Tag Archives: classwork

A Picture of Language

A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences

  • about diagramming sentences
  • it’s not used anymore
  • can be used for new readers and learners of English to understand the language
  • can help improve a person’s English skills by giving them a better understanding of what each word’s role in the sentence is
  • not everyone gets it
  • not a lot of people know it anymore
  • structure sentences better by seeing them “drawn as graphic structures”
  • NCTE: it’s “a deterrent to the improvement of students’ speaking and writing.”
  • Kitty Burns Florey: “When you diagram a sentence, those things are always in that relation to each other.”
  • invented in Brooklyn by two professors at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute

One-sentence summary:

Diagramming sentences can help someone improve their English skills. but it is not recognized in the Common Core.

In “A Picture of Language: The fading Art of Diagramming Sentences,” Juana Summers describes the now-forgotten practice of diagramming sentences as a graphic or spatial way to learn the English language.

According to Juana Summers, in “A Picture of Language: The fading Art of Diagramming Sentences,”  the now-forgotten practice of diagramming sentences was used as a graphic or spatial way to learn the English language.



The Pitch

What can one really obtain from using the same quick path every day to and from City Tech? First, the person has to know that there is something you can get out of walking a different route to the subway or to City Tech. Downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Heights area are neighborhoods one can simply learn more about just by taking a short detour and exploring their surroundings. Walking with someone can make the experience even better because everyone has different perspectives and you both can point out different things in sight. This route maximizes nature and will add about 10 minutes to one’s regular path.

After a long day at City Tech, a student may be exhausted and have to get ready for the commute home. Instead of walking to the train and going straight into the train station where the loud noise and crowd can add on to this student’s exhaustion, the student can simply take a walk. Specifically this student can walk to embrace quietness, nature and happiness on the route I chose. Taking this walk will make a person’s mind more at ease with getting on the train home from City Tech. Starting down Jay Street into the walkway/passageway- it has trees and benches where you can sit down and even charge your phone or whatever wireless device you have. Nature is around when settling down there but it may not be so quiet. If you wanted more quietness, Cadman Plaza Park would be the next stop.

Walking to Cadman Plaza is an extra five minutes, but it’s worth it. Upon entering the park you’ll come upon a neatly paved stone path that outlines the big green field of grass. The field has a statue of William Jay Gaynor, a Mayor of NYC from the 20th century. Now the scenery in the park is great no matter what time of day. When the sun is out you can see all the colors in the park- the red, yellow and brown leaves on the almost-bare trees, the crunchy leaves on the ground, the dulling green of the grass on the sides of the path, and the bright green of the open field of grass. The comfort of the colors and quietness of nature during the day can be a much better experience than taking the straight, simple, direct route to the train station. When the sun has set and the sky is a dark blue color, the park lights are on and everything looks illuminated- the trees, the ground and the walkway with the benches on either side. Also, near one corner in the park you can see the Empire State Building brightly lit up past other buildings and trees in the distance. This is another pleasant sight to see on your walk in the evening. It’s also quieter in the park in the evening since that’s the time everyone settles down and/or goes home. The cool fall-wintry air is just as refreshing as the summer evening air since it is all natural “park” air.

Leaving Cadman Plaza Park to get to the Borough Hall train station you’ll have to walk through another park- Columbus Park. Columbus Park isn’t as big or as attractive as Cadman Plaza, but it still is a park with trees and a few benches. Its plants are less prismatic, however this is the only form of nature that is nearest to the train station. It is wide and open spaced so there won’t be people in your way to distract you from taking a stroll through there. You can also sit down in this park even though there will be more people passing through because it is somewhat of a walkway, but not too many people for there to be a crowd.

Walking through the park or even sitting down in the park can be mind refreshing compared to leaving school and sitting down on a bench in the train station. It reduces stress and can help develop a sense of relaxation. There are a lot of benefits of walking in general. Studies say that brain fatigue can be eased with a walk in the park. Brain fatigue is basically caused from living the rushed, hectic city life and not taking your time. Changing a path is a small step that can be a big deal to how a person starts or ends their day. It can be that one small step that can lead to a feeling of happiness in that person’s day.

Annotating a reading/ reviewing for the midterm

What do we do when we read with a pen (or pencil, or highlighter) in hand?

vocabulary/cultural references–words to look up: underline, use context and then look up later. After: write them in the margins, or on the back, or on a separate sheet.

highlighted, underlined sentences that worked together to establish the article’s argument

think about color-coding the text

things that repeated–note page or paragraph #

short summaries of important paragraphs

connect ideas to other things you read/experienced

ask questions: for clarification or to engage with the author/speaker

tone: sarcasm, joking

note the things you know well, have expertise

main idea: or example that explains the main idea

passages you might want to quote when you write about this article

drawing–sketch an idea

drawing arrows, circles

number code for different ideas eg 1=walking 2=exploring life 3=landmarks

bullet points about the different people or places


reading more than once

identify arguments/main points:

  • walking vs drug addiction: helps him keep his mind off drugs, coping,
  • his experience of NYC vs other people’s experience
  • walking lets you discover, pay attention (buildings, parks), but if you’re driving, you miss all of these things. EXPLORATION, physically and visually/intellectually rewarding

anticipate questions:

  • Consider your preferred form of travel compared to Self’s idea of walking as the only way of exploration
  • think about a time when you developed a healthy habit. How does this relate to Self’s idea of walking instead of taking drugs?
  • What emotions do you experience when walking? How does walking affect your point of view?
  • How does walking give you a different/better experience than other forms of transportation
  • views on NY–exploration
  • views of perseverance/persistence

Organizing your in-class essay:

make an outline/organizational representation of your ideas

focused freewrite

bring in examples from the reading–


  • main argument or point of your essay
  • it’s a roadmap to your essay
  • it isn’t a question, it’s the answer–it’s a statement!
  • when you’re writing about a comparison, a good template for your thesis statement is to show how two things that  seem different are actually similar, or two things that seem similar are actually different, or some combination of these. Try “Although my healthy habits involved going to the gym rather than taking long walks like Self did, we both had the opportunity to explore places where people from different backgrounds come together.” I’d expect that the essay would describe your experience of making healthy choices by going to the gym, and maybe in another paragraph how it exposed you to different people from different backgrounds, all coming together in one place. Then you would do the same for Self’s experience, and then offer a comparison. Your outline is right there in the thesis statement!
  • it comes at the end of your introductory paragraph.

(leave space after the first paragraph to be able to come back and revise)

write the essay!

make sure that your essay fits with 1-the question 2-the thesis statement

at the very end, proofread a few times. Here are a few tips:

  • before the exam, check out the list of Frequently Confused Words (and add to it via the comments) to help you prepare for the midterm
  • You might try reading your essay sentence-by-sentence starting with the last one and moving backward to the beginning–it helps you read out of context, so you pay better attention to the construction of the sentence.
  • Read through looking for one thing at a time: first if you’re following all of the instructions/answering the question, then if you’re supporting your thesis statement, then if you have good organization, sentence structure, use the right words, spell them properly, etc. You can see that my list starts with the most important and moves to the less important.




Class 10: library session, Project #2 peer feedback

Please remember that we will not meet in our classroom on 10/8, but instead just outside the library, which is on the 4th floor of the Atrium building. If you are late, you will have some trouble finding us. The majority of our session will be held in A540, a classroom on the 5th floor that is only accessible by first entering the library on the 4th floor. Walk straight ahead, up the stairs, make a right at the top of the stairs, and then your next right. I trust that everyone will make his or her best effort to be on time, unless we already spoke about different arrangements.

Our library session will use as its subject the topic of photography, as we discussed in class on Monday. Come prepared with search terms you are interested in using to shape your research on photography. You will learn how to make those search terms work for you in a variety of research venues (the Internet, the college’s book holdings, all of CUNY’s book holdings, and the college’s database subscriptions). We will merge our efforts together into a collaborative annotated bibliography. For more information about what an annotated bibliography is, read about it on the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) site.

You should continue working on Project #2. To help you revise your drafts (which you should have already posted on your ePortfolio with the category ENG1101 Project #2 and the tag draft), please offer your classmates useful, encouraging feedback:

  • DUE end-of-day Thursday:
  • Read the drafts that two of your classmates posted on their ePortfolios.
  • Reply with a well-developed comment to each of them that answers the following three questions about each paragraph:
    • What do you understand?
    • What do you not understand, or need clarified?
    • With our interest in simplicity and economy in mind, what if anything is extraneous?
    • What if anything is missing?
  • Due end-of-day Friday:
  • Read the comments on your draft and write a post on your ePortfolio a checklist of revisions you plan to make based on your peers’ feedback. Use the category ENG1101 Project #2 and the tag Peer Feedback.

If you have questions about Project #2, please come see me in my office during office hours, Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00-3:00.

My Bio, Project #1: Rough daft

My name is Kevin Ayala, I’m 17 years old and currently studying in City Tech for a major in graphic design an advertising. Ever since I was a child, I was always passionate about drawing, no matter what I did , I would always doodle about small thoughts that would pop into my head. Majority of the time, these thoughts were inspired from playing video games so much, since that would be the one thing I would always do whenever I had free time . Other times, it would be about cartoons I would watch on television. These two subjects were the main inspiration I had that began my passion for drawing an planning.

From every game I played, or every cartoon I watched, I would always pay attention to the detail of the characters and their environment. Their appearance, art style, and characteristics were all main points I would always consider when I drew something out of inspiration. Throughout my time in school, I would always meet new people that would give me even more inspiration or suggestions for my artwork, not only improving my work, but creating a stronger passion for drawing. Before I new it, I already had my mind set to what I wanted to do in the future as I grew up. I wanted to take my love of drawing, and make it a career. I go by a popular saying, “If it’s something you love to do, go for it”

In five to ten years from now, I see myself as a concept designer either for television, game making, or advertising. I want to be able to resent my portfolio to someone with confidence, and show them what kind of ideas I have for a project or an idea for an on going one. Just the thought of seeing something that I created in the public eye of millions gets me exited to do what I do.

My profile and avatar shows that drawing and sketching is what I want to do, and how I’m driven to do so. My avatar represents myself, drawn in a sketch, showing that I love to draw, hence the pencils and eraser next to the drawing. I left it uncolored, showing that I’m still incomplete, I still have a lot to learn before I can actually go out there and express myself to businesses and companies.


I am a freshman at City Tech majoring in Art and Advertising Design. My passion for art and fashion design has grown since I was in middle school. I get inspired by looking at other designs and just by everyday life. When I become inspired I draw or sketch because I want to. That’s my passion. From drawing to fashion design, I wanted to try something new. I’ve never taken an advertising design course but I wanted to expand my options in the arts field. I want to be able to sketch out my designs, actually design them, and market & advertise them. I have made a couple of garments with fabric paint and sewing. I’ve also taken apart a shoe and redesigned it. In about five years I want to have made clothes that I can sell online. In ten years I want my own shop to broadcast and sell my finished work and I want a bachelor’s degree in Art and Advertising to help me achieve that.

My consideration for my avatar is a picture of three sketches of models in three different dresses: my design aesthetic. I like designing mostly dresses when it comes to clothing. Each dress is a different color, different style and all three are past the knees. The image represents me in displaying the elegance of the eveningwear and my passion for designing dresses. However that isn’t the only thing I like to draw. For my header on my ePortfolio site I’m considering using a picture of a shoe I drew while attending the High School of Fashion Industries. It’s a pencil drawing of a still life that I used lines and shading to complete. The shoe will represent my passion for art and fashion at the same time.

Other people have different perspectives which is why someone may view my avatar or header differently. It is a picture of 3 Asian models wearing dresses. One might say I have interest in designing specifically Asian clothing based on my avatar. Others might say I actually sketched it, when I didn’t. I would sketch something like this but I wouldn’t take the actual drawing and use it for my own production. I could take ideas from it. For example, the first dress on the left has loose ruffles from the knee to the bottom and a slit on the side to show off her leg. I could design another dress that’s a different color with a slit at the top instead of the bottom and feathers or pleats instead of ruffles. For my header picture, the shoe, one might think I designed the shoe myself when I actually picked up an ugly shoe from a pile of shoes, sat in front of it and sketched it almost the exact same way making it look outstanding.

Overall, my profile is based on basic fashion design and sketching. People like Diane Von Furstenberg inspire me and I want to continue to learn in the Art and Advertising field at City Tech. I hope it can help further my passions and goals. My profile will convey that I’m creative, open minded and willing to do what it takes to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Advertising.

ENG 1101 Class 3: Peer feedback; Ways of Seeing

In class, we will work in small groups to brainstorm about Project #1 and provide peer feedback. In your groups:

1. Review your outline/brainstorm on your own, adding anything you want to add. (5 minutes)

2. Each group member takes a turn explaining what they are planning to write in Project #1 (5 minutes each =15 minutes)

3. After each group member explains what he or she has planned for Project #1, the other two group members will offer a say-back. That is, the other two group members will sum up what they heard the presenter say. They will also review the instructions for Project #1 to determine if the plan fits the requirements for Project #1. (5 minutes each=15 minutes)

4. Each group member will take notes during his or her turn for receiving feedback.

5. After everyone has had a turn, each group member will write a plan for the next stage of drafting. This can be a freewrite, a bulleted list, a mind map, etc. (5 minutes)

6. Remember that drafts are due by Friday, 9/12 on your ePortfolio. When you submit your draft, look on the Ways of Seeing site for instructions about reviewing your peers’ work.

*     *     *

After groups have completed this work, the class will watch the first episode of the BBC production of “Ways of Seeing.” This groundbreaking television series was the basis for the book of the same name, which is the source of our reading for this class and subsequent classes. (note: some of the words in the captions are incorrect.)

At the end of class, take the remaining time to write a reflection, answering the following questions: what remains with you after watching Part 1 of “Ways of Seeing”? What questions do you have? These reflections will be collected to help guide the next class’s discussion.

Please read further in Ways of Seeing, to page 23, up through the second paragraph.