I post here daily about what we accomplished in class each day, including handouts and links available to students on my CANVAS site.
Thursday and Friday, 3/22-23
Days 39-40, Semester 2
The main goal of class time for these two days has been to write three body paragraphs in an analysis essay on the use of ethos, logos, and pathos in the speeches by Brutus and Mark Antony in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. First, on Thursday we discussed the key words from the prompt: "complex power struggle." We defined power and identified many different kinds of power, and then we identified types of power that Brutus and Mark Antony had and types of power that they lacked at the beginning of their speeches. We also discussed the requirement in the prompt that a successful essay will "identify a clear goal for each rhetorical appeal." These goals should be related to gaining power that the speaker lacks or undermining power that the other speaker possesses. For the rest of the class on Thursday, students worked to identify examples of ethos from the speech and to write the draft of the paragraph analyzing the speaker's use of ethos. For homework, students needed to finish the ethos paragraph (and share the Google Document with me) and select examples of both logos and pathos to prepare for writing those two paragraphs in class on Friday.
Friday's class was primarily work time for writing the logos and pathos paragraphs and getting feedback on the ethos paragraph as needed.
Homework (after Friday's class): Finish writing the logos and pathos paragraphs as needed. 4th Period needs to study for the vocabulary quiz on Monday. 1st and 3rd period will take the Midterm Skills Test on Monday and take the vocabulary quiz on Tuesday. 4th period will take the Midterm on Tuesday.
Wednesday, March 21
Day 38, Semester 2
After 10 minutes of reading and our daily Book Madness, we began to work through our understanding of Brutus' soliloquy that students read for homework last night. While they discussed at their tables their understanding of the meaning, claim, and key words in each stanza of Brutus' speech, I checked their homework for completion. Then we focused as a group on identifying an action that Brutus is doing in each stanza (-ing words) and why he is doing those actions. Once we understood how and why Brutus convinced himself to kill Caesar, we looked at the rest of the vocabulary words on our list that will appear in the two funeral speeches. Students then previewed both funeral speeches (Brutus and Mark Antony) and chose one to annotate for homework tonight. This annotation will become the planning/outline they will need to begin writing the rhetorical analysis paper.
Homework: Read either Brutus' or Mark Antony's funeral speech, and follow the instructions at the top for the now-familiar annotation process. Use the No Fear Shakespeare link to find a translation of the text to check your understanding.
Day 37, Semester 2
After 10 minutes of independent reading and today's March Madness contest of books, we delved into the excerpt from Julius Caesar Act I, Scene 2 that students read and paraphrased last night for homework. Following the instructions on the handout, we underlined the claim in each chunk, circled key words, and annotated what the character was saying and why for each chunk. Then, they worked together in groups to find examples of ethos, logos, and pathos in this passage to add to a graphic organizer along with a paraphrase of the examples and an explanation of the significance (what the character was doing and how he used ethos, logos, or pathos to do so). We then reviewed the next two vocabulary words that appear in the next excerpt they will read tonight for homework, from Act II, Scene 1.
Homework: Read excerpt from Act II, Scene 1 and follow the instructions at the top of the handout. Review vocabulary words; the quiz will be early next week.
Day 36, Semester 2
During our independent reading time today, I also had students share the classroom laptops to upload their ACES portfolio. After reading, I collected their rubrics for this writing assignment (major assessment grade).
Next, we started our mini-unit on selected excerpts from Shakespeare's tragedy, Julius Caesar. We are focusing on the efforts of three characters -- Cassius, Brutus, and Mark Antony -- to persuade others of the rightness of their cause. We watched a short summary video of the play itself (see below) and reviewed the first six vocabulary words on our list that are included in the first excerpt we will read. Then, we began to read and annotate the excerpt, following instructions on the handout to divide the passage into six "chunks." I asked them to write a paraphrase/summary of each chunk on a separate piece of paper. We had little time to work on this in class today, so they will continue tonight for homework, along with looking up the remaining definitions for our vocabulary list.
Homework: Define words 7-15 on vocabulary list. Write a paraphrase/summary (1 short paragraph) for each of the remaining 5 "chunks" on the Act I, Scene 2 excerpt (Cassius and Brutus).
Day 35, Semester 2
Test day. Students worked on their unit test during most of class today; some students who finished quickly had lots of good independent reading time!
Homework: Finish making revisions to 3rd ACES paragraph in the portfolio. Then, use the Writing Conventions Checklist to find and fix issues in all revised paragraphs in the portfolio ahead of the submission for a major assessment grade. We will upload portfolios to Turnitin.com during class on Monday. Lastly, look up definitions for the first five words on Julius Caesar vocabulary list (everyone).
Thursday, 3/15 (Beware the Ides of March)
Day 34, Semester 2
After 10 minutes of reading, we held our second "game" of IRT March Madness and then went directly back to the final scene of Oedipus Rex. We worked on paraphrasing the final lines, creating theme statements, and analyzing the use of irony in the play. At the end of class, we took another look at the Study Guide posted on Canvas and discussed some study strategies for the test tomorrow.
Homework: Test tomorrow! Prepare for the test by completing the irony analysis handout, using the practice test on Greek Drama and studying names/terms from the textbook project, studying the tracking evidence chart especially for quotes provide characterization by what the characters say to others and what others say about them. Also, finish revising 3rd ACES paragraph by reading and considering the accuracy of peer feedback. The entire portfolio is due on Monday, 3/19, so go back to previous revised paragraphs and get them as you'd like them for evaluation. Use the Writing Conventions Checklist you picked up in class today.
WeWednesday, 3/14 (Happy Pi Day!)
Day 33 of Semester 2
After our 10 minutes of independent reading, we began our March Madness with the first bracket. The student reading each randomly selected book told the class a bit about the book, including its genre, the protagonist, and a brief synopsis of the beginning of the story. The class then voted which book they would most like to read next, based on the information given. We have eight days of first round brackets before we move on to the next round. "Winners" will need to update us in the second round about what's happened in their book as they have continued reading since winning the first round.
Next, we finished reviewing Scenes 3 and 4, which students read in their groups in our last class (Monday or Tuesday). We then listened to a reading of the final scene, Exodos, and answered review questions as we followed along. We did not completely finish the play, however, so tomorrow we will finish and review Part 2 in preparation for the test.
Homework: Begin studying for unit test (moved to Friday) and work on revisions to ACES paragraph #3 based on feedback. 3rd and 4th period have until tomorrow to get feedback on this ACES paragraph but can begin revisions as soon as they get feedback.
Because of inclement weather, 1st period met on Monday, 3/12 and 3rd and 4th periods met on Tuesday, 3/13. We did the same work over the course of the 2 days:
After 10 minutes of reading, I asked everyone to write their name and the book they are reading for IRT on a note card. I will draw 16 random cards to use in our IRT March Madness. Students will give a brief synopsis of their book, if chosen, and classes will vote which books to move along in the brackets until we have a winner! My goal with this IRT Madness is to help students develop an interest in books they might not otherwise pick up to read. I then had students write on the other side of the the note card which method they chose to use for feedback on their Tragic Hero ACES paragraph drafts: peer reviewer (someone in the same class) or Writing Center peer tutor. `Their assignment for this week is to solicit feedback on their writing according to their choice written on this card. The Writing Center is open during A half of Smart Lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in Room 1504.
For the next 40-45 minutes, students read Part II: Scenes 3 and 4 in their groups, taking note of textual evidence for the four claims on the Part II evidence chart in their binders. We used the reading comprehension questions (posted on Canvas) to review the scenes in the final 15 minutes of class. We will finish that review in class before reading the final section of the play on Wednesday.
HW: Get feedback on your final ACES paragraph from peer reviewer or Writing Center tutor by deadline (1st period: Wednesday; 3rd and 4th periods: Thursday). Begin studying for unit test on Oedipus/Tragedy and Fate. Study guide is posted on Canvas and includes a practice quiz on Greek Drama and Tragedy information.
We relocated to the media center today so that everyone would have room to work on the posters for the literary seismograph project (due today by the end of class) and access to computers to work on the modern day tragic hero ACES (due by the end of the day today). In 4th period, we discussed the ACES paragraph in the classroom before moving to the media center. Since they spent most of class yesterday on the poster project, they were more focused on the ACES today while individual ones finished up their individual sections of the poster.
Homework: Finish draft of modern day tragic hero by 11:59 PM tonight (in the Google Portfolio document below the previous 2 ACES paragraphs.
Day 30 of Semester 2
After 10 minutes of reading, we needed a few minutes to finish discussing Scene II of Oedipus. Then, I had the class divide up so that one half worked in groups on the seismograph project while the other half worked individually to write the draft of the modern-day tragic hero ACES in the portfolio. After 25-30 minutes or so, they then switched focus. We will do the same in class tomorrow, and both assignments are due at the end of class.
Homework: Work on ACES or seismograph as much as needed to put yourself in a position to finish by the end of class tomorrow.
Allison Houck, MAT