English 11

Monday, 4/27:  Vocab 13 Quiz, 50 pts., and Vocab 13 exercises due, 10 pts.

Tuesday, 4/28:  "A" period free!  (English Dept. meeting)

Tuesday, 5/5:  Huck Finn reading exam #1 on chapters 1-20 (note: there are 42 chapters in the novel).  100 pts.

Field Trip Project—Walking in Holden’s Footsteps, 100 pts.

April 20, 2015

Mr. Hafker

We talked at great length this year about the importance of symbolism in American literature (and all literature for that matter).  How much did A Period love the effective and moving symbol of the American Museum of Natural History’s glass cases in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, as well as Holden’s appreciation of and need for their special ability to NEVER CHANGE?  We discovered, along with Holden, that change, and hopefully the significant growth that goes with it, is inevitable and necessary.


PART ONE: We agreed back in the fall, that Salinger’s specific choices of glass cases for Holden to recall fondly were not random. Your mission is to search out and find TWO new glass cases that would move Holden (and also yourself).  See them like “Holden, the Observer!”  Try to be alone and get lost inside the glass case.  Make it come to life in your imagination. Take notes on the animal/human/artifact you select.

-Notice details no one else would.

What action is taking place?  Why? 

-What’s in the background?  Any significance?

-What moves Holden (and you) so deeply about this scene/moment frozen in time? 

-How might it represent something Holden longs for?

PART TWO:  Regarding the field trip film the museum shows in its theatre, Holden says, “They were always showing Columbus discovering America.”  What if the film Holden’s class always saw was Little Giants?   How may Holden have responded to the film we are seeing?  What interesting details may have caught his attention, may have helped save him in his plight to maintain youth’s innocence, wonder, and excitement?  Perhaps give him what we all need so desperately—HOPE?

NOTE:  Assignment should be 2 pages typed, double spaced.   One paragraph for each of your glass case selections, a paragraph on the film, and a short paragraph on whether or not you think this field trip should be a new English 11 tradition.




Friday, 4/24 Field trip essay due!  100 pts.  Details below.

Bring The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to class.  If you haven't ordered it already get a copy at your local library.  5 pts.

REMEMBER TO BE IN E207 AT 8:15 A.M.!   Dress warm guys and bring an umbrella if you can, or wear a nylon jacket with a hood.  Depending on how rainy it is, we will either walk to the carousel after lunch, or have the buses drive us down.  And maybe the rain and wind will scare all the customers away from Shake Shack so we have it to ourselves! 

Monday, 4/20: Walking in Holden's Footsteps Field Trip to Manhattan! 

Friday, 4/17:  Vocab Unit 12 Quiz, 50 pts., and Unit 12 exercises due, 10 pts.

EASTER BREAK ASSIGNMENT DUE MONDAY, 4/13:  The Great Gatsby Collage Project, 100 pts. 

Part I:  You must use magazine photos, ads, etc. (you may use ONE internet photo or ONE personal photo if you wish).  Select at least 10 images for your collage that deal with major themes, characters, events from the novel, The Great Gatsby, and arrange them aesthetically (look that up if you don't know what it means).  Think of using oak tag to make the most of your space.  Then pick what you believe is the most powerful/meaningful quote from the novel and put it on the FRONT of your collage.  You may write it out or print it in any font/size you want that's suitable and complements your collage.

Part II:  Select your 5 best images and discuss briefly (short paragraph each) why you chose that image, and what specific theme it symbolizes/represents.

Part III:  Discuss in a paragraph, typed (A? page), why you chose your quote from the novel.  Be sure to analyze and discuss it’s significance in the novel.  Neatly glue/tape to the back of your collage. 

NOTE: The written portion of your project should be 2 pages typed.  Neatly glue/tape your “reaction paper” to the back of your collage.

Also, if you go above and beyond the call of duty, you may receive up to 20 extra credit pts. on this assignment.  For example, if your written responses show a lot of effort and analysis, or if you find and include very imaginative images (and many of them!), etc.  IMPORTANT: DO NOT JUST CUT OUT PICTURES OF ACTORS/MODELS THAT LOOK LIKE CHARACTERS FROM THE NOVEL, OR A DOZEN PHOTOS OF WHISKEY ADS, MERCEDES BENZ ADS, JEWELRY ADS, ETC.  JUST LIKE FITZGERALD YOU ARE SEARCHING FOR NEW SYMBOLS TO GIVE DEPTH AND A DEEPER MEANING TO THE NOVEL'S THEMES.

Tuesday, 3/31: Gatsby extra credit, up to 10 pts.  1 paragraph on a new title and 1 paragraph on a new cover.  Be sure to underline your new title.  Be sure to be descriptive and discuss how your new title/cover represents themes in the novel.

Field Trip Permission slips due!  LAST CALL!  

MONDAY, 3/30:  Gatsby Exam #2, 100 pts.  Chapter 6 to the end!  Bring a pencil.  Remember important quotes and scenes!

WEDNESDAY, 3/25:  Vocab Unit 11 Quiz, 50 pts.  Unit 11 exercises also due, 10 pts.    ALSO VOCAB E.C. DUE:    Write 12 sentences (separate or in a paragraph) based on Death of a Salesman--themes, characters, scenes, etc. using 12 words from Unit 11.   TYPED.  Please underline vocab words. 

FRIDAY, 3/20: The Great Gatsby Exam #1 on the first 5 chapters!  100 pts. Make sure you know important scenes AND QUOTES (who said what!). And bring a pencil.

ALSO DUE! As you read, or re-read, the opening chapter write down 5 different lines that reveal the characterization of Nick the narrator and/or arising themes for us to ponder and discuss the next few weeks. Discuss briefly how each line is packed with revealing literary info. You may number each one. In notebook.  10 pts.  

Monday, 3/16:  Quiz on Chapter 1 of Gatsby, +10 E.C. or -5 pts.

Also, please watch the mini-bio clip below.


Remember how autobiographical The Great Gatsby is--Nick is a literary version of Fitzgerald, a character who is drawn to the wealthy and their excess, BUT unlike Fitzgerald is ultimately repulsed by it all and escapes its greedy, delusional, egomaniacal grasp after just one summer on Long Island in 1922.

NOTE:  I will be away on Monday and Tuesday for the NY State Poetry Out Loud Final in Syracuse.  GOOD NEWS!  Maggie made "top 8 of the State!"

Tuesday, 3/3:  Vocab 10 quiz (50 pts.) and Unit 10 exercises (10 pts.). Bring a pencil.

Winter Break Assignment:   1.  Requiem Character Analysis, 2 pages typed. 100 pts.    Even though the Requiem at the end of Death of a Salesman is only 3 pages long, it reveals so much about the 4 characters standing over Willy's grave: Biff, Hap, Linda, and even Charley.  Write a character analysis for each character (1 paragraph each)  1.) choose at least one line he/she speaks in the Requiem that shows his/her view of Willy, AND shows his/her true character and personality    2.)  make one reference to that character's words or actions in an earlier scene in the play to support your response.  

Note: Focus on Biff's self-discovery and self-acceptance (and escape), Hap's desperate clinging to his father's wrong dream and obsession with status, hopeless Linda trying to find her way to self and closure, Charley's respect and love for Willy to the end.  Yo, yo... a big shout out to K.D. Smoove for requesting this helpful character overview!  PEACE!

2. Write down all of my comments from your last essay in the back of your notebook, including ALL misspelled words five times each.

3. ORDER THE GREAT GATSBY ASAP!  Bring to class on 2/27 or lose 5 pts.

Extra Credit (highly recommended, especially for those of you who failed the Whitman exam):   Visit the Walt Whitman  Birthplace State Historic Site. Explore the museum and take the house tour.  Write a one page typed review--one paragraph on what you liked most about the museum and one paragraph on what you liked most about the house of his birth.  Up to 25 pts. 

Friday, 2/13: Vocab Unit 9 Quiz, 50 pts.  AND Unit 9 exercises due, 10 pts.   

Plus:  Valentine's Vocab E.C.  +5  Write a love letter to that special someone using at least 10 words from Unit 9.  +8 for the best!  I'm going to add the extra credit to your Whitman exams instead.  Whoa...

Thursday, 2/12:  Bring your vocab book for in-class assignment!  10 pts.

Tuesday, 2/10:  Whitman Exam, 100 pts.  The exam will consist of a multiple choice section based on his life and Leaves of Grass, plus a written portion based on the sections of "Song of Myself" we read and discussed in class.  Make sure you read over your handout and your notes!  I emailed most of the notes from class.

Monday, 2/9:  "Song of Myself" handout assignment, 10 pts. Read the 1st stanza of section 31 and feel the same amazement Whitman does over the 9 miracles he shares with the reader (btw: a pismire is an ant).  At the end he says holding up a mouse to an infidel (someone who doesn't believe in God) should make him/her a believer.  WHY? How should the other 8 items inspire you?  1/2 page MIN.  THEN...list 9 of your own miracles.  For example, you already know how I feel about acorns!


Thursday, 2/5:  Death of a Salesman Reading Exam, 100 pts.  Bring a pencil!  (Remember to know important quotes and who said them. ALSO, extra credit questions on Miller's life, plays, etc.)

Tuesday, 2/3:  "Song of Myself" notebook assignment, 1 page in notebook, 10 pts.  Read the stanzas below and select 2 you would pick for your senior yearbook quote and discuss why. THEN pick a quote you would pick on your own from any source and explain how it helps define you.  

Friday, 1/30:  Vocab Unit 8 Quiz, 50 pts.  Unit 8 exercises also due, 10 pts.

IMPORTANT:  Any juniors interested in AP English next year MUST email me by midnight tonight (Monday, 1/26) to be considered. Thank you.

Wednesday, 1/21:  Read Walt Whitman's poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" and discuss how in such a short poem, through his choice of words (diction) and imagery and specific actions, the speaker of the poem (Whitman) reveals his desperate need for peace, simplicity, beauty, wonder, faith.

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Tuesday, 1/20:  

1. Bring Death of a Salesman to class.  5 pts.

2.  Langston Hughes E.C. poetry assignment  +5 pts.  In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, please read the classic Hughes poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" and discuss how he uses the body of water, a river, as well as other images of his people's history to reveal their strength, hope, and perserverance.  1/2 page min.  in notebook or looseleaf.

3.  E.C. 20 pts.  See American Sniper this weekend and write a one page (typed) response.  One paragraph on what you liked most about the film and why--was it someone's performance, the dialogue, the story itself?   Then one paragraph on similiarities between the film and O'Brien's The Things They Carried.  Staple ticket stub to paper.

FRIDAY, 1/16:  Intro paragraph due. THEN...

in-class literary essay on The Things They Carried and The Human Comedy, 100 pts.   


After you introduce your example (scene/line) from the novel, remember to discuss its importance in proving the lens--in other words ANALYSIS!  You may finish each discussion with of the work with a sentence on the literary element (+5 each; -5 for each missing literary element).  

I will have a handout for you with all of the important reminders for a good solid essay!  Remember, you won't be able to have your outline/notes in front of you while writing the essay. 

Wednesday, 1/14:    1.  10 pts. Make a brief outline and pre-write for Friday's big essay on The Things They Carried and The Human Comedy.  Write down which 3 scenes/lines from each novel you believe will most successfully and eloquently prove the following critical lens statement: "For what does it mean to be a hero? It requires you to be prepared to deal with forces larger than yourself."  Norman Mailer

ALSO, find ONE literary device for each work (conflict, theme, symbol, characterization, etc.) and briefly discuss how each author uses it to enhance the scene (and prove your thesis).

2.  Read the poem below from the "enemy's" perspective.  How does the speaker's actions, thoughts, and words give you a new glimpse into the tragedy of war?  How does it change your perspective and thinking?  Your heart?  What images moved you?  Make sure you make references to at least 3 lines to support your response.  1 page in notebook.  10 pts.

A Vietnamese Bidding Farewell to the Remains of an American

Was your plane on fire, or did you die
of bullet wounds, or fall down exhausted? 
Just so, you died in the forest, alone.

Only the two of us, a woodcutter and his wife, 
dug this grave for you, burned joss sticks*,
prayed for you to rest in peace.

How could we know there’d be such a meeting,
you and I, once separated by an ocean,
by the color of our skin, by language?
But destiny bound our lives together. 
And today, by destiny’s grace,
you are finally going home.

I believe your American sky
is as blue as the sky above this country 
where you’ve rested twenty years.

Is it too late to love each other?
Between us now, the ocean seems so small. 
How close are our two continents.

I wish a tranquil heaven for your soul,
gemmed with twinkling stars and shining moon.
May you rest forever in the soil of your home.

*incense burned at wakes or funerals in honor of the dead

[From the original Vietnamese poem by Tran Thi My Nhung, translated by Phan Thao Chiand adapted by W. D. Ehrhart.]

FRIDAY, 1/9:  Vocab 7 Quiz, 50 pts. and Unit 7 exercises due, 10 pts.

Thursday, 1/8:  Read the famous Vietnam poem by Yusef Komunyakaa "Facing It" and write a 1 page reaction to it in your notebook (10 pts.). This is part of your transition from prose to poetry while staying with the theme of war.  Make sure you discuss his emotions and why he's feeling them.  Make sure you discuss how he uses imagery to get the theme of sadness, loss, and regret across.  How does the title have a double meaning?

CHRISTMAS BREAK ASSIGNMENT, Due Monday, 1/5:  The Things They Carried descriptive/personal essay (100 PTS.).  TYPED.  2 PAGES. Times New Roman, 12 pt. size, full heading, no cover sheet.  This is one of my favorite English 11 assignments!  Imagine you are going to war tomorrow and can only take 3 personal items.  Describe each item in detail, and explain the reason why you want to carry it with you.  (Remember, no cell phones, ipods, or any electronics!  Also, you can't bring an entire photo album--it won't fit in your backpack. If you pick a photo, you must describe the subjects/setting in great detail as well.)  Remember, 3 things that are special and meaningful, and will somehow keep you grounded, as well as closer to your loved ones, and your true self!

Wednesday, 12/17:  Write a letter to a friend telling him/her the importance of reading The Things They Carried especially with all of the wars going on in the world today.  

Due Monday, 12/15:  The Things They Carried descriptive/personal essay, 100 PTS.  TYPED.  2 PAGES. Times New Roman, 12 pt. size, full heading, no cover sheet.  Imagine you are going to war tomorrow and can only take 3 personal items.  Describe each item in detail, and explain the reason why you want to carry it with you.  (Remember, no cell phones, ipods, or any electronics!  Also, you can't bring an entire photo album--it won't fit in your backpack. If you pick a photo, you must describe the subjects/setting in great detail as well.)  Remember, 3 things that are special and meaningful, and will somehow keep you grounded, as well as closer to your loved ones, and your true self!

Due Monday, 12/15:  Military Draft (Conscription) assignment, 10 pts.  Now that you've read Tim O'Brien's masterpiece (and the article on the draft), please ponder what you would do if the U.S. instituted the draft and your name was picked to join the military (6 weeks of training, then heading to the Middle East for a one year tour of duty).  Consider the pros and cons and see which outweigh the other.  Do some soul searching before you answer.  1/2 page minimum in notebook or loose leaf.

Thursday, 12/11:  The Things They Carried reading exam, 100 pts.  (Format is paragraph responses--probably choosing 4 out of 8 questions. Make sure you know main characters well and their experiences:  Tim O'Brien (and his daughter later on in the novel), Elroy Berdahl (who he stays with before the war), Lt. Jimmy Cross, Kiowa, Ted Lavender, Norman Bowker, Rat Kiley, Henry Dobbins, Mary Anne in Vietnam, his first crush Linda, and Bobby Jorgenson. Bring a pen.

Tuesday, 12/9:  Vocab 6 Quiz, 50 pts. and Unit 6 exercises due, 10 pts.

MONDAY, 12/1:  Vocab Unit 5 Extra Credit (up to 10 pts.).  Write 12 sentences using 12 words from Unit 5 based on The Human Comedy characters, scenes, and themes.

Monday, 11/24:  Vocab 5 Quiz, 50 pts., and Unit 5 exercises, 10 pts.

Wednesday, 11/19:  Catcher in the Rye body paragraph re-write!  50 pts.  Typed.  You  must staple your original essay to the back of the new body.  From our class discussions and one-on-one interviews AND my comments/suggestions, please pick the weaker of your two body paragraphs.

Monday, 11/17: Show me my essay comments written in the back of your English notebook. 5 pts.

FRIDAY, 11/14: In-class assignment in your notebook.  10 pts.  Discuss two of the following literary elements and how Saroyan uses each to enhance the scene's drama and thematic meaning.  Your critical lens statement could be something like "You never walk alone."  Imagery, symbolism, characterization, conflict.  You are basically writing two body paragraphs for a literary essay.  Remember the importance of ANALYSIS--your ideas, insight, critical reaction to reveal the importance and meaning of your choices!  (We will also finish our Catcher in the Rye essay interviews.)

Thursday, 11/13:  Vocab Unit 4 Quiz, 50 pts.  AND Unit 4 exercises due, 10 pts.

Thursday, 11/6:  The Human Comedy Reading Exam, 100 pts.  Bring a pencil!  

ALSO:  For extra credit, write about your favorite character in the novel and explain why. What does he or she do/say that made an impression on you?  What traits of his/hers do you possess, or wish you could possess, and why. 1/2 page min.  Up to 10 pts.!

Wednesday, 11/5:  Bring The Human Comedy to class. I will give you most of the period to read/prepare for Wednesday's reading exam, OR, finish your Catcher essay.

Tuesday, 11/4:  Catcher in the Rye literary essay, in class. 100 pts.  More tips to come!

MONDAY, 11/3:  Intro paragraph due!  10 pts.  Your critical lens statement will be "Letting go requires more strength than holding on."  Your essay will require two specific scenes when Holden, if only for a moment, is able to let go of his feelings of anger, doubt, self-destruction, etc.  What character(s) if any helps him and how?  Remember, in body paragraphs you must include lines from the scene to support your response.  ALSO, you must make a reference to one literary element in one of your body paragraphs (-5 if you forget, +5 if you remember).  Your intro paragraph's first sentence must be a clear thesis statement that includes the title (underlined), the author, the main character's name and  how he/she fits into the critical lens statement.  See sample intro & body for Of Mice and Men below.

In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, George is heroic because he faces forces larger than himself, whether it's having to care for Lennie or trying to keep hope alive in a hopeless Great Depression landscape. He is a man of character because he keeps his promise to Aunt Clara to watch out for Lennie and try to give him some life of normalcy and joy. He is also a man of optimism because he believes, if only for a short time, that he and his best friend can have their own place and actually achieve a small slice of the American Dream. Tragically it all ends with the death of Lennie, but George's mercy killing still shows his love and concern to the very end--the trait of a true hero.

One of the most heroic things George does for Lennie is give him a sense of independence and importance. In the "fatta the lan'" dream of having their own place and being their own bosses, he makes it very clear to Lennie that he will be in charge of feeding and caring for his beloved rabbits. This brings Lennie such a sense of responsibility and joy that it gives him what every human being needs to survive--a sense of purpose. When Lennie realizes that he will always have George, his sense of security is so strong and confident, that he practically giggles like a child: "'...because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why.' He laughed delightedly."  When any human being makes this challenging life a little easier and more bearable for his fellow man, he is truly a hero and a unique individual worthy of praise. The fact that this makes George a little happier also shows his concern and compassion for his simple minded friend.

Wed., 10/22:  Vocab Unit 3 Quiz (50 pts.) and Unit 3 exercises due (10 pts.).  Bring a pencil.

Due Thursday, 10/23:  My Glass Case, 10 pts.  What is the most joyous moment of your life you would like to preserve the way Holden wants to preserve his youth and innocence (and Phoebe, and Jane, etc.)?  1 page min. in your notebook.  Be specific, use lots of details and imagery so that the reader experiences this moment, too!
ALSO: Bring The Human Comedy to class! 5 pts.  Order asap or go to your local library

TUESDAY, 10/14:  "Saving Holden" Essay due, 100 pts. 2 pages typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. size.  Create a new scene (with a new setting) for The Catcher in the Rye in which Holden meets YOU and you help save him through words and/or actions.  Make sure to write in HIS voice, 1st person narration ("goddam,"  "...and all," "that kills me," etc.).  Make it unique, powerful, and have fun with it!  Note: Scene must have dialogue, imagery, and a new symbol (worth 10 pts.).  Don't forget full heading.  

THURSDAY, 10/9:  Vocab 2 Quiz (50 pts.) and Unit 2 exercises due, 10 pts.

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”  Abraham Lincoln