Wednesday, November 16, 2016

IB Lit: Transgression and Redemption Final

  1. How does the city serve simultaneously as a symbol of society and of Raskolnikov's state of mind?
  2. What impact do the descriptions of the various apartments--including those of Raskolnikov, Alyona, Sonya, Luzhin, and Dunya and Pulcheria Alexandrovna--have on our understanding of the characters who inhabit them and the events that take place within them?
  3. What effect does having the murder occur at the very beginning of the novel have on the structure of the novel? 
  4. How should the reader reconcile Svidrigailov's charitable gestures at the end of the novel with his violent confrontation of Dunya during the same time frame, and does his eventual suicide affect the response?
Prep all four; draw on exam day. You will use your prepped notes and your novel to answer the question you draw.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

IB Film Seniors: Project Due Dates

Third six-weeks' due dates for the senior film project.

  • 11 Nov: Final Storyboards and Working Title
  • 18 Nov: Shot List and Timetable
  • 28 Nov - 16 Dec: Shoot and Edit
  • 21 Dec: Film and Portfolio Due

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

IB Film: Legal Disclaimer for Hollywoodrow Films

(Thank you, Henry, for providing us with a more comprehensive disclaimer. Hat tip and 5,000 style points to you, sir.)

Fair Use: All copyrights belong to their respective owners.

Images, pictures, photos, music, and text owned by other copyright holders are used here under the guidelines of the Fair Use provisions of United States Copyright Law. These images, pictures, photos, music, and text are used here only for the education of high school students, and are not intended to generate income for the school, its employees, or its students.

IB Lit: IOP Topics for Crime and Punishment

All presenters need to be ready to roll beginning October 24.

  • Dostoevsky pre-exile
  • Dostoevsky's exile
  • Dostoevsky post-exile
  • 19th Century Petersburg: A history
    • White Nights
  • 19th Century Popular European Philosophy
  • Nietzsche and Nihilism
    • Russian Nihilism
Philosophy and Religion
  • The Philosophical Teachings of N. G. Chernyshevsky
  • The Story of Lazarus
  • The Russian Orthodox Church: Practices
    • Communions and Confessions

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

IB Lit: Candide Take-home Questions

1.  How does Voltaire contrast harsh reality with the ideals of optimism in order to discredit optimism as a viable philosophy of life?
2.  Describe some of the satirical techniques that Voltaire uses to satirize "important" individuals, the military, and religious figures. How is the humor achieved in the description of the characters?
3.  How does Voltaire develop the theme of religious hypocrisy and intolerance in Chapters 1-19?
4.  How does Voltaire design the opening chapter of Candide to be recognized as a parody of the Biblical story of the Fall, and why would Voltaire do this?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IB Literature: Writing the Reflective Essay Part II ***Updated***

Refer to this earlier post found here.

Ignore the handout that was originally linked here. The information is of limited value; while it was at one time accurate, the prior post is far more applicable to current best practices for IB students.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

IB Lit: Infernal Exam Topics

  • How does the Pilgrim's reaction to the sinners change as he ventures deeper in Hell? If Inferno is to be read primarily as an allegory (a narrative functioning simultaneously on two or more levels), how might the Pilgrim's journey and its stages be read allegorically? 
  • Why is Dante allowed to enter the Underworld while he is still alive? Why does he suggest that he entered Hell "midway in our life's journey?" What may this imply regarding the character of the journey and its relation to the concepts of the first and second deaths? Are there any other "living" characters in Hell besides Dante? What does this imply regarding Dante's symbolism of Hell and damnation? When does one enter Hell? At what point (if ever) is it still possible to get out? When does it become impossible to escape?
  • The Virtuous Pagans: If these people are "virtuous," why are they in Hell? What is the quality of their existence there? What does their experience in Hell suggest about Dante's attitudes toward classical culture? How does this image of the afterlife compare with the underworld episodes you have read before? How does Virgil relate to this episode?
  • The Violent against Themselves: What is the setting for this canto, and what other mythical settings does it recall? Why is Pier delle Vigne, a suicide, located deeper in Hell than Paolo and Francesca? Why should sins of violence and malice (or fraud) be punished more severely in Dante's Hell than sins resulting from sensual appetites? What might a Roman, whose culture saw suicide as the ultimate act of stoic self-control and self-determination, have said? Why does Dante put those who destroyed their own bodies with those who waste material goods?
  • What is the symbolic significance of Cocytus, the frozen lake at the bottom of Hell? What about the figure of Satan himself, trapped at the center of the lake? Why is it surprising for the reader to discover that the bottom of Hell is frozen solid? What does the cold symbolize? In what way does the place affect Dante?
You do not need to address each question specifically or individually; rather, use the questions as a general guide for the direction of the essay you plan to write.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

IB Literature: Writing the Reflective Essay

Your Reflective Statement is an important component of all essays for IBDP English Literature.  

Your Reflective Statement is:
  • required by Criterion A of the IBDP Works in Translation Essay
  • worth 3 marks out of 25 of the IBDP Works in Translation Essay
  • between 300-400 words (these limits are strictly enforced)
  • written as a response to an Interactive Oral
  • written in first person (you should use the word “I”)
  • an honest reflection on what you have learned
  • 3 Marks:  
    • Reflection on the interactive oral shows development of the student’s understanding of cultural and contextual elements.
  • 2 Marks:
    • Reflection on the interactive oral shows some development of the student’s understanding of cultural and contextual elements. 
  • 1 Mark:
    • Reflection on the interactive oral shows superficial development of the student’s understanding of cultural and contextual elements. 
  • 0 Marks:
    • The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors above  
The Guiding Questions

The following questions are designed to assist you in writing the statement:
  1. How has your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations changed as a result of the oral presentations/discussions?
  2. How has your understanding of stylistic and linguistic aspects of literature changed as a result of the oral presentations/discussions?
 What You Should Do
  • Your Reflective Statement needs to focus on how your Interactive Oral helped you reach conclusions about the text’s cultural, literary and contextual elements.  Don’t just talk about what you learned from the text itself.
  • Using first person is encouraged, but try not to use it in every sentence.
  • A couple of specific textual references (linked to context/culture) always help (e.g. one or two short quotations or reference to a specific plot event or character detail).
  • Spelling, grammar, and sentence structure are not DIRECTLY evaluated in this reflection, BUT English teachers are the ones who will be grading this reflection.
  • Do not go outside the word limit (300 minimum - 400 maximum).
  • Don’t evaluate the orals.  Focus on what you did learn.
  • Be Specific! – simply saying that culture was “vastly different” or “worlds apart” was a problem.  Saying that you learned that “people used to be more religious back in the day” is not specific.
  • “Cultural” and “contextual” – what we are talking about is the “world outside the text.”  What you want to discuss is how the text allowed you to access that world and compare/contrast it with your own world (or other texts/worlds that we’ve investigated).
  • Differences between your world and the world of the author/text – students who reflect on specific differences between their own world and the world of the author/text tend to write better reflections.  You can also talk about similarities or connections (especially if they are surprising). 
  • Do not include the guiding questions in your reflection.
  • Do not evaluate yourself – feel free to say things like “I realized…” or “I was surprised to discover…,” but do not evaluate your own performance in the Interactive Oral.
  • Check your facts!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

IB Film: IB Inspired

Film competition for IB students!

And you do not have to be in film class to submit!!!!
Click here!

From their website:

"The grand prize winner will receive a complimentary registration to one of the IB World Student Conferences across the globe, a feature in the IB Global Newsletter, and his or her video will be displayed at all 2017 IB Americas professional development events...

"Submit your 3-4 minute film by 14 October 2016 for the chance to win the grand prize."

Thursday, September 1, 2016

IB Lit: Infernal Presentations

Presentation Topics:

  • Mythological Prison Guards: Pagan Creatures in The Inferno
  • The Prophesies of The Divine Comedy: the Meaning and Implications of the 4 Prophesies in The Inferno
    • Canto VI - Ciacco
    • Canto X - Farinata
    • Canto XV - Brunetto Latini
    • Canto XXIV - Vanni Fucci
  • The Powers and Limitations of Human Reason in The Inferno
    • Why does Dante do what he does with Virgil?
  • Dante's Politics in The Inferno (or "Dante v. the Pope")
  • The Highway to Dante's Hell--the Biblical, Classical, and non-Christian Inspirations for Dante's Version for the Terrain of  the Underworld
  • Botticelli, Blake, Dore, and Dali: a Comparison of the Pictorial Representations of The Inferno in Various Illustrations
  • Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice": A Thematic and Analytical Comparison to The Inferno
Due Date (All Project Teams): September 12

Presentation Parameters:
  • Each partner is responsible for an equal share of the work
  • Each partner is responsible for five (5) minutes' worth of the presentation
  • Visuals are acceptable and encouraged (PowerPoint, Prezi, etc)
  • Rubric ____/30 points possible
    • Knowledge and Understanding: 0-5 points
      • How well does the candidate know and understand the content of the work(s)? 
    • Interpretation and Personal Response: 0-10 points 
      • How valid is the candidate’s interpretation of the work(s)?
      • To what extent does the candidate’s response show critical thinking and originality?
    • Presentation: 0-10 points
      • How effective and convincing is the candidate’s presentation?
    • Use of Language: 0-5 points
      • How accurate, clear, and precise is the language used by the candidate?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Woodrow Summer Reading Explosaganza 2016

Here they are, the 2016 Summer Reading selections for incoming Woodrow students. These books can all be purchased locally at a Dallas bookseller, or from a used-book store such as Half-Price Books or Lucky Dog Books, or online. In any case, while covers may vary, students are advised to purchase the complete, unabridged versions of the novels.

All Freshmen:

Pre-AP/ IS Freshmen:

Davis' Spare Parts and 

All Sophomores:
(Please read your assignment here)

Pre-AP/ IS Sophomores:

Hillenbrand's Unbroken and one of the following:
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  •   Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

English III (juniors):

AP Juniors: (assignment here)

IB Juniors: (assignment here)

AP Seniors: (Mr. Black's blog here)

Have a great summer!