Charlotte Perkins Gilman – The Yellow Wallpaper

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Over the next two days we will be reading the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. A feminist, social reformer and novelist, Gilman based the story of “The Yellow Wallpaper” on her own experiences with depression and the popular 19th century ‘rest cure’. In her short story she examines the impact that this ‘cure’ has on the mental state of her female protagonist, and makes a clear statement against the control that a patriarchal society held over every aspect of women’s lives in the 19th century.

 

As we examine this text, remember to apply the lens of Feminist Criticism to your analysis. If you’ve forgotten how to do this, remember:

Feminist Criticism:  Feminist criticism is concerned with the impact of gender on writing and
reading. It usually begins with a critique of patriarchal culture. It is concerned with the place of female writers in the literary cannon. Finally, it includes a search for a feminine theory or approach to texts. Feminist criticism is political and often revisionist. Feminists often argue that male fears are portrayed through female characters. They may argue that gender determines everything, or just the opposite: that all gender differences are imposed by society, and gender determines nothing.

Advantages: Women have been underrepresented in the traditional cannon, and a feminist approach to literature attempts to redress this problem.

Disadvantages: Feminists turn literary criticism into a political battlefield and overlook the merits of works they consider “patriarchal.” When arguing for a distinct feminine writing style, they tend to relegate women’s literature to a ghetto status; this in turn prevents female literature from being naturally included in the literary cannon. The feminist approach is often too theoretical.

Checklist of Feminist Critical Questions:

  • To what extent does the representation of women (and men) in the work reflect the place and time in which the work was written?
  • How are the relationships between men and women or those between members of the same sex presented in the work?
  • What roles do men and women assume and perform and with what consequences?
  • Does the author present the work from within a predominantly male or female sensibility?
  • Why might this have been done, and with what effects?
  • How do the facts of the author’s life relate to the presentation of men and women in the work? To their relative degrees of power?
  • How do other works by the author correspond to this one in their depiction of the power relationships between men and women?

Please click here for access to Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper”.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Writing An Argumentative, or Persuasive, Essay

For our Georgia Milestone End of Course Assessment you will have to either write an informational or an argumentative essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided. Many of you have written argumentative essays before in 9th grade, and even in middle school, but a little bit of review can always help! 🙂

According to Owl Purdue:

“The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.

Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the SAT or ACT.

Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.

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

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

In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important (exigence) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • 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. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis (warrant).

However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.

  • 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 may 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 the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.

A complete argument

Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.

The five-paragraph essay

A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.”

Your essay will be scored on a 7 point rubric, with four of those points focusing on organization, focus and style and the remaining 3 focusing on mechanics and grammar. I will be grading you with the same rubric the GA DOE will use on the EOC assessment – please familiarize yourself with the rubric below:

Before we being writing our own essay, lets look at some examples.

Click the document below to access a sample informational essay. You will find the prompt for the essay on page 76, and the student sample essay with feedback and notations on pages 107-114.

Click here to access the sample essays.

 

For this essay you will be reading two articles about the Supreme Court, and taking a position based on the information you gather in these articles.

Click here to access your first source over the Supreme Court.

Click here to access your second source over the Supreme Court.

Now that you have read the article, think about ideas, facts, definitions, details, and other information and examples you want to use. A helpful worksheet on breaking down the claims in the first source is available here, should you need it.

Think about how you will introduce your topic and what the main topic will be for each paragraph. Develop your ideas clearly and use your own words, except when quoting directly from the source texts. Be sure to identify the sources by title or number when using details or facts directly from the
sources.

Write an argumentative essay in your own words taking a position on the question: “Should Supreme Court Justices be appointed to lifetime positions?” 

Be sure to:

  • Use information from the two texts so that your essay includes important details.
  •  Introduce you claim clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes
    sense.
  • Develop your claim with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and
    examples related to the topic.
  • Address and engage with your opponent’s claim in an unbiased manner, citing evidence to refute their position.
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion.
  • Clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
  • Use clear language and vocabulary.
  • Provide a conclusion that follows the position presented.
  • Check your work for correct grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.
11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Immigration, Indian Wars and Classicism in Post-Civil War Amercia

As we wrap up our unit on Realism it is important to you examine the perspectives of multiple groups in America, and their issues and concerns, after the Civil War. The three main groups we will be analyzing are immigrants to the United States (Chinese and Irish), the Native Americans, freed slaves, women and the poor. There is a lot of intersection between these groups and their causes and concerns, so know that as we examine and discuss these texts you may see many similarities.

Click here to access our primary source documents

Coming to America: Immigration and the Rise of Nativism

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As immigrants from China flocked to America to work on the Transcontinental railroad in the west, Irish and Italian immigrants flocked to the large factory cities of the American Northwest. Support for immigration waned at the end of the 19th century, with many Americans becoming distrustful of, and resenting, the influx of immigrants. Review the video below, and read the primary source document “Very Few Become Americanized” and “The Dives of New York are Hot-Beds of Crime”.

 

 

 

Free at Last: Life for Former Slaves after the Civil War

voter-intimidtn-1876Though finally granted their freedom, after the Civil War former slaves had to navigate life in an America that was not always receptive to their inclusion. The lack of education that slaves were burdened with made life after the war even more difficult, and the Jim Crow and Black Codes were enacted to limit African America’s rights to property, legal representation and ability to vote. Review the video below, and read the primary source documents “The people of both races will have equal accommodations” and “We had only our ignorance”.

 

 

 

The Last Indian Wars: An End to America’s Native People

011669mThough systematic removal, expulsion and killing of the Native Americans has been taking place for over 400 years, by the end of the 19th century the last of the battles and skirmishes between the Native people of American and the new ‘Americans’ would come to their bloody conclusion. As the last of the tribes in the west refused to be relocated again and leave their homes, they came into direct conflict with the U.S. Government and the American citizens of the Southwest. Many young Native Americans were sent to camps and schools to ‘civilize’ them and assimilate them forcibly into white American culture. After the Indian Wars ended, the Native people of America were largely confined to reservations, and the 500+ year resistance against the non-Native people ended. Review the video, and read the primary source documents “Massacre of the Cheyenne Indians”, “I will fight no more forever” and “It was one long grave of butchered women and children and babies”.  Note – these documents are very accurate, and as a result graphic, in their recounting of Native American experiences.

 

 

Women after the Civil War: “All my sex are doomed to political subjection”

wmarriagecThe Suffrage movement continued on after the end of the Civil War, with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony leading the way. The fight for women’s suffrage would continue on for another 40 years before women were given the right to vote. As the 19th century closed and the 20th century began, the Suffrage movement also began to focus more on issue of women’s education, legal rights and representation, domestic abuse, employment and access to medial care and birth control. We will definitely revisit the role of women’s rights again in the Harlem Renaissance and the Modernist period – until then, be sure to review the video below and read the primary source “All my sex are doomed to political subjection”.

 

 

 

After you’ve read these primary source document, complete a SOAPSTone Analysis for each.

 

Ask yourself these three questions as you analyze and compare these documents (hint: they may end up being your topic for classroom debate or an essay prompt later).

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  1. How does the tone and voice of the document impact your perception of the events discussed? In which documents do you think the author was initially controlling the tone to achieve their purpose?
  2. Are they any documents, or sections of the documents, that contradict each other? What does this tell us about the author, context and purpose?
  3.  How do the experiences of the different groups represented in these primary source documents relate to previous documents we’ve read? How do they continue the story of these minority groups in America from our last unit?
11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Diagramming Sentence: Verbals

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 verbals – gerunds, participial and infinitives.

Gerunds end with -ing and act as nouns.

Participials end in -ing, -d, -t, or -n, and act as adjectives.

Infinitives are to+verb, and they act as adjectives, nouns or adverbs.

 

 

Gerunds are function as subjects, direct object, indirect objects, objects of prepositions and more. When you diagram a gerund, you place them on ‘steps’. Put the -ing of the verb on the lower step and the rest of the verb on the upper step. You then attach your steps to the sentence with a pedestal in whichever part of speech the gerund is functioning as.

In the sentence ‘Running is fun’, running is a gerund. It is formed from the verb ‘run’ and ends in -ing, and functions as a noun in the subject of the sentence.

Gerunds can also have compliments (direct/indirect obj) or modifiers (adj, adv). These are called gerund phrases.

The sentence ‘Running marathons is fun’ is a gerund phrase. It’s made up of the gerund ‘running’ and the direct object ‘marathons’.

Now practice with the following sentences:

  1. My sister and I enjoy laughing.
  2. Wow! Riding my bike is really fun.
  3. Jumping rope for twenty minutes is good for your heart.
  4. My favorite game is throwing a frisbee to my dog.
  5. I dream of diving to the bottom of the ocean.

 

Next, you should practice diagramming sentences with infinitives.

Infinitives act as a noun, adjective or adverb and is made up of two words: to+verb.

For example, in the sentence Kittens want to play, the infinitive ‘to play’ acts as a noun (or direct object) of the verb ‘want’.

infinative1

There are also ‘bare infinitives’  – these are infinitives that do not have the ‘to’ in front of the verb. They normally occur with verbs like feel, hear, help, let, make, see and watch.

Additionally, there are also infinitive phrases, where you have the infinitive and the words that modify and/or compliment it.

infinative2

To diagram infinitives, you’ll need to follow these rules:

infinative3

 

Now practice with the following sentences:

  1. I love to go to the movie with my friends.
  2. The best thing for me to do is to try to control my urge to shop.
  3. If I plan to save my money for the trip, I definitely need to resist the temptation to shop online.
  4. I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving Break to get here.
  5. I cannot wait to see The Last Jedi on opening night.
11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Paul Lawrence Dunbar – We Wear the Mask

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Paul Laurence Dunbar was an American poet, novelist, and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar’s parents had both been slaves prior to the Civil War, and he was apart of the first group of African Americans to be born free and emancipated from slavery in the United States. His work focused on the dialect and language of the Southern slaves and African Americans, though he had a difficult time publishing this work. He wanted to record and preserve the language of the southern African Americans, as slaves had been kept illiterate, and he knew that this history would be lost. Eventually Dunbar would go on to write poems, stories and articles in standard forms, and would receive acclaim and praise for them.

 

In class we are analyzing Dunbar’s poem ‘We Wear The Mask’, and tracing how not only the tone of the poem shifts in each stanza, but also how the speaker feels about the ‘mask’ they where. Please be sure to analyze this poem thoroughly, and it will be on your test!

 

Click here to access Dunbar’s poem.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Naturalism in American Literature

As we move away from the Realist period in American literature and into the 20th century, we approach the literary period known as ‘Naturalism’. While many of the other periods of writing in American literature had fairly distinct timelines and major events that acted as ‘endcaps’, the Naturalist period overlaps many of the other time periods – Realism, and The Harlem Renaissance. While very similar to Realism, there are distinct differences between the two periods:realism-and-naturalism-in-acting-context-6-638

As we read through these texts, pay attention to how we are finally presented with stories that have characters who struggle with their emotions and their own psychology. We will also be examining stories that develop the struggles of characters in poverty and characters who are disenfranchised in society.

 

Please watch the video below to catch up on your in-class notes if you missed them!

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Writing an Informational, or Expository, Essay

For our Georgia Milestone End of Course Assessment you will have to either write an informational or an argumentative 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 appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • 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 evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.

  • 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 expository 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.”

 

Your essay will be scored on a 7 point rubric, with four of those points focusing on organization, focus and style and the remaining 3 focusing on mechanics and grammar. I will be grading you with the same rubric the GA DOE will use on the EOC assessment – please familairize yourself with the rubric below:

 

Before we being writing our own essay, lets look at some examples.

Click the document below to access a sample informational essay. You will find the prompt for the essay on page 101, and the student sample essay with feedback and notations on pages 120-124.

Click here to access the sample essay.

 

For this essay you will be reading an article over the current cultural divide in America on whether we should remove Confederate Statues and Monuments. Click on the image below to read the article – note, the password for access to UpFront Magazine has been sent to you in a Remind 101 message.

Now that you have read the article, think about ideas, facts, definitions, details, and other information and examples you want to use.

Think about how you will introduce your topic and what the main topic will be for each paragraph.
Develop your ideas clearly and use your own words, except when quoting directly from the source
texts. Be sure to identify the sources by title or number when using details or facts directly from the
sources.

Write an informational essay in your own words explaining the reasons that each side of the cultural divide over the removal of Confederate Monuments gives to support their cause. 

Be sure to:
• 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.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017