Archive for Spiceland


I’m back, everyone!!

Sorry I was gone so long! In apology, here’s a picture of a baby 🙂

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So now that I’m back, let’s start by finding out what you guys did while I was gone! Then I suppose we should do some review for your FINAL EXAM because it’s…dun dun DUUUUN!!! TOMORROW!!!

Man, time flies when you’re not here, seems like just yesterday we were only 10 weeks into the semester…


Standard: RL.9-10.10. By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Learning Target: Students will read an encyclopedia entry on monsters and begin their anchor text for this unit, Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”.

Activator: The Metamorphosis – Part I

Today we’re going to start reading our Big Reading for this unit, but FIRST we’re continuing with our nonfiction reading. Whoohoo! We’re starting off with an entry in the Myth Encyclopedia that’s appropriately titled “Monsters.” With a partner, I want you to read the article I give you, in any way you choose (you may read silently then discuss, alternate paragraphs reading aloud, have one person read aloud to the other, whatever you like). After you’ve finished reading the article, consider the definitions you wrote yesterday and work together to revise your definitions into a new one.

Your end product should be a 2-3 sentence concise definition that accurately explains what it means to be a monster. Yes, I’m grading it this time.

After we finish with this article, we’re going to start reading our Big Reading for this unit. This is a story entitled “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. We watched a summary video of it at the beginning of class, but for simplicity’s sake let me give you a two-word run down of this story. It is 1.) Long and 2.) Complicated.

Excited yet? We’re going to read aloud today, popcorn style, the first half of Part I of the story. That’s page 1066-1072 in our book, stopping at the end of the first paragraph on 1072. If you’re reading online, you’re reading to the sentence “his sister began to cry.”

This is a VERY hard text, guys. So we’re going to run through it very slowly and carefully and do a lot of checks for understanding. We will finish part 1 this week, and when we return from spring break we’ll do a little review before we dive right into reading part 2 :)

Monster Monday!

Standard: RL.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Learning Target: Students will be introduced to our new unit and read a short article on what makes a “monster.”

Activator: The Muppets reading “Jabberwocky”

I hope you guys are psyched about our new unit, because I sure am! This is one of my favorite units so far, and I’m really excited to be teaching it to y’all. It’s all about….MONSTERS! I know, I know, I’m awesome, please hold your applause.

Anyway, today I would like to start out by asking YOU all a question! On a little sheet of colored paper, I would like each of you to define the word “Monster” for me. What does it mean? What makes a monster? We will read these definitions together and see if we can come up with some notes about what you guys think it means to be a monster… I’ll post them here!

Afterwards, we’re going to read an article called “What Makes a Monster” by Donald Fergus, in which the author tries to answer that very question. To read this article, we’re going to use the SQUEEPERS method. We’ve done this before, so maybe it’ll be familiar to some of you. But, if not, here’s the drill:

  • S=survey
    • Preview the text
      • Look at the pictures/captions
      • Read highlighted/ bold words
      • Read headings/subheadinges
      • Think about what you are about to read
  • Q=question
    • Generate questions that we will be able to answer after we read (or look at questions on a test)
  • P=predict
    • Predict 1 to 3 things we will learn while reading
  • R=read
    • Read
      • Alone
      • With teacher
      • With partner
      • With a group
  • R=respond
    • Discuss which questions were answered
    • Review which questions weren’t answered
    • Eliminate questions that aren’t likely to be answered
    • Develop new questions
    • Continue surveying process
  • S=summarize
    • Summarize what we have learned

Sounds relatively easy, right?

Next up, we’re going to read a poem called “Jabberwocky,” the same one that we saw the Muppets perform earlier! This poem is about a monster called the Jabberwock. We will go through each stanza together, and as we do, I would like you to write on your paper (below your article summary) what is going on. When we’re finished, we’ll see if we have a consensus on what Lewis Carroll is saying. Finally, I would like you all to answer these three questions:

  1. What is the mood or tone of the poem? What are three adjectives Lewis Carroll uses to set the scene?
  2. Why is the Jabberwock dangerous? Why is it impressive that the boy killed the monster? List three words Lewis Carroll uses to tell you these things.
  3. (this is the hard one) Look up all six of the words you used above and write down their definitions as the dictionary gives them to you.

When this is turned in, we’re done for the day! YAY!

Testing Friday!

Standard: RL.9-10.9. Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

Learning Target: Students will demonstrate their knowledge of Julius Caesar on a test after a gallery walk of their posters.

Activator: 5 minutes of study time :)

Today we’re going to start with a gallery walk of the posters you made earlier this week. Remember, the winning poster team gets 5 points extra credit added onto today’s test grade!!!

And speaking of tests, that’s our plan for today after the gallery walk! We will have the remainder of class to finish your test. After that, you guys can have some time to hang out, because I don’t want to start the next unit quite yet. As a sidenote, I may not be back on Monday *cross your fingers for me* but if I am, when I get here we’re starting MONSTERS!!!


Study Guide/Essay Thursday!


Learning Target: Students will work on their study guide and Julius Caesar essay.

Activator: The Animated Julius Caesar

Welcome back to THURSDAY! Today we’re going to take some time in class to (by hand) finish your Julius Caesar essays. Hardly anyone finished while we were in the lab on Monday, so we are going to finish them today! I’ll give you guys to the skinny bell where all you’re allowed to do is work on the essay unless it’s finished and turned in.

After that, if you would like to work on your study guide for tomorrow’s test (dun dun DUN!!!!) then you may do so. That’ll be all we get done today, and remember, tomorrow is test day!!!!! Also, enjoy the animated Caesar while you work on your study guide 🙂