Midterm Review

For your convenience, here’s a copy of the midterm review materials. Please read the materials, especially the format and structure of the exam, as well as the tips provided. Come to class on Monday with any questions.

We will have two in-class review days next Friday and the following Tuesday before the exam.

Plan to have all the practice materials and charts completed by Friday, 1/15.


LOTF Socratic Circles

Our Socratic seminar circles will give us the opportunity to share our ideas about Lord of the Flies as well as practice effective discussion techniques. The goal of the Socratic seminar is discussion not debate. As such, although you should come to your group with ideas to share, you don’t need to know everything about your topic beforehand. Again, this isn’t a presentation, but an exploration. The goal is to be learn more about your topic and the text by talking with others.

Each group will discuss for a minimum of 10 minutes (if your conversation can go longer, awesome!). The following list of positive discussion techniques will be observed for each participant in the circle:

  • Speaks in the discussion
  • Makes eye contact with other speakers while talking
  • Refers to the text
  • Asks a new question
  • Asks a follow-question
  • Responds to another speaker
  • Paraphrases and then adds to another speaker’s ideas
  • Encourages others to speak

In contrast, try to avoid interrupting others, engaging in side conversation, or dominating the discussion.

Those in the outer circle will need to listen carefully and take notes on the group’s discussion, especially when important points or ideas are made.

At the end of class, each student will turn in a reflection, which will be given a grade.

(PERIOD 3: As a reminder, here were your topics:

  • DRIVER: What is the role of the conch shell?
  • PASSENGER: What is the meaning of the beasts?
  • BEHIND THE DRIVER: What do Jack and Ralph’s conflicts reveal?
  • BEHIND THE PASSENGER: How and why do the boys lose their innocence?)

LOTF: One Word Assignment

Each student will be assigned a chapter from Lord of the Flies (see your assigned chapter below). For this assignment you are to choose a word that has a strong connection to the chapter you have been assigned. Your word should not only describe the characters but also relate to the chapter in both tone and mood. You’ll share your word in class using an 8.5×11 inch sheet of paper that will be projected using the document camera. On the paper, include the following:

  • Chapter # and title
  • Your word
  • Denotation and Connotation (5 pts) – Denotation is a dictionary definition; connotation is other ideas or images associated with the word.
  • Description of how this word relates to your chapter (10 pts)
  • At least two quotes from the chapter that support your choice (10 pts)
  • At least two images that relate to the chapter and to your word (5 pts) – think beyond literal images, but also metaphorical or symbolic ones, too.

Here is an example from Act 4 Scene 1 of Much Ado about Nothing.


Click to enlarge.


Review your assigned chapter. In your English notebook, begin brainstorming words that describe your chapter. The word does NOT need to be in the chapter. Look for quotes that will help to support your choice of word.


Thursday, 1/7, at the beginning of class. Be prepared to present to the class and explain your choices.


Note that each student must complete his/her own assignment. You will not be working in teams, but individually.

Chapter Period 3 Period 5 Period 6
Chapter 1
  • Connor
  • Kaitlyn C.
  • Ryan
  • Jenny
  • Julian
  • Praket
  • Amelia
Chapter 2
  • Daniel S.
  • Hannah
  • Emily
  • Clare M.
  • Joe
  • Emme
Chapter 3
  •  Suma
  •  Will
  • Shray
  • Gabi
  • Julia H.
  • Jack M.
Chapter 4
  •  Caroline
  •  Michal
  • Henry
  • Sarah B.
  • Katherine G.
  • Jake
Chapter 5
  •  Anna
  •  Owen
  • Sarah C.
  • Nia
  • Jordan Z.
  • Max
Chapter 6
  •  Ashley
  •  Alex
  • Ally
  • Laura
  • Leila
  • Jack C.
Chapter 7
  •  Jordan Roe
  •  Ella
  • Hyunjoon
  • Brandon
  • Miles
  • Julia K.
Chapter 8
  •  Jojo
  •  Claire C.
  • Becky
  • Brendan
  • David
  • Jordan Ros
Chapter 9
  •  Kaitlin A.
  •  Jacob
  • Maddie
  • CC
  • Yubin
  • Alysa
Chapter 10
  •  Minju
  •  Juneseo
  • Cameron
  • Grace
  • Claire Mac
  • Caitlin W.
Chapter 11
  •  Kayla
  •  Daniel B.
  • Sam
  • Kemp
  • Blair
Chapter 12
  •  Abby
  •  Paul
  • Katherine C.
  • Taimur
  • James

Much Ado Writing Rubric

UPDATED 1/3: Final copy of essay is due on turnitin.com by midnight on Thursday, 1/7 (in other words, once it is 12:00AM Friday, 11/8, the essay is late). Please make sure you are able to log in to turnitin.com before then so you don’t have any trouble.

The vocab quiz this week will be on TUESDAY. No IR due this week because we are focusing on Lord of the Flies (speaking of… there will be a reading check on Lord of the Flies on Monday, 1/4 as previously stated).


As you work on revising your Much Ado essay, refer to the rubric below (click to enlarge).

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.22.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.22.41 PM

You’ll notice that the rubric has links to tips. For your convenience, that checklist of tips is also copied below.


  • Be sure to include the necessary parts of the classical arrangement (5-part) model: Introduction, Narration, Confirmation, Refutation, and Conclusion.
  • Check the transition between your Introduction and Narration. Are you able to make clear the connection between your Introduction and the background information of the text presented in the Narration?
  • In the Confirmation section, trace your topic logically through the text. Remember that the Confirmation includes multiple paragraphs that includes evidence (quotes) from the text. Present this evidence in a logical order, which is usually chronological.
  • Ideas should build on one another. Test your sentence logic: Choose any sentence and identify its main idea or purpose (what are you trying to say in this sentence?). Now look at the sentences that come before and after. Does the previous sentence lead into that sentence? Does the next sentence develop it further?  Do the same thing with your paragraphs: does each paragraph build on the previous? does the next paragraph move the essay forward logically?
  • Use transitions between each section and within each section that connect the ideas. Consider transitions words like Furthermore, Later, Next, In addition, Moreover, However, First, Then, etc.


  • Clear thesis statement has all parts (specific topic + debatable view).
  • Thesis stated clearly in the Introduction, Narration, or Conclusion.
  • If no thesis directly stated in Introduction or Narration, then a focused essay question is posed in the Introduction or Narration (for example, What would drive Claudio to such an action? or What role does honor play in Hero’s life?).
  • The best evidence is chosen carefully and then thoroughly explained, clearly showing how the quotation helps to prove the writer’s point.
  • Evidence is specific and precise, whether from the text or the writer’s life.
  • At least six quoted examples from the text are smoothly integrated using a “quote sandwich” approach that includes the 1) context, 2) quotation w/speaker and citation and 3) significance. See example below. Note that there should be an intro clause (“He scolds,”) before the quotation that identifies the speaker. Also note how the quotation is cited using the Act, Scene, and Line numbers.

After the wedding falls apart and Leonato learns of Hero’s perceived impurity, he lashes out at her. He scolds, “But mine and mine I loved and mine I praised / And mine that I was proud on, mine so much / That I myself was to myself not mine, / Valuing of her, —why, she, O, she is fallen / Into a pit of ink” (4.1.141-145). By repeating the word “mine” over and over again, Leanato shows how much Hero’s loss of honor reflects poorly on him. He may be angry at Hero’s infidelity, but he is even more angry at how her reputation affects his own. Her reputation is as dark as “ink,” to Leonato. Through Leonato’s reaction, we can see how honor is an issue not just for an individual in the Elizabethan era, but for the entire family.  


  • First-person or second-person pronouns are used selectively and only when necessary to help develop the writer’s ideas.
  • Personal experiences include specific, illustrative details that show versus tell.
  • Personal experiences are relevant and help to introduce or develop the main ideas.


  • Avoid using overly general or overused words like really, very, normal, bad, good.
  • Revise sentences to use strong active verbs, keeping to be verbs (is, was) to a minimum.
  • Remove any slang.


  • Read your essay aloud. If there are places that are difficult to read aloud, then revise the sentences to make them simpler.
  • To make overly complicated sentences simpler, identify your main points. Chances are you are trying to include too many ideas into one sentence. Give each idea its own sentence.
  • To increase sentence variety, underline the first three words of every sentence. Revise as needed.
  • Avoid using “This” or “This quote” or “This shows” to start sentences. Revise by either removing the unnecessary “This” phrase or by replacing “This” with more specific information. See below:

Original: This shows how Claudio feels betrayed by Hero and how effective Don John’s plan for revenge works.

Revised: Claudio feels betrayed by Hero, thus proving how effective Don John’s plan for revenge works.

Revised: Claudio’s words reveal his feelings of betrayal and demonstrate that Don John’s plan for revenge is effective.Page Break


  • Check that your MLA heading is double-spaced and left-aligned with the following components:
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.34.16 PMBe sure all titles of the texts are correctly formatted. Titles of longer works―full-length books, novels, plays, newspapers, magazines―are italicized. Titles of shorter works―short stories, poems, articles in newspapers or magazines―get quotation marks.
  • Read line-by-line, checking for proper punctuation and capitalization.
  • Use present tense verbs when discussing events in the text. See example below:

Claudio felt betrayed by what he thought was Hero’s infidelity.

Claudio feels betrayed by what he thinks is Hero’s infidelity.

Lord of the Flies: How to Read (and Why)


Based on this image, what do you think the novel is about?

This week we begin our reading and study of William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies. As you can see, the novel isn’t too long in terms of number of pages, but it is dense and rich in its ideas. Read it with curiousity, interest, and a critical eye.

How will we read the book? 

We will read the book in its entirety before discussing it as a class. This “whole novel” approach will allow you to experience the book as it was meant to be read—as a whole work of art. You will have at least four days of in-class time to read before break. During this time, your only homework will be to read (and revise your Much Ado essay as needed). Please finish reading the entire book and be ready for class discussion by Monday, January 4.

On that day, you will be given a brief reading check about the plot and characters to ensure that you’ve read carefully (Click here for an optional study guide that you may want to use to make sure you’ve covered all the key points). You may, if you choose, also put your independent reading on “hold” for now as we focus on getting Lord of the Flies finished.

What should I be doing as I read? 

Because the novel is so rich, there are many different layers to investigate. First and foremost, you should pay attention to moments in the text that stand out to you. Use that “reader’s voice” in your head. Pay attention to moments that make you go “huh!” or “huh?” Use sticky notes to keep track of these reactions.

How will you know which reactions or moments to note on your stickies? What’s that you say? Did you say Notice and Note Signposts? Why, yes! As we have already seen, the Signposts can be very helpful in pointing us to significant moments in the text.

How many signposts stickies to I need?

Ideally you should write sticky notes whenever you feel something significant has happened. However, leaving the number of sticky notes up to students can sometimes lead some students to have too many sticky notes while others have too few.

Until you get more practiced at understanding how the signpost sticky notes work best for you, one rule of thumb you can follow is to simply take at least one sticky note per chapter (12-15 total). If you find that one chapter was really especially exciting and want to take 2, 3, or (gasp!) even 4 sticky notes, feel free. And although every chapter is important, there might be some chapters where nothing feels quite worthy of a sticky note to you. The key is to make sure that you have enough notes at the end to be able to use for discussion and writing.

It’s not just quantity but also quality. Model your note-taking after the sticky note example we did in class together for the opening of the book. (That sticky note doesn’t count toward your total.)

What am I going to do with all these sticky notes?

First, you’ll need the sticky notes for general class discussion. When we return from break, we’ll use the first few days of class reviewing what you found interesting in the novel and then choosing topics to review together each day. Every student will have to share some of their “sticky thoughts” with the class.

Second, we will also be conducting a few Socratic Seminars / fishbowl discussions in which every student must participate. Having these notes will be a lifesaver during discussions (especially if you are more on the introverted side—and if you are, I feel your pain because I was like that in school, too).

Finally, as you did with Much Ado About Nothing, you’ll develop your own essay question and write another 5-part essay to answer that essay question. As you read, pay attention to the characters, conflicts, and other moments that capture your attention, confuse or excite you. Nine times out of ten, students write better when they 1) know their subject well, and 2) find their subject interesting. Find what interests you in Lord of the Flies.

Do you have any other tips?

Yes! All six of the Notice and Note signposts appear in the novel. Below are LOTF-related questions related to the signposts. (TIP:  Click here to see a photo of these questions that you can save to your phone for easy reference).

  • Again and Again: Pay attention to types of arguments that the boys have over and over again: what issues seem to be at stake? Also note any objects or ideas that are repeated and seem symbolic.
  • Contrasts and Contradictions: In what ways do the boys’ words contradict their actions? In what ways do the boys change? How do their actions contrast with earlier events?
  • Memory Moments: Pay attention to the moments that the Ralph, Jack, Piggy, and some of the littluns think back to the home. What are their memories about, what do they reveal, and what could they represent?
  • Tough Questions: What issues do the boys face on the island? What affects their decisions?
  • A-Ha Moments: Several boys experience realizations about themselves, each other, and their life on the island which help them survive (or not). At the same time, there are pivotal moments when no such realizations occur; take note of these moments, too.
  • Words of the Wiser: Although the boys are just children, at least a few characters demonstrate some wisdom in their suggestions about what they should do on the island or their insights into their situation. Take note of who these characters are, what their advice or “wise” knowledge is, and most importantly, how it’s received by the rest of the group.

Finally, one last word of caution. Lord of the Flies is a classic novel (and with good reason). As such, like many other classic works of literature, much as been written about the novel online. Resist the urge to “spark note” the novel, especially as a replacement for reading the actual text. When you rely on someone else’s summary and analysis of the novel in place of reading the novel on your own, you do not grow as a reader and you cheat yourself of an opportunity to experience the novel in any authentic, meaningful way. And if your reading isn’t authentic or meaningful, then it becomes a waste of time. Don’t waste your time; it’s too valuable. You’re too valuable.

If you have any questions as you read, feel free to ask them by commenting on this post, especially since we will not discussing the novel until we are finished reading the entire book. Happy reading!


  • Read every day. 30 pages/day is a good pace. Finish reading by 1/4.
  • Take 12-15 sticky notes as you read. (These will actually be checked!) Use signposts.
  • Reading check will be given on 1/4. Optional study guide available to help you.
  • We’re having Socratic Seminars/fishbowl discussions; be prepared.
  • We’re writing an essay on LOTF. Think about possible essay questions as you read.