This week we will begin our unit of study on Identity. Students will consider what they value individually as readers and writers. This is an important first step in our study this year because we will be laying the groundwork for how we approach texts critically. We will begin the week writing six word memoirs. Six word memoirs are a fun way to experiment with language precision because sharing a valuable insight about yourself in just six words is no easy task!! Perhaps the most famous six word memoir of all time is often attributed to Ernest Hemingway (though it’s not certain that he actually wrote it):
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
We had a great discussion about this memoir in class today--along with several others--and I am excited to see what the students will come up with for their own!
In addition to six word memoirs, students will also submit their summer work--two annotated op-eds of their choosing-- and complete a graded discussion about their summer reading book. We will return to these books throughout the year as each one connects thematically to our units of study this fall.
Finally, at the end of the week, students will begin writing a narrative that expands on the concept of the six word memoir. This will be a bit longer (300-500 words) but the emphasis will still be on precise and concise diction. Though narrative is not one of the writing genres we will prepare for the AP test in May, it is a vital skill for developing an authentic writing voice. Students will need this authentic voice for their argumentative essays and writing pieces like college application essays. Students will begin drafting their narratives on Thursday and Friday; next week we will focus on revision as they will be due Sept. 16.
Hopefully your students shared the course procedures with you on Tuesday evening. You may also wish to view the screencast I created for them going over the key areas of the course procedures. This is a technique I will use throughout the year with the students. When we have material that needs to be covered quickly or lecture-style lessons, I may videotape the lessons and post them on our Google Classroom for students to view as homework. I’d rather they watch a 10-15 minute video as homework and preserve our in class time for individual help, discussions, and practice of skills!
Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to working with all of you this year as we support these students on this journey through AP Language.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire