May 1, 2020 (Friday)

2 Gatsby Project Reviews and the Prose Prompt about “The Street”

Because we’ve FINALLY made it May, here’s a song likely none of you know from the musical “Camelot”–“May, the Lusty Month of May!”

I post it here only because it’s finally MAY!

For you SENIORS–3 WEEKS LEFT! (As if I had to tell you that.)

ASSIGNMENT: Finish your two Gatsby Project Reviews. Complete your “The Street” Essay prompt and turn in by MIDNIGHT tonight.

That is all.

April 30, 2020 (Thursday)

New Essay to write and Updates from College Board about the Exam

We’ve been gifted with this file giving all the details about the AP Exam on Wednesday, May 13: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-testing-guide-2020.pdf?SFMC_cid=EM305178-&rid=52564136

We’ll go over the key points in class.

Here’s a useful 2-page checklist for the day of the exam: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-student-exam-day-checklist.pdf?SFMC_cid=EM305178-&rid=52564136

NEXT ESSAY! We’re going to do a couple more of these before the exam to give you plenty of practice, even if you aren’t taking the exam. This question is from the 2009 Exam: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/apc/ap09_frq_english_literature.pdf

We’ll read through and discuss this in our Zoom Meeting, looking for strategies to answer it.

ASSIGNMENT: Spend 30 minutes writing an essay response to the 2009 question. DUE Friday before midnight. Remember to write your TWO REVIEWS on the Great Gatsby projects and turn those in before midnight on Friday as well!

April 29, 2020 (Wednesday)

Review your peers’ Great Gatsby projects!

(Remember to finish your Great Gatsby AP prompt essay and turn it in by TONIGHT!)

PROJECT REVIEWS!

Below is a Google Link for the projects from both class periods.
Scroll through and see what your peers learned, created, and/or performed. These are a lot of fun!

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT:

Choose TWO projects (doesn’t have to be from your class–you can mix-and-match) and write a short review of those to share with me. These are informal reviews, designed to give you an opportunity to look/watch/or listen carefully to a few projects.

On a Google Doc, create two reviews which:

  • Briefly describe the project (include name of the project if there is one, and the name of the student who created it);
  • Evaluates what, specifically, in the project creates a “Gatsby” feel;
  • Describes briefly how well–in the reviewer’s opinion–the “Gatsby” feel was presented.

Do this twice, for two different projects, but keep them on the same document. No one else will see your reviews except for me.

These reviews are due FRIDAY, May 1st, before midnight. (Remember to also turn in your Gatsby essay, assigned yesterday.)

PROJECTS are on THIS GOOGLE DRIVE LINK! Notice that there are a couple of FILES in there because students turned in multiple images.

I’ve put on all that I’ve received. If you turned yours in, but don’t see it here, EMAIL ME so I can find it.

We will have another Zoom Meeting on THURSDAY, because we have another essay to do. That essay will also be due on Friday before midnight.

April 28, 2020 (Tuesday)

The Great Gatsby Essay!

I know all of you are looking forward to writing this. We’re going to do it as another AP Prompt practice.

IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT AP EXAM: I’ve learned that the prose passage they’ll have you analyze will come with NO author name and NO title, so it’ll be nearly impossible for you to find it on the internet. Clever, clever.

Also they will send you an “entrance ticket” through your email a few days before the exam. You should have already received an email from them explaining this, but only three of you responded, according to the AP people and the email they sent me. PLEASE check for those emails. You need them!

AP Prose Prompt Essay

I created this prompt by looking at past questions and creating something appropriate to what we read. During our Zoom meeting we’ll discuss possibilities for answering this. As before, I’ll try to record this meeting and post it for those who can’t join us.

TONE is a big part of this essay, and an AP Lit teacher just posted this on the group’s Facebook page: a list of “tone” words. This is a great reference about different kinds of tone. Sometimes I think we get pigeon-holed into thinking of only a few kinds of descriptions (happy, funny, angry, sad), but this list broadens that considerably.

Here’s the Zoom Meeting we had today about this essay and some suggestions of how to respond to it:

HOMEWORK:

Time yourself and spend ONLY 30 minutes typing up this essay. Share with me by WEDNESDAY before midnight.

And now, some great memes to share, because there are a LOT for Gatsby:

image
Nerd, Okie Dokie, and School: April 15 at 11:18am
 You're not special for reading the great gatsby, we all went to high school.
 Like Comment Unfollow Post
 and 7 others like this.
 Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that
 all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.
 3 hours ago via mobile Like
 okie dokie let's tone it down here, I was just making a joke
 3 hours ago Like
 So was I, that's the first line of the book.
 1
 3 hours ago via mobile Like
 what
 3 hours ago Like
 i didn't read the book
 3 hours ago Like s 3
dat-chem-nerd:

This is the best picture
Gryffindor, Jay, and Jay Gatsby: robinhook:
 diabanrion
 The new Harry Potter is gonna be
 set in the 1920's and so was the
 Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby saw a
 green light across the lake l'm not
 saying death eaters but death
 eaters
 Havada kedavra old sport
Just going to leave this here
~Hazel Prior the Gryffindor from Panem

April 27, 2020 (Monday)

FINISH Great Gatsby Project!

Many of you have already shared with me your project. Remember you have until TUESDAY before MIDNIGHT to complete this and turn it in. I will post them on this website for Wednesday.

Email me with any questions you have.

TUESDAY we will have a Zoom Meeting about the essay you will write about The Great Gatsby. Check your email for that invitation.

April 16, 2020 (Thursday)

The Great Gatsby reading and creativity project

First, make sure you’ve turned in you Peregrine Pickle Essay Prompt before MIDNIGHT tonight (Thursday).

Next–we’re reading Gatsby! You will need to
a) pick up a copy from the office–Mr. Reynolds will run a copy out to you, but I have only 24 copies so it’s first come, first served; or,
b) read it online here.

And I’m giving you a lot of freedom. So here’s what I expect–by NEXT TUESDAY, April 28, you should:

  • have read the entire novel (it’s not a hard read at all);
  • have completed one of creative projects listed here. (If you have another idea for a project, let me know.)

Notice that the DUE DATE for the project is TUESDAY, April 28th. That’s because I anticipate by Monday, I’ll have a few people messaging me in a panic saying, “Wait, is that due today?!” and I can say, “No, tomorrow–so hurry up!”

I will assign you an essay–Prose Prompt #2 style–to write, likely for Wednesday. We’ll have a Zoom Meeting on Tuesday, April 28th to discuss it first. But if you haven’t read the book, you’ll struggle with the essay. SO READ THE BOOK! (You’ll need to in order to complete a creative project appropriately.)

SHARE with me your project once it’s completed. If you finish early and want to share it early, go ahead. Otherwise, it’s due Tuesday, April 28th.

I will compile all of them on the website so we can all see what everyone did. This should be pretty fun and entertaining. (You will also be required to write a quick review of TWO of the projects, but that won’t be until later that week.)

Here’s the Zoom Meeting from today where I try to explain aspects of the project and give some background about Gatsby.

GREAT GATSBY BACKGROUND:

Watch this short video to learn about F. Scott Fitzgerald, who “captured perfectly the 1920s.” Think about how different the 2020s are or might be.

(This video is fun in that you see how people lived back then–real photos, not recreations.)

Here are some great insights I stole from someone else:

THE JAZZ AGE

F. Scott Fitzgerald became famous as the chronicler of the 1920s.  According to several sources, Fitzgerald named the 1920s the Jazz Age.  He was right.  Music celebrated the emotions of the people who believed America was at its peak.  The snazzy tunes ran through the veins of flappers and their dance partners.  The music gave way to freedom, or so it seemed.  Men like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington began paving the way for exploration in American musical style.

These dresses–everywhere!

FAMOUS PEOPLE

The 1920s in America produced many famous people: Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin, Henry Ford, Gaston Chevrolet, “Bugs” Moran, and Clara Bow. The Volstead Act of 1919 gave life to such characters as Bugs Moran and Al Capone.  One famous, mysterious incident between the two men was the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.  The mystery around the murders still provokes curiosity today.  In the infant stages of the movie industry, one famous little tramp emerged–Charlie Chaplin. 

Famous People of the 1920's Vol. 1 Hand drawn clip art by VinitaArt

THE AUTOMOBILE

One important symbol in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the automobile.  It represents the reckless convictions of the flapper society.  At the beginning of the novel, the reader hears Nick’s account of a party where a car wrecks and chaos abounds.  The automobile was a dangerous weapon in the hands of carefree, irresponsible people.  It still is; Fitzgerald’s lesson lives on.

Dresses+cars

Women in fur coats standing by a luxurious convertible, circa 1920. 

TRENDS

  One memorable dance developed in the 1920s was the Charleston.  Other trends in entertainment came in the movie industry.  Further, some of the most famous people of the 1920s were flappers.  These women set fashion trends for years to come, along with some dance moves.

(Seriously, guys–could you imagine any of you dancing at prom like this? These moves actually take some real skill and practice!)

Keep all of these ideas and images in mind as you read the book. It helps to be in a 1920s mood.

Lastly, check out this. Libraries used to be “Google” in that people would call a library to find out information. Not long ago, the questions gathered by librarians in the New York City library were discovered. This one looks like it should have been dated 1922 (not 1967):

(Man, I really want to know how that story above ended!)

But none of the Roaring Twenties was going to last:

America’s era of prosperity would come to a screeching halt with the stock market crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. By 1930, 4 million Americans were unemployed; that number would reach 15 million by 1933, the Depression’s lowest point.

https://www.history.com/news/great-gatsby-roaring-twenties-fitzgerald-dark-side

ASSIGNMENT: Read The Great Gatsby and do a creative project by Tuesday, April, 28. That is all. Have a great spring break. Holler if you need me or have any questions.
I’ll update this website again for Monday, April 27.

April 15, 2020 (Wednesday–otherwise known as, “Tuesday–take two”)

Everything I assigned for Tuesday we’re doing Wednesday, since we lost yesterday because of power and internet outages.

Prose Prompt “Peregrine Pickle”

(Try saying that headig five times fast. I did. Try it. See if you don’t say “prickle” like I keep saying. Dang. I said “prickle” again.)

In yesterday’s post I assigned you to write your own Cheat Sheet of Definitions–the literary terms that most frequently occur in these prose prompts. Those definitions are due Tuesday before midnight.

Today, I’m going to assign you another essay to actually write, not just create an outline for. This one was in 2017 exam, and over our Zoom Meeting, I’ll read it out loud, have you follow along, then we’ll discuss how to answer this.

Here’s the Question #2 (on page 3)

https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-english-literature-frq-2017.pdf?course=ap-english-literature-and-composition

Let’s look closer at the prompt terms: “In a well-developed essay, analyze how the author explores the complex interplay between emotions and social propriety in the passage. You may wish to consider such literary techniques as dialogue, narrative pace, and tone.”

They’re nice in this one to give us some direction:

  1. interplay between emotions and social propriety“–this reminds me of “Earnest” and how people were supposed to behave, even though they wanted to act in ways other than they should. So what do these words mean, really? How are these two characters feeling?
  2. “dialogue, narrative pace, and tone”–just because they list these does NOT mean you have to discuss all three, according to some AP Readers I’ve been stalking online. Chances are, you won’t have these suggestions on your exam, but since they’re apparently in this piece, let’s try to find them and see how they relate to the essay.

We’ll discuss this prompt in our Zoom Meeting today (I’ll also try to record it and post it here later for those who can’t join us).

And here it is (Sorry, there’s some annoying feedback, probably from my mic.):

ASSIGNMENT: Turn in your Cheat Sheet of definitions by Tuesday at midnight. WRITE an essay responding to the Peregrine Pickle passage, due THURSDAY before midnight. TIME YOURSELF–we spent a lot of time discussing it today, so give yourself no more than 30 minutes to write this up. Shoot for two pages, double-spaced, on Google Docs.

Looking Ahead: A few people have asked what we’re doing in the next few days. Here it is: Wednesday I’ll give you something more to read, but I won’t assign another essay until Thursday. We’ll go through another prose prompt and have you write that essay for Thursday/Friday.

THE GREAT GATSBY–YES! We’re doing this! And I will assign you to read it over spring break. If you wish to start now, you certainly may. If you want to wait until they weekend, that’s fine too.

NO! NO PARTIES! NOT ALLOWED!

I have 24 paperback copies which I will leave at the front office if you wish to pick one up. You realize what that means, right? Some of you WILL have to read it online. I’m sorry I can’t purchase additional copies; we have a freeze on spending at the school right now (they’re trying to keep the budget stable since nothing else is–understandable, and appreciated).

So if you REALLY want a paperback, it’s first come, first served. Come to the school, let Mr. Reynolds know you’re out there, and he’ll run it to your car. (You can return Huck Finn at the same time, if you remember to.)

There are several places to read it online, like here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=bWVubG9hdGhlcnRvbmhzLmNvbXxtcnMtYmVyZ2hvdXNlLWVuZ2xpc2gtMjAxM3xneDo0MjM5ZDNlNjFlNjExM2Ey (You can download this to your phone, tablet, computer.)

I want you to have read this book by MONDAY, April 20. You do NOT have questions to answer or logs to do, but a CREATIVE PROJECT which I want to see the results of by Monday, April 27.

There are a lot of options on this creative project. I tried to find ideas to appeal to each of your varying interests. If you have another idea, let me know and we can come up with some strategies for it.

You will SHARE your projects with me, and I will PUT THEM ON THE WEBSITE, so both classes can see what you’ve come up with. I expect this to be FUN and DIFFERENT!

We will do a writing task over the book AFTER spring break–another timed essay–so yes, you really should read the book.

Questions? Suggestions? Please let me know. Again, you do NOT have to begin Gatsby or the project just yet, but for those of you who have been asking and want to get a jump on things, here you go.

April 14, 2020 (Tuesday) REVISED–SHIFT TO WEDNESDAY

Since we lost Tuesday because of power and internet outages, we’ll just shift all of this to WEDNESDAY.

Prose Prompt “Peregrine Pickle”

(Try saying that headig five times fast. I did. Try it. See if you don’t say “prickle” like I keep saying. Dang. I said “prickle” again.)

In yesterday’s post I assigned you to write your own Cheat Sheet of Definitions–the literary terms that most frequently occur in these prose prompts. Those definitions are due Tuesday before midnight.

Today, I’m going to assign you another essay to actually write, not just create an outline for. This one was in 2017 exam, and over our Zoom Meeting, I’ll read it out loud, have you follow along, then we’ll discuss how to answer this.

Here’s the Question #2 (on page 3)

https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-english-literature-frq-2017.pdf?course=ap-english-literature-and-composition

Let’s look closer at the prompt terms: “In a well-developed essay, analyze how the author explores the complex interplay between emotions and social propriety in the passage. You may wish to consider such literary techniques as dialogue, narrative pace, and tone.”

They’re nice in this one to give us some direction:

  1. interplay between emotions and social propriety“–this reminds me of “Earnest” and how people were supposed to behave, even though they wanted to act in ways other than they should. So what do these words mean, really? How are these two characters feeling?
  2. “dialogue, narrative pace, and tone”–just because they list these does NOT mean you have to discuss all three, according to some AP Readers I’ve been stalking online. Chances are, you won’t have these suggestions on your exam, but since they’re apparently in this piece, let’s try to find them and see how they relate to the essay.

We’ll discuss this prompt in our Zoom Meeting today (I’ll also try to record it and post it here later for those who can’t join us).

ASSIGNMENT: Turn in your Cheat Sheet of definitions by Tuesday at midnight. WRITE an essay responding to the Peregrine Pickle passage, due WEDNESDAY before midnight. TIME YOURSELF–we spent a lot of time discussing it today, so give yourself no more than 30 minutes to write this up. Shoot for two pages, double-spaced, on Google Docs.

Looking Ahead: A few people have asked what we’re doing in the next few days. Here it is: Wednesday I’ll give you something more to read, but I won’t assign another essay until Thursday. We’ll go through another prose prompt and have you write that essay for Thursday/Friday.

THE GREAT GATSBY–YES! We’re doing this! And I will assign you to read it over spring break. If you wish to start now, you certainly may. If you want to wait until they weekend, that’s fine too.

NO! NO PARTIES! NOT ALLOWED!

I have 24 paperback copies which I will leave at the front office if you wish to pick one up. You realize what that means, right? Some of you WILL have to read it online. I’m sorry I can’t purchase additional copies; we have a freeze on spending at the school right now (they’re trying to keep the budget stable since nothing else is–understandable, and appreciated).

So if you REALLY want a paperback, it’s first come, first served. Come to the school, let Mr. Reynolds know you’re out there, and he’ll run it to your car. (You can return Huck Finn at the same time, if you remember to.)

There are several places to read it online, like here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=bWVubG9hdGhlcnRvbmhzLmNvbXxtcnMtYmVyZ2hvdXNlLWVuZ2xpc2gtMjAxM3xneDo0MjM5ZDNlNjFlNjExM2Ey (You can download this to your phone, tablet, computer.)

I want you to have read this book by MONDAY, April 20. You do NOT have questions to answer or logs to do, but a CREATIVE PROJECT which I want to see the results of by Monday, April 27.

There are a lot of options on this creative project. I tried to find ideas to appeal to each of your varying interests. If you have another idea, let me know and we can come up with some strategies for it.

You will SHARE your projects with me, and I will PUT THEM ON THE WEBSITE, so both classes can see what you’ve come up with. I expect this to be FUN and DIFFERENT!

We will do a writing task over the book AFTER spring break–another timed essay–so yes, you really should read the book.

Questions? Suggestions? Please let me know. Again, you do NOT have to begin Gatsby or the project just yet, but for those of you who have been asking and want to get a jump on things, here you go.

April 13, 2020 (Monday)

FINISH TWAIN SATIRE (Monday) and MAKE A LIST (Tuesday)!

Many of you have already finished the two Twain satire pieces. If you haven’t, don’t panic–it’s not due until midnight tonight. You have time.

On Tuesday I’ll assign another AP Prompt Essay, this one not as annoying to read as the Hawthorne piece. In fact, I rather enjoy this one and plan to read the book that it comes from this summer.

But before we get to that, I found another excellent bit of advice from an AP Lit teacher/reader, and we’re going to do this assignment for tomorrow.

HOMEWORK:

“In years past, the prompt would occasionally give you a list of three literary elements to consider. Now, it’s standard that the prompt will say, ‘how the author uses various literary techniques to…’ It won’t tell you which ones to look for, you have to determine which ones are important on your own. I have [actually the AP Lit teacher/reader whom I stole this from] compiled a list below of common literary techniques found in prose prompts.

You should recognize these terms below that the AP Reader compiled–you were quizzed on most of them, and we’ve discussed them in class. (Sadly, we didn’t get to discuss all of these to the extent I was planning to by now, but this is what we’re stuck with.)

For Tuesday, I want you to create a “cheat sheet”. We’ve been told that for the AP Exam on May 13th you can use notes. This list below will be the best notes you can have!

Yes, you could just copy the lit terms from the booklet you all helped compile, but if you write definitions yourself, and examples yourself, you will remember and internalize these terms FAR better. Then, when you take the exam, you can have this sheet next to you so you can quickly remember which literary device is which, and identify which one(s) seem to be appearing in the passage you read.

Your assignment is to create a Google doc where you explain what each of these terms mean IN YOUR OWN WORDS. You can provide examples if you want. These don’t need to be more than a line or two.

  1. characterization
  2. tone
  3. selection of detail
  4. dialogue
  5. point of view
  6. narrative pace
  7. conflict
  8. setting
  9. diction
  10. imagery
  11. symbolism
  12. irony
  13. paradox
  14. juxtaposition
  15. syntax

This is due TUESDAY before midnight. Share with me on a Google Doc.

April 10, 2020 (Friday)/April 13, 2020 (Monday)

FINISH your Hawthorne outline that was assigned yesterday.

(I’ve become a little confused about assignments and times, so this post is covering Friday to Monday. I think. I don’t know. Just read on . . .)

For Monday, read two Mark Twain satirical pieces.

First, you need to understand SATIRE. One student defined it for me as, “Lying and teasing to make a point.” Not entirely incorrect.

Think about “The Onion,” or “Babylon Bee.” These are satirical websites which are, far too often, very accurate.

The PURPOSE of satire is to draw attention to a social or political problem, and motivate people to change it. While often funny, satire is NOT about humor or entertainment, but is attempting to shake people and say, “THIS IS WRONG! FIX THIS!” but in a less violent way. “The aim of satire is, or should be, to improve human institutions and/or humanity.”

For example, take a look at this satirical video that teachers love. What is the OVERALL message they’re trying to make with this video? (That real people doing real jobs should be celebrated far more than athletes.)

Satire is “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

Often there’s nothing we can do about a present situation, except to demonstrate that it exists. For example, there’s been a lot of satire around our toilet paper shortages:

Image may contain: 1 person

Now, taken literally, this photo is ridiculous. Why is this guy dressed up in 1700s-era clothing with a toilet paper wig, various cleaning supplies, and a carton of eggs?

But the caption to this photo is, “Flaunting my wealth to the commoners.” This photo is ironic–which is closely related to satire–in that just a few months ago, every “commoner” had such items, but now with panic buying, these are important signs of wealth. The satire is that photo is staged back when wealthy kings would have paintings done of themselves with all of their wealth around them. Ironically, this is now our “wealth.”

This picture is funny, but it’s also true and points out a problem which, in the future, we really need to address. (The BIG questions are, what exactly is the problem–people unprepared, people panicked, people misunderstanding what the real threats are–and once we figure out the problem, what’s the solution?) Think of this again: “The aim of satire is, or should be, to improve human institutions and/or humanity.”

The most shocking and appalling piece of satire came out waaay back in 1729, called “A Modest Proposal,” by Jonathan Swift. (He also wrote Gulliver’s Travels.)

There was a huge national tragedy of sorts in Ireland at the time–immense poverty among the Catholics. Swift wrote his essay (anonymously) providing a solution: eat the babies. Catholics have so many babies, and the meat is tender and delicious. If they’re starving, just eat their babies. Problem solved.

Well, people were shocked at that “proposal,nor did Swift mean it seriously at all. He was trying to shed light on a great tragedy, and by taking it to an extreme he finally got some people to pay attention to the plight of the Catholics.

Mark Twain was also a great satirist, and what you’ll read for Monday is NOT about eating babies, don’t worry.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT:

READ these two Twain essays:

Then complete THIS Google Doc. There are a few tasks covering THREE pages, so make sure you do all of them.

This reading and responding assignment is due MONDAY, April 13, before midnight.