Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, September 28th

We started out by voting "no" on a new seating chart.

Then some good news (for most of us) for this next unit on Canterbury Tales, there will be NO essays on this unit. However, we will be doing many creative projects in small groups throughout this unit.

The first one we are doing is a locker tag, which will be due next Wednesday. We got requirements for these today. See Smith for that sheet.

We now reviewed the background information of the pages we read in the textbook.

Here was the "participation" quiz:

In detail, describe feudalism and how it could be both beneficial and detrimental to society.
I was very structured, beneficial because it kept everything in order. However this was a detriment to society when people no longer wanted to stay in the sort of group that they were supposed to be in.

What were women's roles in Middle Ages? What  role did chivalry play?
They were supposed to keep care of the house, and have kids. Chivalry played the part in the idea that  the men would have to keep protection over the women.

What brought about the downfall of the feudal system? Why? What emerged from this downfall?
When the middle class appears, they no longer need the help from everyone else. Therefore, nobody has to do anything that they had to do before.
What was the benefit of the Crusades?
Fight between Paganism and Christianity, the Christians won, however they used the following of God to their advantage, and did things in the name of God that should not have been done.
How did the murder of Thomas Becket lead to curruption within the church?
Friend of the king who was an official in the church, that people became mad at, and was then later murdered in the church. However this exposed the injustices in the church, creating many issues with the way that people were doing things. Then the church though sort of had a battle between the unifying force of the church, and the people trying to expose the curruption.
What benefit did the Roman Church provide for Europe?
There was a spread of knowledge that happened because of the church
What was the gained from the signing of the Magna Carta?
What were the benefits from England's loss of the Hundred Year's War?
It united England.
What was caused by the Black Death?
Killed out part of England, however all these things were happening, causing this huge transformation happening.
Background of Canterbury Tales:
All about these pilgrams that would march on this journey, it is about all of their stories going on this religious journey, in hope to get rid of all their vices. It is all of the stories told during this journey, on their way to Canterbury. Everyone was represented, people from all sorts of life.
Set up as a frame-story. Many small stories, within one bigger story which they all relate back to.
We are going to be reading the translated story (the easier version).
We got small Canterbury Tales books, and were able to check in our textbook.
We created our groups for the Literary Locker Tag. You will have to find a group when you return, ask Smith if you have questions. This is due next Wednesday, October 5th.
Then we read the prologe on the right side of the page....this is the easier one to understand.
Homework: locker tag, Booker annotations, and should have a completed Booker container

Sunday, September 25, 2011

september 21, 2011

  1. we went over the agenda
    • HW: bring Booker Prize with notes for presentation and handout
  2. We discussed conto 12-17 in Beowulf
    • Anglo-Saxon culture
    • the passing of knowledge and power
    • Beowulf's life from years before Grendle to death
    • Anglo-Saxon vs. Christianity 
  3. We watched scenes from Beowulf 
  4. Went over groups for Beowulf essays for Friday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23

The class began the same as ever with "Good morning Smith". Mrs Smith told an interesting story about Arapahoe homecoming including decorating the whole school and having the pep assembly in the middle of the day.
  • be ready for Beowulf in class essay on MONDAY
  • you should be prepared by bringing in an outline that includes your thesis, which states the title of the piece the author ( in the case of Beowulf is anonymous) and two or three arguments defending the statement of your thesis.
  • Body paragraph: the body paragraphs should include a topic sentence, which states the topic of the body paragraph. then a setup sentence and lead-in sentences so that you can lead in to your supporting quote. after the quote, explain the importance of the quote, then repeat the set up and lead in to the next quote of the body paragraph.
  • quotes should support your thesis statement. you should have at least six to state 3 in each paragraph if you choose 2 body paragraphs, or 2 in each paragraph if you choose 3 body paragraphs. quote citation should include the Canto and the line that the quote is found. no author is needed if you are using only quotes from Beowulf. An example of a proper citation would be (3,86), this means canto 3 line 86 is where your quote is found. be sure to explain what the quote is saying, connect it to the paragraph and also connect it to the thesis.
  • Conclusion paragraph should restate the thesis, then you should repeat your main arguing points that support your thesis. then for the end of the conclusion you should end it with a satisfying conclusion.
In class:
  • students brought in their containers for work in class today, then worked in their groups to help prepare for their Beowulf in class essay.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19th

  • Continue working on Booker Prize project (work on journal entry piece, this allows for time to get help before the project is due)
  • Finish Beowulf

In Class:
  • We took our second quiz on Beowulf. There were 12 questions. As long as you read cantos 5-11, you should be fine.
  • We watched the movie scene of Beowulf where Beowulf battles with the nude. "And there's his butt cheeks..."-Ms. Smith
  • We did not get into our independent reading groups this time, but Friday we will.
  • In-class Beowulf essay is a week from today! Start planning so this essay turns out better than the Oedipus one.
  • If anyone finds Ms. Smith's orange Sharpie pen, please return it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday September 16th

Homework: Read and take notes over Beowulf cantos 5-11; quiz on Monday. Start containers for booker prize this weekend. Every weekend do a little more with the project so you will have it done by the time it is due.

Before the quiz today we reviewed the cantos 1-4

Why does Grendel haunt the hall?
-Because they were playing music and it was annoying.

What is Beowulfs role?
-Grendel embodies everything from hell and Beowulf is the opposite, the hero.

-Everytime there would be a party Grendel would come and eat everyone because they would drink, pass out then get eaten. So if they don't drink, they wont pass out, and they wont get eaten.

-Beowulfs father owes Hrothgar so Beowulf is trying to repay Hrothgar for his father by getting rid of the demons in the hall.

-Epic hero's are always seeking out challenges.

-Grendel wont attack the throne because of God.

Christian vs. Pagan
-Christian influence is that Grendel cannot attack the throne but Hrothgar pray's to theDevil to save his people because he doesn't know what to do.
-Pagan-faith is in control
-Christian-God is in control
-Beowulf goes into the fight saying "whatever happens, happens" which is a pagan quality.

Important! Beowulf doesn't use weapons to fight off Grendel because he wants it to be a fair fight because Grendel isn't using weapons.

The quiz turned out to be a partner quiz and Smith gave us "gates of heaven" which is where we can use the book for a certain amount of time.

After the quiz she showed us a clips from the movie. One was of Grendel attacking everyone but he couldn't touch the king even though Hrothgar was urging him on. Grendel appeared in a blue fire which could be interpreted as hell. When there was screaming Grendel's eardrum was shaking because it was annoying. The 2nd one was of Beowulf going over to kill Grendel. "I'm doing this for glory, not for gold" an example of an Anglo-Saxon ideal.

After the clips we started reading cantos 5-11 we only got through 6 the rest is homework.

In 5 Beowulf is trying to repay his fathers debt to Hrothgar. Hrothgar keeps reminding him that Beowulf's family owes him so that Beowulf doesn't seem so mighty.
In 6 a new character Unferth comes in. He is jealous of Beowulf and tries to challenge him and Beowulf sets him straight.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

English Lit Class Period, September 14, 2011

Due today: Pg. 2-19, 47 in the purple anthology that we received on Monday
We began with Smith handing out the final essay questions for Beowulf (She is giving this to us to make sure we know WAAAYYY ahead of time what we will be writing about for the final essay)
Next, Joe, Ryan and Andrew performed their Skit that they didn’t get to do Monday. They did the scenes on page 80 until the end of the book. Their theme was Pirates! They did such a great job! The theme of Pirates was an easy, effective way to modernize this scene! Ryan=Captain Oedipus, Andrew=Messenger and the slave, Creon; Joe= shepherd and crew.
We began with the following notes (you should have read most of this in your anthology but Smith went over these just as a recap):
Anglo-Saxon Background Notes
The English have created a political system over the years “by and for the people.”  “Emphasis on personal rights and freedoms”
-Great Britain has been invaded by:
                  Angles and Saxons
  • Animism: belief that natural phenomena or inanimate objects possess spirits.
  • Spirits must be constantly satisfied.
  • Druids: intermediaries between spirits/gods and people
  • King Arthur-Celtic Warrior legend
    • Mists of Avalon vs. Gwenyvere’s religion (Christianity)
  • Feature women legends
      • Morgan Le Fey
·       Stayed for more than 400 years
·       Brought armies and organization to Britain to prevent further invasion
o   roads, villas, public baths
o   defensive walls
·       Change of religion to Christianity- unified because of European missionaries
·       Without Roman control, just a country of separate clans.  No central government.
Anglo-Saxon "Sweep Ashore":
·       Angles- Saxons- Germany
·       Jutes- Denmark
·       Language of the Anglo-Saxons became the language of the country Engla-land (England)
·       Celtics fought Anglo-Saxons from overtaking land (Arthur)
·       Country divided into separate principalities- each with own king (Macbeth)
·       Danes invaded:
o   Plundered and destroyed everything
o   Fierce Viking people
o   King Alfred led group against them- helped make England a more unified nation.
·       King Alfred’s success allowed for Christianity to reemerge.
o   This also helped to create a unified nation: common faith and morality, right conduct.
·       Battle between Danes and Alfred continued until 1066.  William Duke of Normandy, France took over.
·       Women inherited and held property until Norman Conquest.  Also, they were significant contributors towards learning and religion. 
Key Points:
  • Kinship groups were lead by chiefs
  • Farming,  local governments, fine crafts (metal works)
  • Christianity became dominant religion- linked England to Continental Europe
  • Monasteries brought  learning and literacy-preserved works from older oral tradition.
  • English gained respect as a written language- Latin still used in churches.
Anglo-Saxon Life: the Warm Hall, the Cold World:
  • Two class society:
    • Earls: (Warriors)
      • Ruler and related to the founder of the tribe
      • Consulted witan or Witenagemot(wise men) group of respected earls
      • Responsible for law and order
    • Churls: (Freemen)
      • Warriors, laborers for the earl
    • Thralls: slaves
  • Women: received power as queen, wife of earl or church woman
  • Fame and success were gained only through loyalty to the king (King Arthur and his knights)
  • Loyalty grew out of need to protect the group from the wilderness.  Most groups lived together with animals in homes surrounded by a wall or fence.  This created a sense of community discussion.  Rule was by consensus. (What does this mean?)
Anglo-Saxon Religion: Gods for Warriors:
  • Despite Christianity Anglo-Saxon gods remained (Norse mythology)
    • Oden: god of death, poetry, magic
      • Woden-Wednesday
    • Thumor: god of thunder and lightning
      • Thor-Thursday
    • Dragon: guardian of treasure and of death (ashes of old warriors)
  • Concerned more with ethics than with mysticism especially with the early virtues of bravery, loyalty, generosity and friendship.
The Bards: Singing of Gods and Heroes:
  • Communal Hall: place for shelter, meetings, storytelling
  • Scops (bards):
    • On same level as warriors
    • As important as fighting, hunting, farming or loving.
    • Sang with a harp
    • Told heroic tales that spoke of war, disease, and old age.
“For non –Chiristian Anglo-Saxons, whose religion offered them no hope of an afterlife, only fame and its reverberation in poetry could provide a defense against death.”
*Desire to be remembered for years*
The Christian Monasteries: The Ink Froze:
“In the death shadowed world of the Anglo-Saxons, the poets or bards provided the one element of hope: the possibility that heroic deeds might be enshrined in the society’s memory.”
§  Monasteries were the centers of learning, strongholds of Christianity.
o   Monks preserved some of the old literature wrote in either Old English or Latin which remained the main language of study until King Alfred.  Manuscripts were copied by hand.
§  King Alfred instituted a running history of England called the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

The Stages of the Journey (this is the same for epic heros and tragic heros)
Stage one: Innocence
Stage Two: Initiation, (in this stage, innocence is lost in a variety of ways)
Stage Three: Chaos
Stage Four: Resolution
Epic Heros VS Tragic Heros
Epic poem:
      Long poem
      Deals with a hero
      Handed down orally through generations
      Always a supernatural idea in epic poems
      Characters believe in a god or gods (in Beowulf it is Christianity
Epic Hero:
      Cannot not be beat, unbelievable powers
      Complete a symbolic descendant to hell, also has to fight a monster there
      Extremely Proud
      Values fame and being noticed
      Has  loyal followers
      Embody qualities of their society (if Beowulf doesn’t embody the culture of Anglo-Saxon he can’t be an epic hero)
      Undertakes something of tremendous concern to self or community

“Begin with the end in mind!”, Ms. Smith. This is the purpose of the handout we received today
*** A chapter is called a “canto” in Beowulf-inian.
We began the first canto of Beowulf (page 21) in the last five minutes of class
Homework:: Read first four cantos of Beowulf THERE WILL BE A QUIZ THIS FRIDAY SO STUDY UP!
Also the Booker Prize Project end date was moved to the 17th of October!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12th

Happy Monday!!

Today did Oedipus Performances. We were all checked out big purple literature books and our homework was to read and take notes on pages 2-19 and page 47 out of that book. Also read twenty pages of your booker book, we should be done reading in the next two weeks! Don’t forget, donut day is on Wednesday. At the end of class, Smith also collected our Oedipus books.

Our first group was the Prequel part one. They did an old west theme and talked in silly accents. The town of Thebes was called Tuxom, and the town of Corinth was Corn Cob. They did a great job showing the first part as Oedipus as a baby.

The second group performed the Prequel part two. They did a medieval theme, with London and Edinburgh as the two towns. They defeated a sphinx and a king. It was very fun to watch.

The third group did pages 1-13, and they did a Harry Potter Theme,

They did a great job of making Oedipus into Harry Potter. Their one central prop was a wand to represent the power in the play.

The fourth group did pages 63-80 This group’s theme was talk show or the Jerry Springer show. They held up applause, laughter, and gasp signs to get the class involved. It was a great performance. It was a great adaptation of Oedipus into the current modern day.

The fifth group did Oedipus the Sequel. They did modern day with Oedipus banished and living in a trailer park. Also they had Creon as a successful CEO. It was very amusing and they did a great job.

Great job to everyone who performed!

Friday, September 9, 2011


· Redistribute Oedipus essay

o Tips for success on next essay

§ Outline ahead of time (5 minutes in class)

§ Thesis: Title, Authors, Restate?, Answer why? Be argumentative

§ Never have personal words (I, You, Me, Our, ….)

§ NO contractions

§ Use lead-ins for Quotes

§ Citations (Author, title, page number)

o Come in to review essay

· Collect Final college essay

· Booker Prize Groups-week 2 independent reading groups

o Write answers to questions and turn in at the end of the 15 minutes

o Booker Prize Groups- week 2

· Modernize Oedipus scenes

· HW: Scenes due Monday, Booker prize