This will be our last big project in ELA 9 this year. You have typically been free to select your own novel for independent reading, but this time you’ll select from one of two options:
The Outsiders is a short novel based around two opposing groups of youth from a small community. It’s set in the 1960s and focuses on one young boy’s struggle to figure out who he is as he faces tough peer pressure.
Lord of the Flies is also a short novel based on a group of boys whose plane is shot down during War. With no adults surviving and being stranded on an island in the Pacific, the boys have to establish some method of decision making. There are conflicts over what type of government style they want for their new, temporary society.
I only have a few paper copies of these books, so you may likely read them on your iPads. Here are digital copies of both books. Download them so they stay on your devices. You’ll also be highlighting parts as you read and you’ll need to refer back to those parts for an after-reading project.
We’ve recently finished studying events in history where culture groups were in need of protection from persecution. It’s a pretty heavy, but important, topic!
In our discussions yesterday we made comparisons of more recent world events, after the Travel Ban (#1) was enacted in America. The reactions from people across the USA were amazing to see; the positive reactions were amazing. The negative ones, discouraging.
I said I’d collect some of the examples so you can see what happened.
The Lumineers – the lead singer, Wesley, mentioned his father died ten years ago and he thought he was managing that loss, until one day he needed a pair of black dress socks and went to borrow a pair from his father’s sock drawer. In it, he found a pistol – a pistol he never knew his father owned.
The following song is about that moment and his processing of that new information. He mentioned the struggle, the reality of his father’s loss then, realizing he had questions he knew could never be answered.
A question a young student might ask is “why do people write poetry” and “why do we read poetry”?
People write poetry in moments like Wesley’s, in an effort to process something important in their life.
Others then will read that poetry to help them understand their own experiences, see how others processed those difficult thoughts and emotions, and develop a wider understanding of what it means to be human and interact with others.
We also watched another video, a true exchange between two exes who still held hurt from their relationship. Does this seem like a typical type of exchange between two exes, from your experience of romantic relationships?
Hi there from far away! Below are the Introductions the Canadian students have made to share with our new German friends. We’re really looking forward to whatever we each gain from this exchange of cultures and ideas!
There’s been some amazing work developed by students working through this Visualization project. The options were available to create many types, but most stuck to choosing between creating a new Book Jacket Cover and creating a Novel Periodic Table of Elements, and the end results are so cool!
Now that this project is over, though, it’s time to look back and reflect on decisions made, successes and goals for another time, and overall how pleased you are with yourself for the work you’ve done.
Take some time to develop your personal response to each of the following prompts. When you’ve answered them all:
find a quiet spot and audio record your personal reflections of these questions.
Note: We do speaking activities for different purposes. In this instance, imagine you’re talking to yourself down the road. You’re going to grow in skills and confidence as a student and, a year or two from now in High School, you’ll look back at this activity and listen to yourself recount whether it was a challenge, how you faced that challenge, and what goals you hoped to achieve in this type of activity in the future. Tell yourself what you’re proud of and what you hope to improve in.
take a photo of your visualization project
When done, embed your audio and image into your Blog with an appropriate title. This is an AR Task; you can either post it as a new Post to your blog or add it to your AR Reflections Page.
Identify the novel you chose and review the story line
Whether you would recommend a friend read it as well and why
What you can say of the author’s style of writing and how it’s unique
Choice of Visualizing Project:
Did you do the book jacket, periodic table or other?
Reasoning for your choice – Why did you pick that type of project and not another?
Decisions made along the way of your project:
What type of roadblocks did you encounter that you had to work around/figure out? Describe them and how you solved them.
Challenges: What other challenges existed in the project you developed? Explain/Describe
Your Reaction to your Challenges:
Did you stretch your abilities?
Did you try things that took yourself out of your comfort zone?
What type of risk-taking did you do?
How did you mentally handle the work you were doing?
Did you demonstrate any resiliency, an ability to overcome and work through some stressful times and obstacles?
Did you quit any part of your project or give up on an idea because it was too hard? Explain.
Identify a “yet” target – something you can’t do yet that would have helped you be successful in this project. Explain your choice.
End Result of the Project:
Are you proud of your work or let down? Explain.
Advice to another future student before they start this project – what should they know before beginning?
I give myself ____ out of 5 stars on my end project, because ______________.
I give myself ____ out of 5 stars for my strategies, choices, and problem-solving on this project, because __________________.
I give this Project Activity ___ out of 5 stars, because ________________.
We’ve had another block of time set aside for personal choice independent novel reading. There were no comprehension elements to this reading, so far, but we have taken time to take a measurement each of your oral reading fluency and speed. The curriculum goal for your age group (and anyone older than you, as well, actually) is to be able to fluently and with emotion read at the pace of 150 words per minute (wpm). Each of you will know, then, whether your oral reading is below, at or above that goal pace. Later in our course, you’ll do another assessment to see if you’re improving to help you set some reading targets.
For now, if you’ve come to the end of your novel reading, our next activity to finish up this novel reading section is to create a visualizing task and you’re challenged to pick one of the following options:
design a new book jacket to sell the same novel to children, teens or adults
design a Literature Periodic Table of Elements to represent aspects of your novel choice
draw a two-page spread of a Dr. Suess-themed portion of your novel plot complete with rhyming text
draw a scene from your novel plot in a Star Wars theme (novel characters overlapped with Star Wars characters)
draw a geographical map of your novel’s plot events (a town map, Hogwarts Castle, etc)
This will suit each of you and your learning preferences differently. Some people are very visual/spatial, so creating the book cover may be your preference, whereas others may be more verbal/linguistic so creating categories of characters, themes and such may be your preference.
Curriculum Objectives Satisfied by this Project:
Create and present a variety of visual and multimedia presentations to best represent message for an intended audience and purpose
G. Experiment with representing in a variety of familiar and unfamiliar forms
J. Adapt a print work to another medium
K. Experiment with the use of technology in communicating for a range of purposes with a variety of audiences
Each project will require a different approach and reflection of different elements of your novel choice.
Some of the basics of developing the typical keyhole essay have been established for you all. We’re able, then, to focus on more advanced and specific elements of developing your essay writing. In particular, many of you can improve how smoothly a reader flows through your writing, more easily following your line of thinking between the paragraphs. To improve this, you must develop stronger transitions between your paragraphs that guide the reader through the parts of your argument and shows the connections between the paragraph ideas.
Many of you have developed a strength in writing good topic sentences.
What you must do now is develop the transitions that precede them to link one paragraph idea to the next.
Some essay samples are provided below.
They range in quality of whether they have these transitions between paragraphs. Some are basic/redundant (first, second, third), some miss these transitions entirely and only have topic sentences, while others have developed both the topic sentence and the transition to accompany it. See if you can rate them in order of basic to advanced.