Saturday, February 4, 2012


Regarding our study of Great Expectations & Tale of Two Cities (henceforth known as the Live Action Literature Analyses, or LALAs):

1. Please remember to take active reading notes. As you saw on Friday, textual detail is essential to this process.

2. Although I will lecture and conduct a comprehensive review the following week before we conclude our study of Dickens and these two novels, this next week's instruction will be guided by your identification, analysis and interpretation of the literary techniques you discover in Dickens' work. To review: identification requires you to recognize a literary technique when you see it; analysis requires you to define and break the technique down into component parts for the purpose of explanation; and interpretation requires you to put the pieces together again in order/context to explain how the technique achieves the intended effect.

3. This is not easy work, and doing it well requires 95 intelligent, motivated people. Since missing a day of this discussion means missing far more than one teacher's point-by-point lecture, please document the day for your colleagues who aren't present. Because different ideas are raised in each period, the best solution would be to share ALL the ideas on your blogs-- and maybe elsewhere-- so that your study is easy to reference/review closer to the AP exam.

4. The fact that there is no one conductor for this orchestra means that every musician must be proficient enough to contribute and spontaneously adapt to the needs and direction of the group. If you need something from a colleague, don't be shy; if you see someone struggling or doing something exceptionally well, ask him/her about it. [PLEASE NOTE: This is an opportunity to extend your skills/understanding, but, as I said in class, I don't ever want you to feel like you're out to sea. If you are struggling, can't rebound, and don't feel comfortable confiding in a peer, I'm here. Please don't hesitate.  I don't want anyone to feel like they've gotten so far behind that they can't catch up.]

5. For those who thrive on extrinsic motivation, we will conclude this segment of the curriculum with a miniature AP exam. I am writing each multiple choice and essay question, and I am making it more difficult than the official version. Rest assured: a) the reading, writing, thinking and collaborating you're doing now is by far the best way to prepare for the exam, and b) after the exam there will be no question as to who put in an honest effort in this process and who... well, let's assume everyone is doing their best.

6. Please comment or email with any questions. Yesterday was a great start and I'm looking forward to Monday!

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