Humanities: Learning to Love You More and The End of the Year

Learning to Love You More lands on May 30th as we create a massive installation in the Food Court that people can witness before attending the final concert of the music department.

The rubric for your individual contribution is here.

Besides Learning to Love You More, you may have some past due work to get in. This includes:

Remember, we have also laid out the expectations for the final

The final will include :

  • Reading and Responding (text connections and double entry journals)
  • Graded Class Discussion
  • Five Paragraph Essay (what you learned about yourself and others this year)
  • Media Product (create any product you like to demonstrate what you have learned about Humanities this year)

Remember, you will not have your laptops after June 6.  (You have to turn them in during the day on June 7.)

That gives you about two weeks from now to work digitally.


9 CPI: Flocabulary #2, Romeo & Juliet, and Social Networks

On Thursday, I’ll be with the PACE class at the MLTI Student Conference in Orono.  While I’m gone, you folks will be crazy productive.

Start with FLocabulary SAT #2: Shakespeare Is Hip-Hop.  Dig out the song, listen to the lyrics, get on Quizlet, do some activities, complete the exercises.  Lots to do around that.  Use about 15 minutes of class for that.  There is a quiz next Monday.

From there, you will have a fifteen minute clip — or so — of Romeo & Juliet to watch – the 1967 Zefferelli edition which is supposed to look historically authentic to when the play actually takes place.  (We are in Verona, Italy rather than Verona Beach, California.)  This clip will be in the Google Drive.  A volunteer should hook up a laptop to the screen and speakers to watch.  I want you to see the difference in how the story plays out.

Finally, you have the rest of class to work on your profiles.  Here is what I am expecting you to turn in for Monday:

4 total profile pages (3 from practicum students, 1 from someone who you see all the time but don’t really know)

Be prepared to turn in your interview notes as well.

You will be doing a blog entry on Monday about these profiles and the sort of thinking it required of you.  Be prepared.

Humanities: Impromptu Music Appreciation Day

Today we had planned to talk about Little Brother, the challenges of weighing privacy vs safety, and the ways in which one can take action when one disagrees with authority.

And we did that for a little while when it became apparent that people didn’t know who Bruce Springsteen is, or Fleetwood Mac, or Ani DiFranco, or Bob Dylan, or Nirvana, or Pearl Jam.

We sought to rectify this in the last 20 minutes or so of class today.


Little Brother organizers (1 – 6) are due on Friday

Flocabulary #2: Shakespeare is Hip Hop – Quiz next Thursday – Exercises due next Thursday

Learning to Love You More  – 7 assignments and accompanying artist statements due May 30th.

Don’t forget to turn in your essay that was due this past Monday


9 CPI: Social Networks, Interviews & More

Wednesday’s practicum student interviews went incredibly well.  Woot.  Now . . . next steps.

Take the information from the interviews and create profile pages for your social network.  I suggest using Pages or Comic Life to create a template for your social network.  On Pages, use the “text box” feature to create your layout.  Be certain to set them as floating and also to turn off the text wrapping function.   That way you can move them anywhere on the page.

After creating your template, create a profile page for each of your interview subjects.

Remember, as we are doing this work you are demonstrating your understanding of STEAL characterization techniques and the importance of adopting someone else’ point-of-view.  Get inside your interview subject’s head and create that profile page as though you were that person.

Between now and next class, you must interview three people you see often, but do not know.  These may be community members, school staff or faculty members, or students.  Use the interview form that Ms. Murphy developed.  You will be creating profile pages for these folks next class, so make sure you have that information ready to go.


Three interviews using the STEAL interview graphic organizer.  – Due next class

Social Network Profile Pages for Practicums – Due next Class (Choose one of your interview subjects)

Social Network Profile Pages for People You See Everyday- Due NEXT Thursday

Flocabulary #2: Shakespeare is Hip Hop – Due Monday 5/20

9 CPI: Social Networks, Characterization, Point of View & More

Today we start designing a better social network and doing the pre-planning we need to do in order to create that network.

Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 10.32.02 AM

We’ll start by watching these three clips from The Social Network.  After watching each clip, identify what you can learn about the protagonist, Mark Zuckerberg as played by Jesse Eisenberg, and which characterization techniques (STEAL) the filmmaker uses to deliver that information about the character.  You might want to blog these understandings for quick reference.

After this, we will brainstorm all of the social media networks that we know.   You can find reminders, inspirations and piles of information here:

This leads to us working in small groups to design our ideal social network tools.    We will share these ideas and come up with common denominators a.k.a. the parts and pieces we can all agree should be part of our social network.

Now . . . all of this is leading toward the following work: interviews and profile building.

Here’s the one characteristic of our social network that will make it unique: users don’t create their own profiles; the network creates it for them.  What?!!?  Yes.  I’ll explain . . .

You will be interviewing people you see everyday, but do not know.  They can come from three categories: students, teachers/staff, community members.  For example, you might buy a soda from the same store at the same time everyday, but not know the name of that person behind the counter.  You might sit in a learning lab with a teacher you know nothing about.  You might eat lunch at a table next to a group of juniors you don’t know — and sit there every day.

You will be interviewing them and using that information you learn about them to create their profile for our new social network.  After you create the profile, you will meet with them again to see how well you did with your information and design work.

The point of it all? To use your STEAL knowledge and combine it with your P.O.V. knowledge to create profiles that you can feel confident accurately represent these people or “characters” you have just come to know because you have been able to adopt their points of view.

Some of the essential questions you may be answering: How do we get to know a person through social media?  What makes a social network successful and powerful?  What can we gain from better knowing the people around us?

On Wednesday, we will practice our interview skills as we know we need to go out into the world and do this for real.

This video should help us with that.


1. Prepare questions to ask the interview subjects about the various information your class chooses to have in its social network.  Check your e-mail for your class list of topics.

2. Tolerance Projects, Self-Assessments: PAST DUE! Get ’em in.

3. New Flocabulary list is coming on Monday.  Make sure you have done the work for Flocabulary list #1!!!!

4. Blog, blog, blog!  Remember, 3 per week.  Lots of topics available to you right now.  Use it to plan your interview, your network, talk about the power of the internet, etc.

PACE: Just a Quick Breakdown & the Analytical Essay

I think we had a pretty rad week of adventuring and heroism and just general successes.

This post is here to help you take account of the work you’ve done and need to do.

(And it’s also a good reminder to me.)

Work for PACE English (Current):

PACE Pitch to Product & Group Self-Assessment

PACE I Am Hero Project

PACE I Am Hero Graphic Organizers for Lit Circles (1-3)

Flocabulary SAT #1: Transformation & Exercises

Work for PACE English (Upcoming Next Week):

PACE I Am Hero Graphic Organizer 4  Due Tuesday, 5/7

PACE Product Analysis 5 Paragraph Essay   Working Draft Due in Class Thursday 5/9

Flocabulary SAT #2: Shakespeare Is Hip-Hop & Exercises – Due Thursday 5/9

Work for PACE English on Horizon:

Poetry collection connecting Chinese & US cultures then and now, there and here (TBA)

Flocabulary SAT #3: Adventures of Carlito (TBA)

Self Selected Final Product (TBA) Due by June 7th (unless you don’t need your laptop)

Humanities: Little Brother, Harajuku Fun Madness, Flocabulary and More

This week, our energy has been very much on Little Brother and trying to find active ways to dig into all the different issues going on with the book.

Monday, it was using Legos to create devices that solve our problems — much as Marcus creates those that solve his.

Tuesday, we played a Harajuku Fun Madness sort of game to explore issues in the book using QR codes and such.

Wednesday, we worked on catching up with reading, worked on the graphic organizers, and studied for Flocabulary SAT #1: Transformation quiz on Thursday.

Thursday, we will take that quiz and then we will  . . . well . . . let us see . . .

So far our surprises have worked fairly well . . .

Don’t forget to read a chapter of Little Brother a night, two on the weekends, and to complete the graphic organizers shared in your Google Drive.  There are three so far, all eight being due on May 17th.

PACE: Gearing Up for Adventure

This is a big, huge, giant week for PACE.

Today, we discuss the adventure on Wednesday.  You will get the permission slip, we will talk about the time frame, and we will discuss what you should bring.

We’ll take a pre-test on Flocabulary #2: Hip-Hop Shakespeare.  There will be a quiz on Monday, the 13th.  Exercises are also due that day.  And if you’d like to re-take quiz #1, all you need to do is demonstrate some studying and building better understanding of those words.  (You might go on Quizlet, you might do something creative, you might do the other crossword puzzle.)

We’ll discuss elixirs — those objects and understandings heroes bring back from their adventures. What are those elixirs we’ve discovered for ourselves in our lifetimes, perhaps even this year.  The last I Am Hero organizer (#4) has been assigned.  This is due NEXT Tuesday, the 7th. (Big project due on Friday so there’s the emphasis.)

On Wednesday, we adventure.  7:30 a.m.  Crossroads.  Be not late.  There be monsters.

And on Friday, we debrief the adventure, you will come with your I Am Hero projects with a special guest.  Senator Tom Saviello (R. – Wilton) will be here to learn about PACE, talk to you folks about civic engagement, and all sorts of neat stuff.


I Am Hero Project – Due Friday!

I Am Hero Graphic Organizer #4 – Due next Monday!

Heroic Adventure – Wednesday! Must have permission slip!

Flocabulary #2: Hip Hop is Shakespeare – Monday the 13th!  Quiz!


9 CPI: Point of View, Tolerance Projects & Flocabulary

We’ll start Friday’s class with our new version of PrimeTime.  Scour the internet for a few moments, find an article about a topic of interest to you, post a link to the article on your blog and then make our three text connections:

  1. Text to Text
  2. Text to Self
  3. Text to World

After PrimeTime, we will take a look at Flocabulary SAT #1: Transformations as well as the Quizlet flashcards for that same set of words.  We’ll do a little quick review of the words and then come back to them a few minutes later.

We will quickly review point-of-view: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, as well as the concepts of objective, limited, and omniscient points of view.

Then we are going to examine an article from Ms. Murphy about the power of Twitter to cause both great things and terrible things in the world.  Just last week the stock market plunged because of a fake tweet.  That’s scary.

Where do we go from there?  We’ll fuse all of this together.  Using this cool fake Twitter tool, we’ll create fake tweets using Twister about the article using words from Flocabulary SAT #1: Transformation.  WHAT?!?!  Yes.  That will happen.

And then we will share tolerance projects.


Tolerance Projects – Due TODAY

Complete the tolerance project self assessment.  (Ignore the characterization  and cultural anthropology sections.  Those were for a difference class.) Due Tuesday

Flocabulary SAT #1: Transformation – Exercises & Quiz Due on Thursday!  (This is a big challenge!)

Blog.  Blog. Blog.

Humanities: The Constitution & Boston

Today we pulled together the parts and pieces of Monday and Tuesday into something bigger.  

We started with a quick review of the issues that the U.S. Constitution addresses by looking at the document Mr. Dunbar distributed Tuesday and identifying which amendments connect to those issues.

Then we took a look at this video featuring coverage of the manhunt for the Boston bombing suspects.  We identified the amendments with clear connections to this event and this news broadcast in particular.


Look at the 27 Amendments to the Constitution. Which 3 or 4 of them are the most relevant to your life? Why are they the most relevant? Post the answers to those questions to your blog.  Due Friday, 4/26

Flocabulary SAT #1: QUiz and Exercises/Word Castles due next Thursday, 5/2

Get ready for Thursday – project share and the start of Little Brother!