Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blog of Poems- Student Assignment

Presentation of Unit-

Introduction to Poetry

Poetry Presentations

Welcome to Poetry. Poetry can and should be an important part of our daily lives. Poems can inspire and make us think about what it means to be a member of the human race. By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed.
Poetry is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem. Listening to poetry can encourage students and other learners to become members of the circle of readers for whom poetry is a vital source of pleasure. I hope Poetry becomes an important and enriching part of the school day.

Task Requirements:

Relevant to Curriculum

Age: Middle School - Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced 6-8

Standards- Based

1 - Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. 2 - Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.

3 - Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

8 - Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

11 - Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.


Students will make their own Blog of Poems
Students will write 5 different poems
After we are finished, students will respond to their classmates poems

In their 5 poems they will use poetic elements -- imagery (simile,metaphor,personification, etc.); sound devices (rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, etc.); and any others from your class handout.
Analysis of how the poet's use of images and poetic techniques reveals and develops the theme of the poem
A Poem
By Alicia Keys

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Oral / Visual / Multimedia Requirements:
Reading (or even performance) of the poem
Visual representation for teaching (overhead transparencies, web page, PowerPoint show, posters, etc.
Handout with poetic elements identified and analyzed
Bibliography with three text references and three websites

Lesson Plans
Step 1: Getting Started
Here's a place to begin. This is a very silly description I wrote.
You could write a silly description of yourself, or a serious one.
My nose is blue,
my teeth are green,
my face is like a soup tureen.
I look just like a lima bean.
I'm very, very lovely.
My feet are far too short and LONG.
My hands are left and right and wrong.
My voice is like the hippo's song.
I'm very, very, very, very, very, very lovely?
Step 2: Write your own Poem
Now you try it. Here are some challenges that should help you begin writing.
Write a description of something that interests you, something you know very well — your cat, dog, or bird. If you don't have a pet, how about a stuffed animal? Or your running shoes, or the picture in your room that has been there so long you don't look at it anymore.
Now take a long look at the subject you have chosen. Think about it.
What makes it special?
Does your dog have long ears that look like old socks? Write that. Do your running shoes light up when you run at night? Write that. What color are the lights? Where are they on your shoes? Pay attention to little things, the details that make your shoes or the dog or that picture on the wall different from something else. Don't write that your dog is "nice" or that a picture is "pretty." Instead, write about those things that make something nice or pretty. When you write this way, you are making a picture out of words. This is a word picture of my cat's nose: There is no nose I know no nose I think no point as pale and pink. A rose among fur snows. If I could choose to be a snoot as suitable as it that sits on Toots I would have chose to be that very nose.There is a lot of rhyming in those lines. And there are lots of words that almost rhyme and sound funny together, like nose and know, and snoot and suitable. Rhyming is fun to read, but a poem does not have to rhyme. Many wonderful poems do not rhyme at all.
Now, you have written a description of something you know well. Try describing something new to you. Take a walk outside and find something you have never looked at closely ? the street light, the sky at 4:30 in the afternoon. As you write this description, listen carefully to the sounds of the words you use, and to their rhymes — but try not to rhyme. Just concentrate on making a picture of what you see.
"There is no Nose" from To Ride a Butterfly, © 1991.
When you've finished your description, put your work down for a little while. Walk the dog or make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Now go back and read your words again. Do you still like them? Is there something you think could be better? Try changing it. Here are a few things to look for:
One way to see how your words sound is to read them aloud to yourself or someone else. Do they make you see the light fading in the sky? How do you like the way your words sound together?
Do the words you have written express a feeling? If a friend reads your words, will he or she feel what you have felt?
Don't be afraid to change your words. Reread what you've written several times. The better you know it, the better you will know if it needs to be changed, or if it says what you want to say as it is.
If you like to draw, try illustrating one of the descriptions you have written. Writing and drawing make a good combination, and each one helps you to see things more sharply.
When your poem is complete publish it online to share with other kids
Step 3: Writing Process... Revising, Editing...Celebrating

Step 4: Publishing Online

Read this document on Scribd: rubric

Read this document on Scribd: rubric

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Post to Supervisor

The project I have selected is a poetry blog for my students. Each student is to write 5 poems and then post them on the class blog.

I choose poetry as my theme for several reasons;

Poetry is a mandatory unit in our curriculum, so that made me think of incorporating a lot of different poems and have the students get to know famous poets while learning different types of poetry.

I think this is a fun, creative and engaging unit.

I can really foresee my students having a blast with their own blogs.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Assignment #4- A Musical Prompt

Creating a musical prompt: postcards from the concert. I decided to use this Lesson from Read Write Think which students will use music to help them with their writing but in a creative, fun way! My middle school students love music, they all have ipods and when ever they have free time they sit and listen to their music, so I thought I could incorporate this into a lesson so I know my students would be engaged in the lesson. After listening to a song ( I would chose a song they know), they write simple sentences describing the music and what it made them think of. They then use the strategy of sentence combining to write more interesting sentences that sound better to readers. This strategy involves peer collaboration and an opportunity for students to practice sentences to improve their writing. They publish their musical responses using an interactive, online Postcard Creator to send to a family member or friend. Directions: Students will go on to ReadWriteThink hyperlink Session 1: Music and Sentence Combining 1. Begin the lesson by asking students to close their eyes and think about what it is like during a thunderstorm. Prompt them for words and phrases that they associate with a thunderstorm, such as loud, booming, flashes of lightening, windy, drenching, leaves blowing. Record students’ responses on the board or chart paper. 2. Access the Stormy Weather website, and have students close their eyes again and listen to Summer by Antonio Vivaldi, which is an orchestrated piece that hints at the coming of a summer thunderstorm. After playing the song, ask students how the song made them feel. What was the mood? What did it make them think of? Based on the song, ask students to generate additional words and phrases for the list started in Step 1. 3. Model for students how you would write a few simple sentences in response to the music using words from the list. The storm came fast.The storm was powerful.It blew around leaves.The rain was drenching.My friends and I had to run inside my house. 4. Play the music again while students write six or seven simple sentences in response to the song on a piece of paper. After about 5 to 10 minutes, ask for a few volunteers to share their sentences with the class. 5. Begin to model orally how you would combine the sentences you wrote to make them sound better and be more interesting. Explain your thought process as you are combining sentences to show how you are trying out different alternatives before settling on the sentence that sounds the best. The powerful storm came fast and blew around the leaves in my yard. Model a few additional examples of sentence combining using either your own sentences or sentences from a few students in the class. 6. Pair students to work together to combine the sentences that they wrote. Be sure to encourage students to play around with different possible sentence combinations and to discuss them together. There is no right or wrong answer. Circulate around the room while students are working to be sure they are on task and to help those who are struggling. Focus less on formal grammar rules, and more on helping students determine which sentences sound the best. 7. Close the sessions by asking a few students to share their sentence combinations and to explain how they arrived at their responsesName: ________________________________________________ Date: ______________________ Sentence Combining and Postcard Project Rubric Deluxe Postcard - 4 Points • Able to combine sentences that are interesting, express a clear message, and are easy to understand • Follows the postcard formatting and gives a personal response to the concert • Addresses intended audience appropriately • Includes illustration that matches message content • Demonstrates positive attitude and excellent participation Regular Postcard - 3 Points • Able to combine sentences that express a clear message, but are not very interesting • Follows the postcard formatting, but does not give a personal response to the concert • Addresses intended audience suffi ciently • Includes illustration that somewhat relates to message content • Demonstrates positive attitude and suffi cient participation Card Without Postage - 2 Points • Able to write simple sentences only or combine sentences that do not express a clear message • Makes mistakes when following the postcard formatting • Has diffi culty addressing intended audience • Includes illustration that does not match message content • Demonstrates poor attitude or little participation Blank Postcard - 1 Point • Not able to write complete sentences or express a clear message • Does not follow the postcard formatting • Does not addresses intended audience • Does not include an illustration • Does not participate *Show this to the students before the project starts. Encourage the students to strive for a Deluxe Postcard. You can share examples of each level of postcard to help students understand the point system.

Lesson 1 Intro to Non-Fiction Unit Autobiography- Heros All Around us

Lesson Plan for Grades 6-8Heroes can be powerful role models that help students develop personal values, build self-identity and create goals. In this lesson, students will learn about successful Asian Americans whose accomplishments all students can appreciate. Students will write a short biography of a hero they admire, which will encourage better research and writing skills. They will brainstorm what it means to be a hero, discuss the heroes in their own lives, and examine how these people influence the goals each student has.
National Standards
English Language Arts #4: Communication Skills
Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
Social Studies: from Theme 1 – Culture, Theme 3 – People, Places and Environments
Experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity, and experiences that provide for the study of people, places and environments.
OBJECTIVEStudents will:
Learn about several accomplished Asian Americans
Clarify the characteristics of people they admire and why they are heroes
Practice in-class writing and learn about biographies
Share stories about local heroes and people they admire in their own families or communities
Practice research and questioning skills
MATERIALSActivity #1
Hero cards with photos of five successful Asian Americans
White board or chalkboard space
Handout describing writing assignment Activity #2:
Handout with short samples of strong biographical writing
Handout describing the interview assignment
Download the reproducibles.
Print all the Hero Cards
Print the "About the Heroes" file. Keep the answer key for yourself, and make enough copies of the handouts for every student.
Cut all the hero cards in half along the dotted lines to separate the portrait photos on the left from the action photos on the right. Please note which action photo matches each portrait photo.
Take all the action photos and cut along the dotted lines to separate the description of the activity from the photo.
Separate the descriptions, portrait photos, and action photos into three piles.Activity #2
Create handout with short samples of strong biographical writing.
Create handout describing the interview assignment
Hero Card: Dado Banatao (Filipino) (PDF)
Hero Card: Steven Chu (Chinese) (PDF)
Hero Card: Yul Kwon (Korean) (PDF)
Hero Card: Suketu Mehta (Indian) (PDF)
Hero Card: Betty Nguyen (Vietnamese) (PDF)
About the Heroes handouts (PDF)
DIRECTIONSActivity #1: "Asian American Heroes"
Ask students what it means to be a hero. Is a hero someone who does one thing very well, like being the fastest runner? Is a hero someone who has won a prize? Is a hero someone who has been very brave? Is a hero someone who has invented or created something very important? List responses on a white board or chalkboard. Ask a few students to tell the class about someone they admire and why.
Distribute the "About the Heroes" sheets to each student. Explain that these are descriptions of five famous people.
Have students take turns reading each biography aloud. After each biography is read aloud, the students should write the names of people they think fit the description.
Once all the hero descriptions have been read aloud, have each student pick one of the descriptions and spend ten minutes writing a few paragraphs answering the following questions:
What makes this hero's description interesting to you?
Is there anything you dislike about this person?
In what ways are you similar to this hero?
In what ways are you different from this hero?
Post the portrait photos of the five heroes on the wall. Ask the students to think about which description matches each portrait photo. After a minute, students will guess which description matches each portrait. Post the descriptions under the portraits accordingly.
Ask students if it was easy or hard to decide why each person was famous just by looking at them. Discuss the difficulty and possible discomfort of judging people based on looks.
Select five students to come to the front one at a time, and give each student an action photo. The student will show the action photo to the class and then post the action photo underneath the matching portrait. Remove the description if it does not match the action photo. The earlier matches may be changed, but in the end five action photos should be correctly matched with five portrait photos. Rearrange the descriptions accordingly. Have students write the correct names of the heroes on their "About the Heroes" sheet.
Discuss what kinds of clues helped them make the correct matches. Students should share with the class what they learned from the activity and what surprised them about the heroes' stories. Ask students to consider why they may be more familiar with Asian American accomplishments in some areas more than others. What are some reasons for this? Talk about how heroes from all ethnic backgrounds contribute to United States history and culture.
Activity #2: Writing Biographies
Ask students to think of some people in their lives who are also heroes. This can include their friends, relatives and neighbors. Explain that students will interview one of these people and write a biography.
Discuss biographies as a genre of writing. It is helpful to provide short samples of sound biographical writing for student reference. Sample discussion questions: What basic information does every biography include? What makes a biography interesting? Is it just the person or the way the biography is written? What are some characteristics of strong biographical writing?
Develop a list of questions that students will ask their local heroes. Brainstorm with students what makes for an interesting profile and what sorts of things the students would like to know about their local heroes. Create with the class a list of questions that covers the local hero's background, role models, hobbies, and life's challenges, etc. Sample questions: What motivates you to do well? How have you overcome the challenges you have faced? When you were young, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Distribute the handout describing the interview assignment. Have the students write down all the questions they have agreed to ask their local heroes on this handout. Remind students to take notes during the interview, and encourage them to ask follow-up questions.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blogger Buzz: Show off your favorite blogs with a Blog List

Blogger Buzz: Show off your favorite blogs with a Blog List

What are some qualities of a good student?

I have found 10 qualities in students that make them good students. To me a good student is not always the student that gets an A. Some students can get an A without even trying and they will take any path they need to, to get that A. Then there are those students that work their little hearts out and get a B or even sometimes a C and they are much better students that the A student talked about above. A student is someone that wants to learn and study to make himself better.
Self Discipline is of the utmost importance. If it is not present then few of the other qualities will be found. Self Discipline means that they think about their words and actions and then make choices that are right for themselves and for others. Those with self discipline accept that things do not always go their way. In other words, this student will finish their work before they play.
Respect for others and for property will be present in good students. They will treat others the way they want to be treated. Destroying or taking someone’s property and harming it would not be something they would do.
Perseverance can be found in good students. They will work hard and not give up when it gets tough. They stick to something until it is finished. In other words, They don’t give up, they keep trying.
Citizenship is found in good students. They obey the rules and work to make the community, (school) a better place.
Compassion in present in good students. They are kind toward others and help them instead of knock them down verbally and physically.
Integrity is found in good students. They make choices that help them be the best they can be. They do what they think is right and work at doing their best.
Responsibility is always present in good students. They are dependable and make good choices. They take care of things that belong to them and show more responsibility when they take care of themselves and what they do.
Trustworthiness is a must. These students can be counted on to do the right thing even if an adult is not present. They return borrowed items and do what they say they’ll do.
Fairness is another trait present in good students. They will take turns, share and listen to what other say. They take only their share and play by the rules.
Honesty is found in good students. They are truthful and sincere. They will do their own work and return borrowed items. They are the ones that will make sure that their score is correct even if it means that they get more wrong.
If you find these qualities in a student you can be sure that they will be a joy to teach.