Honors English 2

October 2015

In this newsletter, you will find some snippets of recent student work and an overview of what is coming up at the end of October. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns!

~Proud Teacher of Honors English 2, Rebecca Nelson

What We've Been Up To Lately

Coming Up Next

Unit One, Embedded Assessment Two

In the next few weeks, students will extend their understanding of cultural identity and will read and synthesize information to help them take a position about the extent to which one’s culture influences one’s view of the world. They will collaborate with peers in order to respond to the following synthesis prompt:

To what extent does one’s culture inform the way one views others and the world?

Be sure to support your claim with evidence from at least three different texts you have read, viewed, or listened to in this unit, as well as with personal experience and insights.

The tentative due date for this essay will be Tuesday, October 27.

Unit Two: Cultural Perspectives


In this unit, students explore the ideas of culture and justice. Two essential questions focus their attention on the skills and knowledge presented and assessed in the unit:

· How can cultural experiences and perspectives be conveyed through memorable narratives?

· What issues resonate across cultures, and how are arguments developed in response?

Students answer these questions through the activities and assessments in the unit.

Students will also be assigned independent reading which will include classic British literature works. These pieces will be provided to students.


Two performance-based tasks, called Embedded Assessments, give students an opportunity to demonstrate their new learning in the skills of narration and argumentation. Specifically,

· Embedded Assessment 1 asks students to write a narrative conveying a cultural perspective.

· Embedded Assessment 2 asks students to write an essay arguing about an issue that resonates across cultures.

In both cases, students demonstrate their ability to analyze aspects of cultural perspective, develop understanding through discourse, and synthesize details from various texts.

Developing Skills and Knowledge for the Assessments

Throughout the unit, students engage in activities in which they use strategies such as TP-CASTT and Socratic Seminar to practice the important skills of analyzing a poem, close reading, and synthesizing texts through discourse. Students analyze and respond to a variety of texts such as an excerpt from the Nobel Lecture “Hope, Despair, and Memory” by Elie Wiesel and an editorial “Time to Assert American Values” from The New York Times. Throughout the unit, discussion is encouraged to examine the aspects of cultural perspective and justice.

Students’ vocabulary study concentrates on academic vocabulary of narration and argumentation, such as allusion, empirical evidence, and fallacy, and vocabulary specific to literary study such as memoir, dialogue tags, and narrative pacing.

Helping Your Child

Students should be “practicing” every day in class for their upcoming performance on the Embedded Assessment. Help your child reflect on and focus his or her learning by asking the following questions:

· What did you learn today? What texts did you read, discuss, and respond to in writing? What strategies did you use during your reading, discussing, and writing?

· What did you learn today that will help you succeed on the upcoming Embedded Assessment? What do you still need to practice?

You may also find it helpful to read through the Embedded Assessments (particularly the Scoring Guides) and to note the Learning Targets that are located at the beginning of each unit activity.

Mrs. Nelson

English teacher. Georgia native. Literature lover. Educational technology promoter. Coffee drinker. Anglophile. Believer of tea time. Co-Sponsorer of Indian Student Association. Pro travel.

James Bartholomew - 2nd

Ed Sheeran - Photograph - Instrumental Acoustic Guitar Cover by James Bartholomew - 2nd