There are two things I want to clarify for everyone before tomorrow’s impromptu that I’m not sure I said in both classes:
1. Sometimes the AP test includes a compare/contrast close reading prompt. In both seminars on Monday, I tried to guide the discussion in that direction for some practice. You should be aware that the prompt tomorrow will be comparison/contrast, which complicates both the thesis AND the organization of the essay.
2. Although the book is non-fiction because it is a memoir, that doesn’t mean that it can’t contain literary/narrative elements. Remember, the author STILL gets to decide what events he includes, what details in those events he emphasizes, the order in which he tells events, the tone/attitude, the speaker, etc. So, for example, although the events and people may be real, there are still things like symbols in the book. I DON’T KNOW IF THERE WILL BE ANY SYMBOLS IN THE PASSAGES FOR TOMORROW BECAUSE I HAVEN’T CHOSEN THEM YET. So don’t think this means that I definitely want you to look for symbolism. I’m just saying, if it is there, don’t discount it because this is memoir.
You will get your grades for your seminar discussion on 5/1 and today back tomorrow. Below is a document that debriefs these, giving you tips for how the discussions in general could improve AND also providing my own mini-close reading of the passages the class discussed. Taking the time to read through these can help prepare you not only for your last seminar discussion on Thursday, but also your close reading essays.
Angela’s Ashes seminar 1 debriefing
Here is some more in-depth information about both the Huck Finn impromptu you took Tuesday and the Angela’s Ashes Chap. 2 impromptu you took today. I highly recommend you read these over as the comments on your impromptus are minimal due to the rapid turn-around time for grading them.
Huck Finn debriefing: Huck Finn Impromptu Debriefing
Huck Finn high scoring sample essay w/comments: Huck Finn Impromptu Essay example
Angela’s Ashes debriefing: angelas-ashes-chap-2-debriefing
Also, don’t forget: Read Chaps. 3-5 for Monday–there’s another seminar! (Yay, AP!) Have a good weekend.
The extra credit opportunity is to write a by-lined opinion piece for the May issue of The Source, or for The Source Website. Originally, I thought that it could be a good opportunity for those people who had a topic specifically related to school and/or teens for their research paper because so many had good information that I think other students would be interested in. However, I wanted to open up the opportunity to everyone.
Here are the guidelines:
- Email me an electronic copy on or before (6th hour) May 7
- Must be between 350 and 400 words long
- Must be on a SCHOOL or TEEN related topic (but preferably school-related)
- Must state your opinion on the topic. For more information about how to write successful opinion pieces for a newspaper, visit this link. And, while these are much longer, and not necessarily on school-related topics, here and here are examples of nationally award-winning student opinion pieces.
- Ideally, your support will come from your research topic (but doesn’t have to). In any case, you do need facts to back up your opinion–these should not simply be essays complaining/whining or preaching!
- No 5 paragraph essays! News stories of all kinds have short paragraphs–rarely more than three sentences long. Plus, you must consider your audience: other students. Write in a style/voice that will be engaging to this audience.
Everyone who submits an opinion piece by the deadline will get some extra credit. However, those that are actually published will get additional extra credit. The published pieces will be determined by the Editorial Board and by the space available in the May issue.
(Sorry, Simon–you’re not eligible 😦 )
After reading over the close reading prompt and the rubric handed out in class, also read these three sample essays and the AP reader’s evaluation of them (at the end).
Here is the PowerPoint I showed in class if you need any notes from it: Humor terms 2011
Here is the example blog I showed you in class. For other examples, see the AP section on the right of this post for a page with links to several good blogs.