Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reading Period 14: Nov 26-Dec 2: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman

Black veil, much?
Long Read: 

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, chapters 25-32

Short Read:

AIAL pages 247-269

Nathaniel Hawthorne biographical summary.
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
The Minister's Black Veil
"The Notebooks and other Writings"

Whitman. Coolest American of 19th century?
Or coolest American ever? 
Poetry:

AIAL pages 349-360

Walt Whitman biography and poems, including the following:
From "Song of Myself"
"One's-Self I Sing"
"I Hear America Singing"
"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer"
"A Noiseless Patient Spider"
"Beat! Beat! Drums!"
"A March in the Ranks Hard-Prest, and the Road Unknown"
"Reconciliation"

Creative Assignment: 

Write poetry! Your poem(s) can be inspired by or influenced by any of the American poets we have read in class, or they can be entirely original contemporary works. You will post your poetry to the group, and next class we will examine and analyze it -- rhyme scheme, meter, imagery, metaphors, and the rest. Make it juicy so we have a lot to dig into!

Paper:

Print out and read your critique partner's rough draft. Use this form to do your peer review. It's called "Ten Steps to Peer Review." Zoe and Jacob will need to scan and email their forms and papers, or Jacob you can give it to me and I'll mail it, but Sarah and Benny can exchange critiques at co-op.

No quiz, Google Fu, Twitter Scholar, or Note-Taking assignment this week. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and read everything assigned so we can have a great discussion next week!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Reading Period 13: Nov 19-25: Slave Songs and Fireside Poets

Long Read: 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, chapters 17-24.

Short Read:

Excerpts from "My Bondage and My Freedom" by Frederick Douglass.
Read the biographical selection and the short excerpt in your textbook (AIAL p. 363-364), and then read chapters 15-17 at this site, which gives an e-text of the whole book.

Poetry:

Fireside Poets:
Longfellow: "A Psalm of Life" (AIAL p. 297)
Whittier: "From Snowbound" (AIAL p. 306)
Holmes: "The Chambered Nautilus" (AIAL p. 312)
Lowell: "The Courtin'" (AIAL p. 316)

Slave Songs:
"Follow the Drinking Gourd"
"Wade in the Water"
"Steal Away"
"Swing Low Sweet Chariot"
(Those three songs can be found here.)

Creative Assignment:

Have a look at the many different cover illustrations different publishers and artists have created for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some are slanted more toward children, and some are more scholarly or "grown up." Now create your own cover. What scene or pose would you use to represent the book? What audience do you intend to reach -- kids? adults? Who is this book written for?

Google Fu:

Slavery is illegal in every nation of the world. But does it still exist? Use Google to research this question, and post your answers to these questions, using at least one good source to back up your answers. Is slavery still happening in our world? If so, where? Make sure you link to your source.

Note-Taking:

Pretend you are writing a paper about slave narratives. The following two links come up in your research, and you must consider a strategy for taking notes on both of them.

"An Introduction to the Slave Narrative" by William L. Andrews (unc.edu)
"The Slave Narrative" by Donna M. Campbell (wsu.edu)

One of these links takes you to an article with paragraphs. The other is constructed more as a list. Answer the following questions: 1. How would you approach taking notes, for each one? 2. Which one is more valuable to your research and why? 3. What is a slave narrative?

Twitter Scholar:

Often you can find the freshest new material on a given subject by using Twitter, because people tend to post links to new articles, not old. Search "slavery" on Twitter to help you answer your Google Fu questions this week. What is the difference between the articles/resources you turn up using Google and those you turn up using Twitter? Check the dates on the links you find. Can you find an article published in November 2014? How would you go about finding this article on Google?

Paper:

Your rough draft is due on Tuesday, November 25, at midnight. Please write your rough draft in a Google document and share it to the group. Make sure you share it so that others "Can View" instead of "Can Edit"! When everyone has shared their paper, we will do peer review using this form. You must print out the paper you are reviewing, and mark it up with colored pencils or markers as described on the form, and turn it in to your partner the following week. Partners: Benny and Sarah, Jacob and Zoe. I will be marking up a copy too. After you get your critiques back, you'll have a week to revise it.

Quiz:

Instead of a quiz over the novel chapters this week, answer these questions with True or False, according to your own feelings. I'll also post this on the Google+ community, and you can answer there, to see how your opinions line up with your classmates' opinions. 


1. A good education makes a good person.
2. It is better to follow laws, even if we don’t agree with all of them.
3. Children should obey and respect adults.
4. The ability to read and write is the most important skill a person can learn in life.
5. An adolescent’s behavior is influenced by friends more than anything else.
6. An adolescent’s attitudes are influenced by parents more than anything else.
7. A person must “play the game” to survive.
8. “Game playing” is dishonest.
9. Cruelty begets cruelty and kindness begets kindness.
10. When bad things happen to a person, he/she has done something to cause them.



(Discussion prompts from "A Teacher's Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," by Jane Shlensky.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Reading Period 12: November 12-18: Henry David Thoreau

Long Read:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, chapters 9-16
Check out the Project Gutenberg version online to see some of the original illustrations.

Short Read:

"From Walden" in your textbook, excerpts from the book by Henry David Thoreau. You should also read the biographical note about Thoreau.

Poetry:

You can find these poems on this page.
"The Inward Morning"
"The Summer Rain"
"My Life Has Been the Poem"
"What's the Railroad to Me?"
"Within the Circle of This Plodding Life"


Creative Assignment:

In "Walden," Thoreau describes sitting in his doorstep for hours just thinking, or sitting in his boat in the pond for hours playing the flute. Your assignment is to sit quietly in a natural setting (outside, preferably with trees and around you) for fifteen minutes, doing nothing but think. Don't draw, read, or talk to anyone -- stay alone in your own head. Afterward, write at least 250 words describing the experience.

OR

Do the same, but write a poem about it.

Note Taking:

Sometimes when writing about a person (as you all are in your paper), it's useful to boil down their philosophy or position on a topic to a few lines or a good, representative quote. Read Henry David Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience." Please note there are three pages. Pretend you are writing a paper about Thoreau and that your thesis statement is that Thoreau is a good example of an American because he feels it's his responsibility to criticize the government. Take notes on this essay, as if you are going to use it as evidence of Thoreau's attitude toward the government and a citizen's duty to question it and demand improvements. Pull out three quotes that would make good evidence in a paper, if Thoreau were your topic.

Google Fu:

If you were to retreat from society to be alone and contemplate philosophy for a year, where would you go? Tropical island? Cabin in the woods like Thoreau? Arctic outpost? Sailboat? Show us a picture of your Walden.

Twitter Scholar:

Thoreau's ideas inspire the environmentalists of today, and he was one of the first Americans to write passionately about nature preservation and conservancy. Find three Twitter feeds that you think Thoreau would have followed, if he were alive and on Twitter. Tweet about it, tagging these feeds. For instance, you might Tweet: "The following feeds have been approved by the ghostly spirit of Thoreau: @natureisgreat @lovenature @savetheplanet" or whatever.

Paper:

Using your shiny revised outline as a guide, write a first draft! The first draft will be due November 25. I previously said it would be due November 18, but I'm going to give you another week. Please use it!

Now is the time for us to talk about how to cite your sources. If you read this page from the good old Purdue writing lab, you'll know everything there is to know, but let me summarize what I want you to do.

When you use information that you found in a book or article, or when you make a statement that you are going to back up with evidence from one of your sources, you need to provide a citation so that readers know where you got that information, or can check your evidence to verify your claim. Citing sources gives your paper validity, puts you legitimately in a community of scholars and thinkers, and banishes the specter of plagiarism, which means taking credit for someone else's work or ideas.

You'll let your readers know what sources you used in two ways: first in parenthetical citations and then on a Works Cited page. When you use information from or a quote from a source, you'll include a parenthetical notation giving the author and the page number, right in that same paragraph -- either after the quote or at the end of the paragraph if the whole paragraph is relevant to your source. A parenthetical citation usually includes the author's name and a page number, like this: (Melville 38). You can find out how to handle parenthetical citations for all different kinds of sources on this page.


Every author you use in a parenthetical citation will correspond to an entry on your Works Cited page. The Works Cited page comes at the end of your paper, and lists all the resources you used, as referenced in your parenthetical citations. You can find out all about that back at the Purdue Writing Lab, including how to format entries for books, web sites, articles, etc.

Your rough draft should be 2000 words long. It must be typed, either submitted in a Google document or in an email to me. We will be doing peer review, so your classmates will be reading your work to help you. I will also be giving input and suggestions for revision. Your paper doesn't have to be perfect at this point, but try to get all your ideas out so we can talk about how to polish it. Do not write a rough draft without citing any sources! It is much harder to go back and figure out where you got everything than it is to just note it and cite it as you go along. Good luck!

Quiz

The quiz will relate to Huckleberry Finn, one question per chapter.

1. How does Tom signal to Huck through the window in the dark?
2. What does Jim keep around his neck to remember his experience with the witches?
3. Why do Huck and the boys get tired of Tom Sawyer's gang of robbers?
4. What evidence makes Huck think his father has returned?
5. What does Huck's father want from him?
6. What does this mean: "pap got too handy with his hick'ry"?
7. What does Huck do with the wild pig he kills?
8. What does Jim think, when he first sees Huck on the island?
9. What is strange about the man Jim and Huck see in the floating house?
10. What remedy does Jim use for his snake bite?
11. How does Huck disguise himself to get information from the woman in the shanty?
12. Who does Huck find on the wrecked steamboat?
13. Why does Huck want the ferryman to go out to the wreck?
14. According to Huck, what does a king do?
15. Why does Huck lie to Jim about having been gone in the canoe, and how does he feel about that lie afterwards?
16. What are the consequences of the raft having floated past Cairo accidentally?



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reading Period 11: Nov 5-11: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Long Read:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapters 1-8

Short Read:

"Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Emerson bio and "Emerson Selections and Commentary" AIAL 212-228.

Poetry:

AIAL 229-231

"The Rhodora" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Brahma"  by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Concord Hymn"  by Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Pork and Beans" by Weezer.
"I Am What I Am" by The Jonas Brothers.
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

Google Fu: 

Create an Emerson meme! You can either put an Emerson quote over a picture of something else, or you can Google a picture of Emerson and put words over it. You could use Emerson's picture to make a "Hey girl" meme, for example or use a current meme image like Grumpy Cat to illustrate an Emerson quote. Maybe you'll find it useful to Google to find the meme makers available online.

Twitter Scholar:

Search for the phrase "Be yourself!" on Twitter. If you put quotation marks around a phrase you can search for that exact phrase, not just the individual words. Read through the Tweets and respond to one of them, letting the person know that Emerson would be proud of his/her sentiments.

Note-Taking:

Read the historical selection, "The Flowering of New England," in your textbook (pages 199-211). Take notes on it in your notebook, in outline form, using the headers from the text as Roman numerals. What will your capital letter subdivisions be, for each section?

Paper:

You all have notes on your outline drafts. This week, continue reading and researching, and develop your outline one step further, incorporating my suggestions and maybe expanding your outline to the next level of subdivisions. An example of an outline in three different versions of the correct form is here. This is another good how-to.




Quiz:

The quiz this week is taken from the textbook, the questions refer to the historical selection, "The Flowering of New England."

1. Give two examples of the "spectacular" growth that characterized the thirty years preceding the Civil War.
2. What development was chiefly responsible for feelings of optimism about the future?
3. What two technological developments helped to bridge vast distances of the expanding nation?
4. In what way were workers adversely affected by the new technology?
5. What three areas of reform were prominent in this period?
6. Why is this literary period sometimes called the American Renaissance?
7. In what way is intuition central to transcendental belief?
8. Who were the two writers chiefly responsible for developing transcendental ideas?
9. Why were Lowell, Longfellow, and Holmes known as "Brahmins"?
10. In what way were Hawthorne and Melville anti-transcendentalists?