Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Blizzard Bag Day

D-Block Public Speaking: Write your "Hostile" audience speech with new rhetoric.

C-Block English 9: Your Blizzard Bag assignment is a series of reading selections (with questions) based on Shakespeare's time period. Please read and answer carefully ... especially the 4-point open-ended text-box questions.  Remember, the goal with those kinds of questions is to say "four intelligent things" based on the reading.


I will happily accept this completed assignment in any form: print it, share it, or write the answers out on a separate sheet of paper if you prefer.

Please email me if you have any Q's.
Don't forget ... you might ALSO want to work on the HW assignments letter below.

Good luck!  --Mr. G.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Letter of Introduction



Ninth Grade English                                                          
Letter of Introduction                                                                     

Assignment: Prepare a typed, correctly-formatted letter of introduction for yourself addressed to me.  Your letter should be organized as a personal letter, and should be formal in tone.  Generally, a letter like this would include three or four things you think I should know about you; however, if you have a compelling reason to go into detail about a particular issue, you may concentrate on that one issue instead.  Your letter should be single-spaced, with a space between each paragraph, and should fit on one page.

                                              Your Name 
                                              123 Your Street
                                              Your Hometown, NH 03123
                                              8 February 2017

Mr. Aaron Gauthier
Kingswood Regional High School
396 S. Main Street
Wolfeboro, NH 03896

Dear Mr. Gauthier:

The first paragraph of a typical business or personal letter is used to state the main point of the letter. Begin with a friendly opening, then quickly transition into the purpose of your letter. Use a couple of sentences to explain the purpose, but do not go in to detail until the next paragraph.  For example, you might begin with something like: “As you know, I am a student in your X-Block English 9 class.  I am writing this letter to tell you a few things I thought you should know about me.”

Beginning with the second paragraph, state the supporting details to justify your purpose. In this case, these are the pieces of information which you have chosen to share in order to introduce yourself to me.  A few short paragraphs within the body of the letter should be enough to make a nice introduction. 

Finally, in the closing paragraph, briefly restate your purpose and why it is important. Finish up with a closing line expressing gratitude for your reader's time.


[your signature]

Suzie Q. Smith

Note: this letter format has been adapted from samples available at www.writinghelp-central.com and owl.english.purdue.edu.  They are both excellent resources for official MLA-style guidelines for writing.  Good luck with your letter! –Mr. G.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Romeo and Juliet Props Project

DUE DATE: Jan. 18, 2017

Note: Thank you to Amy Ulen for posting the original lesson idea twenty years ago--1997, I think--on her "Surfing with the Bard" portal page.  --AG

Assignment: Assemble a collection of eight (8) props for a particular character in Romeo and Juliet.  Each prop should be connected to a line from the play.  You may use lines which refer to real props (a sword, a potion, a letter, a ring, etc.) and/or lines which illustrate a character’s personality (Ex.: a candle to illustrate Benvolio’s description of Tybalt as, “the fiery Tybalt” in Act I.i.).  You may also simply illustrate a particular line: (Ex: eyeglasses for Benvolio’s suggestion that Romeo should, “Examine other beauties”).  Note: avoid any props that are either too valuable or too dangerous to bring to school!  Be creative.  Have fun.  School doesn’t have to be dreary; if we’re not laughing, we’re not doing it right. J

Character Name(s):

Item:                        Quote (w/act#, scene#, line#):               Explanation:*








*Why you chose it, or what the line means, or what was going on in the scene J

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Research Paper Assignment

Assignment: Write a researched, MLA-style essay on a topic of your choice. 

S/CTP = five-paragraph essay
H = 3-page essay

Process: Please begin with the KRHS Library Media Center webpage databases (the passwords are on the LMC website).  Use those databases to help develop a topic – ideally one that you might have some interest in, but not one that you already know lots about.  Develop a “BIG Question” which will guide your research, and “Sub-questions” that you will try to answer along the way.  Sift through some of the database articles to find the ones that look like they might be helpful.  Create “Notetaking Template” notes-sheets—3-5 of them.  When you are ready, try answering your “BIG Question,” and use your answer to help organize your essay.  Write the essay following the MLA format we have studied in class.  Submit for feedback and revisions.  Finally (whew!) … publish, reflect, and be proud of yourself.  Smiley face J.


Exemplary (4)
Accomplished (3)      
Developing (2)         
Beginning (1)
Identifying Problem/Question
(Critical Thinking)
Clearly identifies a BIG Question well-suited to the length and complexity of the assignment, actively employs library resources and  pre-search skills to develop sub-questions with a sincere intent to discover new knowledge.
Adequately identifies the BIG Question, uses library resources and  pre-search skills to develop sub-questions.
Can, with limited assistance, develop questions based on prior and new information.
Needs significant assistance to develop  questions.
Critically Evaluates Sources (Information Literacy)
Selects and evaluates highly appropriate and relevant sources and delves into references taking into consideration factors such as credibility, reliability, currency and information purpose; explores a variety of formats (books, primary sources, journals, electronic sources) and utilizes references within these sources for further inquiry.
Selects mostly appropriate and relevant sources; considers multiple factors such as currency, author credibility, and bias in a variety of formats (books, databases, journals, electronic sources).
Selects sources with inconsistent criteria and makes little attempt to balance format types.
Identifies no appropriate sources in any format.
Extract information /Takes Notes (Information Literacy)
Extracts relevant information and poses new questions based on findings; uses KRHS notetaking template to record notes and (edited!) quotes, insights, reactions, ideas for how to use key information, and questions for further inquiry.
Extracts mostly relevant information; uses KRHS notetaking templates to record notes, quotes, and comments about the material; suggests some ideas for how to use new information.
Extracts information that is not relevant; notes do not include direct quotations as evidence; limited responses to the material and how to use it.

No evidence of notes or reflections.

Citations and Documentation
(Information Literacy)
Uses MLA Works Cited and in-text formatting to cites all sources of information accurately (error free); demonstrates the credibility and authority of the information presented.
Cites most sources of information in proper format (infrequent minor errors) and documents sources to enable accuracy checking.
Inconsistencies with MLA formatting and and little or no supporting documentation to check accuracy.
No evidence of citations or sources.
Organization and Clarity (Effective Communication)
Superb organization of thoughts and purpose; organizes material around a clearly defined thesis statement; uses paragraphing, topic sentences, and transitions as clear navigational signals for the intended audience; main points explicitly identified, fluid, and explained with masterful detail and confidence.
Strong organization of thoughts and purpose; includes a thesis statement, topic sentences, and some transition words; main points effectively identified and explained with interesting and logical development and supporting details.
Some organization of thoughts and purpose; generalized points that are fragmented and difficult to follow.

Little to no organization; thoughts with no clear purpose.
Innovative Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Creates an original idea, question, solution, or product uniquely suited to the task; creates original thoughts, conclusions, and new knowledge.
Re-creates existing ideas in a new context relevant to the task with some original thoughts and conclusions; ideas and elements of source materials remain.

Makes slight change(s) or developments on existing ideas from source materials.
No synthesis or new knowledge.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Notetaking Template

English 9 Research/OC                                                                                                   Name:
Notetaking Template                                                                                                       Date:


(remember to edit quotes … include page# if possible … avoid copying and pasting huge blocks of text)

IDEAS:(record here your ideas and reactions to the information, ways to use it in your paper, your opinions, or further research you need to do on the information)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Essay-Writing Process

The following is the text of the handout we used in class to organize our writing process: question first, then gather quotes/details, then let those quotes and details help you form an answer (thesis) to your question.  Good luck! :)  --Mr. G

Essay Assignment Length:  H=3 pgs, CTP/S=5-paragraph essay (about 1.5 pgs.)
Note: longer essays are achieved by starting with a broader question.

1.       Write your big question here.  Remember: the best questions are based on a literary element (characterization, foreshadowing, setting, theme, etc.).

My big question: ________________________________________

2.       Gather evidence (quotes!).  Include quotation punctuation and page numbers. 
H=7-10 quotes                  CTP= +/- 5 quotes              S=at least 3 quotes

3.       OK.  Now that you’ve invested time and mental energy in gathering quotes, you need to ask yourself, “Do I have enough evidence to try answering my question?  If yes, then try it here (write a one sentence answer  in general terms based on the evidence in your quotes … this will become your thesis statement).  If not, then determine what else you need to gather for quotes and go get a few more. 

Answer to my big question: 

4.       Now, a MAP (or OUTLINE) for your essay should reflect the logical organizational system of your thesis.  In other words, you should be able to use your thesis to plan what the parts of your essay will need to be.  Outline it or create a diagram here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reading a Novel

English 9 Reading/Literary Analysis

Q:           Should I be taking notes while I read?

A:            Yes.

Q:           Should I just write down what happens … like a “book report”?

A:            No. 

Q:           Why?

A:            The best notes are not plot notes.  In theory, taking plot notes could be used to help you remember “what happens” in the novel .  But if you are actively engaged in your reading, that really shouldn’t be necessary.  It’s pretty hard to forget what you’ve read if you are visualizing, looking for indirect characterization details, making inferences, making connections, identifying ambiguities, making predictions, and looking for insights into the human experience. 

Q:           What kind of notes might actually help me, then?

A:            The best notes to take while reading a novel are just like the best notes to take during class: notes that help you to stay focused and actively, intellectually engaged over the course of reading your novel.  Remember: reading a novel requires us to stay engaged with the material over multiple sessions of reading.  A typical novel might take 10-15 hrs. total to complete, but not all at once.  Notes that help keep you going are the best kind of notes. 

Q:           So, if I keep notes on what I am thinking about  while I read, that might help me?

A:            Yes. 

Q:           Can I include lines I liked, characters I found interesting, and scenes I visualized well? 

A:            Yes, please. 

Q:           Should I mention it if I made a connection between the book and something else I have read or seen or experienced? 

A:            Yes!

Q:           Would it help to note my predictions for what might happen, based on things I think might be clues foreshadowing what will happen later?

A:            Definitely!

Q:           If I notice a theme line, or insights into human nature, or a character who seems to be getting at the deeper wisdom of the book, should I make note of that?

A:            Yes, absolutely!! 

Practice Notetaking:

Collect lines you like, details, insights, and observations, connections you are making with the text, predictions about what might happen based on foreshadowing clue, and questions you have.  Don’t overthink this.  This isn’t something you can get right or wrong—it is just meant to help you stay focused over the long-run of reading a serious novel.  Good luck!  -- Mr. G.