Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 Summarized

Wednesday was an energetic day in class.  After using 5 gerunds in a paragraph on any topic, we then had our first-ever Fist Pump Competition!  When a popular song was played, the students had to pump their fists exactly when the hook (chorus) came in.  If they fist pumped prematurely, their group was disqualified for that song.  The first group with 100% fist pumping at the hook of each song got a point.  The group with the most points was promised a super-special prize in the near future.  Until then, they have bragging rights.

We then picked up from where we left off in class yesterday by creating a 3-sentence introduction.  We worked together to identify the topic, audience, and purpose (pattern will be included later).  Then we selected a hook (attention-grabber).  We then generated a thesis based on our topic from yesterday which asked us to support our claim regarding the effects of smoking on one’s health.  Finally, we tied the hook and thesis statement together using a transitional sentence.  Please take a look at the example to the right (the link below opens the image in PowerPoint).

Sample 3-Sentence Introduction

The goal will be to use this 3-sentence introduction structure as a foundation for a larger, more extensive, yet still concise introduction.

HOMEWORK: Write a 3-sentence introduction with a question to open, a transitional sentence, and a thesis.

PowerPoint: 9-12-12 Thesis Statements in Action

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