Thursday, August 30, 2012

English 509 and 510 (First Assignment)

1. Go to

2. Set up an account.
Enter email address.
Create a password.

3. Create your profile.
Only use your first initial and entire last name.
Under details, enter "River Valley High School"
You may add interests if you wish but keep it appropriate please.
Enter a photo if you wish.

4.  Add me (Lea Hansen) as a "friend."

5.  Search for either Stargirl or Thirteen Reasons Why.

6.  Add your book to a "bookshelf." Choose "currently-reading."

7.  Read two positive (four or five stars) and two negative (one or two stars) book reviews of the book you will be reading. We will discuss what you read in class.

8.  If you have time, you may add books to your "to-read" bookshelf and books to your "read" bookshelf. If you add a book to your "read" bookshelf, don't forget to rate the book.

9. Check daily. When I send you an invitation to join the group, Room 71, accept the invitation.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

English 509: Stargirl

Assignment #2: Complete and discuss the anticipation worksheets.

World Studies: 1-1, 1-2, 1-3

World Studies:

Reading and Interpreting Maps (Workbook Activities)

"A Map is a Kind of Picture"

"Map Symbols That Represent Natural Things"

"Map Symbols That Represent Man-Made Things"

Map Reading Activity (Online)

What is a topographic map?

What does it mean when the lines are close


What does it mean when the lines are far apart?

What are three important things to look for on a map?

Where are the symbols on a map located?

What does the scale on a map show?

Examples of map legends:

Name That Park (Interactive)

Historic Destinations (Interactive)

Chapter 1 "Columbus and the Indians"

Chapter 1, from A Young People's History of the United States
Part I:

A Young People's History of the United States, Chapter 1

After reading chapter one, use the adjectives below and write an "A" for Arawak, "C" for Christopher Columbus, "S" for Spanish, "E" for English, and "P" for Powhatans next to each adjective that would describe that group. You may use each adjective more than once.

Cruel, Generous, Arrogant, Naive, Kind, Adventurous, Intelligent, Lazy, Honest, Brave, Primitive, Heroic, Greedy, Ignorant, Inferior, Thoughtful.

Look for facts in the text to demonstrate why you chose particular adjectives for different groups/individuals.

Discuss: The purpose of Columbus's voyage(s) was...

Discuss: The result of Columbus's voyage(s) was...

In your opinion, what are the three most important things Zinn says about Columbus?

Compare and contrast Columbus and Las Casas's diary entries. (Use a venn diagram.)

Part II: Compare and contrast chapter 1 with the video below:

Printable Venn Diagram:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Symbolism in Speak

When an object or symbol stands for more than its actual meaning this is called symbolism. For instance a heart stands for love and a four-leaf clover stands for good luck. Throughout her novel, Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson incorporates symbolism to help the reader gain a deeper understanding of Melinda's ability to deal with her emotions. A tree is one of the most prominent symbols in the book. Can you identify other symbols that are used throughout the novel?



When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. These references are called allusions. In her novel, Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson makes several allusions to authors, artists, prominent individuals/groups, and pop culture. Can you make the connections between each of these allusions and the protagonist, Melinda Sordino?

Speak- Vocabulary Worksheets

Speak- Vocabulary Flash Cards

Speak- Journal #2

Predict what will happen to Melinda her Sophomore year.

Speak- Figurative Language Assignment

Please complete activities #1 and #2:

Speak- Journal #1

Does Speak realistically depict a typical American high school? Explain.

Speak- Lesson

Learning Activity One:

1. Work together in small, cooperative groups. Consider the following questions: Can you define survival? What does it mean to survive? How do people survive? Describe a personal survival experience. Are there different levels of survival? What are they? What characteristics coincide and encourage survival?

 2. Compare your definition to those in your group. How is yours different? Does survival mean something different to everyone? Why? What shapes our ideas of what it means to survive?

 3. Write down your personal definition of survival, and then compare it to the dictionary definition. How does your definition measure up? Are there any important aspects that you left out, or that the dictionary failed to mention?

Speak- Final Project Suggestions

1.  Research sexual assault laws in Wisconsin.  What information do teens in Wisconsin not have about things like informed consent and age of consent? Create a bulletin board, poster, brochure, etc. explaining Wisconsin's sexual assault laws and resources for victims of sexual assault. Research and present information about organizations that help victims of sexual assault in your final project.

2.  Start a clothesline project at RVHS.

3.  How can you tell if someone is clinically depressed? How does Melinda meet the criteria of someone who is clinically depressed.  Does Melinda exhibit any "warning signs" of suicide? If so, please describe which one(s). Answer these questions in an essay, poster, or other format. 

Please include the following information in your final project: 
*Signs of clinical depression
*Warning signs of suicide
*Teen depression/suicide links, resources, phone numbers

4.  Create a hexagon "Explosion Box" based on the novel. You can include quotes from the book, pictures, character bios, themes, vocabulary, etc. on each "tag."

Common Core Standards addressed: R1.7.2, R1.7.3