English 4: Q3 Assignments, Materials and Resources

English 4 Writers! Below are all of the assignments, due dates and materials you’ll need to access in order to successfully complete your work the 3rd Quarter.



“Power of Context” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Power of Context” Quiz (extra credit)


“Dr. Daedalus” by Lauren Slater

“Dr. Daedalus” Essay (Body Paragraphs) Prompt and Introductions (must choose one and insert it into your essay) (Past Due; Complete ASAP)

— NY Times Video supplement for Dr. Daedalus reading:



Extra Source Analysis Sheets (Past Due; Complete ASAP)

— Research Paper (Past Due; Complete ASAP)

Research Paper Checklist

Works Cited Guide


Malcolm Gladwell’s “Thresholds of Violence” (the first essay we read as a sample research essay)


Adam Gopnik’s “Bumping Into Mr. Ravioli”

“Ravioli” Quiz

Alain de Botton’s “On Habit” 

“On Habit” Quiz

Gopnik/de Botton Essay Prompt  (Due Monday, March 21)


English 4: 2nd Quarter Assignments and Materials

Greetings English 4 Writers! As we enter winter break, we are also coming to the end of the 2nd Quarter. Essentially, we will have two weeks of class before midterms and the end of the grading period, so this is crunch time. The only work assigned for break is the “Dr. Daedalus” essay, which we’ll be discussing in Socratic Seminar on the Monday (1/4) and Tuesday (1/5) when we return. But many of you are still missing back work and this break is a tremendous opportunity to get caught up. I will have Belkin Intros and all Chua revisions graded by the time we come back on Jan. 4. You’ll be able to revise Butler and/or Belkin up until Jan. 15.

Below are all the materials and assignments that you can still make up and receive credit for (there are also a couple of supplemental videos at the bottom of the post). If you haven’t completed Chua revisions yet, it’s now too late, so you should focus on Butler and Belkin. I want to encourage everyone to revise their Intros. Nothing else will have a bigger impact on your grade this quarter than your scores on those assignments. If you do revise your work, all you need to do is email me — akratz@kippnyccp.org — with a simple: “Butler revisions are complete” or, after they’re graded, “Belkin revisions are complete”. And don’t hesitate to reach out to me during break. I’ll be checking email periodically, so have patience if I don’t respond right away. Good luck and happy writing!

Extra Source Analysis Sheets (1, 2, 3 and 4 were due by 12/18; 5 and 6 will be due Friday, Jan. 8)


“What Broke My Father’s Heart” by Katy Butler

Copy of the text for annotations

Introductory Paragraph Assignment and Prompt


“The Made-to-Order Savior” by Lisa Belkin

Copy of the text for annotations

Introductory Paragraph Assignment and Prompt


“Strange Creatures” by Susan Blackmore

Copy of the text for annotations


“Dr. Daedalus” by Lauren Slater

Copy of the text for annotations

“Dr. Daedalus” Essay (Body Paragraphs) Prompt and Introductions (must choose one and insert it into your essay) (Due Tuesday, Jan. 19, 5:30 pm)

NY Times Video supplement for Dr. Daedalus reading:


Learned Optimism Video:

English 4: Q3 Make-up Materials

The last day to turn in major writing assignments and have a chance to revise them is Monday, April 6 at 9 a.m. (if I receive them by April 6 at 9 a.m. then I’ll have them graded and back to you by Monday, April 13. Anything received after that will not be able to be revised. All revisions and make-up work must be completed by Monday, April 20, at 9 a.m. for it to count on your final Q3 grade.

Major Writing Assignments (60% of your grade):

“Soccer vs. McWorld” (3 body paragraphs, 1 piece of evidence per paragraph, no conclusion required):

Text | Body Paragraphs Prompt #1 | BP Rubric

Soccer Intro 1 | Soccer Intro 2 (copy and paste one into BP assignment)

“Dr. Daedalus” (3 body paragraphs, 2 pieces of evidence per paragraph + conclusion):

Text | Quiz | Body Paragraphs Prompt #2 | BP Rubric

Daedalus Intro 1 | Daedalus Intro 2 (copy and paste one into BP assignment)

Gladwell/LeDuff Essay (submit via the Google Doc shared with you by Mr. Kratz, otherwise it won’t count):

You will come up with your own thesis, based on the prompt and the evidence you gather, write 3-5 body paragraphs to support and prove your thesis, and provide a conclusion that re-states your thesis in new language, summarizes your evidence and shows us the broader relevance (why is this important to us as a society and individuals). Specifically, you’ll be “diagnosing” Detroit’s problems and showing your reader how it would be possible cure this struggling Midwestern city of its ills. Can you do it through the Power of Context and applying the Broken Windows Theory (Gladwell) or will it take the large-scale reform and overhaul of Detroit’s vital civil institutions — its criminal justice system, its education system, its economy or its government, to name a few (LeDuff)?

My recommendation for completing the writing process for this (or any other) essay: 1) Start pulling out evidence (from the ideas and evidence presented by Gladwell or LeDuff) that you think might lead to Detroit’s renaissance; 2) Based on that evidence, come up with a working thesis that takes a strong stance that promotes the ideas of one author and disproves the other’s ideas. 3) Come up with an outline that delineates how you will structure your argument and essay. 4) Start writing! 5) Complete a draft; 6) Seek and receive feedback based on the rubric we’re using; 7) Revise and submit!

Below, you’ll find all of the relevant materials you will need to complete this assignment, including:

— The Texts: “Power of Context” and “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”

The Prompt (what you need to do and the questions you need to answer)

The Rubric (how you’ll be scored and what your essay should look, sound and read like)

Quizzes (15% of your grade):

*You can either print out the Quiz and hand it into me in person or just write your Quiz responses on Google Docs and share it with me at akratz@kippnyccp.org. Make sure you read the directions and number your answers.  

“Dr. Daedalus” 

“What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”

“The Power of Context”

“Who Holds the Clicker?” 

Unit 5 Vocab Quiz: If you haven’t completed the Unit 5 Vocab Quiz, schedule a time to take it with Mr. Kratz.

Homework/Annotations (15%):

You can earn up to 50 annotation points for every reading we do in this class. You must download the text and annotate it. A good annotated reading has summary for every paragraph, underlined passage and phrases that could be used as evidence, and provocative questions. A stellar annotated reading includes all of that as well as opinions and connections to other parts of the text, other readings/books and life experiences. 

“Dr. Daedalus”

“What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”

“The Power of Context”

“Who Holds the Clicker?”

“Small Changes: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted”

Extra Credit: “Alone Together” 

Final Note: Classwork makes up the other 10% of your grade. No makeup on this. If you haven’t turned in your Socratic Seminar sheets, you can do so to earn more SS credit. 

English 4: Unit 5 Vocab Review

Our Unit 5 Vocabulary Quiz is this Tuesday, March 24. It’s a multiple choice quiz that will require you to answer 20 questions. For the last few weeks, we’ve been grappling with the meaning and usage of these words, which should put you in a good position to succeed on this quiz. The act of using these words helps you retain them and make them part of your own rapidly-growing vocabulary. You should be able to review by simply going over the words, definitions and sentences you’ve created. If you’re unclear about where Unit 5 began, we started with the word “acuity” and ended with the word “sumptuous.”

Below is a link to the list of words and definitions (which may be slightly different from the ones presented in class):

Unit 5 Vocab List

And here is a link to vocabtest.com where you can work with these words in several different ways. You simply need to scroll down and, underneath “Grade Level”, click on “Senior”. Then check the box next to “Unit 5” and click on “Test Checked Units”. This will allow to work with words using Learning Definitions, Vocabulary Sentences, Reverse Sentences, etc.

Here are the words, once again:

English 4: “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” Wrap-Up

We kicked off the third quarter and Unit 4 with “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”, a narrative piece of non-fiction by Charlie LeDuff, a former New York Times reporter who moved back to his hometown of Detroit in 2008. The piece was first published in the magazine Mother Jones in 2010. He later turned the piece into a full-length book, “Detroit: An American Autopsy” (2013). (Here’s a link to a review.) We have a copy of it downstairs in the KIPP NYC College Pep library. LeDuff is now a TV personality for Fox News in Detroit.

In this piece, LeDuff traces the story of 7-year-old girl, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was killed during a police raid, to find out why something like this could happen. In the course of telling this story, LeDuff attempts to diagnose all of the problems currently ailing the city of Detroit.

Click here to download the text for “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?” 

Important Dates:

Socratic Seminar: Friday, Feb. 6 and Monday, Feb. 9

Quiz: Tuesday, Feb. 10

Related Multimedia: