Archive for the ‘★ English – 9th grade.’ Category

John Krakauer

This is the true story of one person who decided to live his life a certain way. He grew up in an affluent home but he turned his back on his family and gave itall away. He drifted on the roads. He attempted to become a man of nature. He was prepared in his spirit but not in his mind or in his body. He did not survive in nature, for some very interesting reasons.

it is also a story about the author, John Krakauer, and his own difficult relationship with his own family and with nature.

Selfie with machete, in Alaska.

Selfie with machete, in Alaska.

Three main goals for this reading unit:

  • To evaluate Chris Mccandless (the focus of the story), draw conclusions about him and his tale in the context of a modern tragedy.
  • To analyze and appreciate how John Krakauer uses language to effectively tell the story.
  • Expose ourselves to new vocabulary in a contemporary nonfiction text

McCandless’ last days

McCandless photo (self-taken) with the 142 bus

Alex/Chris S.O.S. note



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Author Jack London

Downloadable text (PDF) –> To Build a Fire – Jack London.      Audio version (mp3 or stream) —>  To Build a Fire You are either red, blue or green. You are responsible for responses that are YOUR COLOR.  This is an exercise in constructing short but detailed responses that go beyond the obvious, require detail, require commentary and analysis, and require direct text evidence. —> Use complete sentences, a minimum of five per response. (It is difficult to respond effectively in less than five sentences). —> You NEED to use the author’s (Jack London or simply London) name in responses. Stay in that habit. —>  Make it a goal to use the word “example” or the term “for example” in your responses.  Stay in that habit. —> Relate at least two concrete details to make the response complete. —>  Use text quotes, at least one, in each of your responses. Stay in that habit. Highlight them.

  • 1. Why does London refer to the protagonist simply as “the man” as opposed to giving him a name?
  • 2.  London writes, “He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances”. What does this suggest about the man’s character?
  • 3.  How are the man and the dog similar?  How are they different?
  • 4.   What is the flaw in the man’s plan when he begins to run to camp? What does running suggest about his state of mind?
  • 5.  What is the weather like at daybreak when the story begins?  Why does London draw attention to this? 
  • 6.  For what purpose does London make a point of indicating that the dog acts from instinct?
  • 7.  Why does London continue to emphasize the coldness – and how the man had never felt such cold before?
  • 8.  Early in the story, what is London’s purpose in relating various places and their vast distances from the man’s location?
  • 9.  Why does the man “shy like a horse” from certain parts of the road?
  • 10.  While eating, what startles the man?  Why is this important/portentous?
  • 11.  After deciding not to eat his lunch, how does the man’s outlook of his situation drastically, although briefly, change?
  • 12.  What does London mean when he writes, “This man did not know cold”? 
  • 13.  How does the dog know to eventually leave and head to the camp?
  • 14.  In the passage where the man reflects on “old-timers” and “men who are men”, what does this indicate about his own mentality and beliefs?
  • 15.  Describe the difficulty arises when the man finally lights all of his matches at once.
  • 16.  When the man contemplates “using” his dog for survival, how does London emphasize the dog’s perspective and reaction?
  • 17.  As the tale progresses, why doesn’t the man worry more about the cold?  What is alarming/absurd about his reaction to the frostbite? 
  • 18. Late in the story, the man start to berate the dog.  What does this suggest about the man’s state of mind?

… Written response – Printed and done MONDAY the 28th TOPIC – Hubris as an element of tragedy in Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”

  • 5 paragraphs
  • Highlight thesis (one sentence/exactly what you are writing about – a claim about hubris as a tragic element in the story)
  • Highlight topic sentences in each paragraph
  • Highlight direct quotes used – two minimum per body paragraph.
  • Highlight London’s name – One time minimum per body paragraph
  • Emphasize details and specifics. Avoid vagueness.


  • Introduction begins with quote, question, shocker/grabber, definition, observation (anecdote) or the thesis statement itself.
  • End paragraphs with your commentary
  • Avoid summarizing the story
  • Avoid personal opinion
  • Use present tense when discussing literature
  • Avoid “me”, “you”, “quote”, “basically”, “stuff” and other non-academic language.
  • Sensible heading (name, date, class period, title)


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Greek Art Presentations

English 9H – Here is the plan for the first week of October (week 8) of Q1.

Periods 1, 3, 4, 5, 7.       2 and 6 are free.

  • Monday 9/30 – Greek art slideshow presentation (sub will present). This might take slightly more than one class period.
  • Tuesday 10/1– work on Greek art presentation during class time. Have all necessary materials. Computers/devices must be up and running.  Research and prepare during this time.
  • Wednesday 10/2 – Present (random order)
  • Thursday 10/3 – Present (random order)
  • Friday – 10/4 – Present (random order)
  •  Monday 10/7 –Wednesday 10/9 – PLAN test review/prep (English and Math)



Instructions: Create a three to four minute overview, with visuals, of the topic you have been given. It could be art, architecture or an aspect of Greek culture. Be prepared to present this using your device no later than Wednesday 10/2.  You may use any presentation method you like (Prezi, Powerpoint, Keynote, slideshow, web).  The Mac adapter will be here (like I use).

Your goal is to take the audience from knowing nothing about the subject to knowing a few interesting things about the subject.

Greek Culture investigation list. Find your name.

 Some of the topics have live links and some do not. You WILL NEED to go beyond just the links given (info is pretty basic with the links so other sources are needed)

  1. The Temple of Poseidon – Noah
  2. Poseidon, from Melos, sculpture – Jake
  3. Portrait of Homer 4th century BC, sculpture – Khamyl
  4. Portrait of Socrates. Late 4th century BC, sculpture – Breana
  5. The Discus Thrower – Charlie
  6. Panathenaic amphora (Vase) – Jarius
  7. Parthenon Metopes – Naseem D.
  8. Kritios Boy – Anthony
  9. Venus de Milo – Ara
  10. Myron the artist – Daniel
  11. Apollo Belvedere – Gavin
  12. Figurine of Aphrodite Playing with Eros – Megan
  13. Laocoön and his Sons – Davis
  14. Greek jewelry – Princess
  15. Greek clothing for men – Dalton
  16. Greek clothing for women – Allie
  17. The Festival of Dionysus Dionysia – Paul
  18. Thargelia – festival of Apollo and the harvest – Maggie
  19. Thesmophoria – Women’s festival of Demeter – Sydney
  20. Theatre of Dionysus, Athens – Adam

Greek Temples in Greece

  1. Hephaestus, Athens – Leah
  2. Zeus, Athens – Josiah
  3. Zeus, Olympia – Matthew
  4. Aphaia, Aegina – Olivia
  5. East pediment sculptures (in the Glyptothek, Munich) – Margo
  6. West pediment sculptures (in the Glyptothek, Munich)  – Aaron
  7. Apollo, Bassai  – Megan
  8. Apollo, Corinth – Christian
  9. Apollo, Delphi – Maliah
  10. Tholos, Delphi – Philip
  11. Poseidon, Cape Sounion  – Jesse

Ancient Greek Architecture, including

  1. Acropolis of Athens – Sam
  2. Parthenon – Keyla
  3. Erechtheum, and Caryatids – Jordan
  4. Temple of Athena Nike – Isaiah
  5. Propylaea –Amanda

6. Theatre at Epidauros – Camren

Hellenistic Sculpture, including

  1. Laocoön group – Emma Whitehorn
  2. Apollo Belvedere – Emma Woodman
  3. Capitoline Venus – Jason
  4. Crouching Venus – McKenzie
  5. Borghese Gladiator – Reece
  6. Borghese Vase – Emma Cavagnaro
  7. Boxer of Quirinal – Sarah
  8. Nike of Samothrace – Taylor
  9. Pergamene Gauls and Dying Gaul – Alex
  10. Pergamon Altar and Frieze – Tamia
  11. Sleeping Hermaphrodite – Haddie
  12. Barberini Faun – Maanil
  13. Venus de Milo – Nick
  14. Alexander Sarcophagus – Molly
  15. Hercules Farnese – Yasmeen
  16. Hellenistic portraits – Rachel
  17. Hellenistic sculptures in the Glyptothek, Munich– Jacob

Greek pottery by shape, including

  1. Alabastra – Selena
  2. Amphoras – Nupur
  3. Aryballoi  – Daniel
  4. Hydrias – Claire
  5. Kantharoi  – Greg
  6. Kraters – Meschach
  7. Kylixes, with interiors – Hunter
  8. Lekythoi – Andrew
  9. Loutrophoroi – Elizabeth
  10. Oinochoes – Rosie
  11. Olpai – Danielle
  12. Pelikes – Rishab
  13. Pithoi  – Epiphany
  14. Psykters – Arpad
  15. Pyxides  – Andy
  16. Rhytons – Hannah
  17. Skyphoi – Tali
  18. Stamnoi – Kristen
  19. Stirrup vases – Nikolai

Black-figure pottery

  1. Black-figure vase painters – Nassem
  2. Black-figure potters – Zack
  3. Attic black-figure pottery – Allison
  4. Boeotian black-figure pottery – Ella
  5. Chalcidian black-figure pottery – Jonathan
  6. Corinthian black-figure pottery – Azman
  7. Laconian black-figure pottery – Skylar
  8. Black-figure pottery in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen – Katherine
  9. François vase – Cameron
  10. The Colonus Agoraeus – Roshan
  11. The Houses of Athens – Ricky
  12. The Oracle at Delphi – James
  13. The Pynx – Matthew

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Hubris (n.): Hubris is an overwhelming pride…an often fatal overestimation of one’s ability to navigate one’s own complex circumstances. Hubris is often worsened by an underestimation of the circumstances themselves


Tragedy (n.): A tragedy is the downfall of a good or great person, usually a man, due to his own hubris and lack of self-knowledge.


Individual writing portion. Construct a written essay on your choice of one of the following two topics.

1.  Considering our definition of tragedy, evaluate the character of Oedipus as a tragic figure.

2.  Analyze Sophocles’ use of sight and blindness in Oedipus the King

Group collaboration portion:  Oedipus The King movie trailer.

rated-gThe context: Your group is in charge of creating a two minute (+ or -) film trailer to promote a major film production of  “Oedipus the King”.  For this project you are professional creative filmmakers. The studio promoting the film, Corinthian Pictures, has asked for multiple versions of the trailer from various groups like yours.  But only one will be chosen as the final version to be distributed.

A successful trailer does the following to a maximum effect…

  • Displays a deeper, more explicit knowledge of the story
  • expresses the tragic nature of the original play
  • expresses  the concepts of blindness and sight
  • incorporates actual dialoge from the play (spoken or in writing)
  • Uses music and images to increase audience interest
  • Is composed of original footage
  • Reflects time and effort in a cohesive, comprehensible product

The goal is to create the finest trailer, using the points above, and put other groups to shame with your awesomeness.


Rough draft of essay, printed and complete, due for peer edit and review TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 17 in WEEK SIX.  This will be worth five points. If you don’t have it printed, stapled, ready to go at he start of class = 0 points.  General writing rubric applies. Due final = the 18th

Video trailer date will be in WEEK SEVEN. The date to submit is THURSDAY THE 26th.

Wednesday/Thursday week 6 = Planning. It is necessary that groups begin the filming process knowing their plan, you should map out exactly whats going to happen and who’s doing what BEFORE you jump in.

Friday week 6, Monday and Tuesday week 7 = class days to work on the project, edit, get things straight.


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Hubris: Hubris is an overwhelming pride…an often fatal overestimation of one’s ability to navigate one’s circumstances. Hubris is often worsened by an underestimation of the circumstances themselves.

Tragedy: A tragedy is the downfall of a good or great person, usually a man, due to his own hubris and lack of self-knowledge.


“O Light! May I never look on you again…”

BIG QUESTIONS. These are what we must answer as we read the play.

  • First Big Oedipus Question: How does the character of Oedipus serve as an ideal tragic figure?
  • Second Big Oedipus Question: How does Sophocles use the ideas of sight, eyes and seeing in Oedipus the King?
  • Third Big Oedipus Question: What purpose does tragedy serve? In other words, why have it? Why would we want to see bad things happen?

Our Task for Oedipus is…






“A programme or program is a booklet available for patrons attending a live event such as theatre performances, concerts, sports events, etc. It is a printed booklet outlining the parts of the event scheduled to take place, principal performers and background information. In the case of theatrical performances, the term playbill is also used. It may be provided free of charge by the event organisers or a charge may be levied.”

A 17th century programme for Oedipus.

You are an Organizer for the drama production during the Feast of Dionysus, circa 430 BC.  You have been asked to create the programme/playbill for a production of Oedipus the King. Something that Greeks would like! You want to make a career in drama productions and this is your chance to make a real impression on the Dionysian priests, the citizens of Athens, and on Sophocles himself.

What’s in it:

  • a front cover to arrest the attention of audience members/spectators
  • a synopsis of the plot and action. This gives a summary of the story but does not reveal the plot twist/ending!.
  • a “who’s who” guide to the major characters: Oedipus, Jocasta, Creon, Teiresias, Laius, and the Chorus. This provides a paragraph dealing with the traits of the character. Answers the question “Who exactly are they and what are they trying to accomplish?” Includes an essential quote from the character.
  • a “spiderweb” diagram of the major character relationships/connections in the play.
  • a section celebrating the author and context for the play (a drama contest in Athens during the feast of Dionysus). This proves a knowledge of the importance of the play and the context of it’s existence
  • A section dealing with Oedipus as a tragic figure. This is in multiple paragraph form, discussing Oedipus a tragic figure according to our definition, with direct examples and lines from the play to support your points. Not a summary


  • A section dealing with of the importance of sight/light in the play. This is another multiple paragraph discussion of the light/dark/seeing/sight symbolism, using direct examples, lines and quotes to support your points. Not a summary.

 ——> Oedipus Programme rubric <——












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Oedipus and Tiresias:

Oedipus, Jocasta and the Chorus

Oedipus sees the truth

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Your final:  A personal reflection on the year.                         9H 2013/14

Discuss a personally transformative event or experience in your life from this past (2013-2014) school year. This could be a single event or an experience had over time. It could be an accomplishment, a victory or even a defeat. It could be a relationship built or lost. It could be a lesson learned, a good time or a bad time. It does not have to be purely school related.  It must be something you were (or still are) a part of.

It is not about something you merely witnessed or heard about (news story, gossip, a movie you saw). It is not about something you bought or was bought for you. It is not about what you own.

Whatever you choose, it will be something that has actually altered you in some way from the person you were in August.

As a personal essay, this uses “I” frequently and has a somewhat more personal or casual tone than a literary analysis. Your personal reflection…

  • Has an introduction paragraph that introduces (of course) the topic and contains the thesis, or claim you are making about yourself in relation to the event or experience. For example, “My experiences as a volunteer have made me a stronger and more compassionate person”, or “I appreciate life far more than I used to after losing my grandfather”.  This is the idea you will be discussion in the writing.
  • Explains in detail the topic/focus. Gives context for the reader. Gives background. Defines what you’re discussing.
  • Explains your own role in the experience – Gives particular examples of what happened, your involvement and possibly the involvement of others
  • Reflects and provides insights into your deeper personal feelings concerning the topic and how you are/have been affected by the event/experience.
  • Has a conclusion that touches on the ideas of the introduction.

Writing Rubric –








Ideas & Content creates a focused, very detailed picture of the experience; expresses fresh insights about a sense of personal involvement.




Ideas & Content crafts a clear description of the experience; details help convey key ideas and insights to the reader.




Ideas & Content attempts to describe the experience, but may not give details or may lost control or narrative; details may be general or unrelated to the story.




Ideas & Content does not tell a personal story; writer may go off in several directions without a sense of purpose.




Organization unfolds a carefully-organized narrative, in a sequence that moves the reader smoothly through the text; ideas, sentences, and paragraphs are tied together.




Organization shows a well-planned narrative strategy; writing is easy to follow; ideas are evenly tied together; events and details fit where they are placed.




Organization may not craft a complete story structure, or may have trouble tying ideas together; reader may be confused by poorly-placed events or details.




Organization writing is extremely hard to follow; story sequence, if any, is disorganized or incomplete; ideas and details are not tied together.




Word Choice uses everyday language in a natural way; uses sophisticated vocabulary strategically that creates a striking picture and brings the story to life.




Word Choice uses words that fit the story and create an accurate picture of a place; experiments with some new words.




Word Choice may not use words that convey strong feelings or images; some words are overused or may not fit the story purpose.




Word Choice has a hard time finding the right words; may use words that do not fit the topic; some vocabulary detracts from the meaning of the text.




Sentence Fluency well-crafted simple and complex sentences flow in a smooth rhythm ; dialogue, if used, sounds natural and strengthens the story; sentence lengths and patterns vary.




Sentence Fluency crafts easy-to-follow sentences; may effectively use fragments and/or dialogue to enhance the story.




Sentence Fluency simple sentences work, but may have trouble with more complicated structures; sentences are understandable, but may be choppy, rambling or awkward.




Sentence Fluency sentences are incomplete, rambling, or confusing; may have trouble understanding how words and sentences fit together.




Conventions is skilled in most writing conventions; proper use of the rules of English enhances clarity and narrative styles. Spelling/grammar not an issue.




Conventions spelling, capitalization, punctuation and usage are mostly correct; minor errors don’t interfere with following the writing; some editing may be needed.




Conventions makes frequent, noticeable mistakes, which interfere with a smooth reading of the story; extensive editing is needed.




Conventions makes repeated errors in spelling, word choice, punctuation and usage; sentence structures may be confused; few connections made between ideas.

FINAL REFLECTION/NARRATIVE  <—– the document above (in Word)


We will spend class time writing during the pre-finals week.


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