After reading Jill Gough’s recent blog post sharing Trinity teachers’ EL’s for 4th grade, I thought that would be a great way to check in with parents at my 5 week mark. What should your child know and be able to do by now because of his work in English 8? At the end of the first 5 weeks, students in my 8th grade English Class should be able to say “I can..” to all of the following Essential Learnings:
- I can use names of my peers and specific characters in discussion.
- I can be courteous in discussion.
- I can use evidence from the text in discussion.
- I can assess how well I comprehend what I read.
- I can identify and employ strategies to help me with my reading comprehension.
- I can use Presentation (MLA format) in my writing consistently.
- I can use Organization in a Literary Analysis Paper ( which includes a loose outline of a paper with Intro, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusion, and Topic Sentences).
- I can develop my Ideas in a Literary Analysis Paper by using quotes from a source.
- I can use technology responsibly by Evaluating Websites.
- I can cite sources with parenthetical citations and works cited.
- I can tell you the difference between a Works Cited and a Bibliography.
- I can explain Copyright and Plagiarism Rules.
- I can consistently be on time to class.
- I can turn in my work on time.
To summatively assess these skills, we are working on a research project (in conjunction with a research project in Science which will mutually reinforce the research skills learned) where the students are looking at the semester long essential questions through the lens of To Kill a Mockingbird and another popular current “text” of their choice (TV, Movie, Cartoon, Novel, etc):
How does literature (or another type of text) act as a window to the cultural values of its time? How does literature (or another type of text) act as a mirror to our own culture? What values hold steady over time? Why?
For the rest of the semester: we will continue our work on the following Essential Learnings as we read and discuss and write about Homer’s The Odyssey:
- I can participate in a balanced way.
- I can build on another’s comment.
- I can ask questions.
Literary Ananalysis Writing
- I can use a hook to start my introduction.
- I can end my introduction with a specific, arguable thesis statement.
- I can organize my body paragraphs with topic sentences, lead-ins, quotes, and lead-outs.
- I can organize my conclusion so that it answers the So What? question.
- I can annotate a text to help me understand.
- I can identify and explain the following literary devices: catalogue, epithet, flashback, direct characterization, indirect characterization, allusion, invocation to the muse, in medias res, narrative poem, prose, poetry, free verse, symbolism, hyperbole.
- I can analyze what I read.
- I can comprehend difficult texts.
Look for more updates at the 9 week, 13, and 18 week mark!