Due Wednesday, April 29th by midnight. April is poetry month. Billy Collins was the Poet Laureat from 2001-2003. As a result, the Sundance Channel decided to animate some of his poetry. Watch his TED talk about this process, which includes some of the animated poems. Discuss your favorites and what you thought about the animations of the poems.
1. Your original response
2. A response to a peer's post
1. You need to give specifics with your responses so that people have ideas to build off of. Minimum response is 3 sentences long.
2. You get very little credit if you just say "I agree". You need to explain why you agree with the statements. Even more exciting is to disagree (respectfully of course)
3. If there is an article to read, you have to show that you have read the article. While quotes are not required, they are always a nice way to give people something to relate to.
4. You are trying to start a discussion. Ask questions, relate to your own life. Discuss things that you hadn't thought about before. Make the discussion engaging.
Since we do not have the vocabulary books this year, you might want a little more practice than what we do in class. Here are 2 websites that have practice exercises and quizzes.
VocabTest.com - This site provides several different types of quizzes.
Vocabulary Workshop - This is the official website associated with the words we are using. They provide audio (to hear how to pronounce it) and several games to practice the words.
Vocabulary.com - This website is a better version of a dictionary. Halfway down on the right of this website you will see example sentences taken from the current news using whatever word you searched. You can choose based on a subject, or just scroll through. If you're having a hard time when how to use the word in a sentence, check these out.
Tennessee Williams is seen as one of the greatest American playwrights. We will be studying his play A Streetcar Named Desire and going to see his play The Glass Menagerie. As you read, take 2 column notes about key quotes from each scene. Be sure to connect quotes to the 5 themes we will be looking at: Desire, Dreams, Illusion, Gender Roles, and Loneliness. The final assessment will be a quote test.
Throughout your educational career, your texts are chosen for you. For this unit, you will be in charge of choosing the author you would like to study. The requirements are that the author must be American, this is an American Literature class after all, and you must be able to acquire at least 3 of their short stories. Other than that, you have free reign to choose an author you already love or go discover someone new.
In the end, you will be writing a comparison essay based around a central theme in the author's works.
A classic American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that captures the values and mindset of upper class in the 1920s. Here is a world where money is flowing like water and there is no worry of what might come - the Great Depression has not happened, there has not been a recession - wealthy people did whatever they wanted with no worries about the repercussions. Now imagine desperately wanting to be part of that world. A love story , a story of the power and corruption of money, a story of the flawed American Dream.
Background links on the author, text, and history
Questions to guide your reading and prepare you for class discussion
NES Gatsby game. See if you can find the references to the text. Thanks Brendan for the find.
A quintessential tale of coming of age, J.D. Salinger's novel follows Holden Caulfield over the course of 3 days in NYC as he tries to figure out how to cope with his past and find a direction for his future. Even more than 50 years later, this novel still resonates with the angst of growing up in an imperfect world.
Background links for the author, the text, and the history.
Questions to guide your reading and help you prepare for discussions.
Read through the following articles and websites and answer the questions on your worksheet. Next class you will be debating whether or not The Catcher in the Rye should be banned/taught in a high school classroom. The evidence will come from these articles and your understanding of the novel.
Here's the questions to answer. Feel free to type your responses in this document and print.
New York Times: December 1980 (quick recap of what happened)
Crime Library: Read the following chapters (look for contents in right hand margin):
Lorraine Hansberry's play was seen as ahead of its time. Hansberry was the first African American female to be featured on Broadway. She established a voice for women and African Americans during a time of racism in the late 1950s. A Raisin in the Sun never leaves the Younger's living room, but it doesn't have to in order to show the audience all the struggles an African American and a female must endure.
Background links on the author, text, and history
There is more power in words than any other force. It is with words that change occurs; that people are inspired; that society comes together. It is one thing to be able to use words; it is quite another to use them effectively. This unit looks at what makes a great speech and asks each of you to create your own great speech.
We want to hear your voice, your ideas, your passion. Be inspired by those that have come before you, but also embrace who you are.