Practicing ACE-ing-IT: Thursday, December 4

1. Students reviewed their ACE-IT notes (W13). Here are the completed notes if you were gone: ACE-IT Teacher Version.

2. Next, students wrote a whole-class example ACE-IT paragraph about whether or not Fences is a tragedy. Here’s what the different classes came up with:

Fences is not a tragedy because the audience does not feel pity for Troy. Consider when Troy brings the newborn Raynell home to Rose. Troy tells Rose from the porch, “I ain’t sorry for nothing I done. I felt right in my heart” (79). By having Troy feel “sorry for nothing,” Wilson lets the protagonist get what is coming to him, which shows Troy is not a tragic hero. If Troy did feel bad, the audience would pity him and Fences would be a tragedy. The fact that the play is not a tragedy matters because it puts the blame on Troy instead of society.

Fences is a tragedy because the audience feels pity for Troy, the tragic hero. Consider, for instance, when Rose is trying to convince Cory to attend Troy’s funeral. Rose defends Troy’s character: “he meant to do more good than he meant to do harm” (97). By using the words “he meant,” Wilson emphasizes Troy’s good intentions, which shows that Troy is a good person who the audience can pity. Pity for Troy matters because if the audience doesn’t connect to him, they won’t care about the play.

3. Students wrote their own ACE-IT paragraph about the influence of adults over children in the play. Here are the two assertions students chose from:

A. In Fences, adults manipulate children because _______.

(They are trying to live through them? They have low self-esteems? They regret their own pasts?)

B. In Fences, adults try to control their children, but fail because ______.

Or make up your own assertion about adults manipulating children or the past manipulating the future.

4. In some classes we looked at copies of the first newspaper printed editions of Great Expectations.


Everyone else – none.