Friday, October 24, 2008


My Lit and Language 11 class has exceeded all of my expectations. Talk about active learners.

They devoured The Crucible. One student actually read the entire thing the first night it was assigned.

We just finished a great discussion of a classic suspense tale, perfect for the season, by McKnight Malmar called "The Storm." Check out this link for an on-line text version (you won't regret it).

These kids ate it up. I couldn't believe it.

Talk about a dream class.

The past two weeks we have been reading Edgar Allan Poe. Another student, who had missed some time, said, “You know these stories were actually good. Usually, I begin reading and think ‘how much do I have to read?’ and ‘I can’t wait for this to be over.’ But these were really good.’

I also have some really creative students in here. So for “The Cask of Amontillado,” I devised a creative assignment to take a break from the traditional reading guides or read and discuss the story approach.

Students could write a prologue or epilogue to the story. They could devise their own revenge story. They could create a soundtrack for the tale. They could make a poster or drawing based on the tale (I think Montresor pausing prior to putting the last stone in place would make a great scene).

In fact, this was the same assignment Dr. Drake gave us at NCTC as part of an extra credit assignment. I jumped at the chance – and will include my example here – and it saved my grade. Remember, I wrote this in the fall of 1992. It was fun to dig it out again and read it.

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