Language Arts

Fahrenheit 451 Summative Project

posted May 13, 2014, 6:35 AM by Naomi Kirchner   [ updated May 13, 2014, 7:30 AM ]

Using the technology of your choice, tackle one of the following issues:

  • Analyze what Fahrenheit 451 does to you
  • Examine how Fahrenheit 451 does something to the reader

You may work in pairs, but no more than two in a group.  This will count as your test over Fahrenheit 451.

Due on Friday, May 16.

Final Exam Review

posted May 8, 2014, 7:16 AM by Naomi Kirchner

Fahrenheit 451 Journal Project

posted Apr 29, 2014, 4:33 AM by Naomi Kirchner

Guidelines for Fahrenheit 451 Journals


At its best, a reader response journal is just what it sounds like: your responses to what you have read. A response journal is not merely a summary of what happened in the book.

Your journal should pull a passage and quote it, and then you should write a response to that passage.

Novel Passage/Quote

Your response:
 following are some suggestions as to how your responses may be framed. Each response should be at least five sentences.

1.       Make connections with your own experience. What does the reading make you think of? Does it remind you of anything or anyone?

2.       Make connections with other texts or concepts or events. Do you see any similarities between this text (concepts, events) and other texts (concepts, events)? Does it bring to mind other related issues?

3.       Ask yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about a particular passage? Try beginning, “I wonder why…” or “I’m having trouble understanding how…’ or “It perplexes me that…” or “I was surprised when ….”

4.       Try agreeing with the writer. Write down the supporting ideas. Try arguing with the writer. On what points, or about what issues, do you disagree? Think of your journal as a place to carry on a dialogue with the writer or with the text in which you actually speak with him or her.

5.       Write down striking words, images, phrases, or details. Speculate about them. Why did the author choose them? What do they add to the story? Why did you notice them? On a first reading you might put checks in the margin where the passages intrigue you; on the second reading, choose the most interesting ideas, then write about them.

6.       Describe the author’s point of view. How does the author’s attitude shape the way the writer presents the material?

7.       Make predictions about what will happen next.

8.       Agree or disagree with the message of the text.

9.       Share a personal reaction to the story.

10.   Describe the main character’s personality.

11.   Comment on how a character has changed.

12.   Explain why you liked or disliked the text.

13.   State an opinion about the actions of the characters.

14.   Speak directly to a character and “give your two cents’ worth”. If you could stop the action at a particular point, what would you say?

15.   Evaluate an action or a decision by a character or characters. Do you feel a wise or a poor decision has been made? Why? What decision would you prefer to have been made? Why?

16.   What has occurred that you consider foreshadowing? What do you believe will occur in the future? Why?

17.   And finally … if there is anything you think about while reading that you feel strongly about, you should always feel free to write about that!


Novel Excerpt


“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to hear is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth”  (Salinger 1).

The beginning of this book is startling because this narrator is very unique.  While most narrators seem happy and even eager to tell you their story, this one is telling you from the beginning that he doesn’t really feel like “going into it.”  Words like “lousy” and “crap” let us know that this narrator is not particularly happy with his life, or at least his childhood.  He seems almost hostile to the reader.  I am confused about why someone who seems this negative would have a story to tell in the first place, and why the author chose this particular narrator.  What is nice about him is the fact that he’s aware that the reader wants “to know the truth,” and he seems really honest, even though he doesn’t sound very friendly.


You need to complete 10 total entries, and at least three detailed journal entries for each chapter.  Please either type or double space your entries. Be thoughtful and do not rush through this assignment.

Please pay attention to correct grammar and usage.  Write in complete sentences and use academic vocabulary.


Due Date: Thursday, May 8

Fahrenheit 451 extra credit

posted Apr 28, 2014, 8:03 AM by Naomi Kirchner

Respond to John Green's question at the end of the video is his comments section and email me a screen shot of your comment.

Solutions Gateway Conventions Practice

posted Mar 24, 2014, 1:29 PM by Naomi Kirchner

Please read over the attached document and revise the sentences.  These reflect common conventions errors on the past practice Gateway.

Julius Caesar Scene Rewrite

posted Mar 17, 2014, 7:03 AM by Naomi Kirchner

Now Hiring!

Creating an updated screenplay for The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

You like the story of Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus, but it badly needs an update.  Kids these days just don’t enjoy Shakespeare—and this play is particularly difficult!  You have been commissioned to rewrite two scenes in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and pitch it to an educational company.  If your scene is good enough, the company will hire you to write and produce a movie version of the play. 

The idea is to keep the story and the plot mostly the same (you can make a few artistic decisions, like Baz Luhrmann did in his film version of Romeo and Juliet) but to update the setting, dialog (make the language understandable!), and characters into a form that high school students today would enjoy and relate to.  It can be in modern times or a time in the past that students would understand.  Be creative in how you manipulate the storyline—consider morphing the characters and setting into the mafia, gang members, or CEOs.


In your portfolio, you will include:

 1.     A professional cover letter that pitches your rewrite, explains the scene and its importance, and convinces the company to hire you to update the play.  This is where you explain any major changes you made.

2.     The rewritten version of the scene.  Include all dialog, action, and background information.  Please don’t pick a scene that is too short or you will lose points.  Your rewritten version should be at least a few pages long. (This is the heart of your project.)

3.     A list of characters with detailed descriptions of how they look and behave.  You may need to include pictures of potential actors and actresses.

4.     A detailed description of the setting and any pictures to help describe it.

5.     A detailed list of the set, props, and costumes that your scene uses.  You will need to include visuals of these.


 Your portfolio should be neat and professional, as if you really were pitching your ideas to a company.  Everything should be typed and neatly put together.


You may work with a partner on this project or you may work as an individual. However, partner work must be twice as good!





DUE DATE: Monday, March 23





Julius Caesar Project


Cover Letter                            ___ /15

List of Characters                   ___/15

Description of Setting             ___/5

List of Props/Costumes           ___/5

Rewritten Scene                     

            Two Scenes                 ___/20

            Accuracy                     ___/15

            Length                         ___/10

Creativity                    ___/10

Professionalism                       ___/5




Independent Reading-- Round 3!

posted Mar 3, 2014, 8:08 AM by Naomi Kirchner

It's that time again!  Your task is to selected a book that you'd like to read over the next few weeks.  It needs to be a book that you have not read before and should be at least 200 pages.  

You need to finish your book by the week of April 14 (the week after Spring Break). 

Chemistry Class Assignment 2/17

posted Feb 14, 2014, 1:49 PM by Naomi Kirchner

Read the following article:

and then answer the attached questions.

Bio class assignment for 2/17

posted Feb 14, 2014, 1:35 PM by Naomi Kirchner   [ updated Feb 14, 2014, 1:48 PM ]

We are starting a unit on rebellion and innovation.  You will be reading an article from this week's New Yorker about a scientists who is challenging a pesticide company. 

Please read the attached PDF.... it's long, so be perseverant.   Then answer the following questions attached in the word document.  Please email me your answers ( or hand them into the substitute.

Satire Analytical Essay

posted Jan 27, 2014, 9:09 AM by Naomi Kirchner

For this assignment, you will write a thoughtful essay analyzing how chivalry and knights are satirized in two texts—Don Quixote and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


·         Introduction with thesis statement

·         Body paragraphs explaining what aspect of chivalry or knights is being satirized and how each text creates the satire (through parody, irony, hyperbole, etc).

·         Direct quotes integrated as evidence into your assertions (at least three)

·         Solid analysis that answers the question “So what?”  Why are these elements of the Middle Ages being satirzied?  Or rather, why are the Middle Ages satirized?  What aspects of the Middle Ages are ripe for satire and why?

·         Conclusion that ties all your ideas together

Final Due Date: Monday, February 3


Writer’s Checklist:


___Did you explain what a parody is and connect it to the texts in your introduction?

___ Did you properly punctuation the titles of both texts?

___Do you have a thesis statement in your introduction?


___Do each of your paragraphs have a topic sentence?

___ Have you used at least two direct quotes AND properly cited them?

___ Did you integrate your quotes into a sentence and then explain why the quote is significant?

___Did you fully explain your assertions using specific examples from the texts?


___Did you capitalize proper nouns?

___Did you correct use apostrophes to show possession?

___Did you edit for run ons and fragments?

___Did you use transitions to connect your ideas and make your sentences flow together?

___Did you vary your sentence type?


___Does this essay represent your very best work?

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