AP Lang: Essay Friday!

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RL3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

Learning Target: I can analyze an author’s purpose and their response to a previous classic work with a modern one.

Opening Session: Your first Alternative Book Report is DUE TODAY!! We will open the day with any presentations or readings that people have done for their projects.

Work Session: ESSAY TIME! Grab a sheet of paper and write a pseudonym on top, and here is your AP Essay Prompt for this week:

Read the following three poems:

I Hear America Singing

Walt Whitman, 18191892

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

I, Too

Langston Hughes, 19021967

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

To Walt Whitman –

Angela de Hoyos

hey man, my brother
prophet democratic
here’s a guitar
for you
-a chicana guitar-
so you can spill out a song
for the open road
big enough for my people
-my Native Amerindian race
that I can’t seem to find
in your poems

  • Compare and contrast the message of American identity in Hughes’s and de Hoyo’s poems to Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing.” What message do you think Hughes and de Hoyos are trying to convey? In what ways do “To Walt Whitman” and “I, Too” reflect changes in the American literary voice since the time of Whitman and his contemporaries?

Closing Session: We will shuffle papers and grade according to the AP Rubric. When all the essays are graded, find the original owner and return them, write your real name on top, and then turn them in to me!

Assessment: Essays graded on AP rubric, Alternative Book Report

Differentiation: Process (Scaffolding), Product (choice)

Homework: Read 20 minutes in your Free Choice book.




  • ELAGSE9-10RL9 Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).


Learning Target: I can relate the themes and elements of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar to the modern-day #blacklivesmatter civil rights movement by a close reading of the play and using various reading strategies of current events articles.

Opening Session: Cheesy student-made Caesar summary video! This will review act I and preview act II for you:

Work Session:

Welcome back to class! Today we’re going to get right down to it!

For each of these articles, let’s do a quick “Say, Mean, Matter” – what does it SAY? What does that MEAN? Why does it MATTER? We’ll put it up on the board together!

Closing session:

Ticket out the door: Would you join a protest? What issues are important enough to you personally that would make you get out there?

Assessment: TOTDs can be graded, Say Mean Matter can be formatively assessed to gauge student understanding of the modern texts (and guide future instruction thereof).

Differentiation: Process, readiness, interest (Student choice in reading parts of the play); Process (students can be given a printed/annotated copy of the articles as needed).


World Lit: Act I, Scene Thursday


  • ELAGSE9-10RL3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Learning Target: I can understand how Brutus feels conflicted about his role in Caesar’s assassination; I understand how Brutus’s motivations help advance the plot of the play.

Opening Session: A kind of weird but funny Caesar animation, just to get your laughing and activate your brains to reading!

Work Session: Today we need to spend most of class reading Julius Caesar. We have to finish act I, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but in reality act I has some of the most crucial parts of the play. As we read, we will pause frequently to discuss, but I want you to always keep these things in mind:

  • Why does Cassius want to kill Caesar?
  • Why does he need Brutus’s help?
  • How do the people feel about Caesar?
  • How does Brutus feel about Caesar – and why does that conflict with his feelings about Rome?

I want to focus in on some very specific lines and talk a bit about rhetoric as well today. In Cassius’s long speech in act I scene ii, he uses several tactics to convince Brutus that Caesar is not only ambitious, but that he’s unfit to rule anyway. After we read that, let’s go back and read it again, but this time, I’m going to get my bell out and ring it every time Cassius uses a rhetorical technique to try and convince Brutus.

Spoiler alert, he actually does win Brutus over to the cause, so I guess you can say it worked out well for him!

We will also read act I scene iii today, which is really there to set the mood more than anything.

Closing session: Ticket out the door: What is your impression of the characters in the play so far? I told you yesterday who the bad guys are, but what about Caesar? Does he sound like a super awesome person? What about Brutus? Does he sound like a good guy or a bad guy? Give me a short paragraph discussing what you think about the characters so far!

Assessment: TOTD can be assessed summatively, participation grades for readers and in-class discussions.

Differentiation: Process, Interest, Readiness (varied length reading parts chosen by students); kinesthetic learning style (a student could ring the bell).


AP Lang: Song of Myself

Standard: ELAGSE11-12RL5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

Learning Target: I can analyze how an author’s choices on structuring and organizing their text helps contribute to their purpose and meaning of the work as a whole.

Opening Session: Yesterday for homework I asked you to try your hand at writing a poem that addresses a social issue. Today I want you to pull that back out and reflect on the process for a few minutes, writing a brief journal entry on whether or not it was easy to do. You can also use this time to revise your poem, if you like.

Work Session: Welcome to Tuesday!! Today we’re continuing our discussion of poetry with Walt Whitman’s Song Of Myself. We will read the poem aloud together, and then like yesterday, we’ll have a class discussion on the Read and Write questions. Afterward, I want to direct your attention to the poems we’ve been working on.

Take a few minutes to revise and consider what you’ve been trying to convey, then trade poems with a partner. Without any explanation, read each others’ poems and see if you understand what’s going on. Then use this time to give your partner feedback and then revise your own poem to make it as good as it can possibly be!

Closing Session:  Share out! Let’s take a few volunteers to share their poems and tell us how they were inspired!—

Assessment: Informal (Journal check)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding)

Homework: Read 20 minutes in your Independent Reading book.


World Lit: Welcome to Julius Caesar!


  • ELAGSE9-10RL6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

 Learning Target: I can understand the historical and cultural context of Julius Caesar and how it relates to the modern day.

Opening Session: Sparknotes Summary video: This will give everyone a good overview of Julius Caesar with a pretty detailed but basic explanation of the plot.

Work Session: Today we’re going to start off with a little bit of background info. I have a powerpoint that goes over some background information on Julius Caesar, to give you guys some historical context, and I would like you all to take notes while we talk about it. YES, I know, that notes are BORING and you HATE them, but it really is true that if you write something down you’re more likely to remember it. Reading this play requires some knowledge of Roman culture and customs, and since our standard is to analyze a cultural experience from outside the United States, I think it’s important that you know what that culture is all about. I have guided notes if anyone needs them J

After we finish our notes, we’re going to assign characters in the play, Julius Caesar. You will keep your character for the entire play and you should be ready to read as soon as your name comes up, so you should be following along! I know not everyone likes to read aloud, so I will try and make sure that you get a shorter or smaller part if being dramatic just ain’t yo thang.

After we all have our parts, we’re going to get right into it and read Act I scene i!

Closing session:

Ticket out the door: 3-2-1: 3 things that are still relevant about Julius Caesar today (hint: think of theme), 2 things you are excited to learn, 1 goal you have for this unit.


  1. Cobbler
  2. Knave
  3. Cull
  4. Exalted
  5. Vulgar
  6. Shrill (or shriller)
  7. Hinder
  8. Countenance
  9. Construe
  10. Cogitations

Assessment: TOTD can be assessed formatively, participation grades for readers.

Differentiation: Process, Interest, Readiness (varied length reading parts chosen by students); process (guided notes).

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