PACE: Pictogram Poetry

Today we discussed the Monday evening blog entry that laid out the Chinese poetry project, the analysis, and the plan for the rest of the year.  And then we started making some poetry.

Because classical Chinese poetry is often written using Chinese characters, and because Chinese characters can stand for anything from a letter to a word to a phrase or an idea, I challenged the class to write pictogram poetry following the same traditional content as classical Chinese poets.

The task was to use pictograms such as these:

pictograms  to craft a poem about either farming, love and marriage, or dynasty/government.

I pulled one together for my wife during class that looks like this:Screen shot 2013-05-15 at 10.09.45 AM

And a reminder that we are leaving at 6:15 a.m. for the MLTI conference tomorrow morning.

And we have Senator Saviello coming on Friday.

PACE: Chinese Culture – A Poetic Examination

Today in class, we figured out the best way to tackle our next mini-project.  This one is a poetry collection based on Chinese culture of the past and present, as well as our modern day Franklin County culture.

There will be a rubric available soon, but here is the outline of the assignment as agreed upon in class.  I’ve also added an option that I think may serve some folks well as they are feeling pinched for time.

Part I: Create a collection of poetry that features at least:

1 poem that illustrates ancient Chinese culture

1 poem that illustrates modern/contemporary Chinese culture

1 poem that illustrates modern Franklin County culture

Over the course of your poetry, you must use the following poetic techniques:

  • Rhyme
  • Repetition
  • Figurative Language
  • Diction

In addition to those techniques, challenge yourself to apply the principles of classic Chinese poetry listed here.  

Part II: Complete an analysis of your poetry

This may take the shape of either A) an essay featuring a strong thesis statement, well documented evidence of your thinking, a strong intro and a meaningful conclusion  or B) a comprehensive graphic organizer (I will provide) that asks you to analyze your poetry technique by technique.

What is important to me here is that you demonstrate analytical thinking backed by evidence, even more than you showcase essay composition skills.  However, some of you may want to demonstrate your ability to meet the writing standards by doing the essay.  The choice is yours.

The graphic organizer and the rubric will be ready before the end of this week.  I know time is tight so I’m doing my best to create a manageable schedule for everyone leading into these next few weeks.  Look below.


Flocabulary #2: Shakespeare Is Hip-Hop – Quiz on Wednesday! Exercises due. (LAST vocab work for the year)

Chinese Poetry Collection: Start looking at Chinese poetry and getting some ideas.  This is due May 30th.

To give you a sense of where this is all going for the rest of the year:

Wednesday, May 15: Flocabulary quiz #2 & classical Chinese poetry (LAST VOCAB WORK – Rest of the year to do re-takes if so desired)

Friday, May 17: Meet with Sen. Tom Saviello (R. – Wilton), share PACE plusses and minuses

Tuesday, May 21st: Panel on refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants

Thursday, May 23rd: Poetry Workshop #1 – bring some pieces you’ve written to share and critique and work wit AND LAST WEEK OF BLOGGING

Tuesday, May 28th: Poetry Workshop #2 – bring some more pieces you’ve written to share and critique

Thursday, May 30th: Poetry Collection and Analysis Due  (No Blogging Necessary)

Monday, June 3: Work Session, revisions, Flocab retakes

Wednesday, June 5: Work Session, revisions, Flocab retakes


Final: Week of June 10 – 14.  Final essay (what have you learned about yourself, others, and EDUCATION this year — see what I changed there? See?) due by June 14. (Even if not the day of our final)  Final project due day of our final (TBA) Revisions of all essays, projects, due by June 14.  (I will take everything up until then.)

Here are a couple of videos that show nice examples, and great context, of classical Chinese poetry.  (And that British accent only makes the narrator seem smarter!)

AP Lit: Vacation Lands & Ryder Is Out

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 9.56.04 PM  I’m either home with a brutally sick kid or at a conference today.  One of the two is   happening.

Vacation lands today at 1:45 p.m.  So why not make the most of things now by doing some collaborative and independent work around poetry?

Go to this fantastic poetry resource from EDSITEment, the National Endowment for the Humanties education website.  Explore the poetry here in all of its forms, as well as the supporting documents.  A lot of great thinking to be done here.  Each and every one of these poems are of the caliber that can be found on the test.

Now, a meandering through is one thing; a focused investigation is quite another.

Here are several AP Lit terms with which you may want to familiarize yourselves.

I got these from this particular list. 






Heroic Couplet
















Look for examples of those as they may surface in the works you choose to read.

There are also several poetic forms worth considering.




Dramatic Monologue





Which of these surface amongst those 21?

Share your findings with one another.  As Dr. D. says, “None of us is smarter than all of us.”


Blog your findings, discoveries and understandings of today.

Take next week to regroup and recoup.

If you haven’t submitted your synthesis essay, get it in.

If you haven’t blogged for the past two weeks, get them up.

If you haven’t crafted a dramatic monologue, craft it and post it.

If you haven’t started prepping for the test, it would be a good time to dig into those documents I shared on Google docs.  And looking elsewhere.  Several of you have started sharing keen things on your blogs. Let one another know.

AP Lit: More On Demand Test Prep, Talking Hamlet & Infographics

We will start Wednesday’s class with another On-Demand, this one, too, focused on poetry but with another challenge.  You will have thirty minutes from the start of class.

We will talk about the challenges this particular sort of prompt holds.  And then we will talk Hamlet, Act IV.  And what we think would be a good way to showcase our knowledge of the play.  (Or perhaps our creative assignments have accomplished that task?)

Next Friday, indie book projects/Playing for Change projects are due.

A working draft of Synthesis #3 is due in class, the 1st Tuesday of 4th Quarter.  We will be workshopping it.

Creative Assignment of the Week:

Create an infographic based on what you have read of Hamlet so far.  There are so very many possible solutions to this challenge.  Will you go with data?  Will you do a conceptual break down?  Will you look at a character?  Will you look at the play as a whole?

Want to see a bunch of infographic examples?  Look here.  Or take a look here.

Ready to start building?

10 Tools Aimed at Education That You Might Use to Make Your Infographic

20 Cool Tools You Might Use to Make Your Infographic

9 CPI: To Kill a Mockingbird, Clint Smith’s “Aristotle,” and More

Today we start with two quizzes, one over Roots 6 – 10 and one over comma splices on No Red Ink.  We will be skipping PrimeTime today in favor of the opportunity to watch Clint Smith’s “Aristotle.

After blogging about “Aristotle,” we will then watch a small chunk of To Kill a Mockingbird.  

Then you will make three text connections using the system described on this blog post from the Humanities class.  It’s the same type of thinking.

Homework: Get caught up on the blogs, get your essay revisions and essay revision forms in to me.  There is a lot coming at you in the next several weeks.

Humanities: “To This Day” and Tolerance Work

Over break an amazing model of a tolerance project was posted by the spoken word artist, Shane Koyczan.

We will be watching the piece in class.   Go to the video and the discussion boards by going to this 9 CPI blog entry.

Besides it just being incredibly powerful, consider how it fulfills our project criteria.  Koyczan develops the characters in the poem (based on real people) into figures with whom we empathize by using the same techniques as Harper Lee and other creators.  We get a sense of the values, beliefs, family structures that populated his childhood.   He certainly develops a theme around tolerance and the lasting affect of intolerance on one’s identity.

What essential questions does this poem answer?  What essential questions might Koyczan ask us to consider if he were in the room right now?  Blog about these two ideas.

Then get to work on your own projects.

Think about your audience and where you want to affect the most change.

Within this class?

Within this campus?

Within this community?

Around the world?

And then do it.

9 CPI: New Routines & “To This Day”

Today, we change things up just a bit.  Our daily routine is going to look like this from now on:

1. PrimeTime (10 min)

2. Roots Work (10 min)

3. No Red Ink (MUGS) (10 min)

4. Activity (30 min)

5. Blogging (10 min)

Moving forward, I want our blog entries to be more about reflection and creating and less about rehashing and summarizing.  I’m hoping that we can make that happen by moving the blogging time to the end of the day.

So what’s up with today?

1. We’ll start with a trip to the library to get new books/renew books.

2. Roots #10 – It’s been assigned.  We may not get much time with it today because of library time.  Quiz next Thursday and product due next Thursday as well. (Still looking for a lot of word castles/roots products from 8 and 9.)

3. No Red Ink – We’re moving into the world of run-ons and complete sentences from the common mistakes land we’ve been wrestling with.  Be prepared! You’ll still be quizzed on the common mistakes from time to time.

4. Activity.  As we continue looking at tolerance (we started by looking at Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love”) we are going to take a look at, “To This Day,”  a spoken word/video from Shane Koyczan.

We will be doing a Wall Talk activity around it. Hopefully the laptops will stay online so we can use Padlet.

To This Day Wall 1:

To This Day Wall 2:

To This Day Wall 3:

To This Day Wall 4:

After the activity, you will have a chance to blog about the day.  To discuss what you accomplished and thought about.

Homework: Revisions of your Person of Significance Essay are due on Friday.  Wednesday will be a big day for workshopping with the practicums.

PACE: Macbeth Continues & Poetic Term Tutorial Reminders

Today we start things off with a QUACK quiz (#1 for those counting at home) before discussing the Pitching Power project, how it connects to the other disciplines, and reading/reviewing Macbeth.

We will look at Acts III into IV today.

We are a little off from our original calendar and want to catch up.  My goal is to get us through the play so we can spend time looking at interpretations of it next week.

Tonight?  Act IV. Read It.  Complete a Macbeth Act graphic organizer — combine Acts III and IV on it.  This should be here Thursday as well.

Need help with the poetic terms?  Ms. Clark posted the following tutorials on the blog way back in December.

Poetic Terms: Repetition

Poetic Terms: Diction

Poetic Terms: Figurative Language

Thursday, I want to make sure we understand those terms to the best of our ability and read as much of the end of the play as possible.  We’ll have some time Monday if we need it to finish Act V.  It’s really important to me that you have a solid understanding of those terms as they appear in the play.

AP Lit: Bysshe Shelley’s “Mutability” & Frankenstein

The end of Frankenstein is upon nearly upon us.  And as it comes to a close, it becomes that much more important to examine the works that influenced Mary Shelley’s work.

Today we’ll spend some time honing our on-demand skills by writing to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Mutability.”  Discuss how he employs diction and repetition to develop the speaker’s tone toward the subject of the poem.

Then we will analyze the poem as a class and look at its relationship to Frankenstein.

For your blog, write to the following prompt: Of the various tools Shelley employs to create this novel — unreliable narrators, novel in letters, contemporary and classical allusions, authentic geography — which seems the most central to developing her themes? In other words, if one of those elements were to go away, which would most harm the effectiveness of her words?

Complete Frankenstein for Thursday!

Pin Away! Pins Due by Next Monday!  Rubric here!