Please review your summer reading assignment sheet carefully and PLEASE stick to the four tasks listed on the sheet provided for you at the meeting. Here is a link to online book buying options for your personal library: http://www.powells.com/. Enjoy!
Please also scroll down to find a list of books that we ask you NOT to read because they are listed on our core junior-level curriculum for next year.
TASK #1: After reading Stephen King's On Writing--Discuss your journey as a writer--be sure to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses in terms of writing fluency, organization of ideas, and those dreaded five paragraph essays. How comfortable are you with crafting thesis statements? How comfortable are you with the elements of style including descriptive imagery, details, and proper punctuation. This is an opportunity to confess your sins to the "grammar police" and vow to improve your writing over the course of the junior year. Good luck!!! Don't be afraid to discuss what types of writing you enjoy the most. If you are writing a novel or any other work of fiction, please share your creative inspiration in this writer's reflection paper. LENGTH: 1 1/2 pages, double spaced, times new roman, 12 point font.
TASK #2: THE ORAL PRESENTATION ASSIGNMENT AND RUBRIC. WE WILL ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE ASSIGNMENT IN SCHOOL. THERE EXISTS NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THIS NOW, FOR IT IS NOT DUE ON THE FIRST DAY. WE JUST WANTED YOU TO BE AWARE OF WHAT IS AHEAD.
Honors English III
You will select a character from the book who seems to intrigue you in some way. Take time to make your decision because, as you will see in the details that follow, you will become the character.
Presentation Overview: You will physically become one of the characters from the book. Over a period of three minutes you must provide the class with a high-interest book talk that compels us to read the book. Energy, wit, and intelligence will certainly assist you in presenting the material in such a way that makes the class curious and leaves us wanting more.
- After selecting the character, consider how and why he/she impacts the book. Make sure you intimately understand the book and how this one character influences its path.
- Devise a costume that will visually bring the character to life. Consider including a prop or visual as an additional aid to your presentation.
- Draft a brief statement regarding the book’s content. Do this in a way that generates interest; however, do not give away the ending.
- Find an excerpt from the book to include in your presentation. The piece must have relevance and clear significance in relationship to the route your presentation takes.
- Brainstorm a list of your character’s opinions and beliefs. Since you will speak in this character’s voice—you will complete the entire presentation in first person—the need to avoid simple summarization is critical. Under no circumstances is this a verbal book report; instead, it must contain an edge that reveals the character’s life and how he/she would wish for us to see the book.
- Create a series of note cards that serve as general talking points for the presentation. You may not read from a sheet of paper. As you review the assessment rubric below, you will see the importance of eye contact and physical presentation quality.
*High-interest opening (10 points)
*Expression of detailed, relevant content (10 points)
*Inclusion and analysis of excerpt (10 points)
*Use of time; not exceeding the four minute limit
*Presentation Organization: flow and sequence (10 points)
*Audience Engagement: eye contact, clarity, voice tone and volume, body posture (10 points)
*Use of visual aid; costume quality (extra credit)
Notes: Further explanation will occur in class. These presentations will not happen until the third week of school. You must have the book with you on the day of the presentation; failure to do so will result in a ten-point penalty.
If any of you have questions or concerns about anything, please email me. I'll return the email as fast as possible. Do not be shy.
Task #4: Ballad Assignment for the Honors English III task:
A ballad is a form of narrative poetry that presents a dramatic episode, which is often tragic or violent. Composed anonymously and transmitted orally from generation to generation, ballads were originally sung or recited. Many traveling bards or minstrels earned their livings by singing their stories to people in the town or marketplace, as well as to nobles in manor houses and castles. Listeners would sometimes join in the refrain or dance to the music of the ballad.
Ballads, while written in various forms, normally contain many of the following characteristics:
*they deal with plight of the common people
*the storyline develops through a dialogue tone
*action, rather than characterization or description, is emphasized
*a refrain (a chorus) is included
*the language is simple and relatable
*the rhythm is pronounced
A ballad stanza commonly has the following structure:
*a quatrain with a b a b rhyme scheme (the rhyme pattern does not need to repeat in successive stanzas)
*the quatrain has an 8, 6, 8, and 6 syllable pattern and 4 lines per stanza.
*occasionally you may slur sounds to make syllables run together
Task #4 cont.: Create a ballad of at least six stanzas (not including the consistent use of a refrain) that sings in the voice of one character from the book you select. Capture the language and culture your book communicates, and you must generate a tone that refelcts the character's plight, concerns, and/or motivations. Be clear and precise; waste no words. Make sure that what you put down is revealing and important. You should employ a refrain in the same fashion a music artist integrates a chorus. It should appear consistently and add to the overall impact. The refrain should remind the listeners of something important. The refrain does NOT count as one of your six stanzas.
Here's a Sample Ballad from W.H. Auden (one of my favorites!!!).
Leap Before You Look
The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep,
However gradual it looks from here;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap.
Tough-minded men get mushy in their sleep
And break the by-laws any fool can keep;
It is not the convention but the fear
That has a tendency to disappear.
The worried efforts of the busy heap,
The dirt, the imprecision, and the beer
Produce a few smart wisecracks every year;
Laugh if you can, but you will have to leap.
The clothes that are considered right to wear
Will not be either sensible or cheap,
So long as we consent to live like sheep
And never mention those who disappear.
Much can be said for social savior-faire,
But to rejoice when no one else is there
Is even harder than it is to weep;
No one is watching, but you have to leap.
A solitude ten thousand fathoms deep
Sustains the bed on which we lie, my dear:
Although I love you, you will have to leap;
Our dream of safety has to disappear.
-- W. H. Auden
Rubric for Evaluation
5 = below aberage
7 = average
10 = above average
5 7 10
Storyline develops through a dialogue tone
Action drives the storyline
Use of a refrain (poignancy of placement)
Significance of refrain (relevance to the poem's interpretation)
Six Quatrains - rhyme scheme
Six Quatrains - syllable pattern
Communication of language and culture
Communication of character's concerns
Expression of content in detail
Presentation (word choice and grammar)
*you must type all work in Times New Roman and 12 font
*create a basic cover page with the poem's title, the book used, the due date (first day of school), the teacher's name (Simonsen or Kopple), and your name
* no plastic cover pages or report bindings. Simply staple in the upper lefthand corner.