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