25 October. Inconvenient Truth & Writing Process Reflection.

Worland, Justin. “How Your Trash Contributes to Climate Change.” 22 September 2015.


Essay Process Reflection

Take 5-8 minutes and respond to the following:
  • 1. Narrate, describe, tell the story of how your paper developed. Your “story” should proceed through the following: Did you start by responding to the prompt? Did you start with a key chunk of text you wanted to write about? What sorts of invention writing did you do? What classroom activities/discussions developed/changed your thinking? What sort of feedback did you receive? What changed draft to draft?
  • 2. Draw the “story” of your Essay writing process on the board

Student Teaching Groups

Groups Students
G1 Zeyu, Enerelt, Jialou, Firaas
G9 Dov, Omar, Dustin, Giancarlo
G18 Thomas, Kenny, Michael Chen, Kiet

Scene Analysis: An Inconvenient Truth

As we watch the clip from Gore’s movie/slide share talk, please keep the following in mind:
  • 1. Context: What “happens” in the selected sequence on the level of plot? What is the function of this sequence within the larger narrative action (foreshadowing, climax, transition, exposition, etc,)? What is the overall goal of the clip?
  • Describe the Frame is it open form: frame is de-emphasized, has a “snapshot” quality? Is it closed form: frame is composed and self-contained, the frame acts as a boundary and a limit?. How does the frame help communicate the goal of the documentary to the audience?
  • 3. Describe the Set. Is it in a studio or a location? What props are used? Are they used symbolically? How do the sets help Gore convey his message? 
  • 4. Describe the Design (symmetrical or asymmetrical; balanced or unbalanced; stylized or natural; does it belong to a certain period or artistic style). How does design help Gore communicate his goal? 

18 October, Hamlet 5

Student Teaching Groups

Group Number Students
G4 Mark, Tejas, Jiale, Akhil
G16 Kevin, Jason, Brett, Wyatt
Please get into groups and discuss your responses to question that corresponds to group number. Once finished, draw your response on the board:
  • Group 1:How does Hamlet react when he finds out who’s skull he’s really holding (5.1.3373-3382)?
  • Group Two:How does Hamlet react when he finds out that Ophelia is dead and about to be buried (5.1.3471-3481)?
  • Group Three: Is Hamlet different when he gets back from his sea adventure (5.2.3669-76)
  • Group Four: What final, dying request does Hamlet make of Horatio and how does Horatio respond (5.2.3916-3824)?

Writing Workshop

  • 1. How to insert images? Any MLA or format questions?
  • 2. Write your paper topic/argument on the board.
  • 3. Discussion: What are you doing in your concussions? OR what does your essay have to do with environmental devastation and/or Climate Change?

Sample Essay


An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore

Featured Image

Keep the following questions in mind as you watch Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

1. Why does the film open and close with serene images of nature: lush green leaves and a gently flowing river on a sunny day, followed by Al Gore’s voice-over about this peaceful place?

2. What is the intention of showing Gore delivering his slide show at town-hall-style meetings? How does Gore come across to the viewers as the camera follows him behind the scenes and on his tours?

3. What is the effect of Gore opening his presentation on a serious subject with self-irony: “I used to be the next president of the United States”? And after the audience laughs, Gore quips, “I don’t find that particularly funny.” Where else in this discussion of an environmental crisis do we see Gore’s humor?

4. In this film, Gore narrates a moment in 1989 when his six-year-old son dropped his father’s hand, ran into the street, and was severely injured. How does this personal story relate to Gore’s mission?

5. Gore also tells a story of his father’s tobacco farm and business and of his older sister Nancy who died of lung cancer. How is this personal history relevant to this film?

6. Because so much of the film consists of scientific facts and charts, you may have been challenged to record sufficient notes. Work with classmates to answer as many of the following questions as you can:

7. Why do we have global warming?

8. What is the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature?

9. How does global warming (the increase in worldwide temperatures) contribute to an increase in the number and severity of storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and typhoons?

10. How can global warming cause both violent precipitation as well as droughts?

11. Explain the significance of each of these references from the film: — the findings of core drills — the thawing of the permafrost, the splitting of the Ward Hunt ice shelf, and the disappearance of the Larson ice shelf? — the Arctic ice cap disappearing — the image of a canary in a coal mine — the image of the frog in the cooking pot

12. Cite five ecological consequences of global warming in the animal and plant communities.

13. Explain the three factors that are causing “a collision between our civilization and the earth.”

14. Gore includes several resonant quotations from important authors and creates his own memorable claims as well. How are each of these citations illustrated in the film: from Mark Twain: “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know; it’s what we know that just ain’t so.” — from Winston Churchill in 1936: “The era of procrastination, of half-measure, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences.” — from Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

15. Cite specific ways that this statement is illustrated throughout this film. — from Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow in Science magazine: “Humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical, and industrial know-how to solve the carbon and climate problems.” — from Al Gore: “We have everything we need save, perhaps, political will but in American, political will is a renewable resource.”

16. How does Gore counter the myth that scientists disagree with the fact that we are causing global warming and that it is a serious problem?

17. How does Gore expose the misconception that we have to choose between the economy and the environment?

18. What historical facts about the United States does Gore cite to oppose those who claim that global warming is too big of a problem to solve?

19. When Gore took his scientific evidence of global warming to Congress, he expected that this compelling information would “cause a real sea change” in the government. He saw global warming as a moral issue that needed to be acted on and not a political issue to be derided and dismissed. What specific evidence in the film demonstrates that special interests, political corruption, and denial have prevented some necessary reforms?

20. Explain the significance of the film’s title An Inconvenient Truth.

11 October. Hamlet’s Ecologies. Act 4.

For Tuesday, Oct 16

In advance of Mark Johnson’s Class Visit, please complete the following:

Group Presentations

Group Number Group Memebers
G6 Thiago, Danya, Akshay, Elias, Ashley
G7 Patrick, Margaret, Mathew, Mai
G17 Shakeeb, Mitchell, Michael Tang, Andy

How does nature threaten political systems in Hamlet?

Respond to the question above based on the chunks of text below:
  • What do you make of Hamlet’s ecology: “Your worm is your only emperor for diet. We fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes but to one table. That’s the end” (4.3.2685-2691)?
  • What does Horatio mean when he says of Ophelia, “Her speech is nothing,/Yet the unshapèd use of it doth move/The hearers to collection” (4.5.2752-54)?
  • What does Ophelia mean when she say the following and why frame her feelings as she does: “There’s fennel for you, and columbines. There’s rue for you, and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’Sundays. You may wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died. They say ‘a made a good end” (4.5.2932-2936).
  • To what/whom does Gertrude attribute agency in her report of Ophelia’s death and why?

    There is a willow grows aslant a brook
    That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
    Therewith fantastic garlands did she make
    Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
    That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
    But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them.
    There on the pendent boughs her crownet weeds
    Clamb’ring to hang, an envious sliver broke,
    When down her weedy trophies and herself
    Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
    And mermaid-like awhile they bore her up,
    Which time she chanted snatches of old lauds,
    As one incapable of her own distress,
    Or like a creature native and endued
    Unto that element. But long it could not be
    Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
    Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
    To muddy death. (4.7.3159-75)