Tag Archive for letter

Deucalion, Pyrrha, and Monday


RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail 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.
W.9-10.9.a Apply grades 9—10 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare]”).


Learning Target

Scholars will look at the similar themes of the flood myths we have looked at in class, and examine how different cultures treat the flood myths differently.

Work Session

Today we’re going to take a break from our regularly scheduled make-a-hero and talk a bit more about flood myths. We’re going to read a story together from ancient Greece about two lovely people named Deucalion and Pyrrha.

After we read the story, I would like for you guys to make a double bubble map. This is the compare and contrast thinking map that allows you to look at two things at once and see what they have in common and where they are different. I want you to make a map comparing Deucalion and Pyrrha to one of the other flood stories we read – either Gilgamesh or Noah.

Next up, we’re going to examine why the two are different. For each bubble on your double bubble, write about the cultural or historical differences between the two places that gave us the stories. For example, one similarity between Gilgamesh’s flood and Deucalion and Pyrrha is that they were both cursed by many gods, not just one. That is because both stories came from cultures that worshiped many gods, not just one.

After you finish the double bubble, I would like for you to write a letter. You are writing to someone who is confused about all the flood myths and doesn’t know there is more than one. Your letter should explain the differences in the two myths and why those differences exist.

When you finish your double bubble map and letter, go ahead and turn it in. After that, I think I need to give you guys some more time to work on your make-a-hero.

Closing Session

Make-a-Hero Check in


Letters and double bubble maps will be graded.


Students will have the visual strategy of the double bubble, printed double bubbles for those that need the graphic organizer, and letters use informal writing.

Day Two!

Good morning, my lovely students! I hope you’re enjoying the semester so far, or if not, I hope it gets better for you!

Standard: W.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Learning Target: Students will write their letters of introduction, and when finished, will start brainstorming for their circle map / mandala project.

Activator: Daily video! Grammar School with Snooki

Welcome to day two, kiddos! Some of you I met yesterday (hopefully most of you!) and some of you are meeting me for the first time. Either way, welcome! I think the semester is off to a good start already :)

Anyway, today in class we’re going to continue working on our letters of introduction from yesterday (here’s My Intro Letter!), and start a new project. We’ll share the letters tomorrow, so if you guys weren’t in this class yesterday (or weren’t in a lit class at all yesterday) you’ll still have plenty of time to get everything finished up and ready. I really care about what you guys have to say, and I do want to use the information (especially about your reading and writing preferences, strengths, and weaknesses) to tailor this semester to what you guys like.

Right, so that second project! This is another all-about-me project, and I think it’s pretty fun. Remember when I said yesterday I love creative things? Well, today we’re being creative. Right now it’s just brainstorming, and you guys will learn this quickly about me, but I really like the thinking maps. So when we do brainstorming, note-taking, review… all that jazz, we’ll likely use a thinking map to do so. Today’s thinking map? A CIRCLE MAP!!! They look like this:

However, I’d like you guys to make a circle map about yourself. So, draw a little circle, write your name, then draw a BIG circle around it, and start filling it with everything you know about yourself. Draw pictures, write words or phrases, whatever. This brainstorming will become the basis for your Mandala, which we’ll begin coloring tomorrow. Bon appetit!

Welcome to 2014!

Welcome to the last semester of your sophomore year, everyone!

My name is Ms. Spiceland, and I’ll be teaching you in World Literature this semester. We’re planning a pretty awesome year for you guys! Our World Lit course is what’s called a thematic course, rather than just going in chronological order. That means that instead of reading REALLY OLD stuff first, and working our way up to the only-kinda-old stuff, we’re going to read stuff of all different ages, but with similar themes. Does that make sense? No? Well, we’ll work on it together. In the meantime…

Standard: W.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Learning Target: Students will be introduced to the curriculum of Tenth Grade World Literature and Composition, and will write a letter of introduction about themselves.

Activator: Buffalo buffalo buffalo

So, I hope you guys are intrigued so far :) We’re kicking off the semester by introducing ourselves, because otherwise how will we know what we’re getting into? So, here’s my first PowerPoint of the year for you guys:)


After our rousing game of Two Truths and a Lie, and hearing all about your guys and your interesting winter breaks, I think it’s time for some writing. YAY, WRITING! (Get used to it, you’ll write ’til your arms fall off in here!) Let’s write a letter of introduction, shall we?

Letter of introduction instructions!

Hey, wanna hear something cool? I’m making a commitment to you guys to always do the work that I assign you. So on that note, I’ve got my own letter of introduction :) Here you are, for your reading pleasure:

My Intro Letter!

And that’s everything for today, gang! I hope you guys are psyched up about a great semester in world lit. I know I am!

Let’s do something…creative.

Welcome to Friday!!! TOMORROW IS THE WEEKEND!!!

I’m plugging away on your 6 word memoir video – it’s almost done! I just need to do the finishing touches and we’ll watch it next week 🙂

Today, though, we’re going to start a project that I think should be rather fun. It’s a creative writing assignment, which is something we haven’t done at all this semester, so I hope you like it! There is no word count required. You can write to one of these prompts below, or do your own thing. I’m grading it for effort and completion – so you have to actually do it, but I’m not going to be your literary critic when it comes to this piece.

You have five options:

  1. Write a letter to a rising 10th grader (a current 9th grader) telling them about what it’s like to be a sophomore. How is it different than being a freshman? What are classes like? What are your friends like? What’s it like to be out of the freshmen building? Who are the teachers and what are they like? Are you getting ready for college or post-high school? Do you turn 16, learn to drive, and so on? Give any advice you think someone should know before they start their sophomore year.
  2. Write a poem about your sophomore year. Any genre, any format, any length, any rhyme scheme or none at all. However you would like. Consider using a format such as a villanelle, sestina, or sonnet. See me if you don’t know what that means. Or write free verse, rap lyrics, couplets, whatever. Just compose something poetic about your year.
  3. Write a reflection on your sophomore year. What have you learned? How has your life changed? Where were you in August vs. where are you now? What happened in each month to change your live for the better or worse? What are your plans for the summer? Where do you expect to be next year? What have you done this year that you thought was impossible? What have you failed at doing? Did you have goals that were achieved and goals that were not?
  4. Write a letter to yourself to be delivered at the end of your junior year. You can ask yourself anything, tell yourself anything, remind yourself of anything. How would you define yourself right now? What are you hoping to change? What about this moment – the last week of your sophomore year – do you want to hold on to in the future?
  5. Write about who you are right this very second. Describe everything about you – your likes, dislikes, wants, needs, desires, hopes, dreams, appearence, obsession, favorite song, favorite food, and so on. Write down every single thing about you that you can think of at this very moment. Put your 10th-grade pre-summer self down on paper.

Okay, so here’s the deal with these – I want you guys to be able to look back on who you are at this moment and remember exactly what it is to be at the precipice of your junior year. Why? Well, have you ever felt like your parents, teachers, and everyone else in the world has completely forgotten what it was like to be a teenager? Have you ever thought that, even though you know at one time they were 16 years old, they have no idea what it’s like to be 16? I don’t want you guys to forget your 16-year-old selves. I want you to remember who you are in this moment and be able to look back and say “oh yeah, that was me!”

So, that in mind, we’re also going to fill out an envelope. I want you to address the envelope to yourself. I’ll keep them, and at the end of next year, I’ll mail them to you. So a year later, you’ll be able to remember this very second, about to step into summer 🙂

Everyone ready? You have the rest of class and all day Monday.


Done With Oedipus Already? Cool!

Standard: RL.9-10.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Learning Target: Students will finish reading Oedipus and write an impromptu essay about the play.

Activator: Six Word Memoirs, Fall 2012

Welcome back to class, everyone! I hope your week has started off well :)

Today we’re going to finish reading Oedipus the King, the same way we’ve been reading it so far. Afterwards, I’d like you guys to do a short writing assignment before we review our figurative language. Here’s the deal, and… guess what! You have a choice!!

Option A: Pretend you are Oedipus. Before you blind yourself, write a letter to the people of Thebes explaining what has happened. Do you feel guilty? Should you have listened to the prophet? What advice do you have for the people you used to rule? How are you going to punish yourself for what you’ve done and why? Give me 2-4 paragraphs, and don’t forget to put it in letter format!

Option B: We talked several times about the tragic flaw in Oedipus, which, in this case, was hubris. Hubris is an extreme pride and way of thinking that you’re better than everyone else or exempt from the same restraints as everyone else. How would the story of Oedipus differed if he had not had this tragic flaw? Write a  summary in 2-4 paragraphs where you explain how Oedipus the King would have turned out if he had not had this tragic flaw.

You guys will have about half an hour to do this, depending on how long it takes us to read. After we finish writing, we’ll do a quick review of our iambic pentameter and some six word memoirs!!. That’s Tuesday! Tomorrow…more poetry!