November 28: A Day


1. Freewrite.

2. Focused Freewrite. Students reread the section on p. 48 of The Outsiders in which Ponyboy describes how he wishes he lived in the country to get away from his problems. Students then wrote about what place they would go to to escape their problems. We used the same sentence structures as Ponyboy does in his paragraph. This took students five minutes. We shared a few out loud.

3. Oral Quiz on Chapter 3 of The Outsiders

4. Sentence Corrections. Students corrected a few incorrectly worded fragments.

5. Chapter 4 read-aloud. The rest of class we read Chapter 4 out loud, stopping to discuss alternate options for the characters as we did. We discussed what else Ponyboy and Johnny could have said to the Socs to avoid a fight and what Ponyboy and Johnny could do after Johnny makes his crucial mistake. We read up until almost the end of the chapter, so students will need to read the last two pages of Chapter 4 at home.

HW: Read the last two pages of Chapter 4. (To Kill a Mockingbird, read to the end of Chapter 9.) Mark and explain five points in the chapter that relate to your motif. 


1. Study time for vocab test.

2. Vocabulary test — this took all period.

3. Field trip forms. Students will be attending a screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by director Peter Jackson on December 14 (opening day!) to analyze the media’s take on this children’s story. This is an A Day. Students will be gone from 8:45-1:00, approximately. The field trip costs $7.50 and you must have your permission slip signed. Bring back the permission slip and $7.50 cash or check ASAP. Parents! Want to chaperone? I’dlove to have you! Let me know via email: Students were given a field trip form and a flier.

HW: Read Chapter 3 of The Hobbit and take your motif notes.


One vision of the Shire.

1. Freewrite.

2. Focused freewrite: What’s your shire? I told students a story about how “the shire” made an appearance in my family. We then looked at the numerous times Bilbo thinks of his “hobbit hole.” Students then used imagery to describe their own shire or hobbit-hole, a place, time, or activity that makes them feel happy, safe, and free of responsibility, a place they can think of in difficult times to make them feel lazy and wonderful. This writing is done in an effort to get students to feel a connection to Bilbo, which sometimes seems difficult.

3. Sentence Corrections.

4. Oral Quiz on Chapter 3 of The Hobbit.

5. Runes and moon-letters. Bilbo Baggins loves “maps” and “runes and letters and cunning handwriting.” In an attempt to enjoy what Bilbo enjoys, we spend about 10 minutes learning to decipher runes, shown on the maps at the front of the novel; runes are actually real letters historically used before the Latin alphabet was adopted. (There is a message for you from Ms. Garvoille above. Did you know you can MAKE YOUR OWN RUNE MESSAGES WITH A RUNE-GENERATOR? Too cool.)

6. Oral Quiz on Chapter 4.

7. Tableau vivant. Students gathered in their motif groups to create a tableau of their bodies showing how their motif was especially important in chapters 3 and 4.

8. Reading Chapter 5 with a backchannel. We began reading Chapter 5, which students must read for homework. As we read, students noted their motif on a “backchannel” which in this case was a chatroom they had all joined and we projected onto the screen. Any time I read aloud something related to their motif, they typed into the chatroom what their motif was and how the line related. We read together through page 71. Students need to finish reading on their own for Friday.

HW: Read Chapter 5 and annotate your text for your motif.