Literature & Writing Critically

Essential Questions

  • What is literature?  What is its role in our personal lives and our culture?
  • What is criticism?  What is its role and function?
  • What should we consider when we write critically and analytically about literature?


Dialouging with Writers

Reading Portfolio

Thurs 8/27
Introductions & Syllabus
Collecting Writing Journals

Website, Google Classroom, and Remind

  • Setting up Remind (Required: either by text or email)
  • By text message
    • Text: 81010
    • Message: @3da8b
  • By email
    • send an email to  (can leave the subject line blank)

HW:  Reading “How Texts Make Us More Human” and responding to the following question:  Using Swallow Prior’s argument, what is the text that has made you more human?  Explain using details from the book to support (don’t have to use quotes, but use specific information)

Fri 8/28

Monday 8/31
What is literature?

  • How do we define it?
  • Are there specific criteria?
  • What are our expectations of literature?

Discussing your responses to help create definition

Thinking About Lit handout

HW: Chapter 5: Reading Literature Closely: Explication.  Type or write each of the four poems (p. 115-119) out on a separate piece of paper and use the questions at the end of each poem to help guide your explication.   

Tuesday 9/1
What is literature?

  • Reviewing poems from Thinking About Lit handout and discussing how they “tell all the truth but tell it slant” and are “at home in the metaphor”

Working with the poems and explication

  • Form & meaning
  • Creating a thesis

HW: Reading and annotating Borges’ “The Riddle of Poetry” and “The Metaphor”.  Our question continues to be “what is literature?” but also consider “how does one read literature?”  Use these questions to guide your annotations.

Wed 9/2
Working with the poems and explication

  • Form & meaning
  • Creating a thesis

HW:  google classroom Borges dialogue

Thurs 9/3
Applying Borges’ approach to Borges’ “Theme of the Traitor and the Hero.”  While it’s only 2 pages in length this is a very dense reading experience.  Resist the urge to google and work with what is there on the page and what you know.

  • Pay special attention to title
  • Pay attention to that first paragraph
  • Details, details, details!

HW:  Continue reading and explicating

Fri 9/4

Working with Borges’ “On His Blindness,” “A Compass,” and “Theme of the Traitor and the Hero”

and connecting to ideas from “The Riddle of Poetry” and “Metaphor”

HW:  Written response to Borges on classroom and reading and annotating Wilde’s “The Critic as Artist.”  What is a critic?  What is the role of criticism?

Tues 9/8

HW: Read what Mr. McAteer has to say about dialoguing and then complete the Dialogue with Oscar Wilde on “The Critic as Artist” on google classroom

Wed 9/9
Setting goals for the course based on feedback from summer work

Reviewing The Critic as Artist”

  • Re-reading p804-805

When have you acted as a critic?

What approach will you be taking with the short stories as you understand your role as a critic?

Reading and dialoguing/annotating Flannery O’Connor’s Greenleaf

HW:  In your journal — You’re still dialoguing with the text and here is your chance to think about Greenleaf. Examine and reflect on the tensions, ambiguities, and ironies in the text. How do the text’s details lead you to make meaning of your world?  What are you observations of the aesthetics of the text and how do they connect to the author’s purpose?  As you read over your response, how are you fulfilling your role as the Critic as Artist?

Thursday 9/10

Friday 9/11

Overview of Dialoguing with Texts Assignment

  • continue returning to your thoughts on Borges and Wilde

Small group discussions on Greenleaf

  • Patterns

HW:  Google classroom response on Greenleaf

Tues 9/15
Readings from Flannery O’Connor

Preparing for the Socratic Seminar

HW: Second Response based on your deepening of your reading and understanding from today’s Socratic Seminar

Wed 9/16
cont. Socratic Seminar

HW: Writing 2nd response

Thurs 9/17
Reading of Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

HW:  Critic as Artist:  with a partner or three crafting a dialogue where you work through the text through taking on challenging points of view

Also, start gathering materials for reading portfolio

Fri 9/18
Mini-performances of the critic as artist

In class work day–bring laptop or other device if you can

Mon 9/21
cont. with “A Rose for Emily”

In class work day–bring laptop or other device if you can

Tues 9/22
In class work day–bring laptop or other device if you can

Thurs 9/24


Fri 9/25
*Reading portfolio due on Google Classroom

%d bloggers like this: