This week marks the time when we begin to transition into the next phase of our class, no matter the class we share.
As we gear up for the Manifesto writing, we’ll do a couple of things Monday. First of all, we’ll spend a little time creating a timeline of your favorite books – well, different kinds of favorites. You’ll do a little writing about the details essential to the shaping of your worldview and try to identify any themes in your own reading and experience. On Tuesday, we’ll spend a bit of time with the themes at the bottom of the page; I’ll put you in some groups based on shared interests, and ask you to find details relevant to your theme in the short pieces we’ve read during the first two weeks. On Wednesday, I’ll give you time for planning in class the piece you’ll write on Thursday. For your reading pleasure during the week, I’ll ask you to read parts of Section I of Aristotle’s Poetics, and we’ll finally make our way to Sophocles on Friday, when we start Oedipus Rex.
Remember, we’re meeting in Computer Lab A on Monday, where you will load your favorite video news stories so we can expand our discussion of good journalism beyond Courant alumni. On Tuesday, we’ll do a little interview practicing on one another, and on Wednesday, we’ll write and share leads for the stories we uncover in our interviewing session. We’ll skip over Thursday, and then join the rest of the gang in room 119 on Friday.
As we move into our first reading unit, I’ll be presenting some specific instruction on critical reading and critical response (yay!) and I’ll show you how those lessons will be invaluable if you are striving for the “excellent work” categories on our reading and reflection rubrics (double yay!). On Tuesday, we’ll begin Lord of the Flies with some discovery writing and discussion that will allow us to have our say on some of the big themes in the book before we listen to Mr. Golding. I will also emphasize how to recognize the things an author does to draw your attention to the things he wants you to pay attention to.
Spoiler alert! Our emphasis all year long will be on why the author made the characters do what they do, not on why the characters decided to do things on their own.
On Wednesday, we will work in groups to identify the patterns and repetitions in chapter 1 so we can clarify those things the author wants us to be paying attention to. We will also learn a little something about context, and why it is important to our understanding of a story. Reading homework for Wednesday and Thursday will depend on how far we get in our discussion of initial characterization and context during Wednesday’s class, but no matter what, Thursday’s mini-lesson will be about the relationship between active reading and control over reader response, including an introduction to the complex-sentence approach to beginning response (triple yay!). By the end of the week, we will have reached the end of the beginning of LotF, and may even be working on the beginning of the middle.
Oh, how exciting!