Assignments for Call of the Wild
Nature Writer's Notebook -
Each student will maintain a Nature Writer's Notebook throughout the course.  This notebook will be used regularly in class (bring it every day), and also for Field Journal assignments at local Listening Points.  A 100 page composition book works well for this.

Notebooks will be collected and assessed periodically throughout the semester.  Each "Field" entry will receive a separate grade (see "Field Notes Guidelines and Objectives" below).  In-Class entries will be graded holistically based on over-all entries over a period of a few weeks.  Point values will vary, depending upon the number and type of entries being assessed.
ASSESSMENT LIST FOR IN-CLASS Notebook Entries
LISTENING POINT -
Each student will select a local "Listening Point," which legendary nature writer, Sigurd Olson described as "a point of departure, from which the universe may be contemplated with awe."

Students will revisit their listening points several times over the course of the semester, practicing various techniques for field observation and reflection in their journals. 

A more detailed explanation of the idea behind and objectives of a Listening Point can be found HERE.

Field Journal Guidelines and ObjectivesCLICK HERE
New MY MAPS of Listening Points:  CLICK HERE

Student MY MAPS

Note - Field Journal Entries go into the BACK section of the "Nature Writer's Notebook"
LITERARY ANALYSIS ESSAY-

Students will write one formal literary analysis of a novel, which develops an original thesis illuminated by specific student-selected literary details drawn from the novel.  Their analysis will include some acknowledgement and application of critical literary theory specifically relevant to course content (such as eco-criticism, and/or archetypal criticism).

Over-all objectives for this essay (3-5 pages) :
-Create a good insightful thesis and structure for your essay which best highlight your thinking about the novel within the framework of this course
-Cite several specific relevant passages from the book, and properly cite them using MLA parenthetical citation
-Analyze the text you cite to explain how and why it is important to your thinking, making effective use of your understanding of literary elements of the text
-Write clearly and efficiently, in a third person academic voice
-Demonstrate careful thinking about the topic and book over-all, and especially the specific passages from the book you choose to analyze
-Edit your work carefully for mechanics, including things like spelling, italicizing the book title, avoiding run-ons, proper punctuation, etc.

Essays will be scored using the "Informative" Writing Rubric (page 4), found HERE
REFLECTIVE NARRATIVE ESSAY-

Students will write one formal reflective narrative piece about a personal experience in a wild setting.  For most students, this will be about the class backpacking trip, though it can be done about previous experiences.




Over-all objectives for this essay:

I.  Use engaging imagery and description which allows the reader to be a part of the experience.  (Drawing inspiration from the models we read in class)
 
II. Remain focused on one element/aspect of the experience without wandering into superfluous details.
 
III. Communicate an insightful idea about the nature of the relationship between people and wilderness experiences.
 
IV.  Draw the reader along with a clear and natural sense of beginning, middle, and end.
 
V. Edit to eliminate errors in mechanics and spelling.

REFLECTIVE NARRATIVE ON BACKPACKING TRIP
or
REFLECTIVE NARRATIVE if your weren't on trip

Essays will be scored using the "Narrative" Writing Rubric (page 5), found HERE
PATRONUS ANIMAL POETRY-

Each student will read a wide variety of literary poetry featuring animals, and analyze the literary elements as appropriate to understanding and appreciating these poems.  This will be documented on a literary elements chart.

Further, each student will select a locally occurring animal to research more fully, gaining an appreciation for the specific morphology, ecological role, and mythological significance of this animal.  Applying their learning about poetic elements and their animal, students will then compose their own animal poem.

Patronus Project OVERVIEW








SOME Resources for Ideas About Local Species:
Connecticut Wildlife
CT Bird Species 
Another Site for CT Bird Species
CT Bird Photos

CT Freshwater Fish Species
CT Saltwater Fish Species
CT Insects & Spiders
Insects and Invertebrates 
Amphibians & Reptiles in CT
Animals of Long Island Sound
Wildlife Survey of Trout Brook Valley (Easton)

SYNTHESIS ESSAYS-

Students will write a variety of response-style essays (some in class, and some out of class) asking them to consider and respond to questions posed across course content.  Students are asked to personalize and synthesize course content across genres and media, to build thoughtful responses to each unit of study.  More specific objectives will be articulated for each assignment.

The Final Exam (20% of Final Course Grade) is a synthesis essay which asks students to weave in a large variety of class content to articulate and personalize several core themes of the course.

Synthesis Essays will be evaluated using this RUBRIC.

Due Dates

Tues, 9/3 OR Wed, 9/4:
Complete the Huckleberry Card assignment AND bring a 50-100 page Composition book like the one pictured at left. (10 Formative Points)

Thurs, 9/5 OR Fri, 9/6:
Read "So Many Chances" by Anthony Doerr. Be prepared to write a synthesis essay (20 points) about it in class, developing an interpretation that connects this story to the other content we have covered, so far.

Wed, 9/11 or Thurs, 9/12:
In-Class written Response to CHS 1-7 of Into the Wild. (25 POINTS) Be sure to have read these chapters. You may use notes you have taken while writing the response, but not your book. Focus your notes on initial impressions of McCandless's character, and on keeping track of some of the most important relationships he makes in these chapters.

Mon, 9/16 or Tues, 9/17
In-Class written Response to Chs 8-9 of Into the Wild. (20 POINTS) Be sure to have read these chapters. You may use notes you have taken while writing the response, but not your book. Focus your notes on WHY DOES KRAKAUER SPEND 2 CHAPTERS MOSTLY DESCRIBING OTHER YOUNG MEN? HOW DO THESE COMPARISONS IMPACT YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF MCCANDLESS? BE PREPARED TO COTE SOME DETAILS ABOUT MULTIPLE PEOPLE FROM CHAPTERS.

Wed, 9/18 or Thurs, 9/19
Select a local "Listening Point", spend some time exploring and observing there, and complete a Field Journal assignment. (20 Formative points)

*****Friday, 9/20*****
Day-Hike Field Trip for Day 2/4 class

Mon, 9/23 or Tues, 9/24*
In-Class written Response to Chs 10-13 of Into the Wild. (25 POINTS)  Be sure to have read these chapters. You may use notes you have taken while writing the response, but not your book. Focus your notes on: What details about McCandless's early life are most significant to understanding his character and his motives? Be prepared to cite specific details.

Tues, 9/24*
Response to Day-hike for 2/4 class -
25 points
(Alternative Assignment if you miss the trip - Complete an additional Field Journal entry from your Listening Point - due by 9/24)

*****Wednesday, 9/25*****
Day-Hike Field Trip for Day 1/3 class

Friday, 9/27
Response to Day-hike for Day 1/3 class - 25 points
(Alternative Assignment if you miss the trip - Complete an additional Field Journal entry from your Listening Point - due by 9/27)

Wed, Oct 2 or Thurs, Oct 3
Field Journal Entry #2 from Listening Point (25 POINTS)  
NOTE - OK to submit by Friday, 10/4 if not doable before that.

Friday, October 4
Complete a WRITING CONFERENCE with me before this date (20 Formative Points)

Mon, Oct 7 or Tues, Oct 8
In-Class written Response to Chs 14-Epilogue of Into the Wild.  (50 POINTS)
Be sure to have read the chapters. You may use notes you have taken, but not your book while writing. Focus notes on: What is the value of Krakauer writing two chapters (14-15) about himself in the middle of CM's story?  What details of his own story are most important to understanding the book?  What key details does Krakauer save until the end of the book (chapters 16-end) to keep the reader engaged in CM's story?

Mon, Oct 14 or Tues, Oct 15
Field Journal Entry #3 from Listening Point (50 POINTS)
Keep trying to apply the lessons and techniques we have worked on in class activities to your own observations - show your developing naturalist's perceptions.

Thurs, 10/24 or Fri, 10/25
In-Class Response to the first HALF of your Independent Reading book.
You should also prepare notes. See Reading Guide.

Mon, Oct 28
Raptorous Rhetoric Assignment
(ACTIVITY TO BE DONE IN CLASS)

Tues, Oct 29
Selling Nature Project Launch (ACTIVITY TO BE DONE IN CLASS)

Fri, 11/1 and Mon, 11/4
In-Class Work on Selling Nature Independent Project
Final determination of your topic, and begin research/work on presentation.
See document for OBJECTIVES


Tues, Nov 12 or Wed, Nov 13
In-Class Response to the final HALF of your Independent Reading book.
You should also prepare notes.

Thurs, Nov 14 or Fri, Nov 15
In your Composition Book, Write Responses to either:

Post-Trip Reflection Questions and Evaluation (complete on separate page)
OR
Starter Questions for Outdoor Narrative
(for those who did not go on trip)

Mon, Nov 18 or Tues, Nov 19
Be ready to give your "Selling Nature" presentation. See objectives in document at the bottom.

Wed, Nov 20, or Thurs, Nov 21
Complete Full Draft of Narrative Essay:
About the Backpacking Trip
OR
About a Previous Outdoor Experience

See these Narrative Models for examples of how to meet objectives.

PLEASE ALSO BRING I Heard the Owl Call my Name to class with you.

Mon, Nov 25 or Tues, Nov 26
Final Draft of Narrative Essay due

Wed, Dec 4 or Thurs, Dec 5
Reading Response to I Heard the Owl Call my Name Part I due Please submit on Turnitin by the beginning of class.