Monday, 25 January 2016

Gr. 9 Behind the Ballad

Gr. 9 Behind the Ballad

Focus Q's:
  • What are the elements that make up a ballad?  
  • How do these literary elements work together to create a dominant impression?  
  • How can I represent a ballad's dominant impression in a movie poster? 

DEFINITION:  A ballad is a narrative poem that uses rhyme and rhythm to improve it's appeal to the audience.  

PURPOSE:In the past ballads were used to pass on a family's oral history.  Today ballads are primarily used to entertain.  

Grade 9's have been analyzing a series of ballads.  
  1. "The Highwayman," by Alfred Noyes
  2. "Folk Bloodbath" by Josh Ritter
  3. Student selected ballad.

We have been identifying and explaining the following literary elements:
  • Plot diagram
  • Conflict
  • Theme
  • Figurative Language
  • Diction
We have been discussing how dominant impression is created:
  1.  through the interrelationship of plot, setting and character
  2. by diction, symbols and figurative language

"The Highwayman" Resources:

Students completed a viewing handout while watching this video:

Students completed a reading handout after watching this video and reading the poem:

"Folk Bloodbath" Resources:

Students have been analyzing this song with a partner and as a whole class by completing the flip book below:

Student Selected Ballads - Resources

Criteria for selecting a Ballad - Ballads MUST:
  • be appropriate for school
  • follow a plot diagram
  • have a minimum of 5 figurative devices
  • have a minimum of 5 examples of diction
Students have been completing an analysis flipbook.  See checklist:

Today we are focusing on:

What is dominant impression of my ballad?
How can I represent this dominant impression in a movie poster?

Students participated in an analysis of "Freaky Friday" to identify strategies for their own posters.  See observations below:

Students then made observations of their own from a variety of movie posters and shared out their top 2 elements of design with the class.  See our class generated list below:

To ensure we all have a strong dominant impression we have planned out our ideas by:

  •  completing a chart, 
  • sketching a thumbnail (rough visual of title, central image, tagline and background) with 
  • noted of 5 items from our class generated list of Elements of design on sketch
See this planning for "Folk Bloodbath" below:

THUMBNAIL SKETCH with 5 items from class list
Students are self-assessing their individual song analysis flip book using the following Rubric:

Individual Song Analysis Flip book DUE: Monsday, Feb 8.

Movie Poster and Self-assessment is DUE: Tuesday, Feb 16.
  • Please "turn in" these items in Google Classroom.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Gr. 8 "The Outsiders"

"The Outsiders"

Focus Question: How does background influence who we are?

Students researched the setting and time period for the novel, "The Outsiders" by choosing a topic and asking questions.  See our findings below:

Next, we read chapter 1 and examined each character in the chapter.  See our quick reference sheets below:


We are currently reading the novel and recording our ideas in our Character Analysis Flip books.

Chapter 2 we focused on Social Structures: 

  • We drew and explained symbols for each group: Soc's, Greasers, and Hoods
  • We completed a Venn diagram comparing the Soc's to Greasers

Chapter 3 - 6

  • We have been using a sticky note strategy to identify WATO (Words, Actions, Thoughts and Opinions of Others) that shows our character's personality

We have also discussed how to identify flashback and why they are used:
  • Helps us understand Johnny's background 
We talked about how suspense is built through description in chapter 4 -5: 
  • We used a draw, label, caption strategy to show the dominant mood of the chapter
We analyzed the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" in Chapter 5 and talked about it's meaning, foreshadowing and probability of character change.

Chapter 7 -8

  • We will discuss our character's place in the world and why the Greaser gang is important for them.

  • Students are discussing their character's attributes and motivations by using evidence from the text.  They are compiling their ideas by using First Word / Last Word Discussion structure.  See the image below:

Chapter 9 - 11

  • We'll examine each character's motivation for fighting and predict what their future will look like according to their plausibility of change.

Chapter 12

  • We will discuss the theme of the novel and look back at our focus question: "How does our background influence who we are?"
What is a Character Sketch Essay?

Grade 8's will write a character sketch essay that shows who their character is and how their background influences who they are.

  • We started brainstorming with a partner by using our flip books and discussing our ideas.

What is a Character Sketch Essay?

  • We examined a few exemplars to better understand parts of an essay and criteria for a character sketch:

  • We highlighted and labeled items below in the sample:

How do I write an engaging introduction?
  • We will write a character sketch introductory paragraph together by examining the main character, Andy, from the short story, "On the Sidewalk Bleeding". 
See our class work below:

  • Class products to be posted as they are completed.
  • Students will then write their own Introductions for a character sketch based on one of the characters in "The Outsiders". 
What must I include in my body paragraphs?

  • We will write the character sketch body paragraphs together by examining the main character, Andy, from the short story, "On the Sidewalk Bleeding".  
  • See our work below:

When writing we:
  • get our thoughts on the page and don't worry about sounding perfect
  • make sure our writing sounds like us first then add quotes
  • attempt to remember quotes and look up exact words after writing 
  • underline transitions
  • use quotations around words from the text and put page in brackets at the end of the sentence.
  • try to bridge the gap between paragraphs by using order transitions (First, Second, Next, Finally, Overall) or by mentioning an idea from the last sentence of the previous paragraph. See the RED sentence above.  Can you spot the repeated idea?
  • Students write their own body paragraphs for a character sketch based on one of the characters in "The Outsiders". 
  • Remember what we learned from the model 

How do I write an effective conclusion?

  • We will write a character sketch concluding paragraph together by examining the main character, Andy, from the short story, "On the Sidewalk Bleeding".  

  • Students write their own conclusions for a character sketch based on one of the characters in "The Outsiders". 
How do we edit and revise our writing?
  • Use COPS and RADaR  See the image below:

What information from the movie can I add to my essay?
  • Record the traits you are explaining in your essay and jot down your character's actions that prove the trait.  Use the organizer below:

LA 7 Fantastic Fiction: Flashback and "Knife"

Fantastic Fiction What are the elements of fiction? How do I identify conflict and explain how it is developed and resolved? ...