February 12: A Day


1. Focused freewrite. Students wrote a journal entry from the perspective of the protagonist at the end of the novel and then shared with their partner or group.

2. Theme in bildungsroman. Students worked on their own or in their Wikipedia groups to complete a brief annotation of a passage that illustrates a theme in their novel. Here’s the directions if you were gone: Theme in the Bildungsroman.

3. NPOV and RWP notes. Students received W14: Rules for Informational Writing. Students practiced recognizing neutral and real-world writing by sorting these cards: NPOV and RWP practice sorting. We discussed the importance of maintaining a neutral point of view. When it comes to neutrality, I’ve noticed many students try to “sell” the book in their plot summaries by making it sound extra interesting, as if they’re writing jacket copy (the summary on the flap of a book cover written to help sell it). To remind students not to write in this tone, I did several dramatic jacket copy readings which I have recorded for your home enjoyment here:

Your plot summary should not sound like this! It should just directly state the facts instead of enticing your reader like these do!

We also learned about writing in from a real-world perspective, which means you should write about characters as if they are fictional, not real. You should frequently use the words “fictional,” “character,” “in the novel,” “backstory,” “introduced,” and “described” in order to ensure your reader knows these are fictional characters and events. Also, you must write about plot in present tense. If you write about fiction in past tense, you make people believe it happened. Students then sorted 6 statements into piles of “in universe” and “real-world” perspective.

4. Practice revisions. Students then revised the statements on the back of W14 following the guidelines for NPOV, RWP, TONE, and NOR (no original research).

HW: None. Finish your book if you’re not done yet!


Students had work time in the computer lab. We discussed the importance of including a title that inspires your reader to read your work. Click here to read the example Ms. Garvoille wrote.

HW: Finish song analysis and print your final draft for class tomorrow! If you need yours printed, be sure to email Ms. Garvoille asking to print it before midnight tonight or else it will be late! (-10)


1. Focused freewrite. What kinds of love stories do we have about teenagers today? Brief discussion followed.

2. Students made an album cover for the song they chose to analyze. The album cover had to show binaries, hegemonic forces, or social norms/expectations. Here is the assignment: album art

Before we got started, though, we looked at some artwork by Matisse to examples of how his work might show those same ideas. Here are the images we looked at: matisse cd covers

3. Shakespeare Through the Ages. 

Today students learned that Romeo and Juliet is actually a much older story than you’d think. It originated with Ovid’s Metamorphoses in around 8 A.D. and continued to change in form until Shakespeare wrote his version in around 1591. We even have new versions today (Romiette and Julio, Letters to Juliet, “Love Story” by T-Swift, for example).

Each group read a different source text for Romeo and Juliet and then prepared a skit version of that story to present next class. Read all the stories here: Source Stories.

HW: None. Finish your album art and explanation if not done. Bring your RJ book/iPod/nook/etc. next class or I’ll issue you a textbook.