Thursday, May 1, 2014


Our final exam is based on our last unit (11th grade bootcamp) and consists of a cumulative test (that is, a test on the skills we have learned all year). In particular, yo ned to study and know the terms on this list:

Final Literary Terms

Our final will be on Friday, May 23rd.

The exam will cover the following:

Literary Terms
The short story "The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury
The short story "Two Kinds" by Amy Tan
A few poems that we will study in class
A non-fiction article we will read in class
Plus, cold-reading selections will be featured on the exam (that is, there will be a short story, a few poems, and an article on the test that we have not read before).
Plus, skills such as writing and proofreading an essay in MLA format, writing annotations, figuring out the meaning of words using context clues, etc.

More information about the final is coming soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fahrenheit 451 Projects

As you know, for Fahrenheit 451 we will have a test when we have finished reading and we will not be writing an essay. Instead, you will do annotations, homework sheets, reading quizzes, a project, etc.

Homework Projects:

Instead, our final assessment for this unit will be a project. There is a list of 52 projects you can choose from or you can come up with your own idea (as long as you check with the teacher first). 80 points worth of projects are due on Friday, May 9th, but you can attempt up to 100 points (for 20 points of extra credit). Here is the list:

Homework Projects 2014

Reading Schedule:


For every night of reading you must do annotations - that is, take thoughtful notes on what you are reading - (at least three a night would be about right). Here is the handout about annotations that I passed out in class and another helpful information sheet.

451 Annotations
How to Annotate Literature

This is one of the skills 11th grade teachers will expect you to already know next year - if you are having trouble or do not understand how to annotate, please ask! You will turn in your annotations at the end of each of the three sections of the novel (it's part of your homework sheets(.

Homework Sheets:

For every night of reading you have a homework sheet. These worksheets will help you engage with the text and make sure you are thinking about and internalizing what you read. Some of the homework sheets are back-to-back and are not due for two days and some are one-sided and due the next day. Here are the homework sheet due dates. Note that homework is due at the BEGINNING of class - usually within the first few minutes. You will not have time in class to do your homework. Students with UNEXCUSED tardies to class will not be allowed to turn in their homework for that day. (I will post the homework sheets here just before they are due in case you lost yours, were absent, or need a new copy, etc.):

Homework Sheets 1 & 2: Due Monday, April 28
Homework Sheets 3 & 4: Due Monday, April 28
Homework Sheet 5: Due Tuesday, April 29
Homework Sheets 6 & 7: Due Thursday, May 1
Homework Sheet 8: Due Friday, May 2
Homework Sheet 9: Due Monday, May 5
Homework Sheets 10 & 11: Due Wednesday, May 7
Homework Sheet 12: Due Thursday, May 8

Homework Project(s): Due Friday, May 9

How to Study:

Be sure to of your reading, annotations, and homework every night. The best way to be prepared to is to stay up-to-date on the reading. There will be at least one in-class pop quiz per section of the book. Also, be sure to work on your project well in advance of the due date - do not wait until the last minute.

For more information about Fahrenheit 451, try visiting the following websites:

Sparknotes: Fahrenheit 451 (summaries, a practice quiz, and more!)
A List of Literary Allusions and Quotations from Fahrenheit 451 (explains all of the quotes, famous people, and works of literature mentioned in the book if you are curious).
Fahrenheit 451 Allusions and Cultural References (another similar list).
Sparknotes Practice Quiz (some of these questions might even show up on the test!)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lord of the Flies Argument Essay

The Assignment:

Here is the assignment sheet for the Lord of the Flies argument essay. We will go to the computer lab on Thursday and Friday (April 24 & 25) to type it up, but you can work on your first draft at home before then. The final (typed in MLA format) essay is due on Tuesday, April 29. Here is the assignment sheet:

Lord of the Flies Argument Essay Assignment Sheet


You must include at least some information from the article we read in class. Here it is:

"Why Some People Are Evil" by Paul J. Zak

You must also include some information from the novel (at least one quote would be nice, too). The novel is not online, but you can visit the Sparknotes page here:

Sparknotes: Lord of the Flies

And you must include an example from your life, someone you know, something you have read or studied, etc. You can find some articles to read online such as: Are Humans Born Equal?

MLA Format:

Here is some helpful information about how to type an essay in Word using MLA format.:

Here are the main rules:

1. You need 1 inch margins (format - document - change the ones with 1.25 to 1)
2. Double Space (format - paragraph - line spacing: double)
3. Use Times New Roman 12 pt. font (format - font - Times New Roman - 12 pt.)
4. Add a header/page number (insert - page numbers - Uncheck "Show number on first page" - Top of Page (Header) - Then click OK. It will add the numbers. Click on the number and type your last name in with one space between your name and the number).
5. If you have a title, center it (select the title - format - paragraph - alignment: centered). There is probably an easy button for this in the toolbar, though.
5. When starting a new paragraph, don't forget to hit "tab" on the keyboard to indent.

It sometimes helps if you type first before you begin step 2 or 3.

Here is a blog with helpful information about how to use Microsoft Word 2010 to write a paper in MLA format:

MLA Format in Word

Here is a sample paper written in MLA format. The paper is not excellent, and has errors, but the formatting is correct:

Sample MLA Paper

(Google docs wouldn't let me use a header for the pager number, so it is just typed in).

HELP! How do I start?

  1. First, open Word (ask someone next to you if you need help).
  2. Define your margins, font, page numbers, and spacing (see above or ask a neighbor or teacher if you need help).
  3. Type in your heading (your name, teacher's name, English 4, and date
  4. Type the word title - hit enter
  5. Hit "tab" then type the word "The"
  6. Center the title (ask for help if you need it)
  7. Now that your paper is set up, figure out your answer to these questions: Do you think people are born evil or born good? If you think they are evil, why do we not do evil things all the time? What is stopping us? If you think we are good, then why do some people do evil things?
  8. William Golding (the author of Lord of the Flies) thinks we are evil. He thinks the main thing stopping most of us from acting evil is society (that is, police, our parents, church, etc.). He set his novel Lord of the Flies on an island where there are no grown-ups or police officers, etc. and look what happened to the boys!
  9. Paul J. Zak (the author of the article) thinks that what makes people evil is when they lack a certain molecule in their brains called oxytocin.
  10. What do you think? You can agree with one or both of these men, or you can come up with your own ideas. For help, why not visit this website (it allows people on the internet to write what they think about the issue, but they are not experts):
  11. Take some notes about your ideas.
  12. Now you can write your introduction. You need to answer the question (are people good or evil) and maybe say why (that's your thesis).
  13. In your body paragraphs, be sure to include information from the article, the novel, and your own ideas or something you have read. Don't forget to include the name of the authors/articles!
  14. BEFORE THE END OF THE PERIOD ON THURSDAY: Make sure you save your work from today. You can save it on the desktop (then make sure you sit at the same computer tomorrow) but you should also either send it in an email to yourself, save it on a flash drive, or save it to Google Docs, etc.
  15. ON FRIDAY: If you have finished your essay, ask a teacher to check it before you print. Print it and then turn it in. You are done. OR save it, send it to yourself and finish it at home. It is due by Tuesday.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lord of the Flies Practice Quiz

Some of you asked me about the Lord of the Flies practice quiz on Sparknotes. Here is a link to it:

Lord of the Flies quiz

I suggest you finish reading the book before you take the quiz. This video review of the book might also be helpful:

Lord of the Flies Ten-Minute Video

Here is a copy of the vocal. words in case you need it:

LOTF Chap. 1-12 Vocabulary

Here is the general link to LOTF on Sparknotes:

Sparknotes: Lord of the Flies

Here are the power points we took notes on in class:

LOTF Chap. 1-6
LOTF Chap. 7-12

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lord of the Flies

The fourth quarter is here - you are 75% done with your sophomore year! During the fourth quarter we are going to read two novels. The first is William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Here is the reading schedule (I also passed out a bookmark of it in class):

Here are the vocabulary words.

Make sure to keep up with the reading. You also need to do annotations (take notes) as you read. We will go over how to do annotations in class. The annotations are due when you finish Chapter 6 and Chapter 12.

If you need help understanding the novel, be sure to ask questions! You can also check out the Sparknotes page for LOTF. It has a video you can watch, but beware of spoilers! It also has chapter summaries, a list of characters, a practice quiz, and other helpful information.

Happy reading!

Poster by Allison Chen, Class of 2010

Monday, March 24, 2014

Parts of Speech

11th grade is coming up soon, so it's already time to get ready for 11th Grade Bootcamp! First, we need to review the parts of speech. You will also need to know the parts of speech for our Lord of the Flies vocabulary quizzes.

Here are two websites you can visit that will give you more information about the parts of speech:

University of Ottowa: The Parts of Speech

The OWL at Purdue: Parts of Speech Overview

PCC Grammar Handouts: Parts of Speech

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Tomorrow (March 6th) we will write the benchmark essay. Here is a copy of the rubric used to grade these essays in case you want to check it out:

Analytic Rubric

Each essay will be given a score from 1-6. For the purposes of our class, this is the grade scale I will use:

6 = 100 (A+)
5+ = 95 (A)
5 = 90 (A-)
4+ = 85 (B)
4 = 79 (C+)
4- = 74 (C)
3+ = 70 (C-)
3 = 65 (D)
2 = 55 (F)
1 = 45 (F)
You can only get a zero if you did not do the essay at all, if it was written in a language other than English, if you cheated on or plagiarized all or part of the essay, etc.