Showing posts from June, 2015

Nonfiction Text for CCSS

Blogger 6.30.2015
Common Core State Standards 1
The English Language Arts Common Core State Standards are divided into five different strands. This article will discuss the first two.
Reading Literature: This strand concerns the literary texts that students will read at each grade level. This includes a story, drama, and poetry. The Common Core State Standards stress that students should read a wide range of literary text as they go through high school.
Reading Informational Text: Informational text includes a broad range of literary nonfiction including exposition, argument, and functional text such as essays, speeches, and opinion pieces, memoirs, and historical and technical accounts. The Common Core State Standards stress that students will read a range of texts in increasing complexity.
One lesson that high school students have to learn is to analyze how complex characters interact with other characters and advance the plot. In this lesson, students complete various tasks. Stude…

June 27, 2015

I created the featured image on Sketchbook for Kindle Fire. First, I drew the basic picture. Then, I filled in the image using a variety of brushes and colors. Afterward, I uploaded the drawing to Photo Studio Pro where I enhanced the picture. It is a multi-step proceedings that took about forty minutes.
Today is Friday. It is the last Friday of June. The Summer Solstice is over, so the days will be getting shorter. The weather in Middle Tennessee is hot and humid. There is a cold front moving through the Southeast, so we are now experiencing thunderstorms. The thunderstorms are leading the way for the cooler weather.
The kids and I spent the day at my mom's house. We enjoyed lunch and a visit. For lunch, we had baked chicken and macaroni and cheese. For dessert, we had strawberry trifle. The kids helped mom with some outside chores.
This week, I watched COURTING CHAOS. The film was written and directed by Alan Clay. I have read several of Clay's books and watched his other movie…

June 23, 2015

In 1500, Conquistadors were sailing into the area that we now know as Mobile Bay in the state of Alabama in the United States. On Spanish maps, it was called the Bay of the Holy Spirit. The Pensacola Indians were the tribal folk living in this area. Many of us are familiar with the name of the town in Florida. The Pensacola lived in the area around Mobile Bay until they assimilated into other Indian tribes in the mid-eighteenth century. These Indians were very fearful of the Spanish conquistadors. The Pensacola were so fearful that they burned their villages and fled.
Hernando De Soto, the Spanish explorer and conquistador, encountered a group of Indians called the Muscogee. The Muscogee also go by the name of the Creek Indians. De Soto would have encountered these Indians while exploring what is now the states of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. The Muscogee Indians, descendants of a group of people from the now state of Mississippi, were mound building Indians. Indian tribes used the…

Henry VI of England

Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the dynastic wars, such as the War of the Roses, which commenced during his reign. His periods of insanity and his inherent benevolence eventually required his wife, Margaret of Anjou, to assume control of his kingdom, which contributed to his own downfall, the collapse of the House of Lancaster, and the rise of the House of York.

Vinegrowers by Paul Celan

Vinegrowers dig up dig Under the darkhoured watch Depth for depth.
You read The invisible one commands the wind The stay in bounds.
You read.
The open ones carry The stone behind the eye It recognizes you On a sabbath.
What is your first reaction to this poem? Identify at least one poetic element in this poem and explain how it is used. Write a poem that is in this style.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Narrative devices in fiction and nonfiction.
How do we tell a story?
Writers of stories do not follow a formula. Instead, they make deliberate choices that will engage and entertain readers. Sometimes, narrators tell stories from strange or unusual viewpoints. Sometimes, authors choose to tell their stories through flashback or flashforward. Sometimes, authors throw out red herrings to distract, confuse, or surprise the reader.
What conflicts drive a plot? Who will the characters be? Against what backdrop will the story develop? Beyong these considerations, a writer must make two critical choices when crafting a story: who tells the story and how the story unfolds over time.
What is point of view? POV is the narrative lens through which a story is told. A narrator is who is telling the story. It is the voice of the piece. POV is the angle of considering things. Sometimes, the POV shows us opinions or feelings of the author.
There are three major points of view:
First-person, second-person, …

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Many people are historians. Some study written records of a war that happened decades ago. Some dig up dinosaur bones and other ancient artifacts from millions of years in the past. Family historians may be the ones that you are most familiar with. They are the relatives who remember when everyone's birthday is and can tell you what your great-grandparents did for a living. Here are some questions for you to think about:

Heinrich Schliemann

Heinrich Schliemann loved stories aobut ancient Greece. He dreamed of finding Troy, an ancient city destroyed during the Trojan War. In 1871, Schliemann began to dig through a human-made mound in Hissarlik, Turkey. Two years later, he uncovered the remains of a mysterious ancient city in the area where Troy stood. Some archaeologists believe that Schliemann actually found Troy. Others are unsure. Nevertheless, his work led to the discovery of many ancient Greek treasures. Because of his work, Schliemann is considered the founder of prehistoric Greek archaeology. Human history has become too much a matter of dogma taught by professionals in ivory towers as though it's all fact. Actually, much of human history is up for grabs. The further back you go, the more that the history that's taught in the schools and universities begins to look like some kind of faerie story.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Recognizing Main Ideas and Details

The main idea is the most important idea in a paragraph. A topic sentence often states the main idea. Supporting details tell more about the main idea. Types of supporting details include facts, examples, sensory details, and reasons.
Click here for a free note-taking sheet that goes along with this lesson.

Sunday Freebie: Adjective Worksheet 1

Are you looking for a great way to pre-assess adjectives? Click here for a free worksheet courtesy of Literacy Speaks Volumes!

Parts of Speech 1

Nouns and verbs are the basic building blocks of a sentence with verbs being the most important. Why are verbs the most important? You can have a sentence with just a verb. "March!" is a sentence. It is an imperative sentence; that means that it is a command. The subject (who the sentence is about) is "you."

Nouns are words that name things. In fact, the word has its roots in a Latin word that means "to name." Nouns tell us who is doing something ad where they are doing it: The crusaders marched on Antioch during the eleventh century. In order for your writing to leave a clear impression in the reader's mind, nouns must be specific not vague: The soldiers marched into the city a long time ago. This sentence leaves everything up to the reader, but gives him no good information on which to build comprehension.

Pronouns take the place of nouns. There are fewer pronouns than nouns, and they are pretty generic: They marched into there. Pronouns are important…

Thursday, June 4, 2015

It is four fifteen here in sunny Middle Tennessee where the thermostat reads 81 degrees. It really doesn't feel like that as there is not a good deal of humidity in the air.
I've spent most of the day researching the African Rift Valley and writing on my different platforms.
Why the ARV? Well, I'm in the process of writing a unit of study on early human origins in Africa. In order to write the unit, I have to research it. I really don't know much about this time in pre-history other than what little I have read on the most recent discoveries by the Leakeys~which isn't much.
So what do you know about the African Rift Valley?
Here is what I have so far in the Unit:

Unit Goal: Students will analyze the geographic, political, economic, and social structures of early Africa through the Neolithic Age which led to the development of civilizations.
Standards taught in this unit: 1.Identify sites in Africa where archaeologists and historians have found evidence of the origin…

Book Review: Dance Sisters by Alan Clay

Dance Sisters by Alan Clay is the second book by this author that I've read in the past week. It is not like Believers in Love, which threw me for a bit of a loop when I first began the book.
The Plot: An all-female musical trio plans to compete in a music contest but Pearl, one of the founding members, feels out of touch with the group. So, she joins a cult that uses dream therapy and group sex along with astrology to get folks back in touch with themselves. Eva, the newest member of the group, will do anything to keep the trio together, so she agrees to go along to the cult meetings in order to keep an eye out for Pearl. Eva is sexually attracted to one of the group's members and is torn between continuing with her outside life or joining the group also.
The characters:
Pearl~strong-willed, founding member of the group; she feels left out when the trio hires a new manager.
Moana~Pearl's one-time lover and also a founding member of the trio; she feels resentful that Pearl has…