Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Week Two into Winter Break

What's coming up this week varies a bit by class, but know this---
Friday, December 18th
Due when you come to class: Oedipus test, Oedipus Reader's Notebook or Dialogue Journal
Due at the end of class: Oedipus news release.

Over break:
Finish your additional text. Annotate for this: What is the theme of this text and what two literary devices best help you uncover the theme?
Finish you Dialogue Journal or Reader's Notebook on the additional text.
Update your resume.

Monday, January (whatever it is the first day back!)
You will turn in your resume and your additional text work.
We will have literary circle so people can hear about the text you read in an informal setting.

Watch this space for more!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fun with Oedipus the King

AFTER you have finished your reading of the text, you might enjoy these sites I found about the king.
This is a song about the Oedipus

This is a short, short retelling of the story.

Here's a telling of Oedipus and Antigone.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Late work will earn class credit, but no points. If you are absent, the expectation is you will email the work on the day its due to your teacher to earn points and credit.

What's coming up

Monday, December 7
Policies & Procedures - No late work, the importance of a study buddy and the importance of being proactive
Annotate a practice AP Essay
Poetry presentation information
Reference your final reflection on trimester one and from that create 4 SMART goals for trimester 2 (literary analysis, discussion, time management, goal setting/reflecting) due A Day of this week
A Day
SMART goals due
Chose Partners
Chose Poems
Plan calendar for presentations
Read Oedipus up to page 26 by Friday, December 11 and finish the book by Monday, December 14
Find independent novel by Friday, December 11
B Day
Information on Choral Reading
Groups - exchange contacts
Read time - Use a dictionary/notes for dialogue journal/choral reading?/tragic flaw
Friday, December 11
Poetry presentation planning
Create outline
Create plan
Example choral reading
Choral Reading due after winter break
Independent Novel Sign Up - You may complete either a dialogue journal with a partner (keeping in mind you should be journaling in reference to the reader's notebooks) or a reader's notebook. The reader's notebook should be done alone if you decide to go with that option.

Week Two (December 14-18)
Monday, December 14
Discussion on Oedipus
Final Test on Oedipus Information
A Day
Choral Reading Practice
B day
Computer lab for Oedipus Test preparation
Oedipus test due Friday, December 18
Friday, December 18
Oedipus test due
Reader's Notebook/Dialogue Journal on Oedipus due
News Report
Updated resume due January 4
Choral Readings begin after winter break

Week Three (January 4-8)
Monday, January

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

U of M Style Manual


Siddharth Phadke found this a useful site, so we are posting it in case you need a style manual.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Update to the end

1. B-day: Collect reflections (50 points); rehash for revised essay; theme discussion with Mango;bonus point reading opportunity.
2. Monday: Collect portfolios with Mango reader's notebook/dialogue journal; Poetry exploration. Collect Mango books.
3. A-day: Inner/Outer discussion: Bringing all the texts together--teachers will moderate the groups so students can take notes on things to remember while watching.
4. B-day Poetry read.

Winter Trimester:
1. plan to read your additional novel ( from the list 0f 100) over winter break.
2. It will be Drama trimester at Da Grove: Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, Hamlet. Each is a tragedy. Expect death and destruction.
3. Students will have senior interviews in mid-January. We will be preparing for those after winder break.

Friday, November 20, 2009


1. You may put your work into whatever format you would like.
2. Our recommendation to you is to put things in the order of the check list and label them the same way.
3. Your portfolio will have two chances for assessment. Anything missed after the second go through will not earn points.
4. You will get your portfolio back after it has had two chances. Once you get it back--there are not further chances.

A reminder of what's coming up

Reflection on Learning Paper due “B” day before Thanksgiving (Tuesday, November 24 or Wednesday, November 25 IN CLASS)

Reflect on your thinking about and growth in these four areas:
Literary analysis
Time management
Goal setting/Reflection
A well-written reflection will make a realistic and honest claim about growth for each category; it will illustrate grow by using specific examples of work done as part of the course work for AP English 12. You should use the reflection of the SMART goals you wrote for the Mango street discussion. The reflection will clearly connect the evidence (course work) to the claim explaining how/why the evidence illustrates growth as outlined in the claim.

Reader’s Notebook/Dialogue Journal on Mango Street – Due 11/30

Portfolio due Monday, November 30

Bonus opportunity see Moodle

Monday, November 16, 2009

Note to Forsberg's classes

I'm not sure we are ready with the discussion questions yet. We are going to start class revisiting them. Prepare by combining these ideas:
1. How do diction, syntax, figurative language help us analyze for theme?
2. What does the text say about growing up/adolescence, family, sexuality, societal responsibilities, education?

We need to keep working before we can discuss.

Portfolio Information

Hey folks,
What you need for the portfolio is listed on the Moodle page. Check there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bonus Opportunity

Dufault and Forsberg will need help on Monday, November 30th. Dufault is looking for three students in her class, and Forsberg wants six from his class. Students will be able to earn 10 bonus points for about 45 minutes of work on that day. Your commitment will be from 2:20 until 3:30. If you cannot commit for the full time, this will not work for you.

The first students who email us and are current with their work will go on the top of the list. It will be first-come, first-served. If you sign up and do not follow through, you will be excluding yourself from any future bonus opportunity.

This is one bonus opportunity we are planning for now. If you are concerned about your grade, focus on the work that is coming due.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reader's Notebook Assessments

When assessing the work on your reader's notebooks, we used these criteria:
You scored 15/20 if you submitted a notebook entry that demonstrated thought and care in completing it.
We chose one category for additional assessment:
One time we chose The Opening scene
One time it was the Closing Scene.
Students earn 3, 4, or 5 points based on the quality of the explanation (especially the significance of the scene).

Students whose work did not show thought and/or care in completion scored fewer points.

Due Dates of what's coming up!

B day (Nov. 12)

Friday, November 13

Monday, November 16--Finished with Mango!
1. Divide students in to 5 groups.
2. Students in the groups are to generate discussion questions that will promote analysis of The House on Mango Street by examining: diction, syntax, and figurative language that shapes theme.
a. Questions need to be open-ended.
b. Questions need to promote higher level thinking on Bloom’s taxonomy.
c. Questions need to span the entire text, not just a section of it.
d. Questions need to promote examination of the text.
You may use quotes.
3. Each group will choose their top two questions.
4. The class will choose 10 questions making sure the ten “Cover” all the aspects in question 4.
5. Students will write 2 individual goals – one for speaking and one for listening.

A Day
Quiz on terms
Inner/Outer Discussion (graded on warrant)

B Day
1. Students in groups of five, students will identify a lesson The House on Mango Street teaches on the following: growing up, adolescence, family, sexuality, societal responsibility.

2. When groups have identified each of the themes, one student will write a story that illustrates one of the five themes. The group must have stories that illustrate each of the themes for a collection of short stories called The School on Fernbrook Lane.

3. Discuss the text as a whole class

Friday, Nov. 20
Computer lab to write stories
Re-Write Essay Due: Friday, Worth: 20 points.

B-day before Thanksgiving (Tuesday, November 24th or Wednesday, November 25th)Reflection on Learning Paper Due: during class.Worth: 50 points.

Monday, November 30th
Portfolio Due during class.Worth: Approximately 80 points.
Reader's Notebook: The House on Mango Street. 20 points.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reflection on Learning Paper

Reflect on your thinking about and growth in these four areas:
Literary analysis
Time management
Goal setting/Reflection

A well-written reflection will make a realistic and honest claim about growth for each category; it will illustrate grow by using specific examples of work done as part of the course work for AP English 12; it will clearly connect the evidence (course work) to the claim explaining how/why the evidence illustrates growth as outlined in the claim.

If you do not feel that your have made progress a particular area, then you should reflect on what road block you could not overcome, and an honest assessment of what you could have done differently to achieve the goal.

Worth 50 due “B” day before Thanksgiving (Tuesday, November 24 or Wednesday, November 25 IN CLASS)

Re-Write Essay

Choose one practice AP essay you have written to revise for a final paper. You should make the final paper a polished piece of writing. Be sure to identify the paper/prompt/topic you are writing about.

Well written essays will have strong command of CEW and will demonstrate thoughtful revision. An excellent paper will have no “mechanical” mistakes.

The revised paper will be worth 20 points. Due Friday, November 20th IN CLASS.

Major Assignments for the End of the Trimester

In an effort to help students complete the IMPORTANT work of this course in a timely fashion so that it does not become urgent, we have due dates and "bare bones" of the assignments listed here.

There will be separate entries outline specifics. More detail about the portfolio will be coming later.

Re-Write Essay
Due: Friday, November 20th during class.
Worth: 20 points.

Reflection on Learning Paper
Due: B-day before Thanksgiving (Tuesday, November 24th or Wednesday, November 25th) during class.
Worth: 50 points.

Due: Monday, November 30th during class.
Worth: Approximately 80 points.

Week 9: B-day and Beyond

Practice Multiple Choice Test
Literary Terms

Friday, November 6th
Test examination
Groups for Terms Presentations.

Monday, November 9th
Group work for terms presentations.

Tuesday, November 10th
Guest Speaker: The importance of setting educations goals and the purpose of reflection.

Literary terms presentations

Friday, November 13th
Have Mango read Through "The First Job" (ends page 56)
How do we generate quality discussion questions?
Talk about the book.


Here's a good place to find out more about this


There are also graphic novels ("comic books) called MAUS which shows the Holocaust in allegory form.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One-Page Essay Reflection of Learning

Think about what areas you need to spend more time with:
test-taking, literary analysis, poetry, discussion, literary terms and devices, formulating essays, other skills.

Type one page examining (don't waste our time with rush writes!) what you status is with each of these skills. Come ready to discuss and prioritize with your classmates.

Due Dates for upcoming work as of October 27th

October 28th--
last day to make up discussion on the short stories--2:15 in room 288.
review the definitions of connotation and denotation.

Friday, October 30th--
discussion reflection is due at the beginning of class.
have your writing goal from your last essay reflection ready to list on your in-class essay.

Monday, November 2nd
reader's notebook on The Metamorphosis at the beginning of class.

Tuesday, November 3rd
one-page reflection (typed) of learning needed to participate in discussion
turn in The Metamorphosis books.

Friday, November 6th
reader's notebook for addition text is due at the beginning of the period.

Reader's Notebooks

1. As with this summer, you may work with one or two partners on your reader's notebooks.

2. Using first and last names, you must clearly identify the sections of the notebook that each person completes.

3. All reader's notebooks must be typed and should use the questions provided on the template.

4. The reader's notebooks this fall are worth 20 points each and will be assessed on the completeness of the entry and the quality of the thought process.

October 27th and beyond B-day and what follows.

Wednesday, October 28th
Last make up discussion: 2:15 Forsberg's room.

Finish The Metamorophis presentations.
We will discuss the meaning of the text. We will use the protagonist as "our way in."

Friday, October 30th
In-class essay on additional text. You will focus on theme. You will choose one of three prompts that we give you as "ways in to the text." You will use your ID numbers as identifiers.

Monday, November 2nd.
You will peer review a classmates essay.
Once the review is complete, you will do a brief in class reflection on how well you met your goal and what your next goal in essay writing will be.

Tuesday, November 3rd
Discussion about the strengths students have and where the "holes" are.
The House on Mango Street.

Multiple Choice practice test

Friday, November 6th
Additional Novel Reader's Notebook is due.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Graded Discussion Reflection

What did you do?
How well did you meet your goal?
How did it help with your discussion skills?
What will you do to improve your discussion skills?
What goal do you are you setting for yourself next time? Why? Think about how it will improve understanding the text.

Dufault and Forsberg want you to know you should get if finished sooner rather than later becaue it will be "fresh in your mind." They are also aware that lots of stuff is coming due with finishing two books and completing reader's notebooks. The due date for the reflection will be Friday, October 30th.

Literary Terms and Improving

A number of students said something like this in their practice test reflection:
"I will brush up on the literary terms before the next time so that I can do better."

Being literary teachers, we see the importance of precise language. Don't study your flash cards, don't review last year's lists, don't go over the terms before hand...


Also remember that we studied Covey for a purpose...What is in your circle of influence? You have the ability to learn the information. If you don't take it, you are shorting yourself. If you choose to do nothing, your products won't improve.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Graded Discussion Make Up

If you were absent the day of the graded discussion, you have two times available to make it up:
1. Tuesday, October 27th at 6:45 AM with Ms. Dufault
2. Wednesday, October 28th at 2:15 PM with Mr. Forsberg

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wednesday, October 21st and beyond

After the graded discussion today, we hope that you learned how much there is to finding the meaning in a text. It's not as simple as we may think. We want to help you get better and better at that!

Rehash the discussion and looking for meaning in texts.
Talking about the two stories and searching for meaning together.
Read time Metamorphosis or additional novel.

Friday, October 23
Visiting with a new poem--learning about enjambment
Setting groups of Metamorphosis presentations.
You can begin to do the reader's notebook for Metamorphosis, but you will want to be able to revise after the presentations and discussion.

Monday, October 26
Working in your group to get the presentation put together for Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 27th
Metamorphosis presentations
Discussion Looking at Main Characters

Friday, October 30th
In- Class essay on your additional novel. Be ready to write about the meaning of the text and examining literary devices.

Monday, November 2nd
Reader's Notebook for Metamorphosis is due. TYPED.

Monday, October 19, 2009


The question came up as to when you are expected to be finished with the text:
Friday is ideal.
Monday is the "drop-dead" deadline.

Also expect to complete a reader's notebook on the text. Working on it as it's fresh in your mind will lead to better results than putting it off.

Remember, the text is about 60 pages, but it is DENSE.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Information for people looking for AP help

Starting the first Thursday in November, Ms. Hein can see AP students for test taking and study skills during Foundations. She will be in room 356. If you could benefit from some test analysis and practice, let me know. This opportunity is open to all AP students. See Ms. Hein in room 266 (I am in the building on Tuesdays from 10:30-3:30 and Thursdays from 7:00-11:20.); She will sign their planner so that they can come to room 356 during foundations. She will turn in the purple sheet for attendance at the end of the session.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Help with "A Conversation with My Father"

Here are a couple of stories you might want to take a look at. The first are from Guy de Maupassant
There are links to quite a few of his stories here.
Guy de Maupassant

These are from Anton Chekhov (not the guy from Star Trek)

Metamorphosis Suggestions

1. Get it read sooner rather than later.
2. Annotate.
3. Do a close read and plan to read things more than once.
4. Reading things and taking them at "face value" will give you a "surface" understanding of the text.

Monday October 19th-Monday October 26th (with a couple of holes to fill)

Monday, October 19
Evaluation essay due.
"A Conversation with My Father" and "Indian Camp" read and annotated.
You will be working with a clock buddy to prepare for Tuesday's Inner/Outer discussion. One of you will be discussing one story and the one of you will be discussing the other. You'll have time to share insight and ideas using the annotations that you have both completed. Remember that we are always looking for meaning!
You will also be identifying one discussion skill you want to work on improving.
Your partner will be helping achieve that by listening for evidence of the work that you are doing.

Tuesday, October 20th (A-day)
Graded discussion. Come prepared to talk, to listen, to write, to learn. Have your one area of improvement listed on a sheet of notebook paper that you can hand off to your partner to use to gather evidence for you.

We aren't quite sure what we are going to do. We are open to feedback...Get it to us by Saturday, October 17th. We could have you take a practice multiple choice/poetry AP test. We could give you time to explore poetry and practice pulling it apart. We would be open to hearing suggestions about other things from you as well. BY Saturday, October 17th!

Friday, October 23rd
We will begin discussing Metamorphosis. Be ready to use your annotation to explore some things Kafka is saying and not saying!

Monday, October 26th
You will be preparing a presentation on very short passages of Metamorphosis. Be ready!

Tuesday, October 27th
Presentation and Discussion on the book begins...plan on every group presenting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Langston Hughes Poem


I'd be interested to hear what you think...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reflection of an AP English 12 student 2009

I'm not quite sure if you remember me. My name is Anna Schmidt and I took your AP English 12 course last year, 6th hour.
I just wanted to thank you for pushing me to challenge myself in class. All the techniques you taught really help in college. Reading thoroughly, especially taking notes along the way, makes discussion and idea development run smoothly. Even the texts we read provide a strong reference point for essays. For one, "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Elliot still gives me things to think about to this very day. I even used the poem as a text material for class and intend to delve deeper into Elliot's meaning as I go through college.
Coming from a student who knows the difficulty of a Forsberg class, and the stress, your students should understand that all of it WILL help later on. Tell them to embrace it.
Finally, the main lesson I learned in your class was to think outside the box. Learn the rules so you know how to break them. Assignments can't be "wrong", in the sense that every idea is valid if supported with evidence.
Thank you for all the help, all the advice, all the knowledge.
Anna Schmidt

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Week Six: October 7-October 12

B-Day "The Barred Owl" and "The History Teacher" Deconstruct prompt; analyze poem; write thesis; contruct outline.
Examine Essays: Evaluate; list strengths; suggest improvements.

Friday, October 9th--No school for good students.

Monday, October 12th--TEST on two poems. Students will construct and write an essay.

Introduce "A Conversation with My Father" (come ready to try a new form of annotation), "Indian Camp" and Metamorphosis by Frans Kafka


Mid-Trimester Thoughts and Suggestions

This is Forsberg--take it for what it's worth.
We are in week five. That means you have finished nearly 1/6 of your senior year--over 15%. It went fast.

So, are you focusing on what's important? Being an educated person is important. How are you working to become an educated person? Do you think about your learning? Your thinking? Your knowledge and skill set?

Have you begun the additional reading? Have you written about what you are reading? Are you using the annotation skills that you already have to be effective in your reading? Are you reading purposefully?

Have you looked for a poem to read--just to practice?

With some things to think about...
Make it a great learning time or not, the choice is yours.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday, September 29th's Update

Remember: Students and classes move at different paces. If you have the scheduled work completed on the day listed, you will not be behind!

Covey Presentation Evaluation (time allotted will vary by class).
"What is Poetry?" Students will discuss the handout, identify important concepts, and will develop a tool for analyzing poetry,
"Incident in a Rose Garden" analyze the poem.
Shifts in poetry.

Friday, October 2nd
You need your additional novel/play to get signed off.

Monday, October 5th
"Ego Tripping" by Nikki Giovanni
Allusions and what we need to know to understand poetry.

"The Barred Owl" and "The History Teacher"
What to do with a practice AP poetry test.

Analyze what other student writers did on the prompt you worked with.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Seven Habits Test

We want to be sure all students have the same information:
1. The test will be on the seven habits--your teachers will make sure to supplement things that might be missing from the presentations.
2. You will be allowed to use your notes.
3. The test is a combination of multiple-choice and short answer.
4. If the AP English12 students average as a group increases, your second score will be averaged with your first score and entered out of 30. If the increase is an average of 10 points or more, only your second score will be entered.
5. The test will happen only after all three classes have completed the presentations.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week of September 23-Homcoming Friday and beyond...

Our expectations are that you use the blog to keep track of assignments, due dates and deadlines. We are putting together things out farther so that you can begin with the end in mind!

We have kept in mind that many of you want to enjoy Homecoming as seniors. That's why we want you to get the materials ahead of time so you can plan accordingly.

College Essays and process are due in a two-pocket folder.
We begin the Covey presentations--we are going through them in numerical order.
Handout: "What is Poetry?"--Read and annotate for A-day

Friday, September 25, 2009
Finish Covey presentations.
Debrief with your presentational group on your presentation.

Monday, September 28, 2009
Multiple Choice Test on "Seven Habits"--It will be worth 30 points. If the average scores increase, the instructors will do one of the following: A. average the two scores together and make it the score out of 30 or B. enter only the higher score. WE DO NOT WANT FEEDBACK FROM YOU ABOUT THIS.
Group written reflection on the presentation. We will give you the prompt Monday.

You need to have "What is Poetry?" read and annotated.
Poetry Explication (<- look up the word) begins!
"Incident in a Rose Garden"--You'll get this in class.

Poetry Explication continues with
"Ego Tripping"--You'll get this in class

Friday, October 2, 2009
You must bring to class a copy of your additional text.
It must be from the list of 101 books which can be found on the school web site.
It must be either a full-length play or a novel. NON-FICTION DOES NOT WORK FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT.
You will be expected to be finished with reading the text and have your reader's notebook entry completed on Friday, October 30th.
Homecoming Poetry--you are the poets!

Monday, October 5, 2009
Prose explication begins. Short stories should be read and annotated when you come to class. (We will hand them out when they are run off--you will have several days).
"A Conversation with My Father."

Prose explications continues. Short stories should be read and annotated when you come to class.
"Indian Camp."

Monday, September 21, 2009

College Essay

Remember folks:
Your ticket in (to get you essay assess for a grade), you must complete the process! So far that is two unique drafts and six peer reviews. Missing even one of these means you are ineligible for a grade.

Character ethic v. Personality ethic

I was thinking about this concept over the weekend.
If you focus on the learning rather than the grade, the learning will happen and the grades will indicate that.
If you focus on the grade rather than the learning, you will lose sight of the learning and the grades will suffer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's coming up

You will have three reviews of your first draft of your college essay.
Power Point Covey overview--details about your Covey presentations.

Covey "Inside/Out" quiz--you may use your annotations.
If you "sticky note," put the stick notes on pieces of paper. If you leave them in the book, you will have limited access to your annotation.
Finish Power Point (as needed)
Work time for your Covey presentations

2nd Draft of college draft due for peer review.

Poetry analysis--we'll show you how to do it!
Work Time for the Covey presentations.

Covey Presentations begin--we will start with Habit 1.
We expect the presentations will be not less than 12 minutes in length--you have to be sure to give us the important information. We will stop you at 20 minutes. PRACTICE!

Monday, September 14, 2009

College Essay Prompts

If you are "stuck" with what to write about--here's what I did--I typed in "college essay prompts" on BING. They brought me to lots of places.

Here is the address of the first place. I scan it, and there seemed like lots of possibilities. See what you think.


The importance of Annotation: an exchange

This email exchange is from a student we had last year.

Mrs. Dufault,

Guess what!? I found my Things Fall Apart annotations which is so exciting to me! Another side note, we ended up reading Antigone rather than Oedipus. That was still good though because I read that in AP 11. Hope all is well.
-- Elizabeth Laferriere

On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 9:36 PM, Dufault, Amy (MGSH) wrote:
Yes! I am so happy that will makes things easier for you. Can I put this on the blog? Anything that encourages students to annotate helps!Thanks,
Mrs. Dufault

That would be fine. I know a lot of kids here don't really know how to annotate so I really have an advantage which helps. I handed in an informal paper and my prof said I was above standards, and that made me feel a lot better about my writing ability.

Forsberg will be signing off reader's notebooks A-day; he bets Dufault will be too!

Essay Contest

For students who are interested...or for students looking for an essay to write for their college essay assignment, you might want to check this out.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Essay Prompts for Summer Literary Text

27. 1996 AP Question:
The British novelist Fay Weldon offers this observation about happy endings:
"The wrirers, I do believe,. who get the best and most lasting response from readers are the writers who offer a happy ending through moral development. By a happy ending, I do not me~ mere fortunate events -- a marriage or a last-minute rescue from death -- but some kind of spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation, even with the self, even at death.
Choose a novel or play that has the kind of ending Weldon describes. In a well-written essay, identify the "spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation" evident in the ending and explain its significance in the work as a whole. You may select a work from the list below or another novel or play of literary merit.
28. 1997 AP Question: Novels and plays often include scenes of weddings, funerals, parties, and other social occasions. Such scenes may reveal the values of the characters and the society in which they live. Select a novel or play that includes such a scene and, in a focused essay, discuss the contribution the scene makes to the meaning of the work as a whole.
29. 1998 AP Question: In his essay "Walking," Henry David Thoreau offers the following assessment of literature:
In literature it is only the wild that attracts us.
Dullness is but another name for tameness. It is the uncivilized free and wild thinking in Hamlet and The Iliad, in all scriptures and mythologies, not learned in schools, that delights us. c
From the works you have studied in school, choose a novel, play, or epic poem that you may initially have thought was conventional and tame but that you value for its "uncivilized free and wild thinking." Write an essay in which you explain what constitutes its "uncivilized free and wild, thinking" and how that thinking is central to the value of the work as a whole. Support your ideas with specific references to the work you choose.
30. 1999 AP Question: The eighteenth-century British novelist Laurence Sterne wrote, "No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man's mind tom asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time."
From a novel or play choose a character (not necessarily the protagonist) whose mind is pulled in conflicting directions by two compelling desires, ambitions, obligations, or influences. Then, in a well-organized essay, identify each of the two conflicting forces and explain how this conflict within one character illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. You may use one of the novels or plays listed below or another novel or play of similar literary quality.
31. 2000 AP Question: Many works of literature not readily identified with the mystery or detective story genre nonetheless involve the investigation of a mystery. In these works, the solution to the mystery may be less important than the knowledge gained in the process of its investigation. Choose a novel or play in which one or more of the characrers confront a mystery. Then write an essay in which you identify the mystery and explain how the investigation illuminates the meaning of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.
32. 2001 AP Question: One definition of madness i, "mental delusion or the eccentric behavior arising from it." But Emily Dickinson wrote
Much madness is divinest Sense­To a discerning Eye-
Novelist and playwrights have often seen madness with a "discerning Eye." Select a novel or a play in which a character's apparent madness or irrational behavior plays an important role. Then write a well-organized essay in which you explain what this delusion or eccentric behavior consists of and how it might be judged reasonable. Explain the significance of the "madness" to the work as a whole. Due not merely summarize the plot.
33. 2002 AP Question: Morally ambiguous characters-characters whose behavior discourages readers from identifying them as purely evil or purely good~are at the heart of many works of literature. Choose a novel or play in which a morally ambiguous character plays a pivotal role. Then write an essay in which you explain how the character can be viewed as morally ambiguous and why his or her moral ambiguity is sigmficant to the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.
34. 2002 (B): Often in literature a character's success in achieving goals depends on keeping a secret and divulging it only at the right moment, if at all.
Choose a novel or play ofliterary merit that requires a character to keep a secret. In a well­organized essay, briefly explain the necessity for secrecy and how the character's choice to reveal or keep the secret affects the plot and contnbutes to the meaning of the work as a whole.
You may select a work from the list below, or you may choose another work of recognized literary merit suitable to the topic. Do NOT write about a short story, poem, or film.
35. 2003: According to critic Northrop Frye, "Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning."
Select a novel or play in which a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others.
Then write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.
36. 2003 (B): Novels and plays often depict characters caught between colliding cultures-national, regional, ethnic, religious, institutional. Such collisions can call a character's sense of identity into question. Select a novel or play in which a character responds to such cultural collisions. Then write a well-organized e,ssay in which you describe the character's response and explain its relevance to the work as a whole.
37. 2004: Critic Roland Barthes has said, "Literature is the question minus the answer." Choose a novel or play and, considering Barthes' observation, write an essay in which you analyze a central question the work raises and the extent to which it offers any answers. Explain how the author's treatment of this question affects your understanding of the work as a whole. Avoid plot summary.
38. 2004 (B): The most important themes in literature are sometimes developed in scenes in which a death or deaths take place. Choose a novel or play and write a weU-organized essay in which you show: how a specific death scene helps to illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole.
39. 2005: In Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899), protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess ''that outw'ard existence which conforms, the inward tife wllich questions." In a novel or play that you have studied, identify a character who conforms outWardly while questioning inwardly. Then write an essay in which you analyze how this tension between outward conformity and· inward questioning contributes to the meaning of the work. Avoid mere plot summary.

Thesis and Outline is due on "A" day next week!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

College Essay

Planning ahead.
Resume work: be ready for Friday (we may not get to it until Monday because of the assembly Friday)--have a resume that people can write on; it should not be on resume paper.

Draft one (Draft one is NOT a rough draft; rather it is a draft that you have revised on your own at least once). is due on "B" day Sept. 16th or 17th. We will peer review to revise it for content.

Draft two (a revision that is completed after the peer review on B day) is due on Monday, Sept. 21st. We will peer review to revise it for polish.

Final draft and process is due in a two pocket folder on "B" day Sept. 23rd or 24th.

This essay WILL NOT be assessed by your AP teacher, rather it will be read by someone experienced with teaching college who will rate it as "Accept," "Wait List," or "Don't Accept." Students who do not submit all of the process will not have their essays evaluated and will not earn the points. Student who achieve "accept" will earn 30/30 points. "Wait List" will earn the writer 28/30 points. Students who are "not accepted" will earn 26/30 points.

The process is your ticket in!

Friday's Terms Test

Here's what you should know about the Blog...

Dufault and Forsberg meet on Tuesdays after school...so we will probably add things on Tuesdays.

We have decided that you can know the exact format of the test on Friday because you won't know which terms you will be using until then. So, here are the three questions:

Figurative language
Point of view

You will be working with three different terms. You will be assigned two and the other one you may select.

Term One (assigned)
Define the term in you own words. Explain it as though you were explaining it to a classmate who doesn’t understand it. Do not use examples as part of your definition.

Term Two (assigned)
Explain how having a clear understanding of this term will help you in AP English 12. Be sure in your explanation that you are illustrated a clear understanding of the term. Think in terms of understanding literature or writing (or both) in your explanation.

Term Three (You will choose a term from a different “box” than term one or term two)
Using an example from a text that you know, illustrate this term. Clearly identify the example and explain in your own words how it illustrates the meaning. Be sure that someone who is unfamiliar with your chosen text will be able to connect your example to the meaning of the term.

The terms are listed above, but the "box formatting" doesn't copy to the blog--each box has five terms in it--they are grouped alphabetically if you want to do that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer Homework for the First Day

Hey folks,
When you come to AP English 12 on "A" day, we expect the following:
1. You know the literary terms...you haven't simply memorized them, you know what they mean.
2. You are ready to talk about literary and commercial fiction.
3. You can work with your commercial title.
4. You have your reader's notebook entry completed (Typed) for your summer literary fiction.

email for AP student from last year

-- Elizabeth Laferriere is and AP student who graduated last year. Here's her advice to you:

I just wanted to let you know that you should tell your students to do a really good job with their books. Just because they're seniors does not mean they should completely slack off. I am giving them this warning because I did not give Things Fall Apart 100% of my effort when I had the chance, and now I'm reading it for my Paideia I class, a required English/Religion course for all freshmen at Luther College. Oh and we're reading Oedipus again. Just tell your students that they can never really escape from AP English. Have a good school year!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A great basic grammar guide

I found this online. You might benefit if you make yourself of copy of it.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Great Gatsby

Hey Folks,
Things to know about The Great Gatsby--
1. You can use it as one of your entries for the reader's notebook. It's a frequently referenced text on the AP test.
2. PLEASE DO NOT USE IT AS YOUR LITERARY NOVEL FOR THE SUMMER READ--to many students are reading it at MGSH in Junior English.
3. I like the book a lot--if you want to discuss it via email--I'd be happy to "chat" about it.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Reader's Notebooks

The question has come up about the reader's notebooks. I think it's a great idea to work with a study group when working with texts. For the books you are doing that you have read before, it's a great idea to discuss them to be sure that you have all the salient points that should be included, and then have one person write an entry for the entire group to use. Four people in the group would result in four entries if each person did one--eight if each person did two.

I would like each person to write her/his own for the literary text that you are doing for this summer. You may certainly discuss the book together in a study group, but I do want each person to have a sense of what the task involves for a newly read book.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Assignments/Dropping AP

Hey Folks,
Hope you are having a great summer.
A student wrote to ask to drop AP English 12. I want to take a moment to remind you that the school built the class schedule based on registration. In the past, students were not permitted to drop the class in the summer; some students went so far as to not complete the summer assignment. When they were not allowed to drop the class, they began the year "behind." Many of them were unable to "catch up" in the trimester to bring their grade to where they wanted it to be.
Please plan accordingly.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st

I trust people are doing well on their summer reading! I have heard from a few folks, but mostly people must be doing well.

If you have not begun the work yet, I'd encourage you to "get it in gear"!

Have a great Fourth of July!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Anonymous emails (ones without out first and last names included) will not be responded to.

Literary Fiction

To clarify, your literary fiction selection MUST come from the 101 books list. We recommend that you choose one from the list your received with the assignment sheet. You may not select the following titles from the list:

These titles are done at other grade levels:
Tale of Two Cities
The Great Gatsby
Lord of the Flies
The Odyssey
Brave New World
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Crucible
Animal Farm
Cyrano de Bergerac
Catcher in the Rye
Romeo and Juliet
The Grapes of Wrath
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

These texts we will do in AP English 12:
The House on Mango Street
Heart of Darkness
Things Fall Apart
Their Eyes Were Watching God

These texts are poetry, essays, shorts stories, or non-fiction and will not work for this assignment:
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Emerson's Essays
Edgar Allen Poe's Tales
Eudora Welty's Collected Stories
Leaves of Grass

Friday, June 19, 2009

Step-by-step directions to "Reader's Notebook"

Some folks have struggled to get to the reader's notebook template. Below are directions.
Open the school web site and click on "Departments" toward the top.
That will list the departments in the building and pull down to "English."
Scroll down until you get to "Teacher Sites."
The second listing will be "Reader's Notebook."
Click there.

So far the web master has not put up the model reader's notebook for The Crucible. I will check into that.

In the mean time, I will list what I came up with for possible themes in The Crucible:

1. People must oppose systemic corruption. If people think that "evil" will pass by without affecting them, the evil can destroy them and the society.
2. Individuals can find redemption by confessing their faults, taking responsibility for their actions, and taking the consequences for what they have done.
3. Evil exists because good people do not stop it.

Step-by-step directions to "Reader's Notebook"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Old AP Questions

You can ignore this part of the Reader's Notebook. You do not have access to old AP questions. We may do something with it when school resumes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15th

Well, I checked my school email...
I sure hope you are having a great vacation. I hope you have put together a plan for getting the work done well--
Today we (Mrs. Dufault and I) begin our AP workshop at Augsburg.

Get reading!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Assignment

If you download the notebook template onto a word document, you can fill it out that way. Before you begin reading the commercial fiction, be sure to have read and understood the yellow handout. You are looking for evidence that you selected text fits the definition of commercial fiction. If you want to annotate it, you surely can.

I will check my email on June 15th, July 1st, July 15th, August 1st, August 15th. You know that I will get back to you at those times.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Whatever you spend your time doing, is what you are trading your life for. Make sure you get the better part of the bargain!

BOOKS OUT--Their Eyes Were Watching God.

George Lu
Liz Pederson
Brandon Engler

Monday, June 1, 2009

End of the Year Concerns

1. Grades have been entered for poetry explications. If you have no graded entered and you have all six explications with my comments on them, get them to me with a blue slip. If they came in at another time, I may have them in my "to do" folder.
2. I have explained how I graded the skill portfolio presentations. Some folks just weren't grasping the need for clear Claim/Evidence/Warrant.
3. Remember poems and books for the last day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

TEWWG:Something to Think About

Tea Cake has rabies because the rabid dog bites him.
Tea Cake threatens Janie and bites her before she shoots him.
Hurston does not address whether or not Janie takes the rabies serum.
Why is Hurston being purposefully ambiguous?



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eyes Poetry

You have the opportunity to earn an additional ten points--no penalty for not doing this--

Use Hurston's language in Their Eyes Were Watching God and create a poem that captures the theme of the novel. Challenge yourself to use both styles of Hurston's language.

Be focused.
Be clear.
Be innovative.

Ten lines or longer...
You need a typed copy for Forsberg--if we have time, students will also read their work to class.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

After School this week

I am not available after school on Wednesday.
Thursday I am available until 2:20 (interviewing team)
Friday I am available until 2:30.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Skill Portfolio Presentations--What I have noticed

1. Students are using grades as evidence. Grades are weak evidence for skills.
2. Students are not spending time explaining clearly how the evidence they offer illustrates they have accomplished the goal.
3. Reading excepts from a text might be stronger evidence than simply saying, "I have included my Hamlet paper as evidence." Be sure the excerpt illustrates the skill/goal.
4. Remember you are illustrating the SKILLS that you have--not the products you have produced. Some people are focusing on the PRODUCT they are proudest of and connecting it to all of the skills they have listed. This focus is backward. Focus on the SKILL--the PRODUCT illustrates that SKILL. This is not new information!
5. I will not be collecting the portfolios. Students who want the experience of showing me the portfolio may come in after school on Thursday to do that!


I believe I have read and responded to each email that included poetry explications or goals. Emails about individual grades and points are on my "To Do" list--but are closer to the bottom than the top.
I have had to prioritize.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Skills Portfolios Presentations

Please have a copy of your goal for your portfolio run off for me to collect from you before you begin your presentation.  Please indicate which of your skills you will be illustrating to us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

English Portfolio

I want to give students the option to complete there English skills portfolio beginning Friday, May 29th.  This will work well for people who "want to be done."  You'll be able to be done earlier.  It will also help with sixth hour students who might be concerned that since we have only one class period the final week--they will be able to finish.

If you are interested in this option, email me.


The doctor's appointment went well.  The heart doctor doesn't think I need surgery this summer--but I have to have more tests.  I can wait until school is out for them, so things are looking good.

Wanted you to know that I should be in class until you guys are done.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009



Portfolio Presentations

Your skill will be the "claim" of your presentation.
You may want to give us background about which claim you have chosen will be important for you in your plans.
You might want to define what you mean by the skill.

The product from your portfolio is the evidence.

The warrant is your explanation of how/why your product shows the skill. Be thorough in this explanation.
If you have defined the term for the skill, connect the product to your definition.

This will work both for the skills portfolio and the English portfolio.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Deadlines and Absences

If a product is due the day you are absent, the expectation is that I receive it via email the day that it's due. You don't get an extra weekend to do complete poetry explications for example.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I tried to access my school email this morning, and it's not available. I will check again later; I hope they can fix the problem before long.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 21st

Just want you to know that I have another test on Thursday, May 21st. Please plan ahead for my absence that day! If poetry presenters want to go on A day, let me know. Otherwise, we'll plan for makeup on Friday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wednesday May 13th

I found out that I will have a valve job on my heart this summer.  I have a slew of tests that I have to have done to make that happen.  Unexpectedly, my doctor has scheduled two of those tests for me tomorrow (Wednesday), so I won't be in school.

Poetry presentations will be re-scheduled for the next class period.

I plan to be back on Thursday.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bonus Point Opportunity

The first eligible student from each class who correctly uses the word "reoccurring" in a sentence that shows understanding of the word will score two bonus points on the May 8th Terms Test. That's a 10% increase! Send it via email. Bonus Opportunity ends at 1 PM, Sunday, May 10th. Remember you must be current in your assignments to be eligible for bonus.

Mushy Minds and this Weekend

Okay, AP brains have gone to mush. Three people left planners and notebooks in my room Friday. One was nameless; the others were put into folders in the return box. REMEMBER YOUR STUFF!

If you haven't made the changes on the "pink" poetry explication sheet, be sure to change the numbers to make the assignments due on Fridays.

This weekend while you a thinking about your showcase portfolio or while you are reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, if you have a question email be and I will respond on or before 1 PM Sunday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Test Prep Tonight and Tomorrow

1. Spend sometime outside to clear your mind.
2. Review your reader's notebook.--Don't cram--review and recall each story as best you can.
3. Get a good night sleep. You know how to do this.
4. Eat a good breakfast with some protein.
5. Have two #2 pencils, a good, big eraser, and two or three pens with blue or black ink.
6. Bring a watch if you have it.
7. Bring a snack for break.
8. Leave your cell phone in your locker or backpack or home
9. Be confident! You can do this.

The Rest of this week--and into next

--We are finishing terms presentations and prompt deconstruction before the test.
--Thursday after school essay make up time
--Friday Debrief, terms test, poetry explication assignment
--Monday discussion first 50 pages of TEWWG.
--Monday after school students who want to present their arguments for re-assessment for their Hamlet Papers--written arguments will be a HUGE help!
--Home work for "A" day: Using the syllabus for AP English 12, outline the skills that you want your skills based portfolio to illustrate.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hamlet Reassessment

Monday, May 11th will be the day that I will have after school for students who want to build a CEW case of why their paper was assessed incorrectly.
1. Build the best case you can; you are arguing to convince me my initial assessment was incorrect. If you put it in writing, I will be able to take it away from our meeting and consider your position more in-depth. (The part in red is new.)
2. Respect works more positively than disrespect.


There still seems to be some misunderstanding between these concepts. Here's what I know:

Tone is the author's attitude toward what he is writing.
Twain is often satirical. Cisneros is nostalgically hopeful. Achebe is pedantic. Shakespeare is tragic with Macbeth and Hamlet. Frost is reflective.

Mood is the emotional response the author hopes her audience will experience.
Tim O'Brien creates a mood of confusion in The Things They Carried. Shakespeare creates a mysterious supernatural mood with his use of ghosts and witches. Billy Collins creates of mood of nostalgic naivete.

Tone is in the author.
Mood is in the audience.

Hamlet Process

Two reminders:
1. Today after school is the day to take care of concerns about the process.
2. The date that is listed with your score is the end of the five-day period to earn full credit.

Monday, May 4, 2009

H of D and TFA

Finish your reader's notebook before you turn in your books.

Essay Suggestion

When you write the essay for the AP test, I would recommend that you do your planning (be sure to think about focus and organization), then write the body paragraphs.

Stream on consciousness organization is not effective.

Save the introduction until the end (as we did with the Hamlet papers), so you can be sure to include in your thesis everything you write about in your body paragraphs!

Re-read the essay when you have finished to be sure you have addressed each part of the prompt.