Wednesday December 12

We start watching Macbeth today. Throw aside your preconceptions about “Shakespeare.” Tell yourself that you are capable of understanding this play. You are.

You’ll start in your “expert groups” and discuss what you should be looking for to view the play from your literary lens.

Tuesday December 11

We are diving headlong into Macbeth today.

For those of you who may have struggled with Shakespeare in the past, I want to recommend the following podcast: Chopbard.

The episode posted above will give you some really good background into Macbeth. He approaches Shakespeare from the perspective of an actor, not an English scholar, so his explanation of the play is really accessible.

Please go to Google classroom for a copy of our background handout for the play.

Thursday December 6

We’ll begin today by taking up the “What Makes Us Moral” article and the Tonya Harding articles. These are already marked and returned in Google Classroom.

Then you will be working on writing your rough draft. This is due on Monday for peer editing.

Wednesday December 5

I’m away this afternoon. Here’s what you’re working on:

  1. Did you forget to read that article “What Makes Us Moral?” and answer the questions that followed? That was due on Friday. Are you looking to get coal in your stocking? Because that’s how you get coal in your stocking. Get it done. via GIPHY
  2. Your outline for your essay is due today.
  3. I have posted an assignment for you in Google Classroom that also must be completed today called “THE TONYA HARDING AND NANCY KERRIGAN SCANDAL” Follow the link in Google classroom. You will have comprehension questions to complete as you read.

We will be discussing both articles when I come back tomorrow so the MUST BE DONE.

Don’t disappoint Santa.




Monday December 3

I’m away at a subject council meeting today so here’s what you’re working on:

Your thesis statement. (See Google Classroom) This is due today and so is your final synthesis paper.

How to Generate a Good Thesis Statement

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes.
It will:

  1. take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, that is, there could be an equally valid counter-argument.
  2. deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment.
    develop one main idea.
  3. assert your conclusions about a subject.

Brainstorm your topic:

Write down everything you can think of that’s related to your topic. You have already done this, but you may wish to revisit your brainstorming and expand on initial ideas.

Narrow it down:

Review your brainstorming and look for ideas that come up more than once. Start making connections. Identify things that wouldn’t be obvious to most readers of the literary work upon first glance.

Can you take your topic and turn it into a question? (Please note: for the purposes of illustration only, Sherlock Holmes will be used in the next examples.)

For example, if you wanted to look at the role of Watson as a foil for Sherlock Holmes, you might ask “What function does Watson serve in the Sherlock Holmes novels?” Your next step is to answer the question. Your answer can become the basis for a thesis statement.

Take a position on the topic.
Watson’s primary role in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles is as a foil for Sherlock Holmes.


Be specific.
What are Watson’s characteristics?
What are Holmes’s?
How does the author depict Holmes’s more unpleasant characteristics?
What are the specific words, phrases, or examples of imagery used?
What is the significance of having Watson as a narrator?
This might lead you to…


In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle positions John Watson as a loyal and sympathetic narrator, and foil, to contrast Sherlock Holmes’s more antisocial qualities, which both emphasizes Holmes’s quirky character traits, while giving the reader someone likable with whom they can identify.

This is much more complex than just saying “Watson’s role is as a foil.”

Thursday November 29

Make sure you completed the google form from yesterday. You will have time to work on your final synthesis paper if you choose to (it’s due Monday), but we’re going to gradually introduce Macbeth. We’ll start by discussing the learning goals and success criteria for the Macbeth unit which are going to mostly be focused on media expectations. Then I want you to begin your descent into the madness that is Macbeth by reading an article on morality. See “What Makes us Moral” in Google classroom.


Wednesday November 28

We’re going to start today by reviewing the learning goals for this unit:

Then you’ll work on your final synthesis paper.