“Inside the Nightmare” Essay

nightmare

Writing Prompt: Why are our brains drawn to fear (the gothic/sublime)? Why do we dream of things that frighten us? What can we learn about ourselves through scary experiences?

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Looking for Alaska Essay

alaska

Writing Prompts:

  1. Alaska’s Death: Was Alaska’s death an accident or a suicide? Analyze the text for textual evidence and clues that indicate the answer to this question.
  2. The Teenage Brain: According to scientists, the teenage brain seeks out new, risky experiences, but also is very vulnerable to drugs, alcohol, and change. How can brain science explain some of the behavior of the teenage characters in Looking for Alaska? Cite examples from the novel as well as the science articles we discussed in class.
  3. Themes/Symbolism: What is the central theme of Looking for Alaska? How does the author, John Green, use symbolism to convey this message? Possible themes might include: death and the meaning of life; self-discovery and independence; mischief and guilt; or trust and friendship. Symbols in the text include: cigarettes, the lake, alcohol, white flowers, last words.

Writing Criteria:

  • Well-organized multiple-paragraph essay.
  • A clear thesis statement (main argument).
  • Textual evidence with analysis (quotes must be cited with page numbers in MLA Format).
  • Creativity and sentence variety.
  • Checked for spelling/grammar/mechanics.

You may also choose to use the following texts below in your essay:

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Essay Prompts for “Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros

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Essay Writing Prompts – Choose one of the following:

  1. In Woman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros explores the connections between gender, culture and language and its impact on our identity. Choose one or more of the following short stories listed below. What is the theme (lesson/message) or recurring themes of these stories? Explain using textual details.
  2. How does Sandra Cisneros challenge stereotypes of Latina women in her stories from Woman Hollering Creek? Explain using examples from the texts below.
  3. Gloria Anzaldúa once wrote in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, that “To survive the Borderlands you must live sin fronteras, be a crossroads.” How are the characters in Cisneros’s stories living in the “borderlands” of language, gender and culture? Explain using examples from the texts.

Choose one or more of the following short stories from Woman Hollering Creek:

  • “Eleven” (6)
  • “Barbie-Q” (14)
  • “One Holy Night” (27)
  • “My Tocaya” (36)
  • “Woman Hollering Creek” (43)
  • “Never Marry a Mexican” (68)
  • “Bien Pretty” (137)

You may also choose to use the following texts below in your essay:

Writing Criteria:

  • Well-organized multiple-paragraph essay.
  • A clear thesis statement (main argument).
  • Textual evidence with analysis (quotes must be cited with page numbers in MLA Format).
  • Checked for spelling/grammar/mechanics.

Handouts and Writing Resources:

Editing/Revision Resources:

Student Success Essay

classroom

“Old School Classroom” – Mississippi Mike, Flickr

Essential Questions:

  • What is the key to student success?
  • How can we design a school culture for student motivation?
  • According to researchers, what is the best way for students to learn?
  • What are the benefits of students learning on their own?
  • What should be the role of the teacher in the classroom?

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