The Excellent Endeavors of English Class

Writing is an empowering exploration. Let the discoveries begin!

Ten Line Poem

Now that you’ve completed your literary analysis essays, it’s time for you to have the chance to stretch your creativity!! PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS AN OPTIONAL ACTIVITY – A CHANCE TO ADD VARIED WRITING FORMS TO YOUR DIGITAL PORTFOLIO.

Your challenge is to write a ten line poem. The poem must include one sentence from your literary analysis book -that you have changed in some way. (The sentence you choose is up to you!).

Within your own ten lines, you must include FIVE words from your book that help illustrate the theme. To prepare, write your five words here:

  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________
  • __________________________

Be sure to include a creative title for your poem. This will be the title of your post.

Be sure to include a visual representation. Take your own picture or find a copyright safe picture on the web.


Bonus Blog Challenge:   a. Use this link HERE to find tools to create an avatar for your blog. If you’ve already created one, you are good to go! (link to avatar tools thanks to EduBlogs!!!)

  1. Once you create your avatar, add it to your blog so that it shows up wherever you’ve commented. Instructions are HERE. Basically, you will go here within your dashboard:
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Focusing on our Focus

Hello AP Lang Students!! You should each be very proud of your first post on your very own websites. I hope you enjoyed the process as much as I enjoyed reading your thoughts and initial impressions. Your insights are already reflecting your connections to your independent books!

It’s time to take the time to reflect again. THIS TIME, respond to this question:  What do you see as the focus for your literary analysis paper so far? Respond in at least two paragraphs.

First paragraph: Be sure to name the work and author within this paragraph. Explain your point of interest in your reading so far. What are you interested in analyzing at this point? (Remember, this could very well change). Then, choose a quotation from the book and comment upon its importance in terms of your focus as you see it so far.

Second paragraph: Explain a possible disagreement you have with the story, with the overall structure of the text or with a particular rhetorical decision the author makes in relating the story.


Express your praise for how the author may have capitalized on a certain aspect of the piece. What is he or she doing particularly well in terms of the story itself and/or the way he/she expresses the story.

Be sure to support your disagreement or praise with clear, concise support and reasoning.

[Focus topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of Theme (describe what you think that is at this point)
  • Analysis of Character (s)
  • Plot structure
  • Analysis of Setting
  • Symbolism
  • Analysis of Imagery/Figurative Language
  • Analysis of Point of View
  • Analysis of Organizational Structure
  • Analysis of Diction
  • What else?]


Be sure to include:

~ Creative title for your post  

  • Identification of your book title and author
  • At least one visual (If you used the book cover for your first post, use something different this time such as a symbol to represent the theme)

Find a copyright safe photo by one of these methods:

  1. Do a Safe Google Search (as demonstrated in class)    OR
  2. look at one of these sites in the chart below   OR
  3. include your own photo!!

From Kathleen Morris’s Fabulous Blog at

Please complete and publish this post by Friday, February 1st.

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Welcome to the World of Blogging!

Welcome Periods 1, 2 and 5 AP Language and Composition students to what very well may be your first online blogging experience!  Digital literacy skills are essential to your future success in college and beyond, and I am excited to be offering you the opportunity to practice within this safe learning environment.

After reviewing the D211 digital democracy points and designing your initial blogs (that’s a fun part!), you will soon feel empowered with this new platform to digitally engage in class discussions while sharing your writing with authentic audiences. I hope you find these life-skill experiences enjoyable and beneficial as you will be adding substantial work to your DIGITAL FOOTPRINT.

Initially, we will be using this site to share some of our discoveries and insights as we read our 2nd semester independent reading books.  We’ll be conversing with each other across all three of my classes and perhaps to other classes as well. Blogging provides a unique opportunity to share our interpretations more widely as we gain immediate feedback from our peers. It is my hope that the posts you experiment with here help you evolve into deeper literary analysis of what you are reading. Let the exploring begin!!

Poster courtesy of Kathleen Morris at



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R & J Argumentative Topic: Should Parents Have a Say in Who You Date?!






Some teenagers don’t have any qualms over their parents approving dates, believing it is simply one more way parents show their care and concern.  Other teens feel that this is not necessary and, furthermore, shows parents don’t trust a teen’s judgment.    What do you feel?  Should your parents approve of the people you choose to date?

Rough Draft Due: Monday, May 9th

Final Paper Due: Thursday, May 12th

Write a post in which you respond to this argumentative prompt.

a.  Please place this in “Argumentative” category on here

b.  Please include a properly cited photo (your own or copyright safe)

c. Be sure your thesis is stated at the end or near the end of the introduction. Your thesis should clearly identify your position and rationale.

d. Address the opposing viewpoint early on in your paper, most likely at the beginning  of your first body paragraph.

e. In your first body paragraph, explain your first reason with your own personal experience.  In your second body paragraph, explain your second reason with an example from Romeo and Juliet; use an ICE quote from the play to support your position.

Remember to provide ample explanation for your belief.  Pretend your parents really are announcing they need to filter your dates!

Once your response is complete, I will be inviting your parents to comment on your blogs.  Regardless of their points of view, this will be a chance for your parents to share in your writing.  My hope is that this spawns some interesting comment feeds!

Here is a link to a former student’s response to this assignment (along with his parents’ comments!).   Here is a link to another response – check out the parent responses as well!


Question for a Senior Viking

Okay, fabulous freshmen – it’s time to branch out just a wee bit beyond the four walls of our cozy, cool classroom.  Don’t worry, we won’t branch out too far (yet!) . . . just a few doors down to my senior Expository Writing class.  I am excited about the communication and authentic writing we are about to take part in!!



Assignment:  You will write a post directed to a senior here at FHS.  If you could ask one question about the four years spent here at FHS, what would it be?  The question could be related specifically to Fremd OR it could be concerning high school life in general.
Audience:  You will be paired with one of my senior writing students at Fremd High School
Purpose:  To get a realistic picture of high school life from a reliable source 🙂
Format:  Letter format that includes:

  • A Salutation (Dear Senior OR Dear Esteemed Upper Classman OR another salutation you create )
  • A Thank You directed to this senior, thanking for his/her time in answering the question
  • Closing and signature

Length:  Let’s make it worth their while.  Please express your question with at least TWO PARAGRAPHS.  To help you elaborate, think about this:  How will the answer to this facilitate your time here?  What will you do with this information that the seniors offer to you?

INCLUDE MEDIA:  to help illustrate the advice . . . .

– picture (yours or Google Image/Safe Search cited correctly)

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 11.40.33 AM






  • Place this in the CREATIVE NON-FICTION category (create the category if you don’t already have it)
  • Once this is published and looked over by me, I will pair you with one of my seniors.
  • That student will read your post eagerly and respond back with an answer.
  • You will, in turn, respond to any questions or clarifications asked of you.  This will be our first official comment thread!


– Monday, March 7th, before class

We will be in the Lab on Friday – and you will have time over the weekend to finish this.

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