Tag Archive for nonfiction

Metamorphotuesday!

One day down, four to go, and tomorrow is Halloween!

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: Metamorphosis Summary

Welcome to Tuesday! 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.” I would like you to get back together with the same partner you worked with yesterday (people who were absent yesterday should hook up with a pair to form a group of three) and I will give you back the definition you wrote of “Monster” at the beginning of class. With your 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, look back over the definition you wrote yesterday and revise it.

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.

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. Today is just getting our feet wet, but on Thursday you’ll be reading on your own. Tomorrow we have some special Halloween stuff planned!

Monsters are OUT THERE!

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!

  •  1st block – Something big, ugly, scary, and imaginary
  • 3rd block – Scary, big, inhuman, alien
  • 4th block – scary, mean, ugly, evil, fears

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!

Monday’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: The House of the Scorpion Movie Trailer

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!

GO LADY CARDINALS!!!!!!

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend! I know I had fun for mine 🙂 And more importantly, tonight is our VARSITY VOLLEYBALL HOME GAME!!!!!!!!! Come out and support our ladies while we kick some Cambridge butt!!! Third block, wish Nicole luck!

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: Shrek!

…and why are we watching Shrek today? What kind of story is that?

Welcome to a shiny new week, 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. 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 🙂

Computer Lab Friday!

Welcome to lab 308! That’s the last time I’ll type that…sad 🙁

Standard: ELA10W1 The student produces writing that establishes an appropriate organizational structure, sets a context and engages the reader, maintains a coherent focus throughout, and signals closure.

Learning Target: Students will complete and turn in their 1000 word persuasive essay.

Activator: More 6 word memoirs :D

Your persuasive essays are due today! I can’t accept late essays!! STOP READING THE BLOG AND GO WORK ON YOUR ESSAY RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

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