Week 8: February 27th-March 3rd

What am I learning this week?

-This week we will be discussing the rhetorical analysis essay as it will appear on the AP exam.  Related skills involve using tone to create statements about diction and how to identify rhetorical strategies.

-As always on test prep Mondays, you will also complete two reading passages for multiple choice practice.  This will be a collaborative response and you will team with another group to discuss incorrect answers.

-We will also be looking at the characteristics of early American romanticism, and how the work of Washington Irving encapsulates this group.

-We will begin discussing the emergence of the American Hero through collaborative writing exercises.  This will lead to our focus on James Fenimore Cooper’s portrayal of the earliest American hero, Nathaniel Poe.

-We will conduct a critical screening, and follow up evaluation of Michael Mann’s film adaptation of Last of the Mohicans.

-You will be assessed on the early romantics, parallel reading of Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and the film with a written assessment at the end of the week.

How am I learning this?

-You will choose a collaborative learning partner to complete two reading passages for multiple choice practice exercises to start the week.  After the thirty minutes you will team with another collaborative pair to discuss incorrect answers.

-You will be provided with the handouts relating to tone,diction, and a comprehensive list of rhetorical devices.  Using the guide provided by Mrs. Pothel, we will be annotating and highlighting areas of importance related to the rhetorical analysis essay.

-You will be given a sample text on the front board.  Using sticky notes you will practice writing diction statements as one possible approach to a rhetorical analysis.  We will discuss the responses to this before you are provided with three other passages from the green trimmer book.  Using the handouts, you will annotate your copies as a prewriting activity.

-You will be given thirty minutes to complete a draft of your rhetorical analysis and to submit it to tutor.com.  Final drafts will be posted to your blog by 7:00 PM Wednesday.  You are being given time to consult the feedback you should receive from your private tutor.

-You will be taking notes from a direct instruction lecture on the characteristics of early romanticism.  We will begin reading and discussing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the remainder will be assigned for parallel reading.

-Before we finish the week with a discussion of the emergence of the American Hero, as well as beginning our critical screening of The Last of the Mohicans, you will be taking a reading test on your assigned chapters of Destiny of the Republic.

How am I being assessed?

-Collaborative multiple choice practice (formative)

-rhetorical analysis essay (formative)

-Three sample tone and diction statements (formative)

Destiny of the Republic reading test (summative)



Week 7: February 13th-17th

What am I learning this week?

-This week we will start with the return of AP Lang guru, Mrs. Pothel.  She’ll be covering reading passages 9 & 10 (Twain & Abbott) and going over multiple choice strategies.

-We will be taking the comprehensive unit 2 test on American Rationalism.  This assessment is lengthy and will take one class block.

-In order to prepare for the rhetorical analysis essay at the end of the week, we will be discussing this free response question as I direct you to the appropriate Quizlet study set, as well as highlighting key strategies in the “Surviving the AP English Language Exam” guide provided by Mrs. Pothel last week.  I will be providing you with handouts for tone words and rhetorical devices.

-We will be viewing episode three of “John Adams” to provide context for the rhetorical analysis.

-I will be assessing your reading of chapters 1-3 of Destiny of the Republic with a reading quiz in the middle of the week.

-In order to begin our next unit on early American romanticism, we will be taking Cornell-style notes on this subject.  We will also begin an in-class reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

-We will begin the Usher Real Estate Project near the end of the week.  Completed pamphlets will be collected the first day we return from Winter Break.

How am I learning this?

-As stated, Mrs. Pothel will be with us at the beginning of the week to go over two reading passage practices, as well as to discuss multiple choice test-taking strategies.

-You will be taking the unit 2 test on Tuesday.  This is a lengthy assessment and will take the entire class block.  Students that finish early can either read for the reading quiz, or get ahead in their reading of Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard.

-You will be taking a short reading assessment on chapters 1-3 of Destiny of the Republic before we begin discussing the characteristics of early American romanticism.

-We will be doing a popcorn reading of the short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe.  This will provide context for the Usher Real Estate Project we will be constructing throughout the rest of this week.  I will be showing episodes of “John Adams” as you work for atmosphere.

How am I being assessed?

-Reading passages 9 & 10 (formative)

-Unit 2- American Rationalism Test (summative)

Destiny of the Republic chapters 1-3 readinf quiz (formative)

-Usher Real Estate Project (summative, eventually)

Unit 2 Test Study Resources

In order to prepare for the lengthy unit 2 test that will be administered this coming Friday, please consult the following listed resources:

-Your foldable review booklet should list the characteristics of the Rational Era.  If you misplaced it, you can find it here. (intro-to-rationalism)

-Unit vocabulary can be found on the class Quizlet.

-You will be responsible for general facts about the following figures from the Rational Era: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, and Claude Debussy

-You will be responsible for identifying the following rhetorical strategies most employed by the Founding Fathers:




Rhetorical Question

-Finally, I will be asking you to fully annotate an excerpt from Thomas Paine’s revolutionary pamphlet, Crisis No.9.  Here is the excerpt for your preview: the-crisis-excerpt

Here are some tips on how to best annotate a text.

Monday’s Resource Toolbox

Here is your Resource Toolbox for today’s learning center activities:

Station #1- Evaluating the Historical Truth Behind Paul Revere’s Ride:

-Use this information from the Paul Revere Heritage Project to fill out the accompanying handout.


Station #2- Evaluating the Music of the Early  19th Century

-Use the class handout to discuss the differences between contemporary music and compositions from the early nineteenth century.  Be sure to let me know when to play the playlist that has been set up for this.  You’ll need to read this short biography of Claude Debussy.  Of special interest should be the section titled “Mathematical Structuring.”  You can also find the lyrics to the Beastie Boy’s song “Paul Revere.” here


Station #3- Rationalist Architecture

-Use the material provided to your group (toothpicks, glue, and clock faces) to create a minimum five inch, free-standing structure that reflects the beliefs of the Rationalist and their worldview.  Refer to our earlier discussion of how the layout of a Puritan village reflected their xenophobia and views towards the Native Americans and the wilderness.  What layout can your group design to reflect the Rationalist views?  Be sure to provide an explanation on the sticky note and affix it to your finished structure.

Station #4- Founding Fathers Action Movie Poster

-Read the short biographies of the first three presidents, provided to you in class.  Choose one president to recommend design choices for our Expert Artist.  On the sticky note provide bulleted facts that emphasize an aspect of that president’s life.  How could this be displayed to create a movie poster for a fictional action movie made about this president?  Be sure to affix your sticky note to the poster provided on the front board.

George Washington

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson



Week 6: February 6th-10th

What am I learning this week?

-This week we will be concluding our discussion of the Rational Era by looking at the early career and presidency of our first three presidents.  Later in the week we will focus on the presidency of John Adams.  Of special interest to us will be the collaborative relationship he had with his wife, Abigail.

-We’ll start the week with our multiple choice practice, followed by three learning stations that focus on the historical truth behind Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” collaboratively create a class movie poster for one of the three first presidents, and investigate how both architecture and music expresses the hanging paradigm of the early nineteenth century.

-This week we will be finishing one unit and beginning another.  Specifically, we will be moving from our understanding and discussion of Rationalism into early American Romanticism.  Our central text for this unit will be Destiny of the Republic by Candace Willard

-We will also continue our multiple choice test-taking strategies in order to best prepare for the AP exam.

-Finally, we will be closing out the Rationalism unit with a comprehensive unit test

How am I learning it?

-We will be looking at episodes 1-3 of the mini-series John Adams.  To focus on the relationship Adams shared with his wife, we will be looking at their personal correspondence.  In conjunction with the new study set on Quizlet (rhetorical devices set #3), and the Tone Words handout, we will do group annotations of a letter from Abigail Adams to her son, and future president, John Quincy Adams.  This will form the basis for your first rhetorical analysis essays.

-You will be reading and discussing, in small structure micro-seminar groups, chapters 1-3 of Destiny of the Republic before taking a reading quiz on this material.

-Mrs. Pothel will be in to speak to you about multiple choice strategies on the AP exam.  Of course we will be starting Monday’s test prep session with a paired reading passage from the green trimmer workbook. You will be working with another person to complete this multiple choice practice.

-The final day of this week we will be taking the comprehensive test on American Rationalism.  This will take the entire class period.

How am I being assessed?

Group annotations, letter from Abigail Adams to John Quincy Adams (formative)

-AP multiple choice reading passage and practice #6-7 (formative)

-Comprehensive unit 2 test- American Rationalism (summative)