Showing posts from January, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Read the following, then answer the questions that follow:
Sea Fever by John Masefield
The Village Blacksmith by Henry Longfellow
1. What "call" is the speaker answering in "Sea Fever"? 2. What is the "long trick" in the last line of "Sea Fever"? 3. What does the village blacksmith think about when he hears his daughter's voice? 4. What simile describes the wind in line 10 of "Sea Fever"? 5. What similes in "The Village Blacksmith" describe the smith and his work? 6. Note which words and phrasea are repeated in each stanza of "Sea Fever." In each case, why do you think that the poet chose to analyze those words? 7. Write down four lines from each poem and mark the stressed and unstressed syllables. Now, read the lines aloud. What effect does the rhythm have on each line? 8. In addition to creating a pattern fo sound, rhyme helps emphasize important lines or words in a poem. Write down the rhyming words in "Se…

A Treasure Trove of Writing Topics

"I have nothing to write about!" This is such a common complaint. It's like saying you have nothing to eat when the fridge and cabinets are full. It's like saying you have nothing to wear when your closet is jammed with clothes. What you're really saying is that nothing suits your writing fancy at this moment.
Stop reading this. Look around you. Get out your pencil and paper. Start listing things that you could write about.
Matilda the Queen of England Who really was Santa Clause? What is my favorite song and why? The best tomatoes in the world come from New Jersey A Prayer for Owen Meany book review My favorite sea roving song
Many writers try a technique called mind mapping. Start with a clean sheet of paper. Draw a bubble in the middle. Write the seed of an idea in the bubble and branch out from there. Sometimes a writer has to ask his friends and family for ideas. Good writers read. Sometimes your best idea might come from something you have read. Look around…

January 29, 2016

How can work affect our lives? what do you think of when you hear the word work? If your experience with projects or chores hasn't been pleasant, then words like boring and dull might come to mind. When you love what you do, however, work can become more than just a job. What jobs might be interesting enough to build your life around? What characteristics would a job have to have in order to be more than just a job? Rhyme is the repetition of sounds at the ends of words. A poet may use rhyme loosely, or develop a pattern of rhyme throughout the poem. Poems often have a regular rhythm. John Masefield's love of the sea began in childhood. he received part of his education at a floating school, on a ship. his first job was a position on the crew of an ocean liner. Illness eventually forced him to leave the sea, but his love of water continued to play an important role in his life. Sea Fever
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow got an early start to college--at age 14. By graduation, he had…

January 28, 2016

How can poetry surprise you?  Poetry sometimes surprises us because the poet uses language in unusual ways. Perhaps the poet creates a new twist on an old topic. Because poetry can surprise us, we become more interested in it and we want to read more of it.
A simile is a comparison of two unlike things using the words like or as. A metaphor is also a comparison, but there is no comparison words. Personification is when the author gives objects that are not alive human qualities.

January 27, 2016

A biography is the story of a person's life told by someone else. An autobiography is the story of a person's life told by that person. Biographies are told in the third person, while autobiographies are told in the first person. Be aware of author's bias when reading a biography. The author's attitude will definitely show in his tone. 


Theme is the message that the author wants you learn about life. It is not the topic of the piece. Topics are expressed in one word, but themes are expressed in sentences.
The topic of an article on sharks would be sharks. The theme might be that sharks have more to fear from humans than we have to fear from them.
Theme is a general statement and can be applied to many pieces of text. Topics are more specific and focused.
The objective for any lesson on this standard is that the student will identify theme in a piece of literature or poem.
In Amigo Brothers by Piri Thomas, the topic is friendship. The theme is that competition should not come between friends.

Analysis of Baseball and Alone at the Nets: Lesson Plan

What can sports teach us? Many people consider sports an important part of their lives, whether they play sports or just watch athletes enjoy being part of a team and competing with their peers. Fans enjoy watching games to see the skill and endurance of the athletes. Think about sports that are a part of your life. With a group, pick one sport and come up with a list of what the sport teaches you about life. Compare your list with the lists of other groups.
One of the first things that you will notice about poems is that they are made up of lines. A line of poetry can be a complete sentence, part of a sentence, or even a single word. Short lines give a poem a fast, choppy rhythm, or beat. Long lines give it a smoother, slower rhythm. Poets use line breaks, or the places where lines of poetry end, to add emphasis to certain words or phrases. Some poets use other stylistic elements for effect--unusual punctuation, unusual word breaks, and unusual spacing.
Usually poetry is meant to be…

What Brings a Poem to Life?

What brings a poem to life?
Words to know:Sound devices are resources used by poets to convey and reinforce the meaning or experience of poetry through skillful use of sounds.The most common (or commonly used) sound devices are: alliteration assonance consonance onomatopoeia rhyme (exact, slant, and internal) rhythm meter repetition refrain
Imagery is to use figurative language to represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses. Read the following for an example of the imagery of light and darkness from “Romeo and Juliet:”
“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright/it seems she hangs upon the cheek of night/like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear.”
To the Autumn

Snowy Saturday

It seems as if the entire United States is caught up in the blizzard. We are seeing more snow than we have seen in decades. While we love our snow days, we know that TNREADY is just around the corner.  In February, we take part one of the test. Part One consists of writing two essays in response to two different texts. The students will need to decide what the prompt is asking them to do. The important thing is that the students read, analyze, and understand what the writing task is asking them. Afterwards, the students can read with a specific purpose in mind.  Like practicing for a championship game, we are practicing for the Big Test.

A good lesson plan and what makes poetry different lesson plan

What is it that makes a good lesson plan? First, there must be motivation. Get the kids ready for the lesson. I usually do this in two different ways: writing and reading (but not necessarily in that order). By writing, I mean that I might give them a prompt or specific task or ask specific questions related to the learning objective. Sometimes, I give them a topic and they have to tell me everything they know about that topic. Sometimes, the writing might be a worksheet related to the learning.
By reading, I mean that I might read aloud from a novel or a picture book or an article. The students might read something silently or with a partner.
Like I said, this is an “and/or” situation and not necessarily in this order.
Here is a condensed version of a motivation for a lesson called “What Makes Poetry Different?” First, I give the students five minutes to jot or free write a response to that exact question. I then have the students share these with a partner, small group, or large group.…
Research Presentation The key elements of an excellent research presentation: Provides accurate details and explanations about elements in the project. explains how the project is related to the main research topic. Answers questions knowledgeably. Speaks clearly and audibly. The Key Benefits of a Rubric Assessment: You can adapt or create a rubric to fit a wide variety of reading and wriitng activities in your curriculum. If your school district has developed literacy standards for each grade level, you can use rubrics to determine how well your students are meeting those standards. You will find that rubrics can inform and improve your teaching. The criteria you use to determine a high-level or excellent performance provide directions for your teaching and goals for your students. Once your students have a clear understanding of the particular skills you will be looking for in a project or performance, they are more likely to produce better work. Rubrics can be time savers. With some practice,…