Week of September 9th

AP Language & Composition:

Please have your enthymeme and warrant practice sheets complete for tomorrow’s class. During class on Monday you will be completing your first in-class write. Although I’m not going to give away the subject of the argument, I would suggest reviewing argument structure and arrangement in your notes. You will have the entire class period to write the essay–please bring a blue or black pen with which to write. Tuesday we will analyze three student model responses, score them, and discuss what the writers did to develop a strong argument. This will also provide you with time to reflect on your approach to the prompt. After scoring the three models, you will score your own writing and then choose a single paragraph to revise for a final essay score.

Wednesday through next Monday we are going to read an argument from 50 Essays. Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail is an exemplary argument in which King balances the three appeals, and arranges his argument in direct response to the four major points of the eight Alabama Clergymen’s original letter. As such, we will read his letter in 4 parts. As a starting point you will read the Alabama Clergymen’s letter to MLK, then the first 4 paragraphs of MLK’s response. This will allow us to identify the exigence of the argument and start to discuss how MLK addresses an audience hostile to his actions in Birmingham. It will be helpful to bring the analysis graphic I handed out on blue paper the first week. It’s linked on the AP Language page and HERE.

The goal of analyzing his letter is to learn how argument is a conversational exchange, where the writer acknowledges the opposition’s point of view and then moves to deconstruct it and refute it with his own evidence and experience. At the end of our four short reading assignments, we will complete a seminar on the entire letter, then you will be responsible for writing a short piece of analysis on one of the four sections of your choosing.

English 9/11

Monday we will finish off the short research assignment that was started last Friday, and complete the spelling and vocabulary activities in Unit 32, Lesson 2 of your Language! books. After the research project on historical heroes is completed and shared with the class, we will start reading The Epic of Gilgamesh. Although Gilgamesh will be the focus of most of each class day, we will need to begin each day with a Language! activity to make sure we are practicing the skills you will need to apply to your longer reading assignments.

I have made copies of the first tablet of the poem, which gives an overview of Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s adventures and provides background on Gilgamesh, King of Uruk. You will find that the same basic patterns we have been investigating in class apply to Gilgamesh’s journey.

You’ve seen Homer Simpson complete his own hero’s journey to make Springfield a safer place, investigated how a historical figure completed the same cycle; now it is time to apply that background knowledge to an epic poem and to track how each experience Gilgamesh faces provides him with an opportunity to learn and become a better person, so that by the time he returns to his kingdom, he is a better person.


Mr. Almon

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