Week 1

Monday, September 7


Tuesday, September 8

  • Find your name and take a seat.
  • Take out your notebook for this class, write today's date, and then respond to the following:
    • My career thus far as an English student has been …
    • I usually enjoy these parts of past English classes (and why):
    • I don't really care for these parts of past English classes (and why):
    • My favorite part of any English or Language Arts class ever (and why):
  • 6 Word Memoirs — these are based on the story that Ernest Hemingway once penned a 6 word novel: "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn." Can your life be summed up in 6 words? Is that possible?


  • Do you think writing this type of memoir is easier or tougher than writing a book-length memoir?
  • You are going to find out! The parameters of the assignment: You must write a personal memoir in only six words. Some tips:

  • As with all writing, there is no first draft, perfect draft. To accomplish this task:
    • Brainstorm: what defines you? You might start with just a list of words and events, or personality traits. Likes, dislikes, etc.
    • Start drafting, pulling words from your list. Write several different drafts of several different memoirs.
    • Choose your favorite and write it in ink or marker on the white index cards.
    • Bring these back to class tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 9

  • 6 Word Memoirs due today.
  • Warm-Up Free Write: What is your most indispensable possession and why? What is your history with this possession? Tell us a story…
  • housekeeping, announcements, and answer a couple of your questions.
  • Present your 6-word memoirs from yesterday
    • Assignment: read "The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien (pages 366-384 in the short stories anthology)
      • Be ready to discuss and write about this story tomorrow!

Thursday, September 10

  • Warm-Up Free Write: In the list of all the things the soldiers carried, what item was most surprising? Which item did you find most evocative (or symbolic) of the war? Which items stayed with you?
  • Housekeeping, announcements, and answered a couple of questions from the colored cards.
  • Mechanics day: capital letters are very important things! In groups of 3-4, see if you can remember all 14 categories of capital letter use in English.
  • Lit Focus: Mind map "The Things they Carried." In the middle of your next page in your notebook, write the name of the story, then around that, connected by lines, write the names of the specific characters mentioned, what personal, non-military items they carried, and finally, branching off of that, what that reveals about their character. If you can't remember, go back through the story.
  • Discuss the story and mind maps.

Friday, September 11

  • Warm-Up Free Write: From "The Things they Carried": In what sense does Jimmy love Martha? Why does he construct this elaborate, mostly fictional, relationship with her? What does he get out of it? AND/OR: Why do you think the soldiers tell jokes about the war, about killing?
  • housekeeping, announcements — big senior picture is going to be taken Wednesday morning (Sept. 16) at 8:10 in front of the main doors.
  • In groups of 3, compare your free write responses from today. Then we will share in the large group.
  • In your groups, can you locate 1-2 sentences in the text that you believe sum up the theme of this story?
  • Introduce Double Entry Journals — start "Rules of the Game" in class. As you read, engage with it through double entry journaling. There is a minimum of 8 entries due on Monday. If it helps, think about: What do the two main characters in this story value? Why do you think that is? What cultural or familial factors have influenced their values? What is the central struggle here?


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License