09.29.06

Core 1:

  1. Share-On: Share your Satires with at least 2-3 other people and ask them what they believe is being criticized. If they give you a different answer than what you had planned, discuss why your reader’s impression was different than your writing intention.
  2. Share and critique satires as a whole class:
    • Is this satire affective at drawing attention to a problem?
    • Is this satire affective at persuading you to change (or someone else)?
  3. Dive back into Vocab books for a fresh look.

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On:
    • How many words do you think you know?
    • What percentage of those words do you think your really understand (can use, know inside and out)?
    • What accounts for your number not being 100%
    • What should we call our Sesquipedalian activities? Why?
  2. Show off FlashCard Exchange (and the Word Within The Word Flashcards).
  3. Discuss the notes in terms of their importance to fully understanding a word.
  4. Explore the ideas page looking for the most authentic idea.

Core 3:

  1. Take Quiz over Vocabulary Unit 1 and collect Vocab books.
  2. Discuss-On: What doesn’t belong in an introduction to an essay?
  3. Let’s  Pack our Bags.
  4. How would you pack your bags for one of the Start-Me-Up Sentences that you wrote yesterday?

Core 4:

  1. Write-On: What is the difference between persuasion and manipulation with words?
  2. With a partner: Analyze Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech  using this handout.
  3. Discuss the analysis as a class.
  4. Come up with your final answer to the final question:
    • From your reading/listening/watching and our discussion, what do you believe that speech can do better than the written word and what does the written word do better than speech?

09.28.06

Core 1:

  1. Discuss-On: Share your answers to the homework questions with at least two people and come to a consensus on the answers:
    • What are these articles making fun of/criticizing? How are they doing it?
    • Why are they targeting these particular aspects of society?
  2. With a partner: Brainstorm all of the social aspects that you think deserve to be criticized.
  3. Read over the My Satire handout and then start writing your own satires.

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On: What is the best way to honor our fallen soldiers? Share with one another until you establish the best solution for not making sacrifices to our country seem like statistics or things that should be forgotten?
  2. Why are big words good?
  3. Introduce The Word Within The Word.

Core 3:

  1. Write-On: How do you know if your Start-Me-Up sentence is a good one? (How do you know if you have started off with the right size bag?)
  2. Brainstorm and Write your own Start-Me-Up sentences according to the topics on the handout.
  3. Play Vocabulary Basketball to study for the Vocabulary Quiz tomorrow.

Core 4:

  1. Share-On: Share with two people your answer for the homework question:
    • In the course of our human history, which has been more effective at creating social change: Verbal persuasion or Written Persuasion? Why?
  2. Read Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech (watch it too) and analyze it using this handout.

09.27.06

Cores 1-4:

  1. Honor the new Authenticity Award Recipients.
  2. Continue to refine The Discovery Blogging Rules.
    1. Is this post appropriate for our blogs?

Core 1:

  1. Discuss-On: Why do we make fun of things?
  2. Read Onion Articles and establish definition of Satire and its characteristics on your Genre Master List:
  3. Discussion Questions:
    • What are these articles making fun of/criticizing? How are they doing it?
    • Why are they targeting these particular aspects of society?
    • What can you do with satire (such as these) that you cannot do with other genres of writing?
  4. Homework: Which social topic do you think deserves to be made fun of? How are you going to exaggerate it in order to change it?

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On: What is the best way to honor our fallen soldiers? Share with one another until you establish the best solution for not making sacrifices to our country seem like statistics or things that should be forgotten?
  2. Why are big words good?
  3. Introduce The Word Within The Word.

Core 3:

  1. Check Completing the Sentence in Vocab book.
  2. Talk about Vocab quiz on Friday.
  3. Start Our Trip To Essay Land by Packing Our Bags:
    • I have a severe obsession with the introductory paragraph. I explain this obsession through an essay I wrote on my own writing process. I expand this topic to talk about how everyone writes an essay differently, but my favorite way is to focus on the first topic and make it perfect. I usually start brainstorming the first sentence and make sure it is a powerful as I need it to be, but a more in depth look at this idea of a Start-Me-Up first sentence can be found here.
    • In the metaphor, the first sentence represents the bag that you pack everything in. You need to pick the right sized bag or else you either won’t have enough clothes (ideas and details) to fill up the bag or you will have too many.
    • The three major ways that I like to start an essay (as shown in the handout) are as follows:
      • The Truest/Most Powerful/Most Interesting/Most Important/Most Shocking thing you know about your subject.
      • A Quotation.
      • A Question
    • Many of my students come up with other ways of starting an essay. These other ways can be more natural to them, but I try to encourage them to branch out and try new ways of starting off their best essay so far. Here are some examples of student ideas for a Start-Me-Up sentence.
      • One word. Then a powerful definition of that word.
      • A great image or extended example which is later explained in the introductory paragraph.
      • A dictionary definition (not my personal favorite).

Core 4:

  1. Use the library computers to work on Weekly Authentics, commenting, and building comments.

Language Theory Notes for 09.25.06

  • Is language encoded in DNA?
  • How much is built in?
  • Acquiring Language is different than learning.
  • Are verbal errors really errors? (We are trying to make the irregular, regular.)
  • Children don’t know how to truly speak incorrectly.
  • When there are errors that no child would make, it is assumed that these errors would break a rule of universal grammar.
  • English is not innate, but language is.
  • There are no primitive languages.
  • Language Analogy theory doesn’t work (if you know one sentence, you can produce another one like it (but only other ones like it)).
  • Language is like physical growth.
  • Children are pre-programmed with the outlines for language.
  • Children are biased learners: they take in all of the comprehensible input and build upon it.
  • First assumptions for learning language:
    • Words are always applied to the whole object
    • Each word has an exclusive meaning.
  • How does a child learn meaning?
    • Learning meaning is only done by applying a word to new concepts or objects.

But at least…

Disclaimer: The following Weekly Authentic is senseless. It has purpose only to me, and I’m still trying to figure out what that is. I share it with you only to see if you can find meaning before I get to it. I just felt like I had to say these things, that they were somehow important. I really want to know what “It” is, but I’m kind of afraid of what I might find.

It’s about speaking up without yet being spoken to.

It’s about survival.

It’s about making lists.

It’s about hoping to God that I have a few more hours.

It’s about a relentless search.

It’s about being open to something that hasn’t been dreamed of yet.

It’s about wringing out wet T-shirts.

It’s about not knowing how things will turn out and acting anyway.

It’s about running in place and getting winded.
It’s about feeling worthless.

It’s about The Glass Menagerie, West Side Story, and Waiting For Godot.

It’s about the history of all things beautiful.

It’s about crying when you recognize something.

It’s about mothers, and the absence of mothers.

It’s about wanting to wriggle away from all responsibility.

You see, I may be a fragile, murky, pedantic and obtuse, broken, fanatically supportive, fluid, wandering failure, but at least I’m not ugly.

Listen to this article Listen to this article

Isaac and Ishmael

Discussion Questions for this episode of The West Wing:

  1. What did Josh mean when he said that “they” want to kill all of us the same amount?
  2. Why does Josh’s analogy make sense: Islamic Extremists is to Islamic as KKK is to Christianity?
  3. What are the specific grievances that terrorists have against us, as Americans?
  4. What did Josh mean when he said that we live in a “Plural Society?”
  5. Why did Sam say, “terrorists always fail?”
  6. What are civil liberties and why are they important?
  7. Why does the nature of war have to change because of terrorism?
  8. What situations qualify as a breading ground for terrorism?
  9. Why is racial profiling so prevalent?
  10. Do you believe that by living our lives we actually hurt terrorists?

09.25.06

Core 1:

  1. Discuss-On: What do we learn about your brain (way of thinking) by reading your Stream-Of-Consciousness
  2. Read your Stream-Of-Consciousness piece to at least two other people and ask them:
    • Is this a true Stream-Of-Consciousness piece according to our definitions?
    • What do you think I am able to do with this piece that I wouldn’t be able to do with another genre?
  3. Do some Good Parts.

Core 2:

  1. Write-On: Would the poem Statistics be written differently today? How?
  2. Discuss as a class the questions you did for homework over the weekend:
    • Why does Sandburg use the words “sarcophagus” and “mausoleum” instead of “coffin” or “tomb”?
    • Why does Sandburg make a distinction between this war and earlier wars?
    • Why is the title “Statistics?”
    • Why did Sandburg write the poem?
    • How does this poem add to our discussion of change and tradition?
  3. How does the simplicity of Grass make it a more effective poem?
  4. How does the symbol of grass in this poem make a tradition out of change?

Core 3:

  1. Write-On: Do you have anything important to say?
  2. Show off my Good Part from The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan, “Writing.”
  3. Do some Good Parts.

Core 4:

  1. Reflect-and-Write-On: How successful were you at persuading someone else to do your work for you? Was there anything else you could have tried? What was the most effective means of persuasion? (If you were unable to perform your experiment this weekend, please write out how you imagine your persuasive interaction would have gone.)
  2. Share your persuasive experiences with two of your classmates. Listen for the most persuasive arguments.
  3. Which is more effective at creating social change: Verbal persuasion or Written Persuasion? Why?