English II

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Creating a Writing Community

Today we will spend time creating/updating your blogs.


  1. Log on to wordpress. If you don't have a blog, make one. If you do have one, make sure you can log in. Keep the log on information somewhere safe since you will access this almost daily.
  2. Download the wordpress app to your phone if you can. It is the easiest way to post photos and quick updates.
  3. Make your QR code poster. Once you finish it, save it, and email it to me so I can print it out and hang it on the wall.
  4. Load content onto your blog: Your six word memoir and your letter to me.
  5. Finish all that? Help someone else who is having trouble or begin commenting on other students' blogs.

Writing Descriptively

Good writers know how to write SO descriptively that they can easily paint the perfect image in a reader's head?


Important things to include when writing descriptively are:

1) DETAILS -- every tiny detail matters

2) imagery (5 senses) -- taste, touch, smell, taste, sight

3) Carefully chosen vocabulary -- was it "fun" or was it "thrilling" or "amusing" or "entertaining"?

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What Does a Good Review Look and Sound Like?

Today we'll be reading a sample review about the Veloway in Austin. Underline descriptive language. Fill in your "saying" and "doing" chart with quotes from the story and verbs that describe what the author is doing with those quotes.
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Structure of a Review

There are many ways to structure a review. Here is one:


  • Introduction -- tell me a little about your product as if I didn't know anything about it.
  • DESCRIBE, DESCRIBE, DESCRIBE -- using the tools for good descriptive writing, describe your product down to the smallest detail. Don't leave anything out!
  • Give your opinion -- what did you think about it? Why? Give specific examples.
  • Downsides? -- was there anything you didn't enjoy about your product?
  • Conclude -- summarize your product, your experience, and leave a recommendation for your reader.

Write Your Own

Now that we've looked at an example of a good review and discussed the different components, you're going to write you own!


Write a review of a place that you went or of something you did this summer. You will get feedback from ME and your PEERS before you turn in your final draft.

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Writer's Voice

Voice is the author's style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author's attitude, personality, and character.
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Fed Man Walking

We'll read a review from Fed Man Walking over Homeslice Pizza. Pay careful attention to his voice in the piece, as well as the figurative writing strategies that he uses!
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Nothing Inspires Good Writing Like A Sugar Rush

To hone in on your descriptive writing skills, we're going to describe something seemingly small and simple: a Jolly Rancher. Without unwrapping it, write one sentence about what you: see, hear, feel, and smell. Carefully choose your vocabulary words. Be sure to include specific and descriptive adjectives.


Now, unwrap it. While it's in your mouth, write a metaphor, a simile, and a sentence containing personification that helps describe the taste.


Write a sentence that summarizes your Jolly Rancher experience that includes how you felt and expresses your opinion. Did it bring up any old memories? Did it improve your mood?

Revisiting Fed Man Walking

Revisit the review of Homeslice and identify (highlight or underline) and label figurative language.


You'll be hunting for examples of similes, metaphors, and personification.

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Hashbrown Temptation

Independently, read Rebecca Orchant's review about McDonald's hashbrowns and complete the questions on the back of the page. Answer the questions in thoughtful, complete sentences.
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Write Your Own Restaurant Reveiw

Using your unique voice, write a review of a restaurant that you've been to. Include details about everything -- the building, the line, the hostess, the wait time, the waiter, the atmosphere, the food (especially the food!), the service, everything!


You must also include 1 simile, 1 metaphor, and 1 example of personification.

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Fix And Improve

Look at your review draft and do the following:


Circle 10 "lame" words. If you can't find 10, have a partner help you identify some. Replace them with better words. Use a thesaurus to find two replacement words that would help create a better image. There's no shame in using resources to improve your writing.


Give your paper to a peer. With your new paper, find the simile, metaphor, and personification. Put stars by them when you find them! If they are missing one or more, make a note about which ones you did NOT find. Return the paper to its original owner.


Turn your "telling" sentences into "showing" sentences. Find sentences where you've directly told the reader something rather than describing it so they can see it for themselves. We'll talk about this one as a class!

The Wicked Sick Project

Ebay wicked sick BMX

The short video, which Chris Boese shared on Facebook, shows two employees from Australian PR firm George Patterson Y&R who buy a generic bike on eBay and then write a new ad that sells the bike for 5 times what they paid for it. The only difference was the description of the bike in the eBay ad.

Explore and Answer the Following Questions

•Who is their intended audience? (male, female, old, young…)


•What strategies do they use to get that audience’s attention?


•What is the tone/voice of their advertisement? How do you know?

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Create Your Own "Wicked Sick" Ad

•Brainstorm used possession that you do not want anymore. Come up with at least three.


•Select one of the items to sell with a creative, written, and visual, online advertisement.

Before You Write Your Ad, Consider the Following:

•Who will your intended audience be? (male, female, old, young…)


•What strategies will you use to get that audience’s attention?


•What will the tone/voice of your advertisement be?

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Post Your Ad to Your Blog

Post your ad to your blog and add some kind of visual to accompany it. It can either be a picture off the internet OR a real picture of the item that you took yourself.


Once you post your ad, comment on three other people's ads. Answer the following questions in thoughtful, complete sentences in the comment section of that person's blog post.


1. What do you like? What stood out to you? Why?

2. What is a suggestion you have to make this ad more appealing to the writer’s target audience?

3. Select a line that is “telling” instead of “showing.” Rewrite it using figurative or sensory language.

4. Sign your name with your last initial.

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Golden Lines

While you're reading today, flag/mark a line that stands out to you as being "special". After reading, choose part of that line to make the title of a new blog post. Include the title and author of your book as well.


Write about that line in 3 different ways:
1) Summarize the scene: what is taking place in your book when this line appears? DO NOT summarize the whole book. What is happening in this specific scenario?

2) Explain why the line stood out to you and grabbed your attention? What writing strategies or techniques did the author use that sparked your interest?

3) Make a personal connection: how can you relate to, connect with, question, or wonder about? Write a personal reflection about your thoughts, feeling, and connections to this line.

1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee 134k miles

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/flg/5156743137.html


1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Special Edition. 5.2 V8. 134k miles. Runs great with tons of features like a non-working stereo, so you can spend quality time talking to your passenger and a non-working Ac/Heater so you can roll down your windows and enjoy the outdoors. Lights! The lights work. I think that's pretty standard amongst most cars but I thought I should mention it anyway. Small oil leak, but did I mention it runs great? If I forgot to mention that well, it runs great! I regularly drive it to and from Phoenix. I actually really don't want to sell it. It's been good to me but I'm moving to Japan and can't fit it in my suitcase (I tried). This is the perfect vehicle for riding into Valhalla, Shinny and Chrome! Witness this vehicle, make me an offer and I myself will guide you to the gates of Valhalla where you will ride eternal shiny and chrome. So, whether you are taking a leisurely drive to the Green Place or storming the Fury Road, this vehicle is perfect for you. Asking $1700 obo email me with any questions you may have.

What is Theme?

Pixar -- For the Birds

For The Birds Original HD 720p
First Viewing: pay close attention and think about what the theme might be.


Second Viewing: complete the graphic organizer.


Using the evidence from your graphic organizer, develop a theme statement. As you work, consider what the film teaches us about the following topics:

  • Tolerance
  • Acceptance
  • Action and Consequence
  • Equality vs. Uniqueness
  • Judgement/Bias


After you've developed your theme statement, hand draw an image that visually depicts the message in your theme statement.

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Finding the Theme in Songs

Using good judgment, select a song. Copy ALL the lyrics into the body of a blog post with the following requirements:

  • Has multiple examples of figurative language and/or sensory language
  • Curse words censored
  • Credit is given to the artist and website


Underline examples of sensory and figurative language


Analyze the lines in the song to determine the theme. Create a theme statement and make that the title of this blog post. Below the lyrics, write an analysis paragraph clearly stating the theme of the song and supporting that theme with evidence from the lyrics. Be sure to thoroughly explain how each line of lyrics supports your theme statement.

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Introduction to Maus

Read and take Cornell notes about some of the background information on Art Spiegelman, graphic novels, frame narratives, the Holocaust, and Maus.


Using your notes, complete the quiz on reading comprehension and note-taking skills.

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What Animal Are You?

Consider Art Spiegelman's reason for choosing certain animals to represent characters. What characteristics and traits are associated with mice? Make a list on your paper.


What traits would you use to personify your chosen animal? Why did you choose your animal? (Do not choose the same animals as in Maus.)


Your reflection should be at least one thoughtful, well-organized paragraph.

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