Friday, March 24, 2017

I Hate Scary Movies

Read the following passage:

We were watching this horror movie and saw the killer climb into the house through an open window, pick up a huge knife laying on the kitchen counter, and go into the closet of the little kids' room.  Later, the babysitter and her boyfriend (who is NOT supposed to be over) send the kids to bed.  Right as they are about to do things that should not be done by unwed teenagers, the little kids start crying that there is a monster in the closet.  The babysitter is frustrated and goes up to their room to make them go to sleep.  She says, there is no such thing as monsters.  To prove it, she went to the closet and opened the door.  Of course the killer leaped out and stabbed her to death.  It was very scary.

What is the purpose of showing the killer enter the closet before the killings?

a. to provide specific details
b. to create enriching imagery
c. to create suspense
d. to develop the rising action

Scroll down for the answer.

c. is the correct answer.  This is called dramatic irony (we know something the characters do not know).  Since we know he is there, the suspense builds up waiting for the killer to attack.


Thursday, March 23, 2017


Read the following excerpt from Memories by Marya Zaturensky:

From “Spinners”

Here in this alien crowd I walk apart
Clasping remembered beauty to my heart!

What is the meaning of the phrase “clasping remembered beauty”?

A. imagining future events
B. recalling past event
C. creating current events
D. forgetting past events

Scroll down for the answer.

The answer is B. The idea that she is “clasping” something she remembers show a sentimental or nostalgic tone. She clearly holds these memories dear and doesn’t want to let them go or forget them. The word remembered clarifies that this is a thing of the past.

Thanks to Mrs. Cooper's second block class for this great question.  I am sure that you guys are Mrs. Cooper's favorite class by far.  Much better than those first block kids who are always causing her problems!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Did You Ever Think as a Hearse Goes by...

Read the passage from All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque:

"I open my eyes- my fingers grasp a sleeve, an arm. A wounded man? I yell at him- no answer- a dead man. My hand gropes farther, splinters of wood- now I remember again that we are lying in the graveyard....I crawl still farther under the coffin, it shall protect me; though Death himself lies in it."

What literary device is used to show the speaker's determination?

a. alliteration
b. irony
c. metaphor
d. personification

Scroll down for the answer.

The correct answer is d.  A key to noticing personification is when the thing personified (in this case Death) is written with a capital letter.  Here  the speaker won't even allow that to stop him.  
However, the best wrong answer is B, since there is some irony in a dead body being used to keep the speaker alive.  

The EOC will often use answer choices that appear in the passage, but do not directly answer the question.

Thanks, Ashley from Ms. Stamey's class, for a thoroughly gruesome story.  Now I'm going to have nightmares!

Abra Cadabra!

Look at this movie poster:

If you look carefully, you'll see that the title is not Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but instead, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.  This is the original title by the book's author, J. K. Rowling.  When this book was published in England, the title was kept.  When the book was published in the United States, the title was changed to the Sorcerer's Stone.  What is the best reason why this change was made?

Answer choices are not needed here.  Think it out and come up with an explanation.

Scroll down for the answer.


The correct answer is: the book publishers thought American kids would not be familiar with the philosopher's stone, would think it is a boring title, and therefore would not buy it.  

What is more important that getting this question right or wrong is the process that you used to figure out the answer.  Many high school students accept that they just do not know something and do not try to guess at an answer.  You cannot take the approach on the EOC and expect to pass it.  You WILL run into questions that you do not know the answer to.  Also, as in the constructed response questions, your answer is more based on your rationale rather than your being correct.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It Also Made the Desk Sticky

Read the passage and determine the tone of the author:

It was so embarrassing. I spilled my drink in the class. To make matters worse, it spilled on my pants. Then my teacher stopped the whole class to wait while I cleaned it up. I hate it when everyone is staring at me.

Is the tone of the speaker:

a. annoyed 
b. apathetic 
c. humiliated 
d. paranoid

Scroll down for the answers


Apathetic is completely wrong since apathetic means not caring, and the speaker is clearly bothered by this incident.

Paranoid is wrong. While the speaker is concerned with others looking at him, he doesn't show the extreme worry that matches paranoid's connotation.

Annoyed is wrong since we do not get a strong sense of annoyance, at least not to out weigh the correct answer. You may have been tempted to put annoyed since you may have felt annoyed at your teacher in that case, but remember, the tone is about the speaker's/author's feelings, not yours (that is mood). This is a wrong answer, but it is the best wrong answer since tone and mood are similar in some aspects.

Humiliated is the correct answer since the speaker is very embarrassed.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Y'all Sure to Like This One

Excerpt from the play “Christmas Belles” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten

Honey Raye: Dang it! Here comes another scorcher.

Frankie: Hot flash or no, you keep your clothes on.
Honey Raye: How is it possible for a grown woman to melt like lard on a hot skillet in five seconds flat? Good Lord! It’s unbearable.

In the play, “Christmas Belles,” Honey Raye is a Southern woman suffering from the effects of menopause. What is the purpose of Honey Raye’s simile?

A. In the South, all people talk like that.
B. Honey Raye burned herself earlier.
C. She is stressing the fact that she is feeling hot and uncomfortable.
D. Frankie doesn’t know how fast lard can melt.

McDonald's used to fry their fries in lard.  Those were the days.  Then someone complained that it wasn't healthy.   Duh!  That's why they were so good.

Scroll down for the answer.

Answer- C- she is using a simile to describe how hot she feels.

No, it isn’t A. No, we don’t all speak like this. Ok, we don’t all speak like this all of the time.

Thanks to Raven and Macey, two extremely bright Southern belles that, from what Mrs. Stamey tells me, does talk like that all the time.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bad Food, Bad Dog

Look at the ad below:

No multiple choice here.  Explain the meaning of this ad.