- Although we were missing a few students, we began our novel study today. We spent some time going over the background to the story and I drew a time map on the board to make it clear that the story is set in the future even though people live as if it were the Frontier days.
- We started reading chapter one and Riley was quite excited to predict what was to happen next. We’ll catch up the other students tomorrow – I told the ones present today that they’d have to do the explaining tomorrow and we’ll see how much they understood.
- All but three students were away yesterday for their Career and Work Experience program, but I had discussed with them last Friday to make it explicitly clear that they were still responsible for completing what work we ‘would’ be doing during Monday’s class. Their assignment was to have chapter nine read and the related questions done for today’s class. None of them did that. We reviewed how the CWE program works and what is expected of them in their classes as a result of days they missed. Mr. Gasper came as well to make sure I was understanding things properly.
As a result, and to make it clear so this won’t happen again, those who were not finished their Ch 9 stayed at lunch until it was completed.
- We moved on, though, to read chapter ten together (listening to the audio version) and then students did the four questions for that chapter.
- Tomorrow we will review why Ch 9 is such a key chapter, since everyone will have had a chance to read it by then.
- Most of the students were away for their Career and Work Experience, but they were told on Friday they had to have Chapter nine completed, read and questions answered, for Tuesday. Those students who were here read this (listened to the audio) together and did their questions.
- We’ll talk, when the others return, about the important aspects of Chapter nine.
- Students shared with us all their excitement after having watched a very scary movie together Friday night. It seemed good timing that they watched a paranormal movie when we are studying “the Unknown”.
- We got back into listening to “The War of the Worlds”, even though we’ve discussed how this new movie they watched raised their bar even higher so it wouldn’t seem as thrilling.
- Once we finished, we focused on the fact that even though mankind has developed all sorts of technology and gained such knowledge through their search of information, none of that knowledge could help them against the aliens and instead it was the simplest part of nature (whether God-made or not) – bacteria. The author was making his point that science developments and the use of technology may not be competition for the natural order of things.
- We discussed, again, the purpose of their handout for the Dynamic Characters of the novel. I had students re-explain what they were to look for and I was pleased how well they could recite examples or evidence of a character being a dynamic one. The point, then, was to remind them to use the handout as we read.
- We continued reading through Chapter 6 and 7. We had just barely finished when the bell went, but they had enough time to write out their chapter summary sentences so they won’t have to struggle to remember for tomorrow.
- We started the class by going through their “The Raven” questions that were supposed to be done on Monday. Students supplied answers or helped add to other people’s responses. Once this review was over, they did a quick 12-question, multiple choice quiz on the poem. No one got less than 11 out of 12 – a good sign!
- Then we started talking about the differences between Fantasy literature and Science Fiction. They were given a handout with the characteristics of each listed, with the biggest difference being that one includes scientific principles the other does not, one is set in the future most often, and science fiction writing is often critical of how technology is being used.
To make the point clear, we talked about our ability to keep people alive well past their natural lifespan, or the ability to resuscitate a baby after delivery complications when it’s lost oxygen to the brain for as much as half an hour. The students mostly all asked, “What’s wrong with that? That’s great if they can save the baby!” However, they pieced it together when they were reminded of the damage done to the brain when deprived of oxygen for even five minutes. While we CAN do many things with science, whether we SHOULD is another subject. This is often the focus of science fiction – creating a story that shows the darker side and potential harm of using our knowledge.
- I explained to them the reality of people living in 1938, near the outbreak of World War 1, who didn’t have anything like television to create such a visual for their entertainment. People listened to radio productions. One particular one, though, was the broadcast of the War of the Worlds play that created such widespread panic in New York and area that it’s been a famous story to retell ever since!
- Students have copies of the play and we are listening along to a recording of the broadcast. Their task as they listen is to watch for techniques written into the script that help create a sense of realism, not the audio things done to make it Sound like a real broadcast.
I’m really pleased I was able to pain enough of a picture for them so they could go back in their minds and try to experience this radio play in a way very similar to the people who were originally so affected by it. They seem really intrigued by the history of the even!
- We continued reading through the novel together, with me reading aloud. Some students, I can see, read at a faster pace on their own and then start their questions before the rest are finished listening. This is fine. It’s important, though, that those listening do follow along in the book because the combination of listening and reading will help improve both of those skills for them.
- Once we had finished reading the chapter and discussing the main parts, they wrote down a chapter summary sentence on their question sheets and they were asked to answer their questions individually.
- Today, students used the class to develop their fantasy creature, the next assignment they’re working on. This is technically period 2 of 2 to work on it. While yesterday they actually finished their “The Raven” questions before starting their creatures, those Raven questions were to be done as homework. Since they all skipped doing that homework over the weekend (to pay me back for using our Friday class as study time for another class) they basically lost the work period 1 of 2. This doesn’t mean their deadline is looming in any way – they’ll still have plenty of time to work on it, just on their own time.
- Students came to class to be reminded that their illustration project was due today, even though I could see several of them had left their drawings on the shelf in the classroom.
- We answered the questions for Chapter 2 together. We finished reading Chapter three (they listened to most of it on Friday) and then students were asked to individually answer those chapter questions as well.
- They wasted a lot of time. I said I wanted them to read Chapter 4 on their own and be ready to do the questions tomorrow. Some of them said they would read it during their DEAR time.
- Today was not a good start to the day or week. Last Friday, students asked if they could use our English class to prepare more for their upcoming Forensics exam the following class. I agreed under the strict stipulation that they do the English work on their own as homework and have it done for today. None of them did. I was very disappointed and frustrated.
- This means that instead of moving on with the next task, they used more class time to finish the questions. Tomorrow we’ll go over them and they’ll have some time to work on their next task, a fantasy creature project.