TED TALK of the Week

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.



  • When you post, it is important to be respectful; be respectful of other people posting and respect yourself. This means that personal attacks, inappropriate language and content, insults and harassment of any kind are strictly forbidden. Consider this an online classroom and ask yourself if your comments would be acceptable in our physical classroom setting.


  • You will need to be sure that your comments and posts are adding to the discussion of the book or text. Before posting a comment, question, or blog entry, ask yourself, "will this forward the discussion we are having?" Your thoughts and ideas should be supported, and you should be using specific details to illustrate your ideas. Your posts should build on the discussion by responding to comments other students have made on a particular subject.


  • Yes, you will be graded on some of your contributions to this site. What does this mean? Your blog entries and forum posts should be thoughtful reflections, interesting ideas, and discussion provoking comments related to our texts. You will be told in advance which posts will be graded and how they will be assessed. Be sure to proofread before you post.

Good luck, have fun, and happy posting!



There are a number of ways to earn extra credit in our English class. Let's start with grammar.

It is surprising just how many grammar mistakes we pass by every day. Signs that are missing their apostrophes (or have apostrophes when they shouldn't). Newspaper articles with obvious misspellings. Advertisements littered with dangling modifiers and prepositions left to fend for themselves at the end of sentences. So why not point out these mistakes and get some extra credit in the process!


See a sign with a grammar mistake? Take a picture, email Ms. Ward with an explanation of the mistake, and she will post your pic here. We're looking for local examples here, not pictures that you pull off of a Google search or random websites. Keep it local. 

Every day there will be a new word of the day posted on our board. Use it in a sentence, find it in song lyrics, find it in a book and you'll earn a point of extra credit. Write down the sentence where you found our used the words of the day and bring it for the next class period to earn a point of extra credit.

Finally, you can earn extra credit by using our unit vocabulary words outside of class.  So head into World Cultures and use our vocabulary words when you talk with Mr. McCauley. If you do, write down the sentence you said, have your teacher sign it, and you earn a point of extra credit. Find your vocabulary words in books or lyrics, and it is extra credit!



This is our space to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and reflect on the themes of our 10th grade honors English course. Adding content and sharing has never been easier! We will build the knowledge on this site together by:

  • Reflecting on our learning using blogs,
  • Contributing to our online discussions by posting responses and questions, and
  • Customizing a personal page (My Page).

Overall, this site should help us reflect on the themes and goals of the 10th grade English course, celebrate our accomplishments, and streamline how we share and learn information.

Our SSR Projects

We will be using ThingLink to created and share our research and writing about our SSR novels.  So, head on over to ThingLink to create your account.

  • Head to ThingLink Edu and click on the blue button towards the bottom of the page that reads, "I am a student."
  • Use your school email account and password to sign up for an account.
  • The activation code is: 3ZML63
  • And that's it! Now click on the red "Create" button in the upper-right to create your first ThingLink.

Would you like to see how this is done? Here's a video tutorial for creating your first ThingLink:

You will create a Works Cited in Google Docs to keep track of the following links which you will be adding to your ThingLink:

  • three well-written literary reviews of your selected book. These are not Amazon reviews. Find three scholarly reviews that incorporate more than mere opinion of the book and instead analyze the literary elements and merits of your SSR text.  Here’s an example.

  • a well-researched source that connects to the setting/context of your book.  Did you read a book about Civil War in Sierra Leone? Find a reputable source that explains the historical context of the war to link to your creation. Did you read The Great Gatsby? Find a scholarly source about the nouveau riche during America’s depression era.

  • a well-crafted introduction to the author. If the author of your SSR text has his or her own website, this would be perfect to link to your creation. If not, find a well-written introduction to the author and his/her background.

  • three well-produced audio/visuals to enhance our understanding of your SSR book.  Consider looking for a high-quality image of a scene from the book which you can link and briefly explain in your creation. Find a podcast interview with the author to link. Locate a video of the author speaking about his/her book. Make sure you have a mix of media. All three should not be the same type of media.

Roll over the image below to see links to last semester's SSR ThingLink projects.

Reading The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner

Throughout the month of April we will be reading, reflecting, and discussing the novel
The Kite Runner. Set in Afghanistan, this powerful story focuses on the friendship of two young boys and how betrayal can be devastating and life-change for both boys. We'll be connecting our reading with our previous discussions of themes from
 our SSR novels and our most recent reading of The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Holocaust memoir 
Night. And we'll also be using
 literary criticism to aid in our interpretation of the pivotal events of this story. Below are resources to supplement your reading of this amazing novel.

Resources for Reading:

Presenting The Kite Runner: Organizing our chapter presentations

Speaker Series

Check out all the speakers and authors who have visited with our classes during the 2014-2015 school year:

Click on the images below to watch each presentation.

Donna Nordmark Aviles visits with 2nd block students on Monday, March 2nd. 

  • On a Monday morning, Donna Nordmark Aviles came to speak with our tenth grade class about the history of the orphan train movement in the United States. Ms. Aviles shared the story of her grandfather, sent to ride the orphan train to Kansas in 1919 along with his brother. Inspired by her grandfather's story, Ms. Aviles spent a number of years researching the history of the orphan train movement, one of the first social welfare programs introduced in the United States. Orphans from the large east coast cities, like New York City and Philadelphia where immigration populations exploded, were taken from orphanages and placed onto trains headed west where Midwestern families would either adopt the children or use them as extra labor on farms.

Christopher McDougall,  journalist and author of the best-selling author of Born to Run visited students on Thursday, February 26th.

  • What an amazing experience hearing writer Christopher McDougall speak on his experiences as a journalist in Angola and Rwanda in addition to his time spent with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons. These experiences lead to his research on barefoot running and what can make run pleasurably rather than painful.

Zachariah OHora, author and illustrator, visited with students on February 10, 2015.

  • Students learned more about the inspiration for Zach OHora's illustrations and children's book. From music to daily experiences, Mr. OHora taught students to keep their eyes open for the inspiration around them.

Elise Juska, author of the recent fiction novel The Blessings, visited on January 15, 2015

  • The Philadelipia Inquirer described Ms. Juska's book, The Blessings as a "bighearted novel... Juska's moving, multifaceted portrait of the Blessing family." Join our creative writing class as we listen to the author and question her about her process.

Cameron Conaway, mixed martial arts fighter and poet, spoke with students on January 13, 2015

  • Cameron Conaway, author of The Malaria Poems, shares his experiences and process, including mindfulness, with students from our creative writing and 10th grade English classes.

Dave Patten, singer/song writer, novelist, actor, and Haverford High alum, met with students on December 22, 2014.

  • Dave Patten, author of the recently published Run of the Mill, spoke with creative writing and 10th grade English students about what it takes to succeed in creative fields and shared some advice for aspiring creative types.

Three young adult novelists speak with students on November 6, 2014.

  • Young adult (YA) genre authors, E.C. Myers, Ellen Jensen Abbott and Marie Lamba introduce their new work, discuss their writing process and answer questions from high school creative writing classes.

Holocaust survivor Mr. Michael Herskovitz speaks with students about his experiences in three death camps on September 29, 2014.

  • Michael Herskovitz was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929 to hard working parents and a happy family. In March 1944 he noticed German soldiers in the village and learned that Germany had invaded his country. Mr. Herskovitz shares experiences inside Auschwitz and other "work camps", through to liberation and finally realizing a successful family life and business in the USA. An earlier recording of his presentation can be found here.



Our Daily Agenda:

Please use the arrows in the lower left corner to scroll through our daily schedule. You can enlarge this presentation to full-screen making it easier to read by clicking on the X with arrows.


There are no birthdays today

Rhetorical Element of the Week:

Rhetorical Element: LITERARY ANALYSIS

how and why do we read literature?


Each week our "Words of the Day" will all come from the same Latin or Greek root. This week's words all share a common root from the Latin chron meaning "time."

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