What We’ve Been Up To:
We have recently started a multidimensional novel study, around the events, themes and historical setting in the award winning book, Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis. Throughout this unit, scholars will make connections between the text and the historical time period of The Great Depression, particularly as it relates to the experiences of African Americans. Another of our focuses while reading is a continued study of plot elements, and a new exploration of research skills and strategies, while scholars learn and apply these skills to creating their own multi-genre research presentations.
FYI: Multi-genre is another way of saying that we will not just be writing a five paragraph essay. Each scholar will write an essay, but each scholar will also have an opportunity to incorporate poetry, drama, music, technology, etc into their research presentation.
The novel study and multi-genre research project will likely carry us through the remainder of the school year, and I will do my best to keep updates posted here on the blog. We are off to a great start, and scholars have been very engaged in reading and responding to the first 5 chapters. We begin chapter 6 on Monday!
This week, scholars will interact with chapters 6 through 10 of our novel, and begin work on their multi-genre projects. Phase one involves creating a Google Slides presentation with details on the characters and plot events in Bud, Not Buddy. Phase two involves a study of The Great Depression and Flint, Michigan during 1936, which is the general setting of our story.
We will research what was going on in Flint, Michigan during this important time in our history. Scholars will record notes using Google Docs, and will soon add this information to their Google Slides presentations. Within the process of research, we will look at what makes a source credible, and how we should correctly use citations to give credit to our sources.
Common Core State Standards for the Novel Unit:
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Scholars will be working on research skills and writing skills (grammar, spelling, sentence structure) in the form of various worksheets, throughout the remainder of this unit. Expect homework every Tuesday and Thursday, as usual.
Please check homework folders daily and remind your scholars to come to Homework Hub every Tuesday, for an opportunity to get assistance on class concepts and homework.