Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Finish TPS-FAST analysis of "The Boy Died in My Alley" by Gwendolyn Brooks
Write a poetry journal response (100-300 words) for "The Boy Died in My Alley," remembering to discuss a particular line or part of the poem, and to reflect on the poem both emotionally and as a reader (hint: use sentence starters from both "Engagement" and "Metacognition" sides of handout)

Begin brainstorming or drafting "Neighborhood" poem for Friday

  1. Must convey a clear emotion (fear, regret, happiness, frustration, anger, sadness, pride, etc.)
  2. Must include one of the rhetorical devices we saw in "The Boy Died in My Alley"
  • repetition
  • metaphor
  • dialogue
  • unusual capitalization
  • rhyme
  • personification
  • assonance
  • consonance 
  • alliteration
  • caesura
  • enjambment

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Guest Speakers - Transportation Wednesday
Mr. Joe Stitcher, Chief Administrative Officer, Big Blue Bus
Mr. Jay Dinkins, City Traffic Management Division

Pust's Notes from Transportation Wednesday

HW: Turn in creative research response by Friday. Guest speaker notes due Friday or Monday (staple together as one packet).  First section of research paper, typed draft due Monday.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Guest speaker, Ralph Mechur from SMMUSD Board of Education
Pust's Notes from Mr. Mechur's visit


Monday, April 15, 2013


Watch RSA Animate of Sir Ken Robinson's "Changing Education Paradigms" and note 3-4 key ideas. Discuss with partner
Share PPT presentation to launch Local Issues Project

HW (Period 2 & 5 only): Generate a research question for your topic with built-in tension (see PPT) and craft/design a creative piece to respond initially to your topic (refer to PPT for ideas)
Ideas for responding creatively:
  • Write an original poem
  • Make a Wordle
  • Create a drawing or image collage
  • Write a short story from the point of view of another “character” involved in the issue
  • Craft a descriptive sketch, using words to “paint the scene”

Friday, April 12, 2013


Guest speaker, Natasha Guest, senior analyst from City of Santa Monica Human Services Division - focus on homelessness issues within the city
Pust's notes from Ms. Guest's presentation/Q&A
Blank guest speaker notes form for taking notes (the notes you take will be collected next week for credit!)

Friday, March 1, 2013


Debrief "Fall Canceled After Three Billion Seasons" and "Kitchen-Floor Conflict Intensifies As Rival House Cats Claim Same Empty Bag" - discuss humor devices used and what the author's satirical message is for each article

Watch "Brain-Dead Teen, Only Capable Of Rolling Eyes And Texting, To Be Euthanized"and discuss how this is an example of Juvenalian satire

Explain satire terms assignment: choose one of our unit texts so far, and select a humor device (hyperbole, understatement, jargon, incongruity, detail, timing, or pun) that is at work within that text.  First, define your chosen term. Then, quote the example directly from the text. Create an MLA formatted citation for the text. Finally, write an analysis paragraph exploring how the author uses the humor device to convey his/her satirical message.

Unit texts:
"Fall Canceled After Three Billion Seasons"
"Kitchen-Floor Conflict Intensifies As Rival House Cats Claim Same Empty Bag"
"3'-by-4' Plot of Green Space Rejuvenates Neighborhood"
"Dollar Bill On Floor Sends Wall Street Into Frenzy"

"Brain-Dead Teen, Only Capable Of Rolling Eyes And Texting, To Be Euthanized"
"Introducing The Green Housewives - "Greener Than Thou'"
"1-900-976-0TSASaturday Night Live sketch
"US Schools Trail World In Child Soldier Aptitude"

Remember, for  the MLA citations, you'll need to provide the additional information found at each of these links! :-)

HW: Draft of first satire terms entry due Monday (handwritten is ok).

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Finish introducing vocabulary from Death of a Salesman. Quiz on 2/12. Know the word's definition, spelling, and how to use it correctly in your own sentence.
Watch final scene of Death of a Salesman and discuss

Answer questions about script annotations.

HW: continue independent reading ~60 pages a week. Complete book check of 400 pages by 2/20/2013.

Finish reading Death of a Salesman and select a monologue or scene to perform (monologues should be a long speech of six lines or more; scenes with multiple characters should be approximately a page long, with approximately six lines or more per character). Annotate the script like I showed in my model: first, write a summary at the top explaining what takes place in the scene; second, for your chosen character, double-underline individual words that you will emphasize to convey emotions when performing and note in the margins why/how you will emphasize those particular words or what you are attempting to convey; and third, write a paragraph at the bottom indicating your character's motivations, goals, obstacles, and emotions in this particular scene or monologue.  Due Monday! You may photocopy the page or type it yourself, and then annotate neatly in ink or type the paragraphs if you prefer.