Juniors: Considering Identity

This week, the Juniors in Room G17 will engage in a range of reading, writing, and discussion activities.

On Monday, students will participate in a whole class discussion about the article of the week that is due that day. Students will consider technology addiction and if it is indeed an issue that needs to be addressed. We will also do additional ACT practice before they take their ACT test on Tuesday.

On Wednesday and Thursday, students will read a Kurt Vonnegut short story, “Who Am I This Time?” We will consider theme as a whole class.

Friday, students will read and study a poem  (“i sing of Olaf glad and big”) as a class. We will consider how the individual (Olaf v. Harry) is represented in both texts from the week.

Juniors: Applying Theme to the Present and Preparing for the ACT

This week, the Juniors in Room G17 will spend their time on two major tasks:

  1. All juniors will take the ACT in school on Tuesday, March 21. We will spend 10 minutes each day looking at practice sections for both the English and Reading portions. In addition to familiarizing ourselves with question types, we will consider strategies for testing success.
  2. Students will work in small groups on a research presentation. Their task is to consider how perceptions of the past impact the present moment. Students will take this vague topic and work in small groups to turn it into a concrete research task. They will present their findings in class on Thursday.

Juniors: The Great Gatsby Film Study and Thematic Applications

After studying film throughout our reading of The Great Gatsby, students will be assessed on their ability to analyze the impact of film techniques on the development of character or mood through an in-class essay on Tuesday. Students watched the Luhrmann version of Chapter 5 (Daisy and Gatsby reunion scene) and focused their note-taking on characterization or mood.
Students will also consider the thematic idea of memory this week, specifically considering how perceptions of our past shape our current understandings of the world. At the end of the week, students will begin a group mini-research project considering perceptions of the American past.

Juniors: Drafting and Polishing The Great Gatsby Final Paper

This week, the juniors in Room G17 will be drafting and polishing their final essay of third quarter, a dream analysis essay of The Great Gatsby. Last week, students read multiple samples and had an entire class period to plan their essay. This week, they will be given two full class periods to draft.


The final essay is due on THURSDAY, MARCH 2. It must be PRINTED and on turnitin.com prior to class.


In addition to working on the essay, students will study a modernist poem and continue their film study of The Great Gatsby.

Juniors: Considering Theme in The Great Gatsby

Last week, the juniors in Room G17 were introduced to their final Gatsby paper. Students will write a personal essay comparing and/or contrasting their dream to the dream of a character in the novel. This week, we will engage in multiple activities that will help students brainstorm for this paper.

The final paper is due Thursday, March 2 and will be included in Quarter 3 grades. There will be no article of the week for the next two weeks, as students will focus on paper preparation and returning to readers workshop routines.

Juniors: The Great Gatsby Practice and Skills Assessments

This week, the juniors in Room G17 will conclude their reading of The Great Gatsby and continue their study of film, characterization, and theme.

On Monday, students will watch Chapters 2-5 in the Luhrmann film, analyzing the development of a specific character through film techniques. The reading of Chapter 7 is due today.

On Tuesday, students will take their first formal assessment on the novel. The assessment will feature two short answer questions: one related to characterization and one related to theme. Students will use their books and provide textual evidence to support their analysis.

On Wednesday, students will be given the entire class period to read and prepare for the Seminar in which they will engage on Thursday.

On Thursday, the conclusion of the novel is due (Chapters 8 and 9). Students will bring questions they prepared for a student-led discussion and engage in a fishbowl style seminar. This class discussion will count as an assessment score.

Juniors: Characterization in The Great Gatsby

This week, the juniors in Room G17 will continue their reading of The Great Gatsby, continuing their focus on the development of character. Students will use class discussion as the primary tool for considering character: one class discussion this week will be teacher led and another will be student led. In addition to discussion, students will continue their practice of film analysis, applying their understanding of film techniques to their study of character in film. Finally, students will start to consider style in The Great Gatsby, using mentor sentences to practice voice and grammar.


Important Due Dates:

  • Chapter 2: Due Monday
  • Chapters 3 & 4: Due Tuesday
  • Chapters 5 & 6 (plus discussion questions): Due Friday

Juniors: Introducing The Great Gatsby

This week, the Juniors will begin bring their background of modernism to our study of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. We will begin with a close reading of the opening pages which establish Nick as our narrator. Students will then be assigned a character to track as they read the remainder of Chapter 1. After our reading of this chapter, we will begin our work in film analysis by comparing representations of characters in the Clayton and Luhrmann versions of this film.


*Note: We will temporarily suspend reader’s workshop for the two weeks that we read The Great Gatsby.


Important Due Dates:

  • Chapter 1 Completion: Wednesday, February 1
  • Chapter 2 Completion: Friday, February 3
  • Article of the Week Completion: Monday, February 6

Juniors: Modernism in T.S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway (and a Quiz!)

*I’m sorry about the delay in this post. I was out sick on Monday.

This week, the Juniors in Room G17 will finish their study of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by considering theme in the poem. They will support their reading of theme with a whole class reading of a literary analysis article, in which an Atlantic writer compares Prufrock to today’s hipster. Next, students will move to the short story genre as they read Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” For this story, students will have one class period to prepare for a graded student-led discussion. Students will need to come to the discussion prepared with factual, interpretive, and evaluative questions.

To end the week, students will be given a quiz for which they will have to identify modernist elements of a poem or story in class. Students will write a short essay analyzing the thematic and stylistic features that make the text uniquely “modern.”
At home this week, students should read their choice books, complete the article of the week (will be provided Tuesday), and review their modernist notes.

Juniors: Continuing Modernist Poetry

This week, the Juniors in Room G17 will continue their practice analyzing modern poetry. We’ll start by considering how modernists understood the concept of “the self,” then consider how “the self” is represented in T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock.” Students will study the poem, noticing modernist themes and styles.

In addition to our progress studying Modernism, students will be given time to read their choice book, discuss last week’s article of the week, practice ACT English questions, and build writing fluency with the online writing system, Criterion.

At home, students should read 30 minutes each night of a choice book and complete their choice article of the week. Both assignments are due next Monday.