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!

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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.

Instructions:

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!

Resources:


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.

Requirements:

  • 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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Truth and Douglass

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Excerpt from: The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro ~ Frederick Douglass

What is Douglass saying? What are his key ideas and claims? What does Douglass mean when he uses these important terms and phrases? Why does he use these words and phrases? Why does Douglass’s speech still matter today? Click here to see the handout, but write on the hard copy provided in class.

You can answer these questions, take notes, offer insights and ideas in any way you would like on the handout. Every student will submit their own handout for assessment.

Use the search function on GoogleDocs and the dictionary app to help you.

Click here for resources on Truth and Douglass.

Ask your folks…

if they remember these:

We’re bringing Scholastic back!

Go to the Scholastic Book Club website and join our classroom with this code: QZRGH.

Scholastic offers great deals on books, and every time you order, we earn points to use toward books for our classroom library! And, the arrival of book boxes at school is always fun…

Here are some flyers to explore:

You can place orders here!

Four legs good, two legs bad.

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From the Animal Farm to the Brave New World…

In addition to reading Animal Farm, as we conclude our study of government and civics, we will each choose our own dystopian novel to read.

For this reading assignment, you must read a book that you have not read before. Rereading isn’t an option. If you choose to read a graphic novel, then you must read three. Yes, you read that right: three graphic novels. If you are a non-fiction reader, you can choose a book related to what you’ve been studying in American Studies History. If you have any question about whether or not a book qualifies for this assignment, please ask Doc.

As you read the novel, you’ll have several short writing and presenting assignments that ask 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!

Resources:

Banned Books Week is here!

We will begin working on this project in class on Monday 9/24 or Tuesday 9/25. You need not do anything before then. Thanks!


Let’s begin by seeking understanding of Banned Books Week. Using the GoogleSlides on the Banned Books page, create handwritten notes or sketchnotes in your own words defining these terms and answering these questions. Again, please take notes in your own words as you seek to understand. If you do not finish in the class time provided, this is time-critical homework because you’ll need this insight for class this week!

Banned Books Notes:

  • First Amendment
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Censorship
  • Banned vs. Challenged
  • Why do books get challenged or banned? What trends or commonalities do you notice in the reasons for bans or challenges?

On Wednesday 9/26 and Thursday 9/27, we are in the Library with Mrs. Eppelsheimer! The discussion questions are on GoogleClassroom, which is where you’ll turn them in.


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Learning Targets:

  • Express appreciation for an author or book in writing by following the tips given below.
  • Meet the expectations of the 8th grade Writing Specs.

From the American Library Association:

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week, readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books. Speaking out for banned and challenged books is vital in the fight against censorship.

The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom hopes that you realize that as a student and young person in America today, your words “have the power to sway decisions, to defend access to books, to stop censorship. Your words can combat the silencing of stories.”

This week, as part of Banned Books Week, we will participate in the ALA’s Dear Banned Author campaign. We will each write at least one postcard to a living author whose work is important to us or our communities. As you choose a contemporary author, consider the ALA’s question: What book has impacted your life?

Click here for a list of authors’ names, addresses, and twitter handles! If the author you would like to write to is not on this list, please see Doc for help.

Click here for the rest of the assignment. Please carefully follow the instructions! Pay attention to detail. You can also find several options for going Above and Beyond on the assignment sheet!

Book Rec Ad

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You have three learning targets for this project:

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

Click here for the GoogleDocs (which I often abbreviate as “GD”) assignment sheet, which can also be found on GoogleClassroom (which I often abbreviate as “GC”).

Find the 8th grade Writing Specs here!

Let’s talk Summer Reading!

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For the next few days, please bring at least one of your favorite summer reading books. If you don’t have the book, you can print out a copy of the cover or have the cover open on your laptop. Because we’re going to be moving around the room, it’d be easier for you to have the book or a printed copy of the cover.

Also please bring in your Summer Reading Bingo card with the books you read listed in the boxes! Please definitely do so if you got a Bingo! Woo hoo!

Here’s a link to the Summer Reading information.


Summer Reading Speed Dating ~ 

Let’s make some love connections!

Summer Reading Book Speed Dating Profile

Book Speed Dating

Homework: Summer Reading Book Ad Locker Poster


Middle School’s 30 Book Challenge

The Middle School 30 Book Challenge!

Just a few of many resources for the 30 Book Challenge:

Our best resource? MRS. EPPELSHEIMER! Go see Mrs. E. for the best personalized book suggestions! She’s magical.

#USMReads