Black History Month….Influential People

All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and be proud of being an individual. No one should be stereotyped by their race, gender, background, social status, etc.  We are all human beings and we should be proud of who we are because there is no other person like us. Don’t judge a person by the outside appearance; don’t stereotype a person or generalize an entire group or race of people.  We are all human and we all deserve love and respect; and, we should all show ourselves respect.  We all Matter.  You Matter. Let’s make a difference and be more awesome!

Now, take the Challenge:  Since it’s Black History Month, please pick a person or group of people who represent Black History so that we learn more about these important people and their amazing accomplishments. Look at the Poster below:

Pick one of the challenges, find an appropriate image or video, and write a 200-300 word reflection on the image/video.  Analyze what the image/video represents and how that one image/video can pretty much say a 1000 words. How is the image an important example of Black History Month?  Explain in detail.  Make sure you include the image/video in your Post.

Black History Photo Challenge

Super Bowl Commercials 2017 and Rhetorical Situation

Super Bowl commercials are very expensive and millions of people watch them, so the creators of these commercials have to be effective so the money that was spent on the very short product was worthwhile.

As we look at some commercials, focus on the persuasive methods that were used and try to relate to how they could help you prepare for your social issue research paper.

Before watching some commercials together as a class, I asked students to focus on 3 aspects (which they needed in their social issue research papers):

  1. What is the purpose (message) of the video?
  2. How did the commercial show both sides of this perspective (message)?
  3. How effective was the shock value to get audience attention to the major social issue and/or product?


Now it’s time for students to have some choice as they analyze other commercials and videos.

Directions: Your goal is to find and share at least 3 video commercials in order to write at least 250 words by analyzing the PURPOSE, AUDIENCE, and STANCE of these commercials. Make sure you go to ADD MEDIA and EMBED the videos into your blog post so your audience can view the video and comment on whether they agree or disagree with your analysis….or add more to your analysis.

Here are your options:

  • Analyze your top 3 Favorite Superbowl Commercials
  • Analyze your bottom 3 Least Favorite Superbowl Commercials
  • Analyze your top 3 Most Funny Superbowl Commercials
  • Analyze your top 3 Most Serious Superbowl Commercials
  • Analyze your top 3 Unbelievable/Unrealistic Superbowl Commercials (ones in which actions happened that we know are not realistic to real life)
  • Analyze 3 Different Types of Superbowl Commercials (Food related, Car related, Beverage related, etc)
  • If you have another creative idea to analyze 3 different Superbowl Commercials, see me to approve and go ahead
  • If you prefer to not analyze commercials, find 3 videos you like and analyze their purpose, audience, and stance. (For example 3 most motivational videos or 3 inspiring videos, etc)  See me for approval

Some added resources to help you complete this assignment well:

Super Bowl Commercials 2017

Super Bowl Commercial Highlights 2017

Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials 2017

Close Reading of Super Bowl Commercials

Rhetorical Analysis of a Superbowl Commercial


Mrs. Blake’s Speech Competition Rehearsal Reflection

Today, February 3, 2017 Students from Period 2 and Period 5 were invited to the Little Theater to be in the audience while Mrs. Blake’s speech team participants had a dress rehearsal.  Students were given the following instructions prior to entering the Little Theater:

Mrs. Blake’s Speech Showcase:

You will pay attention to the students who are speaking in the Little Theater. You will write an edublog post about these students and their speaking qualities; feel free to take notes so you can remember what to write about.  You are an audience member and you will critique the students and their speeches to help them improve for the competition.

 Please focus on the following so you can give them advice to improve:

  • how do they use their voice (loud, quiet, tone)
  • facial expressions (helpful, distracting)
  • engaging/interesting/boring
  • were any movements distracting or helpful to bring about the intended message?
  • did they succeed in delivering the intended message?
  • Any advice? (constructive criticism)
  • Any positive comments?

Students have the option of writing about all 5 speech presentations or pick 1-2 to describe or reflect over in detail.  Students need to summarize what they saw and heard and explain in detail their interpretation of the speech as well as giving positive comments and constructive criticism so students can improve before their actual competition.

Here were the 5 Speech Presentations during period 2:

  1. Hope spoke from the perspective of a mother grieving the loss of her son Jesse who died in the Sandy Hook tragedy
  2. “Hungry Heart” had some repetitive phrases including “We Fall, We Get Hurt, We Get Up Again!” and “I see you…You Matter”
  3. The Humorous Duet was performed by Tony and Casey who were arguing brother and sister over Instagram and it was called “Mutually Assured Destruction”
  4. The Dramatic Interpretation or “DI” was called “Widow’s Walk” related to the Tragic Events surrounding September 11th.
  5. Radio Speaking had to be 4:50 exactly…..and it was!


Here were the 5 Speech Presentations during period 5:

  1. Humorous Interpretation entitled “Who’s a Good Dog?”
  2. An Oratorical Declaration by Grade called “Hungry Heart” had some repetitive phrases including “We Fall, We Get Hurt, We Get Up Again!” and “I see you…You Matter”
  3. The DDA (Dramatic Duet Acting)  was about schizophrenia with the person who has the mental illness and the voice she is hearing entitled “What the Voice Wants Me To Do”
  4. SOS (Special Occasion Speaking)
  5. Radio Speaking had to be between 4:50-5:05…..and it was!

Graff Template for Social Issue Research Paper

My sophomore high school students are required to pick a current social issue topic that they could argue/debate. The goal is to research an issue that they want to improve, no matter how controversial it might be. First they researched pros and cons relating to their topics so they could narrow down their argument. They had to find 3 articles that reinforced their argument and 2 articles that opposed their argument. Students used ,, and for majority of their research. Please take a look at their individual blogs and read their Graff Templates…short 200-250 word paragraphs that summarize their argument, including a mention of their pros and cons as well as their own personal opinions. They will have a question or two after their Graff template, so please respond with some positive feedback and with constructive criticism because they will turn this research into a 1250 word paper to showcase their argument. Thank you!

(Please scroll through Per 2 and Per 8 Edublogs on the right-hand side to see all the individual Sophomore English student blogs.)