Writing an Informational, or Expository, Essay

For our unit’s writing assessment, you will have to either write an informational essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided. Many of you have written informational essay before in 9th grade, and even in middle school, but a little bit of review can always help! 🙂

According to Owl Purdue:

“The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.  Does your thesis answer the prompt? If not, fix it!

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include support.

Each paragraph should be limited to one general idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Support! Support! (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

You should have two pieces of quality evidence from the sources that support your thesis statement in general, and the topic of that particular paragraph specifically. Use a mix of direct quotes and paraphrases.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of  writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.”

You will be graded with a rubric based on the EOC test rubric – please click here to review the grading tool.

Your essay will explain  how visuals can aid learning by using information from BOTH passages provided to you. Please click here to access the essay prompt and the sources.

Remember:

• Use information from the two texts so that your essay includes important details.
• Introduce the topic clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes
sense.
• Develop the topic with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and
examples related to the topic.
• Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion.
• Clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
• Use clear language and vocabulary to inform about the topic.
• Provide a conclusion that follows the information presented.
• Check your work for correct grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

For a sample of a student’s first page with correct MLA headings, an interesting title, a creative hook and clear thesis in the introduction, clear topic sentences and skillful use of evidence in the first body paragraph, click here.

10th Grade Literature Fall 2017 Spring 2019

Parts of Speech: Adverbs

Now that we’ve reviewed pronouns and how to identify and use them correctly, we’ll move on to the second part of speech that your assessment indicated you needed to review: adverbs.

 

Adverbs describe or modify verbs, adjective or other nouns. Simple adverbs indicate one of five elements – time, manner, place, degree and frequency. 

Click here to view the powerpoint over adverbs from class. 

Some content on this page was disabled on June 18, 2019 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from The Daring English Teacher, Inc.. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/copyright-and-the-dmca/

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

The How and Why of Language – Poetry and Art: Cezzane and Duchamp, Ginsberg and Kennedy

Now that we’ve practiced analyzing poetry as a class with Van Gogh and Anne Sexton’s “Starry Night”, you’ll practice working in small groups with your peers to analyze the next set of poems and paintings.

For this assignment you will choose to either read the American poet Allen Ginsburg’s poem “Cezzane’s Ports” while examining the French painter Paul Cezzane’s painting “The Gulf of Marseilles Seen From L’Estaque”, or read American poet X.J. Kennedy’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” while analyzing the painting by French artist Duchamp with the same title.

Paul Cezzane’s painting “The Gulf of Marseilles Seen From L’Estaque”. L’Estaque is a town in southern France.

Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase”, a famous cubist painting.

Remember, refer to the chart you made in class if you have a hard time remembering which artistic elements you should be looking for, and how they relate to poetry:

Artistic Element Poetic/Literary Element
Color Imagery, or Symbolism
Texture Imagery
Images Imagery
Lines/Movement Line breaks, stanzas, enjambment
Lighting Imagery
Level of detail Imagery
Emotion Mood/Tone
Contrast Juxtaposition
Symbols Symbolism

 

Click here to access the poems if you misplaced them.

You will be responsible in Part One of this analysis project for teaching your other group members about the poem or painting you’ve selected.

In Part Two, you will work together with those students to teach the rest of the class how your poem and painting pair together.

Please click here to view the assignment sheet and rubric for this project.

 

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

The How and Why of Language – Poetry and Art: Starry Night

In class today we began discussing the ways that you can view language and poetry in much the same way you view art – paintings, and photographs.  First, we discussed that we’ll be trying to answer the questions:

  • Why would you use certain poetic devices?
  • How does using these devices change the meaning/theme of a poem?

Throughout this unit we’ll be working on answering these questions together for each of the poetic devices we encounter, and recording them on our “How and Why of Language” chart, which you can access by clicking here.

Next, we discussed the different elements that catch our eye or that we notice when we look at a picture or work of art. We discussed how bright colors catch our eye, and that sometimes we even associated certain meanings or feelings with these colors (i.e. red = danger, yellow=warm, blue=sad, depressed, cold). You guys did a great job of making connections between some of the artistic elements and similar literary elements:

Artistic Element Poetic/Literary Element
Color Imagery, or Symbolism
Texture Imagery
Images Imagery
Lines/Movement Line breaks, stanzas, enjambment
Lighting Imagery
Level of detail Imagery
Emotion Mood/Tone
Contrast Juxtaposition
Symbols

Symbolism

 

 

Next, we looked at a series of images, and you guys analyzed the artistic elements that caught your eye – you did a great job of noticing the use of contrast and line, as well as texture, to draw our attention to certain parts of the image. You also did a good job of discussion the possible connotative meaning of these images – focusing on the symbolism behind the shapes and colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all this, we zoomed out and looked at the painting as a whole, Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. We discussed how, just like a poem, you can analyze small parts of a work of art and still find details and insight – but without looking at everything as a whole, you cannot determine the theme or meaning.

Now, you will read the poem about this painting by Anne Sexton, titled “The Starry Night”. As you read this poem, look back and the painting and make connections. Look at Sexton’s use of imagery, personification and metaphor – how are they similar to the techniques Van Gogh used to create his painting?

Click here to read Anne Sexton’s “The Starry Night”

Finally, be sure to answer the writing prompt below over the poem by Anne Sexton – you must cite your evidence in MLA format. Remember, you will include the author’s last name and line numbers, and use a bracket to indicate when there should be a line break.

“…This is how/I want to die” (Sexton 5-6).

The prompt: 

  • What is the main idea of the poem that is reinforced through the refrain?
  • How is this main idea also reinforced through other poetic devices throughout the poem? 
10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

Parts of Speech – Pronouns

After our parts of speech pre-assessment yesterday, it seems we need to cover some of the different elements of pronouns together.

There are proper nouns, which give a specific name to an organization, person or place.

There are also personal pronouns, which identify a specific person place or thing and indicate singularity or plurality, and antecedents, which replace or reference pronouns.

Click here to review the pronoun powerpoint for our warm-ups this week.

You can also review the video below if you are having trouble with pronouns and antecedents:

Additionally, we discussed possessive pronouns. One thing to remember here is that possessive pronouns do not have apostrophes. ‘

Many of you were using it’s instead its. 

We also examined relative pronouns, which connect two clauses two a nouns or pronoun.

For example, “Cecil, who cannot swim, avoid fishing on the open water.” The first clause “Cecil avoids fishing on the open water” is connected to “who cannot swim”, as ‘who’ is the relative pronoun referring to Cecil.

 

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

Welcome Back Sophmores!

Over the course of this semester we will explore a variety of world literature through fiction, poetry, speeches, legal documents and other primary source manuscripts from various periods, locations and times. We’ll also focus on other skills that will improve your understanding of English – through analyzing and making connections to art, conducting research and creating digital presentation, and practicing public speaking and small group communication skills.

I look forward to our journey through World Literature together!

Please click here to access your class syllabus.

You also need to make sure to sign up for our Remind 101, as well as our Google Classroom.

1st block: Text @mrsp10lit to 81010 for Remind101 and use code: i9km69 for Google Classroom.

3rd block: Text @b1010lit at 81010 and use code: 9u8dgp6 for Google Classroom.

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

Creating Poetry to Reflect World Themes

In this assignment you will create two poems that reflect the themes or images you have observed in the literature of your world culture. These two poems must:

• Be a minimum of 14 lines long.
o If creating a blackout poem, the poem must be at least two pages.
• Reflect a clear theme.
• Use five poetic devices, three of which are common in the poetry of your culture.

To help you decide on the topic of theme of your own poems, review the information regarding the poems from you country that you’ve already read, and the information you’ve already researched. Then, decide which of these themes or devices you will be using in your own poem.

 

 

Remember, poetry uses figurative language (imagery, metaphors, similes, hyperbole) and sound devices (rhyme and rhyme scheme, alliteration, anaphora, repetition). You should use a mix of these in your own poem. Decided on the POV for your poem – 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Will your poem tell a story or share a scene or experience, or have a metaphorical discussion about a topic or theme? Remember, you don’t just have to write your poetry, you can create it with blackout poetry:

“Blackout poems can be created using the pages of old books or even articles cut from yesterday’s newspaper. Using the pages of an existing text, blackout poets isolate then piece together single words or short phrases from these texts to create lyrical masterpieces.

Step 1: Scan the page first before reading it completely. Keep an eye out for an anchor word as you scan. An anchor word is one word on the page that stands out to you because it is packed and loaded with meaning and significance.  Starting with an anchor word is important because it helps you to imagine possible themes and topics for your poem.

Step 2: Now read the page of text in its entirety. Use a pencil to lightly circle any words that connect to the anchor word and resonate with you. Resonant words might be expressive or evocative, but for whatever reason, these are the words on the page that stick with you. Avoid circling more than three words in a row.

Step 3: List all of the circled words on a separate piece of paper. List the words in the order that they appear on the page of text from top to bottom, left to right. The words you use for the final poem will remain in this order so it doesn’t confuse the reader.

Step 4: Select words, without changing their order on the list, and piece them together to create the lines of a poem. You can eliminate parts of words, especially any endings, if it helps to keep the meaning of the poem clear. Try different possibilities for your poem before selecting the lines for your final poem. If you are stuck during this step, return back to the original page of text. The right word you are searching for could be there waiting for you.

Step 5: Return to the page of text and circle only the words you selected for the final poem.  Remember to also erase the circles around any words you will not be using.

Step 6: Add an illustration or design to the page of text that connects to your poem. Be very careful not to draw over the circled words you selected for your final poem!”

Source: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/john-depasquale/blackout-poetry/

10th Grade Literature Spring 2018