Guys: you've been too lit to quit this week with these Slaughterhouse Five capstones.
Here's what this week looked like:
Monday: Essay roll out...click here.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: Essay work time
Overall, it was a great week full of hard work and dedication. And that's what it takes, y'all.
Here are a few pictures I snapped today during 6th period. Not the greatest quality, but so engaged and in the moment (even when it's Friday/game day/full moon/day before Halloween)!
For two days this week, Monday and Wednesday, it was first quarter exam time. You wrote an in-class essay to the tune of the 2007 AP free response prose question and completed a selected of multiple choice questions from the 1999 exam. You also spent a day "off" on Tuesday while teachers Continued their Educations at school.
Thursday, we dedicated to timed writing review and thesis statement formulas, and Friday, we got after some Slaughterhouse Five literary 3x3s, which required you to collaborate and to unveil the heart of the work. They were awesome, by the way.
Exhibit A of why I don't have an office job. So much joy, guys. It's incredible thinking back to a few short years ago when we opened Spring Mills. You were reluctant and as a student body, and as a faculty, we were disjointed. Now, look. Amazing. These kind of weeks -- true spirit and class camaraderie -- can only happen because of students like you.
So, this year (oh no, is this the first "You're Seniors now" sentiment?)...
Live it up, and make these moments last. Here are some #aplit16 pics.
Wednesday was Socratic seminar prep, and you spent time in class teaming up to create high level, thought-provoking questions that would deepen your understanding of the often mind-bending Slaughterhouse Five.
Click here for the question template, and
Click here for the questions you created.
*Shout out to Aquaman and His Decorative Gourds for having the most entertaining team name. (Ogrelords, honorable mention.)
Thursday, of course, was Socratic seminar day, and I believe it was our most successful to date. I want to mention that the work you do in seminar -- collaborating with one another, examining the text time and again, and refining your understanding of the Big Ideas in a Major Work of Literature is what we're about in AP Lit, and you are improving. It makes my teacher heart happy. (My human heart, too.)
Some of the most fascinating ideas that emerged in seminar were: the notion and significance of Time, the symbolic nature of the Tralfamadorians and their "all-seeing" eyes, intertextuality, sexuality, and the idea of just being (shout out to Holly B. who is this week's Most Lit for pointing out that maybe all of our questions about the meaning of SH5 are ironic, because, "There is no why." Woo woo!)
Friday for first period, it was a work day. (And a few Disney songs made an appearance as well.)
Some deadlines & reminders:
Monday: Thought Plots 5-8 DUE; Quarter Exam Timed Writing
Tuesday: No School -- Read SH5
Wednesday: Quarter Exam Selected Response; Chapter 10 reading due
Friday: Thought Plots 8-10 DUE
A bit late on the update this week, but what a week! We began by discussing thinking through a text, and the resulting assignment is something called Thought Plots, with the idea being (obviously) plotting your thinking about specific AP Lit elements of Slaughterhouse Five.
To get after this idea, you did a bit of reflecting on your years in high school and how you've changed and grown. You "tracked" a few indicators such as best friends and favorite bands, and then you reflected on trends you noticed in your chart and what other elements ought to be included to present a more accurate picture of where you've been. Which is, of course, is the same kind of thinking I'm hoping for with SH5.
Because Slaughterhouse is nonlinear, the "data" that emerges will be, arguably, out of order. I'm interested to see what insights you have along the way and how you begin to connect these important textual dots.
Also: Nikki Giovanni. Holy smokes! She was incredible, eh? A whole post and a few pics coming up...
To prep for this trip we talked a bit about literature as rhetoric or argument and whether or not The Novel or Poetry can meet the criteria of "the deliberate use of language to influence how a person thinks, feels, or acts."
After Nikki, you had a work day and a day to take a look at some College Board anchor papers. These days, I was out of the building and a sub was in, but as always -- Hard Work, y'all.
Here are your links:
10.5 -- Thought Plot intro; Thought Plot template
10.6 -- Nikki Giovanni My House; My Poem & Revolutionary Dreams
10.9 -- Birthday Party; Anchor papers
As far as deadlines, Thought Plots 1-4 were due Friday, but because of my absence, DUE Monday along with chapter 6 reading. Coming up, Thought Plots 5-8, Seminar, and Quarter Exams.
I'm paraphrasing, but a few Nikki takeaways that gave me goosebumps...
Don't let others tell you who you are.
Find your own voice.
Trust your voice.
Writers move the world forward.
Learn to cry.
I also heard things like this:
Nikki Giovanni is my spirit animal!
I want to be her!
She is awesome!
Does she really have a Thug Life tattoo?
Guys: it was a special morning, and I'm grateful we had the opportunity. As you know, I've been a Nikki FAN for a decade or more, and to have this most amazing woman in front of us with her humor and grace and unselfconscious storytelling, well...it was awesome.
Here are a few pics. If you have others or better quality, please share!
So: I ended up finding out a bit more about Utopias and I thought you might find it interesting, too. If you are, here is I Drank a $200 Bottle of Sam Adams for Science. And here is a short essay by Ms. Giovanni about Utopia. You may also find Nikki Giovanni's long list of accolades interesting, as well some of her other poetry.
One of my favorites of all time ever (and the one that introduced me to her work) is Kidnap Poem, which goes a little somethin' like this:
ever been kidnapped
by a poet
if i were a poet
i'd kidnap you
put you in my phrases and meter
you to jones beach
or maybe coney island
or maybe just to my house
lyric you in lilacs
dash you in the rain
blend into the beach
to complement my see
play the lyre for you
ode you with my love song
anything to win you
wrap you in the red Black green
show you off to mama
yeah if i were a poet i'd kid
I've never gotten over that last line break. Like a note in your favorite song, it'll never get old.
And this gets me thinking, guys (and gets me longwinded, too, I'm noticing), that you of the AP Literature and Composition caliber should read and be encouraged to discover poetry on your own. There will be time for the great, cannonized "gotta-reads." But I don't think we encourage you students enough to get after poetry the way it's meant to be encountered -- in the wild world and in your own wild life.
If nothing else, I hope this experience encourages you to do just that.
"There is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre." KV
But we do need to be intelligent and well-informed about violence and war.
Your task: Create context for Slaughterhouse Five by researching the Dresden bombing.
**The catch? No repeats! Let's gather up as much information as we can to help create the backdrop for this truly wacky and moving novel.
This is what AP Lit has looked like this week:
9.28 - Set 1 Vocab Test
9.29 - Short Story Focus presentations (CLICK HERE for student work)
9.30 - STEM presentation
10.1 - Slaughterhouse Five ch 1 work/presentations
10.2 - Slaughterhouse Five ch 1 work/presentations
This weekend's homework is as follows: