Mandatory Memorized Performance: 20% of Final Exam Grade

We have studied the works of a variety of writers this semester.  Your task for this project is to perform the words of one or more of these authors from memory.  Choose your selection wisely. This project will be worth 20% of your final exam grade.

  • Only memorized texts can earn an “A” for this portion of the final exam; however, memorizing alone cannot earn you an “A” for this project. See Poetry Recitation Rubric for grading criteria.
  • All selections must be approved by Borger.  Selections can be one of the following, but must be at least 250-words long: roughly 1 page, double-spaced, 12-point font. (This entire prompt is 300 words long):
    • An excerpt from Thoreau
    • An excerpt from Emerson
    • A compilation of Thoreau & Emerson’s work
    • An excerpt from Poe or a compilation of pieces of his work
    • An excerpt from Franklin or compilation of his work
    • An excerpt from Edwards
    • Poetry by Longfellow, Dickinson, or Whitman.  Since poetry is shorter, you may need to recite multiple selections by one or more of these authors
    • A 250-word excerpt from a text related to the time periods we have discussed in class so far: Puritans, Rationalists, Romantics (Transcendentalists, Dark Romantics, “American Masters”)

I encourage creativity in your performance choices.  Feel free to use music, props, costumes, etc.

Performances must be delivered before the final exam, but can be delivered starting the week after Thanksgiving.

Students may chose to perform their selections alone before Borger or before their classmates. Students who perform in front of their peers will earn a 10% boost to their overall final exam grade. 

Some class-time will be provided for rehearsal and memorization; however a bulk of this project needs to be rehearsed in your own time.

Students must submit a typed script with their final performance.

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American Romantics Essay

A while ago, you wrote an in-class essay comparing the Puritans & Rationalists.

More recently, you wrote an in-class essay comparing the transcendentalists, Emerson & Thoreau.

Today, you are going to make a gigantic-huge-amazingly-awesome paper combining those two AND ADDING A SECTION ABOUT THE DARK ROMANTICS (Irving, “Devil & Tom Walker” & Poe, “Tell Tale Heart,” “Black Cat,” & “Pit & Pendulum.”)

  • Introduction (write this last): Give an overview of the American Romantics.  Mention their predecessors, the Puritans & Rationalists, then define what makes them “Romantic.” (look at your notes)
  • Type out your essay comparing Puritans & RationalistsTry to have two quotes per “body” paragraph.  Make corrections to the original as you type & add depth / details where you were vague before. Create a transition between this section and the Transcendentalists section which comes next (4-5 paragraphs).
  • Type out your essay comparing Emerson & Thoreau.  Try to have two quotes per “body” paragraph.  Make corrections to the original as you type & add depth / details where you were vague before. Add information that compares the Transcendentalists to the Puritans & Rationalists.  Create a transition between this section and the Dark Romantics which comes next. (4-5 paragraphs)

THIS IS NEW MATERIAL: (since it’s freshest, you may actually want to start your work here today).  (4-5 paragraphs)

  • Introductory paragraph: give some background information on the the Dark Romantics.  This should be short and can come directly from your notes.  End this section with a sentence that previews the selections you will examine or the big ideas you will examine below.
  • The next paragraph should start by summarizing the idea or selection you are looking at.  In your own words, paraphrase the main ideas of the author. Include a quote or two to demonstrate his main ideas.  Make sure you follow the tag+quote+cite+explain format to cite evidence.
  • The next paragraph should summarize the second idea or selection you are looking at.  In your own words, paraphrase the main ideas of the author. Include a quote or two to demonstrate his main ideas.  Make sure you follow the tag+quote+cite+explain format to cite evidence.
  • Your final paragraph in this section should compare/contrast the Dark Romantics to the Transcendentalists.  Use quotes from each to show their similarities / differences.  Try to use quotes in this paragraph that you didn’t use in previous paragraphs. Explain how the quotes reflect the ideals of the Dark Romantics.

Conclusion: What’s it all mean? Summarize all of your glorious & delicious ideas in a conclusion of awesome-sauce!  What can we learn about the human condition from all of these writers?  Which ones speak to you the most?  As you type, think about which author’s materials you plan to memorize for your mandatory recitation for your final exam.

Essays are due Friday 11/21 at the end of class.  NOTE: The due date has been moved back to Wednesday 11/26. Students who submitted on time last Friday received extra credit.  You must submit your original in-class essays with the final.  Students who are absent or do not finish on Friday will have to complete the work on their own.  Late penalties apply unless students ask for & receive an official extension from Borger (via Mr. Honey who will be subbing on Friday). Worth 200-250 points.

Dark Romantics: “The Devil & Tom Walker”

Students will read “The Devil & Tom Walker” in their textbooks (152-161).

Students should pay particular attention to the ways in which nature becomes supernatural.  Think back to Emerson’s quote that “nature never wears a mean appearance.” The Dark Romantics believe otherwise.

Collect 5 quotes from the story to add to your split-quotes.  Find quotes that represent the ideals of the Dark Romantics.

Students will take a quiz over “The Devil & Tom Walker” and the Dark Romantics on Tuesday, 11/04.