May 28, 2007

The Great Gatsby

Posted in Teacher Resources, WebQuests at 10:52 pm by Valerie

Welcome to the Great Gatsby Treasure Hunt!

The purpose of this Treasure Hunt is to familiarize yourself with the information contained within F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, prior to reading the novel.

Instructions: The process is simple – read the question, check out the link associated with that question or topic, then write your answers on a sheet of paper.

Question 1: F. Scott Fitzgerald > Briefly skim the biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald. List several items that greatly influences his life and his writing.

Question 2: World War I > After the war ended, the economy skyrocketed, making it possible for people to spend more time and money on leisure activities. [A] List the dominant postwar American attitudes; [B] the major movements of the 1920’s; and [C] three major innovations that came out of the WWI experience. [NOTE: To find this information, pay close attention to the attitudes of the ‘Lost Generation’ and the ‘Prosperity & Consumerism’ sections.]

Question 3: Constitutional Amendments > Briefly explain what the 18th and 19th Amendments provide.

Question 4: Prohibition > Scroll down to the appropriately titled section to answer the following questions: [A] “Prohibition in a Nutshell”: What are the three major elements of Prohibition in the 1920’s? [B] “Results of Prohibition”: What were the final results of Prohibition?

Question 5: Speakeasies > What is a speakeasy? Based on information you have already collected from previous questions, why do you think Speakeasies popped up across the country?

Question 6: Organized Crime & Arnold Rothstein > [A] What’s in a Name? List three elements of Rothstein’s character that interest you and explain why. [B] The Organizer. Read the quotes at the beginning of this site. What is his primary occupation? What are his ‘side jobs’? [C] Did your impression of Rothstein change from one page to the next? Explain.

Question 7: Flappers > Read the first five paragraphs of the article about Flapper Jane. According to the author, what are the essential elements of bring a true flapper? After reading the article, look at some gallery photos of Louise Brooks. Does she fit the ‘Flapper” profile as proposed by the author of “Flapper Jane”? Why or why not?

Question 8: Automobiles > Why were cars considered “the most important catalyst for social change in the 1920’s”? To answer this question, view all 9 segments of Collection 8 on the highlighted website.

Question 9: Music > The music of the 1920’s is indicative of the time period – it’s lively and fun, and one can easily see how people of the time could dance to it! Listen to these samples: [A] The Charleston; [B] I Love My Baby (Josephine Baker); [C] Rhapsody in Blue (Gershwin).

Question 10: 1920s Slang > On the menu bar at the top of the page, click on ‘1920s Slang’, then answer the questions for this section. [A] List 5 slang words or phrases and definitions from this site and write them down in your notes. [B] Why did you choose these terms?

Question 11: The Flapper > Dorothy Parker is a poet most often linked to the 1920’s New York literati scene. She wrote for The New Yorker when it was first founded by her friend, and was a fixture at the Algonquin Round Table (hangout of Parker and her famous friends). She is best known for her caustic wit and cutting poems. Read the poem, then explain whether Ms. Parker approves or disapproves of Flappers. Explain your answer with evidence, please.

Question 12:  Drawing Conclusions > Based on the information you have collected from this Treasure Hunt, what do you think the plot and setting of The Great Gatsby will include?  What kinds of characters do you expect to encounter in the novel?


The Crucible

Posted in WebQuests at 8:11 pm by Valerie

The purpose of this Treasure Hunt is to familiarize yourself with the background of Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible”, prior to reading the play.

Instructions: The process is simple – read the question, check out the link associated with that question or topic, then write your answers on a sheet of paper!

One more thing – as you journey through the Treasure Hunt, be on the lookout for the following important terms: Social Commentary, HUAC, McCarthyism, Intolerance, Hysteria, Paranoia.

Question 1: Who was Arthur Miller? Include the following in your answer: When and where was he born? Who were his parents? List any other items of interest regarding the Millers and his life.

Question 2: What is “The Crucible” about? The link here is to the SparkNotes site for this play. Visit several of the links on the site and include information on the following in your notes: [A] In one sentence, describe the plot of the play. [B] List the major characters and their relation to each other. [C] List and describe the themes and motifs in the play.

Question 3: What happened in Salem? Read the first few paragraphs of “An Account of Events in Salem” by Douglas Linder. After you’ve read the article, jot down a few facts about what happened in Salem. You may want to include the answers to the following topics: [A] Number of people killed. [B] Who invited Parris to the village. [C] Why was witchcraft initially mentioned? [D] Who were the first accusers?

Question 4: Experience the Trial for yourself. Make sure you’ve got at least 10 minutes to complete this portion of the Treasure Hunt before you click on the link for this question. [A] As you work on the simuation, keep track of the decisions you make and results. [B] Write a paragraph about how you felt during the simulation. Use evidence from the simulation to support your comments.

Question 5: Social Commentary. Define the term in your own words based on your reading of the first paragraph on this site.

Question 6: House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Read the article and take notes on the following topics: [A] What was the committee? [B] What was the goal of HUAC? [C] What was the problem with HUAC? [D] Who’s lives were affected by HUAC (specific people)? [E] Who were the ‘Hollywood 10’ and why were they important?

Question 7: How was Arthur Miller affected by HUAC? Read the article about Elia Kazan on the PBS website. Focus particularly on the difference between the way Kazan and Miller reacted to being called to testify in front of HUAC. [A] How did Kazan answer HUAC’s questions? What about Miller? [B] What major works did Kazan and Miller write to communicate their feelings to each other? [C] List any other items you find interesting in the article.

Question 8: Your thoughts! Based on the information you gained in completing this Treasure Hunt on ‘The Crucible’, write at least one full paragraph on the following questions. Don’t forget to use evidence to support your points! [A] Why do you think Miller wrote the play? [B] Why did he choose to use the characters and setting of the Salem Witch Trials to comment on society at the time? [C] BONUS: Define the terms ‘allusion’ and explain how it might be employed in ‘The Crucible’.

Graduation Location Announced

Posted in Class Announcements at 4:11 am by Valerie

Seniors – you’re graduating on Saturday, June 16 at the San Jose State University Event Center. The ceremony begins at 11:00am, but you need to report to the facility by 9:30am to participate in the event. Be prompt, carry your robe (per Ms. Vaeth’s instructions) and bring your smiles!