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Humanities 11 - Daily Agendas and Assignments
Please note the following abreviations:  "H.A." = Heath Anthology of Americna Lit. vol 1; "6th ed." = The American Tradition in Literature, 6th Edition; and "7 ed." = The American Tradition in Literature, 7th Edition.  Since different students have different texts, you'll just have to look for the pages that refer to the text you have.

Jump to Week #2,   Week #3,   Week #4,   Week #5,   Week #6,   Week #7,   Week #8Week #9   Week #10

  Date  Agendas    Assignments:
1  Introduction to Humanities 
 - What are the Humanities - "Man as Asking Animal" excerpt and discussion.
- The Big  Questions:  What are they?
2. Introductions and Overview of Syllabus/Expectations
3. Handout Textbooks
4 Cornell Note-Taking 
5. Homework Overview: 
. Creation Myths: 
- Intro to Native American Oral Tradition: Reading Assignment

Computer Lab: Getting the Blog Rolling - Registering at Tripod - Emailing Me

- "The World on the Turtle's Back"                         (handout)

Writing: No formal assignment.  I suggest giving the Cornell Note Taking method a try as you read, however.

*Handout remaining textbooks and The Scarlet Letter

1. Sharing/Collect Name Myth Stories
2. Introduce Four Theories of Myth and 
discuss "The World on the Turtle's Back"
3. Share the Cornell method applied to "The 
World . . . "
4. Poems: "The Earth is Your Mother" Leslie Marmon Silko
   and "Warrior Song" (Omaha)
5. Video: "Coyote Eyes"
6. Native American Values and Beliefs/Comparison with European values
7. Excerpt from Columbus's Journal (Howard Zinn)
8.  Excerpt form his First Mate's Journal 
9. Transition into Early Colonial Writing: John Smith and William Bradford

 - John Smith, A Description of New England [Appeal for settlers to plant a colony in New England] 
HA: pp 156-159 (for other textbooks,   handouts will be provided)

- William Bradford: from Of Plymouth Plantation HA: pp 215-225; 
7th ed.: pp 26-37; 
6th ed.: 12-22

* I encourage use of the Cornell Note-Taking method for these reading assignments. 

1. Group discussion of John Smith and William Bradford Reading (Small Group Work)
- extracting values within the writing of each.
- what do we learn about each man and about each community from which he writes?
- Purpose?
5. Jumping Ahead: Some General Background Notes on The Scarlet Letter and Nathaniel Hawthorne: Allegory, Hawthorne's Criticism of the Puritan Legacy, etc.

More TBA
HW: Begin Reading The Scarlet Letter
1 Review of Suggested Reading Goals for The Scarlet Letter.  (Second block catch up with Scarlet Letter Notes) 
2. Bay Psalm Book/Psalmody: Music (psalms #100 and #23)
3. Meditation Exercise: 
4. Introduce Puritan Meditative Tradition, Metaphysical Poetry, Conceits, and Occasional Poetry:
Edward Taylor: "Upon Wedlock and Death of Children" (6th ed. p.100  - 7th ed. p.138) and "Upon a Spider Catching a Fly" (6th ed. 104/7th ed. p.138).  and "The Ebb and Flow" (web page)

5. Review Letter Assignment (web link)

 Scarlet Letter Reading Goals (Quizzes will be given on each of these days)

  • Chapters 1-11 by Tuesday, January 27th

  • Chapters 12-19 by Thursday, January 29

  • Finish by Monday, Feb 2nd


 - Complete Letter (one page typed, double spaced) Option#1 - 
Please address the following: The writers we have looked at this week have each indicated assumptions about human nature and what motivates men and women most: greed, security, fear, happiness, selfless morality, faith, patriotism, etc.  Which of these concepts do you think motivates people most and why?  Make sure your thoughts are your own, but also that you refer to a passage that we read this week and  quote a line or two from it as we read,

Option #2: Which writer that we've read so far appeals to you most?  Again, make sure to include a short quotation.

1. Collect Letter #1
2. Small Group work with Taylor Poems
 - terms: metaphysical conceit
4.  PURITANISM (BASIC BELIEFS/Calvinism - Lecture)
5. In class reading time: The Crucible
Continue Scarlet Letter Reading

1. Scarlet Letter Quiz #1. 
2. Meditation: "To the untrue man, the whole universe is false--it is impalpable--it shrinks to nothing within his grasp." - Nathaniel Hawthorne
3. The Great Awakening - "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" - Jonathan Edwards
4. Poems of Anne Bradstreet

Terms: End Rhyme, Near Ryme, Inverted Syntax, 
“To My Dear and Loving Husband” – 6th p. 51 / 7th p. 75
“Upon the Burning of Our House” – 6th p. 58 / 7th p. 78 “The Flesh and the Spirit” – 6th ed. pp. 49-51 / 7th ed. pp. 66-68

Continue Reading The Scarlet Letter
"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" (didn't get to it yesterday)

Block 2 Finish "The Flesh and the Spirit"

1. Poetry Explication: "Exhuming McCarthy" - R.E.M.
2. "Loaded Questions" and the art of interrogation: Activity: Writing and Delivering Loaded Questions
3.  Brief Arthur Miller background lecture 
4.  Begin Viewing The Crucible

Continue Reading The Scarlet Letter
1. Finish Viewing  of The Crucible Continue Reading The Scarlet Letter
1. Scarlet Letter Quiz #2
2. Loaded Questions--dramatization 
3. Crucible Character Review: Plot Questions
4. Crucible: Definition--different ways of looking at the title.
5. Preview Proctor's Decision
6. Finish Viewing Movie
7. Follow Up Discussion

Preview Letter Writing for Tuesday

 *We will follow a separate agenda for block 2 due to time constraints this week.

Continue Reading "The Scarlet Letter"


NOTE: LETTERS DUE ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3RD (in order to correspond with your reading schedule)

Snow Day - No School Snow Day = No School
Week #3


1. Wrap Up Crucible Discussion
3. Scarlet Letter: Discussion

Finish Reading The Scarlet Letter

Writing: Letter #2
Chillingworth says some interesting things toward the end of chapter 23. One of them is this: "Hadst thou sought the whole earth over, there was no place so secret--no high place, nor lowly place, where thou couldst have escaped me--save on this very scaffold!" 

Another is simply, "Thou hast escaped me!  Thou has escaped me!"  These seem somewhat strange thoughts coming from a man who wants revenge; after all, the person he seeks vengeance upon is at that very moment  humiliating himself in front of the world.  (Why would this be a bad thing?) 

In your letter for this week, comment on the significance of these lines, what they might tell us about Chillingworth's character, and add any other thoughts you might have regarding Chillingworth and the Scarlet Letter.

Option #2: Reflect on  the Poetry of Anne Bradstreet.

1. Scarlet Letter Quiz #3
2. Scarlet Letter Discussion
1. Scarlet Letter Discussion: focus on theme
2. Overview of Scarlet Letter Essay Assignment: Background/Planning
1. Begin Pre-Writing Work on Scarlet Letter Essays

6. Sample Essay and Practice Outline
7.  Background on Roger Williams: The Counter-Argument to Extreme Calvinist Puritanism
Read: HW: Roger Williams "The Letter to the Town of Providence" 6th ed: p. 40; 7th ed: p. 55; HA pp 254-255

Weekly Letter: 

1. Feedback on the course: (no more than 1/3 of your letter) Tell me how the course is going for your right now.  What's working?  What's not?

2. Reflect on the Roger Williams reading:
What's  this business with the ship is in the Roger Williams reading.  What does the ship stand for, who are the crewman and the officers, and what does it all mean?  Practice your "chunking" as you analyze.  What else might you apply this "ship" metaphor  to?

3. Feel free to reflect on anything else we've studies this week as well.

1. Collect/Share Letters and 
2. Continue Discussion of Roger Williams Homework 
3. "S" Poem
4. Feminism: It's a Perspective Thing--lecture
5.  Responding to sample artifacts through the feminist lens: Mount Rushmore, Miss America Pageant, Elimidate, etc.
6. Literary Analysis Essay Outline/Topic Overview
7. Brief Lecture: The Age of Reason and The Early 
Think about your essay topic and come to class with an idea of which topic you will choose.

Extra Credit Opportunity
Surf the web or consult an encyclopedia and find 3-5 interesting facts about the life of William Billings (early American Composer). Any facts that you find that no one else in the class bring in will be worth 2 extra credit points.

Colonial Music and Culture

1.. Music of William Billings
2. Music and Culture of the Quakers and Shakers
3. American Visions Video
4. Introduction to Paine's Age of Reason

Read excerpt from The Age of Reason
6th ed: pp 299 (bottom) - 306 (bottom) 
7th ed: pp 353 - 360

- Write a paragraph in which you identify three interesting ideas that you either agree with or find objectionable in The Age of Reason.

1. Colonial Music Continued
2. Music, folk art, crafts, and architecture of the Shakers (PowerPoint Presentation and video excerpt)
3. Discussion of "The Age of Reason"
4. Outline work for Essay #1
Work on Essay #1
1. Computer Lab Exercise: Group Mini Essay Responses to Paine (practice integrating quotations and flushing out ideas and analysis on Paine)

Read Excerpt from Common Sense
6th ed: 284-290 (to " . . . already put to"
7th ed. pp 338-343 ((to . . . already put to)

Questions to think about as you read:
1. What reason does Paine give for the protection Britain has given the colonies?
2. What role do physical distance and nationality play in the familial relationship between England and the colonies?
3.  Why is it in Europe's best interests for the colonies to separate from England?
4. Who is interested in reconciliation according to Paine?
5. What would be a better type of country for England to colonize and run according to Paine?



1. Discuss Paine's "Common Sense"
2. Music and Architecture of the Moravians (PowerPoint): 
3. Handout Midterm Exam Review Sheets 
(Midterm Exam Next Thursday)


1. Collect Essays
2.  Intro to Rhetorical Terms: Ethos, Pathos, Logos.
Read and Discuss Henry's "Speech at the Virginia Convention"
3.  Read and Discuss Malcom X and MLK modern connections--the question of taking up arms against one's oppressors.
4. Intro to Jefferson and Franklin

Read Thomas Jefferson's 
Declaration of Independence:
6th ed: pp 308-311
7th ed: pp 370-373


selections from Franklin's Autobiography:
6th ed: p. 252 (begin at "It was about this time . . . and go to p. 255 (stop at "In 1732, I first published . . ." 

7th ed. pp 302-305.  Begin at "It was about this time . . . " and end at "In 1732, I first . . . "



1.  Discuss Declaration 
2.  Discuss Ben Franklin 

Begin Review for Midterm

Study for Midterm Exam.
Midterm Review Day Study for Midterm Exam
MIDTERM EXAM Read: excerpts from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas
Chapters I (birth) and and X (Mr. Covey)

(6th ed. begin on page 721)
(7th ed. begin p. 1036 and p. 1031)

Letter Assignment: 
3 options:
Option 1 - Write a reflection on your 5 day experiment of striving toward Franklin's Moral Perfection. Which of the 13 virtues did you struggle with most?  Why?  What came easily to you, etc.  No need for a quote if you choose this one.

Option 2: Your own Declaration of Independence - Choose some group or organization that has some sort of control over you, and declare your independence from them following Jefferson's four part rhetorical structure. No need for a quotation if you do this one.

Letters this week are for Extra Credit
5 point extra credits

1. Douglas Quiz
2.  "Slavery Days" - Burning Spear
w/James Russell Lowell: "Stanzas on  Freedom"  Meditation/Discussion
3.  Discuss Douglas Reading
4. "Frederick Douglas" by Robert Hayden (read/discuss)

Songs of Slavery:
    - "Follow the Drinking Gourd"
    - "Give us a Flag"
    - "No More Auction Block for Me"
    - "Run, Mourner, Run"

Excerpt from PBS Video "Songs of the Civil War" and short PowerPoint Presentation.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "A Psalm of Life" (6th ed. 588' 7th ed. 896)

a well developed one paragraph explication of the poem. 


1. Discussion of Longfellow Poem: "A Psalm  of Life"
2. Pre-Bryant Question: What happens when we die?"

William Cullen Bryant: "Thanatopsis" in class reading and discussion (6th ed 538-540.  7th Edition, 846-848). 

2. Reading of "Romance" by Edgar Allan Poe 
3. Draw Conclusions about characteristics of American Romanticism (brief Notes) 

4. Introduction to Poe and American Gothic 
    (brief notes)
5. "The Raven" - Christopher Watkin Reading and Simpsons Episode
6. "Annabelle Lee" Recording

Read: "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Poe (in your big textbook)
1. Hand back/review tests 
2. Discuss Usher (small groups)
3. Usher Wrap Up
4. Introduction to "`The Masque of the Red Death"  Review the concept of "Allegory"

Reading Time--get a start on your homework
"Read Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe. (in your big textbook)
1. Discuss "The Masque of the Red Death"
2. Hand back Essays
3. Handout Midterm Grades
4. "Southern Gothic" connection: William Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily"
Read "A Rose for Emily" (Handout)
1. "Discuss a Rose for Emily"
2.  View "A Rose for Emily" video

Letter Assignment: You may write about anything you want to for this week's letter.   Comment on something that struck you from this week's reading.  Feel free to address several things that we read, and remember to include at least one short quotation.
  Weekend Weekend

1. Collect Letters
2. Preview of Week's Activities
3. Handout Moby Dick Books
4. Melville Background and Novel Background: Brief Powerpoint: 
5. Starting the Book: Read and Analyze "Loomings"
6. Preview MD Journal
7. Reading Time

Read chapters I - VIII ("Loomings" = "The Pulpit") in Moby Dick for Wednesday.  Refer to questions in your MD Journal for assistance.

I encourage you to come to conferences tonight with your parents.
1. Stephen Foster PBS Video 
2. Reading Time: Moby Dick
Finish Monday's assigned reading for tomorrow

Write in MD Journal
1.Discussion of Chapters 1-8 in MD
2.Stephen Foster PowerPoint Presentation:
   Stephen Foster/Minstrelsy Handout
and listening session--parlor songs, plantation songs, folk songs, and minstrel songs.
3. Reading Time
Read Chapters XVI, "The Ship", through XXI,  "Going Aboard",  by Friday

Write in MD Journal
1. Music of the Civil War Video
2. Moby Dick Reading Time
Continue working on Wednesday's assigned readings

Write in MD Journal
SNOW DAY - NO SCHOOL Read "The Lee Shore" 
and  "Knights and Squires" through "Queen Mab" 
and "The Mast Head" through "Dusk"

Write Letter #5: 

1. Choose one passage or quote from MD that you found meaning in, and write a one page letter/ reflection on that.  Make sure you use a quote, and be ready to share your work with your classmates on Monday. 
1. Discuss Chapters XVI - XX1  
2. Informal Letter Presentations

3. Detailed  Discussion of "The Lee Shore" 
and additional questions about readings form Friday's assignment. 

4. View Part I of Moby Dick DVD (time allowing)
Reading Assignment for Wednesday:

Read "Moby Dick " and "The Whiteness of the Whale" 

and "The Mat-Maker" through "Ahab's boat and Crew, Fedalah"

and "Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish"

and "The Castaway"

Write in MD Journal

MD Journal Questions


No class 1st and 2nd Blocks due to MCA Testing

Block 3: Catch Up/Reading Day


See Reading Assignment (Monday) due tomorrow.
1. Selection quiz
2. Discussion of Readings
Key Passages: 
Group 1 "Sunset" Is this joyful vengeance?  Is this a choice for Ahab?  Why is he doing this?

Group 2: "The Mast-Head" Key passages about from Ishmael's first time atop the ship

Group 3: "The Mat-Maker" - Reflections of the loom

Group 4: "The Whiteness of the Whale"


For Friday: 
Read  "Ahab's Leg" though "Queequeg in his Coffin"

and  "The Forge" 
and "The Whale Watch" through "The Candles"
and "The Musket"

Write in MD Journal
1. Read and discuss "The Gilder"
2. Catch Up Day
3. MD on DVD
Finish Assigned Reading from Wednesday
1. Moby Dick Discussion
2. MD on DVD
3. Reading Time
"The Needle " through "The Symphony"
Corresponding entries in your MD Journal

Write Letter #6: 
Option 1: In "The Candles" Starbuck says what others are thinking when he states "God is against thee, old man . . . let me make a fair wind of it homewards, to go on a better voyage than this."  But Ahab refuses  to relent.

Previous to Starbuck's warning, Ahab looked to the storming sky and said "Oh! Thou clean spirit of fire, I now know that thy right worship is defiance . . ."  He is addressing God here.  We discussed this in class already, and Ahab's view of defiance as a good way to worship is a little controversial to say the least..  Read the last section of this chapter carefully and reflect on both Ahab's message and what your opinion of "defiant worship " is.

Option 2: Reflect on other passages that you found interesting or significant from this past week's readings.

1. Collect/Discuss Letters
2. Discuss Reading from Last Week
3. Discussion of Key Passage from "The Candles", "The Musket", "The Needle", 
Finish Novel by Wednesday
1. Begin Term 1 Final Test review: part 1 (handout with small group work)
2. Reading Time (if available) 
Finish Novel by tomorrow
1. Wrap Up Discussion on Moby Dick
2. Finish MD on DVD
1.  Moby Dick Final Discussion: Focus on Themes/Levels of Meaning.  Whose story is it? 
2. Introduce Moby Dick Essay
3. Introduction to Emerson (notes)
4. Computer Lab: Pre-Writing Exercises
Read: Excerpt from "Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson (6th ed. pp 842-846; 7th ed. 1134-1138)/ 

Complete your reading guide (class handout) 


1. Discuss Emerson Reading
3. Transcentalism (lecture)
2. Intro to Thoreau and Walden
Work on Moby Dick Essays (Due next Tuesday)


1.Discussion of selections from Walden
2. Civil Disobedience Activity: Intro to "Civil Disobedience"
3. Sacred Harp Music
1. Collect Moby Dick Essays
2. Discuss Thoreau Readings
Review for Final Exam
Final Exam Review Day: Focus on Moby Dick, Thoreau, and Emerson Study for Final Exam
Term 3 Final Exam End of Term 3
Friday No School - Staff Development Day