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Humanities 2017-18 Summer Reading Packet


Humanities Summer Reading  2017-18

    Humanities 2017-18:  UConn Early College Experience.  For $160.00, you earn 4 credits via a UConn transcript, which are transferrable to most universities.  You must pass the class with a C+ average (minimum) to do so.  See Ms. Mackenzie (site coordinator) or Guidance for details and forms.  Deadline for sign up for university credit is June 1, 2017. No payment is necessary.  U.Conn will bill you during the summer at your active e-mail account.  If you decide to drop the class, you must submit a formal drop class form.  See your guidance counselor for help with this.

     Welcome to Humanities, a class that has been created to study and interact with literature through various lenses of philosophy, history, mathematics, human and social sciences, music, theater, dance, art, pop culture, and film.  Essential questions regarding the nature of Power, Beauty, Truth and Knowledge guide our reading, discussions, writing, and other assessments. For this project and throughout the academic year, the student works independently to choose perspectives by which to examine literature, communicates his/her perspective to peers, listens to their feedback, reflects, and arrives at his/her conclusions with sound reasoning and clear, specific examples.  Students are expected to read and write at a high level of comprehension, engage in analytical, creative, and original thinking, and to discuss and “play” with many ideas and theories simultaneously.  The success of this class depends significantly on sharing questions, insights, observations, and information as we help each other to find answers, no matter how tentative, to the profound topics we discuss.

 Your Assignment:  You are responsible for the scene you parsed on the first day of class.   The "Dinner Party" will take place shortly after rehearsals, which will be held in class.

1.  Read William Shakespeare’s Richard III.  Copies are available in the English office starting June 1 or in the Guidance office after June 23.  It is also available on line here.  

2.  Keep a journal of your thoughts, questions, dictionary definitions of words you looked up, and connections you noticed to other disciplines.  Bring the journal to class on the first day of school.  If you have never kept a dialectical journal, here is an example of how you might approach it.

3.  Then choose the scene that in your opinion BEST depicts an analysis, critique, or demonstration of power.  Completely parse the scene  (Parse= to deeply analyze the specific language of the piece).  Use an OED (located at WCSU or at most public libraries) to help you with words than are archaic or have many layered meanings.  I expect to see this scene parsed (annotated) fully in your notebook on the first day of class; therefore, it needs to be legible. Parsing help is available here

4.  Be prepared to discuss WHY you chose this particular scene.  Picking “the shortest” or “the easiest” will not endear you to your new teacher, nor will it prove your commitment to excellence, which is necessary to succeed in this class.

5. Choose a character from the play who intrigues you.  It need not be a lead character.  Pay special attention to his/her development as the play proceeds.  Look closely at their speeches, actions, and what is said about them.  Take notes.  You are going to become that character at a "Controversial Dinner Party" activity.   A graphic organizer to help you is available below.  As it is makes up 1/2 your grade, fill it out specifically and well.  We will practice the Controversial Dinner Party in class before you are assessed on it.  This is NOT an acting activity; it is a close reading activity. All my shy flowers should relax.  No one ever expired from doing this assignment.  

6.  As originality of thought is always appreciated, please do not use the 1995 Ian McKellen movie version for your ideas.  You can certainly watch the film for inspiration from its effective interdisciplinary connections, but do not “borrow” those particular ideas.  They belong to Ian McKellen and Richard Longcraine, the screenplay adapters. 

7.  Any students coming to class on the first day without this assignment will be expected to drop the class.   There is a waiting list for the class this year.

Assignment Weight:  Test Grade= Summative Assessment


CC.11-12.R.L.1  Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. 

CC.11-12.R.L.4  Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.) 

CC.11-12.R.L.6  Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). 

CC.11-12.SL.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. 

CC.11-12.SL.1.a  Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

 CC.11-12.SL.1.c  Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

CC.11-12.SL.1.d  Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. 

 Controversial Dinner Party Graphic Organizer Here.

Controversial Dinner Party Rubric Print Out Here

"The Controversial Dinner Party" PBLA 

Directions:  All students will choose to become one of the characters from Richard III.  You will assume this character’s identity via appropriate actions, voice, costume, props, point of view, and philosophy of life.  You will then attend a very elite dinner party, which your character for some reason wants to attend (you determine that reason via a close reading of your story and your imagination).  Use the graphic organizer to brainstorm whom you would want to talk to at the dinner, whom you would try to avoid, and whom you would immediately “click” with.  Create questions for possible openings of conversations, so that you are not all sitting there staring at each other.  People talk and engage each other at elite dinner parties, and so will your characters.

Name:  ________________________                                    Role:  ______________________________


Pre Performance:                                                      Point Value:     Self:        Teacher:

1.)  Student has read the play carefully and

closely for character background, motivation,

attitude, body language, mannerisms, dress, and

appropriate props as is evidenced by their performance,

organization, readiness, and poise during the dinner.         20           ____               ____

2.)  Student has filled out the graphic organizer in detail

and brainstormed possible conversational strategies

that are both in character and appropriate to

a formal dinner party.                                                        30               ____               ____


3.)  Student demonstrates believable behavior and

speech for his/her character during the dinner party.         10               ____          ____

4.) Student demonstrates an awareness of articulation

and projection.  This is evidenced by the audience’s

ability to hear and understand everything the student

says.                                                                                  10           ____                ____

5.)  Student performs his role in accordance with the choices

motivations, and objectives determined during his/her

brainstorming rehearsal, or as evidenced by his/her graphic

organizer.                                                                      10             ____               ____

6.)  Student displays creativity, originality and understanding

of his/her character, which is evidenced by costumes, props,

accents (where appropriate), and clear motivation.              10 ____         ___

7.)  Student is completely committed to his/her choices

and is able to stay in character most of the time, and

“improvisational moments” are handled with poise and

commitment.                                                                      10     ____            ___


            Total Possible Points:                             100             ____                 ____


School-Wide Rubrics for Academic Expectations

from New Fairfield High School’s Mission Statement

Circle the number of the rubric(s) that you have applied to this assignment and that you wish to have assessed.  Your teacher will circle your level of achievement:

EE= exceeds expectations, ME=meets expectations, NI=needs improvement.          

1.1.1 NFHS students will write using standard English for a variety of purposes and audiences.           EE     ME     NI  

1.1.2 NFHS students will write to persuade using effective language.                                                             EE     ME     NI          

1.2.1 NFHS students will read actively and critically for a variety of purposes.                                           EE     ME     NI               

1.4.1 NFHS students will apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to solve problems.                    EE     ME     NI                  

1.5.1 NFHS students will listen actively, critically and responsibly.                                                                                EE     ME     NI           

1.5.2  NFHS students will speak effectively to express ideas and information in a variety of circumstances.   EE     ME     NI 

2.1.1 NFHS students will select and apply the tools of technology to improve personal and professional productivity.   EE     ME     NI                     

2.1.2 NFHS students will use technology to assess, exchange, and share information.                                                EE     ME     NI