This Week in Mr. McAteer’s Class: Sept. 15-19

All the prelude is over, your minds are feeling the freedom from the baggage of what School wants you to think, and you’re ready to think for yourselves as you dive into literature in APE and HouSE (Yeah, the acronyms are a little bit of a stretch). In Journalism, you’re done with daintily dipping your toes into the ocean of interviews that awaits you, and you’re ready to turn process into products.

Here’s what’s happening this week in each of Mr. McAteer’s classes:

AP English

Both classes meet four times this week, with period 5 dropping on Monday and period 1 on Friday. On Day 1 of your work week, you will be herded into groups and you’ll have the play Oedipus Rex thrust into your hands. Your group will be assigned a scene and a choral ode, and you’ll practice playing your parts even though you don’t know what came before your scene and what follows it. For homework, you’ll read an introduction to the play by the critic Bernard Knox, who will present a number of themes and contexts that have given the play a place in history throughout its almost 2400 years of existence.

On days two, three and four, we’ll play the play in the 211odeon; for homework each night, I will ask you to read and summarize parts of Aristotle’s Poetics. Class discussion of each daily performance will be focused on connecting what we’ve witnessed on the stage to what we’ve read in Knox and Aristotle. The last day of the week will probably result in a cliffhanger so intense that we probably won’t even notice the change from summer to fall over the weekend.

Honors Sophomore English

Our fun and games with Lord of the Flies will continue. On Monday, we will go through the expectations Mr. McAteer has for your writing about literature, experience a process for meeting those expectations by examining the essential details of chapter 3, and then write (lightning crashed!) the first literature response of the year. As we go through chapter 4 (turning point! Whoa!) and chapter 5 (Holy Allegory – each character represents an approach to the problem of the Beast), we will continue to practice precise critical thinking by writing responses in class. On Thursday, we’ll take a break from response and try to catch up to all the things that have happened in the story through chapter 7. See the Reading Plan on the Google Drive for more specific information about sequence and content.

Journalism

We’ve been going going going since the second day of class, working on things and then, for those of you in Journalism I, not working on things and wondering why the teachers aren’t giving you anything to work on. For a bit of clarity, here’s what we’re going to do:

On Monday, we will ask each individual to upload their notes or interview transcripts, as well as good photos, to a shared document for the group. Mr. Cebulski and I will then split up the class so we can talk about next steps. For Journalism 2 group leaders, this means reviewing the group’s information, making a plan to assign writing and photo editing responsibilities, and making strategies to lead a group discussion on Tuesday.

For Journalism 1 students, we will provide a little context, a little information about how what we’re doing now is related to what we hope is your two-year or three-year journey through the course, how and why the experience of this course is different from pretty much any other class the school offers (except TV Broadcasting), and how we hope you’ll use the resources we provide for your learning. You’ll also have a chance to ask questions and process anything else you might need to know so you can orient yourself from any disorientation you might be feeling.

On Tuesday, groups will meet to identify the different ways to use the information collected in research, and students with photo editing responsibilities will meet with Mr. Cebulski, while students who are preparing to write will meet with Mr. McAteer. Wednesday and Thursday will be dedicated to getting the copy and the media ready for production, and we’ll try to begin production no later than Friday.

Please feel free to contribute to any class forums, or to email me with any questions you have about your class.

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