Wednesday, March 2, 2022: Writing Wednesday and Unpacking the Embedded Assessment

Due to the basketball block party this afternoon, I know some students will be out of class. Please see today’s assignment below to make sure you are on track!

1. Writing Wednesday

Prompt: (This will serve as your prewriting for the embedded assessment.)

In your opinion, what is one contemporary issue that needs to be solved either within our school, immediate community, state, or country? Why is this issue important? Provide clear reasons.

In a second paragraph, offer a possible solution for this problem. What should we do to fix this issue?

2. Unpacking Embedded Assessment #2: Writing and Presenting a Persuasive Speech

At the end of our unit, you will be writing a synthesis essay that will require you to write and present a persuasive speech on a topic of your choice.

Before we do this, you will “unpack” our embedded assessment. The purpose of this activity is to determine our end goal in order to make sure we learn the skills and tools necessary to get there. If we start with the end in mind, it’ll be easier to connect our daily lessons to our greater goal.

Please flip to the rubric on page 198 in your Springboard book. Your group will:

  • Circle the skills (verbs) and underline the knowledge (nouns) in the “proficient” category and the embedded assessment description.
  • Summarize each bullet point on the section of the rubric your group is assigned to on the “Unpacking the Embedded Assessment” graphic organizer. Please work in groups. We will come back as a class to debrief at the end.

3. USA Test Prep

If you finish early, you may complete this week’s USA Test Prep!

“Harlem” by Langston Hughes: SIFT Analysis

Happy Friday! Today, we will read and analyze Langston Hughes’s poem, “Harlem.” The play we are about to start, A Raisin in the Sun, includes this poem on the title page. We will use the SIFT method to analyze our poem for symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone, and theme. Since we have completed a few poetry analyses together, today, it’s your turn to analyze with your team members!

Please see the presentation below if you were not in class or need a refresher:

(The last page is especially helpful to expand your tone vocabulary!)

January 28, 2022: American Perspectives OPTIC Analysis

Good morning to my first period and good afternoon to my fourth! Thank you all for being on your best behavior while I am away today 🙂 Please read the post below in its entirety, and be sure to view my example below the first cartoon so you can get an idea of the content and depth of analysis I am looking for. You and your group may use the cartoons below, or go out in the hallway (hang right) for the same cartoons, printed. It’s up to you!

Both analyses are due in the box at the end of the class period, so please be sure to work diligently! Have a WONDERFUL weekend and be sure to give your classmates a high-five as you leave 🙂 

Warm-up: Ditloid Puzzles #2 

Please see below for some hints on your ditloid puzzles! After ~15 minutes, the sub will go over the correct answers with you.

  1. There’s 13 so the “B” can eat one
  2. Running
  3. You can find tons of these in Vegas casinos
  4. Religious symbol
  5. Music
  6. Geometry
  7. Basketball
  8. Large court cases have these
  9. A common move in a specific board game
  10. You may find one crawling through your home

Today, you will complete an OPTIC analysis on two pieces of visual text. Analyzing a visual text means that whatever you’re analyzing is a visual medium – think photographs, political cartoons, book covers, paintings, sculptures, posters, and even TV, movies, and documentaries.

For the purposes of your assignment, please choose two of the visual texts below. Use the guiding questions within your graphic organizer to answer each question in the corresponding boxes of the OPTIC. You will complete one cartoon analysis with your table group, and another cartoon analysis on your own. (For the group one, only one sheet needs to be submitted, but please make sure everyone’s name is on it!)

Overview: When you look at the cartoon, what is the first impression you receive? What do you think is happening in this cartoon?

Parts: ​What are the different parts or pieces of this cartoon? Break the cartoon into small pieces using artistic terms to explain what you see. This is the only section where you can use bullet points rather than complete sentences.

Theme: What is the theme of this cartoon? What is the message that is being conveyed through the visual?  What is the artist trying to “tell” you about their piece?  Be very specific with your explanation.

Interrelationships: How do all of the pieces in the cartoon relate to each other? What is the relationship between the central figures and the foreground/ background? What symbolism is present? What is the overall tone of the cartoon?

Conclusions: When searching for the conclusion of this cartoon, look for the artist’s purpose.  Why was this cartoon designed in this way?  Be specific.

Political Cartoon Options (please number on your paper):


1. by Mike Luckovich — EXAMPLE (You may NOT choose this one!) Click below for Ms. Antonacci’s example!

EXAMPLE OPTIC Graphic Organizer


2. by Steve Greenberg


3. by Monte Wolverton


4. “The American Dream Game” by David Horsey


5. by Ed Stein (hint: consider what year this cartoon was drawn)


6. “The First Illegal Immigrants” by Andy Singer


7. by Mike Luckovich (Historical context: Trayvon Martin shooting)


8. “Dessert, American Style” by David Horsey

Writing Wednesday #2 and Whitman Padlet

Today’s Writing Wednesday prompt comes from author Chuck Klosterman’s Hypertheticals.


You are offered a Brain Pill. If you swallow this pill, you will become 10 percent more intelligent than you currently are; you will be more adept at reading comprehension, logic, and critical thinking. However, to all other people you know (and to all future people you meet), you will seem 20 percent less intelligent. In other words, you will immediately become smarter, but the rest of the world will perceive you as dumber (and there is no way you can alter the universality of that perception).

Do you take this pill? Please answer in a minimum of 8-10 sentences.

Please use your annotations from yesterday to answer the text-dependent questions on the Padlet. Please don’t forget to write your name so you get credit! As always, your responses should be in complete sentences; use text evidence to support.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Happy Wednesday! Thank you for being on your best behavior while I am out today 🙂 In lieu of Writing Wednesday today, we will have to complete the Georgia Student Health Survey. Please see below for the link and feel free to use any laptops or iPads available to you in the classroom (it will also work just fine on your phone).

Link to Georgia Health Survey:

After you complete the survey, be sure to sign off on the signature sheet from the sub indicating you have taken it. Thanks for your help! 🙂 

Once you have completed the survey and signed off indicating so, please use the rest of the class period to work on your American Dream Timelines. By the end of the class period, you should have all of your bullet points completed (3 per year). If you finish early, please feel free to use the art supplies, construction paper, and poster board on the back table to start creating the visual portion of your project. Refer to the blog post below for all requirements!

We will discuss the written portion upon my return to school on Thursday. 

**If you were absent on Tuesday, please read through the project requirements and look at some of the example projects I have saved from past years.**

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day! 

The American Dream Timeline

american-immigrants-fate-is-everyonesThe American Dream: we’ve all heard of it, but is it the same for everyone? We’ll start class today by creating a working definition of the American Dream, its history, how it has changed, and barriers one may face when pursuing their Dream.

Today, you will start on your American Dream timeline project!

  1. You will create a timeline with a starting point of your current grade/age and an ending point of ten years from now. You should be between the ages of 26-27, depending on your current age. What does YOUR American Dream include? Be specific and make sure you have a place for every age (10 spots/years, 3 bullets each).
  2. What are your plans and what will you do to be successful between now and then? Please remember everyone’s idea of what the “American Dream” looks like is different. Some may include going to college, getting married and starting a family, while others may only include doing what is necessary to ensure they are financially stable.
  3. Please make sure you are considering EACH step in your journey and how what you will do in high school will lead to your American Dream. For example, if you would like to attend college, make sure that taking the SAT/ACT is on your timeline, as it is a requirement for college admission. Likewise, the ASVAB test is used for the military.
  4. Your timeline should be colorful, creative and detailed.
  5. A 3-4 paragraph response that describes what’s included your “American Dream” is mandatory. This should be an extension of your bullet points.

We will work on this in class this entire week after our warm-ups. Please make sure to take advantage of class time and work diligently. Your project with the writing component is due on Friday, January 21st at the end of class. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022: Writing Wednesday #1

Writing Wednesday: Attitudes on English

Today is our first Writing Wednesday. Each Wednesday’s class will start with a writing prompt; look below for your first one.


Please complete this assignment on your own piece of paper; each response should be a minimum of 6-8 sentences (3 paragraphs total). Refrain from “fluff sentences” such as “This is why I like English class.” If you’re stuck, provide additional details!

  1. Describe an experience that has shaped your attitude about English. This can be positive or negative, but make sure you think of a specific example.
  2. Describe a success that you have had. This can be ANY success, even if it may not seem like a big deal to someone else. Please include how you felt about it. (Does not have to be school-related.)
  3. Finally, explain what your FAVORITE thing is about English and why. Think hard; I want each of you to have at least one.

American Literary Movements Mini-Project

It’s project time! Considering how creative y’all seem to be this semester, I greatly look forward to your work on this project!

Knowledge of the American Literary movements is crucial to understanding the impact of history and society on the literature of its time. As we explore works throughout the semester, you will see commonalities in theme, philosophy, and aesthetic. American Literature is very much shaped by our country’s history.

Please refer to the handout provided in class to ensure your group includes everything required on your poster.