Thanatopsis Critical Thinking Questions And Answers

HW: Vocabulary Chapter 17

Reminder: *Study “New England Renaissance: 1840 – 1855” (Begins on Text p. 223)

   Emerson                  Thoreau                   MLA

   Melville                   Lawrence & Lee

Commas                  Semicolons                    Colons

*** Order/purchase/borrow The Great Gatsby ***You Have Time

***Must Have Novel In Class                      ***For Home: Also Available Online (Full Text)

Day 118

Due: Vocabulary Chapter 17

Review: Transitions & Transitional Devices & Advancing Sentence Structure (Writing Guide P. 30-33)

Revise Transitions, Add Transitional Devices & Advance Sentence Structure (Writing Guide P. 30-33)

Hint: Advance/Combine Sentences Where 2 Sentences Meet--As Long As It Is Not A Citation Or A Paragraph Change

Visible Editing/Advancement of Outline: Write Edits!

Essay Development

Handout: Research Outline to Essay (Writing Guide p. 29)


1. Copy & Paste Outline to Form Essay (Before Outline, Works Cited, and Annotated Bibliography) on Google Drive  DO NOT DELETE THE OUTLINE

2. Format Outline Into Essay & Add Transitions/Transitional Devices to Essay W/ Citations (Before Outline, Works Cited, and Annotated Bibliography)

3. Update Date & PRINT (Step 17)

Day 119

Due: Step 17: Formatted Essay W/ Citations, Transitions, & Transitional Devices (Before Outline, Works Cited, and Annotated Bibliography) on Google Drive & Printed

Lab: Completion & Printing Of Persuasive Essay & Works Cited– 3 Copies

1. Self-Edit (On Step 17) Essay Using Word for Help (Spell, Grammar, and Style Check)

2. Revise Essay    *Note: Revise in GoogleDocs (Not Word) & Update Date

3. Type at Top of Essay Copies (All 3)

a. Word Count For Essay Paragraphs: _____ Words


b. Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level For Essay Paragraphs: F-K = _____


4. Update Date & Print Revision: 3 Copies of Essay & Works Cited; (Step 18 a, b, & c)

Update Process Checklist:

19. Revised From 18A, 18B, & 18C; Complete Essay, Outline, Works Cited, & Annotated Bibliography (Final Revision)

Final Word Count

To transition from The Devil and Tom Walker to our next set of texts, I will ask students to explain the differences between prose and poetry.  Students will likely say that poetry is more figurative, poetry has stanzas instead of paragraphs, poetry has rhyme and meter, and poetry is typically shorter than prose.  My goal will be to get students to see the same features that exist within prose to aid readers' comprehension (like sentence construction, imagery, context clues, and clues to figurative language's meaning) also exist in poetry, which typically gets a somewhat negative connotation as "hard to read" by students.  I will also emphasize that poetry is meant to be read aloud because it contains auditory features of language that help the reader better understand the text and appreciate its beauty.  

Next, I will ask students to review the values of Romanticism so that we are more prepared to deal with them as we see them in this set of poems.  Then, students will view "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" to examine it and form initial impressions of the work.  They will also be asked to describe the beaches that they have been on before and explain how the sound of the time is actually imitated within the title of this poem.  To best demonstrate the auditory elements of the poem, we will use a choral reading!  I love this activity because students really don't get the opportunity to hear poetry that often, and the effect of 33 voices all reading the same poem is chilling.  Somewhat cult-like (I always joke), but awesome to hear at the same time!  Students will be surprised that they are reading this aloud, but I will explain to them a few things we will do to read this poem BETTER.  First, I will go through words in the poem that students may not know to reduce anxiety of reading aloud as a group.  I always read the words "curlew," "hastens," "efface," "neigh," and "hostler."  Also, I will stress that students need to read through ends of lines without punctuation, only pausing at punctuation marks.  This is an idea that I will harp on all year to increase comprehension of poetry.  I will make the analogy of reading poetry stopping at the end of every line as effective to your comprehension as throwing all of your sentences into the blender before reading.  Choral reading is a great way to ensure that "reading through the lines" actually happens without singling out any students.  Finally, we will work out as a class how to best start our reading to ensure that no student is "that guy" and jumps the gun on reading!  I tend to use a "3....2....1....*vehemently motioning to the crowd to begin reading on the last beat*" philosophy, but whatever works for your room is great!

We will read the poem aloud together, and then we will analyze the poem's imagery and auditory effects.  In order to do this, we will begin by having a student briefly summarize what happens in the poem.  I will also ask students what kinds of things they heard within the poem that called to mind a beach or tide or emphasized some other element of the poem.  Then, I will draw (extremely poor-quality) stick-figure pictures on the board based on what students say they visually SEE in each stanza.  In order to get students to relate to visualizing this poem, I will connect the concept to a music video.  All students have heard a fabulous song on the radio and developed an idea of what the music video would look like, only to find that the ACTUAL music video was terrible.  This activity is like making the music video that you wanted to see!  I tried to think of a clever name for my "poem videos," but I could never successfully come up with something adorable (nor could my students who were consulted!).  I will make a brief sketch of the first stanza on the white board, then erase or add elements that appear in the second and third stanzas until we discuss the imagery of the whole poem.  

To take the concept even deeper, students will then explain what they feel the symbolic meaning of the poem is.  What is the town?  Where does the traveler go?  What's with the guy working in the stable at the end?  They will likely come fairly quickly to the idea that the town is death, but they will also likely feel that this poem suddenly feels very depressing.  To counter that idea, I will ask students to provide textual evidence that shows that the author does not intend this message to be depressing!  Some of the reasons for this include:

  • The cyclical effect produced by the repetition of the line, "the tide rises, the tide falls," and mirrored in the progression of time in the day (from twilight to night to morning) and tide cycles, helps the reader accept that death, too, is just a process and part of the "circle of life."  Inserting a casual Simba Lion King reference will help lighten the mood here as well!
  • The traveler "hastens" toward the town, which is a word that says you're heading somewhere quickly.  You really don't hasten to things that are bad.
  • The footprints disappear, but not in a violent way at all.  It's just a natural result in what happens to your life accomplishments and memories of you.
  • The stable at the end shows that life goes on, even though the traveler is now dead.
  • The overall tone and setting of the poem is very relaxed and calming, highlighting the fact that this death is not a source of struggle or pain.  

Finally, we will take a look at the process of "scanning" a poem using the "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" handout.  While students have been exposed to analyzing rhyme and meter before, I want to be sure that they understand the process and add the step of considering how these features of the poem come together to strengthen the meaning and beauty of the poem.  After reviewing the scanning handout, I will ask students one final question about the poem, which will be, "How does the structure of this poem reinforce or challenge Longfellow's message?  Use evidence to support your claims."


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