Reading Vietnam

ALL sections, please read and annotate the poems in the packet provided in class (pdf also below) by Monday 6/5. Please remember, no late work will be accepted, and reassessment is not an option. More important, though, I will be sharing your work with Professor McCloud.

Please be prepared to spend about 60 minutes total broken up over several days on this work before Monday 6/5.

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PDF of poetry packet: Vietnam Poetry by Professor Bill McCloud


REQUIRED:

Reactions and Responses – Please be sure to respond and react to the poems as you read them. You can just make quick annotations, notes, and bullet points; you don’t have to write in complete sentences or anything like that! You can ask yourself questions like…

  • What does the poem make you think or feel?
  • How does the poem relate to what we’ve learned about in American Studies?
  • How do the poems relate to one another?
  • What do you like or find interesting about the poem? What do you dislike about it?
  • What surprised you, confused you, made you stop and think, made you see from a different perspective?

Questions – As you read the poems, be sure to jot down any questions that come to mind so that we can ask them on Monday!

  • What questions do you have for the poet, Professor Bill McCloud?

*****

OPTIONAL:

Notice and Note Signposts – If you happen to notice a signpost, feel free to note it!

  • Contrasts & Contradictions: Why is the character doing that?
  • Aha Moment: How might this change things?
  • Tough Questions: What does this question make ME wonder about?
  • Words of the Wiser: What’s the life lesson and how might it affect the character?
  • Again & Again: Why does this keep happening or coming up?
  • Memory Moment: Why might this memory be important?

Word Gaps – You might need to look up some words or abbreviations.

  • Look up words or abbreviations you don’t know.

In-class Peer Review and Revision

In class on Wednesday 6/1 and Tuesday 6/2, we will spend a bit of time reviewing and revising your “To Reflect on Mockingbird” essays before submitting them for final evaluation and target scores. You can find the GoogleDoc of this peer review and revision plan here.


Learning Targets:

  • Make connections between and draw conclusions about a text and the social, cultural, and political situation of the time in which it was written and published.
  • Make connections between and draw conclusions about a text and the social, cultural, and political situation of the time in which it is currently being read.
  • Use and cite specific evidence and examples to support my ideas.
  • Apply vocabulary words to my own writing, demonstrating my knowledge of the nuances in word meanings.
  • Adhere to the 8th grade American Studies writing non-negotiables. (Dr. Walczak will not read and evaluate essays that do not meet the writing non-negotiables. Your essay will simply be returned to you, and you will not receive credit for any of the learning targets.)

NOTE: Because we are so close to the end of the school year…

  1. Late work will not be accepted.
  2. You will NOT have the opportunity to reassess this work. Ensure that you hit the learning targets on the draft you submit for evaluation.

You are one another’s last chance to review and revise your “To Reflect on Mockingbird” short essay before submitting it to me. Help one another; work together to ensure your work hits the learning targets! Remember, reassessment is not an option…

  • Does your partner’s essay answer the questions asked in the assignment sheet? If it does not, let them know what they need to do to answer the questions!
  • Does the essay have a clear claim? What is your partner arguing in their essay? With your partner, identify the claim and HIGHLIGHT IT IN YELLOW. Add a comment that says “CLAIM.”
  • Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? With your partner, identify each topic sentence and HIGHLIGHT IT IN GREEN. Add a comment for each that says “TS.”
  • Does your partner include specific evidence and examples? Are sources credible and unbiased? Are quotes accurately cited in MLA format? If not, help fix the issues. You can find help here. If your partner uses outside resources, make sure they have a Works Cited page.
  • Does your partner use vocabulary words seamlessly and successfully? Make sure every vocabulary word is bolded, highlighted, or underlined.
  • Does your partner meet all the writing non-negotiables? If you have any questions about grammar, mechanics, or conventions, please ask! You can also see the Conventions webpage for help.

Complete a rubric for your partner’s essay. When you are done with your partner’s essay, write the following on their rubric and sign your name to it:

IF MY PARTNER REVISES THE ESSAY PER MY SUGGESTIONS, THE ESSAY WILL MEET THE LEARNING TARGETS.

Writing Non-Negotiables for 8th grade American Studies

Dr. Walczak and Mr. Taft will provide feedback or assess writing ONLY if the follow non-negotiables are met.

Check your notes and various writing resources on Dr. Walczak’s website for help.

Please use a checkmark or an X to indicate you’ve done the following:

  • Used correct capitalization throughout your writing
    • All proper nouns
    • The pronoun “I”
    • The first letter at the beginning of a sentence
    • In titles as required
    • In abbreviations as required
  • Used correct end punctuation
    • A period at the end of a declarative sentence
    • An exclamation point at the end of an exclamatory sentence
    • A question mark at the end of an interrogative sentence
  • Indented each paragraph in your writing
  • Followed the rules of spelling
    • You’ve checked every word underlined in red
  • Eliminated “text language” or non-standard abbreviations (cause/cuz, lol, u, I, r, ur, ima, 2, gonna, wanna, etc.)
  • Employed proper usage of the following homonyms
    • To, two, too
    • Were, where, wear, we’re
    • There, their, they’re
    • Your, you’re
    • Our, are
  • Used commas and semicolons correctly
  • Written complete sentences
  • Punctuated quotations and dialogue correctly, to the best of your ability
  • Cited quotations in MLA format, to the best of your ability
  • Punctuated titles properly with either italics or quotation marks
    • Books, magazines, newspapers, albums, websites in italics
    • Short stories, poems, articles, songs, webpages in quotation marks

 

Last call!

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No late work, reassessments, retakes, or anything of the like will be accepted after tomorrow, Friday 5/26.

Assignments due between Tuesday 5/30 and the end of the year will not be accepted late and will not be eligible for reassessment.

Memorial Day Reading

 

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This week and weekend as we celebrate Memorial Day and complete our March to the Memorials service learning project, please take the time to read one or more of these important stories of the Vietnam War Era. You can find more context for each of these stories here.


On the creation of the “The Wall,” the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall —

Jan Scruggs and Joel L. Swerdlow’s To Heal a Nation: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial 

adapted by Swerdlow into an article for Syracuse University Magazine in 1985


On one of the worst ambushes of American troops in the war —

Death in the Ia Drang Valley, November 13-18, 1965

by Private 1st Class Jack P. Smith, published in The Saturday Evening Post on January 28, 1967

Note: Jack P. Smith is NOT the USM alumnus whose name appears on The Wall.


On protesting the Vietnam War —

Born on the Fourth of July 

by Ron Kovic


Reading at least one of the above is required. Here is another optional reading you may want to check out… Why do we celebrate Memorial Day? from the National Museum of American History.

Also check out History.com’s page on Memorial Day.

To Reflect on Mockingbird

Learning Targets:

  • Make connections between and draw conclusions about a text and the social, cultural, and political situation of the time in which it was written and published.
  • Make connections between and draw conclusions about a text and the social, cultural, and political situation of the time in which it is currently being read.
  • Use and cite specific evidence and examples to support my ideas.
  • Apply vocabulary words to my own writing, demonstrating my knowledge of the nuances in word meanings.
  • Adhere to the 8th grade American Studies writing non-negotiables. (Dr. Walczak will not read and evaluate essays that do not meet the writing non-negotiables. Your essay will simply be returned to you, and you will not receive credit for any of the learning targets.)

NOTE: Because we are so close to the end of the school year…

  1. Late work will not be accepted.
  2. You will NOT have the opportunity to reassess this work. Ensure that you hit the learning targets on the draft you submit for evaluation.

Now that you have closely read and analyzed power passages in To Kill a Mockingbird and extensively explored the Civil Rights Movement, it’s time to merge these units of study together.

Your last learning experience for To Kill a Mockingbird is to write a short essay that addresses the following questions. To practice brevity, your essay must be succinct, making a clear claim and supporting the claim with evidence in no more than two typed pages (12 pt TNR font; double-spaced). Your essay should have a clear introduction and conclusion. Each paragraph should have a distinct topic sentence and should flow into the next paragraph with a definite transition.

Questions:

  • How does To Kill a Mockingbird relate to and reflect the social, cultural, and political situation of the time in which it was written and published, meaning the Civil Rights Era? To Kill a Mockingbird has often been referred to as “the right book at the right time.” What do you think of that description? Was Mockingbird the right book to be published in 1960, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and made into an Academy Award winning film in 1962? Why or why not?
  • Why should we continue to read this novel today, well over 50 years after its publication? How does this novel relate and reflect the social, cultural, and political situation of the time in which we are currently reading it? How does it speak to us, our lives, our communities, and our country today?

Support your ideas with specific evidence and examples. If you use outside sources, be sure to create a Works Cited page in MLA format. Use NoodleTools. Use credible, unbiased sources only.

Because this is reflective writing, your voice may be more conversational and less academic. However, your writing skills, mechanics, and conventions must still be solid. See the Conventions webpage for help and be sure to ask questions!

Finally, within your essay, please use at the very minimum ten vocabulary words from this year. Please note — your vocabulary word usage needs to be seamless and successful. Use the words because they mean what you are attempting to communicate. Do not “force” words into sentences where they don’t truly work or make sense. Bold, highlight, or underline vocabulary words, please.

Submit only a GoogleDoc on GoogleClassroom. Do not submit any other format (Word, Pages, pdf, etc.)

Click here for the GoogleDoc of this learning experience.

Due: Tuesday, May 30 for ALL sections.

Final Assessment on Mockingbird

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In class on Thursday and Friday this week, we will be completing our final assessment on To Kill a Mockingbird. Make sure you have all of your notes and annotations ready to go! Bring those materials to class.

I will return any work I have from you by then. Check the hanging file folders in the back of the classroom!

Power Line/Words of the Wiser Poster

Choose a power line or Words of the Wiser quote from To Kill a Mockingbird to turn into your final locker poster of the year. Choose what you want to share with your classmates and Middle School teachers and students who walk the hallway every day. 

Your poster should be an interesting, intriguing, eye-catching, and thought-provoking artistic representation of the quote. Be sure to choose the best font, images, size, and so on. Think Pinterest. Think Canva. Think Photoshop. You can of course create by hand or online.

Print and hang a hard-copy of your poster on your locker. Upload your poster to GoogleClassroom (that’s where I’ll evaluate them). If you create your poster by hand, take a photo of it and upload it to GoogleClassroom. Due: Monday 4/22 for all sections.