Tag Archive for annotations

American Lit: Annotating an Argumentative Text

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RI6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

Learning Target: I can identify and evaluate the effectiveness of an authors argument, claims, evidence, and call to action.

Opening Session: MKTO – American Dream

Work Session: Today we’re continuing our discussion of the American Dream by reading an essay called “Is the American Dream still possible?” by David Wallechinsky. We will read this together and annotate the text using our metacognitive markers:

  • put a ? when you have a question
  • put an ! when you have a strong reaction to something in the text
  • put a * when you have comment to make
  • underline any key ideas or details

….and stop and discuss throughout our reading. Then, we will analyze the following parts of the essay:

  • What is the author’s claim?
  • What is the author’s evidence to back up his claim?
  • What is the call to action?

Then, I’d like you to do a brief constructed response for me, in the My Notes sections of your pages as usual:

  • Write a brief constructed response that explains how Wallechinsky builds an argument to persuade the readers that the American Dream is a bygone concept. Analyze how Wallechinsky uses evidence, reasoning, and stylistic of persuasive elements to strengthen his logic and persuasiveness of his argument.

Closing Session: Swap books with a friend and compare their annotations to yours. What do you notice about your annotations? Did you choose the same things to mark?

Assessment: Formative – constructed response

AP Lang: Humor Week, Day 2

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RI6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

Learning Target: I can analyze how an author uses rhetoric to create humor in an essay.

Opening Session: VOCAB! We skipped it yesterday since we had a short class, but let’s get into it now!

  1. —Allocate
    1. —(verb) to set apart or designate for a special purpose; to distribute
  2. —Ardent
    1. —(adj.) very enthusiastic, impassioned
  3. —Assiduous
    1. —(adj.) persistent, attentive, diligent
  4. —Brash
    1. —(adj.) prone to act in a hasty manner; imprudent
  5. —Capricious
    1. —(adj.) subject to whims or passing fancies
  6. —Chastise
    1. —(verb) to inflict physical punishment as a means of correction; to scold severely
  7. —Copious
    1. —(adj.) abundant; plentiful; wordy, verbose
  8. —Deviate
    1. —(verb) to turn aside; to stray from a norm
    2. —(noun) one who departs from a norm
    3. —(adj.) differing from a norm, heterodox, unconventional
  9. —Emaciated
    1. —(adj., part.) unnaturally thin
  10. —Exult
    1. —(verb) to rejoice greatly
  11. —Gnarled
    1. —(adj.) knotted, twisted, lumpy
  12. —Indemnity
    1. —(noun) a payment for damage or loss
  13. —Inkling
    1. —(noun) a hint; a vague notion
  14. —Limpid
    1. —(adj.) clear, transparent; readily understood
  15. —Omnipotent
    1. —(adj.) almighty, having unlimited power or authority
  16. —Palatable
    1. —(adj.) agreeable to the taste or one’s sensibilities; suitable for consumption
  17. —Poignant
    1. —(adj.) deeply affecting, touching; keen or sharp in taste or smell
  18. —Rancor
    1. —(noun) bitter resentment or ill-will
  19. —Sophomoric
    1. —(adj.) immature and overconfident; conceited
  20. —Spontaneous
    1. —(adj.) arising naturally; not planned or engineered in advance

Work Session: Another funny essay today! I’ve got a copies of an excerpt from a book I just finished reading, Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson. This is just a little story about a family having breakfast together, told from the mom’s perspective. I’m going to pass around the highlighters and as you read this story to yourself, I want you to annotate it – that is, mark up the text with insights, references, circle or highlight things you don’t know, and since this is our humor week, highlight anything you think is funny.

After everyone reads and annotates, we will talk about what we found funny and why 🙂

Closing Session: Journal entry: how did Jackson create a humorous essay out of a regular, day-to-day experience? What techniques did she use to create humor? Is the story relatable? Why or why not?

Assessment: Formative – Friday Journal Check

Differentiation: Process (Scaffolding)

Homework: Read 20 minutes in your Independent Reading book

Tuesdays of the Flesh


  • 9-10.3. Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Learning Target: I will understand how circle 2 in Dante’s Inferno shows the law of symbolic retribution, and I will analyze Dante’s perspective on the lovers Paolo and Francesca, who are trapped in that circle of Hell.

Activator: Classics Summarized: Dante’s Inferno! This is a good summary and some background information in case you missed what we talked about yesterday… or forgot

Work Session: Welcome to day 2 of the Inferno, everyone! Today we’re going to be finishing reading Canto III, then following it up with Canto V. In other words, yesterday we talked about circle 1: Limbo, and today we are talking about circle 2: Lust. Yep, that’s right ladies and gents, today it’s sins of the flesh!

After we finish reading, we’re going to read this article about Paolo and Francesca and annotate it as we go (woah!! Annotations!). These two lovers are swept together in Hell for all eternity. It’s a sad story! Now, a question, for your ticket out the door: You all read Romeo and Juliet in 9th lit. Do you think those two lovers, like Paolo and Francesca, are here in circle 2 of Hell?

Ponder on that one! Tomorrow we discuss circle 3: Gluttony!

Closing Session: Do your TOTD closing activity from the collaborative poster sheet I gave you yesterday (see the post below this one!).

Assessment: Annotations will be formatively checked, TOTDs will be graded at the end of the unit.

Differentiation: Process (splitting the class, highlighters given for annotations as needed, partner work options, student choice on TOTD)

The Problem…


  • ELAGSE9-10RI2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Learning Target: Students will examine an article about the prevalence of female protagonists in literature, determining the author’s central idea of the text.

Activator: Metroid Prime Gameplay Trailer – did you know it’s a woman inside that suit?

Work Session: Today we’re going to begin by reading the first half of Act II of A Doll’s House. I’ll need readers for the following characters:

Mrs. Linde

After we read today’s section of the play, let’s do a little exercise. Grab a sheet of paper and make a list of all the stories you can remember reading EVER – be it kids’ books, picture books, books you’ve read in school, ANY book you’ve EVER read – who have a FEMALE protagonist (remember, a protagonist is the person you root for – the main character of the story).

You have five minutes.

How many were you able to list?

I’ve got this article I want everyone to look at, entitled “The Problem with Female Protagonists“. Read and annotate this article, and then we’ll go through it together as a class.

Closing Session: How do you feel about what this author has to say about female protagonists? Do you agree with her assessment? Write a short paragraph of 5-7 sentences explaining how you feel as our TOTD.

Assessment: TOTDs will be graded, formative checks while reading.

Differentiation: Process (various length reading parts)


The F Word

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a NEW UNIT!!!!


  • ELAGSE9-10RI2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Learning Target: I will analyze how two articles develop the concept of feminism, and then I will objectively summarize what those two texts said.

Activator: On the Ground: Women’s March in Washington D.C. from last Saturday.

Work Session: Welcome to Thursday! Today we’re starting a new unit about a topic that might be a little controversial – feminism! What?! Feminism? Have I gone completely bananas!

Well, no. And because sometimes feminism seems like a dirty word, today we’re going to talk about what feminism is and what it means. These concepts will guide our understanding throughout this unit, so I think it’s an important first day activity.

First, let’s read this article from Huffington Post, entitled “What Is Feminism?” together. As we read, do your margin markings (instructions are on your sheet). When we’re done and everyone has had a chance to mark, we’ll talk about it as a class.


Next up, I have another article for you to read – this one is actually a blog post by a famous author, Patrick Rothfuss. He gives a pretty solid definition of feminism in pretty down-to-earth terms, so I think this will help with understanding. This time around, I’m going to give you some time to read to yourself and annotate the article. When you annotate, you can do all your margin marking like normal, but you can also underline important things, circle words and write definitions down, write notes or reactions in the margins, or whatever. Think of it as active reading, reading with a pen in your hand.

Fanmail FAQ: The F Word.

After we finish reading and discuss, I’ll pull a couple volunteers up to the document camera to show off their annotations. I’ll also show off my annotated version that I did on the doc cam while you guys were working.

Closing Session: Finally, for the last fifteen minutes or so of class, I want to give you all some time to process what we’ve talked about today. Write me a Seven Sentence Summary about the articles we read in class today. Try to be objective, that is, write just what the articles said and how they developed the ideas of feminism, not what you personally feel about the topic (because trust me, we will have LOTS of time for personal opinions this unit!!)

Differentiation: Process (abbreviated text, single text instead of two)

Assessment: Closing paragraphs and/or annotations may be graded.