Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentines Day!

Today is Valentines Day. You have looked at some very modern and not-so-modern poetry from American poets (and others) and perhaps have already tried your hand at writing L-O-V-E poems. Your assignment is to create an original Valentines-type poem and post it here before Friday, 2/18. Some rules:

Don't do anything that isn't school appropriate.
Don't post your full name -- just your first name and last initial.
Be thoughtful -- no fat cat sat on the mat rhymes.
Have fun!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Writing Workshop - 2/10/05

You have a few things that you can be working on for your final portfolio. I expect that before you leave today you will have helped edit at least one other student's work. Remember that I promised you time each week to write, revise, edit, and do it all on computers. Take this time and use it wisely.

If you feel you are done with everything else and are ready with your final portfolio and reading journal to date, then you may read or do other homework. No Internet, email, games, or the other usuals.

I will conference with you one by one as we have time.

Mr. B

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

"American" Historical Literature

Have you noticed that in recent years, we seem to be slinging a lot of mud at prominent historical figures? For example, it seems to me that we are trying very hard to find things wrong with the founding fathers of the U.S., important explorers across the world, and even (or maybe especially) religious figures throughout history. What makes us think that we can go back and rewrite history? How are we more qualified or knowledgeable now than those who originally recorded historical events? Are we smarter than them?

You need to do two things today.

First of all, you have a conference with me and revision (for the final portfolio) to do on your letter to sibling. Remember, the key with the letter is to use vivid imagery to convince your reader, not lots of convincing words and arguments. Paint a picture of the consequences of the readers action. Even if you concocted your sibling's "problem," you need to do a great job of illustrating the consequences.

Second, I want you to find out as much as you can today about Christopher Columbus by researching on the Internet. Was he the explorer we have always heard about? Was he nice to the native cultures/societies he discovered? Write a summary of today's research, including your opinions of the sources you got your information from. That is, are they reputable sources? Are they just slinging mud? Do they portray Columbus as a figure to look up to, admire, and learn from, or is he not worth our time? Explain yourself. You will eventually share at least a portion of what you've written aloud with the class, so be articulate.

Mr. Baxter