Thursday, May 19, 2011

English 11 in May

Since the last posting, we have written our motif paragraphs, reviewed how to write a five paragraph essay, written our five paragraph Macbeth essays (on dramatic irony), and started All Quiet on the Western Front.

All Quiet Class 1

1. "Paper Cuts" by Eve Stevens
"Paper Cuts" emphasizes the inexpressibility of a soldier's wartime experience.  It is difficult, if not impossible to fully express the reality of war to another person. As each generation passes, the experience of war becomes more abstract and removed from understanding.  This removal is symbolized through the patient's twofold recollections (first of the tomato stains, then of her husband's blood) and the juxtaposition of the speaker's recollection of paper cuts.

Followed by a class discussion of the ability to express the experience of war and the value of sharing the experience of war.

2. Historical Background (WWI)
Please see the notes and powerpoint posted on moodle.
We also discussed the savagery, brutality, and practicality of war. In particular, we read two excerpts: one about "boots" starting on page 15, and one about using shovels instead of bayonets on page 104.

3. All Quiet on the Western Front - Perspective and Reception
The novel was written by a man who had experience on the German front line in WWI. His perspective is authentic, but it was eshewed by the ensuing generations of Germans as Nazism grew and the country prepared for WW II.  See article on moodle.

4. Character List
To help with keeping the characters straight as we read the excerpts. See moodle.

5. Sign out books

6. Opening scene from the film.

7. Reading Homework:  pages 65-74 and 99-101

All Quiet Class 2

1. Mr. Street's Artifacts
Mr. Street visited the classroom to show some of the artifacts that he has from WWI.  He showed us a gas mask, a rifle, a grenade, bullets, water canteens, and a helmet.  It was shocking how heavy everything was.  He spoke to us about some of the students he has taught who have since gone to war.  Mr. Street brought to mind the moral dilemma that occurs when a soldier participates in active duty.

2. "Existentialism" discussion prep
Students individually prepare their responses for discussion.

3. Discussion

4. Existentialism
See notes (on the back of the discussion sheet). We connected the "helpless" feeling of Paul and the element of chance during war to the ideas of existentialism.

5. Reading Homework
Excerpts on Kantorek, Himmlestoss, and the Kaiser's visit. See the back of the discussion questions.

All Quiet Class 3

1.  Character Sketch
In groups, using the text as a reference, we filled out a character organizer on Himmelstoss and Kantorek.

2. Discussion Question Prep
Students individually prepare their responses for discussion.  Half the class prepared question one, and the other half prepared question two.

3. Discussion
Students observing also took notes on the question being discussed (as they did not prepare to respond to that question).

4. Poetic Terms
Study list given. Quizzes (different every day until the average is 80%, your highest mark stands) will start on Friday of next week.

5. Reading Homework: Pages 216-229 and 189-196.

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