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To see all the weeks in the term, scroll ALL THE WAY DOWN!

October 30-November 3, 2017: Welcome to Term 2!

Monday, October 30: Professional Day (No School for Students)

  • This term you will learn...
  • ...to differentiate informational writing from argumentative writing.
  • ...to practice both.
  • ...how to acknowledge and rebut a counterclaim.
  • ...how to elaborate, not embellish.
  • ...to close read, annotate, and analyze more complicated text.
  • ...to use QAR to generate a claim of your own.
  • ...how to use commas correctly.
  • ...to read and understand epic poetry.
  • ...a bit about Greek mythology.
  • ...to analyze, appreciate, and author poetic epitaphs.
  • ...to close read "Interactive Fiction" to solve a mystery.
  • ...more word cells!
  • ...to read.
  • ...to write.
  • ...to repeat.
  • Word!

Tuesday, October 31: B Day

  • Journal #1a: First Term Reflection -- Your first term of high school is now behind you. How do you feel about that? How did it go? What were the highlights and lowlights? Were there unexpected things that happened, or did it go about as you thought it would?What did you learn during the last 10 weeks? Do you like 9th grade? Why or why not?
  • Journal #1b Second Term Pre-flection [Get it? PREflection, not REflection: -flect-/-flex- = bend; -re- = back/again; -pre- = before -- "bend before" to look on the coming term.]
  • Since the second term begins today, write a PRE-flection (looking before) of your expectations for the next two months. Based on the lessons you learned last term, what are you going to do differently this term? Remember that the second term includes two long holiday breaks. (The term ends on January 12, 2018! Think of it!) Do you have any big plans for those breaks? What books will you be reading independently this term? Are you planning to do more homework? Less homework? Are you going to have fun? Are you going to make me keep asking all these questions, or can’t you just write for a page about the future on your own? Honestly! Fill the page!
  • Goal Setting: In your journal, on the page after your reflection & preflection, set three goals for the second term, phrased as "I will" statements:
    • Academic: a school goal
    • Social: a goal about your interactions with peers
    • Personal: a goal to improve something in your family or life
  • Grammar Punk: Verbs + Mr. Morton
  • Write sentences that are actually sentences! (Do you know how to tell?)
  • Slay the Jabberwock!
  • Poem o' the Day: "Halloween" by Mac Hammond
  • Halloween Horror: Critical Thinking/Inquiry/Argumentation Exercise
  • Vocab: Means, Motive, Opprtunity, sometimes M.O., Narrative (for jury)
  • Have fun trick-or-treating, but watch out for the Butterfingers!
  • English Binder Check: Everything in its place!


Wednesday, November 1: A Day (All Saints' Day)
Thursday, November 2: B Day (All Souls' Day)

  • Journal #2: Halloween Horror -- Make your case!
  • Write a narrative for the jury explaining who killed the ghost and what evidence proves it. Explain HOW that evidence supports your claim. A winning case will include the perpetrator’s means, motive, and opportunity and will address these questions: How did the ghost come into possession of the poisoned candy bar? How could the killer be reasonably sure s/he would kill the ghost and not some other random person? How did the killer’s costume play a role in the murder? Address counterarguments and conclude appropriately.
  • Poem o' the Day: "Like Coins, November" by Elizabeth Klise Von Zerneck
  • Poem o' the Day: "November for Beginners" by Rita Dove
  • New Hall Passes
  • Word Study
  • Second Term Word Cells & Literal Definitions Assignment
  • Word Cells o' the Day: -clud- / -fin-
  • 9th Grade Word Cell o' the Week: -pend- (-pens-)
  • Literal vs. Non-literal Activity (Literal Side Only: Yellow Handout)


Friday, November 3: A Day



Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

November 6-10, 2017

Monday, November 7: B Day

  • Word Study
  • How' bout another Word Cell o' the Day: -con- + variants
    (-co-/-com-/-cor-/-col-)
  • Second Term Word Cells & Literal Definitions Assignment
  • Poem o' the Day: "In the God's Dreams" by James Laughlin
  • Meet the Olympians
  • Journal #3 : If you were the god or goddess of something, what would it be and why? Describe your symbol, weapon/gadget. What special power would you have? Who would pray to you for help and protection? Discuss. Also, what is your background with Greek mythology? Did you study it in elementary school? Have you read the Percy Jackson books? Did you like Disney's Hercules? Clash of the Titans? Jason and the Argonauts? Troy? (Fill the Page!)
  • Grammar/Conventions
  • Grammar Punk Intro: Let the games begin!
  • Roll the Bones!


Tuesday, November 7: A Day [Library: Plagiarism Lesson]
Wednesday, November 8: B Day [Library: Plagiarism Lesson]


Thursday, November 9: A Day [Computer Lab 202]
Friday, November 10: B Day [Computer Lab 202]

  • Surveys: More Surveys... (10-15 minutes)
  • Revise Informational Essays: Focus on Elaboration
  • Print & Staple in this order:
    • Top: Revised draft with changes and additions highlighted (underlined or bold)
    • o Middle: First draft & rubric from grader
    • Bottom: Completed in-class Elaboration worksheet (green handout)
  • Finish that Mythology Grid (if you have time left).
  • Still wondering who killed the ghost? The "correct" answer is to be found somewhere on the class website, but in order to get to the bottom of things, you'll need to look carefully.



Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

November 13-17, 2017

Monday, November 13: A Day
Tuesday, November 14: B Day

  • Word Study
  • 9th Grade Word Cells o' the Week: -aqua- & -hydro- (water)
  • Second Term Word Cells & Literal Definitions Assignment
  • The Odyssey Intro: Background Info You Gotta Know
  • Introduction to The Odyssey Textual Analysis
  • "The Epic" (SBV, pp. 365-369)
  • Introduction to The Odyssey [Boy Version]
  • Introduction to The Odyssey [Girl Version]
  • Journal #4: What does it require for someone to be a hero? The qualities of the Ancient Greek Hero included physical strength, intelligence, guile, bravery, loyalty, closeness to the gods, and leadership. What's your opinion? What qualities does a hero possess? Tell the story of a heroic act you have witnessed and explain why you thought it was heroic. Can anyone be a hero, or does it require something outside of our control (like size or strength)? Who is your hero? Why? Define and discuss heroes. Fill the page!
  • Grammar/Conventions
  • Grammar Punk: Roll the Bones!


Wednesday, November 15: A Day
Thursday, November 16: B Day

  • Homework due: Turn in Textual Analysis of the Odyssey Introduction
  • The Odyssey Begins....
  • Invocation to the Muse Assignment (SBV, p. 371)
  • Eight Different Translations: Follow the instructions; answer the questions!
  • Summarize the Invocation to the Muse [separate paper]
  • Grammar/Conventions
  • Grammar Punk: Roll the Bones!
  • Comma Rule #1 (forming compound sentences with conjunctions & commas)
  • One sentence about The Odyssey [on paper with summary]
  • One more about epithets/nicknames [on paper with summary]
  • Turn in the paper with summary and two sentences stapled atop the Invocation to the Muse
  • The Odyssey: Books 1-4 (Short Summaries) [aloud]
  • Literature Handout: Title Each Book in the Odyssey (Don't lose this!)
  • Journal #5: Homeric Epithets from the Odyssey of [YOU]
  • Fill the page with appropriate epithets (nicknames) for people you know!

Friday, November 17: A Day

  • The Odyssey: Books 1-4 (Short Summaries) [aloud]
  • Book V (Summary) "Calypso, The Sweet Nymph" -- Examine a page or two of the actual text.
  • "Calypso"by Suzanne Vega (Caveat Web Surfer: Classical Paintings Rated PG-13): Listen to the song. (Here are the lyrics.) SOAPSTone it in your head. Now write a solid ninth-grade-level R.A.C.E. response that answers this question: How is Suzanne Vega's version different than Homer's version? [Contrast: You'll need textual evidence from both.]
  • Check off Calypso's island on your map!
  • Developing Claims/Topic Sentences: How to Think!
  • Staple this to your R.A.C.E. response and turn them in!
  • Homework: Outline how a modern epic of your choice illustrates the Heroic Cycle. Use the resources below to help you.
  • Heroic Cycle (Hero's Journey)
  • Elements of the Traditional Epic & Epic Hero (PPT)
  • What is an Epic Hero? [*Classical Sculpture/Art*] (PPT)
  • Epic Poem & Epic Hero (PPT)
  • Epithets & Epic Similes (PPT)
  • Characteristics of an Epic
  • Myths such as the story of the Trojan War, which everyone in ancient Greece knew, provided a stock of common reference points for education, moral questions, and everyday life. Does modern American culture have any similar set of common reference points?


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

November 20-24, 2017

Monday, November 20: B Day


Tuesday, November 21: A Day [Computer Lab 202] TSO


Wednesday, November 22: Thanksgiving Recess
Thursday, November 23: Thanksgiving Recess
Friday, November 24: Thanksgiving Recess


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

November 27-December 1, 2017

Monday, November 27: B Day [Computer Lab 202]


Tuesday, November 28: A Day
Wednesday, November 29: B Day


Thursday, November 30: A Day
Friday, December 1: B Day


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

December 4-8, 2017

Monday, December 4: A Day
Tuesday, December 5: B Day


Wednesday, December 6: A Day [Computer Lab 202]
Thursday, December 7: B Day [Computer Lab 202]


Friday, December 8: A Day

  • The Odyssey continues...
  • The Sirens; Scylla and Charybdis & The Cattle of the Sun God (SBV, pp. 392-398)
  • Assignment: Passage Analysis (Side 2)
  • Turn in -- both sides (finished)!
  • Journal #2: If you were going to direct one "book" or episode in a TV series of The Odyssey, which episode would you most want to put on film? Why? Who would play the parts? (Get a firm picture in your mind before watching the movie.) How would you portray the action and/or emotion. Would it require CGI? What would the background music be? Explain.
  • The Odyssey Chronological Review: Birth of Telemachus, Trojan War (30 minutes)

Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

December 11-15, 2017

Monday, December 11: B Day

  • The Odyssey continues...
  • The Sirens; Scylla and Charybdis & The Cattle of the Sun God (SBV, pp. 392-398)
  • Assignment: Passage Analysis (Side 2)
  • Turn in -- both sides (finished)!
  • Journal #2: If you were going to direct one "book" or episode in a TV series of The Odyssey, which episode would you most want to put on film? Why? Who would play the parts? (Get a firm picture in your mind before watching the movie.) How would you portray the action and/or emotion. Would it require CGI? What would the background music be? Explain.
  • The Odyssey Chronological Review: Birth of Telemachus, Trojan War (30 minutes)


Tuesday, December 12: A Day
Wednesday, December 13: B Day

  • Journal #3: The Year in Review (2017)
  • What were the personal, educational, and world highlights and lowlights of 2017? Explain and analyze the most important and memorable happenings since January 1. When you look back on this year from the future, what will you say about how 2017 impacted your life as a whole? What were the turning points and big realizations that will make the most difference in your life? Fill a page or two reviewing your year. How have YOU changed? [This is a double-length journal entry, worth twice the usual points.]
  • Word Study
  • Second Term Word Cells & Literal Definitions Assignment
  • Word Cells o' the Week: -am- / -ami- (love, also -phil-) & -junct- (finish pages 2 & 3)
  • The Odyssey continues...
  • Homecoming: Books XIII, XIV, XV, XVI
  • Book XVII: The Beggar and the Faithful Dog (SBV, pp. 401-402)
  • Beggars, Penelope, Faithful Servants: XVIII, XIX, XX,
  • Book XXI: The Test of the Great Bow (SBV, pp. 403-407)
  • Book XXII: Death in the Great Hall (SBV, pp. 408-412)
  • The Odyssey Chronological Review: Cyclops & Aeolus


Thursday, December 14: A Day
Friday, December 15: B Day

  • Term Papers due today!
  • Turn in these things in this order:
  • Top: Printed Essay with heading, title, and in-text citations
  • Works Cited Page with all sources referenced in essay
  • First Outline
  • Bottom: Prompt/Outline Handout with scoring rubric facing the back.
  • Finish The Odyssey
  • Book XXIII: Odysseus and Penelope
  • Book XIV: The End
  • Test on The Odyssey
  • The Odyssey Rap
  • The Odyssey Chronological Review: Circe & Land of the Dead (Meanwhile, in Ithaca)
  • Homework: Finish your book this weekend!
  • Think you'll need some extra credit this term?
  • Here's how to get it.



Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

December 18-22, 2017

Monday, December 18: A Day [Computer Lab 202]
Tuesday, December 19: B Day [Computer Lab 202]


Wednesday, December 20: A Day [Early-out Schedule/Assembly]


Thursday, December 21: A Day
Friday, December 22: B Day


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

December 25-29, 2017

December 25-29


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

January 1-5, 2018

Monday, January 1: Last Day of the Break!

  • Poem o' the Day: "Winter Trees" by William Carlos Williams


Tuesday, January 2: B Day


Wednesday, January 3: A Day
Thursday, January 4: B Day


Friday, January 5: A Day

  • (A Day) Turn in Comma Quiz
  • Journal #5: The End of the Beginning -- Go back in your collection of scored journals and read and reflect on the entries from October 28/31. What do you know now that you wish you had known then? Did your pre-flection/goalsetting pay off? The end (of the semester) is near. Are you ready? Why or why not? Is it the same feeling you always have at the end of the term, or is this one more hopeful? Less hopeful? When you look back on this entry later, what do you hope you will be able to say? Finish this entry with a note to your future self: What do you want to know about the time between now and the end of the year that would help you succeed in school and life?
  • (Staple/Turn in Journals)
  • Continue/Finish the movie and the Tone/Mood Assignment from last time. Turn it in!
  • Welcome to Spoon River: Travel back a century in time by talking to some of the the sleepers on The Hill: Elsa Wertman, Hamilton Greene, Richard Bone, Rutherford McDowell, Hortense Robbins, Anne Rutledge, Hannah Armstrong, Knowlt Hoheimer
  • Term Test Part 1


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

January 8-12, 2018

Monday, January 8: B Day

  • Journal #5: The End of the Beginning -- Go back in your collection of scored journals and read and reflect on the entries from October 28/31. What do you know now that you wish you had known then? Did your pre-flection/goalsetting pay off? The end (of the semester) is near. Are you ready? Why or why not? Is it the same feeling you always have at the end of the term, or is this one more hopeful? Less hopeful? When you look back on this entry later, what do you hope you will be able to say? Finish this entry with a note to your future self: What do you want to know about the time between now and the end of the year that would help you succeed in school and life?
  • (Staple/Turn in Journals)
  • Continue/Finish the movie and the Tone/Mood Assignment from last time. Turn it in!
  • Welcome to Spoon River: Travel back a century in time by talking to some of the the sleepers on The Hill: Elsa Wertman, Hamilton Greene, Richard Bone, Rutherford McDowell, Hortense Robbins, Anne Rutledge, Hannah Armstrong, Knowlt Hoheimer
  • Term Test Part 1


Tuesday, January 9: A Day [Computer Lab 202: VOSR]
Wednesday, January 10: B Day [Computer Lab 202: VOSR]

  • Finish the Term Test
  • Voices of Spoon River
  • Use the map!
  • Don't forget to save your game!
  • Are you too cool to play this Interactive Fiction game? Then do this:
  • Compare these poems using a Venn Diagram: "The End" by Mark Strand & "George Gray" by Edgar Lee Masters
  • On a separate sheet of paper, write a one-paragraph comparison of "George Gray" and "The End," much like what we did with "Ithaka" and "George Gray," except this one has to be even better.
  • Academic Writing Checklist: Complete the checklist and LABEL your paragraph as indicated.
  • Staple/Turn in.

Thursday, January 11: A Day [Computer Lab 202: VOSR]
Friday, January 12: B Day [Computer Lab 202: VOSR]
Last Day of the Semester



Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions
  • Spoon River Review: Familiarize yourself with the relationships between the characters in these epitaphs before you play the game.
  • Judge Somers & Chase Henry
  • Editor Whedon & Carl Hamblin
  • The Town Marshal & Jack McGuire
  • Ollie McGee & Fletcher McGee
  • Cooney Potter & Fiddler Jones


  • Q: "Did I miss anything?"
    A: Yes.
    ^ Scroll up to find it. ^

    Despite the absence of any support from the school district, I have made every reasonable attempt to ensure that this website is educationally sound and does not contain direct links to inappropriate material.
    2018 M. Wolfman Thompson - All rights reserved.

    *<%^)