Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Socratic Seminar - Hero Poems

Critical Thinking, Inquiry and Wonder

The Window Questions:  These should be the primary focus of your discussion and preparation.

Are Heroes/Villains Born or Made?

How has the definition of a hero changed over time?

From where does courage come in trying times?

How do our decisions shape our identity?

What are the differences between "real world heroes" and heroes of lore?


You can reread the poems here


Just some of the other ideas you may consider:

What is the most important word in this poem?
How does this poem remind me of other poems/stories?


Prepare for the seminar by reading the text, preparing your notes, and thinking about connections between this story, other stories we have read in class and other stories you, or your classmates, researched during the project.


The Setup


The Rubric

Thursday, April 21, 2016

12 Historical Speeches Nobody Ever Heard | Mental Floss

12 Historical Speeches Nobody Ever Heard | Mental Floss: For every speech, there are a bunch of versions that ended up on the writers' room floor. Here are 12 speeches that were written but, for a variety of reasons, never delivered.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Final Countdown
By: Alex Miller
Block: 5th
Date: 4/7/16
Why am I here?
If I wasn’t, who would shed a single tear?
Who is the real me?
The real me is farther than the eye can ever see.
I’m too far gone.
I have no more hope.
No one knows what’s going on.
My life is dangling at the end of a rope.
What have I done to deserve this torture?
The tree of life is losing one of it’s branches.
I don’t think I can hold on any longer than I already have.
I can almost hear that branch snapping.
There is no going back.
I hear the clocks tick-tocking.
My heart is stopping.
My heart beat is dropping.
I can feel my pulse slowing down to nothing.
My eyes are falling to the darkness.
I feel the trickling of something cold and wet running down my wrists.
It could be my tears.
I’ll never know.
My time is running out.
My life is like the snow.
Cold, dark, lonely, but coming to an end.

English / Poetry Madness- Week 2

English / Poetry Madness: "
Week 2 Voting
 The voting will be open from April 11-15.

The poets moving on to the next round will be announced during the morning announcements on April 18.

Section 1: Robert Frost vs Langston Hughes / Gary Soto vs Edgar Allan Poe 

Section 2: W.H. Auden vs Kenn Newbitt / Shel Silverstein vs Maya Angelou

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Saturday, April 9, 2016



It’s enchanting.
When you leap you fly like a bird;
When you dance you portray a role.
You feel as if you’re the character.
Your eyes twinkle;
Your soul fills with music;
Your feet swaying with your body.
Your emotions pouring into the dance.
Happy, Angry, Sad, Scared.
You dance everywhere.
You dance for laughter;
You dance for tears;
You dance for hope;
You twirl, leap, spin, jump.
It’s an alluring feeling.
So get up!
Dance as though no one is watching.
It’s magnificent.
It has the power to heal anything.
Dance like no one is watching!

Striving for Balance By Isha Iftikhar

Striving for Balance 
By Isha Iftikhar 

Life is marked by highs and lows. 
Both are essential to appreciate what we already possess. 
You should strive for balance. 
A balance between the high points in your life.  
A balance between the low points in your life. 
You should never give up through the lows, 
and always stay humble through highs. 
The highest point in your life is like Mount Everest. 
The lowest point in life is like the Dead sea. 
They’re on opposite ends of the earth, 
But both, like life, signify as a high or low point. 
Without one you wouldn’t appreciate the other. 
So stay hopeful through the lows. 
Stay humble through the highs, 
and strive for balance no matter which way your life tips, 
creating your own path. 

Alone By Isha Iftikhar

Her face was pale.   Her green eyes showing sadness.  Her clothes ragged, fitting loosely on her bony figure.  She looked no older than 10.  
I remember I was walking along the streets of New York.  My family and I were going to spend Winter break here. I was giddy with excitement. We were about to enter a café when I noticed a small figure sitting against one of the walls. I couldn’t see her face clearly, but she definitely looked like she was cold. Shouldn’t she be sitting inside? Where’s her family?  I was about to ask my mom, but my brother dragged me inside to show me the cool arcade games. We played for a few minutes, and ate afterwards.  As we left the cafe, I noticed the girl was still sitting there. I walked up to her to get a closer look.
Her face was pale.   Her green eyes showing sadness.  Her clothes ragged, fitting loosely on her boney figure.  She looked no older than 10.  The same age as my little brother, Daxton.
I was about to call her name.  Suddenly a tall man blocked my view.  He said, “what are you still doing here you ugly beast?  I thought I told you to get away from my bakery.”  
“S-sorry,” she stammered. She was about to get up but she tripped and fell. The people around her started laughing.  How cruel.  I moved to the side and asked her if she was ok.  She nodded yes.  I heard my name.  I whirled around.  
“Come on.  We’re going to be late for Matilda (the Broadway show).”
“Mom is it ok if I catch up to you guys?”
“Sure, but be safe,” she said hesitantly.
“I will!”
I walked towards the girl again.  She was now sitting against the lamp post on the street.  
“Hi, my name is Marie. What’s your name?”
“It’s Anna.”
“So why are you outside?  Where is your family?”
“I don’t have one she said with no emotion.”
I immediately felt bad for asking.  Her stomach grumbled.
“When was the last time you ate?”
“I don’t remember.  I think it was two days ago.” She said with a small smile.
“Oh, um here take this.” I told her while handing her a $50.00 bill.
“Are you sure?”
“Thank you,” she said in a quiet whisper!
Suddenly an idea popped in my head.  My aunt Cordelia owned an orphanage close by.  She was the sweetest lady ever.  I was positive she would take Anna in.
“Let’s get you food, then find a place for you.”
An hour later…
I stepped out of the orphanage proud of myself walking towards the theater.  Aunt Cordelia had gladly taken in Anna.  They instantly became the best of friends.  
There are millions of people without a home or family.  We don’t even glance at them. Most people are rude to them just because they don’t have a home or family.  But it’s not their fault.  They didn’t choose for it to be that way. They smile for the littlest things.  We take things for granted.  A lot of people get handed stuff, but some aren’t as fortunate as others.  I stepped into the warm theater.  I was so glad I met Anna today.  It taught me that you should be happy with what you have.  You should never take stuff for granted.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

State Senator Emails AP English Teacher to Offer His Thoughts on Beloved (Too Many Breasts)

State Senator Emails AP English Teacher to Offer His Thoughts on Beloved (Too Many Breasts): "When Toni Morrison’s Beloved was published, in 1987, Margaret Atwood, writing in the New York Times Book Review called it a “triumph.” She wrote of the novel, which has come to be considered one of the most important of the contemporary era, “[Morrison’s prose is] by turns rich, graceful, eccentric, rough, lyrical, sinuous, colloquial and very much to the point.” A few weeks ago, writing in an email to an AP English teacher who is one of his constituents, Virginia State Senator Richard Black called Beloved “moral sewage.”"

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