Parent Corner: ELA Department Instruction
Here’s what your child is learning in English Class this month:
English I (with Mr. Domiano and Ms. Pies): Currently, English I scholars are analyzing the choices that writers make in order to develop central ideas. Scholars completed a close read of Poe’s story, “The Tell-Tale Heart” and discussed Poe’s use of time, point of view, punctuation, and repetition in order to develop the central ideas of madness and obsession. We will also analyze how these and additional literary elements are used in various poems to develop similar central ideas. In the New Year we will be delving into romance and tackling the turbulent relationship of Romeo & Juliet.
English II (with Mr. Fitta, Mrs. Price, and Mr. Appleby): English II is beginning module II, unit 1 of the NYS Common Core curriculum. This unit focuses on Human Rights through various non-fiction texts. We are starting with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” This will be followed by “A Genetics of Justice” by Julia Alvarez. This unit helps prepare students for Part II of the ELA Regents exam.
English III (with Mrs. Conroy, Ms. Beasley, Mr. Morris, and Ms. Schiano): The English III scholars just finished reading Hamlet and are now preparing for their Regents exam in January. Next quarter, we will be reading “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. DuBois, “Atlanta Compromise” by Booker T. Washington, and “An Address by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.”
English IV (with Mr. Avino and Mr. Meade): English IV students are currently wrapping up NYS ELA Module 2 with a formal source-based argument paper using evidence/analysis from Benazir Bhutto’s speech, “Ideas Live On” and Henry David Thoreau’s, “On Civil Disobedience.” In the coming weeks the students will be focusing on preparation for ELA CC Regents examination focusing on multiple choice strategies and argument development.
Pre-AP (with Ms. Collins): Pre-AP is reading Poe right now and then will be starting the novel Copper Sun by Sharon Draper.
AP Literature (with Mr. Morris): AP Lit is delving into the glory that is William Shakespeare. Our study of Richard III is allowing us to explore the depth and richness of a “subtle, false and treacherous” character as we attempt to discover how Shakespeare still speaks to us as learners today. AP Language is exploring the concept of being a scholar as related to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The American Scholar” address. If we want to be called ‘scholars” we should understand the role of education and intellectual thought in our school. Emerson challenges us not to be the parrot of others’ thinking and we are addressing that challenge in class to become better engaged learners.
Journalism (with Mrs. Conroy): Journalism scholars are continuing to hone their skills as independent writers and thinkers. They are working to gather news and construct effective, meaningful stories for the student body. They are also learning about bias in the media and how to become more savvy navigators of all the information they encounter through the news media.
By Serena Hockenbury
We all know Christmas is coming up and around this time of year many people globally donate to a good cause, whether its money, clothes, food, and even their time. For example, kids at the Broad Meadows Middle School in Quincy, Massachusetts and 36 other middle schools around the world started a fundraiser for children in Pakistan. This all started when the death of Iqbal Masih occurred.
Iqbal Masih was four years old when he was sold by his father for $12 into a bonded labor with carpet manufacturer in Pakistan. He ran away from the factory when he was 10 and joined an organization that fought against bonded labor and worked to educate child workers about their rights.
Iqbal was 12 when he visited the middle school in Quincy, Massachusetts. Iqbal inspired the students by telling them about his experience speaking out against child labor and working to free other children. In his country, 7.5 million children were enslaved, and there were as many as 200 million more around the world. What Iqbal really wanted was for children to be able to attend school and not be forced into bonded labor during their childhood.
In the spring of 1995, four months after returning home, Iqbal was murdered in broad daylight. When the students from the school heard about what happened to Iqbal, they decided to do something to honor his memory. What Iqbal really wanted was a school for children in his country, so the students decided they would build him one. They used the slogan “A bullet can’t kill a dream,” and the students sent out an email that told the story of Iqbal’s short life. The e-mail asked for $12, because Iqbal was sold for $12 and because he was 12 years old when he was murdered.
The students received more than 6,000 e-mail replies and more than 3,000 letters in response. Within one year, the students raised more than $147,000. These students worked with a group in Pakistan that administered the building project. The students continued working with other schools to establish a new school each year in a different developing country.
The story of Iqbal’s impact and inspiration on student’s continues, and the school for Iqbal in Pakistan is thriving. If you want to be more involved globally and locally, donate and help someone else in need. There are plenty of other ways you can donate in order to make a difference in the lives of other anywhere in the world.
By Angel Rivera
As vocals are warming up and instruments are getting tuned, the ambience in the auditorium blends in with the blissful chatter of the awaiting audience. Students here at East High look forward to showcasing music they have been rehearsing for their annual Winter Concert.
“These concerts are a culmination of the hard work our ensembles have been putting in these past few weeks. It’s not so easy getting up in front of an audience and presenting your work to your family and your peers,” music teacher Mr. Weber explained. “It takes a lot of focus and perseverance to get to where we are now. There are plenty of points throughout the year where we get frustrated with our playing and feel like we will never be ready. There have been plenty of mistakes along the way but that is part of the whole experience. We wouldn’t be good musicians if we didn’t learn from our mistakes. We can’t improve without making mistakes. This is about true tenacity, purposeful thinking, and advocacy.” Freshman Jaenid Ayala explains, “The whole experience is thrilling. There is some nervousness but it is overall exciting. Afterwards there is a sigh of relief and I feel happy because we accomplished what we set out to do.”
The ensembles aren’t the only groups preparing for the performance. In order for things to go as smoothly as possible, members of the stage crew have been training to assist with backstage work, operating live sound and lighting, and working ‘front of house’ operations. The people in these positions often go unnoticed, but the concert wouldn’t go on without them in the shadows and behind the scenes.
The first winter concert is taking place on Thursday December 14th at 6:00pm in the Edward J. Cavalier Auditorium. The program consists of the Upper and Lower School Bands, Upper and Lower School Choirs, Lower School String Ensemble, and the Eagles Jazz Band. There will be separate daytime performances on December 21st, one for the Lower School and one for the Upper School.
A big shout out to Ms. Fox, Mrs. Zajkowski, Mr. Weber, and Mr. Wilson for all of their hard work in preparing for these performances.
By Joel Alicea
As many of us know, a category five hurricane named Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20th. A hurricane five is when the wind speed reaches up 156 miles per hour. Some sources estimate that the repairs could total up to 95 billion dollars as well as leading to over 900 deaths.
My grandfather lives in Puerto Rico and he said, “After the hurricane everything changed in the lives of Puerto Ricans because of the loss of houses and the loss of human life. Living on the island is difficult and the island remains dark because there is no electricity. The island is incapacitated because landslides damaged the roads and highways.” Although these repairs are expensive and important many people in P.R. have more immediate needs like fresh water, food, and gasoline. Many people and resources have been sent to Puerto Rico but the task is so large that recovery will take years.
According to the Wall Street Journal, although most people lost power, two out of ten people have power at this time. Two-thirds of hospitals currently have power. Some roads have been cleared but the roads to some communities have not. Helicopters are being used to drop supplies to those communities. FEMA is providing limited food, water, and medical supplies, but because of the lack of power and cell phone reception, many people don’t even know about it.
According to a CNN report, some of the things that need to be repaired are the infrastructure (buildings, roads and bridges) and basic necessities like electricity and plumbing. To this day people are still left without electricity and even without a house to sleep in throughout the night. What makes rebuilding harder is that the entire island needs to be updated using stronger materials for buildings, smarter and more reliable energy sources and roads that can withstand the climate of Puerto Rico. Even though the recovery efforts are progressing, there is still much left to rebuild.
By Cloe Ramos
Tis the season for the feeling of Christmas and giving. It's the time to bring out the boxes full of Christmas ornaments, bows, lights, and decorations to fill the house with the joy of Christmas. During this time of cheer, many people make everlasting memories like putting up the tree with the kids, decorating the house with lights or even simple things like sitting by the fireplace watching movies drinking eggnog or hot chocolate or baking Christmas cookies.
Even though spending time with family and friends sharing gifts and company is special, why not send a gift to someone in need during this time of joy and giving? Why not make a Christmas resolution to help a family that's struggling in this time of giving and cheer. There are many places that accept donations like food for churches’ food drives, toys for children in foster homes and money donations for people around the world who are going through tragedy in their countries. So in this time of sharing gifts with family and friends think of sharing with the people who need it most this Christmas.
By Anthony Fuentes
Jingle bells, Jingle bells, all around gifts being wrapped to spread holiday joy. As we all know Christmas is fast approaching. Many people are already done with their Christmas shopping but some are still stumped about what to buy for their young children and teens. If you are a parent and need something to buy, here are some things you may want to keep in mind next time you are out and about looking for Christmas gifts.
One trending gift is a Fuji Film Instax Camera. East High School senior Tailor Davis says, “who doesn’t want a Fuji Film Instax?” Another trending present for this holiday season is a Playstation 4. East High School senior George Agosto says, “I want a PS4 for Christmas. It was on sale too like 2 weeks ago for $200.” Some other things teenagers might want are Amazon gift cards, Nordstrom gift cards, a portable outdoor waterproof speaker, and the brand new Studio 3 wireless beats. Even if you still don’t know what to buy there are many options to choose from. Happy Holidays to all, and don’t forget to spread holiday joy this Christmas.
By Juan Santiago
Video games are on top of many people’s Christmas gift list, and here’s why. There are many exciting developments in the world of video games, whether it’s an actual game or a gaming system. Some of the most recent systems are the new Xbox X and the Nintendo Switch. These are some of the newer systems that can be used to play some of the newer games.
With the Nintendo Switch there are games that are executive for that system, which requires you to buy that actual system to play. One such game is Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is a classic game where you undergo an adventure to save a princess. Or there is Arms which is a boxing game that is interactive so you actually have to move to play the game.
With the Xbox 1 or Playstation 4, there is a much bigger variety of newer games. The leading game genre is “FPS” or first person shooters such as Call of Duty: World War 2 which is a re-creation of the actual war. Another very popular game is Tom Clancy’s: Rainbow Six Siege which is a game based off the idea of cops and robbers but more like S.W.A.T. and defenders.
If you’re a gamer or know a gaming enthusiast, make them happy with one of these new games this holiday season.
By Jada Archie
Many people know what Christmas is like in America, but what about in other parts of the world? People celebrate Christmas in a variety of ways around the world.
Christmas in Spain is very lively. Most people go to La Misa Del Gallo (the mass of the rooster). It is called this because on the night Jesus was born it is believed a rooster crowed. This service is on Christmas Eve. The main holiday meal is eaten on Christmas Eve as well before the service. On Christmas Eve the most common meal is a stuffed turkey. On Christmas everyone eats seafood! After the midnight service people walk around carrying torches beating on drums and playing guitars. One thing most commonly said is “Esta noche es noche buena, y no es noche de dormir.” This means that tonight is the good night and is not meant for sleep!
In China only about 1% of the people are Christians so Christmas is only celebrated in major cities. Lights are hung up in the streets as well as Christmas trees in department stores. Santa is called “Shen Dao Lao Ren.” People go around caroling and singing songs. A tradition that’s becoming popular is giving apples on Christmas Eve. Stores have apples wrapped up in colored paper for sale. Everyone gives good wishing of a Merry Christmas “Sheng Dan Kuai Le” as they say.
Christmas is celebrated in even the farthest countries. Some countries have their own ways and traditions while other countries have adopted our ways. Either way Christmas is celebrated by many around the globe.
By Jaquayla Young
African music, fruits, candles, lights, African drums, and feasts. These are all things related to the holiday of Kwanzaa. There are many different holidays but this one in particular tends to go unnoticed. The holiday was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University in 1966 after riots in Los Angeles. He searched for ways to bring African Americans together as a community. He researched African celebrations and used celebrations from the Zulu and Ashanti to form the basis of Kwanzaa. The name originated from the phrase “matunda ya Kwanza” which means first fruits in Swahili. Kwanzaa is celebrated with candles and for 7 nights the family gathers together to light a candle on the kinara (candle holder). After this they discuss one of the 7 principles. The principles are values of the African culture which contribute to building and establishing community amongst African Americans.
As we get farther away from the beginning of the holiday fewer people celebrate it. An estimated 41% of people born between 1946 and 1964 celebrate Kwanzaa. Those born in or after 1945 and in or after 1982 are least likely to celebrate the holiday. Kwanzaa is a historic holiday that is used to make people and more specifically African Americans more aware. As more crime and problems exist amongst African Americans this holiday should be used to help reunite us, and most of all bring about unity and happiness. The holiday Kwanzaa should receive more recognition especially in the time that we live in. Let's help bring it back to life.
By Rosa Soto
While the water goes in your face, there is this thought in your head saying you’re going to drown. But you keep going, trying to regain the energy back for the flip turn.
“Swimming is harder than you think,” states Mr. Mundorff, the coach of the East High School swim team. Swimming requires practice, focus, and dedication. It's much more than just propelling yourself through the water. You need enough strength to push through the water, which is where swimming gets more difficult, because that’s where heavy breathing comes in. If you do not know breathing skills while you’re swimming, it will become more difficult, and you might choke or run out of breath because of water entering through your nose or mouth. Practice makes perfect, and if you want to win games, you have to push yourself at practice. Although winning is great, having fun is better. We win some, and we will lose some, we learn and have fun.
On December, 7th East competed against Monroe, and Edison at East High School’s pool. Everyone on the team was nervous, and there was even doubt in some people's face. But the support we all gave each other was so strong it gave us hope. When you swim a race you put all your strength into your legs flutter kicking to flow through the water faster. When you finish with your race, you’re all out of strength, and the water presses against your chest making it hard for you to breathe, but since there's not enough strength to get out the pool, you concentrate on breathing, and when you look up your teams right there cheering you on, regardless of whether you won or lost. They make sure you’re okay.
In this recent meet, I really couldn't breathe, and I was panicking. My friend Talayna gave me an asthma pump, a hug, and kissed me on my forehead. Along with my other friend Ciara they told me I did well, and everything was going to be okay. Also Mr. Mundorff is an amazing coach because he understands that we try our hardest, and doesn't push us to win; he motivates us to at least try. But he wants us to have fun. We not only swim at practice but we play around, laugh, and support each other, which is the most important part.