May 2: B Day


1. Students shared their paraphrases in their groups or finished paraphrasing if their homework was not completed.

2. Some students moved on to identifying and practicing Speaking Shakespeare techniques in their scripts.

HW: If you aren’t done paraphrasing lines in your script, you must finish them for next class.


1. Freewrite: What X-raying techniques are you using?

2. Wikipedia overview. I showed students some of the basic components of behind-the-scenes Wikipedia use. Tomorrow, we will do a webquest to introduce students to the basic.

3. Coming of Age poetry. Students chose one of the following poems:

Students annotated the poems in three steps:

1. Read the poem. If in a group, you may read it aloud. As you read, annotate for meaning. Rephrase, summarize, make connections, and question.

2. Then, annotate the poem for connections to coming of age. Mark words or phrases about:

  • growing up
  • adulthood
  • reality
  • childhood
  • rebellion / doing what you want
  • a traumatic event that may cause the character change

3. Finally, in a different colored pen / pencil, annotate the poem for possible connections to the book you’re reading.


1. Freewrite: How does your protagonist show qualities of “innocence” so far?

2. Show and Tell/X-Raying a Book.

Every book has a skeleton hidden between its covers. Your job as an analytical reader is to find it.

A book comes to you with flesh on its bare bones and clothes over its flesh. It is all dressed up. You do not have to undress it or tear the flesh off its limbs to get at the firm structure that underlies the soft surface. But you must read the book with X-ray eyes, for it is an essential part of your apprehension of any book to grasp its structure.

Adler, Mortimer and Van Doren, Charles. How to Read a Book. New York: MJF Book, 1972. Print. p. 75

Read this wonderful, short essay by Mortimer Adler for more information on marking your book. I showed students a variety of examples of how to make notes on a book and today students decided what works best for them. Students must make notes on their books in some form, either in the book itself or on a separate sheet of paper, Google Document, or notebook.

Everyone must keep a chapter outline, where you write an extremely brief summary of each chapter. Here are some of mine:


My outline for current favorite book Tender Is the Night


My outline for Great Expectations, which I’m reading for the first time as an adult now.

You could also . . .

  • draw a map of the story
  • make a family tree
  • list characters
  • draw characters
  • create a timeline
  • write down words you don’t know
  • anything else that might help you

Yes, it’s true — there is no one way to do this! As you continue reading, you will develop your own methods and habits that will help you in college and beyond.

Here are some more examples:


My drawings, timeline, and chapter summaries for Great Expectations


A family tree for Great Expectations


A set of symbols you might use to mark motifs in your margins.

Author and professor Vladimir Nabokov’s map of the novel Ulysses
Vladimir Nabokov’s drawings in The Metamorphosis

Here are some students X-Raying in 4A:


3. Wikipedia overview. I showed students some of the basic components of behind-the-scenes Wikipedia use. Tomorrow, we will do a webquest to introduce students to the basic.
4. Wikipedia Webquest. Students began this webquest to introduce them to Wikipedia. If you were gone, you can download the webquest here: Wikipedia Webquest. Here are the videos we watched for the first 3 sections of the webquest:

Great Feeling

Nice People

Beneath the Surface


HW: Finish your Webquest for Monday. Also finish reading approximately 1/2 of your novel by Monday. Take your X-ray notes as you read!