February 27: A Day


1. Warm-up. In order to practice how to integrate quotes from research into writing, we did this exercise:

Copy and paste what’s between the lines into a word document. Then, rearrange the information so that all the positive reviews and all the negative reviews are together. Next, turn the reviews into complete sentences using the sentence structures and transitions.


Intro sentence: The Lightning Thief received mostly positive reviews.

“perfectly paced, with electrifying moments chasing each other like heartbeats” (New York Times)

“[r]eaders will be eager to follow the young protagonist’s next move” (Kirkus)

“choppy” writing (Common Sense Media)

shallow characters (Common Sense Media)

4 stars out of 5 (Common Sense Media)

“A fantastic blend of myth and modern” (Eoin Colfer, author ofArtemis Fowl)

“”swift and humorous” (Publishers Weekly)

would ”leave many readers eager for the next installment.” (Publishers Weekly)


2. Type in your heading into Drive. Here is a list of possible sections (you won’t use all of them, most likely):

Major themes


Publication history


Awards and nominations


If you’re working in a group, you need to assign who will work on which section and divide up your research cards for each person.

3. Write a topic sentence for each section. If your section is especially long (you have a lot of pink cards with that category checked), you may write a few different topic sentences to correspond to the different ideas in your section. Here are some topic sentence starters and examples:

Major themes

  • Titleofnovel addresses the themes of ______, ______, and ______.
  • Critics have suggested that Titleofnovel deals with issues of _______ and ________.
  • Titleofnovel is seen as ______________.


  • [Briefly overview in one sentence what your Background notes address.]

Publication history

  • [No topic sentence needed here; just get straight to the facts.]


  • Titleofnovel has received mostly positive reviews.
  • Titleofnovel has received mostly negative reviews.
  • Titleofnovel has received mixed reviews.
  • Titleofnovel is interpreted by most critics as _________ (if you’re dealing with literary criticism).

Awards and nominations

  • [No topic sentence needed; just get straight to the facts.]


  • Titleofnovel has been adapted into __________ (a film, an audiobook, etc.).

4. Next, you will introduce your research quotes and facts. For example:

  • Nameofreviewer of Nameofjournal suggested that “_______” (Nicknameoncard).
  • Nameofjournal praised Titleofnovel as “_________” (Nicknameoncard).
  • Critics have suggested that ____________ (Nicknameoncard).
  • Nameofjournal added, “___________” (Nicknameoncard).

All of these sentence patterns can also be found here: Literature Reviews

Here are some good examples if you click the links:

Major themes



Publication history

HW: None.


1. Focused freewrite. Students wrote two rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter about college. Here was mine:

When I was still a little spoiled lass

I thought I’d graduate with Harvard’s class

But when I saw how much there was to write

For my application, I lost might.

We shared many of these around the room. Everyone is becoming quite adept at writing in meter!

2. Notes on Poetic Forms in Romeo and Juliet. Students received this sheet and we took notes on the first few devices: Poetic Forms in Romeo and Juliet.

3. Watching Act I, scene v. See it here, starting at around 22:50

HW: Reread Act I, scene v. Be prepared for some oral quiz questions on Act I tomorrow. Revise song analysis and print out for Friday.


1. Focused freewrite. Students wrote two rhyming couplets in iambic pentameter about college.

2. Act I Jeopardy. We reviewed Act I with Jeopardy. Download and play at home! RJ Act I Jeopardy Advanced

3. Oral quiz on Act I.

4. Watching Act I, scene v. See it here, starting at around 22:50

5. Rephrasing Shakespeare. Students looked at three lines they will encounter in Act II and rephrased the syntax.

6. Dear Amy. We read a letter to the LA Times’ Amy about whether or not 14 is too young to be in love. Students wrote their own response to the writer in a letter/advice column format. Then, they wrote what they thought the difference is between love and lust. We will discuss this next class.

7. Begin reading Act II.

HW: Read Act II, scenes i and ii and complete reading guide. Revise song analysis and print out for Tuesday.