Tag Archive for nonfiction

Teenagers have such a hard Friday…

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 demonstrate their knowledge of vocabulary on a short quiz, read an article about teenagers, and then finish composing their sonnet.

Activator: Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Today we’ve got two things on the docket. The first is reading this cool article that talks about how teenagers have a harder life than their parents did. We’re going to use a new way of reading this where I give all of you a copy of the article and ask you to mark the margins with the following symbols (and how many of each):

  • Put a * next to anything you think would be worth discussing with the class. (3)
  • Put a ? next to anything that confuses you or that you have questions about. (2)
  • Put a ! next to any statement with which you strongly agree. (1)
  • Put a X next to any statement with which you strongly disagree.(1)

Then we’ll discuss what you needed discussed, answer questions, and see if we, as a group, fall into an agreement or disagreement category.

Afterwards, we need to work on our sonnets. I have a lovely little sonnet worksheet for you guys that outlines everything we need to do. Most of you are still seriously struggling with this, so hopefully this worksheet will help you out.  If you happen to have already finished and your poem is in perfect iambic pentameter, then just copy it over onto your worksheet and read ahead in Oedipus for next week.

Tuesday’s Revolutionary Fire!

Standard:  RI.9-10.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Learning Target: Students will read a nonfiction article, use the Squeepers strategy to understand it, and read more House of the Scorpion.

Activator: Yes, yes, we will finish Nemo first…

Welcome to our Rebellion! unit, everyone! Today we’re going to start learning about what it takes to be a rebel. We’re going to continue reading The House of the Scorpion throughout this unit, as it is our anchor text. We’re also going to learn about persuasive techniques, write a persuasive essay, and do all kinds of fun,rebellious activities.

Starting with talking about Facebook! This article from Wired.com is about how the recent uprising in Egypt was caused by social media. We’re going to read it together using the Squeepers strategy, which goes like this:

  • 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

..and after we SQUEEPERS, we’re going to end the day reading more House of the Scorpion. YAY!

The Epic Flood of Tuesdays

Standard: RI.9-10.8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

Learning Target: Students will read a nonfiction article comparing the Genesis flood to the flood in Gilgamesh, and learn about bias and finding reliable sources.

Activator: Noah’s Ark

Welcome to a shiny new Tuesday, everyone! Today we’re going to be continuing with our discussion of Gilgamesh, and reading a lil bit of nonfiction about it :) I found this article online that compares the flood we read about in Gilgamesh to the flood that’s written in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

..before we get into that, let’s actually do some comparison in our own minds, shall we? I know a lot of you guys are familair with Noah’s story from the Bible, but just in case we need a refresher, Ms. B and I will read the story aloud to y’all while you follow along in the textbook (it starts on page 44). Now, with that read, let’s talk about comparing the two!

There is a lot of controversy over which story came first – Gilgamesh or Genesis – and this article talks a little about why it’s so important to so many people. However, one thing we need to consider when we read articles – especially ones from the internet – is something called bias.

bi·as 

/ˈbīəs/

Noun:
Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Verb:
Show prejudice for or against (someone or something) unfairly: “the tests were biased against women”; “a biased view of the world”.
Synonyms:
noun.  prejudice – inclination – partiality – tendency
verb.  influence – prejudice

Interesting concept, right? If an author is prejudiced, or biased, towards one side or another, sometimes that belief comes across in their writing. It’s important for us, as scholars, to realize when an author is biased. Just because an author is biased does not mean they’re wrong – so don’t think I’m saying that – but it does mean that they’re unwilling to consider another point of view, or at least that they’re not considering another point of view in this particular piece.

Do you think an author can really make a good argument if they refuse to consider any other points of view? Do you think the author of this article is willing to look at the other side of things?

We’ll talk about what this means today while we read the article together and answer some questions :) And then… We need to get back to House of the Scorpion! So we’ll end the day on a chapter of that :)

The Thursday Complex

Standard: RI.9-10.5. Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).

Learning Target: Students will read an article about the Oedipal complex and complete a margin-marking activity, then begin brainstorming for their persuasive essay.

Activator: Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Today we’re going to do that margin-marking thing again 😀 Remember this from a week or so ago? It was when we made little symbols in the margins of an article to think our way through it, and then we talked about it. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Put a * next to anything you think would be worth discussing with the class. (3)
  • Put a ? next to anything that confuses you or that you have questions about. (2)
  • Put a ! next to any statement with which you strongly agree. (1)
  • Put a X next to any statement with which you strongly disagree.(1)

Right! So today’s article is about this thing called the oedipal complex, which basically says that all people have an inherent jealousy of their same-gender parent and an inherent desire to be with someone like their opposite-gender parent. This is where the idea that all women marry men exactly like their fathers come from… have you guys heard of that before? Anyway, as with most things in psychology, there is some debate as to whether or not this phenomenon is legit. So today we’re going to read an article that doesn’t look so much at people who might experience the oedipal complex, but that looks at the play and examines whether the oedipal complex exists at all. Sound fun? Cool!

After that, we’re going to talk about our persuasive essay for this unit. Here’s the gist of it:

Argumentative: What does it mean to suffer? Is suffering truly universal? In the book Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy says “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In contrast, however, Martin Luther King Jr. said that everyone suffers: “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” What do you think? Does the current generation suffer more or from worse things than past generations have – in other words, is life for you worse than it was for your parents? Teenagers often think that their life is harder than anyone else’s life has ever been, and likewise, adults often think that their own youth was a much simpler, easier time. What is your opinion? Does life continue to get worse and worse, or does everyone suffer to the same degree?

Due date: Friday, December 14th, 2012

Write an essay in which you respond to the above questions. Your essay should meet the following criteria:

  • At least 500 words.
  • MLA Formatting
  • Formal Style – no 1st person, contractions, slang, etc.
  • You should answer all of the questions posed to you on the other side of this sheet in a full and complete manner. Remember to respond to the prompt, not just write how awful your life is.
  • Proper grammar and conventions, and stylistically engaging.
  • Your essay must be submitted on or before the due date. Late essays will not be accepted, as I will not have time to grade them before the semester is over.

We’ll go over the essay requirements and then I’ll give you guys some time to brainstorm and start getting your ideas down on paper, which we’ll probably do with a circle map. Tomorrow we’ll do another article that should help you in your stormbraining, and then next week is all about wrapping up loose ends!

Teenagers have SUCH a hard Friday…

Welcome back! I hope you guys were able to use your catch up day yesterday to great effect and get any work you needed to finish all complete and turned in.

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 demonstrate their knowledge of vocabulary on a short quiz, read an article about teenagers, and then finish composing their sonnet.

Activator: The Who – Baba O’Riley

Today we’ve got two things on the docket. The first is reading this cool article that talks about how teenagers have a harder life than their parents did. We’re going to use a new way of reading this where I give all of you a copy of the article and ask you to mark the margins with the following symbols (and how many of each):

  • Put a * next to anything you think would be worth discussing with the class. (3)
  • Put a ? next to anything that confuses you or that you have questions about. (2)
  • Put a ! next to any statement with which you strongly agree. (1)
  • Put a X next to any statement with which you strongly disagree.(1)

Then we’ll discuss what you needed discussed, answer questions, and see if we, as a group, fall into an agreement or disagreement category.

Afterwards, we need to work on our sonnets. I have a lovely little sonnet worksheet for you guys that outlines everything we need to do. Most of you are still seriously struggling with this, so hopefully this worksheet will help you out.  If you happen to have already finished and your poem is in perfect iambic pentameter, then just copy it over onto your worksheet and read ahead in Oedipus for next week.

And that’s it! Sidenote, today is my last day of National Novel Writing Month, so everyone cross your fingers that I can pull it off and win!