The Shape of Stories

In the next two weeks  we will be reading and examining a series of short stories, and discussing the ‘shape’ of short stories – their plots.

 

Many of you are probably familiar with a simplified version of Freytag’s Pyramid :middle-school-plot-diagram (1)

plot-shape-conflict-2-638However, while this is an easy way to remember the typical form of plot progression in Western storytelling, it is not completely accurate. Not all, not most, stories follow this plot progress. Stories have their own ‘shape’ – and the more interesting the plot of the story, the more interesting the shape.

Listen to amazing short story writer Kurt Vonnegut explain the ‘shape of stories’ by clicking the link below.

Click here to listen to Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘The Shape of Stories’.

Vonnegut explains that stories are much more complex that the typical Freytag’s Pyramid.

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Think of movies you’ve watched – what type of ‘shape’ did the plot create? Think about tv shows – each episode has its own plot, and then all the episodes in a season create a larger plot as well.

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As we read through the short stories in this unit I want you to consider the ‘shape’ of these stories. You will need to keep track of them – and decide which ‘shape’ make for the most interesting story.

Also remember that we’re looking at the shape of Western stories (stories from American or Europe) – stories from other cultures in Asian and the Middle East follow a much different plot structure. Stories in Asian culture are often told in a cyclical or spiral manner:

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If you’ve ever watched an Asian movie or tv show (Dragon Ball Z) and felt like so much information was being repeated, or that the story took a really long time to ‘get going’, it was probably because their storytelling structure is so different from ours.

Some modern storytellers and movie-makers like Christopher Nolan are trying to use new and interesting plot structures – if you’ve seen these movies and have been confused about what’s happen, that’s probably why!

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10th Grade Literature Spring 2018

Conducting Research – Determining the Reliability of Sources

As we being our unit on World Literature, you will be deciding which culture you would like to research and explore in your groups. You will also need to brainstorm six questions about this culture or literature you would like to find the answers to.

Once you have decided which culture’s literature you’re focusing on, and have determine which set of questions you want to research the answers to, you will need to make sure you use only RELIABLE SOURCES!

Remember, reliable sources are those that can be trusted to provide unbiased, factual information. Reliable sources include .org, .gov or .edu websites, books, news organizations, educational journals or publications.

Unreliable sources cannot be trusted for accuracy or for an unbiased perspective. Unreliable sources include Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, any .net or .com website, blogs, editorials from newspapers, or forums.

Click here to view the worksheet from class on reliable vs unreliable sources.

Remember, if you have a hard time determine if a source is reliable or not, you can always ask us to check it with you!

You will need to gather information from reliable sources to answer the questions you’ve selected from above, and be sure to paste the information in your GoogleDocs. You will need to use this information throughout the week to write an extended essay response, so please save your research!

10th Grade Literature Spring 2018

Diagramming Sentence: Prepositional Phrases

Before you can effectively write using the English language, or even analyze how others use writing effectively, you need to be familiar with the basic parts and components of the English language. I know grammar isn’t your favorite subject to study and learn (hey, it isn’t my favorite either), BUT knowing and being able to identify these smaller component of your own language will allow you to write more effectively and assess and improve your own writing as the year progresses.

This week we will be examining how to correctly diagram adjectives and adverbs. Remember, you must pay attention to whether the adjective or adverb describes the verb or subject or direct object of a sentence, or if the adverb is modifying an adjective to determine where you should place it in your diagram.

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begin with a preposition and end with a pronoun. The whole phrases functions as either an adjective or adverb.

But what is a preposition? The technical definition is that a preposition is a word that shows the relationship between nouns or pronouns and other elements in the rest of the sentence. The easy definition is that a preposition is anything a worm can do to an apple:

 

Remember, when a prepositional phrase acts as an adjective, it modifies nouns and pronouns:

 

When prepositional phrases act as adverbs the modify verbs, adverbs or adjectives:

Remember, when a prepositional phrase acts as an adjective it can modify any noun or pronoun – not just those in the subject. Sometimes they modify the object of another prepositional phrase:

Practice diagramming prepositional phrases with the sentences below:

  1. The beautiful flowers in the garden are growing strong.
  2. That dog across the street has been barking again.
  3. Has Lucy been reading all night?
  4. The plane flew above the puffy, white clouds.
  5. The hairy dog sat in the corner of the room.
  6. The cookie dough is in the back of the fridge.
  7. The rusty shovel with the blue handle sat in my garage.
  8. These three adorable puppies in the basket on the floor have been whimpering since this morning.
  9. Every candle in the little church on Main Street burned brightly throughout the night.
  10. In May, the vigorous plants in Cathy’s vegetable garden grow very quickly.
10th Grade Literature 11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018 Spring 2018

Translating the Poetry of Sappho

For the past two days we have been examining the lyric poetry of Ancient Greece, and are focusing our attention on one poem in particular by the female poet Sappho. We discussed literary devices you should be looking for in poetry (see the Unit 1 Vocabulary post for the list) and now you are ready to begin analyzing poetry!

In class we looked at an original version of the poem in Greek script, in Roman script and Greek Language, and then two translations of the poem into English. The first translation is from the 1870’s, which means the diction you will find in it is a little ‘old fashioned’. The final translations of the poem is in a modern version, which should be much easier to read!

Click here to read the four versions of the Sappho Love Poem

Remember, you should be identifying the devices listed below for each poem, and explaining the elements in Part 2 on a separate piece of paper. Everything you needs for this analysis should be in your notes over Ancient Greek Poets and vocabulary.

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Over the next few days you will read and analyze these poems in class and on your own, before writing your own translation of Sappho’s poem!

Click here for the assignment sheet over ‘Writing Your Own Sapphic Poem’.

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10th Grade Literature Spring 2018

R.A.C.E. Method,Constructed Response, and Citing Textual Evidence

Today in class we reviewed how to answer constructed response questions – a skill you started building last year in 9th grade. As you work on answering the constructed response questions over Cupid and Psyche’ the next two days, be sure to refer to the notes from class and the helpful rubrics and worksheets you were given.

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You can also refer to the example we did in class below – this is the answer to question one from your assignment: “Why is Venus so jealous of Psyche? Does it make sense for the goddess of love and beauty to be jealous? Why or why not?”

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Remember, I will be using the same rubric that will be used on your 11th Grade EOC Test next year to grade your constructed responses – Its never too early to start preparing!

Click here to access the constructed response rubric I will be using to grade these assignments with.

Click here to access the constructed response questions over Cupid and Psyche if you lost your sheet from class.

Remember, when citing textual evidence you have three steps to follow.

  • First, be sure to include a signal phrase. This is a phrase, in your own words, that will lead into the quote. For example:  Cupid refused to let Psyche see his face, saying “I would rather you love me as I am that as a god” (Coolidge 223).
  • Next, you need to quote directly from the text, and put quotation marks around the text. For example: Cupid refused to let Psyche see his face, saying “I would rather you love me as I am that as a god” (Coolidge 223).
  • Finally, you need to list the authors last name and the page number in parenthesis after the quote, and then end with a period. For example: Cupid refused to let Psyche see his face, saying “I would rather you love me as I am that as a god” (Coolidge 223). 

Follow these steps and you’ll have citing textual evidence down perfectly!

10th Grade Literature Spring 2018

Diagramming Sentence: Indirect Objects

Before you can effectively write using the English language, or even analyze how others use writing effectively, you need to be familiar with the basic parts and components of the English language. I know grammar isn’t your favorite subject to study and learn (hey, it isn’t my favorite either), BUT knowing and being able to identify these smaller component of your own language will allow you to write more effectively and assess and improve your own writing as the year progresses.

This week we will be examining how to correctly diagram indirect objects.

Indirect objects are nouns of pronouns that recieve the direct object. This means that you have only have an indirect object in a sentence if you have a direct object.

 The baby kicked me the ball. 

In this sentence the ball is receiving the action of the verb ‘kicked’, making it the direct object. The pronoun me is recieving the direct object the ball, making it the indirect object.

Diagramming indirect objects requires you to remember that they are not only receiving the direct object, but are also the understood object of a preposition. Sound confusing? Its not, I promise!

Look a the sentence  The baby kicked me the ball. 

Another way to phrase this sentence is The baby kicked the ball to me.

When you diagram indirect object, do so as it they were the object of a preposition, and put an (x) where the understood preposition would go.

Try practicing with the following sentences:

  1. Could you bake me a cake?
  2. Natalie bought her elderly grandmother flowers.
  3. OH NO! Amazon sent me the wrong book!
  4. Patrick and Bob gave Rupert pygmies goat.
  5. The flight attendant handed Alex a puke-bag.

 

10th Grade Literature 11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018 Spring 2018

Diagramming Sentences – Adjective and Adverbs

Before you can effectively write using the English language, or even analyze how others use writing effectively, you need to be familiar with the basic parts and components of the English language. I know grammar isn’t your favorite subject to study and learn (hey, it isn’t my favorite either), BUT knowing and being able to identify these smaller component of your own language will allow you to write more effectively and assess and improve your own writing as the year progresses.

This week we will be examining how to correctly diagram adjectives and adverbs. Remember, you must pay attention to whether the adjective or adverb describes the verb or subject or direct object of a sentence, or if the adverb is modifying an adjective to determine where you should place it in your diagram.

Please watch the video below if you need an example, or didn’t get the notes from class.

You will be diagramming the sentences below as examples:

  1. Two fat birds chirped.
  2. That cute baby has been laughing.
  3. Will my mother sing?
  4. The lovely, scented candle burned brightly.
  5. Very politely, Henry bowed.
  6. The little red bird flew rather gracefully.
  7. Where did that fat cat go?
  8. Who is eating so noisily?
  9. Can my chicken stay here?
  10. Stop rudely slurping that soup!
10th Grade Literature 11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018 Spring 2018