Week of 9/23 Overview

AP Language and Composition:

Monday you will be peer editing your MLK analysis essay. Remember to bring three printed copies of your full length rough draft so that you can get feedback from fellow students. As I mentioned Friday, I am also willing to read sections of your essays and give you feedback, but cannot legitimately read 32 students’ full essays. The peer editing sheet is linked here, and in an earlier post.

You will also receive the assignment sheet for your semester long final project (worth 10% of your final grade) on Monday morning. We will not be addressing it in class on Monday, but we will spend Tuesday’s class in the library looking for topics, books, and other resources, and then beginning the process of writing your proposal, which will be due October 2nd.

Starting Wednesday we will begin looking at George Orwell’s heavily anthologized Shooting an Elephant, which is both narrative and argumentative in nature. We are going to spend a few days on it in order to fully appreciate how Orwell goes about developing and arranging his argument in a much more indirect way than King did in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Since we recently finished Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence you will find thematic connections in Orwell and Jefferson’s indictments of the British Empire, although at vastly different periods in history. You can expect to have to write a group paragraph analyzing Orwell’s development once we’ve finished with class discussion.

After we finish Orwell’s essay, we will have read three of the most famous arguments: MLK’s Letter, Jefferson’s Declaration, and Orwell’s personal argument. Since we will have built a solid foundation in argument analysis and how effective authors arrange and execute their arguments, I’m am going to ask you all to complete argument projects where we place you in the speaker/writer’s seat, and allow you to develop your own strong arguments on contemporary and timely issues. Since you will be working on your semester project which is a synthesis argument, we will start the argument projects with a  mini-version of that larger project in groups, so that you can practice the rituals and routines your final project will require.

Wednesday’s structured tutorial after school will address the final project that I hand out on Monday. If you want to come and chat about a pacing guide to make sure you get the project done on time and don’t procrastinate, want to discuss topics or broad ideas, or want to just vent, this tutorial is for you!

English 9 & 11:

Remember to bring 2 questions on The Forest Journey section of Gilgamesh for tomorrow’s class discussion. We will use them to start class and then to finish the tablet about Gilgamesh and Enkidu’s fight with the forest monster Humbaba.

On Tuesday, I’m going to ask all students to work together to fill out a timeline of events for tablet 4 as a way of prewriting for a paragraph in which you will have to answer: what experiences the two friends have and what lessons are learned from those experiences.

This will be a second chance to use the paragraph template we worked through last week. The next section of Gilgamesh is Ishtar and Gilgamesh, and the Death of Enkidu which picks up right where the fight with Humbaba left off. As is the case in most epic hero stories, most times the hero has to experience a great loss or low point in order to make a comeback, move on to further challenges and return in a better condition. It will be our goal this week to write about The Forest Journey and complete your journals through Tablet 4, then begin reading, discussing, and journaling the 5th tablet where our two main characters face their biggest challenge yet.

Also this week, we will complete Lesson 4 of Unit 32 in the Language! books. This means that next week will be your first test on the Language! materials. I would suggest keeping a section of your notebook dedicated to Language! activities so that you can review the material before the brief assessments.

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