Advice to Scout and Cassie

Friday’s empathy activity really helped the students take the time to observe how destructive it can be when people jump to conclusions erroneously.  Thus, today, the students had to put themselves into the place of the two narrators of our books of choice, Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird and Cassie from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  When posed with a hypothetical situation, the students had to construct advice to either character.

The instructions and situations were as follows:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird:
    • Since Jem is spending more time with Dill, imagine that Scout befriends a young black child around town and they become fast friends. After noticing the odd looks and comments from the people around town when playing with this other child, she writes a letter to the local paper asking for advice.
    • Option A: Write Scout’s question and the paper’s response to her in the form of an advice column.
    • Option B: Write a dialogue between Scout and Calpurnia where Calpurnia provides some advice.
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry:
    • Cassie goes into Strawberry to run errands for Mama. On her way back, she enters a store and is refused service because she is black. Upon returning home, she writes a letter to the local paper asking for advice.  What do you think she would say?
    • Option A: Write Cassie’s question and the paper’s response to her in the form of an advice column.
    • Option B: Write a dialogue between Cassie and Mama where Mama gives Cassie advice. What would she say?

After a moment to share what had been written, the students then had time to read for the remainder of class.


  • Read for at least 30 minutes and log it in the reading log (check #2 will be on Friday):
    • TKAM- Chapter 12
    • ROTHMC- Chapter 5
  • Catch up on any outstanding work or discussion questions.


Revisiting Theme-September 4th, 2014

Themes are an integral part of effective storytelling.  Today, we reviewed themes through several short films.  For those still stuck in figuring out how to find a theme, I shared the following video.

After sharing the themes they each found in the stories they have been reading at home, the students practiced applying what they had re-learned theme to the following short films:

The stories we did not reach today will be used in class tomorrow.

Homework: Read for 30 minutes in preparation for our next Alternative Book Report (ABR) submissions.  These ABRs will be due after the September break.

PowerPoint: 9.4.14 Reviewing Theme

Revisiting Plot Structure-September 2nd, 2014

Plot structure is an elementary school standard, however it always needs to reviewed and explored even deeper than in the previous year. This is what we started today. The students worked in groups to brainstorm on the functions and purposes of each of the following plot elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution, and setting. They then reshuffled groups so that each group had only one member who had gathered information on each plot element. Each student then had the opportunity to serve as their group’s expert on that topic. From that, they created a Brace Map to show the parts of a story’s plot (NOTE: Setting was thereby included as part of the Exposition since it is not a standalone element).
Plot Structure Brace Map

In order to differentiate for learning styles, or if a student missed any of the information presented within the jumbled groups, we then watched a quick PowToon to rehash the concepts of each stage of the Plot Diagram.

Next, the students took a moment to apply what they had reviewed through the story “Curious George and the Kite” and “The Pirate’sTreasure.”  While listening to these stories, the students created a plot diagram to chart the main events in each story.

Plot Diagram



  • The students will watch an episode of their favorite television show and create a plot diagram to illustrate the different points within the story presented.  The students will also make note on whether there were any unresolved plot lines and will include any necessary information from previous episodes as well.

Three Mini Projects

As the students begin class today, they will be embarking upon a three-day project that includes three mini projects. 

Parts 1 & 2: The students will have to complete two assignments from the Parts of Speech Project choice board. (30 points each, 60 points total)

Part 3: The students will then complete one assignment from the Alternative Book Report list. (40 points)

All of the requirements for these assignments were distributed in class  yesterday and there are extras present within the room.  These assignments are expected to be completed in class today (Friday), Monday, and Tuesday.  They are due together for a total of 100 points on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014.

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Free Throw

The students had a rollicking good time today in class with TRASHKET BALL!!!  The room was divided into halves, each team had a team captain and designated free throw shooters.  Each student on each team had to answer questions related to ELA and Reading.  After 5 students from each team answered, each team’s designated free throw shooter aimed one of three balls (each of varying sizes and point values) into the “trashket.”  The team with the highest amount of points, won!

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Complete the ELA Infographic Project which is DUE FRIDAY (a.k.a. TOMORROW)!!

PowerPoint: ELA Olympic Showdown (Day 2) 4.4.13

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 and Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2013: On Tuesday, the students worked whole group on a head-to-head team challenge with ELA CRCT review questions.

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Work on completing the ELA Infographic Project, which is due Friday, April 5th.

PowerPoint:Standards Centers (Day 2) 4.2.13


Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013: Today, after much pleading from the students (that was a little example of hyperbole),though they had the option of working in three different centers,  they overwhelmingly voted to work on their infographic projects.  I reminded them that they could use PowerPoint,, and   I have included information on these resources below:

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Work on completing the ELA Infographic Project, which is due Friday, April 5th.

PowerPoint:ELA Olympic Showdown (Day 1) 4.3.13 

Friday, March 29th, 2013

We capped off this week with a continuation of our ELA Olympics.  Each of the teams in class were competing quite hard to gain the most points.  Today, we put our emphasis on two things: the ELA Infographic Project and sentence trees.  I had a Q & A session with the students to make sure that everyone was clear on the expectations of the project (which is due next Friday, April 5th and no later).  We then broke sentences down into their parts of speech and then looked at how the words came together to make phrases, clauses, complete subjects, complete predicates, etc.

Just as a refresher (for those of you parents who might not be familiar with sentence trees):

Sandy likes candy with chocolate.Sentence Tree

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Continue work on the ELA Infographic Project (due Friday, April 5th).

PowerPoint: Status Report 3.29.13

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Today we took our bi-weekly trip to the Media Center.  While there the students had the opportunity to get a head start on their homework (“Roger’s Swim”) as well as check out books.  They also received a copy of the requirements for their infographic project (due April 5th, 2013).  Finally, class wrapped up with our in-class ELA Olympics head-to-head CRCT review challenge.  Today we focused on Parts of Speech (found here).

A few students asked me for more information about the online resources I mentioned that could help them with the infographic project.  Thus, I have included the links below:

HOMEWORK: Read “Roger’s Swim” (the handout was distributed in class).  Choose 2 of the 3 sections (either section A, section B, or section C) and circle the subjects in each sentence.  Then underline the predicates (main verbs) in each sentence.

Read for 30 minutes.

Begin work on the ELA Infographic Project.

PowerPoint: Sentence Parts Library Day 3.26.13

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Today the students were briefed on the CRCT review goals we have leading into this exam.  The students were provided with a copy of the standards.  They were then provided with information on their upcoming review project where they have to create an infographic on one of a variety of Reading and ELA concepts.  They had to follow the steps below:

___Step 1: Choose a topic

___Step 2: Choose a color scheme (make sure the colors match)

___Step 3: Research your topic

___Step 4: Organize your information

___Step 5: Choose graphics (pictures, charts, graphs, etc) to show your info quickly and easily.

**REMEMBER: Creativity makes a difference!  Be creative, however, make sure you r infographic is easy to read while being informative.

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Work on your Infographic project (due Friday, April 5th, 2013).  You can look at the example from class today at:!b279

PowerPoint: ELA Review-Intro to Infographics 3.25.13

Friday, March 15th, 2013

To cap off a very self-directed week of instruction, the students had time to do some individual practice on the areas in which they were the weakest in addition to completing any missing assignments.  Those who were done with everything participated in a self directed web quest on either prepositions or clauses (click the links to access the pages on this blog).

Today is the last official day of the 3rd quarter.  Keep an eye out for report cards which will be coming home next Friday.

PowerPoint: Web Quest Day #2 3.15.13

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Have a safe weekend.