Aspire English II

In unit one, students will examine how human beings perceive happiness and what role that abstract, conceptual idea plays in developing a meaningful life. Students will examine various works of literature to determine how the search for happiness influences character development and theme. We will focus on the skills of writing poetry and prose analysis essays.


August 19-23

August 26-30

  • Practice using associative thinking with words and phrases to avoid plot summary.

  • Practice making associations with text using poetry. 

September 3-6

  • Practice writing associative statements (L1, L2, L3) using poetry. 
  • Study usage rules for adjective clauses. These will be used for the rest of the year in student writing. 

September 9-13

  • Continue practicing using associative thinking to perform poetry analysis and associative thinking and introduce Helen Vendler's analysis methods with “Birches” by Robert Frost

September 16-20

  • This week we are working on how to structure an AP literature poetry analysis essay. Students will use the poem that we analyzed in groups last week to create an outline for an essay.  We will continue our use of the grammatical structures that we previously learned. These scafolded activities are designed to allow students to develop the skills necessary to independently analyze a poem to determine how the author uses poetic devices and patterns of evidence to reveal some insight about human nature or society (theme). Students will also utilize methods of organization (Aristotle's Topics) to structure their essays. 

September 24-27

  • This week students will complete outlines and receive feedback before completing rough drafts of poetry analysis essays over "A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman. The skills students use in poetry analysis can also be applied to prose fiction analysis. Students will also be introduced to how they can utilize participial phrases in their writing

September 30-October 4

  • It took us a little longer than expected to complete the poetry analysis since we were also working on PSAT prep. The students completed their first poetry analysis, and we will work on revising those next week. We will also study participial phrases and how those can enhance analytical writing. 

October 7-11

  • We are finishing PSAT prep. Students will also revise their first poetry analysis this week. We will also study participial phrases and how those can enhance analytical writing.

October 14-18

  • This week the students are working on sentence combining with particpial phrases so that they can begin incorporation them into their writing to improve sentence variety, clarity, and style.  Students are also taking the PSAT this week and completing their personalized learning plans. Ask your students to show you the PLP and what they have learned about planning for college!

October 21--25

  • We are transitioning from poetry analysis to prose (fiction) analysis. Students will develop the skills necessary to analyze a prose passage independently and create an argument based on that analysis. Students will also incorporate the two grammatical structures that we have covered thus far. 

October 27-November 1

  • Last week, students completed an analysis of "Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, analyzing the story for how the writer used diction, imagery, details, and plot structure to convey theme.  They also completed an essay planning sheet, and they will complete an essay draft this week. At the end of this week, students will analyze a retired AP prose prompt and complete an essay. Students will select the best of the two essays for scoring.  

November 5-8

  • This week, students completed their first prose analysis process paper, and they also did their first "cold read" of a passage and completed a timed writing. They will also complete a self-scoring activity and evaluate areas in which they still need to improve.  Students will also participate in a survey that allows them to voice their concerns regarding prose analysis and composition. Their feedback will help me tailor my instruction to meet their needs. 

November 11-15

  • Students will have an opportunity to do revisions on one of the essays they completed last week and submit that essay for a final grading.  We will begin working on rhetorical analysis of nonfiction this week in an effort to prepare students for the type of writing they will do in AP language next year. I asked students to respond to a short survey that allowed me to better meet the insructional needs of students and they provided me with thoughtful feedback for which I am very grateful. 

November 18-22

  • Students will complete a rhetorical analysis of several non-fiction texts, including a satire. We are also studying the elements of satire in preparation for students to write their own original satires in the Juvenalien, Horatian, or Menippean style. 

November 25-29

  • THANKSGIVING BREAK!​​​​​--Enjoy your time with family and friends!

December 2-6

  • I will be out part of this week to attend the TAG-T conference where I hope to learn some strategies that will allow me to better meet the needs of my highly gifted students. This week, students are completing their study of satire and writing their own original satires in the style of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal." 

December 9-13

  • The students' original satires were so much fun to read! Students will be completing a rhetorical analysis using a retired prompt from the AP language exam. This week students are completing a self-scoring and revision activity designed to help them improve targeted aspects of their writing. We are also completing the essay portion of the final exam. 

December 16-20


January 13-17

  • This week we will discuss background information related to the novel Things Fall Apart and discuss the coloniztion of Africa. Students will read the first seven chapters of the novel and prepare for a reading quiz.

January 21-24

  • This week students will take a quiz over chapters 1-7 of Things Fall Apart. The focus of our analysis this week will be how Achebe uses characterization to reveal insights about human nature. 

January 27-31

  • We are learning about different critical lenses through which students may examine a literary text. Once we have discussed each lens, student will work with their group members to create presentations in which they teach their classmates about the novel through that critical lens. 

February 3-7

  • This week we are focusing on chapters 13-18 of Things Fall Apart with special emphasis on how setting influences character behavior and therefore theme. Students will take a reading quiz over chapters 13-18.

February 10-14

  • We are studying the last chapters of Things Fall Apart this week--19-25.  

February 18-21

  • This week students will review and take a summative assessment based on what they learned while reading Things Fall Apart

February 24-28

  • We are reviewing the elements of effective argumentation and working on narrowing students' research paper topics. We are also discussing how to determine which sources are reputable.  

February 30-April 3

  • I will meet with students this week to give them final approval on their research paper topics. Students are gathering sources and will present them to me this week to determine if they are appropriate. 

March 2-6

  • This week we are working on creating outlines for students' research papers and developing rough drafts. 

March 9-13


March 16-20

  • Parents, school has been temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Please look for official communication from GCISD regarding closure information.