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O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;

Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;

Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;

Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists, and identity;

That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

Poetry Grade 11

"A poem is an idea caught in the act of dawning." Robert Frost

While you watch Dr. King's speech, look for the metaphors, motifs and allusions.

Name one metaphor one, motif and one allusion from King's famous civil rights speech.


Read the following poem three times. Then, read the marginal notes. After that, write a two part response to both the poem and the notes (in your blog). If you can't get into your blog for some reason, write the response on paper. But, next time you fail to write in the blog, you will lose 10 points.

Take notes in your dialogue journals on this poem. Don't forget to record the information about similes and motifs.

Homework: Find or make three examples of simile and three of motifs (that are not in the above poem), write them down and be prepared to tell the class what you found tomorrow.

Click here for a link to another version of the same poem.

Click the button below for a downloaded version of the poem.


Watch this video with your dialogue journal open. While you watch, write down 2 similes, 2 allusions, and 2 motifs.

Homework: Read the following handout.


Read the following poem THREE TIMES, and then take marginal notes on it.
Then, look up what a sonnet is and what a metaphor is. Write these definitions in your dialogue journals.
Be prepared to explain how this poem is a sonnet.
Count how many metaphors are in this poem and be ready to explain why each one is a metaphor.
Also be ready to explain what message each metaphor conveys.
Look up what a riddle is. Write an example of a riddle in your dialogue journal.

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

Blog: Choose one metaphor from the poem and describe what two things are being compared. Then, explain what message this comparison conveys.

Homework: Make or find five metaphors that are not in the poem. Write them in your dialogue journals. Be ready to explain why each one is a metaphor.


Review what metaphor means. Then, collect students' examples of metaphors (5).

Class discussion on marginal notes.

Students will: read this following poem THREE TIMES, and then answer these three questions in your blog. 1. Who is the speaker in the poem? 2. Who is the speaker talking to? 3. How do you know? Use marginal notes and the dialogue journal to help you.

Zimmer in Grade School
by Paul Zimmer

In grade school I wondered
Why I had been born
To wrestle in the ashy puddles
With my square nose
Streaming mucus and blood,
My knuckles puffed from combat
And the old nun's ruler.
I feared everything: God,
Learning, and my schoolmates.
I could not count, spell, or read.
My report card proclaimed
These scarlet failures.
My parents wrung their loving hands.
My guardian angel wept constantly.
But I could never hide anything.
If I peed my pants in class
The puddle was always quickly evident,
My worst mistakes were at
The blackboard for Jesus and all
The saints to see.
Even now,
When I hide behind elaborate masks,
It is always known that I am Zimmer,
The one who does the messy papers
And fractures all his crayons,
Who spits upon the radiators
And sits all day in shame
Outside the office of the principal.
"Zimmer in Grade School" by Paul Zimmer from Crossing to Sunlight Revisited: New and Selected Poems. © The University of Georgia Press, 2007.

Homework: Read handout on things you can do to interpret poetry.


Read the following poem three times. Ask yourself: who the speaker is, who is he talking to, what is talking about, what do all the words mean. Then explicate it in your blog.
[[file:Facing It:Explication.pdf]]

Facing It

by Yusef Komunyakaa

Homework: Read the following handout.


The class will review what explication is and the difference between literal and implied interpretation.

Then, the class will workshop student blogs from yesterday, providing feedback and discussing how explication works.

If time, read the following poem THREE TIMES, use the strategies that you have been taught in class to interpret this poem and then explicate it in your blog.

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Then, each student will present his or her explication of The Road Not Taken to the class.

Homework: Choose which poem you will make a popplet on.


Read and discuss:
My Papa's Waltz

by Theodore Roethke


My Papa's Waltz

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

Use the popplet program to create a concept map about one of the following poems:

"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
"Zimmer in Grade School" by Paul Zimmer
"Facing It" by Yusef Komunyakaa
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
"My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke
SHARE your popplet with me at

You will have to present your popplets to the class tomorrow.

Your popple will count as a test grade.

It will be graded on the following:

•organization of ideas
•relationship between ideas
•the number of ideas (Must have at least 15)
•your understanding of the poem
•the quality of your examples


You will present your popplets to the class.


Writing about a poem.
In order to write about a poem, you need two things: 1) A poem that you understand 2) A writing process. Today we will explore both.

You can choose from one of the poems listed below:

"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

"Zimmer in Grade School" by Paul Zimmer

"Facing It" by Yusef Komunyakaa

"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

"My Papa's Waltz" by Theodore Roethke

This Slide Show will explain how the writing process works.

Homework: Read the poems on the list above. Then, freewrite about one that you think you might want to write an essay about.

DAY 10

Choosing a poem to write an essay about is not easy. You have to make sure that you know the poem well enough to say something important about it. You have to comprehend the topics in the poem in order to write about them. Now that you think you have found a poem that you can write about, you have to put your understanding of it to the test. You need to freewrite, brainstorm and concept map the poem to make sure you know it well enough to spend some time with it. You don't want to get half way through writing an essay about a poem you do not understand.

First Freewrite.

Write down a topic at the top of that empty page. It can be either a one-word topic — like "Dentists," for example — or a brief statement of the topic you've chosen or been given to write about. Set the clock for five to ten minutes and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and go at it. Write as fast as you can; the faster the better. You are not allowed to stop writing! If you can't think of anything to say, write down that you can't think of anything to say, something like: "I'm stuck but I'll think of something soon." Don't stop. Don't worry about transitions or connecting the ideas or paragraphing or subject-verb agreement or even commas. And form absolutely no judgment about what you write. Your Censor is on vacation. Your writing may take you in some really weird directions, but don't stop and never think to yourself, "Oh, this is dumb!" If you get off the subject, that's all right. Just keep writing. Do not criticize yourself and do not cut or scratch out or revise in any way.

Read your freewriting out loud when you're done with it. Often the ear will pick up some pattern or an idea that you hadn't noticed even as you wrote it. Read your freewriting to a friend or have your friend read it to you. Your friend might think you're insane, but that's all right. Then it's time to spend just a couple of minutes going through the freewriting with an aim toward casual rewriting. The word-processor is a big advantage here. Delete the "I can't think of anything to say" lines and the pure nonsense. Are any ideas or patterns emerging?

Don't give up on freewriting after one exercise. Freewriting is like any other kind of mental activity: you will get better at it. The first couple of times you try it, perhaps nothing will come of it. After a few efforts, though, the exercise will become liberating. Just as you would never start to play tennis or jog without stretching a bit first, you will never try to write again without doing a bit of freewriting first. Sometimes, even in the middle of an essay, when stuck for the next idea, you can do a bit of freewriting to get you going again.

There are two kinds of freewriting. You can freewrite about anything that comes to your mind or you can freewrite about a topic. Freewriting anything that comes to your mind, anything at all, can be liberating. It is a good way to "warm up" before you get serious about writing. It helps you to loosen your mind and dump your random thoughts. Freewriting about a topic is often called "focused freewriting." This has a different purpose. It is meant to generate ideas that you might use for a serious piece of writing like the one that we are going to engage in. When you do this, you have to write "about" your topic. In this case, you have to write about the poem you chose.

Then, brainstorm.

In this technique you jot down lists of words or phrases under a particular topic. Try this one by basing your list either
  • on the general topic
  • on one or more words from your particular thesis claim, or
  • on a word or idea that is the complete opposite of your original word or idea.
For example, if your general assignment is to write about the changes in inventions over time, and your specific thesis claims that "the 20th century presented a large number of inventions to advance US society by improving upon the status of 19th-century society," you could brainstorm two different lists to ensure you are covering the topic thoroughly and that your thesis will be easy to prove.
The first list might be based on your thesis; you would jot down as many 20th-century inventions as you could, as long as you know of their positive effects on society. The second list might be based on the opposite claim and you would instead jot down inventions that you associate with a decline in that society's quality. You could do the same two lists for 19th-century inventions and then compare the evidence from all four lists.
Using multiple lists will help you to gather more perspective on the topic and ensure that, sure enough, your thesis is solid as a rock, or, …uh oh, your thesis is full of holes and you'd better alter your claim to one you can prove. (Abels, K, 1998)

After that map it.

How to do it:
  1. Take your sheet(s) of paper and write your main topic in the center, using a word or two or three.
  2. Moving out from the center and filling in the open space any way you are driven to fill it, start to write down, fast, as many related concepts or terms as you can associate with the central topic. Jot them quickly, move into another space, jot some more down, move to another blank, and just keep moving around and jotting. If you run out of similar concepts, jot down opposites, jot down things that are only slightly related, or jot down your grandpa's name, but try to keep moving and associating. Don't worry about the (lack of) sense of what you write, for you can chose to keep or toss out these ideas when the activity is over.
  3. Once the storm has subsided and you are faced with a hail of terms and phrases, you can start to cluster. Circle terms that seem related and then draw a line connecting the circles. Find some more and circle them and draw more lines to connect them with what you think is closely related. When you run out of terms that associate, start with another term. Look for concepts and terms that might relate to that term. Circle them and then link them with a connecting line. Continue this process until you have found all the associated terms. Some of the terms might end up uncircled, but these "loners" can also be useful to you. (Note: You can use different colored pens/pencils/chalk for this part, if you like. If that's not possible, try to vary the kind of line you use to encircle the topics; use a wavy line, a straight line, a dashed line, a dotted line, a zigzaggy line, etc. in order to see what goes with what.)
  4. There! When you stand back and survey your work, you should see a set of clusters, or a big web, or a sort of map: hence the names for this activity. At this point you can start to form conclusions about how to approach your topic. There are about as many possible results to this activity as there are stars in the night sky, so what you do from here will depend on your particular results. Let's take an example or two in order to illustrate how you might form some logical relationships between the clusters and loners you've decided to keep. At the end of the day, what you do with the particular "map" or "cluster set" or "web" that you produce depends on what you need. What does this map or web tell you to do? Explore an option or two and get your draft going!

After you have passed these tests, you will feel more confident to write about about the poem you chose. At this time, you will do some research on the poem, which means you will look up what the words mean and google the concepts you need clarification on.

Homework: Use marginal notes to gain a stronger understanding of your poem.

DAY 11

One of the most important organizational tools you can use when writing about a poem is a concept map. Sometimes teachers call these graphic organizers. Today we will use the concept map to sort and organize the ideas you have about your poem. This will be another way to "test" your theory about the poem. But first you have to write a thesis statement.

What's that?

Look it up here.
Or here.
Or here.
Or here.
Or here.
Write the definition in your dialogue journal.

Defining poetry

Poetry is different from any other genre, and I hesitate to even discuss what it is, because as a schoolteacher, I don't want to limit the definitions of my students. However, I will start with this. It is my favorite genre, hands down. I love it for its passion, its music and its attempts to make the meaning of life as simple as a red wheelbarrow, a caught fish or a blackbird. Poetry can be understood by what it does to us when we read it. Does it compel you to act? Does it paralyze you? Do you feel something because of the tragedy in it? Are you lifted off of you feet? Does the poem explain what you have felt, lived throught--but could not say?

How do I cite a source? It is easy. Use Citation machine. Click Here.

Writing about poetry

You are going to write a short essay on a poem. This is a process. You will take one step at a time.

You will be given a poem. Read it. Use the handouts and links in this website to help you unpack the meaning of the poem. Use you dialogue journal as you read it.

You must make a concept map & thesis statement of your poem.

You must make a rough draft from your concept map.
Link to video on intro paragraph.

You will revise your rough draft.

Writing The Introduction

The introduction is a difficult task for some. It it supposed to be both general and interesting enough to capture the reader's attention. It is supposed to include the thesis and background information. But, it needs to be relevant all the same. Tough deed.

When writing an introduction for an essay about a poem, for example, you can try different things to move the prose forward. You may discuss who the speaker of the poem is, what she is doing and what idea or feeling she is trying to communicate. It really depends upon the topic and focus of your essay. If you are writing about a poem or story where the setting is important, you may write two or three sentences explaining the time and place. These two or three sentences will create a foundation for the essay. But if your essay focuses on character, then providing as much background information about that character will help prepare the reader.

See the introduction as a way to prepare the reader for the rest of the essay. You might be writing an essay that deals with a particular aspect of plot that the reader needs to know about to understand your essay. In that case, you will be summarizing a situation. Tailor your introduction towards your need to communicate your ideas to the reader.

Another thing you can try in your introductory paragraph is to take one word from your thesis and expand it, explain it or define it. Here is an example of an introduction for an essay about Plath's poem, "Metaphors."

"Metaphors" by Sylvia Plath is about a woman who regrets getting pregnant. Having a child represents a huge change in a person's life. All of the plans, goals and relationships that person possesses must be redirected when she expects to become a parent. The speaker in Path's poem may have had plans that need to be changed. Her new responsibilities will eclipse any dreams she had for herself. Her life will no longer be her own. Everything that she does now will have to factor in the needs of a child. Giving up these plans, these hopes, these dreams causes her to feel disappointed. She is saying goodbye to the life she expected. She is losing her autonomy to this one event, to this child that has yet to be born.

Your introduction should be at least four sentences long. In the example above, I took one word and expanded it. I just took the word pregnancy and went nuts with it. But, I made sure I related it back to the idea of regret. I did NOT quote the poem (that comes later). I did NOT analyze what the poem means. That comes later too--in your body paragraphs. What I did was provide context. I showed the reader what the speaker is going through. The introduction is about giving the reader perspective on the poem so he can understand your ideas about it.

Things to avoid in your introduction:

• Analyzing the poem or story.
• Interpreting the poem or story.
• Explaining what the poem or story is about.
• Repeating yourself.

Writing Body Paragraphs

You have to know enough about your topic to break it up into sections that will make it clear to your reader. These sections are going to be your body paragraphs. This can be done in a concept map or outline first, so composing your sentences requires only organizational skills instead of simultaneously having to create and organize while constructing sentences into paragraphs.

First, write a topic sentence. Then, show your evidence. After that, make a concluding sentence.

Writing the Topic Sentence

Writing a topic sentence requires you to go back to your concept map to retrieve an idea that will help you explain or prove your point. You will shape that idea into a sentence. For example, if you are writing about a poem like Plath's "Metaphors," you will want to show in your first body paragraph that she is, in fact, pregnant. If you can't prove she is pregnant, you can't prove she regrets it.

So, I go back to my concept map and I see that three ideas show she is pregnant. The speaker shows that she is fat and that she is round. She also shows that she has a valuable thing inside her. What images show this? The elephant, the melon and the money show these ideas. Those images will become my evidence. Now, I need to make a topic sentence that introduces to the reader that I am going to prove she is pregnant. I need to think about how my reader will connect the idea of my thesis to the evidence that I am going to show in my first body paragraph. Here is an example:

This is my topic sentence:
It is evident that the speaker in the poem is pregnant, because she shows that she is round, fat and values what is inside of her.

What I did here was to take the ideas of round, fat and value and put them right inside my sentence. I don't have to explain them in the topic sentence. I just have to introduce them. The explaining come next when I quote the poem. I also put these ideas in the context of how they relate to the speaker, because my poem is about my speaker. Most poems are. My topic sentence becomes like a bridge between my thesis and my body of evidence. This helps my reader make a connection between the ideas and the facts.

Showing My Evidence

Showing my evidence is about taking facts and presenting them to my reader, so he or she will believe that my ideas. The best way to do this when writing about a poem is to quote the poem. I have to find facts from the poem that will support my topic sentence. The facts that I am using for my poem about "Metaphors" are the round images, the fat images and the concept of something valuable living in her.

She says that she is an elephant--a house--a melon. I need to write that quotation.

Here it is:
"I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils."

Now I need to explain it.

The speaker compares herself to things that are fat or big like an elephant and a house. The speaker uses a metaphor to describe that she is round. She uses a melon to do this.

How do I put this all together?

First introduce the quotation: The speaker says,
Then, quote the poem:
"I'm a riddle in nine syllables,/An elephant, a ponderous house,/A melon strolling on two tendrils."
Then, explain it: This means she feels big and round, which both show she is pregnant.

When you put it all together it looks like this:
The speaker says, "I'm a riddle in nine syllables,/An elephant, a ponderous house,/A melon strolling on two tendrils."
This means she feels big and round, which both show she is pregnant.

It's important that I added that part about showing she is pregnant, because it connects these images to the topic sentence. Then, I need to revisit the idea of something valuable being inside her. She says, Money's new-minted in this fat purse. The fat purse is her belly. I need to explain this to the reader. It will prove she is pregnant.

First, I introduce the quotation: The speaker says,
Then, I quote the poem: "Money's new-minted in this fat purse."
Then, I explain it: This means that she has something inside her belly that is growing. The thing that is inside her is compared to money to show that she values it.

When I put it all together it looks like this:
The speaker says, "Money's new-minted in this fat purse." This means that she has something inside her belly that is growing. The thing that is inside her is compared to money to show that she values it. That thing is a baby.

Writing the Concluding Sentence

One of the toughest things to do when you are writing your body paragraph is to write a concluding sentence to your body paragraphs. There is no easy solution to this problem, but here are some ideas.

You do not always need to have a concluding sentence to each body paragraph in your essay. But you usually do, or it will not seem finished. Your concluding sentence, sometimes called a closing sentence, will serve as a transition to the next paragraph.

Here are some things you can try:

  1. Re-write your topic sentence.
  2. Wrap-up, close, finish or paraphrase your whole paragraph in that sentence by reviewing the details and ideas.
  3. You can summarize your paragraph by touching on the key ideas that are included in it, but summaries are usually lame.
  4. Remember that your concluding sentences are supposed to encapsulate the subtopic of your paragraph, so concentrate on the ideas in that paragraph to get your concluding sentence right.
  5. Writers of formal essays do not usually use quotations in their concluding sentences, but this sometimes works.
  6. Making predictions, suggestions or asking questions sometimes works too.

Here are some things you should not do:

  1. Do not use the words "In closing."
  2. Do not use the words "In conclusion."
  3. Do not repeat something you already said.
  4. Do not introduce a new idea.
  5. Do not confuse the reader.

All writing requires trial and error, so start early, experiment and revise. If you think I spent too much time writing about how to write one kind of sentence, without even giving you any concrete formula about how to get it done, you are right. There is no formula, and I am overly concerned with writing, but I am an English teacher.

Here is my example: The speaker feels round like a melon, fat like an elephant, because her belly has a baby in it that she compares to money.

When I put the topic sentence, the evidence and the concluding sentence all together, it looks like this:
It is evident that the speaker in the poem is pregnant, because she shows that she is round, fat and values what is inside of her. The speaker says, "I'm a riddle in nine syllables,/An elephant, a ponderous house,/A melon strolling on two tendrils. "This means she feels big and round, which both show she is pregnant. The speaker says, "Money's new-minted in this fat purse." This means that she has something inside her belly that is growing. The thing that is inside her is compared to money to show that she values it. That thing is a baby.
The speaker feels round like a melon, fat like an elephant, because her belly has a baby in it that she compares to money.

Writing Your Conclusion

Before you begin writing your conclusion, reread what you have written so far. Reread you introduction and your body paragraphs. Also, reread the poem that you are writing about. Ask yourself "What am I trying to say?" "Why does my essay matter?" "What is my point?"

Your concluding paragraph should have at least five sentences.

  • Answer the question "So What?"
    • Show your readers why this paper was important. Show them that your paper was meaningful and useful.
  • Synthesize, don't summarize
    • Don't simply repeat things that were in your paper. They have read it. Show them how the points you made and the support and examples you used were not random, but fit together.
  • Redirect your readers
    • Give your reader something to think about, perhaps a way to use your paper in the "real" world. If your introduction went from general to specific, make your conclusion go from specific to general. Think globally.
  • Create a new meaning
    • You don't have to give new information to create a new meaning. By demonstrating how your ideas work together, you can create a new picture. Often the sum of the paper is worth more than its parts.



"In conclusion. . . ."

"Finally. . . . "

"It is obvious that. . . "
"I think. . . "

Instead of repeating, try to make some connections between the ideas in your essay and the facts you use to support those ideas.

AVOID: Quoting in your conclusion. There is no need to quote the poem in the conclusion, unless you are a genius--and have an idea that can't be ignored.

HERE'S A TRICK: You could discuss what the title means, why the poet used that title, what the symbolism of the title is.

Here is my conclusion:

The poem is filled with metaphors, each one showing how the speaker is facing a new challenge. She is changing, and her life is going to change dramatically. In many ways, this poem is about change and her resistance to it. She doesn't welcome this new life. She has trouble accepting that she will become a mother. Although she values the baby, she feels trapped by it at the same time. Her ambivalence is present in every metaphor she uses to describe her situation.

You may want to start your conclusion with:

"The speaker. . . "
"The poem. . . "
"The ideas. . ."
"What is important is. . ."


3.17 Deliver formal presentations for particular audiences using clear
enunciation and appropriate organization, gestures, tone, and vocabulary.
3.18 Create an appropriate scoring guide to evaluate final presentations.

Students will identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the themes, structure, and elements of
poetry and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

14.6 Analyze and evaluate the appropriateness of diction and imagery
(controlling images, figurative language, understatement, overstatement,
irony, paradox).
For example, students examine poems to explore the relationship between
the literal and the figurative in Mark Strand’s “Keeping Things Whole,”
Elinor Wylie’s “Sea Lullaby,” Louis MacNeice’s “Prayer Before Birth,”
Margaret Walker’s “Lineage,” A.E. Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young,”
W.H. Auden’s “Unknown Citizen,” Emily Dickinson’s “I Taste a Liquor
Never Brewed,” and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” They report
their findings to the class, compare observations, and set guidelines for
further study.

GENERAL STANDARD 15: Style and Language
Students will identify and analyze how an author’s words appeal to the senses, create imagery,
suggest mood, and set tone and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
15.9 Identify, analyze, and evaluate an author’s use of rhetorical devices in
persuasive argument.
15.10 Analyze and compare style and language across significant cross-cultural
literary works.
For example, students compose essays in which they analyze and compare
figurative language in a variety of selections from works such as The Epic
of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, The Hebrew Bible, The New Testament, The
Bhagavad-Gita, The Analects of Confucius, and The Koran.

Students will write with a clear focus, coherent organization, and sufficient detail.

For imaginative/literary writing:*
19.28 Write well-organized stories or scripts with an explicit or implicit theme,
using a variety of literary techniques.
19.29 Write poems using a range of forms and techniques.
For informational/expository writing:
19.30 Write coherent compositions with a clear focus, objective presentation
of alternate views, rich detail, well-developed paragraphs, and logical
For example, students compose an essay for their English and American
history classes on de Toqueville’s observations of American life in the
1830s, examining whether his characterization of American society is still
applicable today.

GENERAL STANDARD 20: Consideration of Audience and Purpose
Students will write for different audiences and purposes.

20.6 Use effective rhetorical techniques and demonstrate understanding of
purpose, speaker, audience, and form when completing expressive, persua­
sive, or literary writing assignments.

Students will demonstrate improvement in organization, content, paragraph development,
level of detail, style, tone, and word choice (diction) in their compositions after revising them.

21.9 Revise writing to improve style, word choice, sentence variety, and subtlety
of meaning after rethinking how well questions of purpose, audience, and
genre have been addressed.
For example, after rethinking how well they have handled matters of style,
meaning, and tone from the perspective of the major rhetorical elements,
graduating seniors revise a formal letter to their school committee, detail­
ing how they have benefited from the education they have received in the
district and offering suggestions for improving the educational experience
of future students.

GENERAL STANDARD 22: Standard English Conventions
Students will use knowledge of standard English conventions
in their writing, revising, and editing.

22.10 Use all conventions of standard English when writing and editing.

GENERAL STANDARD 23: Organizing Ideas in Writing
Students will organize ideas in writing in a way that makes sense for their purpose.

23.14 Organize ideas for emphasis in a way that suits the purpose of the writer.
For example, students select a method of giving emphasis (most important
information first or last, most important idea has the fullest or briefest
presentation) when supporting a thesis about characterization in Edwin
Arlington Robinson’s narrative poems, “Richard Corey” and “Miniver
Cheevy.” Or students use one of five methods (comparison and contrast,
illustration, classification, definition, analysis) of organizing their ideas in
exposition as determined by the needs of their topic.
23.15 Craft sentences in a way that supports the underlying logic of the ideas.
For example, after writing a critical essay, students examine each sentence
to determine whether the placement of phrases or dependent clauses supports
the emphasis they desire in the sentence and in the paragraph as a whole.

Students will gather information from a variety of sources, analyze and evaluate the quality of
the information they obtain, and use it to answer their own questions.

Units of Instruction