Category Archives: Poetry

The Crucible Project

I gave my College in the High School students (an American Literature class) a project to go along with the conclusion of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. They had the options below, and every one was chosen by one of the groups of three. Each group had to choose one option in each part.

Part I: Compose a full block business letter explaining in detail how two characters are foils or compose two Shakespearean sonnets connecting three characters in the final couplet of each (no repeated characters).

Part II: Compose and perfrom a scene (on video) occurring after the final act of the play or perform a scene from the play in class with the class as your live audience. Note: Part of this class is a performance and literature class, so the students have periodic performances.

Part III: Choose a quotation or passage deemed the heart of the play and create a visual representation of it or create a storyboard/mini-comic of one act.

Part IV: Only one choice: create a chart detailing how 20 literary terms/devices are employed by the author, include a quotation as proof, and explain the effect of the term/device on a character, the act, or the play.

So far, I’m half-way through the projects and they are fantastic!

What other ideas could I include for a future project of this type? What do you do?


A fellow teacher says to me in the halls today, “Hey, did I show you the High Pooh?” What comes to mind for me is Winnie the Pooh immersed in a green haze wearing a tie-dye t-shirt and a glazed expression while sitting amidst 12 empty honey pots. What I was shown was a cartoon by Mark Parisi where Winnie the Pooh is having a reading of his poetry:

Honey so tempting…

Succumb, then angry buzzing

Sore rump, Oh bother

The Year in Review

I’m such a geek when it comes to teaching. Two weeks after the school year concludes, I’m ready to start again. Since I can’t have a classroom full of students to teach, I go back and revise and adapt my curriculum lessons during July and August. This year I have some more revisions to make, of course.

First, in Sophomore Honors English I want to include a writing assignment, even if a small one, every two weeks. This may take the form of more poetry and literary terms analysis, so I can combine units a bit more, killing two birds with the proverbial stone. I would also like to splash about a few small speeches prior to the final culminating speech to help the kids get more comfortable. Continue reading

Two Novels of Race Relations

Two novels I taught this year were To Kill A Mockingbird and A Gathering of Old Men. Prior to and during reading these novels, I had the kids look at some songs, poems, and historical context. Here are a few of my favorite things concerning the race relations in the novels. Continue reading