"In teaching others we teach ourselves"  - Proverb

June 12th, 2018:

  • We finished class so quickly, I forgot to assign your homework assignment. It will be given tomorrow.

June 13th, 2018:

5 paragraphy expository essay due tomorrow.

In the past few years, there have been more and more incidents of violence reported on school campuses. In fact, there have been many reports of violence even at the kindergarten level! What do you think is the cause of this rise in violence? Think of some possible reasons. Write an essay explaining why you think there have been more incidents of violence in schools in recent years.

Thursday: June 21st

Your "How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich" essay will be do. No late essays will be excepted.


Expectations for your How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich:

  1. Imagine you are giving instructions to someone who does not know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  2. Describe ingredients, utensils that will be used.
  3. Describe in logical sequence/step by step how to construct a pb&j sandwich.

Ms. Torre will provide the following:

  • Butter knife
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Paper plates
  • White bread


In class example:

How to make rice in a rice cooker

          Have you ever come home from a long day at school and were starving? When you checked the refrigerator you found a pot of adobo but no rice! What! No rice! Well, I’m going to teach you how to cook rice in a rice cooker.

          First, you need to make sure you have rice in your pantry. Next, take out your rice cooker, place it on your kitchen counter and plug it into the outlet. Grab a measuring cup then you scoop 2 cups rice. Then you put it inside the rice pot.

          Then press cook. we wash the rice with water. When the water is milky white, pour all the water out. Repeat. Next, wipe the rice pot and put it in the rice cooker. You will need to put the same amount of water to rice. So place 2 cups of water in the rice pot. Cover the rice pot with the lid and press cook!

          In 20 minutes you should have delicious fluffy and sticky rice.





  • Your memoir will include the following written entries:
    • A special place poem
    • A special person poem
    • Two lessons I learned as a small child poem
    • A memorable experience
    •  “Who I Want To Be” poem


Remember to use the poems we read in class as a guide to help you with ideas, revising and editing your own memoir pieces.



  • Your memoir must have a title that is representative of the poems you have included
  • Each individual entry must have a title
  • Make use of sensory details in each story—taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell
  • Make use of figurative language: simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, personification, hyperbole, ect…



  • Please include a recent photo of yourself and a baby or toddler photo
  • Each entry must have a visual representation to accompany your writing. Visuals may include drawing, photographs, clip art, magazine or newspaper cutouts, ect.
  • Experiment with borders and clip art for your poems
  • You may include pictures or drawings with your poems





An excerpt from:

How to Write Your Own Memoir

By Abigail Thomas



What is memoir? How do you write one? What if you can't remember anything, or worse, what if you remember it all? What do you put in? Who do you want your readers to be? I can't write personal stuff, you say, my family will be upset. You have to put those worries aside. You need to feel free to write about the uncomfortable truths, and unless your motive for writing is revenge, you may find that these moments of discomfort are mostly your own. 

Writing memoir is a way to figure out who you used to be and how you got to be who you are. Still, as Raymond Carver once said, "What good is insight? It only makes things worse." Why dredge up a lot of dusty memories? Why remind yourself that the old days will never come back? Why remind yourself of your own mortality? (The word memory comes from the same root as the word mourn, and that should tell you something.) You will find there are many reasons to go look in the icebox or turn on the television, or reread Middlemarch. But pay attention to the little voice that whispers, "This part was interesting." Pay attention to everything. 

Take any ten years of your life, reduce them to two pages, and every sentence has to be three words long—not two, not four, but three words long. You discover there's nowhere to hide in three-word sentences. You discover that you can't include everything, but half of writing is deciding what to leave out. Learning what to leave out is not the same thing as putting in only what's important. Sometimes it's what you're not saying that gives a piece its shape. And it's surprising what people include. Marriage, divorce, love—yes, there's all of that, but often what takes up precious space is sleeping on grass, or an ancient memory of blue Popsicle juice running down your sticky chin. When you're done, run your mind over everything the way a safecracker sandpapers his fingers to feel the clicks. If there is one sentence that hums, or gives off sparks, you've hit the jackpot. Then write another two pages starting right there.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/how-to-write-your-memoir-by-abigail-thomas/all#ixzz5Im1lXzAN




The Road Between Here and There – Galway Kinnell
Here I heard the snorting of hogs trying to re-enter the under earth.
Here I came into the curve too fast, on ice, touched the brake 
               pedal and sailed into the pasture.
Here I stopped the car and snoozed while two small children 
               crawled all over me.
Here I reread Moby Dick, skipping big chunks, skimming others,
               in a single day, while Maud and Fergus fished.
Here I abandoned the car because of a clonk in the motor and
               hitchhiked (which in those days in Vermont meant walking
               the whole way with a limp) all the way to a garage where I
               passed the afternoon with ex-loggers who had stopped by to
               oil the joints of their artificial limbs and talk.
Here a barn burned down to the snow.  “Friction,” one of the ex-
               loggers said.“Friction?” “Yup, the mortgage, rubbin’ against
               the insurance policy.”
Here I went eighty but was in no danger of arrest for I was blessed-
               speeding, trying to get home to see my children before they
Here I brought home in the back seat two piglets who rummaged
               around inside the burlap sack like pregnancy itself.
Here I heard again on the car radio a Handel concerto transcribed
               for harp and lute, which Ines played to me the first time,
               making me want to drive after it and hear it forever.
Here I sat on a boulder by the winter-steaming river and put my
               head in my hands and considered time—which is next to
               nothing, merely what vanishes, and yet can make one’s
               elbows nearly pierce one’s thighs.
Here I forgot how to sing in the old way and listened to the frogs at
Here the local fortune teller took my hand and said, “what is still
               possible is inspired work, faithfulness to a few, and a last 
        love which, being last, will be like looking up and seeing 
        the parachute turning into a shower of gold.”
Here is the chimney standing up by itself and falling down, which
               tells you you approach the end of the road between here and
Here I arrive there.
Here I must turn around and go back and on the way back look
               carefully to left and to right.
For when the spaces along the road between here and there are all
               used up, that’s it.


My favorite poem of Kinnell’s also addresses this theme.  Traveling on a familiar road, we often think, “oh, here is where….”  As we get older, we think of so many things on our daily journeys, each tied to a certain space or place on the road.  So many memories.  Kinnell says “when the spaces along the road between here and there are all used up, that’s it.”

Maybe Kinnell’s spaces were all used up, his memory too full, it’s hard to say, what I can say though,  is that I’m glad he left record of his “spaces” for us.


Sonnet - a short rhyming poem with 14 lines.  The original sonnet form was invented in the 13/14th century by Dante and an Italian philosopher named Francisco Petrarch. The form remained largely unknown until it was found and developed by writers such as Shakespeare. Sonnets use iambic meter in each line and use line-ending rhymes.

The Safety of Darkness

FJ Thomas

She never understood the phrase "blood thicker than water"
The meaning she did; but not why people held to it so
She was one of six; the "hardest to like, "the ugly daughter"
Not til her teen years would the weight of those words show

In each class she would try so hard, listen so intently 
But the teachers words made no sense and often left her confused 
Each year calls go home criticizing her less than gently
Pulled her from the back of their minds to be yelled at and abused

She learned to live in darkness; far from any line of sight
It didn't matter the age or place, to no one she stood out 
Comfortable in the dark she grew to shudder around light
Outwardly she changed but only knew emotional drought 

A woman she still steps lightly; her spirit asleep in deep burrows
She, forever to remain, the essence of soft shadows

Couplet - two lines of verse which rhyme and form a unit alone or as part of a poem

Rhyming Couplet Examples

She was a little tense

The notice made no sense


I saw a little hermit crab

His coloring was oh so drab


It’s hard to see the butterfly

Because he flies across the sky


Hear the honking of the goose

I think he’s angry at the moose


His red sports car is just a dream

It needs no gas, it runs on steam


The children like the ocean shore

We want to leave but they want more


I made the cookies one by one

I hear the bell, so they are done


My cat, she likes to chase a mouse,

Especially one that’s in the house


Lightening, thunder, all around

Soon the rain falls on the ground


I tire of writing poems and rhyme

I think I need vacation time


Jack be nimble, Jack be quick

Jack jump over the candlestick 

Rhyming Couplets in Classic Literature

"Be not the first by whom the new are tried,

Nor yet the last to lay the old aside." - "An Essay on Criticism," Alexander Pope


"’Tis education forms the common mind,

Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined." - "Epistles to Several Persons," Alexander Pope


"O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream 

My great example, as it is my theme!" - "Cooper’s Hill," John Denham


"Time and Death shall depart, and say in flying,
Love has found out a way to live, by dying." - "One Happy Moment," John Dryden


"So, lovers dream a rich and long delight, 
But get a winter-seeming summer's night."- "Love's Alchemy," John Donne

Rhyming Couplets from William Shakespeare

"The time is out of joint, O cursed spite

That ever I was born to set it right!" - Hamlet


"This precious book of love, this unbound lover,

To beautify him only lacks a cover." - Romeo and Juliet


"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;

And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." - A Midsummer Night's Dream


"For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds." - "Sonnet 94"


"Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter

 In sleep a king, but waking no such matter." - "Sonnet 87"

The Reason for These Rhymes

Now you can see how rhyming couplets work. Thanks to their short and succinct form, they are a good way to produce a startling or dramatic effect in a poem, or provide a sense of completion to the piece.

Limerick - a five-line witty poem with a distinctive rhythm. The first, second and fifth lines, the longer lines, rhyme. The third and fourth shorter lines rhyme. (A-A-B-B-A).


My homework has just been beset

by the memes on the Internets

There's a panda that sneezes...

But then my comp freezes!

And I'm stuck with some math I don't get.


There once was a young boy named Bieber

who gave all the young ladies fever

Small pox it was not,

they just thought he was hot,

with that hair like a golden retriever.

Haiku - This ancient form of poem writing is renowned for its small size as well as the precise punctuation and syllables needed on its three lines. It is of ancient Asian origin.


Haiku's are composed of 3 lines, each a phrase. The first line typically has 5 syllables, second line has 7 and the 3rd and last line repeats another 5. In addition there is a seasonal reference included.


Country Morning by Line Gauthier

spring country morning
the smell of budding life
six lunch bags for school


Yellow by Line Gauthier

yellow school bus
rural destination

Epic - a lengthy narrative poem in grand language celebrating the adventures and accomplishments of a legendary or conventional hero


The story of life

By: Richard Nnoli

the story of life
life is not a sugar 
Cain stick 
it is not sweet like 
we want any more 
intelligent human 
has turned it upside 
they are now in charge 
we gave them the chances
all what they need 
so we are tied up 
to their ropes of 
no justice

the story of life 
life is not a bread 
and honey Paradise
any more
it has been captivated
by evil human 
so the righteous
always have a 
cross to bear 
the reality of life 
now is full of lies 
the truth is not legal
any more in too many places
the fact of truth is always 
a closed factor 
it is hated nowadays 
so all we do is just follow 
in an era of manipulation

the story of life 
the reality of life 
nowadays is painted 
with struggles and suffering
that included everyone
we all suffer one way or the other 
no land is a perfect place now 
in a perfect world 
the programming of the mind 
never stop 
the mind control system is still
in charge of our freedom
the super powers still waving
the flags of wars 
the poor still in fears of their tommorow
what a life 
what a world 
a true life story 

the story of life 
life is a free zone 
I wonder how true 
is that now 
the rich still richer 
the poor remains more poorer
the games of civilization
is still the same 
the greedy are still greedy 
nothing has change 
the old evil ways still
never gone 
but only improve and modernized
to further improve 
the captive of the common man 
who innocently serve and 
believe in his land 
our life is nothing good
better than that of the old 
years gone 
we are still fighting
and that is a very sad story 
what a story 
the story of life


Free Verse - A Free Verse Poem does not follow any rules. Their creation is completely in the hands of the author. Rhyming, syllable count, punctuation, number of lines, number of stanzas, and line formation can be done however the author wants in order to convey the idea. There is no right or wrong way to create a Free Verse poem



July 2nd, 2018


  • First draft of your resume will be due for review Tuesday,July 3rd.
  • Study your resume vocabulary for an activity tomorrow.