Unit 5: Expository Reading and Writing

We have discussed different types of expository essay in this unit.

Cause and Effects

*Compare and Contrast (Chapter 9) in the packet: Compare cars that use gasoline and electric cars and compare traits parents and their children have

*Problem-solution (today’s activity): Choose one of the two mentor texts on monks and babies in intensive care units.

*Classification (Chapter 8 in the packet)—Group information according to teacher-specified guidelines on a student-created organizer.


You have explored classification and compare and contrast early this week. Today, you will begin the exploration of the problem-solution type of expository essay.

For these types of essays, you have been required to read critically. What is the meaning of critical reading?

Critical reading is an essential strategy to help a reader take apart dense readings and to deepen comprehension by doing the following:

  • Identifying explicit and implicit textual information, including main ideas, overall effect, and any possible “arguments” made by the text.
  • Identifying and evaluating devices the author/writer uses to create tone and support an argument, idea, attitude, or purpose.
  • Drawing and supporting complex inferences from the text to summarize, draw conclusions, and distinguish facts from simple assertions.
  • Identifying and analyzing how an author’s use of language appeals to the senses, creates imagery, and suggests mood.


1. Differentiation: Select one mentor text that appeals to you. Read it criticallyMonks Need to Recruit–Problem-Solution  or An Electronic Eye on Hospital Hand–Problem-Solution

2. Retrieve the problem-solution organizer and provide all required information:  ProbSolution_NYTLN_Assignment

3. Submission: Either print the finished product and submit it physically or electronically through e-mail: franceseohanenye@katyisd.org.

Due date: February 27, 2015 

Happy MLK Day! See “Selma” and See Your Past, Your Present, and Your Future

I have seen a good ten movies or more in the theaters in the last four weeks, and I had not anticipated any of them as much as Movie_Selma“Selma,” for obvious reasons. Elsewhere in this blog, I had mentioned that recently, I had taken to waiting for the credits to glide to the end because I never know whose name will surprise me in the line-up.

I knew Oprah was among the sleuth of famous producers and directors for “Selma.” Still, I was in for a heart-happy shock when I saw another famous name in the mix: BRAD PITT!

Yes, according to The Wrap, Angelina Jolie’s husband was already a producer of the movie under his Plan B company, and Oprah (under her equally famous Harpo) joined him. I actually thought it was the other way around.

It is noteworthy that prominent Nigerian- and foreign-born actors featured in the lead: David Oyelowo as our beloved (and my father’s name sake) Martin Luther King Jr., Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott-King, and Lorraine Toussaint as Amelia Boynton Robinson.

Another pleasant surprise was the last song in the movie, “Glory,” a collaboration between Common (who played James Bevel in the movie) and John Legend, a song already nominated for the Golden Globe, and a song that paid tribute to Rosa Park, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and MLK’s efforts and leadership in Selma.

I saw “Selma.” I gave me a chance to appreciate the sacrifices of our Civil Rights heroes mentioned and implied in the movies (MLK, Coretta Scott-King, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, David Abernathy, John Lewis, Annie Lee Cooper, James Bevel, and a host of others who fought the fearful fight).

The movie gave me a chance to appreciate the present liberties we enjoy. Those sacrifices include life, safety, finance, and much more. It gave me a chance to look forward to my future, hope we make strides in safeguarding and preserving the lives of our black youth, and change the laws that condone the unforgivable acts of taking a black life.

Between 1999 and 2014, 76 or more unarmed black people have been killed while in police custody. I look forward to the future when the law will put an end to this atrocity.

Denouement: The Final Resolution of the Movie “Wild”

LatMovie_Wildely, I have been disappointed with stories and movies telling me the final resolution (denouement) instead of showing me as the rest of the movie or story did. The movie/story ends (resolution), but the loose ends are not tidied up until the denouement.

An example of denouement is Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. The resolution is that Macduff kills Macbeth, but the denouement occurs when Malcolm TELLS the audience his plans to restore Scotland into its former organized society before Macbeth turned the once-peaceful kingdom into a murder mayhem.


2. the place in the plot at which this occurs.
3. the outcome or resolution of a doubtful series of occurrences.
In Reese Witherspoon’s Wild, the story is slow in picking up, but when it revves up, the plot progresses quite suspensefully. Any movie that features a mother and/or father dying will see me crying my eyes out, and I cried my fill at this movie when Reese’s character loses her on-screen mother (Laura Dern).
Anyway, I am impressed with Reese’s performance, having seen lots of her movies. However, I am disappointed with the hurried ending where the producer decides to tell me the denouement rather than show me the final ending. The resolution is that Reese, playing the role of real-life Cheryl Strayed, completes hiking the Pacific Crest Trail without prior experience amid applause from fellow hikers. She tidies up her derailed and self-destructive life into the semblance of a happy ending, which is true denouement.
I wish the producer had seen fit to show me clips of the new family rather than telling me about it.
Overall, a great performance by all!

What Do “Top Five” and “Annie” Have in Common?

Top Five lined up a powerhouse of comedy Who’s Who, from Whoopee, Ben Vereen, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Cedric the Entertainer to Sherri Shepherd, J.B Smoove, Traci Morgan, and Kevin Hart, and a whole lot more. I laughed. Don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to laugh more than the movie delivered punch lines. It was a semi-serious movie.

Pan over to Annie, not orphan Annie as 10-year old Annie insisted. The A-listers Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz put Emmy-worthy performances. Not to be outdone, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and spunky Quvenzhanè Wallis brought in A-list worthy performances.

But what do these two movies have in common? Jay-Z!!! Unbeknownst to me (and I always wait for the credits), Jay-Z co-produced both movies. He co-produced Top Five with Kanye West and co-produced Annie with Will and Jada Smith!

You go, Jay-Z! I am impressed.

Top Five Images Annie_2014_cast

My top five are–

Michael Jackson



Barry White and

Teddy Pendergrass, in that order.


What is your top five?

Let There Be Peace, Music, and Reading on Earth!

Please spread this inter-religious video. Spread peace, music, reading, and love for all humanity regardless of religious leaning.

Thank you for sharing this video, Winnie.

Friday Peaked!


Some of my students requested my presence at their Invite-a-Teacher event in Home Economics. I was much honored! The huge classroom transformed into a formal dining room. Students set the round tables in muted tones of green and dotted the cotton tablecloths with fresh flowers.  20141205_083957

We dined on crunchy green leaves and croutons in the Caesar salad, soft and savory ground meat buried under tasty lasagna and topped with a pile of gooey cheese, and buttered toast where the butter indented the bread.

For dessert, we chose between cheesecake and pumpkin squares. I accompanied my cheesecake with milk-drenched coffee sans sugar. (I never add table sugar to anything that is already prepared.)

Estefenia, Martha, and Vivian made the cheesecake, so I had to have that delicacy. They kept me company and made interesting conversations that caused me to laugh often. You made my day, ladies!20141205_090024

Being in that room took me 20141205_090000back to my own days as a Home Ec student. After the teacher introduced new British or international dishes at Girls’ High School, I would run home from the dormitory, buy the ingredients, and cook it for Papa. He ate all the familiar and unfamiliar dishes and never hurt my feelings. My father.

Thanks for a day that peaked!