Friday, August 30, 2013


Grammar Practice: Verbs
Model formatting and answer questions about #bestbookever assignment: final draft due Tuesday
Answer questions about Sense of Place essay--here's a terrific student sample from last year (name was changed to protect the student's privacy since this essay is posted online), and here's my sample again if you need it.  Here's the scoring guide as well, which we'll review tomorrow in class.

HW: Final draft of #bestbookever assignment due in class Tuesday; typed rough draft of Sense of Place essay due

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Share descriptive writing--best sentence from yesterday--on one of the poster charts around the room

Introduce OPTIC analysis method for visual texts--model and work together using Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother 

Small groups: repeat the OPTIC process independently of the teacher, using one of Dorothea Lange's landscape photographs

HW: Return signed syllabus page tomorrow. Bring typed draft of Tweet for #bestbookever assignment to class for peer and teacher comments. Begin drafting Sense of Place essay--typed rough draft due on Tuesday.  Complete vocabulary notebook and begin studying vocabulary words for quiz next Thursday.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Partner share--review Tweets and give advice to make them more memorable or concise
Read excerpt from The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson, page 1 and page 2
Identify tones and strategies used to create the tones you find (description, narration, dialogue)

Description: includes strategies like sensory details and imagery, figurative language (similes, metaphors, personification, etc.), repetition, and diction patterns

Narration: consider the structure and types of sentences used (e.g., questions, short sentences, intentional run-ons, parenthetical asides) and interior monologue

Dialogue: real (or in Bryson's case, imagined) snippets of conversation

Descriptive writing practice: Draw lines on a piece of notebook paper to divide the paper into four equal quadrants. Label each quadrant with the following statements:

  1. The desk was gross.
  2. It was a hot day.
  3. I/He/She felt like crying.
  4. I've/He's/She's never been so angry.
Now, in each quadrant, use the same writing strategies (description, narration, and/or dialogue) to make these statements descriptive and help readers picture a specific tone.

HW: Finish quadrants of descriptive writing if needed. Complete vocabulary notebook drawings, synonyms, antonyms, and sentences as needed for Friday. Revise and type Tweet and attempt to master the Tweet's formatting--2nd draft due Friday.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Reading Quiz over The Grapes of Wrath
Finish introducing vocabulary from The Fault in Our Stars and The Grapes of Wrath and complete vocabulary notebooks
Introduce Sense of Place essay assignment and read aloud Pust's sample

HW: Bring handwritten draft of #bestbookever assignment tomorrow, complete vocabulary notebook if needed, and consider places you might write about for your Sense of Place essay. Syllabus return by Friday.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Distribute course syllabus and check homework: 3 quotations worth discussing and 2 clarifying questions from The Grapes of Wrath

Continue to introduce vocabulary from The Fault in Our Stars and The Grapes of Wrath and complete vocabulary notebooks

Explain and model #bestbookever assignment - handwritten draft due Weds, rough draft Friday, final copy due Tuesday.

HW: Begin work on #bestbookever assignment and complete vocabulary notebooks

Friday, August 23, 2013


Make nametags
Grammar Practice: Verbs #1 (parallelism and verb tense)
Review and discuss last night's homework analyzing tone and strategies the writer uses in a passage from your summer free choice book
Introduce first 5 vocabulary words from The Fault in Our Stars and begin to complete vocabulary notebook

HW: Complete your vocabulary notebook entries for the first five words in The Fault in Our Stars: eke, myriad, hamartia, dubiously, and inherently by defining the word, drawing a picture to illustrate its meaning, writing a synonym and an antonym, and creating a sentence with the word used in context within it.  Review The Grapes of Wrath by selecting three quotations worth discussing and posing two clarifying questions. You may either write these on post-it notes and put them in the relevant pages of the book or write down the quotations/questions on a separate sheet of paper. Quiz next week!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Welcome Back!

Introductions and First Day PowerPoint Presentation
Letter to Parents and Optional Parent Homework Assignment
Partner work: John Muir's "First Glimpse of the Sierra"

HW: Complete the blank worksheet for a passage from your summer free choice book that describes a setting and be ready to discuss tomorrow! Please bring your free choice book tomorrow if you have a copy. Also, please review The Grapes of Wrath as needed and contact me with any questions or help you need--quiz sometime next week.