Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Peer Review Questions

  1. Does the author use indirect and not all direct characterization?  Give an example of indirect characterization.
  2. Who is the protagonist?  Is the protagonist dynamic?  If yes, how so, and does it fit with the message of the story?  If no, is the character still functioning with the conflict and the climax in a way that makes sense?
  3. What is the story's central conflict?  
  4. Map out a plot diagram of this story.  Explain if it has all the essential pieces or not.
  5. If the story is completed, does it end without dragging things out for too long after the climax?
  6. Does it avoid following a cliche story line?  How?
  7. Favorite quote in the story: 
  8. What is something you would suggest the author change about the story?
  9. What did you like overall about the story?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stream of Consciousness


  • Practice SoC analysis with Woolf's "The Mark on the Wall"
  • Hand in own SoC piece
  • Bring in at least two pages for peer review tomorrow

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014



  • POL information and extra credit:
  • "Monday or Tuesday" analysis
  • Continue to work on writing piece for 12/19

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stream of Consciousness and Virginia Woolf


  • Review SoC
  • Reading "A Haunted House"
    • What are the motifs in the story?
    • What is a theme that you can gather from the anchor that these motifs provide?
  • Writing your own SoC
    • If I could do it all again...
    • I've never believed...
    • I wish there were more...
    • My biggest worry...
    • I'm most proud of...
  • Come with one of these prompts chosen to work on in class tomorrow

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stream of Consciousness Intro


  • Excerpt from "On the Road"
  • Reading Questions
  • Stream of Consciousness Notes
  • Continue working on project due 12/9

Plot Project Directions

Finish plot diagrams in class.  Full project due Dec. 19th.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cliche Plots


  • Review of 7 Story Plots
  • Use one to create most cliche story
  • Now try to make it more interesting

Plot Diagrams Reviewed


  • Discussion of Munro and "How I Met My Husband"
  • Reading: 7 Basic Plot Structures
  • Finish reading handout

Wednesday, December 3, 2014



  • Edits to the "I-Remembers"
  • Be prepared to talk plot tomorrow

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Plot Intro


  • Review Characterization
  • Plot PPT Notes
  • Plot NanoWrimo Handout
  • Diagram "How I Met My Husband"
  • Answer questions

Friday, November 21, 2014

Poetic Structures Quiz


  • Quiz
  • Read "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"
  • Answer discussion questions

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Iceberg Principle Questions

  • What is Hemingway's iceberg principle--in your own words?
  • How do six-word stories build off of the iceberg principle?
  • In what ways does Wood suggests that the principle applies to characterization?
  • How might we infer that it further applies to characterization?
  • How Well Do You Know Your Characters?


    • Write 3 questions that you might ask someone new.
    • Rotate to each person in the class and answer their questions as your character.
    Journal:  Free Write a morning in the life of your character

    • Poetic Structures sheet due tomorrow for review
    • Poetic Structures test on Friday

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Characterization Continued


    • Reading
    • How does it relate to "A Rose for Emily"?
    • Character Survey
    • Complete your character survey for tomorrow
    • Worksheet on poetic structures due Thursday

    Monday, November 17, 2014



    • Presentation + Notes
    • Worksheet on structures due on Wednesday
    • Friday: Test on Poetic Structures

    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    Workshop Day

    Continue working on your projects, and remember, they are due on 11/12!

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014



    • What do we remember about characterization?
    • River Charts
    • Creating Emily's river chart
    • Finish reading "A Rose for Emily"
    • Create a chart based on Emily's characterization at the end

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Vocab CFA

    • Vocab CFA
    • Project on Poetic Structures due Nov 12th

    Monday, November 3, 2014

    Workshop Day


    • Finish movie viewing
    • Review questions and rewrites
    • Workshop time for poetry projects
    • Poetry Structure Project due Nov 12th 

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    The Raven Day 2


    • Finish viewing


    • Monday: Be sure your worksheet is filled out
    • Monday: Change the language of your piece to change the mood of the story

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    The Effects of Diction


    • Reading "The Raven" for understanding
    • PPT
    • Viewing


    • Circle words that stick out to you
    • What are the connotations of these words?
    • How do they affect mood and/or tone?

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Poetic Structure Workshop Day

    Workshop Day


    • Poe, "The Raven" reading, and The Raven viewing coming up
    • Projects due Nov 12th 

    Monday, October 27, 2014

    Poetic Structures Project

    Ms. Hoffmann
    Creative Writing

    Poetic Structures Project
    *To practice researching and presenting new information related to our course of study.
    *To practice analyzing a new poetic form using what we have learned throughout the unit about poetry.
    *To practice utilizing what we have learned in order to create our own, original pieces.  

    Now that we have spent quarter one learning about poetry, it is time for you to show off what you know about poetic analysis and to teach something to your peers in the process.  You will be selecting a specific poetic form and teaching your classmates about it.  Beyond the basics of what the form is, you will walk the class through an analysis of a sample, professional poem written in that structure, and you will present your own, creative piece.  

    Part 1--Background Knowledge

    Before you can write in a certain poetic form--or even present its characteristics, for that matter--you need to know what it is.  

    1. Read the packet that I provide you on the poetic form of your choice.  (You need to stick with the one that you select as each person needs to do a different form.  Swaps only will be considered under extenuating circumstances.)  

    1. Find two additional sites that provide you with information on your chosen form.  Make sure that these are credible sources.  The information should mesh with and build upon what I provide you in my short handout.  
      1. Take notes on what this source tells you.  You will need them later!!!!  I will be looking for them!!!
      2. Jot down the citation information for your source.  This does not have to be in MLA format yet.  

    1. Answer the following questions about your chosen form:

    • Source #1:  

    • Source #2:

    • Any other sources you needed to consult:

    • What is the name of your form?

    • What would you say is the dictionary definition describing this poetic form?

    • When did it originate?

    • Where did it originate?

    • From your sources, can you tell if it is a commonly used structure?  Now?  Sometime in the past?

    • Is there someone credited with its invention?  Give some information on said person.

    • Is there a set meter for your poetic structure?

    • Is there a set rhyme scheme?

    • What other requirements does your poetic structure have?

    • Create a visual representation of what your poetic structure looks like.  For example, if I was to map a Haiku, my representation might look like this:
    7 syllables presenting a 1st idea or image
    5 syllables presenting a cutting word that separates and/or shows how the 1st and 3rd lines are related.
    7 syllables presenting a second idea or image.  

    • Why might an author use this poetic structure?  What is unique about it?  How might it help to convey meaning?  (Consider the devices that the poem uses.  Does it force repetition?  Does it force rhyme?  Is there another key component? How could these aspects meet with meaning?

    • Fun facts about your poetic structure?

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    Style: One-Syllable Stories


    • Read "Some Small Talk, Sweet Talk, From Will Parr to the World"
    • Discuss the style and syntax
    • Creating your own one-syllable stories

    The boy sat on the dock and wept.
    He cried for the loss of love. A tear in his heart so big it seemed too much to bear.
    He glanced up at the fish in the lake and wished to be with them. To be free with them for a few days is all he asked for. To not think about the life he must face. He would not go back to the house. Not back to the home where he knew her. Where her bones would be lain. Not back to the house where his mom had died.

    "Dear God," she wrote, "I have been good all my life. I lived in a way I thought you would want. Be it man or beast, I treat all with love. But I ask, is life how it should be? And," she went on, "Why did you leave?" She paused on the next words. "Did you leave me?" she asked in her head, "or did I leave you?" She threw the note and pen to the hard floor and cried. "Who left who? Do I have a soul? Is this life all there is?"
     She feared the truth she knew.

    • Finish better word charts for Monday (5-8 words including all components listed in the last blog entry)

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Using a Thesaurus to Improve our Work

    -Bell Work
    -Sharing overwrites
    -Thesaurus charts

    • Original Word
    • Definition of Original Word
    • Synonym Changing it to
    • Definition of Synonym
    • Rationale for the change (why you chose this one instead of another synonym)
    -Finish up synonym chart for Mon

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Overwriting Practice


    • Review thesaurus resources
    • Overwriting exercise using the resources we reviewed


    • Finish your piece for tomorrow

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    Close Reading: Diction in Gatsby


    • Read the sample passages
    • Reading Questions


    • Be prepared to present on your thesaurus resource tomorrow
    • Final draft of news article due tomorrow

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Peer Review Day


    • Quiz on figurative language
    • Peer Review of Spicing up the News assignment
    • Revisions of Spicing up the News due on Monday  
    • Finish anything related to your thesaurus analyses for Monday (You will be presenting your findings briefly to the class.)

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    PSAT Day

    Don't forget your drafts for tomorrow's peer review!

    Diction Day II


    • Examination of Jarrell's "Next Day"
    • Syntax and finish up PPT
    • Friends Thesaurus Clip
    • Examination of Thesaurus resources
    • Finish Thesaurus analysis for Thursday

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Thesaurus Task (for Tuesday)

    -Research your chosen thesaurus resource and answer the following questions:
    1. How user-friendly is your choice?
    2. Does it offer a variety of synonyms?  How useful are these?
    3. What is most useful about your choice?
    4. Would you recommend your choice?  Why?
    **Be prepared to discuss these tomorrow

    1. Sage thesaurus app
    2. Print thesaurus
    5.'s thesaurus app

    Diction + Syntax

    -Notes on diction
    -"Next Day" vs. "Sonnet 19"

    -Finish notes on "Next Day"
    -Be prepared to discuss tomorrow

    Friday, October 10, 2014



    • Figurative Language worksheet
    • Draft of News Article w/ figurative language due midweek for peer review

    Thursday, October 9, 2014



    • Workshop time for writing assignment
    • SPOTTTS due tomorrow

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Spicing up the News

    Directions: Complete steps 1 & 2 during class. Please copy the worksheet into a titled Google Document and answer the questions. We will work on Step 3 another day. Make sure you choose an appropriate news article. It probably should be at least a page in length so that you have enough to work with.

    Ms. Hoffmann
    Creative Writing
    Figurative Language in the News

    Step 1--Look through some of the news sites listed below.  Choose an article--this could be an article that is on a topic that you find interesting or an article that you believe is well-written (though, not necessarily from a creative perspective).  Note: You should choose something that actually is written like an article rather than a top-ten list, a blog post, or a parody.  Another note: It should NOT take you the whole or even half the period to choose an article.  

    Some sites to consider:

    Step 2--Answer the following questions after reading your chosen article.  

    1. What is the title of your article?  Who is the author?  Provide a URL.

    1. What is your article’s original topic?  What seems to be its purpose in discussing this topic?

    1. Would this article work for an audience looking to read a creative piece?  Why or why not?

    1. Are any literary or poetic devices currently in use?  Where?

    Step 3--Now it is your turn to re-write this article as though it were a creative piece written to entertain its audience.  Choose five different literary devices from your figurative language grid to incorporate into this revision. (Figurative language and style do not count; yes, you need to choose five different devices.)  This piece does not need to be composed as a poem.  

    Figurative Language and "Poison Tree" Review


    • Packet Practice
    • Review of "Poison Tree" SPOTTTS
    • SPOTTTS on "The Chimney Sweeper" from Songs of Innocence  (due Fri.)

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    Intro to Figurative Language


    • Analysis of sample passages
    • PPT
    • Shared document chart
    • Finish your sections of the chart for Friday

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    Introduction to Figurative Language


    • Read this chart and answer the accompanying question

    Passage 1
    Passage 2
    What’s the difference?
    She’s beautiful.
    Her hair was the orange of maple leaves in autumn; her eyes were as blue as the night sky in a painting by van Gogh.

    Your eyes are as blue as the sky.
    Your beauty cannot fade.
    Your hair is soft as silk.
    With you, I’m never afraid.
    Your eyes are blue as a bolt of lightning
    That imprints itself on the sky
    Your hair, like a cashmere sweater,
    Warm reassurance provides.  

    A train is leaving to New York.
    It has many coaches.
    Steam can be seen floating around it.  
    The ten o-clock train to New York
    coaches like loaves of bread powdered
    with snow.
    Steam wheezes between the couplings.

    I remember you waving goodbye to me.
    I can picture you and your surprises.
    It is hard to believe you are passed on,
    Leaving my heart so blue.  
    I remember you running beside the train
    waving good-bye.
    I can produce a facsimile of you standing
    behind a column of polished oak to
    surprise me
    Am I going toward you or away from
    you on this train?

    The sea had a green tint to it.  It was tumultuous that evening and left the onlookers filled with fear.   
    The green sea swept into the shallows and seethed there like slaking quicklime.  It surged over the rocks, tossing up spangles of water like a juggler catching them deftly again behind.  It raced knee deep through the clefts and crevices, twisted and tortured in a thousand ways, til it swept nuzzling and sucking into the holes at the base of the cliff.

    • Group work on larger chart.  Your segments will be due on Friday.  Prepare to explain what you came up with. Make sure that you are using credible sites to help you. 

    Example 1
    Example 2
    Figurative Language

    Expressing ideas indirectly; language used in a special way to create a special effect made up of words and phrases which don’t mean what they first appear to mean.











    • This chart should be finished by Friday

    Presentation Wrap-Up


    • Finish presentations
    • Free write:
      • Describe the ugliest setting that you can
      • Now, add in something that makes that place beautiful
    • None for tonight

    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Ironic Rhymes


    You are going to be using rhyme scheme and other musical devices in order to "fracture" a nursery rhyme.  You may have heard of fractured fairy tales, tales in which different pieces of an original fairy tale are changed in order to provide new insights.  Fracturing a nursery rhyme has the same idea behind it except it is done with a nursery rhyme.

    In order to give your nursery rhyme the most oomph, you will be using irony.  (Irony, in its general sense, is a reversal of expectations.)  In order to achieve irony, you will be doing what Blake did in "A Poison Tree."  You will use a child-like, nursery rhyme scheme in order to convey a more grown-up or serious message via your nursery rhyme.

    • Children's Nursery Rhymes--This is a resource bank of original nursery rhymes.  This site is a good place to start in case you have no idea what nursery rhyme you would choose.
    • How to Write a Fractured Nursery Rhyme-- This site gives directions on how to fracture a nursery rhyme in the easiest way possible.  If you aren't sure what to change, I would think about starting here.  Keep in mind that the site is written for younger students and that I expect you--unlike some of their examples--to create the irony that I mentioned above.
    • One-Minute Writer--This particular post discusses rewriting a nursery rhyme.  Not all of the examples are all that ironic as your final should be.  However, there exemplar is a good example of irony.  (Your version should be longer since you have most of class to write.)

    Musicality in Blake Continued and Presentations Discussion


    • Look at "Introduction" to Songs of Experience
    • Discussion of what makes a good power point
    • Workshop time
    • Tomorrow: SPOTTTS on "A Poison Tree"
    • Monday: Song Presentations

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    Getting down to business with rhyme scheme


    • Read Writing Center blog post on rhyme & answer questions
    • Analysis of Blake poetry 
    • SPOTTTS of "A Poison Tree" for Friday

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Sample Presentation and Song Analysis


    • Evaluation of a sample student presentation
    • Workshop time
    • Complete part 4 and share with me

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    The Poetry of Music

    Music as Poetry Assignment

    In extending our examination of how music is like poetry, we will be looking at how songs make use of poetic devices.  In order to start this process, there are some steps that you need to complete in class today.

    1. Choose a song that you like.  (It also should be a song that you have access to via YouTube or mp3 file to share.)
    2. Now, make sure that song is school-appropriate.  You may have to find the "clean" version of a song, or you may have to go looking for another one all together.  Run your choice by me if you are uncertain of what school-appropriate means.  Post these lyrics in a reply to this blog post.
    3. Ask yourself if your chosen song has depth to it.  It will need to have some in order to do the second portion of this process, which we will complete in class later on this week.  
    4. Start a set of notes about the song in a Google Doc to be shared with me.
      1. How does this song make creative use of poetic lines?  (Look back to your notes and think back to your most recent poetry assignment--line length, white space, end stop, enjambment, etc.)
      2. How does this song make use of poetic musicality (rhyme, alliteration, assonance, ...maybe even meter)?
      3. **It is not enough to list that something exists in your song.  I expect you to quote specific lines and show that you know what we have been talking about through a sentence or two addressing each quote.**  Go back to questions 1 & 2 and add example lines now..

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    The Music of Poetry


    • The origins of poetry
    • Rhyme Notes
    • Finish line and stanza poem for tomorrow

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Peer Review Questions

    Answer the following questions about your peer's writing in a Google Doc.  Be sure to title the document, put your name, and put the name of the person whose work you are reviewing.  You need to share this with me once you are finished.

    Note:  All answers should be in complete sentences and where appropriate point to specific portions of the text/quote the text.  (You are being graded partially on completeness.)

    *Peer Review Questions
    • What is happening in the poem?  What seems to be its meaning?
    • What stands out to you as a reader?  Why does this portion of the poem stand out?
    • Is there any suspense in the piece?  Where and why?
    • Does the poem meet all of the criteria in the final piece checklist?
    • What is one suggestion you have for revisions?
    • What is one aspect of the piece that you really like?

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Understanding Check: Meter Scansion Test

    • Go through and answer all 10 questions until you get them correct
    • Take notes as you go explaining why the chosen answer is correct in terms of both the specific foot that is used as well as the length of the line
    • Workshop your poems if you find yourself finished early

    Meter and Rhythm


    • Wrap up line, stanza, and punctuation with ee cummings
    • Meter and Rhythm PPT
    • Iambic Pentameter Handout
    • Meter identification sheet

    Friday, September 12, 2014



    • Quiz
    • Free Write: Gravedigger
    • Line and Stanza poem due next Friday

    Pausing for Punctuation

    *Popular punctuation jpegs
    *Dear John Exercise
    *Time to edit punctuation in our sample poems

    *Study for tomorrow's quiz

    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    Pausing for Punctuation

    -Taboo game: punctuation edition
    -Reading of subway semicolon
    -Punctuation Chart

    -Finish your rows in the punctuation chart for tomorrow
    -Quiz on Friday on the Poetic Line

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    Poetic Line Workshop Day

    -Fill out planning sheets
    -Workshop Time

    -SPOTTTS due tomorrow on "Housecleaner" poem
    -Quiz on Friday on the poetic line

    Monday, September 8, 2014

    Review of SPOTTTS and Discussion of Line Emulation Project

    -Review of "Winter" SPOTTTS
    -Discussion of Line Project Guidelines
    -Analysis of Sample Student Piece

    -Bring free write to work on tomorrow
    -SPOTTTS on "Housecleaner" due Wed
    -Quiz on poetic line on Friday

    Friday, September 5, 2014

    Free Writing Time

    Journal: "Teeth" prompt


    • Complete SPOTTTS on Stone's "Winter"

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Poetic Line Example Analysis

    -Review terms from PPT
    -SPOTTTS and "A noiseless patient spider"
    -How does Whitman's line arrangement affect meaning?

    Homework:  (Due Mon.)
    -SPOTTTS analysis of "Winter"
    -1 paragraph explaining how some structural element contributes to the meaning of the poem

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    What Constitutes Poetry?

    -Journal: Encyclopedia article on poetry.  What separates poetry from other writing?
    -Artifact Box Protocol with sample poems
    -How do these samples challenge or reinforce our ideas about poetry?

    -Finish filling out your artifact chart

    Our Criteria for Good Writing

    -Review criteria
    -Sample sharing with "Save the Last Word for Me"
    -Answering questions about and sharing our sample with the protocol


    Thursday, August 28, 2014

    What Makes Good Writing


    • Read excerpt from The Garlic Ballads
    • Decide if you like it or not, and choose a passage that you particularly liked or disliked for plot or language.
    • Begin writing your criteria for good writing
    • Write a list of at least five items that need to be present for you to consider something well-written.  These can be related to literary analysis, but they do not have to be.
    • Bring in a one-page example of writing that resonates with you, that you like and that fits this particular list of criteria that you are making.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    First Day

    Hi Everyone!

    Welcome back to school!  You may recall that we just spent today looking over the syllabus.  


    None, but don't get too used to it!

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Final Directions and Setting Overview

    -Bell Work
    -Directions for the final
    -Free Write:
    "In the end, the only compelling reason to pay more attention to place, to exterior setting, is the belief, the faith, that place and its people are intertwined, that place is character, and that to know the rhythm, the textures, the feel of a place is to know more deeply and truly its people" (Richard Russo).

    Respond to this quote in 1/2 page and include a reference to at least one work we have read this year.

    Homework: Read "The River Z" and "The Baby" if you have not already

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Dramatic Dialogue Workshop


    • Bell Work
    • Vocab Quiz
    • Dramatic Dialogue Exercise
      • 1 page in length
      • Grading Criteria
        • Correct Punctuation
        • Appropriate Dialogue for:
          • Context (Register)
          • Characterization (Dialect)
    • Finish the dialogue exercise