Thursday, November 6, 2014

Journal Entries 11/3-11/7


“Killing Us Softly 4”
“Dove Evolution”

What do you think of the videos? What does it mean to be beautiful in our society?


“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
How do you start an essay? Where do you struggle the most?


“Our true nationality is mankind.”-H.G. Wells

What are a few things you have learned in this unit? Were they new to you?


“We are preaching hope, standing on the bones of the past.”

Do you think it is offensive to use the name Redskin as a mascot? Why or why not?


“There is nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

What makes an essay good? What do you think you need to improve in your writing?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Charting Stereotypes: Asian-Americans

Charting Stereotypes: Asian-Americans
FRONT: Using a Venn-diagram or 3-column chart, compare and contrast the depiction of Asian-Americans in the two cartoons. (Keep track of physical and intellectual characteristics)

BACK: Answer each of the following questions with at least a paragraph.
1.   Do you think these types of cartoons helped promote racism and stereotyping of Asian-Americans? Why or why not?

2.   How can children be influenced by these cartoons? 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Remind 101

Join our class on Remind 101 for updates on classroom activities and assignments.  Directions are shown in the image below.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

VICE Video: The High Cost of Deporting Parents + Extra Credit

Here is a great video about the the high cost of deporting parents.  Although I did not have enough time to show it in class, I still do recommend it to all of you.

Bonus Opportunity: If you feel like your essay won't score very high, you may submit an summary of this video for extra credit.  It will be 15 points.

Assignment Details:

Write a two paragraph summary of the video. Be sure to answer the following questions:

1. What is the real cost of deporting parents?
2. How does it affect families?
3. What should be changed?

DUE: Monday, October 6. 

Binder Check #1 (10/3)

Items with an asterisk* are assignments only for Honors Students.  Items in bold have been changed from their orignal. 

Course Info

Assignment/ Article    Points
1. Course Syllabus    N/A
2.Parent Letter    10
3.Syllabus Quiz    15

Unit 1: Introduction to Language Arts

Assignment/ Article    Points
1.KWL: Language Arts    10
2. You Can Grow Your Intelligence (Article)    N/A
3.Say-Mean-Matter: Intelligence    10
4. Personal Artifact Share    10
* 2000 Census    N/A
5.. Imagine/Changes    10

Unit 2: Immigration, Identity, and Dreams

 Assignment/ Article    Points
1.KWL:Immigration    10
2.House Blueprint    10
3.T.H.O.M.S. Notes #1    N/A
4.T.H.O.M.S. Notes #2    N/A
5.T.H.O.M.S. Questions #1    10  
6.T.H.O.M.S. Question #2    10
7.T.H.O.M.S. Group Poster   Summary  10
8.More Kids Crossing the Border Unaccompanied (Article)    N/A
9.SMM:Border    10
10.Immigrant Interview    25
11.Enrique’s Journey (Chapter 1 and 2)    N/A
12.Elements of a Story    10
*Venn Diagram: Language Poems    5
*Two Kinds: Mother Vs. Daughter    10
14. Immigration Chart (Handout)    N/A
15. Immigration Chart Questions    5

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Enrique's Journey

We will only be reading two more chapters of Enrique's Journey.  Due to time constrictions, we will have to move onto our next topic soon.  If you enjoyed the first chapter and want to continue reading on your own, here is link to the rest of the story:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Journals Entries: 9/15-9/19

Here are the journal entries for the week:


No Entry


“A reader lives  a thousand times before he dies.  The man who never reads lives only one.”-George R.R. Martin

What is your favorite story told through an artistic medium (book, movie, television, or song)? What is it about and why is it your favorite?


“A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.”

Why do you think people immigrate? Put yourself in the shoes of an immigrant.  Would you be able to leave your home behind? Why or why not?


If you have moved in your life, what difficulties did you experience?


Creative Writing!

If you had a time machine and you could go to anytime period, where would you go and why? What would you do?


“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story.” –Maya Angelou

How are you feeling? What problems or concerns do you have? Has anything good happened to you recently?

Binder Update/ Change

Our Binder Check will be on 10/1/14 (Subject to change).

  1. Course Information
  2. Unit 1: Intro to Language Arts
  3. Unit 2: Immigration, Identity, and Dreams
  4. Unit 3: Biases, Perceptions, and Persuasion
  5. Unit 4: Fight For Your Rights
  6. Grammar and Vocab
  7. Essays
  8. CAHSEE Prep


Course Information
  1. Syllabus
  2. Parent Letter
  3. Syllabus Quiz
 Unit 1 
  1. KWL: Lang Arts
  2. You Can Grow Your Intelligence (Article)
  3. SMM: Intelligence
  4. Personal Artifact Share
  5. 2000 Census*
  6. Song Questions: Imagine/ Changes
  7. The Lost Generation
Unit 2
  1. KWL: Immigration
  2. House Blueprint  
  3. T.HO.M.S. Notes #1
  4. T.HO.M.S. Notes #2
  5. T.HO.M.S. Question #1
  6. T.HO.M.S Questions #2
  7. T.HO.M.S Group Poster Summary
  8. More Kids Crossing the Border Unaccompanied 
  9. SMM: Borders
  10. Immigrant Interview

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Unit Vocabulary Quiz Monday

We have a vocabulary quiz on Monday 9/15.

Vocabulary from the last 3 weeks:

  1. figurative language- metaphor, similes, and personification
  2. immigration- to come or move into another country
  3. assimilation- the process of adjusting to a different culture
  4. adept- very skilled
  5. American Dream- the belief that success is possible with hard work regardless of background
  6. avarice- greed
  7. elusive- hard to catch
  8. imagery-descriptive language that uses the 5 senses
  9. ambivalent- having mixed feelings
  10. deculturalization- the act of taking away someone's culture
  11. altruistic-showing unselfish concern for others
  12. evidence- proof 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Social Media Update: We are now on Instagram!

Salutations. I have decided (with the friendly suggestion from a few of my students) to add a Instagram account for our class.

Follow our class activities, homework, and updates @mrtaenglish

Journal Entries 9/8-9/12

 I apologize for the late post. It has been a hectic week. Here are the journal entries for the week:


“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” –Anais Nin

If you had the chance to go anywhere, where would you travel to? Why? What would you bring? Who would you bring? What would you do?


“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” –Christopher McCandless

Tell me about a moment where you tried something new, exciting, or scary for the first time.


“The man is but the product of his thoughts.  What he thinks, he becomes.” –Gandhi

What is your destiny? Where do you yourself in the How will you get there? What steps do you need to take?  


“What separates us from animals, what separates us from chaos, is our ability to mourn people we never met.” –David Levithan

9/11 happened 13 years ago, but we still feel the effects today.  How has the world changed since then? What have you learned about the event?


No entry.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The House on Mango Street Online

If you want to continue reading the book or if you need to finish the work, here is a link to an online version:


The House on Mango Street Group Questions #2 (Pgs. 26-55)
Instructions: Answer all of the regular questions.  Challenge Questions are in italic and will be extra credit.

1. Who is Marin? Why is she unable to leave her house? How does she plan to change her situation? Why do Esperanza and her friends admire her?

2. What is Marin waiting for? Is this a good dream for a young girl to have? Why or why not?
"Those Who Don't"
3. How do outsiders see Esperanza's neighborhood? How does Esperanza feel when she visits other neighborhoods?

4. Why are people afraid of going into Esperanza’s neighborhood? Why is Esperanza afraid of other neighborhoods?
"There Was an Old Woman She Had So Many Children She Didn't Know What to Do"
5. Why does Rosa Vargas cry every day? Why do her children misbehave? What happens to her son Angel?
"Alicia Who Sees Mice"
6. How does Alicia's father treat her efforts to get an education?

7. What is Alicia forced to do?  Why? How would you describe her relationship with her father?
"The Family of Little Feet"
8. What happens to Esperanza when she and her friends are given some cast-off shoes? How do the shoes change them? What effect do they have on the men in the neighborhood?

9. Describe the incident with the Bum Man. What happens?

10. In this vignette, Esperanza and friends get their first taste of being “women.” What do you think Esperanza learns about being a women from their encounter with the men in the town while where the new shoes?

"A Rice Sandwich"
11. Why does Esperanza want to eat in the school canteen? How does she get her mother to help her?

12. What happens with the nun? Why does Esperanza cry?
13. What are the girls doing as they talk about hips? What are hips good for? What does their conversation tell you about their ages?
"The First Job"
14. Why does this story have a misleading title? What happens to Esperanza on her first day at work? What does this episode tell you about her family and their expectations?

15. What happens to Esperanza at the end of the vignette? What harsh realities is she learning about growing up?