Snow Day Homework!


Woo hoo! To do:

1. Help shovel and/or play with your dog or younger sibling in the snow.
2. Do some NoRedInk.
3. Check out lists of Novels in Verse and choose one or two you’d like to read.
4. Brush up on vocab lists #1-3 before we add list #4.
5. Spend at least a few minutes reading for fun!

Enjoy! And keep up whatever snow day rituals you’ve been doing – white crayon in freezer, etc. – because they’re clearly working.

Novels in Verse & NoRedInk

Note: We will begin this unit in class on Tuesday 1/22 and Wednesday 1/23; you do not have any homework to do before you have class on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. Thanks!


Choose more books!

Identities ~ Novels in Verse

Learning Targets ~ I can…

  • Explore a specific genre.
  • Make connections between and draw conclusions about fiction, history, and current events.
  • Identify and explain the overarching theme(s) of a novel and point to where the theme appears throughout the course of the text.


As we explore many points in 20th century American literature where individuals and groups formed and shaped their own identities, we will each read at least one novel in verse. If you choose a particularly short book, you will be expected to read more than one.

For this reading assignment, you must read books that you have not read before. Rereading isn’t an option.  If you have any question about whether or not a book qualifies for this assignment, please ask Doc.

As you read the novel, prepare for a final assignment that asks you to briefly summarize the book without giving too much away; identify important themes in the book; make connections to what we’ve been working on in both American Studies History and English; make connections to current events; and draw conclusions about the book and those connections.

If you finish a book quickly, then I’d love to see you go above and beyond by reading more than one!

First… Choose your book(s).

Second… Take down your current locker poster(s). Replace it with a new one! See the assignment sheet for your new poster here.

Third… Read your book(s), and we’ll take it from there!


Identities ~ Novels in Verse Locker Poster

Learning Targets ~ I can…

  • Write a brief description of a book that sparks interest in it without giving too much of it away.
  • Meet the expectations of the 8th grade Writing Specs. (Remember, book titles are italicized!).
  • Create a visually appealing and easily understandable poster with creative and artistic elements, such as backgrounds, images, font choices, colors, and so on.

As with your Summer Reading Book Recommendation Ad and your Dystopian Literature Locker Poster, think of this project as creating an ad for the book; “sell” it to other students who might be looking for a new dystopian book to read. Your poster should be interesting, intriguing, and captivating – something that grabs people’s attention and encourages them to check out your poster and, in turn, the book.

Please be creative and utilize your best writing, design, art, and technology knowledge and skills. Your poster should be eye-catching, appealing, and professional-looking. It should also be easy to read and understand. Posters will hang on our lockers. Keep that in mind when designing yours.

Please write a very brief description of the book in your own words. Do not simply copy the information from the cover, Amazon, GoodReads, or other sources.

Include the following:

  • Title (italicized) and author of the book.
  • Very brief description of the book (see cover, Amazon, etc. – but put into your own words, please). If it’s a book in a series, you could also give a brief description of the series.
  • Your name and AS English section.


  • 8.5×11” paper (regular paper size).
  • Extremely neat, appealing, and professional presentation.
  • Images and text.
  • In color.
  • No spelling or grammar/mechanics errors.

Print out a hard copy of your poster to hang on your locker. Save your poster as a pdf file and submit it on GoogleClassroom. I will evaluate your posters in GoogleClassroom, so be sure to submit it there!

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W. Fitzhugh Brundage on SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME

For many white southerners, this system fostered the belief that there was a rise in black crime, cementing the relationship between criminality and race. — Brundage


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Statistics about incarceration (imprisonment) in the United States:

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Statistics about juveniles (children and young adults) in custody (2015):

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Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons

Pay close attention to the very problematic descriptions of the poetry of Dunbar and Watkins Harper…

Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Commas Test on NoRedInk


The Commas TEST is now live on NRI.

I will not accept any tests or reassessments after 3:20pm on Monday 3/17. If you want to have time to reassess it, please take it before the end of the school day Friday. Then, if you need to reassess it, I can set up a reassessment test due by Monday. I will not take accept any tests or reassessments after the end of the school day on Monday.

Of course, you can continue to practice and reassess past Monday, but it will not be figured into your first semester grade.