Category Archives: 1st Hour


In 1984, Winston fears getting caught with his journal…a crime that is punishable by death and being vaporized.  What is your biggest fear?  Obviously, it might not be as dramatic as Winston’s situation, but we all fear something….pain, failure, betrayal, harm, abandonment, loneliness…the list is endless.

Please share what your biggest fear is in a well-written paragraph of approximately 100 words.  Identify specifically why you fear what you do and how it affects you.

Things to think about as you create your response:

Does this fear guide any part of you?  From where did this fear originate?  How do you handle this fear?  How does this fear drive your life?  Is anyone else aware of your fear?

After you have written your response and posted it, read and respond to someone else’s post. Remember:  The goal here is multi purposed:  1.  Relate your reading of 1984 to your own life – learn something about yourself that you might not have considered.  2.  Communicate effectively that lesson you’ve learned or realized to others.  This communication includes being effective and eloquent and artistically creative.  3.  Finally, this is a public post for a curricular assignment.  Any and all inappropriate posts or comments will result in no credit and further attention from me and Mr. Benjamin.  Part of English 4 is the adult aspect to which your writing must adhere.

Grading:  Your 100 word response is worth 15 points.  Your peer response is worth 5 points.  You will lose points for spelling, punctuation, and clarity just like you would on a written assignment for class.  Be sure to read what you write before you post.  You are welcome to type your response in Word in order to grammar and spell check it prior to posting, too.  Then, you can copy and paste it in the appropriate spot. The assignment(s) must be posted by the due date.

Due:  Paragraph Response:  Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, by 3:15

Peer Response (approximately 30+ words):  Friday, September 7, 2018 by                                                                                                                                                     3:15

Image result for clip art for fear

Influential Person….

Who do you see as the most influential person in the world today?  Why?  How about in YOUR life?  Why?  What is it about influential people that makes them affect others the way they do?  Are these influential people positive or negative influences in your life?  In a well-written paragraph, respond to the prompt using standard business English.  Length should be about 100 words.  Be specific.  Write well!  AND THEN, respond in 2-3 sentences to someone else’s post response.

English 4-1984

Respond to the following question in two well-written paragraphs :

****Have you ever rebelled against something?  First, explain the situation.  Then, share your reasons for rebelling.  Were you justified in rebelling?  Were you successful?What did you learn from the experience?


THEN…respond to two of your classmates’ posts, providing genuine, thoughtful responses.

English 4 – the Most Interesting Person You Have Met in 2014

Writing 101: A Character-Building Experience

Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?

Our stories are inevitably linked to the people around us. We are social creatures: from the family members and friends who’ve known us since childhood, to the coworkers, service providers, and strangers who populate our world (and, at times, leave an unexpected mark on us).

Today, write a post focusing on one — or more — of the people that have recently entered your life, and tell us how your narratives intersected. It can be your new partner, your newborn child, or the friendly barista whose real story you’d love to learn (or imagine), or any other person you’ve met for the first time in the past year.

Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.

In displaying the psychology of your characters, minute particulars are essential. God save us from vague generalizations!

– Anton Chekhov, Letter to Alexander Chekhov; May 10, 1886

Describing people — whether real or fictional — in a way that channels their true essence is an invaluable skill for any writer. Through the careful accumulation of details, great authors morph their words into vivid, flesh-and-bones creations in our minds. How can you go about shaping your portrait of a person? Some ideas to explore:

Don’t just list their features. Tell us something about how their physical appearance shapes the way they act and engage with others. For example, see how the author of this moving photo essay, which documents the final weeks of a woman dying of cancer, captures the kernel of the woman’s spirit with a short, masterful statement:

Her eyes told stories that her voice didn’t have the power to articulate and she had a kindness that immediately made me feel like we had been friends for years.

Give us a glimpse of what makes this person unique. We all have our own quirks, mannerisms, and individual gestures, both physical and linguistic. If you’re looking for inspiration, read this blogger’s portrait of her French host family — after reading the first two paragraphs, you already have intimate knowledge of who these people are and what drives them.

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

English 4 and AP English – (read only) The Devil is in the Details: On Descriptive Writing

Remember these hints when you are writing your personal statements!!

The Daily Post

We often hear that we should “show, not tell” — that we should paint a detailed picture for our reader that lets them see what’s happening, rather than simply narrating.

Easier said than done! All details are not created equal: some detail throws a barrier between the reader and your story, and some detail is (ironically) not detailed enough. How do you tell whether a detail helps or hurts? Here are four things to keep in mind when you’re writing descriptively, and some writers who illustrate them perfectly.

Good detail is relevant.

Including every detail is the written equivalent of your friend who can never get to the point of a story because he can’t remember if it happened on Tuesday or Wednesday, or if it was 1 PM or 2 PM, or if the car was red or blue. Good detail is relevant to the point of your post.

Writer beware! Not…

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