Tag Archive for grammar

World Lit: Author’s Storybook: Pacing

Standard: ELAGSE9-10W3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Learning Target: I can analyze the narrative technique writers use to create a sense of pacing in a narrative and apply pacing to my own writing.

Opening Session: Grab the narrative you wrote yesterday- you’re going to use it again today! Take ten minutes to read over it and remember what you wrote 🙂

Work Session: Today we’re going to read a story called “Pick One” by David Matthews and consider the issue of pacing in writing. You know how some TV shows or movies are really fast-paced, and others seem to drag? It’s the same in writing. The series I’ve been reading during Independent Reading time, The Demon Cycle, is generally lauded for being really fast-paced and action packed. By contrast, another favorite book of mine, The Name of the Wind, is very slow-paced. I can read you example passages of each that demonstrate this 🙂 As we read our short story today, listen for shifts in the pacing and how the author achieved that.

After we read, go back to the narrative you wrote yesterday. How did you pace your writing? Fast, slow, or otherwise? Did you do it intentionally?

Consider what we’ve read today, then let’s do the Sentence Variety box on page 132, and then look to page 134, and use your own writing to find different types of sentences. You can work with your story to include a variety of sentence structures, which will make your writing stronger.

Closing Session: VOCAB QUIZ!!!

Assessment: Informal – book check, vocab quiz

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding), Product (varied lengths)


World Lit: How can I phrase this…

Standard: ELAGSE9-10L1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  1. Use parallel structure.*
  2. Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.

Learning Target: I can identify different types of phrases and use them in writing; I can revise writing to include phrases and parenthetical expressions.

Opening Session: Mental Floss – 38 Common Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Work Session:

Welcome back to Monday, everyone! I know you’re SUPER EXCITED for today because it’s….GRAMMAR! Whoo! Okay, okay, I know, grammar isn’t your favorite, but this is important, and it WILL make us stronger writers. SO flip in your text to page 18, activity 1.4, and let’s learn about phrases!

After we go through activity 1.4 together, I am going to hand back out your constructed responses from Friday, along with some highlighters. I want you to go through your own writing and highlight where you have used at least 5 phrases. Then, trade with a buddy and have them identify the types of phrases you highlighted. Finally, trade back, and go through your writing with an editor’s eye. See if there are any places where you could have included, modified, or moved phrases around to strengthen your writing and show more of your individual voice.

Closing Session: To close out the day, I’m going to give you guys your first Vocabulary List! You can use the remaining time in class to look up the definitions of these words (hint: they’re in your text) and on Friday, we will have a vocab quiz, so get ready!!

  1. Indignity
  2. Reproach
  3. Listlessly
  4. Bellows
  5. Mesmerizing
  6. Trills
  7. Arpeggio
  8. Reverie
  9. Fiasco
  10. Nonchalantly

Differentiation: Process (differentiated vocabulary list as needed)

Assessment: Informal – check of students’ work with phrases.

Welcome to day 2!


  • ELAGSE9-10SL4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

Learning Target: I will illustrate my initials to symbolically represent myself and present my artwork to the class.

Opening Session: Daily video! A little John Green Mental Floss to get your day started 🙂

Work Session: Welcome back to World Literature, day 2! Today we’re going to start out with finishing up our letters of introduction that we began writing yesterday. As you finish, come turn them into the basket at the front of the room. When everyone is done, we’ll get started on our next assignment! This one is an art project, and we’re going to use them to decorate the room!

Illuminated Initials

You will create a visual image of your initials.  You may not use any words or symbols.  What you use to illustrate your initials should tell us a little about who you are and what is important to you.  You will present your initials to the class, so make sure that you know what each part of your initials means. You may use various colors, designs, shapes, patterns, or drawings to create your initials. Check out my example on the board!

You’ll draw your initials on regular printer paper, and I’ll bust out the art supplies so you can add a little color if you want. I actually really like art projects, and we will probably do quite a few, so go ahead and get ready to color 🙂

We will also take a few minutes in class to take a little quiz called a Learning Styles Inventory which is used to determine if you’re a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (aka hands-on) learner.

Honors: You will also write a paragraph on the back of your initials explaining why you chose to decorate them in the way you did. You’ll share this paragraph with the class as we go around the room for our closing session.

Closing Session: Share out! Stand up at your desk (this isn’t like a formal presentation or anything) and show off your illuminated initials, and tell us why you chose to draw/color them the way you did.

Assessment: Letters of introduction will be graded

Differentiation: Learning style (visual/kinesthetic art project); product (paragraph added for honors students; letter templates provided as needed)

Mandala Tuesday!

Standard: W.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Learning Target: Students will share their letters of introduction and begin working on their “sun and shadow” mandala.

Activator: Grammar School with Snooki

Welcome back to day 2, everyone! First things first, we’re going to share our letters. This is nothing formal, just go around the room and say your name and share something you wrote. Really, this is just to help me remember your names. When you’re done, turn your letter in. I’ll read it in full and write back to you 🙂

Today we are going to start working on our mandalas. I have made mandalas with my classes before, but this time we’re going to do something a bit different and work on what’s called a “Sun/Shadow” mandala. What the heck am I talking about, you ask? Great question!


Directions: Mandalas are one of the oldest art forms known to humanity. They are one of the oldest symbols in the world and one of the few universal ones. Translated from Sanskrit, mandala means circle – a symbol of completeness – the most perfect medium in which to present a picture of yourself. One type of mandala is called the sun-shadow mandala, and it represents, in part, the contrasts between one’s sun qualities – what is visible and projected – and the shadow qualities – what is interior and inward. I. The first step in making a mandala is writing two sets of answers to the questions below. One set represents the sun answers; the other set represents the shadow answers:

Sun-Images: How do you appear on the surface to the world? This is the part of you that is seen or projected to others.

1. What animal are you most like?

2. What plant are you most like?

3. What color are you most like?

4. What shape are you most like?

5. What number are you most like?

6. What mineral or gem are you most like?

7. What natural element are you most like?

Shadow-Images: The part of you that is not shown. The shadow images can be considered the direct opposites to the sun images.

1. What animal are you like internally?

2. What plant are you like internally?

3. What color are you like internally?

4. What shape are you like internally?

5. What number are you like internally?

6. What mineral or gem are you like internally?

7. What natural element are you like internally?


Sun Image – what is visible and projected (what is seen)

Shadow Image – what is interior and inward (what is hidden; the opposite of the sun image)


Once the questions are complete, the next step is to write a sentence for each of your symbols. The most important part of your sentence is the “why” part. Through your sentences you will share why you feel a certain symbol represents you. In the end you will have a total of 14 sentences. Here are some examples:

Sun Sentence Frame:

I am like a/the (sun image), because like the (sun image), I __________________________________.

Ex: I am like poison oak, because like poison oak, I’m harmless until stepped on.

Shadow Sentence Frame:

I am like a/the (shadow image), because like the (shadow image), I ___________________________.

Ex: I am like a Venus flytrap, because like a Venus flytrap, I want to capture you and make you a part of me.


The next step is to write a single sentence containing all of your sun signs; and, a single sentence containing all of your shadow signs. This requires you to get creative. Consider it word play. You may add words necessary to complete your sentence. You will write both of these sentences around the outside perimeter of your mandala.

Sun Sentence: The playful kitten jumped up into the spider plant to stare up at the sky blue heavens with round, amethyst eyes before pouncing back to earth, scratching his claws in the dirt seven times.

Shadow Sentence: The fierce lion roared in agony as he stumbled into a diamond shaped thorn bush, his eyes black with rage and his breath as hot as fire, as his square jaw picked out thirteen painful needles.


Once you have your sun and shadow sentences written, I will give you a template to trace a circle and begin working on your mandala. You should incorporate all of your sun and shadow symbols into your mandala.

We will work on this all day in class, and we will have all day tomorrow for coloring your mandalas in. Enjoy, everyone!

Polish up those sentences!

Welcome to Thursday, everyone! It’s all downhill from here until the WEEKEND!!


Learning Target: Students will polish their Caesar act posters, then learn about sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences.

Activator: John Green’s Crash Course in World History – Julius Caesar (Sidenote: How did I NOT know this existed until now? Um, one of my favorite authors talking about one of my favorite subjects?! OMG!)

Today we’re going to take the first half hour of class to polish up your posters and make them AWESOME! Afterwards, we’ll lay them out on the desks and do a gallery walk in the classroom, followed by a silent vote on which group had the best poster. The winner? 5pts extra credit on your test, which, btw, is MONDAY!!!

That’s right! Julius Caesar TEST ON MONDAY!!!!

Anyway, after that I wanted to talk a little bit about grammar for this unit. Now, I know grammar isn’t anyone’s favorite topic, least of all mine, but I think this little….quiz will help you out 🙂 this is called the Grammar Income Test, and it’s got some legit science behind it. Turns out you can accurately determine what someone’s income is based on their knowledge of grammar. So let’s see where you guys fall, shall we?

After that, we’re going to review a concept you probably got in 9th grade – which is good, I want this to be just a review! And we will of course do some practice as well 🙂 The concept? Your very favorite Comma Splices and Run-ons! WHOOO! We will also talk about the close cousin of those two, the sentence fragment! Those are fun to practice with because it involves you making up sentences 😀

Tomorrow we will review the concept of theme and I will give you a study guide for your test on Monday!!! See you guys then!