America Street (edited by Anne Mazer) is full of great short stories by different authors. We are using this book to learn about the different elements of the short story. These elements are…setting, plot, climax, characters and narration. The authors are multicultural which gives the stories and their characters different perspectives in life.
We split into pairs and chose a story to teach to the rest of our class. Each pair annotated the story for the different elements and then designed and planned a lesson to teach to the other students.
This lesson plan required –
– Analysis of the title and what it means to individuals
– Discussion of author’s background and culture and how it affects the
– Include three elements to teach to the class
– Choose five vocabulary words to work with in class – definitions etc
– Three discussion questions asked during lesson
– An activity
Seventh graders are almost finished a joint project on Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. We have been working with Jake and Shirley on reading the book and doing a variety of writing pieces connected to the story, setting and characters. We have studied the many quotes found at the beginning of each chapter, connecting them to the story and actual historical events. Each student completed a blog post, a historical fiction story and a sonnet poem. We are now working on large wall murals depicting scenes from this book.
We began our Superzero project by having a three way Skype call with Shirley (our teacher) who was in Scotland, Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich (the author) in Brooklyn, New York and us (the students) in Poughkeepsie, New York. We were able to ask the author many questions about the book and its characters and discussed how and why she wrote this novel. We will have another Skype call with Olugbemisola when we finish the book only this time we will be in small groups to have discussions with her.
This book, Eight Grade Superzero is about an eighth grade boy called Reggie and his ups and downs in his school and home life in Brooklyn. He has many problems to deal with, including being bullied in school, his father losing his job and problems dealing with the elections for school president. How he deals with each of these difficulties helps us understand how Reggie is growing up and developing his own opinions and personality. We have written blog posts about this book and would love your comments about our posts.