Humanities: The End (of the Year) is Nigh

Monday we talked about the power of anonymity and how it works on The Daily Bulldog, Tuesday we learned about the power of persistence and integrated thinking from Steve Milligan of Phenix New Media and the Maine Arts Commission, and Wednesday we learned about what the rest of the year has in store.

Today?  Pre-write and write.  Working draft of a 5 paragraph essay due on Thursday.   The topics were sent to you in an email on Monday.  Here they are again:

Option 1: Discuss a place of significance in your life and the reasons why that place holds such significance for you.
Things to think about as your plan and write your essay:
What makes it so important?  What is that place like?  Was it a single moment that makes it so special or is it a place you return to often?  Is it a geographical location (a river, a pond, a mountain) or is it more everyday (your bedroom, your uncle’s garage)?  How can you help your reader see it but more importantly understand your point of view, help your reader see that place from your perspective?
Option 2: Discuss a secret of significance in your life, what you have kept secret and how that secret has had an impact on you.
Things to think about as you plan and write your essay:
Why did you choose to keep this secret?  Has the secret leaked at all?  Have you felt “branded” by the secret in some way?   What is it like to reveal the secret if only to Mr. Dunbar and Mr. Ryder?  What would happen if you let the secret out?  Where does the power of secrets come from?  What happens to Marcus when his secrets are revealed?
Thanks to Brooke for that 2nd option — it’s a great idea.
The rubric will be exactly the same as it was for the Person of Significance essay.
You need to use one or more pre-writing strategies which may be using graphic organizers to plan, creating webs, creating outlines, doing some free writing, making lists, drawing cartoons, doing some visual thinking.

Calendar for End of the Year in Humanities 2013 (also on Google Drive here)



(This is what we’re doing in class and/or what is due ON that day)


Steve Milligan – Power of Coding, 3D Design, etc. Presentation


Little Brother — Up to Chapter 10, Some Essay Work


Little Brother — Up to Chapter 11, Working Draft of Essay Due


Little Brother — Up to Chapter 12, Writer’s Workshop


Little Brother — Up to Chapter 14, Essays Due, Intro. Learning to Love You More (LTLYM)


Little Brother — Up to Chapter 15, Work on LTLYM


Little Brother — Up to 16, Work on LTLYM


Little Brother — Up to 17, Work on LTLYM


Little Brother — Up to 18, Work on LTLYM


Little Brother — up to 21, Work on LTLYM, Wrap up LB stuff, LTLYM










Memorial Day – No School.






LTLYM Installation (Food Court?)


Senior Assembly Day — Short Class — Flex Day — Assign Parts of the Final?


Romeo & Juliet


Romeo & Juliet


Romeo & Juliet


**ALL WORK (EXCEPT FOR FINAL) DUE.**, Romeo & Juliet


Last Day with Laptops (turn ‘em in today) — think about what parts of the final you need to complete before turning in your laptop.


Work on Final


Part 1 of in-class Final


Part 2 of in-class Final

PACE: Pitches Become Projects

true-hero-meme-generator-he-s-the-hero-we-deserve-but-not-the-one-we-need-right-now-65e69fToday is the big due date.

And Mr. Ryder is out with either a sick kid or a conference.

So . . .

Work on finishing touches on the Pitch to Product projects.

Self assessment?  Be prepared to write an analytical essay of your group’s process and outcomes when we get back from break.  (Work on it ahead of time if you like.)

Meanwhile, make sure you have completed both of the graphic organizers for I Am Hero.  They are in your Google Drive.


It’s PACE.  There are lot of choices to make over break.  Make good ones for both your well-being and your learning.  Balance, grasshoppers.

Humanities: Speak, Improv, Cliques & Team Work

What has Humanities been up to?

Last Week?

Last week, we made human alphabets as a team work exercise before digging into Speak work.  If only my camera had been working . .

What Happened on Monday?

Monday, we started a discussion of cliques at Mt. Blue Campus.  They are prevalent in Speak’s Merriweather High.  It makes one wonder how much a MBC student can relate.  (We also tried to put in some time on No Red Ink but the internet was being fickle.)

We put a list of possible cliques at MBC up on a Google doc.  You can access it here.  You may not agree with everything here.  However, we did use a thumbs up/side/down poll and the vast majority in the room believes this list has credibility.

After discussing the cliques, we did an improv game called, “Rhythm” and then another called “Hive Mind.”  We formed an oval and went around the oval three times.

Hive Mind Thinking Warm Up

  • 1st Round: A word or two that remind you of MBC
  • 2nd Round: A word or phrase that reminds you of MBC
  • 3rd Round: A sentence you hear almost every day at MBC

After that Hive Mind experience, we broke into teams.  Teams worked on Speak Section 3 .  Mr. Dunbar and I met with each group as well and ran through a second Hive Mind, this time asking for ideas from Speak.  The intention here was to see what ideas are sticking with you as you read, what carries over, and whom among you is reading to remember and understand, and who is reading to get the assignment done.

What is Going to Happen on Wednesday?

We will give No Red Ink another shot.  Be prepared.  It will be a quiz.

Then we practice Hive Mind thinking again.  It will be a different angle, but related to the work we did on Monday.

After that, we will be looking at our clique list and then creating Venn Diagram models that show how these different cliques overlap at MBC.  But these Venn Diagrams won’t be made just with a computer. They will be made with stuff, with people, and with your imaginations.

The figure here on the left shows one person’s way of defining the difference between these different groups, cliques and definitions of those groups.

There are some other way to think about how Venn Diagrams can show information.







You’ll have some time to work on these diagrams and be expected to share your work on your blog.

And we’ll wrap up by working on Section 3 and being assigned Section 4.  Section 4 will be due by the end of class on Thursday.