HB's English Links--Classical Magnet School

Ms HB, I Forgot How to...

Research Links for CAPSTONE
Writing Links & Resources
Audio Links for American Literature
Teacher Assistants at Classical Magnet School
"American Literature" 11th Grade English @ CMS
SAT Information & Practice
Reading Links
Words, Glorious Words
AP Literature Exam Prep
How to Run a Seminar
A Pretty Good List of Literary Terms
"Modern Mythology" 10th Grade English @ CMS

Quotation Column: Choose a meaningful sentence from the assigned text, whether it is part of dialogue or prose--include page # Reaction to Quotation
Example: "During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City…" (intro) I was surprised to learn that John Steinbeck was a laborer; I didn't know that he had done that job during his lifetime.  Although I didn't know this earlier, it doesn't come as a huge shock, because Steinbeck seemed to understand that life so well.  I am reminded of the time that someone very close to me worked as a laborer; it is a physically draining life, and is not to be taken lightly.

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Wonder Why Homework Assignment

(I wonder why we have to do this…)


1.     Write 6 wonder why statements about the section you are assigned to read.

a.    Example:  "I wonder why George is so angry all the time."

2.    Choose a wonder why statement and theorize about the possibilities, using evidence from the literature and your life.

a.    Examples:  I think that George is so angry because he might be frustrated with his situation… ETCETERA…

3.    You must theorize for at least 2 full pages in your journal.  If you run out of things to say about the first wonder why, choose another one, and repeat #2.  If you run out of good wonder why’s, re-read, or call a friend!

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Word Bank


1.       Start from the last page of your composition books

2.      As you read (ANYTHING, but especially the assigned texts for class), and you come across a word you’d like to add to your word bank, record:

a.      The word

b.      The sentence in which you found it (or if you forgot it, a sentence from the dictionary)

c.      A definition that fits the use of the word in the sentence you found it and makes sense to YOU (it doesn’t have to be from a dictionary!)

d.      For extra credit, make a picture (just a little sketch) that signifies the word

3.       You'll need at least 50 words each marking period, and they may not be any vocabulary words that we have covered in class, (unless the word has a completely different meaning).

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Response to Literature (RTL) Guiding Questions
(Choose 2 from each section and respond to them in your journals).

Initial Reaction

(What is your initial reaction to the story?  Include any questions, thoughts, or opinions you may have.)

1.        What happens in the selection?

2.        Who is involved(characters)?

3.        What is the major conflict, issue, or problem in the text?  What is the result of the conflict?  What does the conflict and/or its resolution show or teach us?

4.        How do you feel about this conflict? the resolution?

5.        Why do the characters do what they do?  say what they say? think what they think?  What is/are the motivation(s) of the character(s)?

6.        What is the setting?  How does the setting affect (add to the story, change something in the story, add to the meaning) the story or conflict?

7.        Does a character change in the selection?  How?  Why does this character change?

8.        Does a character learn anything in the selection?  What?  What does this lesson do for the character?  How do we know the character learned something?

9.        Did you learn anything from the selection?  What?  How did you learn this?

10.      What questions do you have about the text? What might the answers to those questions be?

11.      What thoughts do you have about the selection? Explain.

12.      What conclusions have you made about it? Why?

13.      What is the major theme in the selection? How do you know?



(Discuss the meaning/relationship of a quotation, the title, how the character changes during the story) 


1.        Using the theme/message/lesson the character learns, tell what the title or quote means and how it relates to the story, characters, lesson, overall meaning,  etc.

2.        How does the quote fit the character, theme, or story line?

3.        Why is the quote important?

4.        Is the quote the theme, message, or lesson of the story?  Explain.

5.        How does the quote further the reader’s insight into the characters, theme, etc.?

6.        How does the main character change from the beginning of the text to the end (of the selection)?

7.        How does this quotation relate to the whole text?

8.        How does the quotation further your understanding of the character(s) or the theme(s) in the text?



(What does this story tell us about people in general?  How does this story relate to life, a story you have read, a piece of art, a movie or television program you have seen, people you know, etc.)

1.        Which characters do you identify with (who they are, what they do, what they say, what they learn, etc.)? Why?

2.        Have you been in a similar situation/conflict?  Explain.

3.        Have you learned similar lessons/messages?  Explain.

4.        Do you know people who are similar to characters in this selection?

5.        How does this selection relate to your life, your friends, your situation, etc.?  Explain. 

6.        Does the theme, message, or lesson fit your life in any way?  Explain.


Critical Stance

(Is the author effective in creating a piece of good literature?)

1.        Is this selection good literature?  Explain how it fits or does not fit with your definition of good literature.

2.        Does the setting of the story aid in relating the meaning of the story?

3.        Is the dialogue realistic and effective?

4.        Are the characters realistic/believable?

5.        How does the use of language/wording/word usage/phrasing add or detract from the selection?

6.        What literary devices does the author use in the selection? How do they aid/detract from the overall message of the selection?

7.        Is the message relevant? Does it matter in the “grand scheme of things”?

8.        What  do you like or dislike about this selection?

9.        Would you recommend this selection to a relative or friend?  Why?  What would you tell them about the selection?

10.      What is your opinion of the message/lesson/theme?  It is an important lesson?  Is this relevant to everyday life?

11.      What literary devices did the author use in the text?  How do these literary devices enhance or detract from the overall  text? 

12.      How does this text help you to further your understanding of human nature?  Explain.

13.      Should all students read this selection?  Why or why not?

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I'm getting an A!  YAY!