Literature Study

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Essential Questions: 

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"?)



Habits Of Mind: 

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

"Character" Sketch

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


Skills and Processes: 

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

Multicultural Dimension: 

Themes explored: Poverty, homelessness, race relations, disparity in education, gender roles,

Integrated Learning: 

Coordination with Holocaust and Civil Rights units in 8th History

Declaration of Human Rights

Coordination with Middle School Library during "Banned Book Week"