Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Snapshot from Grades 5-8

As we hurtle into November, here come a few snapshots from the GT English Language Arts instructional support groups:


We often lead with synectics - synectics |səˈnektiks|

pl.noun [ treated as sing. ] trademark
a problem-solving technique that seeks to promote creative thinking, typically among small groups of people of diverse experience and expertise

For example: Which is more fragile, diameter or circumference? Take 5-10 minutes to write an argument for your position.

We augment the classroom Wordly Wise 7 work here in our group, with many words ending up in the Word Jar. We've visited the site of the inimitable Grant Snider, whose Incidental Comics are pure poetry. Some students are working on their own versions. We've tried our hand at 100 word Scary Stories and will soon begin reading Something About America, an immigrant story in verse by Portland's own Maria Testa. This will surely inspire much thinking and writing.

6
How does language evolve? Why?
This unit has sixth graders "translating" Lewis Carroll's classic Jabberwocky, and marveling at how the human brain can categorize nonsense sentences into their grammatical units. What IS language, anyway? We'll traverse a wide region, with focus statements such as "Poetry is what's lost in translation" (Frost). A highlight is a (partial) reading aloud of Hamlet, both in the original and in a modern day translation.
Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week.
vs.
Why are shipwright being conscripted to work strenuous seven-day weeks?

7
Ask your seventh grader about LEMON! (That's all I will say. It has us all engrossed.)
We are writing (and about to read) short stories. This echoes their "upstairs" unit. 
The goal will be to submit these stories ... somewhere.

8
Eighth graders are just finishing up their memoir unit. Students who came to my room for this have experimented with a variety of extensions, many inspired by Maine's very own Monica Wood's book, DESCRIPTION.

HMS Students may be submitting to the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, and/or to Letters About Literature.
The literary magazine, Legenda (open to all submission, run by 8th grade staff) has kicked off its 22nd anniversary year.

If you have questions about our GT Instructional Support or are looking for resources, please do visit our WEBSITE, handily tucked under the district Instructional Support site.

As always, please be in touch with questions and comments. I do check my school email frequently and am always happy to talk on the phone or to meet with you in person.

Charlotte



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