Tag Archive for teen angst

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.

Go!

Computer Lab Tuesday!

Welcome back to the lab, everyone!! Just a couple reminders:

Your essay is due TODAY!!!!!

Your Oedipus unit test is THURSDAY!!!!

Your FINAL EXAMS ARE NEXT WEEK!!!!

Now, get to your essay, and enjoy this picture of a flowerpot:

I had a big weekend, so I kinda forgot to blog.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Anyway, we’re in the computer lab today, and I want you guys to get as much done on the suffering essay you brainstormed for on Friday as you can get done today. Remember, if you’re able to turn the essay in to me today, I’ll give you ten points extra credit for getting it in early.

Here is the essay prompt, in case anyone needs a reminder:

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.

It’s FRIDAY! And I’m Not Here!

Welcome to Friday! Tomororw it’s THE WEEKEND!!!

Standard: W.9-10.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence; Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

Learning Target: Students will compare two songs and whether or not the subjects “suffer equally,” then they will brainstorm for their essay.

Activator: Blue October – Into the Ocean

And after we do this one, I want to share a couple of other things with you. Yesterday the question came up about whether or not you could write about suffering across cultures and the differences in, say, rich and poor, Americans and people from other countries, people of different races, etc. To that end, I want to share these two songs with you, which were recommended to me by a student from last semester:

Brenda’s Got a Baby

Fairly Oddparents Theme Song

Now, a question. Brenda from the first song obviously suffered quite a bit, didn’t she? But so does Timmy Turner throughout the show, which is why he’s deemed worthy of Fairy Godparents. Who suffers more? Is it fair to tell Timmy that his life and problems are trivial compared to what someone else is going through? Doesn’t someone always have it worse than you – and does that make your own suffering any less real?

If you would like to make this argument, then that’s fine, but make sure you consider all points of view before you do it :)

We’re so close to the weekend I can taste it…mmm…weekend… *drool*

Anyway, today is all about brainstorming it up for our essay. I want these essays to be perfection, so we’re gonna do it right and go the whole 9 yards on prewriting and brainstorming and whatnot.

The goal today is for everyone to outline their essay. So, on a sheet of paper, first thing I want is for everyone to take a few minutes to come up with a strong thesis statement. When you’ve got one, raise your hand and I’ll come check it off. Remember, your thesis statement should be a single strong sentence that states your opinion and gives a reason for it. You should never use informal language such as first person in your thesis!

After we’re thesised up, I would like for you to come up with a good topic sentence for each of your body paragraphs. In a 500 word essay, I would not expect you to have more than four body paragraphs. So come up with a good topic sentence for each. Remember that it should be related in some way to your thesis – this is the claim part of your argument.

Next, I want to work on transitions between paragraphs, so for each of your topic sentences, come up with a conclusion sentence that will go at the end of your paragraph. This should contain some kind of transition between what you’re talking about now, and what you’re about to say.

That should take us to the end of class, but if you’re a rockstar that finishes early, you can start matching the arguments from your tree map to the topic sentences on your paper. Sound good? Good! We’ll do more with this on Monday :D

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!