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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sentence diagramming: modifier and article


Can you anticipate my lecture?

Sentence diagramming: The basics


“Let’s quickly review the last eleven years of your education…”

Battle plan


My colleague and I planned the first week old school on one of the last remaining chalkboards on the campus.


Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

— from Seneca.

Syllabus 11th grade English

Comprehensive English, grade 11
K. Andersen

With the switch from California Standards to Common Core, the curriculum this year is in a somewhat fluid state.  This syllabus serves as a guideline to what will be covered within the year, with the timing and sequence to be updated online, electronically, as events warrant.

We at Arroyo are a college-oriented culture: this course will focus on preparing the student for any level of college, trade school, or career.

I expect to cover these works over the course of the year:
Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
Into The Wild, John Krakauer
Time permitting, more works from the board-approved list may be covered. In addition, there will be short readings:
Supplemental readings of poetry.
Nonfiction articles in support of persuasive and argumentative writing and college preparatory reading.

The essay
This year’s focus will be on the argumentative essay in which the student will state or side with an opinion and support this with evidence, reasoning, experience, and observation.

The journal
A daily informal writing of one hundred words.
The topics will largely be the student’s choice, with the primary focus of reflection, i.e., “What did I learn today? What did I experience today? How does this relate to what I already know?”
Occasionally, topics will be mandatory.

The student will be expected to present to the class on topics both prepared for and random.
These speeches will be one to two minutes and will be graded on clarity and the avoidance of verbal static, e.g., “Uhhhhh,” “You know?”

There are three criteria for the acceptance of late work:
The absence is due to an incapacitating illness or difficulty, i.e., the student is physically or emotionally unable to do the work.
The student is unable to access ahs.schoolloop.com and therefore has not been informed of the assignment.
The acceptance of late work will require a conference that in the least will be a phone call or email, and at the most a personal meeting that may include counselor or administrator.
TO BE CLEAR: If the student has been informed of the due date and the specifications, and has access to the materials, and the student is not incapacitated, the due date applies.

Printers are not provided in this classroom.
It is advised that any assignment that must be typed be printed 24 hours before deadline, so printer malfunctions such as “We ran out of ink” can be corrected.
An emailed assignment is not a substitution for a hard copy.

Absenteeism is a pervasive problem in this “mental health day” culture.
Be aware that an hour-long lecture explaining difficulties of the material – often enhanced by the asking of good questions – cannot be reproduced.
In short: some assignments cannot be made up.

If I have marked a student absent in error, he or she has 24 hours to bring the error to my attention for correction. Check schoolloop attendance daily, and promptly respond to any Teleparent notification of absence.

If a student is tardy, he or she will be assigned a five-minute class detention at period’s end, at which time he or she will watch as I correct attendance.

The use of recording devices in the classroom without teacher permission is prohibited (See CA Ed Code 51512 and CA Penal Code 630-632). Additionally, some parents/guardians do not want their son or daughters to be recorded. If a student wishes to record classroom proceedings, he or she must request permission on a case-by-case basis. Simply stated: ask first.
This includes but is not limited to photo, video, or audio recording.

Our goal at Arroyo is to provide a student with the curiosity, desire, and ability to advance his or her education as far as possible.
Unfortunately, there is a pervasive notion in America that a formal education is worthless and a “street” education leads to a superior career choice.  This often includes the disparagement of the curriculum, lesson, or teacher in a disrespectful and disruptive outburst. Disruptions of this kind may hinder the learning of serious students or those with special needs.
While the student is free to question lesson design in a respectful manner – which may need to take place during “office hours” or in conference – a disruption of the class may lead to an overall grade no higher that deficient, i.e., D.
A disruptive student will be warned clearly and parent/guardian as well as administration will be apprised of the situation, and corrective action will be expected in accord with the district’s policy of “restorative justice.”
The best rule of thumb: there is an appropriate time, place. and manner in which to express an opinion. If it is not appropriate during instructional minutes, the student and I will negotiate an appointment at class end.

The contact information in the header is arranged in order of effectiveness of prompt receipt and return. Please contact me for any clarification you may need.

Understanding poetry: repetition and parallelism

Repetition and parallelism—the use of similar constructions within the sentence—need further expansion.  The queen of figurative language, repetition of sound or word or phrase slips from poetry to prose to speeches of art or urgency.  Memorize this terminology, then begin to see how the great writers and orators employ it.

anaphora, the same words open the clause series
e.g.,  What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain?
epistrophe, the same words close a clause series
e.g., When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child
symploce, the use of both anaphora and epistrophe:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

asyndeton, the omission of conjunction
e.g., Veni, vidi, vici.
polysyndeton, the repetition of conjunction
e.g., …men and women who spoke the language of duty and morality and loyalty and obligation.
antithesis, opposition in construction
e.g., Many are called, few are chosen.
Man proposes, God disposes.
climax, clauses ascending in importance
e.g., …three things endure: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Additionally, there are different forms of asyndeton for the acutely-focused student:
apokoinu: …there was no breeze came through the door.
parataxis: I weep for Adonais—he is dead.
zeugma: Mary likes chocolate, John vanilla.


Figures of repetition

Figures of repetition

A fantastic resource with which to go deeper into figurative speech and the understanding of the craft.

From the aptly-named SILVA RHETORICAE: follow the branches.

Understanding poetry: terminology mnemonics

Close readers of the lists noted that I have arranged the terminology so that the first letters create the phrase mnemonic “The airship fuel.”

see https://kingsleyandersen.com/2013/08/05/understanding-poetry-rhyme-v-2/

In v.2 I have added consonance, assonance, and repetition, thus increasing the mnemonic to “The airship fuel car.”  As this may not appeal to your tastes, I offer the following mnemonics to aid you in memorizing the basics of rhyme. (If you don’t find any that stick in your memory, you are a hard nut indeed.)

Hi! Uplift a searcher
Relish fruit: a peach
A catfish pie hurler
Here, hurl a pacifist
Theirs a careful hip
Each a pushier flirt
A fireplace hurt his
A heretical fur ship
A peachier lush rift
Either hip’s a fulcra
Hire a plushier fact
A ripe flesh haircut
A haircut fire helps
Hurl a feistier chap
A filthier chap’s rue
Hurries a life patch
Charities fur a help
A spherical fire hut
He’s a spherical fruit
Uh, a seraphic lifter
Hurl a heraphic serif
Plus a charier thief
A charier he uplifts
Flip her a Eucharist
A chapel hires fruit
Preach a filthier us
Hi purchaser! A filet?
Hi! Purchase a trifle
Reach a flusher tipi
Hi! A spiteful archer
Hurl a spacier thief
A practice flier, huh?
A practice rifle, huh?
Uh a shiftier parcel

Understanding poetry: rhyme v.2

From the Oxford:

rhyme |rīm|
correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, esp. when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry.
• a short poem in which the sound of the word or syllable at the end of each line corresponds with that at the end of another.
• poetry or verse marked by such correspondence of sound.
• a word that has the same sound as another.

To simplify:

rhyme, the correspondence of sounds between words or the ending of words.
rhythm is a regular, repeated pattern, from the Greek rhuthmos, ‘to flow.’

To review:
syllable, a vowel sound usually conjoined to a consonant.
vowel, an open vocal-tract sound.
consonant, a closed vocal-tract sound.

Now, some examples. (Note that rhyme at the end of the line is only one of many types):

triple, words with three rhyming syllables, e.g., quickening/thickening
head, i.e., alliteration: “And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain.”
end, rhyme at the line’s end
apocopated, a “cut-off”rhyme, e.g., hot/potted, pain/gainless
internal, rhyme within the line
rising, an iamb (syllables unstressed and stressed) or single stressed syllable at line’s end (see image below)
slant/half/off/approximate/near, an “almost” rhyme, e.g, fear/care, gone/moan
homonym, a repeated rhyme with different spelling, e.g., sail/sale, preys/praise
identical, or repetition, the same word, reemphasized
pure, rhyme with differing initial consonant: bell/cell/dell/fell/hell
falling, a trochee (syllables stressed and unstressed)(see image below.)
unpatterned, randomly-placed rhymes
eye, slant rhymes that look alike: cough/rough, wind/find
linked, end syllable of one line beginning the next, e.g.,
Night weighs down on the rooftop
stops the flashlight of a scared cop

consonance, recurring consonants in proximity
assonance, repeated vowel sounds in stressed syllables
repetition, repeating word or phrase

The list is an adaptation of the types of rhyme listed in
Mayes, Frances. The Discovery of Poetry. Harcourt. 2001. (See https://kingsleyandersen.com/2013/07/01/494/ for page numbers.)

The stressed or accented syllable is indicated by the ictus′ and the unstressed or unaccented syllable by the breve˘