Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

On Tuesday, the 10th Patriot Day, we continued our discussion of gerunds and thesis statements.  After practice changing verbs into gerunds, the students had the opportunity to see a Brain Pop video on main ideas.  This helped with understanding how to make a concise thesis statement.  In fact, we reviewed the concept of a thesis statement by repeating the first line to the theme song to “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”  The Fresh Prince (Will Smith) starts the song by saying, “now this is the story all about how my life got flip-turned upside-down, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the Prince of a town called Bel Air.”  He introduces the subject of the song and then informs the audience what it is he’ll be discussing.  Each verse thereafter supports this thesis.  My Advanced Content class had the opportunity to view a video based on the Chicago Teachers’ Strike from which they will construct a thesis tomorrow (as will the other classes if time allows).

After brainstorming, we worked together to dissect the writing prompt below using TAPP, Topic, Audience, Purpose, and Pattern (except for my 7th period class which first brainstormed and then used a graphic organizer to structure their thoughts). 

Writing Prompt-

 Each year many people lose their lives to the effects of smoking tobacco and it costs the families and our country billions of dollars in hospital expenses. 

What are the effects of tobacco smoke on a persons’ health.  Use details and examples to support your claim.

The students were provided with the following example thesis as a model:

Example thesis: Smoking’s effect on teenagers include cancer, bad breath, and yellow teeth.

HOMEWORK:  Today is “Make Your Dreams Come True Day.” What are your dreams? Write about the dreams you have for your future. Explain how you are going to make them come true in the form of a thesis.  You must include at least 1 gerund.

PowerPoint: 9-11-12 Gerunds, Theses, and Solid Arguments

**For added practice or extra help with thesis statements, you can visit the thesis generator at http://corptrain.phoenix.edu/thesis_generator/thesis_generator.html

Friday September 7th, 2012 in Review (and welcome aboard)

Let me first extend a warm welcome to the parents who have just signed up to follow this blog through their email.  Thank you for your support!

Friday we brought together all that we had learned this week through a freestyle rap review in the style of Jimmy Fallon’s “Ready, Set, Flow.”  Not all of the classes got a chance to do this entirely, but all were exposed to this concept for future reviews (in a much more fun and interactive way).  It was then time for our weekly quiz over the sentence parts of predicate, direct object and indirect object.  After completing the quiz, it was then time to write our weekly BCR.  This week, to reflect our in-class discussions, the students had the opportunity to choose from one of the topics below:

  • Topic 1: Has ‘The American Dream’ been deferred as Langston Hughes mentions in his 1951 poem.  Include examples to support your claim.
  • Topic 2: Can men and women fully be equal in society?  Why or why not? Include examples to support your claim.
  • Topic 3: What issue do you think politicians should not address?  Why should this issue be off limits? Include examples to support your claim.

HOMEWORK: None!  Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

PowerPoint: 9-7-12 Truth, Justice, and the American Way