Causes and Effects

Throughout both To Kill a Mockingbird and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, there are many notable events and turning points.  Today, the students explored these causes and effects in order to determine some of the central themes.  They first created a multi-flow map reflecting the causes and effects of one event in their novel of choice.  Thereafter, the students then identified the themes they saw among their multi-flow maps.  The students then voted on the themes they saw and we used those to create a scenario that we would subsequently put on trial.

After creating the mock trial scenario, the students then told me which roles they were interested in taking on for the trial.  Thereafter, if time allowed, the students were permitted to conduct research for their roles in the trial.  Jury members were able to work on any work they needed to complete in class.


  • Study for tomorrow’s quiz.
    • TKAM: Chapters 12-21
    • ROTHMC: Chapters 6-9
  • Bring your vocabulary assignment to class in order to receive a grade.


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

In the meantime…

Please pardon the delay with the updating of the blog.  For some reason, accessing from school was no longer possible, but I have finally found a solution.  With less than a month to go until the CRCT, I certainly want to keep you all updated on what is going on in class.

This week we are trudging through the second  Benchmark exam, which is a county-created and mandated exam.  The students have up to 3 days to complete this within ELA and those who finish early will participate in “Zapping Zeroes.”  Those who have any zeroes within their overall grade will be given the opportunity to re-do and complete this work for partial credit as the quarter ends this Friday, the 15th.  Furthermore, on Thursday and Friday the students are going to have time to work on the areas in which they each need extra practice in the form of a Web Quest.

I will include links to some of the more important PowerPoint presentations from the past couple of weeks below.  Please feel free to use these for review.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!  Have a wonderful first day of Daylight Savings Time!

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Friday was our usual assessment day with the students first having the opportunity to look over their notes on theme.  They then took a quiz which included selections from songs as reading passages from which the students had to discern the theme.  Then, the students viewed the music video “Burn it Down” by Linkin Park where they had to write a BCR (Brief Constructed Response) no more than 1/2 a page in length answering the prompt below:

What is the theme of the video shown?  What images support this as the theme?  Does the video show this theme effectively?

The students were graded based on clearly answering the questions within the prompt, providing detailed examples to support their position, and their ability to do so using grade-level appropriate writing.

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.

PowerPoint: forthcoming


Wednesday and Thursday, February 20th and 21st, 2013

Wednesday saw a continuation of Tuesday’s lesson where the students had the opportunity to view more videos, discuss the possible themes in groups, and finally share them with the whole class.  The students really enjoyed the integration of music into the ELA lesson.

PowerPoint: Putting Things in Order 2.20.13

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.

Today’s class periods featured discussion about the “Article of the Week” and why we must make sure that sentences and paragraphs are in proper order so that the reader can understand what has been written.  In conjunction with our current extended text Divergent by Veronica Roth, the students took a “Faction Quiz” where they answered questions to see where they will be placed within the classroom next week.  The students will be interacting with the story because the characters within the world of Divergent are separated into different factions, or family-style groups, based on an aptitude test (which uses their personality inclinations) to identify in which group they would best fit.

PowerPoint: Synthesis (Sentence Order and Theme) 2.21.13

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Complete the “Article of the Week” which is due Friday.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Hopefully you had a wonderfully refreshing 4-day Presidents’ Day weekend!

This week we will be focusing on theme and sentence order in class.  To jumpstart the week’s focuses, we first addressed theme.  First, five television theme songs were played and the students had to identify the show to which it belonged.  If they could not, they had to identify what pictures came to mind as they heard the theme song.  The students heard the theme songs below:

Thereafter, we worked whole group to brainstorm on the themes presented in the music videos below.  Since visual images are easier to pull from than text, this served to provide the students with practice in identifying themes.

I chose to pull from a selection of songs from which the students would not be immediately familiar so that they were able to focus on the visuals and less on jamming out to their favorite song.

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes, pull themes from the “Article of the Week”-“Teenage Gamers Better at Simulated Surgery than Medical Residents”

PowerPoint: Theme 2.19.13

Graphic Organizer: Theme Graphic Organizer