Sunday, March 31, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 1, 2013

Focus: How do we close read a film, and what larger meanings can we take from The Truman Show?

1. Warm-up: Close reading two scenes from The Truman Show

Some close reading questions to jump start your thinking...

Why is Truman looking a mirror?
How are his drawing and speech symbolic?
How is this moment significant to the film as a whole?

What might the water (and the storm) symbolize?
What might the boat symbolize?
How does this scene reflect an important change in Truman?
What do you think is the most significant moment in this scene and why?
What does Christof represent?

Why do you think the writer of this film named the protagonist "Truman"?
Why do you think Bradbury named his protagonist "Guy"?

2. Impromptu fishbowl discussion of The Truman Show (15-20 min)

3. Composing a rough thesis that draws together The Truman Show and Fahrenheit 451

Some samples...

Character analysis:
Both Guy from F451 and Truman from The Truman Show share the heroic traits of ________ and _________, revealing that a true hero must ___________________________.

Both Clarisse from F451 and Sylvia from The Truman Show spark the main characters to realize ________________ and _______________, showing that _________________________.

Problem - Solution:
In both F451 and The Truman Show, the societies suffer from _________________, but they ultimately _______________________, revealing that _____________________________.

In both F451 and The Truman Show, the protagonists struggle to ____________________, but they eventually succeed in _________________________, revealing that _______________________.

The ____________ from F451 symbolizes _______________________, while the ___________ from The Truman Show represents _______________________, both symbols suggesting that _______________________________.

1. Form three different versions of a thesis statement using Google docs and share them with me by 10 pm tonight.
2. Bring F451 to class tomorrow so that you can start gathering quotations.
4. Remaining persuasive speeches are this Friday, April 5.

Helpful website for spelling the director's and the characters' names correctly:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 22, 2013

Focus: To what extent is our reality "real"?

1. Warm-up: F451 vocabulary quiz (15-20 minutes)

2. Watching the rest of The Truman Show and adding to your notes

3. If time allows, please respond to the following questions about the ending of the film, posting your thoughtful, detailed response on today's blog:

At the end of the film, Truman and Christof have the following dialogue:

Truman: Was nothing real?

Christof: You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch. Listen to me Truman. There is no more truth out there than there is in the world I created for you. Same lies. Same deceit. But in my world, you have nothing to fear.

Do you agree with Christof when he says that there's nothing Truman can find in the real world that he can't find in Seahaven?  Is Christof a god of some kind?  What does Truman hope to find when he walks through the door?  Finally, when Truman takes his final bow, what is he really leaving behind?  (Feel free to respond to any or all of the above questions; just be sure to use the entire time given).

4. Please Google share your notes with me before you leave class today (

1. Please finish #3 on today's agenda if you did not finish in class.
2. Have a great spring break!  Keep all of your F451 annotations as we will be writing a synthesis essay on F451 and The Truman Show when you return from spring break.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 21, 2013

Focus: To what extent is our reality "real"?

1. Warm-up: Write three good sentences about The Truman Show so far, each using a different vocabulary word from your F451 list, words 1-15.

2. Viewing The Truman Show with a critical eye

3. Adding to your notes and discussing them

Prepare for tomorrow's vocabulary quiz, be gentlemen and scholars to Mrs. Makovsky, and have a wonderful spring break!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 20, 2013

Focus: To what extent is our reality "real"?

1. Warm-up: Reading a little background on Google glass, watching Google's advertisement, and considering a few questions:

What advantages does this technology offer us?
How might this technology possibly harm us as a society?  How could it be misued?
In your opinion, do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?  Would Bradbury agree with you?

2. Setting up your notes for The Truman Show and watching the trailer

a. Characters: Names, personality traits, clothes, things they say
b. Motifs/symbols: Specific objects that seem symbolic, what they might represent, and how they change throughout the film
c. Questions: Level 1, 2, and 3 questions; try to answer them at the end of the film
d. Connections to Fahrenheit 451: Be specific and original (these will form the backbone of your essay)

I will collect these notes on the last day of watching the film.

3. Entering The Truman Show

1. Study for Friday's vocabulary quiz over words 1-15.
2. Continue bringing your F451 annotations to class so I can check them.

Monday, March 18, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 19, 2013

Focus: What are our final thoughts on F451? What are the implications of its final pages?

1. Warm-up: Taking a reading quiz on Part 3 of Fahrenheit 451

2. Our final fishbowl discussion of the semester: F451, end of the novel

3. Final wrap-up

1. Start preparing for Friday's quiz on words 1-15 from your F451 vocabulary packet.
2. Make sure your annotations are complete for the entire novel and have them in class each day; I will be checking them as you watch The Truman Show this week (starting tomorrow).

Friday, March 15, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 18, 2013

Focus: Why do we ban books? Why do we censor song lyrics and internet access?  Are we headed in the same direction as the society Bradbury portrays in Fahrenheit 451?

1. Warm-up: Please respond to the question on the class blog (5-10 min)

2. Distributing vocabulary list

3. Presenting and listening to banned book persuasive speeches; remember that you need to turn in one rubric to me, and you give the other three rubrics to the presenters. Positive feedback only.

1. Tomorrow is the final F451 fishbowl discussion; please finish reading and annotating the book.  You will begin class with a brief reading quiz on page 139 to the end of the novel; if this score is better than last Tuesday's quiz, which I hope it is, then the new score will replace the old score.

2. This Friday you will have a vocabulary quiz over the first 15 words in your new vocabulary packet. If your brain is feeling tired and out to lunch, I would highly suggest making yourself flashcards by Wednesday.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 15, 2013

Focus: What warnings does Bradbury offer us about our present and future?

I will be checking annotations today.  Remember that if they're not ready to go before the bell rings, they are late and can only receive half credit at the most.

1. Some thoughts about your future...

2. Cooking up a recipe for F451: A creative (and delicious) approach to Bradbury's themes and motifs

3. Augmenting our vocabularies by learning Bradbury's: Learning some of the SAT vocabulary from F451

Announcement: Our final fishbowl discussion has been moved to Tuesday; persuasive speeches are still being held this Monday.

1. Prepare for Tuesday's final fishbowl by reading and annotating the rest of F451.  Remember that this will be our last fishbowl discussion of the year, so make it the best one.

2. The day of the final fishbowl on Tuesday, we will begin class with a brief reading quiz.  If you perform better on this quiz than you did on the last one, your new grade will replace your old one.

3. Prepare for your banned book persuasive speech on Monday.

Monday, March 11, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 12, 2013

Focus: What warning is Bradbury giving us about our present and our future?

Max's speech?

1. Proving to Ms. Leclaire that you're actually reading F451 by achieving excellence on your reading quiz!

2. Fishbowl Discussion: Pages 102 to 139 in F451.

HW: Bring F451 and your annotations through page 139 to class on Friday (there will be an annotation check).  Remember that late annotations can only receive a maximum of half credit--DON'T LET THAT BE YOU!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 11, 2013

Focus: Honing our speaking and listening skills

TCAP: Shortened Class

1. Warm-up: Assigning and explaining peer feedback for persuasive speeches

2. Delivering banned book presentations

Prepare for tomorrow's fishbowl by reading and annotating through page 139.  Use any extra time at the end of TCAP to read (there is a good chance you will have a reading quiz before fishbowl tomorrow).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 7, 2013

Focus: How is Bradbury trying to persuade us to think carefully about our choices as a society?

1. Warm-up: A final piece of TCAP writing review

The prompt:  Recently, the Chicago public school system has been considering teaching sex education starting in kindergarten.  Write a letter to the Chicago school superintendent explaining whether or not you think this a good idea.

How would you approach this essay?

  • Compose a rough draft of an introduction that ends with a thesis that lays out your three main points. 
  • Then outline what each of those three body paragraphs would look like.  What specific examples could you bring into each body paragraph to prove your point?
  • Draft briefly how you would conclude this letter.

2. Fishbowl discussion: F451, pages 83-102

1. Work on your banned book persuasive speech (especially if you're going on Monday!)
2. Bring F451 to TCAP so that you can keep up with/get ahead on the reading.
3. Do your best on TCAP! Make me proud!

All Boys, All Blogged: March 6, 2013

Focus: What is the purpose of Bradbury's allusions in F451?

With the partner of your choice, you will be competing today for literary excellence!  The most accurate responses to the TCAP questions and the most thorough, thoughtful responses to the "Dover Beach" questions will earn you and your partner a treat from the Leclaire dessert/breakfast menu.

Directions: Please create a Google doc and give an MLA heading that includes both of your names.  Number and record your answers to the TCAP questions, then label your "Dover Beach" questions underneath.  Take your time and work carefully and slowly.  When you are finished, please print your responses.

1. Warm-up:  A little TCAP contest...with great rewards!

2. Cleverly unraveling the poem you're about to meet in F451: "Dover Beach"

a. Tell me the story of each stanza. In other words, put each stanza into your own words.

b. Tell me everything you know about the poem's speaker.

c. Find an important metaphor and explain it to me carefully (what is being compared to what and why?).

d. Find three images, each appealing to a different sense, and explain what they contribute to the poem.

e. Describe what you think is the poem's tone.  Defend your response with two details from the poem.

f. Identify what you see as an important shift in the poem, and explain the nature of the shift.

g. Find one important allusion in the poem.  Look up that allusion, and explain why the poem might make this particular allusion.  In other words, what does it contribute to the poem.

h. Explain one of the poem's motifs, supporting your response with two details from the poem.

i. Explore two sound devices in this poem and explain what larger idea they help reveal (ex: alliteration, assonance, rhyme, euphony, cacophony, etc.).

j. What do you think its the poem's theme?  In other words, what lesson is it trying to teach us?

k. Of all the poems in the entire world, why might Bradbury include this one in F451?  (You will be coming across it in tonight's reading).  In other words, how does this theme of this poem overlap with the ideas in F451?

l. Ask one good level 3 question that pertains to this poem.

1. Finish reading and annotating the assigned pages in F451 to prepare for tomorrow's fishbowl.
2. Please finish today's assignment if you did not finish in class.
3. Continue working on your banned book persuasive speech.

Monday, March 4, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 5, 2013

Focus: What does our future look like, according to Bradbury?

1. Warm-up: Overviewing the details of your persuasive banned book speech; signing up for presentation dates

2. Fishbowl Discussion: Fahrenheit 451, pages 63-80

1. Start preparing for Thursday's fishbowl discussion by reading and annotating.
2. Start composing your persuasive banned book speech.

Friday, March 1, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: March 4, 2013

Focus: How can we use different appeals to be persuasive?

Before we get started, please fill out an important Google form by clicking HERE.

1. Warm-up: Exploring a few definitions of ethos, logos, and pathos

2. Analyzing the use of ethos, logos, and pathos in four car commercials

3. Overviewing your banned book persuasive speech and how you will use the three appeals

4. If time, watching a professional (though sarcastic) persuasive speech and discussing how the speaker uses multiple appeals to make a strong claim

  • What is her claim?  In other words, what point is she trying to make?
  • Which details in her speech (images, phrases, word choices, etc.) appeal to ethos, logos, and pathos?

1. Prepare for tomorrow's fishbowl discussion on pages 63-80 by reading and annotating.

2. Start working on your persuasive banned book speech.