TED Talk of the Week:

By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it's like to be young and ... different. "To This Day," his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson.



  • 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!

How Many Do You Know?



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.


Portrayal of Gods

Started by Ms. Ward in Gilgamesh. Last reply by Abigail D. on Tuesday. 12 Replies

How do the ancient Mesopotamians portray their dieties? What does this reveal about the culture?Continue

How does this story connect to our understanding of the monomyth / hero’s journey.

Started by Ms. Ward in Gilgamesh. Last reply by Lilly Z. on Tuesday. 12 Replies

Think about the steps of the hero's cycle.  How does this epic fit the steps of this journey?Continue

Who are the archetypal characters so far and how are they operating in the story?

Started by Ms. Ward in Gilgamesh. Last reply by Zachary B. on Tuesday. 11 Replies

Review your definition of archetypes and some of the archetypal characters that we have been introduced to so far.  You may want to watch the videos below for a refresher.  Then discuss the archetypal characters found in Gilgamesh so far.Continue

Portrayal of Women

Started by Ms. Ward in Gilgamesh. Last reply by Zach E. on Tuesday. 12 Replies

How are women portrayed in the epic? What does this reveal about the role of women in the culture?Continue

Introduction to the Hero's Cycle

The Stories That Connect Us

Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be reading the epic story of Gilgamesh along with exploring some contemporary myths. We be looking to the stories of our past and present to explore the themes that connect us. What is it that people value regardless of the area of the world they are from? What stories have been told throughout time? What are the stories that we all tell?


As we read, we'll be looking for how particular stories in our study fit into the mythic tradition and connect with the hero's cycle. We will be analyzing stories for their theme, and we'll be exploring how writer's use literary devices to create the tone and mood found in their stories.  Lastly, we'll be using our study of these writers to help us with our own writing as we work on polishing a piece of our own writing to submit out for publication.


Why myths?

Take a few minutes to watch this short clip of an interview with mythology scholar Joseph Campbell. In it he talks about how myths help guide our own stories.  After you finish watching, read the excerpt from Bill Moyers’ interview with Joseph Campbell found in our shared Google Drive folder.  Make a copy of the document for yourself, and then use the “Comments” function to define all highlighted words. You will also annotate this text.  As you read, keep in mind your purpose for reading: “What is the hero’s adventure, and how does it connect with our lives?” 

Introduction to the Hero's Cycle

Defining Mythic Elements and the Hero's Journey

Use the presentation below to complete Assignment 2.

Introduction to Mesopotamia

Blog Posts

The old man that prayed and bowed.

Posted by Kaileigh M on September 16, 2014 at 9:00pm 5 Comments

Although I didn't know him and he didn't know me, I took a curiosity in him. He sat in the back of the church by himself without bothering anyone. Nobody seemed to take an interest in him and nor did anyone give the acknowledgement that…


Connections to Reading NIGHT

On Monday, September 29th, Mr. Michael Herskovitz shared his story of survival with Haverford High School students. Mr. Herskovitz's life was forever changed when German soldiers walked into his hometown in Czechoslovakia one sleepy March morning in 1944. Within a month, Mr. Herskovitz's family along with other Jewish families living in Botfalva, Czechoslovakia, were kicked out of their homes and forced to live in a ghetto. Shortly after losing his home, 15 year old Michael and his entire family were forced onto cattle cars which transported them to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp. It is here that Michael lost his parents and his younger brother. In late 1944, as Russian troops advanced into Poland, Michael was transferred to two camps in Austria, Mauthhausen and Gunskirchen. It was in Gunskirchen that he heard shots ring out and saw British troops handing out food. He was freed.  

With the support of the Philadelphia Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center, Mr. Herskovitz has been a frequent visitor to the halls of Haverford High School. Mr. Herskovitz has been meeting with Haverford students each year since 2008, helping students connect the lessons of history with the voices of those who bore witness to the atrocities of World War II.  His harrowing personal tale, told with such grace and strength, never fails to move all those who hear it.

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Literary Element of the Week:

Literary Element: AUTHORIAL INTENT

Do we need to know what the author meant by a particular passage or event? This is called AUTHORIAL INTENT. Take a listen to what author John Green says about authorial intent as this idea connects with our Article of the Week.

WEEK 8: Roots Words

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 luc referring to light.

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