October 31: A Day


1. Freewrite.

2. Vocabulary notes. We finished our vocabulary notes through #25 and reviewed. Review at home here.

3. Reading scary stories! Since Halloween is today, I thought we’d get our students in the mood for blood and gore and perverseness with a little Edgar Allan Poe. Students chose a story at their reading level and then read and answered questions as they went.

Here are the options:

  • The Black Cat” (easier)“Berenice” (more difficult)
  • “Berenice”
    • The love of your life has great teeth… I mean, really great teeth. Teeth. Teeth. Teeth.
    • Reading and Questions: Berenice

4. One-pager. In order to show their comprehension of short stories, students will complete a “One-Pager.” You can download directions here: Gabrielle Rico One Pager Instructions. We reviewed the assignment, which is to be completed on a sheet of 8.5×11 computer paper. The front of your paper should include:

  • Title and author
  • 2 examples of foreshadowing
  • theme statement
  • symbol and explanation
The back of your paper should include:
  • a body paragraph in which you discuss an observation about character using a word from this list of character traits (L9).
  • the topic sentence should be The narrator of ______(story name)_____________ is ____(character trait)_________.
  • the conclusion sentence could be something like If the reader doesn’t think the narrator is ________(character trait)____, then ___________(what we would misunderstand about the reading)__________________.
Here’s an example body paragraph:
The narrator of “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” introduces himself as not knowing how to pick up girls, but in fact he makes a better date than Vic [topic sentence proving an opinion or observation–not a fact]. Enn contrasts completely Vic’s “use it then lose it” approach to dating in which he acts like he owns Stella then runs from her. [Point of support one] First of all, Enn is polite — even chivalrous. [Elaboration number one] Enn offers drinks to all three girls he meets. Additionally, when Wain’s Wain refuses to dance to avoid “damage to property,” Enn respects her decision instead of pressing the issue, like Vic might (3). [Support 2] To add to his chivalry, Enn seems to be a good kisser, since he equates emotion with kissing. [Elaboration 2] When Triolet first kisses Enn, she simply “presse[s] her lips to [his],” and Enn is unsatisfied (6). Later, moved to emotion by her poem, Enn “kisse[s] her properly” (6). [Support 3]Enn’s kissing ability is a direct result of his most coveted trait as a boyfriend: his ability to listen. Enn is deeply moved by his conversations, proving he has truly listened and therefore values his dates. [Elaboration 3] Enn understands the poem — “the words washed through me” — and thinks about “the measure of [the] poem” through the last line of the story (6, 7). Vic doesn’t even bother to listen; he thought it was “a foreign exchange thing” (4).[Conclusion stating the significance of your argument] Enn’s boyfriend-material qualities seduce not only the girls, but also the reader, creating in his audience a greater appreciation for the smart, quiet boys of the world–not the Vics.
5. Work time. Students finished reading their story and then began their one-pager.
HW: Finish Poe story, questions, and one-pager for Friday.


1. Freewrite
2. Vocabulary notes. We took notes on a few more vocab words today. If you were gone you can copy down the notes for #6-8 here. Also, write down the notes for the SAT word condescending.
3. Finish notes on 4 Parts of a Sentence. Students looked at G1, which was their notes on grammar. There, we finished the few notes we needed:

Direct Object: Answers the question “_________ what?” or “________ who?” where the verb is in the blank. For instance, in the sentence “I sing songs,” you would ask “Sing what?” Songs. Songs is the direct object. Used with a transitive verb (transitive verb = any verb with a direct object).

Indirect Object: Who/what the verb is directing the action toward. Answers the question to/for whom? to/for what? to where? I read my sister stories. To whom? To my sister. My sister is the indirect object. (Stories is the direct object.)

4. Diagramming adjectives. Students received this Adjectives Worksheet which involves finding the punchlines of bad jokes to check your work. We started it in class. Due Friday!

HW: Read Ch. 16, 17, 18, and 19 of Bryson/Krakauer for tomorrow. Finish Adjectives Worksheet for Friday.


1. Freewrite.

2. Oral quiz on Bryson/Krakauer. If you were absent, you are exempt from these questions.

3. Practice writing sentences with SAT words. Students can complete these fill-in-the-blank sentences for one point on the test. If you were absent, you can download them here: Lesson 1 Sentence Writing Practice.

4. Vocab notes. We took notes on #16, 17, and 18 of our vocabulary. If you were absent, copy down those notes from here.

5. Review of parts of a sentence. Using Socrative, students tested their knowledge of subjects and predicates from sentences in A Walk in the Woods and Into Thin Air.

6. Preposition song. We learned a bit more of the preposition song today.

HW: Finish reading Into Thin Air and/or A Walk in the Woods.