What is it that makes us an individual? A member of a local society? A member of a global society?
What do I believe to be true about the world? (related to "This I Believe")
What is social justice and what is its significance in our own experience? In literature?
What are the fundamental elements of novel, memoir, essay, and poem?
How do we use the drafting and revision process to build a novel, memoir, essay, and poem?
How does a reader discover the author's intention?
What is a "classic" and who creates this distinction?
What is dystopian fiction and in what ways does it reflect current societal trends?
What is censorship and how does it impact access to information?
How does the media impact our interpretation of the world?
What responsibilities do we have to one another as compassionate humans (What is our "Universe of Responsibility"?)
Attentive class participation during discussion, instruction, and collaborative group work
Organized and thoughtful drafting and revising
Organization of class materials as well as short and long term reading/writing projects
Consideration/reflection of ourselves as individuals and society members
Introductory letter to teachers
"Random Autobiography" poem
Test essay for The Glass Castle
Short essay responses to "Philosophy Friday" topics
Letter to author Jeannette Walls
Lessons on media related to advertising and technology
Group work focused on social justice
"This I Believe " essay focused on personal philosophy
Active reading-both literal and inferential (includes annotating texts)
Reading to discover voice, tone, theme, symbol, imagery, and allusion
Reflecitve writing in an interactive response journal
Planning, pre-writing, writing, editing, and revising a memoir, expository essay, creative fiction, poetry, friendly letter, and
Responding to peer and instructor feedback on writing
Collaborative group work in small and large groupings
Interactive Response Journals
Reading comprehension quizzes and tests
Essays, creative fiction, and letter (assessed with rubrics)
Teacher, peer, and self evaluations on writing projects
Individualized writing conferences
Critical Response Process (verbal feedback provided art critique-style)
Teacher, peer, and self evaluations on collaborative group work
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut
"All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury
"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury
Feed by M.T. Anderson
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Various poems, short stories, and student work
Themes explored: Poverty, homelessness, race relations, disparity in education, gender roles,
Coordination with Holocaust and Civil Rights units in 8th History
Declaration of Human Rights
Coordination with Middle School Library during "Banned Book Week"