Monday, February 25, 2008

Research Paper news

You will receive your research paper topics by the end of March and they will be due at the end of May for juniors and beginning of May for freshmen. For juniors, you should be thinking about aspects of the books we've read that you have enjoyed - things like what influenced the author to write in a certain style or about a certain topic, the themes of the novels, how characters might be symbols for other things. For freshmen, you should be thinking about a well-known person who has been influential in some significant way. Have a person in mind by March 15.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Accel 11 News

Since I was unable to be in class on the Friday before vacation, I'm going to extend the deadline for your final drafts until later this week...probably Thursday or Friday. We'll talk more about it Monday and I'll get your first drafts back to you. Hope everyone enjoyed their vacation.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Accel 11: Papers and Projects

Accelerated English 11
Ms. Lesniak
Of Mice and Men: Papers and Projects

Writing Assignment 5: Convince Me (choose one topic)

Topic 1: Although it was off the list in 2006, Of Mice and Men has repeatedly found a place on the “Top Ten Most Challenged or Banned Books List” according to the American Library Association. Those opposing its use in curriculum call the book “vulgar” and “offensive” mostly because of its language. In a well-written, cohesive, organized, and clear essay, convince me whether or not the book has academic value.

Topic 2: Given the language used in this book, one could make an argument that Steinbeck was a hateful man who believed in calling people the horrible names he used in the book. However, one could also argue that Steinbeck is using such language to demonstrate its ridiculousness. In a well-written, cohesive, organized, and clear essay, convince me whether or not Steinbeck truly believes in the words he uses, or if they’re just for show.

This is a persuasive essay, so you should pinpoint specific reasons. Be convincing. Be argumentative. Pick a side and defend it. You will not be graded on your opinion, but rather on your ability to defend your opinion and shoot down the opposing view point.

Grading Criteria: (Each weighted as 1/5.)

Mechanics, spelling, clarity, grammar, proper heading
Logical organization and length (about 1 ½ pages) that increase the persuasiveness of your essay.
Specific themes/examples from the book that defend your decision.
An engaging title, intro, and conclusion
Style – has strong voice, uses strong verbs, and flows clearly from one point to the next

Project: A Qaud-Fold
During our reading of Of Mice and Men, we have spent a great deal of time discussing the stereotypes in the novella, and whether those stereotypes are reinforced or challenged.
Working as a group of no larger than 3*, create a presentation that presents whether these stereotypes have ultimately been reinforced or challenged.
You should use a tri-fold display board for this, and should divided the middle section into two equal parts, so that you may address the four groups we’ve discussed: women, African-Americans, mentally and physically handicapped (combined into one category), and migrant workers.
Each category should be clearly labeled with the group and a brief description of its stereotype at the top.
Below that please list at least 3 quotes that reinforce or challenge the stereotype.
During your in-class presentation, you will be expected to elaborate on how these quotes reinforce or challenge.
You may use notecards during your presentation, but should not have the oral presentation written out word for word.

Grading Criteria: visual worth 30 points, oral worth 30 points
Display board meets all requirements and is presented in a clear and aesthetically pleasing manner.
Quotes all support either reinforcement or challenging.
Oral presentation is well-articulated and clearly explains how the quotes fit your belief.
Everyone in the group participates equally. This means everyone talks and everyone works on the display board.