Tag Archive for nonfiction

AP Lang: What Really Happened


  • 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. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE11-12RI7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented indifferent media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE11-12RI1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. Georgia ELA

Learning Target
Students will analyze an article about the veracity of The Crucible and analyze how authors might sensationalize stories to get a specific reaction from the audience.

Opening Session

Work Session
Today we’re reading an article titled “The Crucible: Fact or Fiction?” that really goes into some awesome detail about exactly what happened in history versus in the play.

Read and SOAPSTone the article, then make a T-chart in which you list the events of history on one side and the alternate events of the play on the other. Then, I want you to consider why Miller might have made some of the specific choices that he did to rewrite history.

Write a paragraph in which you specifically name one or two of the ways Miller changed history, then analyze WHY he made that decision. What affect did that change have on the play? On the audience? Or did he change the play for a completely different reason, such as racism or another prejudice?

Closing Session
With whatever time we have left, grab your books and read Act III. You will need to have the entire act read when you get back here on Monday 🙂

Assessment Strategies
Formative (T-charts and paragraph checks)

Process (Scaffolding, annotated text as needed)

Flood Day Tuesday

Standard: RI.9-10.7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

Learning Target:  Students will look at modern coverage of massive floods and write about the similarities in a modern flood and an ancient one.

Activator: A look back: Hurricane Katrina News Coverage

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone! I hope you all had a good time doing your summer reading essay yesterday!


As you might have guessed from the daily video, today we’re going to continue talking about flood stories. The difference today, though, is that we’re talking about floods that actually happened. We’re going to talk a bit more about Hurricane Katrina, as well as the Japanese tsunami of 2011, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami (the Christmas Tsunami) of 2004. All these massive floods are pretty close to current, right? So I thought these articles and pictures might hit home for you guys.







After we read the articles together as a class and have a bit of discussion about what it might have been like, I would like for you guys do to a bit of narrative writing for me in the form of a journal.


Flood Journal Assignment

  1. Choose one of the modern flood stories we talked about in class – Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese Tsunami, or the Christmas Tsunami.
  2. Pretend you’re in the middle of that flood as it’s happening.
  3. IN PEN, write three journal or diary entries from three days as you experience what it was like to live through that flood. Each entry should be about 2 paragraphs long. Don’t forget to sign your name at the end.
  4. When you’re finished, turn in your journal to me.

…And that’s that! Be creative with your journal entries, guys! After I grade them, we’re going to have some fun making them into “flood” artifacts.


I’ll see y’all tomorrow!!


The Epic Flood of Thursdays!

Standard: RI.9-10.8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

Learning Target: Students will read a nonfiction article comparing the Genesis flood to the flood in Gilgamesh, and learn about bias and finding reliable sources.

Activator: Noah’s Ark

Welcome to a shiny new Thursday, everyone! Today we’re going to be continuing with our discussion of Gilgamesh, and reading a lil bit of nonfiction about it I found this article online that compares the flood we read about in Gilgamesh to the flood that’s written in the book of Genesis in the Bible…but….

..before we get into that, let’s actually do some comparison in our own minds, shall we? I know a lot of you guys are familiar with Noah’s story from the Bible, but just in case we need a refresher, I will read the story aloud to y’all while you follow along in the textbook (it starts on page 44). Now, with that read, let’s talk about comparing the two!

There is a lot of controversy over which story came first – Gilgamesh or Genesis – and this article talks a little about why it’s so important to so many people. However, one thing we need to consider when we read articles – especially ones from the internet – is something called bias.



Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Show prejudice for or against (someone or something) unfairly: “the tests were biased against women”; “a biased view of the world”.
Synonyms: noun. prejudice – inclination – partiality – tendency

verb. influence – prejudice

Interesting concept, right? If an author is prejudiced, or biased, towards one side or another, sometimes that belief comes across in their writing. It’s important for us, as scholars, to realize when an author is biased. Just because an author is biased does not mean they’re wrong – so don’t think I’m saying that – but it does mean that they’re unwilling to consider another point of view, or at least that they’re not considering another point of view in this particular piece.

Do you think an author can really make a good argument if they refuse to consider any other points of view? Do you think the author of this article is willing to look at the other side of things?

We’ll talk about what this means today while we read the article together and answer some questions

Monster Monday!

Standard: RL.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Learning Target: Students will be introduced to our new unit and read a short article on what makes a “monster.”

Activator: The Muppets reading “Jabberwocky”

I hope you guys are psyched about our new unit, because I sure am! This is one of my favorite units so far, and I’m really excited to be teaching it to y’all. It’s all about….MONSTERS! I know, I know, I’m awesome, please hold your applause.

Anyway, today I would like to start out by asking YOU all a question! On a little sheet of colored paper, I would like each of you to define the word “Monster” for me. What does it mean? What makes a monster? We will read these definitions together and see if we can come up with some notes about what you guys think it means to be a monster… I’ll post them here!

Afterwards, we’re going to read an article called “What Makes a Monster” by Donald Fergus, in which the author tries to answer that very question. To read this article, we’re going to use the SQUEEPERS method. We’ve done this before, so maybe it’ll be familiar to some of you. But, if not, here’s the drill:

  • S=survey
    • Preview the text
      • Look at the pictures/captions
      • Read highlighted/ bold words
      • Read headings/subheadinges
      • Think about what you are about to read
  • Q=question
    • Generate questions that we will be able to answer after we read (or look at questions on a test)
  • P=predict
    • Predict 1 to 3 things we will learn while reading
  • R=read
    • Read
      • Alone
      • With teacher
      • With partner
      • With a group
  • R=respond
    • Discuss which questions were answered
    • Review which questions weren’t answered
    • Eliminate questions that aren’t likely to be answered
    • Develop new questions
    • Continue surveying process
  • S=summarize
    • Summarize what we have learned

Sounds relatively easy, right?

Next up, we’re going to read a poem called “Jabberwocky,” the same one that we saw the Muppets perform earlier! This poem is about a monster called the Jabberwock. We will go through each stanza together, and as we do, I would like you to write on your paper (below your article summary) what is going on. When we’re finished, we’ll see if we have a consensus on what Lewis Carroll is saying. Finally, I would like you all to answer these three questions:

  1. What is the mood or tone of the poem? What are three adjectives Lewis Carroll uses to set the scene?
  2. Why is the Jabberwock dangerous? Why is it impressive that the boy killed the monster? List three words Lewis Carroll uses to tell you these things.
  3. (this is the hard one) Look up all six of the words you used above and write down their definitions as the dictionary gives them to you.

When this is turned in, we’re done for the day! YAY!

The Thursday Complex

Standard: RI.9-10.5. Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).

Learning Target: Students will read an article about the Oedipal complex and complete a margin-marking activity, then begin brainstorming for their persuasive essay.

Activator: The Who – Baba O’Riley

Today we’re going to do that margin-marking thing again :D Remember this from a week or so ago? It was when we made little symbols in the margins of an article to think our way through it, and then we talked about it. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Put a * next to anything you think would be worth discussing with the class. (3)
  • Put a ? next to anything that confuses you or that you have questions about. (2)
  • Put a ! next to any statement with which you strongly agree. (1)
  • Put a X next to any statement with which you strongly disagree.(1)

Right! So today’s article is about this thing called the oedipal complex, which basically says that all people have an inherent jealousy of their same-gender parent and an inherent desire to be with someone like their opposite-gender parent. This is where the idea that all women marry men exactly like their fathers come from… have you guys heard of that before? Anyway, as with most things in psychology, there is some debate as to whether or not this phenomenon is legit. So today we’re going to read an article that doesn’t look so much at people who might experience the oedipal complex, but that looks at the play and examines whether the oedipal complex exists at all. Sound fun? Cool!

After that, we’re going to talk about our persuasive essay for this unit. Here’s the gist of it:

Argumentative: What does it mean to suffer? Is suffering truly universal? In the book Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy says “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In contrast, however, Martin Luther King Jr. said that everyone suffers: “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” What do you think? Does the current generation suffer more or from worse things than past generations have – in other words, is life for you worse than it was for your parents? Teenagers often think that their life is harder than anyone else’s life has ever been, and likewise, adults often think that their own youth was a much simpler, easier time. What is your opinion? Does life continue to get worse and worse, or does everyone suffer to the same degree?

Due date: Tuesday, May 14th, 2012. Absolutely NO ESSAYS WILL BE ACCEPTED EVEN FOR LATE CREDIT after Friday, May 17th.

Write an essay in which you respond to the above questions. Your essay should meet the following criteria:

  • At least 750 words.
  • MLA Formatting
  • Formal Style – no 1st person, contractions, slang, etc.
  • You should answer all of the questions posed to you on the other side of this sheet in a full and complete manner. Remember to respond to the prompt, not just write how awful your life is.
  • Proper grammar and conventions, and stylistically engaging.
  • Your essay must be submitted on or before the due date. Late essays will not be accepted, as I will not have time to grade them before the semester is over.

We’ll go over the essay requirements and then I’ll give you guys some time to brainstorm and start getting your ideas down on paper, which we’ll probably do with a circle map. Tomorrow we’ll do another article that should help you in your stormbraining, and then next week is all about wrapping up loose ends!