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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“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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Dystopian Worlds Essay and Presentation

dystopia

“Escaping the Dome.” Image courtesy of yumikrum (Flickr)

Writing Prompt: The short stories, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin, and the film Gattaca (1997) present seemingly perfect worlds that hide injustice under the surface. Societies sacrifice the joy of the individual for the benefit of all. What can we as readers learn from these stories about our own world? In at least a five-paragraph essay, describe a central theme (lesson, moral) in at least one of the stories. Include textual evidence to support your ideas. What lessons can we apply to our world today?

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.

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The Awakening Essay

awakening 2

Writing Prompts:

  1. The Ending: Some critics view the ending of the novel as Edna’s failure to complete her escape from social conventions, an act of cowardice once she no longer has a man by her side. Others view it as a final awakening, a brave decision to give herself to the sea in a show of strength and independence that defies social expectation. Which interpretation do you agree with, and why? (You may want to discuss “The Story of an Hour” as well.)
  2. Motherhood: How does Chopin describe motherhood in The Awakening?  What does she suggest are the possibilities for women who engage in this traditional female role?  Choose at least two mothers who appear in The Awakening and discuss both of their attitudes toward motherhood as well as what Chopin seems to be saying about this supposedly sacred institution. How does this contrast with Mademoiselle Reisz, a single, childless artist?
  3. Themes/Symbolism: What is the central theme of The Awakening? How does the author, Kate Chopin, use symbolism to convey her message? Symbols in the text include: music, art, children, changing houses, birds, the sea, cigars, clothes, food, the moon, sleep.

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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