We are loving Gatsby!

My English students are studying Gatsby.  For a writing assignment I get them to choose (and this is THE most difficult part of the assignment) their favourite quote from the novel…. then write. They can responded any number of ways, I just want them to write. Write unencumbered, Write with abandon. Here are some questions…

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Hurray for Summer Reading!

Summer!  Sand, surf, BBQs, fruity drinks with umbrellas, and books!  Lots and lots of books.  I see summer as a time of literary exploration where I can muck about with titles and tombs I wouldn’t normally reading during the year because spare time is at a premium. Classics, gothic, mystery, crime, horror, historical. I keep…

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Convenient Company

“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book”. ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden
 I’ve always relied on books for company. In fact I can remember the titles of specific books that have kept me company during some of the loneliest times in my life. Even when…

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A True Hero Wears No Mask

“Then, when he was all shipshape, his father put his big arms around him, and held him close to him for a few moments. Like an actor on a stage. It was not a thing you would see in real life anyway, and there was a faraway look on his father’s face, like it was…

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To Write About the Moon

I want to write about the moon. It’s been demanding attention the last two days fully exposing itself on my drive home and then sneaking through the tiny slit in my bedroom blinds to blind me in it’s brilliance. I have to admit I was a bit worried. Wednesday my ninth graders were in fine…

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Prufrock in the Pudding

Today I had my rock star English students respond to lines in the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.  Here is MY response.  Student responses follow as comments.  Enjoy!     For I have known them all already, known them all; Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life…

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What is Yours?

“He is the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for.” Tennessee Williams “The Glass Menagerie”   What is YOUR “long delayed but always expected”?

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THE list.

I’ve gotten smarter.  Whenever I come across a title of a book that looks like an absolutely delightful read I type it into Notes on my iPhone. I know, I know, a logical solution to keeping track of a literary wish list.  But it did take me awhile to clue into the fact that this…

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When You Need a Time Out

I’m reading “By Nightfall” by Michael Cunningham and I’ve come across this passage: “ – a study- with profoundly comfortable swaybacked armchair, in which it seemed you could sit and read forever…there were three lordly and lazy old cats, the shelves crowed with books and elderly board games and seashells from Florida and framed, rather…

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