• Week of 6/15/20

    Good Morning,

    This week is our last opportunity to share our thoughts about our school year. Throughout the year, we each had individual challenges and triumphs, each one offering us different life lessons if we are willing to take the time to reflect. Over the years, I have collected many quotes, stories, and cartoons that inspire me and illustrate what I have learned that is important to me. I hope to share with you a bit of wisdom that I have gained by being willing to learn from my experiences.



    • Cherish your good name. Never do anything that would put a stain on your reputation.
    • Like who you are and never be afraid to show it.  
    • Be the best you can be; then you can feel good about yourself. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    • You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.
    • Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.
    • Every time you do something good for another person - and this point is really important - you improve their lives and develop your own self-worth.
    • One of the healthiest things you can do is learn to smile more often.



    It has been my pleasure to be part 

    of your learning experience, and

    I wish each of you much inner peace, success and happiness.




    Best wishes,

    Mrs. Vaccaro



    Contact Hours: Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM. I will be checking my email for your work and review the results from Castle Learning throughout the afternoon.

     Week 11 - June 1st-8th


    "Top 10" and "Final Research Project"


    Ending the school year brings many different feelings to mind and the promise of new things to come.  Let’s focus this week on making your Top 10 list of the most important things you have learned during your high school experience.  Think about your best learning experiences, advice that was given or received, relationships with friends, teachers, family, and some of the challenges you faced.  Share your thoughts and feelings as you explain your reasoning as to how you developed this list.





    Final Research Project due June 8th 

    Authors, Playwrights, Illustrators and Poets 

    Directions: You will research an accomplished author, playwright, poet, or illustrator from the suggested attached list and write a research paper. You will need to introduce this person and describe his/her significant accomplishments and all pertinent personal information. Your research paper should be one page if typed or two pages if handwritten in length.    

    Questions of interest that you need to research, develop, and answer:  

    Early Years Leading Up to Fame  

    1. Where and when was the person born? 
    2. Learn about the person’s family life and childhood. 


    1. What is this person famous for? 
    2. What contributions did the person make to others? 
    3. What problems did this person face?  
    4. How did he/she attempt to overcome their problem? 


    1. Did he/she move around, marry, or have children? 
    2. How and when did this person become well-known? 
    3. Did this person receive any awards or special recognition? 


    1. How do other people view him/her? 
    2. What major world events were going on during this period? Did these events affect that person? In what way? 
    3. What makes this person interesting?




    Suggested List of  

    Authors, Playwrights, Poets, and Illustrators 

    •  William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet – Macbeth – Hamlet - Othello 
    •  Ernest Hemingway – For Whom the Bells Tolls – Old Man and The Sea 
    •  Lorraine Hansberry - A Raisin in the Sun  
    •  John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men 
    •  Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities - Great Expectations 
    •  Herman Melville – Moby Dick 
    •  George Orwell – Animal Farm 
    •  Elie Wiesel – Night 
    •  Reginald Rose – Twelve Angry Men 
    •  William Golding – Lord of the Flies 
    •  Maya Angelou – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 
    •  F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby 
    •  Arthur Miller – The Crucible - Death of a Salesman 
    •  J.D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye 
    •  Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire 
    •  August Wilson – Fences 
    •  Mary Shelley – Frankenstein 
    •  Sharon Draper – Forged by Fire – Tears of a Tiger 
    •  Art Spiegelman – Maus – graphic novel 
    •  Agatha Christi – Murder on the Orient Express - The Mousetrap 
    •  Walter Dean Myers – Fallen Angels 
    •  Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 
    •  Kristin Hannah –The Nightingale 
    •  Catherine Rye Hyde – Pay It Forward 
    •  L’Engle Madelene – A Wrinkle in Time Trilogy 
    •  Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie – America’s First Daughter 
    •  Amor Towles – A Gentleman in Moscow 
    •  Sejal Badani – The Storyteller’s Secret – Trail of Broken Wings 
    •  Celeste Ng – Little Fires Everywhere 
    •   Gary Paulsen – Hatchet 
    •   Maurice Sendak - Where The Wild Things Are 
    •   Norman Rockwell - Illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post Magazine 
    •   Beatrix Potter - The Tale of Peter Rabbit 
    •   Dr. Seuss - Green Eggs and Ham 
    •   Eric Carle - Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See 
    •   Roald Dahl - The Witches 
    •   Andy Warhol - Last Supper 
    •   Richard Scarry - Cars, Trucks and Things That Go 
    •    - The Polar Express 
    •   Emily Dickinson - Because I Could Not Stop for Death 
    •   William Shakespeare - Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day? 
    •   Edgar Allan Poe - The Raven 
    •   Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken 
    •   Walt Whitman - O Captain!  My Captain! 
    •   Maya Angelou - Caged Bird 
    •   Langston Hughes - I, Too 
    •   W.B. Yeats - The Second Coming 
    •   William Wordsworth - I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud 
    •   E.E. Cummings - No Thanks 
    •   Art Spiegelman – Ma



    Week 10 - Poe – ‘The Black Cat’ 

    Assignment due:  Friday, 5/29/20


    Directions:  Read this narrative and note the different social issues we investigated throughout the year, and thoughtfully respond to the questions that follow.


    The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not—and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified—have tortured— have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror— to many they will seem less terrible than barroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place—some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects. From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and selfsacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man. I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point—and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered. Pluto—this was the cat’s name—was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets. Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character—through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance—had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me—for what disease is like Alcohol!—and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish—even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper. One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity. When reason returned with the morning—when I had slept off the fumes of the night’s debauch—I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed. In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket of the lost eye presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart—one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself—to offer violence to its own nature— to do wrong for the wrong’s sake only—that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree;—hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;—hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence;—hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin—a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it—if such a thing wore possible—even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God. On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the conflagration. The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair. I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detailing a chain of facts—and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. On the day succeeding the fire, I visited the ruins. The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire—a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd were collected, and many persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with very minute and eager attention. The words “strange!” “singular!” and other similar expressions, excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvellous. There was a rope about the animal’s neck. When I first beheld this apparition—for I could scarcely regard it as less—my wonder and my terror were extreme. But at length reflection came to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire, this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd—by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber. This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster; the lime of which, with the flames, and the ammonia from the carcass, had then accomplished the portraiture as I saw it.  Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact just detailed, it did not the less fail to make a deep impression upon my fancy. For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, there came back into my spirit a halfsentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place. One night as I sat, half stupified, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment. I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat—a very large one—fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast. Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it—knew nothing of it— had never seen it before. I continued my caresses, and, when I prepared to go home, the animal evinced a disposition to accompany me. I permitted it to do so; occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reached the house it domesticated itself at once, and became immediately a great favorite with my wife. For my own part, I soon found a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the reverse of what I had anticipated; but—I know not how or why it was—its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed. By slow degrees, these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill use it; but gradually—very gradually—I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestilence. What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto, it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. This circumstance, however, only endeared it to my wife, who, as I have already said, possessed, in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been my distinguishing trait, and the source of many of my simplest and purest pleasures. With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase. It followed my footsteps with a pertinacity which it would be difficult to make the reader comprehend. Whenever I sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it would get between my feet and thus nearly throw me down, or, fastening its long and sharp claws in my dress, clamber, in this manner, to my breast. At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow, I was yet withheld from so doing, partly by a memory of my former crime, but chiefly—let me confess it at once—by absolute dread of the beast. This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil—and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise to define it. I am almost ashamed to own—yes, even in this felon’s cell, I am almost ashamed to own—that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest chimaeras it would be possible to conceive. My wife had called my attention, more than once, to the character of the mark of white hair, of which I have spoken, and which constituted the sole visible difference between the strange beast and the one I had destroyed. The reader will remember that this mark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, by slow degrees—degrees nearly imperceptible, and which for a long time my Reason struggled to reject as fanciful—it had, at length, assumed a rigorous distinctness of outline. It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name—and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared—it was now, I say, the image of a hideous—of a ghastly thing—of the GALLOWS!—oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror and of Crime—of Agony and of Death! And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity. And a brute beast — whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed—a brute beast to work out for me—for me a man, fashioned in the image of the High God—so much of insufferable wo! Alas! neither by day nor by night knew I the blessing of Rest any more! During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in the latter, I started, hourly, from dreams of unutterable fear, to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face, and its vast weight—an incarnate Night-Mare that I had no power to shake off—incumbent eternally upon my heart! Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates—the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind; while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers. One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan. This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body. I knew that I could not remove it from the house, either by day or by night, without the risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard—about packing it in a box, as if merchandize, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these. I determined to wall it up in the cellar—as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims. For a purpose such as this the cellar was well adapted. Its walls were loosely constructed, and had lately been plastered throughout with a rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in one of the walls was a projection, caused by a false chimney, or fireplace, that had been filled up, and made to resemble the red of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the bricks at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect any thing suspicious. And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crow-bar I easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while, with little trouble, I re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brickwork. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself—“Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain.” My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death. Had I been able to meet with it, at the moment, there could have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forebore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night—and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul! The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a freeman. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted—but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured. Upon the fourth day of the assassination, a party of the police came, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to make rigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place of concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever. The officers bade me accompany them in their search. They left no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third or fourth time, they descended into the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end. I folded my arms upon my bosom, and roamed easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied and prepared to depart. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness. “Gentlemen,” I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, “I delight to have allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health, and a little more courtesy. By the bye, gentlemen, this—this is a very well constructed house.” [In the rabid desire to say something easily, I scarcely knew what I uttered at all.]—“I may say an excellentlywell constructed house. These walls—are you going, gentlemen?—these walls are solidly put together;” and here, through the mere phrenzy of bravado, I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brick-work behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom. But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence, than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb!—by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman—a howl—a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the dammed in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation. Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next, a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!


    ‘The Black Cat’ Plot Summary: The story begins with the narrator informing us he is going to die tomorrow as he sits in a prison cell awaiting execution. The rest of the story is his account of the incredible events that have led to his predicament. As a child and young man, he was a great lover of animals, and he was especially fond of the black cat his wife brought home for him – that he had named Pluto. The cat and narrator were inseparable. However as the man grew older, he became a heavy drinker and was abusive to his wife and pets, except Pluto. When he reached rock bottom, he even began mistreating Pluto until one day he killed it by gouging its eye out and then hanging it. When a second black cat arrives, he unintentionally kills his wife as he is trying to kill the cat. He buries his wife in the cellar with the cat and when the police arrive, the cat begins meowing so the police open the grave to discover both the cat and the dead wife. 


    Now, read below noting the literary elements and some techniques that Poe used:


    Setting: A prison cell, and then his home as the narrator tells us about the past years. 



    Narrator – alcoholic demise; about to be hanged for the murder of his wife. 


    Narrator’s Wife – a kind woman First Black Cat – Pluto – loves spending time with the narrator and follows him everywhere. 


    Second Black Cat – a similar looking cat to Pluto and the narrator suspects it is Pluto reincarnated. 


    Policemen- officers investigating the narrator’s home. 


    Servant- person who works in the house. 


    Structure and Style: Genre – short story, horror focusing on the inner mind of the narrator 


    Narration - First person, unreliable because of the mental state of the narrator, the years of alcohol abuse and his own guilt feelings. 


    Allusion – the name Pluto refers to the King of the Underworld/ Death in ancient Roman mythology. (Also known as Hades in Greek mythology) Thus the cat brings him death. 


    Irony – Pluto sees better when it loses his eye; it sees clearly that the narrator is dangerous and to be avoided.


    Anaphora- repetition of words 


    Foreshadowing – the hanging of Pluto foreshadows the narrator’s own execution.


    Themes: Find evidence of the following themes and find two others. 

    • Evil in good people 
    • The tragedy of alcoholism 
    • Fear of discovery/ guilt can cause discovery 
    • The unbalanced mind is vulnerable 
    1.  Explain this quote: “I hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence; because I knew that in doing so I was committing a sin.” 
    2.  Describe how the narrator feels when the police arrive. Why? 
    3.  Comment on the end of the story. 
    4.  How can we understand or explain the narrator’s relentless downward spiral of self-destruction? 
    5.  To what extent is the narrator remorseful about his behaviour OR is he making excuses for himself? 
    6.  Is this man ‘insane’? What is your definition of insanity? 
    7.  What is alcoholism and its side effects?  How does it affect the narrator?








    Let's Commemorate 

    Those Who Made 

    the Ultimate Sacrifice

    for Our Country


    Please respond thoughtfully to the following prompts:

    1. Should Memorial Day be a time to remember only veterans or all those who have died?
    2. Do you think Memorial Day is about remembering deaths or celebrating lives?
    3. What could you do to honor veterans in your community?
    4. Why do veterans deserve respect?



    Week 9 Lessons

    May 18th to May 22nd

    Can you believe we’ve been sheltering in place for more than two months now? Yup. Today, Monday (May 18th) is our 9th week of Distance Learning and the theme will be “Your Pandemic Life”.   Please respond to the questions below by writing an essay to share how things have been going during these past two months.  

    You can make it funny, or you can share what’s “really” going on.  Here are some questions you can use to get you going: 


    • How is your daily routine different?  


    • Have you had more time to focus on things that you wouldn’t have focused on otherwise?  


    • What have your challenges been and what are your successes thus far?  


    • Have you learned something new?  


    • What weird dreams have you had? 


    • What was the funniest thing that happened to you during covid19? 


    • What silver linings are there? For example, the use of Zoom has been a silver lining for a lot of us because the pandemic has pushed us to use this new technology to be with each other and it will be something we continue to do post-covid19. 


    Week 8 Lessons

    May 11th to May 15th


    Week 8 - Broadway Plays 


    This week let’s think about how Broadway has highlighted many of the social issues and questions, whether it be whom we can love or befriend, how to create a worthwhile and satisfying life, or even how to fight for justice in the world.  Below there are thirty-five plays with a youTube video for your enjoyment, and one of the songs from the play.  This week select five different plays that interest you and answer these two questions: 

    1. In what ways can this play serve a political or social purpose? 
    2. How can this play help us to understand the world or ourselves? 


    A Chorus Line - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyZeGOsR9IA 

    One! Singular Sensation 

    One! singular sensation 
    Every little step she takes 
    One! thrilling combination 
    Every move that she makes 
    One smile and suddenly nobody 
    Else! Will! Do! 
    You know you'll never be lonely with 
    You! Know! Who! 


    Aladdin - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpT94oylSaU 


    “A Friend Like Me” 


    Mister Aladdin, sir 
    What will your pleasure be? 
    Let me take your order 
    Jot it down 
    You ain't never had a friend like me 
    No no no 


    Annie – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yop62wQH498 


    The sun'll come out 
    So ya gotta hang on 
    'Til tomorrow 
    Come what may 
    Tomorrow, tomorrow 
    I love ya tomorrow 
    You're always 
    A day 


    Anything Goes –   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7Tdi3sMOjM                                                                

    Get a Kick Out of You 

    I get no kick from champagne, 
    Mere alcohol, 
    Doesn't thrill me at all, 
    So tell me, why should it be true, 
    That I get a kick out of you. 




    Beautiful–The Carole King Musical https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj_hjB3gm6c 

    You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman 

    You make me feel 
    You make me feel 
    You make me feel 
    Like a natural woman 


    Beauty and the Beast - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyq5VI2486I 

    Tale As Old As Time 

    Tale as old as time 
    True as it can be 
    Barely even friends 
    Then somebody bends 


    Brigadoon Romance – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ9M7OF0WRU  

    I Could Swear I was Fallin 

    I could swear I was fallin', 
    I would swear I was falling, 
    It's almost like being in love! 


    Camelot –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vgs32MUDXY 

     I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight 

    I know what my people are thinking tonight 
    As home through the shadows they wander 
    Everyone smiling in secret delight 
    They stare at the castle and ponder 
    Whenever the wind blows this way 
    You can almost hear everyone say 
    I wonder what the king is doing tonight? 


    Dear Evan Hassan - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEmPrKxN3vk 

    “Waving Through a Window” 

    On the outside, always looking in 
    Will I ever be more than I've always been? 
    'Cause I'm tap, tap, tapping on the glass 
    I'm waving through a window 
    I try to speak, but nobody can hear 
    So I wait around for an answer to appear 
    While I'm watch, watch, watching people pass 
    I'm waving through a window, oh 
    Can anybody see, is anybody waving back at me? 


    Fiddler on the Roof  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc 

    “If I Were a Rich Man” 

    If I were a rich man, 

    Daidle deedle daidle 

    Daidle daidle deedle daidble dumb 


    All day long I biddy, biddy, bum 

    If I were a wealthy man 

    wouldn’t have to work hard, 

    Daidle deedle daidle 

    Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb 


    Frozen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qofj8MKO6mk 

     “Let It Go” 

    Let it go, let it go 
    Can't hold it back anymore 
    Let it go, let it go 
    Turn away and slam the door 
    I don't care what they're going to say 
    Let the storm rage on 
    The cold never bothered me anyway 



    Funny Girl - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgPz9PswkoU 

    “Funny Girl” 

    Did you hear that? 
    Yeah, the guy said 
    "Honey, you're a funny girl." 


    Grease - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GizQcwLEKak 

    “Grease Lightnin’” 

    Go grease lightning, you're burning up the quarter mile 
    (Grease lightning, go grease lightning) 
    I said go grease lightning, you're coasting through the heat lap trials 
    (Grease lightning, go grease lightning) 
    You are supreme, the chicks'll cream for grease lightning 
    Lightning, lightning, lightning 
    Lightning, lightning, lightning, lightning, lightni... in' 


    Hamilton - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwv5-tFUJM 

     “The Battle of Yorktown” 

     Freedom for America, freedom for France! 

    Down, down, down 

    Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son 

    Down, down, down 

    We won! 
    We won! 
    We won! 
    We won! 
    The world turned upside down! 


    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A4Y0ZQCYUY 


    Jersey Boys’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPtcL-hYM2U 


    Put your lovin' hand out, baby 
    I'm beggin' 
    Beggin', put your lovin' hand out, baby 
    Beggin' you, put your lovin' hand out, baby 


    Jesus Christ Superstar  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM3dYCp-op8 

     “I don’t know how to love him” 

     don't know how to love him 
    What to do, how to move him 
    I've been changed, yes really changed 
    In these past few days, when I've seen myself 
    I seem like someone else 


    Les Miserables - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFtMB2iaxqk 

     “One Day More” 

     One more day, one more time 
    One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied 
    But then again, I know what it would do 
    Leave me wishing still for one more day with you 
    One more day 





    Mamma Mia - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcNRKkT_yuI 

    “Money, MoneyMoney 

    Money, money, money 
    Must be funny 
    In the rich man's world 
    Money, money, money 
    Always sunny 
    In the rich man's world 
    All the things I could do 
    If I had a little money 
    It's a rich man's world 



    Man of La Mancha – https://www.allmusicals.com/lyrics/manoflamancha/videos.htm 

    Golden Helmet of Mambrino 

     Hand over that golden helmet! 

    But this is a shaving basin! 

    Shaving basin! Know thou not what this really is? 
    The Golden Helmet of Mambrino! 
    When worn by one of noble heart, it renders 
    Him invulnerable to all wounds! 
    Hand it over!40 / 10:21 


    Mary Poppins  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPx8qJzY_mg 

    A Spoonful of Sugar 

    A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down 
    The medicine go down-down 
    The medicine go down 
    Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down 
    In a most delightful way 


    Mean Girls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7SYnc0x4YQ 



    My Fair Lady –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA9bEKKxTNU&list=RDhA9bEKKxTNU&start_radio=1&t=22 

    I Could Have Danced All Night 

    I could have danced all night! 
    I could have danced all night! 
    And still have begged for more. 
    I could have spread my wings 
    And done a thousand things I've never done before. 




    Oliver Twist – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YVAmZBGdXw 

     “You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two” 

     In this life, one thing counts 

    In the bank, large amounts 

    I'm afraid these don't grow on trees, 

    You've got to pick-a-pocket or two 

    You've got to pick-a-pocket or two, boys, 

    You've got to pick-a-pocket or two. 





    Peter Pan –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiW-kWFz_5I 

    “I Won’t Grow Up” 

    I won't grow up, 
    (I won't grow up) 
    I don't want to go to school. 
    (I don't want to go to school) 
    Just to learn to be a parrot, 
    (Just to learn to be a parrot) 
    And recite a silly rule. 
    (And recite a silly rule) 



    Phantom of the Opera – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlRnzANjVZs 


    In sleep he sang to me 

    In dreams he came to me 

    That voice that call to me 

    And speaks my name 



    Rent - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV9zLqyio6U 


    We're hungry and frozen 

    Some life that we've chosen 

    How we gonna pay 
    How we gonna pay 
    How we gonna pay 
    Last year's rent 



    Show Boat  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXmuYNtKJns 

    Ol’ Man River 

    Ol' man river 
    Dat ol' man river 
    He mus' know sumpin' 
    But don't say nuthin' 
    He jes' keeps rollin' 
    He keeps on rollin' along 



    Singin’ In the Rain -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0asbGJbLKc 

    “Singin’ in the Rain” 





    I'm singing in the rain 

    Just singing in the rain  

    What a glorious feelin' 

    I'm happy again 


    South Pacific –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPf6ITsjsgk 

     Youve Got To Be Carefully Taught 

    You've got to be taught 
    To hate and fear, 
    You've got to be taught 
    From year to year, 
    It's got to be drummed 
    In your dear little ear 
    You've got to be carefully taught. 



    The Book of Mormon - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXHtTGtR5ow  

    Two by Two 



    I love you, Orlando! 

    Sea World, and Disney, 

    And Put-Put golfing! 



    The Little Mermaid - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RdrQy0j39E 

    Part of Your World” 

    wanna be where the people are 
    wanna see, wanna see 'em dancin' 
    Walkin' around on those 
    Whaddya call 'em? Oh, feet 


    The Lion King - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T57kzGQGto 

     “The Circle of Life” 

    From the day we arrive on the planet 
    And blinking, step into the sun 
    There's more to be seen than can ever be seen 
    More to do than can ever be done 


    In the circle of life 
    It's the wheel of fortune 
    It's the leap of faith 
    It's the band of hope 
    'Til we find our place 
    On the path unwinding 
    In the circle, the circle of life 


     The Music Man – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI_Oe-jtgdI   

     "Ya Got Trouble" 

    Trouble, oh we got trouble, 

    Right here in River City! 

    With a capital "T" 

    That rhymes with "P" 

    And that stands for Pool, 



    The Sound of Music  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7uISBk0tcw 

    My Favorite Things 

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens 
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings 
    These are a few of my favorite things 



    Week 6 Lessons

    April 27th to May 1st

    Good Morning,

    I do hope that you will be able to join our Zoom Meeting today, 4/27 at 1:00 PM, as Ms. Asencio will be joining us in case you have any questions for her. 

    Meeting ID:  795 8743 7512

    Password:  52


    All the lessons listed below are also on the email that you received this morning and on

    Google Classroom – Code xiwbr4a


    Also, if you have any question you can always contact me through Remind.

    Just take out your phone and open the Remind App

    Send a text to 81010

    And Text this message @4b2h7c


    This week our focus will be on the Sonnet Presentation below, writing a 14-line sonnet, and responding to Quotes Week 6.


    Sonnet Presentation:


    Sonnet 18:


     Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?


    1. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?                A
    2. Thou art more lovely and more temperate:             B
    3. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,       A
    4. And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;         B
    5. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,           C
    6. And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;               D
    7. And every fair from fair sometime declines,            C
    8. By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd;  D
    9. But thy eternal summer shall not fade,                   E
    10. Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;             F
    11. Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,    E
    12. When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:             F
    13. So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,          G
    14. So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.           G


     Sonnet 130:



    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun


    1. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;               A
    2. Coral is far more red than her lips' red;                    B
    3. If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;       A
    4. If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.        B
    5. I have seen roses damasked, red and white,            C
    6. But no such roses see I in her cheeks;                     D
    7. And in some perfumes is there more delight             C
    8. Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.       D
    9. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know                  E
    10. That music hath a far more pleasing sound;             F
    11. I grant I never saw a goddess go;                           E
    12. My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground. F
    13. And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare             G
    14. As any she belied with false compare.                     G




    Literary Devices

    Iambic Pentameter

    Definition of Iambic Pentameter

    Iambic Pentameter is made up of two words, where pentameter is a combination of ‘pent,’ which means five, and ‘meter,’ which means to measure. Iambic, on the other hand, is a metrical foot in poetry in which a stressed syllable is followed by an unstressed syllable. It means iambic pentameter is a beat or foot that uses 10 syllables in each line. Simply, it is a rhythmic pattern comprising five iambs in each line, like five heartbeats.

    Iambic pentameter is one of the most commonly used meters in English poetry. For instance, in the excerpt,



    “When I see birches bend to left and right

    Across the line of straighter darker trees…”


    (Birches, by Robert Frost), each line contains five feet, and each foot uses one iamb.



    Directions: Create your own 14-line sonnet. Each line needs to be exactly 10 syllables (don’t worry about the iambic part of the iambic pentameter – the 10 syllables will be enough of a challenge) and the poem needs to follow the rhyme scheme (ABAB CDCD EFEF GG) discussed above in the Sonnet Presentation.   Use a pencil because you’ll probably need to do some erasing along the way.



    Create a title for your poem: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_________________________________________________________



    2 _________________________________________________________________________________B

    3 _________________________________________________________________________________A

    4 _________________________________________________________________________________B

    5 _________________________________________________________________________________C

    6 _________________________________________________________________________________D

    7 _________________________________________________________________________________C

    8 _________________________________________________________________________________D

    9 _________________________________________________________________________________E

    10 ________________________________________________________________________________F

    11  ________________________________________________________________________________E

    12   _______________________________________________________________________________F

    13 ________________________________________________________________________________G

    14  ________________________________________________________________________________G


    Choose an idea of interest to you or look at the selection below and decide for yourself:

    Sea creatures, electricity, Disney or Pixar films (use any you want), Your favorite T.V. show or video game, ice cream, summer vacation, learning to ride a bike, brothers and/or sisters, zoo animals, birthday parties, puppies and/or kittens, snakes, or even peanut butter.


    Week 6 Quotes:
    • Think of something you desire to do in your life.

               What needs to happen before you pursue it?

               Why not now?



    • If forced, which one would you choose time or money?




    • “If human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween.”
      ~Doug Coupland 
      1. What does this mean? What is Coupland implying about costumes?
      2. Do you agree or disagree?


    • “Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.”

    ~ David Starr Jordan

    1. Explain what this quote means.
    2. How is taking action “virtuous”?
      1. Virtuous: “Having or showing high moral standards”


    • “Birds scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth, but sadly we don’t speak bird.”

    ~Kurt Cobain

    1. What is Kurt implying that the birds know?
    2. What animal do you think would carry the strongest or most harrowing message if we could understand it?
    Please submit your work by Friday, May 1st.
    Good luck!
    Mrs. Vaccaro
    Week 5 Lessons April 20 -April 24

    Good Morning,

    I do hope that you and your family and friends are well and staying home to protect yourselves.  

    For my Creative Writing and Journalism students and Regents Prep Classes  

    This week of April 20th , we  focus on two poetry lessons - Miniver Cheevy's poem and questions,and a How to Kaiku assignment as well.  This week we will be completing Week 5's assignment for both Latin Roots and Quotes.   Due date is the 24th.


    Google Classroom -Mrs. Vaccaro's Classes

    Periods 1, 3, 4 and 5
    Class code


    Mrs. Vaccaro


    Remember Your Roots #5– these words have prefixes, roots, and suffixes that are part of hundreds of words.  Know these word parts and you’ll be able to decode a ton of higher-level vocabulary. 


    Directions:  For each of the following, write two other words that also use the given root or affix (prefix/suffix).  You may NOT use the same word for more than one answer. 

    1.  benevolent 

    bene- (good or well): ____________  _________________ 

    Vol (wish or will):  __________   _____________ 

    -ent (causing or performing an action):  ______________   _____________ 

    1.  dismal 

    dis- (apart or away):  ____________   ______________ 

    mal(bad or evil):  __________________   ________________ 

    1.  vocation 

    voca/voc (voice or to call):  _______________   __________________ 

    -tion (the action of or the result of):  _______________   __________________ 

    1.  symbiotic 

    sym- (with or together):  _______________   __________________ 

    bio- (life):  __________________  _____________________ 

    -tic/-ic (pertaining to):  _______________  _________________ 

    1.  visor 

    vis (see or look out):  ________________  _______________________ 

    -or (denotes a thing’s quality or a person):  _________________   _____________________ 

    1.  telescope 

    tele (ar off or at a distance):  _________________   ___________________ 

    -scope (watch and see):  ______________   _________________ 

    1.  vacany 

    vac (empty):  _____________   _____________ 

    -ancy (quality or state of being):  ____________   _______________ 



    1. microphone 

    micro - (small):  ____________   _________________ 

    -phone/phon (voice or sound):  _____________   ________________ 


    Directions:  Combine at least two of the roots and affixes from above to create four words not already on your paper.  the words you choose may have additional letters or parts.  You must underline or highlight the roots/affixes from above that you’ve used. 

    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 


    Directions:  Using at least three word pieces and parts from above, create a never-before-seen word.  Include the definition of your new word creation. 

    New word: ______________________________________ 

    Definition:  ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


    Quotes - Week 5  

    • “To strive, seek, find, and not to yield.” 

    ~ Lord Alfred Tennyson, “Ulysses”  

    1. Name three companies that could use this as their motto. 
    1. Describe a situation where this attitude would be a detriment (bad thing).  
    •  "Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity." 


    1. Why are we afraid to be curious? 
    1. What do we fear? 
    • “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  

    ~Albert Einstein 

    1. What does Einstein mean by this?  
    1. Do you agree or disagree? Why? 
    • “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” 

    ~Bill Nye (The Science Guy) 

    1. Do you agree or disagree?  
    1. Provide an example of a time when you learned something from an unexpected source. 
    1. "I don't think anyone, until their soul leaves their body, is past the point of no return.” 

    ~Tom Hiddleston 

    1. Pick a side and list at least one reason defending your stance. 


    Miniver Cheevy 

    -Edwin Arlington Robinson, 1910 

    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,  

      Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;  

    He wept that he was ever born,  

      And he had reasons.  


    Miniver loved the days of old  

      When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;  

    The vision of a warrior bold  

    Would set him dancing. 


    Miniver sighed for what was not,  

      And dreamed, and rested from his labors;  

    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, 

       And Priam’s neighbors.  


    Miniver mourned the ripe renown  

      That made so many a name so fragrant;  

    He mourned Romance, now on the town,  

      And Art, a vagrant.  


    Miniver loved the Medici,  

      Albeit he had never seen one;  

    He would have sinned incessantly  

      Could he have been one.  


    Miniver cursed the commonplace  

      And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;  

    He missed the medieval grace  

      Of iron clothing.  


    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,  

      But sore annoyed was he without it;  

    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,  

      And thought about it.  


    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,  

      Scratched his head and kept on thinking;  

    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,  

      And kept on drinking.  


    1. Thebes is the site of several different myths from Ancient Greece. 
    2. Camelot is the legendary site of King Arthur’s court. 
    3. In Homer’sTheIliad, Priam is the king of Troy; he loses the Trojan War.  
    4. “On the town” is an old-fashioned way of saying “on welfare.” 
    5. Medici refers to a powerful, wealthy family in 14th century Florence, Italy.


    Miniver Cheevy – Questions  To receive credit, you must write complete, thoughtful sentences. Miniver Cheevy 

    1. Describe the narrator’s tone. What is the narrator’s opinion of MiniverCheevy
    2. What is the rhyme and meter of this poem? What effect does thisstructure give to the impact of the poem? 
    3. In the first quatrain, MiniverCheevyis described as a “child of scorn.” What’s the narrator’s point in using this phrase?  
    4. The narrator tells us thatCheevy“dreamed of Thebes and Camelot, and Priam’s neighbors,” yet there is a different, darker way of viewing these historical places and events. Explain the possible downsides of living in any of these ancient times.  
    5. What two elements are personified in this poem? What’s ironic aboutCheevy’sopinion of these two things?  
    6. Alliteration occurs frequently in the poem, as seen withCheevyand child (line 1), Miniver mourned (line 13), and ripe renown (line 13). Locate and write down three other examples of alliteration in the poem.  
    7. MiniverCheevy’sfoolishness is clearly on display in the fifth quatrain. How so?  
    8. Does MiniverCheevyhave a job? Cite two lines that help answer this question.  
    9. If MiniverCheevyhad lived in an earlier time, do you believe he would have been a hero? Explain your thoughts and include a line of text from the poem that supports your reasoning.   Great poets, like Edwin Arlington Robinson, are purposeful in every word they pack into their short pieces. Look closely at the name of our central figure, MiniverCheevy. Why, do you suppose, the author chose this unusual name for this man? 
    1. Why do you suppose many adults pine for the “good old days,” either an earlier era in history or their own youthful high school/college days? Is this generally a harmless or harmful thing? Why? 


     A haiku is a tiny poem with a huge impact. This traditional Japanese poetic form tends to focus on nature, animals, seasons, colors, and contrasts. Although haiku can have a variety of structures, the most-common format of the three-line poem doesn’t rhyme and follows this pattern:

    An old silent pond ...  First line - 5 syllables or beats

    A frog jumps into the pond ... Second line - 7 syllables or beats

    splash! Silence again. ... Third line- 5 syllables or beats



    Let's take a look at the three more haiku poems.  Remember note the syllables or beats in each line!



    While the smoothest stones,

    Try to skip and hop across

    The pond claims them all.



    Flowers withering

    beneath the weight of th sun.

    Yet the weeds stand proud.




    This is a haiku.

    You could write a better one -

    Go ahead and try.



    Please write three haiku using nature, animals, seasons, colors, and contrasts as a focus for each.

    Week of April 13th - 17th

    Good Morning,

    I do hope everyone is well and enjoyed the weekend with your family. As I am sure you are aware, the N.Y.S. Regents' has been canceled for this year. For you to receive the Regents Credit for those Regents you would have taken in June; you must pass the course. If you do not complete the classwork, then you will not receive the Regents Credit. Completing your work is extremely important, so please take the time to review your work for each of your classes to be sure that you have submitted the work needed to pass the course.  


    As you know, over the past four weeks, students who were preparing for their N.Y.S.Regents were working on Castle Learning, and I was monitoring your process, and responding to your short answers and essays. I believe it best that you continue to review to gain a deeper understanding of that course. Through your writing, you will be sharpening not only your reading and writing skills but your critical thinking ability as well.


    For Creative Writing and Journalism students, we began last week by seeking out poems that we appealed to us. This week we will understand what poem is, the lingo used, and enjoy both a song and poetry. Below, you will find Week 4 Roots and Quotes that will encourage you to tap into your critical thinking skills once again.  

    Poetry – Week One 

    Why bother? 

    Aren’t they just greeting card sentimentality? 

    Well, yeah, some poems are sappy. 


    Think about it like this: 

    But if you don't like 

    ANY song or ANY poem, 

    You’re just not paying attention. 


    Some are overwrought and annoying 

    with procedure to follow. 

    Some are trite. 

    Some are so poorly written that it’s frustrating. 


    But when done well 

    Some songwriters are amazing. 

    Some songs are catchy AND meaningful. 

    Some make you feel like the singer 

    understands you as no one else does. 

    But there's more! 


    Poetry is great because it's small. 

    you can chew on a small 

    nugget of awesomeness 

    and have a complete 

    literary experience. 


    So, let's get to it... 

    Steps to follow: 


    1. Show no fear. 
    1. Read the title 
    1. Read the poem all the way through. 
    1. Annotate 
    1. Look up any words you do not know. 
    1. Identify the narrator. Figure out who is speaking in the poem.  What do you know about this narrator?  What is the narrator’s tone?  How does the narrator impact the message or theme of the poem? 
    1. Notice shifts or changes.  Does the narrator use a hinge word such as “but” or “however to change the momentum or meaning of the poem?  Pay special attention to the idea that comes immediately after one of these hinge words or shift words. 
    1. What’s interesting about the rhyme scheme, the meter of the lines, or the physical layout of the text and use of white space on the page?  How might these elements contribute to the poem’s overall message or theme? 
    1. Read the poem one more time, aloud if possible. 


    Know the Lingo:  Match the items below to the correct definition. 


    ______ Alliteration ______Allusion ______Assonance ______Ballad ______Consonance ______Diction ______Enjambment ______Free Verse ______Metaphor ______Meter ______Onomatopoeia ______Rhythm ______Simile ______Stanza ______Symbol ______Theme ______Tone ______Verse 


    Directions:  Using the Letters of the definitions below match them to the terms above. 


    1. The repetition of consonant sounds, but not vowels, in a chunk of text. Ex: A worm named Maurice took the garden by storm. 
    2. An object or action that means something more than its literal meaning. 
    3. The measured arrangement of sounds/beats in a poem, including the poet’s placement of emphasis and the number of syllables per line. 
    4. A unified group of lines in poetry. This is often marked by spacing between sections of the poem. 
    5. A story/narrative in poetic form 
    6. The recurrence of stressed and unstressed sounds in poetry. Depending on how sounds are arranged, the _____ of a poem may be fast or slow, choppy or smooth. 
    7. The recurrence of stressed and unstressed sounds in poetry. Depending on how sounds are arranged, the _____ of a poem may be fast or slow, choppy or smooth. 
    8. The central meaning or dominant message the poet is trying to deliver to the reader 
    9. The author’s specific word choice 
    10. The attitude the poem’s narrator (this may or may not be the actual poet) takes towards a subject or character: serious, humorous, sarcastic, ironic, concerned, tongue-in-cheek, solemn, objective, etc 
    11. Poetry that does not rhyme or have a measurable meter 
    12. A word that sounds like what it means. Ex: buzz, click, bang, sizzle 
    13. A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things without using connecting words, such as “like” or “as.” Ex: Love is a battlefield. 
    14. A figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things using connecting words, such as “like” or “as.” Ex: Love is like a battlefield. 
    15. A brief reference to a real or fictional person, event, place, or work of art. 
    16. This occurs when one line ends without a pause or any punctuation and continues onto the next line. Ex: If this were a poem, this would be an example of the technique. 
    17. The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. Ex: “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes;
    18. A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.” 
    19. A single line of poetry 


    Do you think song lyrics are a form of poetry?  I’ve found a song from a few years back that does a good job incorporating some of techniques we traditionally associate with poetry. I would like you to play the official video that goes along with Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts,” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3E9Wjbq44E 3.  


    Below are the lyrics of both the Burns poem and the “Stereo Hearts” lyrics.   

    Give yourself about 10 minutes to read both works, and please annotate your thoughts. 

    Gym Class Heroes - Stereo Hearts (lyrics)  

    My heart's a stereo  

    It beats for you, so listen close 

    Hear my thoughts in every note  


    Make me your radio  

    Turn me up when you feel low  

    This melody was meant for you  

    Just sing along to my stereo  


    If I was just another dusty record on the shelf  

    Would you blow me off and play me like everybody else  

    If I ask you to scratch my back, could you manage that  

    Like it read well, check it Travie, I can handle that 


    Furthermore, I apologize for any skipping tracks  

    It's just the last girl that played me left a couple cracks  

    I used to used to used to used to, now I'm over that 

     'Cause holding grudges over love is ancient artifacts  


    If I could only find a note to make you understand  

    I'd sing it softly in your ear and grab you by the hand  

    Keep it stuck your head, like your favorite tune  

    And know my heart's a stereo that only plays for you  


    My heart's a stereo  

    It beats for you, so listen close  

    Hear my thoughts in every note  


    Make me your radio  

    Turn me up when you feel low  

    This melody was meant for you  

    Just sing along to my stereo  


    Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh to my stereo  

    Oh oh oh oh so sing along to my stereo, let's go  


    If I was an old-school, fifty pound boom box  

    Would you hold me on your shoulder, wherever you walk  

    Would you turn my volume up in front of the cops  

    And crank it higher every time they told you to stop  

    And all I ask is that you don't get mad at me  


    When you have to purchase mad D batteries  

    Appreciate every mix tape your friends make 

    You never know we come and go like we're on the interstate 


    I think finally found a note to make you understand  

    If you can hit it, sing along and take me by the hand  

    Keep myself inside your head, like your favorite tune  

    And know my heart's a stereo that only plays for you  


    My heart's a stereo  

    It beats for you, so listen close  

    Hear my thoughts in every note 


    Make me your radio  

    Turn me up when you feel low  

    This melody was meant for you  

    Just sing along to my stereo  


    Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh to my stereo 

    Oh oh oh oh so sing along to my stereo, let's go 


    I only pray you never leave me behind (Never leave me)  

    Because good music can be so hard to find (So hard to find) 

     I take your hand and pull it closer to mine  

    Thought love was dead, but now you're changing my mind  


    My heart's a stereo  

    It beats for you, so listen close  

    Hear my thoughts in every note  


    Make me your radio  

    Turn me up when you feel low  

    This melody was meant for you  

    Just sing along to my stereo  


    Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh to my stereo  

    Oh oh oh oh so sing along to my stereo 


    A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns, 1794 

    O my Luve’s like a red, red rose  

    That’s newly sprung in June; 

     O my Luve’s like a melody  

    That’s sweetly play’d in tune.  


    As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,  

    So deep in luve am I:  

    And I will luve thee still, my dear,  

    Till a’ the seas gang dry: 


    Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,  

    And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:  

    I will luve thee still, my dear,  

    While the sands o’ life shall run.  

    And fare thee well, my only Luve  

    And fare thee well, a while!  

    And I will come again, my Luve 

    Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.  


    Burns, a Scottish poet, uses variant spelling.  

    Luve = Love  

    fair = pretty, lovely  

    3 bonnie lass = pretty girl  

    4 gang = go, run 


    To receive credit, you must answer in complete, thoughtful sentences and submit your work via email, Goggle docs or hand in a written copy once we return to school.  


    1. Both artists use a combination of simile and metaphor in their lines. The first line of “Stereo Hearts” is a metaphor. Find and write down a simile from the lyrics. The first line of “A Red, Red Rose” is a simile. Find and write down a metaphor from the poem. 
    2. Both artists use exaggeration to emphasize the intensity of their love. Cite an example of this from each piece.
    3. Closely examine the rhyme scheme of each piece and explain any patterns you find. What’s interesting about the writers’ rhyme scheme choices? 
    4. Which two lines from the Burns poem most closely echo the theme of the Gym Class Heroes song? 
    5. In the final stanza of the Burns poem, we discover that the lovers are soon to be parted. What effect, if any, do you suppose this impending separation is having on the couple’s love? What do you think might be causing the separation? 


    1. Some scholars argue that popular song lyrics do not technically qualify as poetry. Write a short passage in which you defend “Stereo Hearts” as a piece of poetry. Be sure to include an examination of at least three poetic techniques as you present your case. 
    2. Would it be better to have a love that’s like a red rose or a stereo?Ex.GymClass Heroes & Robert Burns – Compare & Contrast plain the differences and defend your choice. 
    3. Ultimately, which of these two pieces of writing do you find more effective in communicating the narrator’s thoughts to the audience? Explain why you prefer one work over the other.



    Remember Your Roots #4 – these words have prefixes, roots, and suffixes that are part of hundreds of words.  Know these word parts and you’ll be able to decode a ton of higher-level vocabulary. 

    Directions:  For each of the following, write two other words that also use the given root or affix (prefix/suffix).  You may NOT use the same word for more than one answer. 

    1.  translucent 

    trans- (across, beyond, through): ____________ 

    luc/lum (light):  __________   _____________ 

    -ent (causing or performing an action):  ______________   _____________ 

    1.  manage 

    man/mani - (hand):  ____________   ______________ 

    -age (action or process):  __________________   ________________ 

    1.  genetic 

    gen/gene (birth or create):  _______________   __________________ 

    -tic/-ic (pertaining to):  _______________   __________________ 

    1.  diminish 

    di - (two, twice,or double):  _______________   __________________ 

    min- (small):  __________________  _____________________ 

    -ish (to some degree):  _______________  _________________ 

    1.  chronicle 

    chron (time):  ________________  _______________________ 

    -icle/cle (formed as or from):  _________________   _____________________ 

    1.  geology 

    Geo (earth or ground):  _________________   ___________________ 

    -logy  (area of knowledge):  ______________   _________________ 

    1.  centimeter 

    centi-/cent (one hundred):  _____________   _____________ 

    Meter (measure):  ____________   _______________ 



    1. astronomy 

    astro/aster- (star):  ____________   _________________ 

    -nomy (a system of rules or laws):  _____________   ________________ 


    Directions:  Combine at least two of the roots and affixes from above to create four words not already on your paper.  the words you choose may have additional letters or parts.  You must underline or highlight the roots/affixes from above that you’ve used. 

    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 


    Directions:  Using at least three word pieces and parts from above, create a never-before-seen word.  Include the definition of your new word creation. 

    New word: ______________________________________ 

    Definition:  __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 



    Week 4 Quotes:

    • “Wisdom begins in wonder.” ~Socrates
    1. List a series of topics that you wonder about.
      1. Star your top three favorites.
    2. Contrast these two statements:
      1.  “wonder leads to wisdom
      2. “wonder leads to knowledge
    • “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

     ~Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

    1. Explain what Finch means by this quote.
    2. Pick one to answer: 
      1. Describe a historical event or world problem that applies to this quote.
      2. Describe a time when you or someone you know has demonstrated courage.


    • “Stop trying to be what society shoves down your throat.”

    ~Kendall Schmidt

      1. Consumer reports states that the average consumer is exposed to 247 advertisements per day (consumerreports.org)
      2. Provide one example of a positive media influence or “message."
      3. Provide one example of negative media influence “or message."
    1. “It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

    ~Albus Dumbledore,

    (J.K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets)

    1. How do our choices reveal who we are?
    • “Fear is the mind-killer.”

    ~Frank Herbert, Dune

    1. Decide, in your opinion, what people most commonly fear.
    2. Evaluate which response you most often take to fear: fight or flight. Explain your common reaction.

    Please email me any questions and concerns that you may have. I am fully committed to working with you, so let me know what your needs are.

    Mrs. Vaccaro

    Week of April 6th - April 10th

    Good Morning,

    I do hope that you and your family and friends are well and staying home to protect yourselves.  

    For my Regent Prep students, I am monitoring your progress on Castle Learning, and still waiting for a few that need to submit their short answer responses and thematic essay as well. Please continue with Castle Learning and provide any written responses daily.

    For my Creative Writing and Journalism students, I enjoyed reading the first essay drafts, quotes, and Latin Roots that you sent. The last part of our Literacy Project will continue once we return to school and share our work. This week we will focus on Poetry, Quotes Week 3, and Latin Roots Week 3 and all work is due this Friday, 4/10.

    Please share with me daily a poem that you found meaningful.  The choice of poetry is yours, so be selective! Share with me your poems and thoughts each day, and by Friday, I should have a better understanding of what your interests are. The week of April 13th, we will begin our formal lessons on poetry, learning the lingo, and investigating song lyrics as well.

    Quotes – Week 3 


    • "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”   

    ~Albert Einstein 

    1. List skills, talents, or interests you have now that you remember having to learn. Example: hunting, knitting, singing, riding a bicycle. 
    1. Record one thing you cannot do now that you want to learn.  
    1. Explain: What is Einstein’s point? 



    • “If an individual wants to be a leader and isn't controversial, that means he never stood for anything.”  

    ~Richard M. Nixon  

    1. Read between the lines: What can we infer (conclude) from this statement?  
    1. Give your opinion on this statement. 
    1. Name at least one person in history or in our current culture who would support this statement. 


    • “A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes—and it will come—may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system.” ~Jane Smiley 
    1. Comprehension: Based on this quote, will Jane Smiley talk about controversial topics with her children? 
    1. Contrast the child and the parent’s perspective on this quote.  


    • “Do you have to have a reason for loving?” 

    ~Brigitte Bardot 

    1. Defend the answer “Yes” with one example. 
    1. Defend the answer “No” with one example. 
    1. Circle the number question with which you agree. 


    • “Great minds discuss ideas; 
      Average minds discuss events; 
      Small minds discuss people.” 
      ~Eleanor Roosevelt 
    1. Discuss the meaning of the quote. 
    1. Opinion: Do you agree or disagree? 


    Remember Your Roots #3 – these words have prefixes, roots, and suffixes that are part of hundreds of words.  Know these word parts and you’ll be able to decode a ton of higher-level vocabulary. 

    Directions:  For each of the following, write two other words that also use the given root or affix (prefix/suffix).  You may NOT use the same word for more than one answer. 

    1.  extracted 

    ex- (out of, from, or not): ____________ 

    tract (drag or pull):  __________   _____________ 

    1.  autograph 

    auto- (self or by itself):  ____________   ______________ 

    graph (to write):  __________________   ________________ 

    1.  conclude 

    con- (with):  _______________   __________________ 

    clud/clude (shut or close):  _______________   __________________ 

    1.  submarine 

    sub- (under or below):  _______________   __________________ 

    mar (sea or ocean) ____________________  _________________ 

    -ine (nature of):  _______________  _________________ 

    1.  philosopher 

    philo-/phil- (love): _____________  _________________ 

            soph (wise or wisdom):  _______________  _________________ 

    -er (person who/thing that does something):  _______________   _______________ 

    1.  precise 

    pre- (before):  _________________   ___________________ 

    cise/cis (cut):  ______________   _________________ 

    1.  biped 

    bi- (two or twice):  _____________   _____________ 

    ped (foot):  ____________   _______________ 




    1.  carnivore 

    carni/carn (meat or flesh):  ____________   _________________ 

    -vore (devour): ________________   ___________________  


    Directions:  Combine at least two of the roots and affixes from above to create four words not already on your paper.  the words you choose may have additional letters or parts.  You must underline or highlight the roots/affixes from above that you’ve used. 

    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 


    Directions:  Using at least three word pieces and parts from above, create a never-before-seen word.  Include the definition of your new word creation. 

    New word: ______________________________________ 

    Definition:  ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Please remember to email me daily with your work or if you should have any questions.  Enjoy your day! 


    Mrs. Vaccaro


    Week of March 30th - April 2nd  

    Regents Prep Students:  For those using Castle Learning, I understand District is working on their website.  It should be up anytime now.  Be patient and check back in an hour.  Thank you....


    Creative Writing/Journalism Classes:  Please submit all your work via email by April 2nd.  For those that submitted their essay drafts, you should have received back your edited draft.  Please review and share your thoughts.  Literacy Project is due along with Quotes for Week 2 and Latin Roots 2.


    Week Two:  Quotes March 30th – April 3rd   

    First: Write down the specific quote/puzzle/statement/prompt with the date. 

    Second: Follow the numbered steps. Pay attention to the VERBS (Evaluate, Describe, Argue, etc).  

    Third: Be prepared to share with a partner or the whole class, when we return to Roosevelt. 

    In Addition: These are graded for participation points on a weekly basis and need to be submitted daily via email. 


    • “The only way to grow wise is to get old.” ~Orson Welles from The Lady from Shanghai 
    1. Agree or disagree with the quote.  
    1. Write two examples to support your opinion. 
    1. Write one example that contradicts your opinion. 


    • “I only followed orders. I only did my duty. I am not a criminal.” 

     ~Nazi war-criminal Orson Welles echoes a familiar line in the movie The Stranger. 

    1. List a reason that condemns the Nazi soldiers as criminals. 
    1. List a reason defends the Nazi soldiers as mere soldiers.  
    1. Select one and expand your reasoning into a paragraph. 


    • “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”  

    ~Aibileen Clark 

    1. Pretend you believed this quote. How do you believe you would think or act differently? 
    1. Imagine this was your first thought about everyone else. Do you believe your actions toward others would change? Explain your answer. 


    • “Do small things with great love.” 

    ~Mother Theresa 

    1. Recall a time someone did a ‘small thing’ for you or of a time you did a ‘small thing’ for someone else. Describe how this affected you or the person.  
    1. List three small things you could do for someone you love (Or one thing you could do for three different people).  
    • Brownie Points: Do them! 


    • “A diamond is a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.”  


    1. State your opinion: Does stress always “create diamonds”? (In other words, is stress always a good thing?) Defend your answer. 
    1. Support your opinion with an example. 



    Remember Your Roots #2 – these words have prefixes, roots, and suffixes that are part of hundreds of words.  Know these word parts and you’ll be able to decode a ton of higher-level vocabulary. 


    Directions:  For each of the following, write two other words that also use the given root or affix (prefix/suffix).  You may NOT use the same word for more than one answer. 

    1.  Intersection 

    Inter- (between): ___________________   ______________________ 

    sec/sect (cut or separate):  _________________   ______________________ 

    tion (the action of or the result of):  ________________   __________________ 

    1.  Destruct 

    de- (down, from, off, or concerning):  ___________________   __________________ 

    struct (build or assemble):  ______________________  __________________________ 

    1.  Credible 

    cred (believe or trust):  __________________   ______________________ 

    ible/able (capable of or suitable for):  __________________   ________________________ 

    1.  Superfluous 

    super- (over or above):  ________________________   __________________________ 

    flu- (flowing):  ______________________   _______________________________ 

    -ous (possessing or full of):  _________________________  _________________________ 

    1.  Illegible 

    il- (not):  _______________________   ___________________________ 

    leg (read or the law):  ________________________   ________________ 

    -ible/able (capable of or suitable for):  _____________________   ___________________ 

    1.  Verify 

    ver/veri (truth or true): ________________   __________________ 

    -ify:  (to make or cause to be):  ___________________  ____________________ 

    1.  Mishap 

    mis- (ill, mistaken, or wrong):  __________________  _________________________ 

    hap (by chance):  ________________________   ___________________________ 

    1.  Patriarch 
    1. patr-/patri- (father):  _________________  ____________________ 
    1. -arch (chief or most important):  ______________________   ________________ 

    Directions:  Combine at least two of the roots and affixes from above to create four words not already on your paper.  the words you choose may have additional letters or parts.  You must underline or highlight the roots/affixes from above that you’ve used. 


    1. ______________________________


    1. _______________________________


    Directions:  Using at least three word pieces and parts from above, create a never-before-seen word.  Include the definition of your new word creation. 

    New word: _______________________________________ 

    Definition: ______________________________________________________________________________ 


    Students in Creative Writing and Journalism should be following the Literacy Project and emailing me daily with their logs and drafts, along with their quotes and Latin roots responses.

    Students preparing for NYS Regents in June should use Castle Learning as I have practice lessons for English Language Arts, Biology/Living Environment, Integrated Algebra, Global History and Geography, and U.S. History and Government. I will be monitoring your process daily and expect you to email your short answer and essay drafts for review.

    Each morning you will receive an email from me updating your lessons and your answering questions. As I receive your work, I will review and send you my feedback daily.

    Email: mvaccaro@yonkerspublicschools.org




  • Castle Learning for our Regents Prep Classes:

    You will continue your preparation by signing into "Clever" and begin working on the given Regents assignments that apply to your needs. You will find Regents material for English Language Arts, U.S. History, Global, Algebra, and Living Environment. Please email me daily so we can review your responses to the multiple-choice, short answer responses, and essays. These practice regents will be a work in progress, focusing daily to each task to prepare for your given Regents in June.  If you are having difficulty signing into "Clever" I will send you attachments to the given Regents material that you need.   

    For those able to access "Clever" I would like you to follow these steps: 

    1. Sign in using your ID number (follow the prompt) 
    1. Use your computer password 
    1. Once signed in, go to Castle Learning. 
    1. My assignment pages covers all the Regents that we have been working on in class. 
    1. The drop down bar will take you to the following:  English Language Arts - Biology/Living Environment -Integrated Algebra - Global History and Geography and U.S. History and Government 

    Please remember that if you are experiencing problems signing in, let me know.  I will be happy to send you attachments to each assignment.


    Literary Exploration Project for our Creative Writing and Journalism Classes:

    Context: All writers make some kind of argument, or advocate for something in their work, even in fiction, poetry, film or drama. In these fictional genres, writers enter a conversation about social issues and questions, whether it be whom we can love or befriend, how to create a worthwhile and satisfying life, how to fight for justice in the world, or even how to avoid the apocalypse. These arguments can be called the author’s “project” because taken as a whole, the literary work is the author’s attempt to shape the reader’s understanding of social issues, problems or struggles. Sometimes fiction can give readers more space and time than non-fiction to reflect upon these big issues and questions. 

     In this Unit, you will read within fictional genres to continue thinking about the social issues and questions that we have been discussing during the school year. During your reading, you will keep a reading journal, using the close reading skills you have practiced during the year. After your reading, you will write an essay that discusses what you have observed within the work(s), and what the author’s “argument” or project, is. What issues or questions is the author’s work prompting you to think about, care about, or understand?  

    Assessments: 100 points possible  

    4.1 -- Reading Journals x6 (5 points each, 30 points total)  

    4.2 -- Reflective Literature Essay (30 points)  

    4.3 -- Literary Fair (20 points)  

    4.4 -- StepUp Year End Reflection (20 points)  

    Guide:  Reading Journals In a series of 6 reading journals, identify the passages that interest you, and work to understand the topics and social questions the author is concerned with. Reflect upon things that stand out to you. Using annotation and close reading, use key quotes to develop your thinking in writing. Use metacognition strategies (thinking about your thinking) to reflect upon the big ideas within the text. For each reading journal, reflect upon at least two key quotes in the reading you did during the time. The 6 reading journals should roughly go from the beginning of the work to the end of the work. Divide the work in approximately 6 parts and do a reading journal for each part. Make connections between the journals to find patterns, big issues and questions, and the writer’s concerns.  

    Guide for Reading Journals:  

    Do you explore your mental processes in reading and working towards an understanding of the text? 

    • Do you reflect on the meaning ofparticular passages, and develop your interpretation of the author’s topics/concerns/big ideas?? 
    • Do you use specific evidence (quotes) from the text to develop your points? 
    • Do you make connections between the journal entries to discover patterns, big ideas and issues, and the author’s concerns? 
    • Is your writing clear and do you use word choice, punctuation and sentence structure effectively? 
    • Do you use MLA format for in-text citations and Works Cited, as appropriate for literary essays? 

    Reading journals are worth 5 points each X 6 = 30 points  

    Reflective Literature Essay Using your reading journals, write an essay that explores your experience reading the work(s), and the big ideas, concerns, issues and concerns that the author’s work positions you to reflect upon. In writing the essay, use the following outline as a guide. Be sure to use a quotation sandwich for all quotations from the book, with in-text MLA citations for all quotations.  

    Title: Create an interesting and unique title Introduction:  

    • Identify the works to be considered in the essay using the full title and author’s name. 
    • Include a brief (1-3 sentences) summary of the work(s) 
    • Briefly describe what you will discuss in the essay 
    • Include a focused statement of what you are claiming about the significance of the work and about literature in general. Body Paragraphs: 
    • What is the literary work about? 
    • What was your experience like reading the work(s)? What did you enjoy/ struggle with? What were the challenges? What were the moments of illumination for you, as a reader? 
    • What are the themes of the work and how does the writer develop these themes? 
    • What is the writer’s project or argument? What is he saying about society or people, and what does he want his readers to know/understand/believe/feel about society or people? 
    • How does this fictional work inform readers about a significant problem/issue/struggle going on now in the world, that affects readers right now? 
    • Use plenty of quotations to back up your points, with quotation sandwiches for each quote, and MLA in-text citations. 

     Ending Paragraphs and Conclusion:  

    • In what ways can this literary work serve a political or social purpose? 
    • How can this literary work help us to understand the world or ourselves? 
    • How can literature, such as this work, influence society as much as news reporting? 

    Works Cited Section: Include full MLA citations for all works used in the essay.  

    Reflective Literature Essay Rubric: (The Literature Essay is worth 30 points.)  

    • Establishes a clear focus on the meaning and impact of the literary work. 
    • Demonstrates comprehension of the literary work. 
    • Thoughtfully explores the experience of reading the work. 
    • Contains an accurate and effective summary of work. 
    • Reflects upon and delves into the themes of work. 
    • Identifies author’s project/argument. 
    • Demonstrates engagement with the text. 
    • Demonstrates effective writing strategies, including clear and varied sentence structure, precise use of language, strong verbs, organized paragraphs. 

    Literary Fair Context: 

    Now that you read and wrote about your literary work, you have the opportunity to share something that you have learned with a wider audience. Respond to the literary work in a medium of your choice, other than an essay, and by sharing the literary project with the class. This can be a painting, poem, video, song, collage, drawing artistic rendering, or other medium (except an essay). The goal of this project is to convey the author’s project or argument, and what it means to you. Be as creative as possible! Accompany this creative assignment with a 1 -page reflection on:  

    1. How does the literary work connect to you, to others, and the world? 
    2. What is the author’s project/argument? What is the writer trying to convey about people or the world? 
    3. What is it you are trying to convey in your project? What you would like your audience to know/understand/feel? What is a Literary Fair? 

    Students will present their literary project in class, with student viewers asking questions of the presenters, and the presenters answering questions about their work. This is a good opportunity to get feedback on your interpretations, and to hear what others think about the same work. It is a good opportunity to have a conversation about the literary work and the ideas that are sparked by it.  

    How will this assignment be evaluated 

    You will receive 20 points if you:  

    • Come prepared to class on time, on the day scheduled, with your literary project, ready to present. 
    • Demonstrate effort to create a literary project that conveys your interpretation of the author’s project or argument, and how it speaks to a social issue/problem/concern. 
    • Present the literary work, the questions and issues that arise from it, and your interpretation of it, based on evidence from the work.
    • Include quotes from the text, to demonstrate your interpretation of the text. 
    • Hand in your 1-page reflection (or submit it online) on time. If you are basing your interpretation on outside research, include MLA citations.


    Time management is essential, so please find a schedule of study that works best for your family situation, as your family members will be needing internet time as well.  I will be available throughout our online learning period, and will respond to each assignment as you submit them. 

     I hope to hear from each of you daily, and please remember to be safe, and take care of yourself, family, and friends by practicing good hygiene, social distancing, and patience. 





Mrs. Vaccaro



Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Vaccaro

1993 - Master of Science:  Elementary Education - Concentration:  Reading

1992 - Bachelor of Science:  Education

N.Y.S. Nursery through Sixth Grade:  Permanent Effective 1996

N.Y.S. Reading Nursery through Twelfth Grade:  Permanent Effective 1996

N.Y.S. Common Branches:  Permanent Effective 1993

Teacher of Title 1 Reading/Writing

Facilitated students' progression from reading and listening to comprehending and writing in order to prepare them to excel on their N.Y.S Regents by designing lessons that provide strategies which will enable each student to become an avid and capable reader, writer, speaker, and thinkers.