AP Lit: The End of Liberty Valance (Literally) & Changes to the Routine

A lot happened today in AP Lit . . . and a lot more was supposed to happen . . . .

We finished The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and spent most of class discussing Ford’s intentions, themes and techniques.

As a creative post-viewing and post-reading assignment, create two, minimalist promotional posters for True Grit and Liberty Valance.  To get inspired, take a look on Pinterest.   If you look at the examples I pinned on Flight 307’s Pinterest, then you can see what I’m talking about.  You don’t have to create your product digitally – feel free to use any medium to create your minimalist design.  Minimalism is all about capturing the essence of the subject using the most essential elements.

Hamlet has been officially assigned.  Read Act I scenes 1 & 2 for Thursday.  If we don’t have school, then finish Act I for Monday.

And now for some big changes that I am outlining here so you can keep referencing it.

Blogging: Blogging continues through the rest of the year.  You must blog three times per week, as per usual, to meet the standard.  There will no longer be specific prompts.

Creative Weekly Assignment: For homework each week, you can anticipate a creative assignment.  (The minimalist poster is a good example.)  You can complete this using whatever creative mediums you wish to use.  Remember, if you post it as a blog entry, it counts toward your blog count.

Reading: You will still have to read at night.  This has not been a problem for this class.  Congrats. That is awesome and not to be taken lightly.

Close Reading: We are going to use a ton of class time to continue honing our skills in this area.  Even more poetry is to come.  And we are going to look at some older poetry — really challenging on the language front.

On Demands:  On Demand writing will become a major focus of our work in class as we prepare for the test in early May.  We will be talking and working around structure, embedding text evidence, formulating ideas, and generally improving our abilities to write quality analysis in a short amount of time.

The scary part: these are going to start counting.  This isn’t a punishment. This is because I know it will heighten your resolve to improve.

Indie Books: You still have an independent book project due at the end of each quarter.  Remember, you can choose from National Book Award, Pulitzer, Booker and Printz award winners and finalists since 1980 in fiction, poetry and drama. That gives you a pile of options to consider.  (I think folks have gotten a little tunnel vision around the Pulitzer.)

Synthesis Essay: You have a third and final synthesis essay to write.  It will be assigned next week and the final draft will be going on the fourth quarter. (With room to revise.)  This is because you will have multiple grades racking up your third quarter and I want you to have time to properly revise your synthesis essay.

I think that’s it.  I thought there’d be more but . . . yeah . . . I think that captures it.


AP Lit: Finishing Liberty & a Closer Look at True Grit

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 9.22.20 AM Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 9.21.56 AMI planned a lesson.  It was a fair plan.  I wrote with the blessings of a good friend.

It begins with writing about this poem.  A good poem by my estimation, Anne Sexton is its writer.  It would be good to discuss the speaker’s attitude toward death.  Use the words that one finds listed here to help with that endeavor.

Screen shot 2013-02-15 at 8.50.15 AM

We will then watch the end of a film entitled The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  A noble film, it was made by John Ford, a Mainer.  Mainers are by their nature a good sort.  John Ford died a long time ago.  I did not know him.

And we will then discuss the novel, True Grit.  I warrant the day shall be one of the better days we shall have.

AP Lit: Sandburg’s “Doors,” True Grit & Liberty Valance

To start class, will be doing an on-demand practice using Doors by Carl Sandburg : The Poetry Foundation.  Discuss Sandburg’s use of techniques such as repetition, structure, and diction to discuss the speaker’s attitude toward opportunity and/or time.

From there we will watch more of Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

And then we will close read an excerpt or two from Portis’ True Grit.

For Friday, continue to read True Grit (read as far or as little as you like — choose your own path here) and blog to the following prompt:  Ford, with Liberty Valance, and Portis, with True Grit, seem populated by rich supporting casts.  Make an argument that Mattie and Ransom are not the central protagonists, but rather supporting characters for another protagonist.  Defend your claim!

AP Lit: True Grit & Liberty Valance

Today we started exploring what it means to have “true grit” and what it means to shoot Liberty Valance.

We discussed similarities already emerging between Portis’ True Grit, Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Shelley’s Frankenstein.  We looked into the importance of frame narratives, extended flashbacks and filters of truth.  We took note of themes across the works, such as man’s relationship with nature, the dark side of technology and innovation, and the fallibility of codified law.  And we looked into Ford’s use of composition, color, costuming, imagery and symbolism to convey meaning in Liberty Valance

Wednesday will feature much of the same with the addition of an on-demand writing practice session. We will also close read selections of True Grit as we hope to make more discrete connections to Liberty Valance.

For Wednesday, folks should read up to page 113 of True Grit.  You may of course read further — just refrain from the spoilers!  (Caleb . . . )  And blog to the following: We are told Mattie’s story from her own p.o.v., but as a flashback, her adult self looking back on her childhood.  We’ve seen this before in novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird.  Discuss the effect of this technique on the emerging themes in the book and what value/benefits you think Portis brings to his narrative by making this choice.