August 22

Analyzing Voice in “Hold Up” Image

English 4 and English 1A–be sure to include your class and at least a first name and last initial so that I may credit the correct student.

Discovering Voice


Voice is created through conscious choices. In other words, the writer, painter, or musician purposefully chooses his or her “tools” (words, colors, instruments) and uses them in ways that create a certain effect.


You will learn more about this as we look deeper into voice in reading and writing, but always remember that the creation of voice involves conscious choices. As you consider the conscious choices writers, painters, or musicians make, learn to ask yourself some fundamental questions:


  1. What is he/she (or the work) saying? (What does the work mean?)
  2. How do you know? (What evidence can you find in the work to determine the meaning?)
  3. How does he/she do that? (What tools does the writer/painter/musician use to create meaning, and how does he/she use these tools?)



Look at the photo presented and answer questions 1-3 thoroughly here.


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August 17

English 4 and 1A Assignment — Adichie’s Argument Against a Single Story

The Danger of A Single Story: TEDtalk with Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie

View the above TEDtalk. You may activate the closed caption service and read along with the talk. As you listen, make note of Adichie’s position. Answer the following questions:
Include your name and class 4 or 1A in your response.

1) How does the author introduce her topic?

2) Why is it relevant that she began in this way?

3) What evidence does she provide to support her position?

4) Apply her reflection to your own experiences. Have you ever rethought your own opinions of a situation or condition? Have you ever had a flat view of other people? If so, explain. Be precise.

Directions: Click the title, then scroll down. You should see a white box titled, “comment”. That’s where you will type your answer. Be sure to copy your work before you click “submit”. Type your email address or at least one that looks like an email address in the blank. You do not need to type a website address on that line; but, you do need to type the spam filter code. Again, be sure to copy and save your work before you submit because sometimes student’s work is lost. Then submit.

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March 9

Response to “Learning to Read” Malcolm X and Alex Haley

San Quentin Testimonies

As you view the video above, consider the similarities between their experiences and Malcolm X’s experience. Then, respond to the following question.

List at least two commonalities between the prisoners and Malcolm X and provide your opinion of their significance to American society. Did the prisoners or Malcolm X reveal insights that we should consider more closely as a country? Explain and be specific.

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February 7

“Shooting an Elephant” or “My Mother Never Worked”

For either “Shooting an Elephant or “My Mother Never Worked” (you choose) decide what the heart of the essay must be. The titles suggest a topic, yet the essays focus on topics much more in-depth. First, what is your chosen essay’s true subject? Second, what evidence supports your claim? Third, respond to the essay. Choose two or three images or ideas that remained with you after the reading. We will discuss both essays in class and you will have a sentence combining activity to complete. Come prepared to discuss both essays.

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January 26

Hurricane Katrina Response 1

01 Sep 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA — Residents wait to be rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans September 1, 2005. Chaos and lawlessness hampered the evacuation of New Orleans on Thursday and a U.S. senator said thousands may have died in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, shell-shocked officials tried to regain control of the historic jazz city reduced to a swampy ruin by Monday’s storm. Bodies floated in the flooded city and authorities still could only guess how many people had died. — Image by © David J. Phillip/Pool/Reuters/Corbis

First, describe the overall impression on you. Second, select three details from the image. Describe the detail and interpret its meaning. Finally, think about how one of those details might mean something completely different if looking at it from another perspective. I will create on example below. Also, be sure to copy your work before you submit it! Otherwise, you may lose it all.

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