Thu. 11/9 – “Outsiders” Wrap-up

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK – Outsiders Review/Analysis Due Wednesday

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO finish the film, read about S.E. Hinton, and begin outlining a review of the film, novel, OR a comparative analysis of both.

DO NOW – Open your notebook to the work you have been doing during the past three days.

As you watch today, finish up any notes you have been gathering about similarities and differences between the film and the novel, and your likes/dislikes chart.

Your assignment: CHOOSE ONE

  1. Movie Review
  2. Book Review
  3. Compare/Contrast Movie and Book

This assignment is worth 30 points.
Due date: Wednesday, November 15
Should be one page, typed, single spaced, or neatly written in pen.

Choose the assignment that you have the strongest opinions about and/or for which you have the most information (notes in your notebook).

The review (movie OR novel) should include the following:

  • Briefly introduce the plot of the film/novel, but not the entire story (avoid spoilers).
  • Share what you like and dislike (usually a little of both, but some reviews can be overwhelmingly positive or negative). Strategize the order; consider how to start and finish your review depending on if you are going to be positive or negative overall.
  • Discuss the author S.E. Hinton’s or director Francis Ford Coppola’s style and skill as an artist.
  • Evaluate the important elements that are a part of the novel or film. For a novel, that includes plot, characters, setting, and tone. For a film, that includes plot, casting, acting performance, sets/scenery, and camera work.
  • Conclude with a recommendation (sum up your review) and a rating (come up with your own scale/system).

The comparative essay (movie AND novel) should include the following:

  • Introduce both versions, giving credit to the author, S.E. Hinton, and director, Francis Ford Coppola. Briefly describe the main similarities or differences.
  • Provide insightful comparisons between the two versions of The Outsiders. Discuss similarities and differences. Avoid this assignment if you do not have a clear understanding of both!
  • Clearly evaluate which version is better, focusing on specific examples or observations.
  • Conclude by summing up your main points, and recommending whether or not your reader should read and/or watch The Outsiders.


Wed. 11/8 – “Outsiders” Movie Day 3


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO continue watching “The Outsiders” movie with a critical eye.

DO NOW – Write today’s notebook heading: 11/8 – Assessment of “The Outsiders” Movie

Today we will get close to finishing the movie adaptation of The Outsiders.  As you watch today, you will begin evaluating Francis Ford Coppola’s film version.

Set up a T-chart to identify what you like and dislike about the film.  Consider casting of characters, acting performance, camera work/staging of scenes, music and sound, and ultimately, how it matches up against the novel.

Tue. 11/7 – “Outsiders” Movie Day 2


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO continue watching “The Outsiders” with an eye on how faithful the movie is to the spirit and detail of the novel.

DO NOW – Write today’s notebook heading: “11/7 – Film and Novel similarities (what the director got right)”

As you watch the film today, note where the film has gotten the characterization, tone, mood of the setting, and any other details right.

Do not just write down SIMILARITIES.  Identify any parts of the film that feel just right as an adaptation of the novel.

Today’s work can be a running bulleted list of observations.

Mon. 11/6 – “Outsiders” Movie Day 1


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO begin watching the film adaptation of The Outsiders and compare the story you imagined to the story on the screen.

DO NOW – Write today’s notebook heading: “11/6 – The Outsiders I imagined vs. the film.”

As you watch the film today, you will take notes on the ways the story you imagined while reading is different from or similar to the story that appears on film.  Consider:

  • Character appearance and performance,
  • The look of the setting (time and place)
  • Tone (use of tension and humor, for example)
  • Anything else that stands out to you as being different from what you imagined

You may want to set up a T-chart to help you set up your contrast.

Thu. 11/2 – Core Workout 1 Review


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO review Core Workout #1 and set expectations for the next one.

DO NOW – Take out your Core Workout assignment and locate the written responses in your notebook.

Answer Key for Core Workout 1

Short Response 1 Example:

In “All Summer in a Day,” by Ray Bradbury, life on Venus is similar to and different from Earth.  On one hand, it is different because it rains on Venus all the time, while on Earth we have different weather, including rain, sun, or snow.  Furthermore, the author describes how the sun only comes out on Venus every seven years for an hour or so: “They were all nine years old, and if there had been a day seven years ago when the sun came out for an hour and showed its face to the stunned world, they could not recall.”  On the other hand, life on Venus has its similarities to life on Earth.  For example, all the kids go to school.  The author writes, “They had read in class about the sun…and they had written small stories or essays or poems about it.”  The planet Venus in Ray Bradbury’s story is a very different but also very familiar place for humans.

Short Response 2 Example:

In the story “All Summer in a Day,” by Ray Bradbury, Margot reacts to the other children in ways that reveal details about her character.  One example of her reaction is when William asks her, “What’re you looking at?…Speak when you’re spoken to.”  When Margot said nothing, “she felt them go away.  And this was because she would play no games with them in the echoing tunnels of the underground city.” Margot’s reaction reveals that she is aloof and distant from the other children, probably because she is not happy living underground on Venus.  Another example of her reaction to the other children is when the children make a decision to be cruel: “’Hey, everyone, let’s put her in a closet before the teacher comes!’ ‘No,’ said Margot, falling back.”  Her reaction to the other students was to plead and protest, but not to try to stop them physically.  This reveals Margot’s low self-esteem.  Margot did not even try to struggle against the other students.  Overall, Margot had a difficult experience living on Venus due to her inability to interact with the other children and her unwillingness to stand up for herself.

Short Response 3 Example:

Ray Bradbury uses many examples of figurative language in the story, “All Summer in a Day.”  The author uses metaphor to describe the very heavy, endless rain on Venus: “They closed the door and heard the gigantic sound of the rain falling in tons and avalanches, everywhere and forever.”  Bradbury also uses simile to describe the sensation of the sun on the children’s faces.  When the children go outside, they are “running and turning their faces up to the sky and feeling the sun on their cheeks like a warm iron.”  A third use of figurative language is personification.  After the children lock Margot in a closet so that she cannot see the sun’s brief appearance, they saw the door “tremble from her beating and throwing herself against it.”  The use of the word tremble makes the door seem alive, as if it is also upset that Margot is stuck in the closet.  This makes the scene even more upsetting to the reader.  All of these examples of figurative language enhance the extreme experiences depicted in the short story.

Short Response 4:

In the short story, “All Summer in a Day,” by Ray Bradbury, the main character Margot is bullied by the other students.  They don’t like her because she is the only one in the class who remembers seeing the sun.  On Venus, the sun only appears briefly every seven years.  For the rest of the time, it rains continuously.  Margot lived for four years on Earth, unlike the others, who grew up on Venus.  As a result, she is bullied during the story.  First, a boy shoves her, saying “Get away!” because he wants to exclude her from the group.  One reason they children do not like Margot is because they are jealous of the fact that she remembers the sun.  They decide to hurt her in the most painful way possible—by preventing her from seeing the fleeting appearance of the sun.  “Hey everyone, let’s put her in the closet before the teacher comes.” One aspect of bullying is that bullies do not empathize with their victims.  When they are able to understand the victim as a person, they often will regret their actions.  In this story, once the children experienced the incredible sight and feeling of the sun, and realized what they had taken from Margot, they became “solemn and pale” and “could not meet each other’s glances.”  It is clear, at the end, that the bullies are very uncomfortable having to face their victim.


Wed. 11/1 – Sentence Fragments


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO review how to identify sentence fragments and correct them.

DO NOW – Open your notebooks and write today’s heading: “11/1 – Sentence Fragments”

Write down the following reminders:

1) A SENTENCE FRAGMENT is an incomplete sentence.

  • It does not express a complete thought.
  • It leaves you thinking that information is missing.
  • It may lack a subject or verb.
  • It may be a SUBORDINATE CLAUSE that should be part of a larger sentence. 

2) How to fix a sentence fragment:

  • Add the missing subject and/or verb.
  • Join the fragment to a sentence.

Subordinate clauses begin with words or phrases like the ones below (you do not need to copy them down right now)

Practice: Open your purple Grammar for Writing book to page 33.

Complete Exercises 1 and 2 in your notebook.  Correct the fragments where necessary.

Tue.10/31 – Happy Halloween (and a Quiz!)


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO take the Outsiders Unit 2 Vocabulary Quiz

DO NOW – Clear your desk of everything except a pen or pencil

After the quiz….

If you are in Period 2, 8, or 9, you can work on an Outsiders writing enrichment.  Consider the following:

  • The next chapter in the story
  • Point of view shift (Dally’s story, for example)
  • Outsiders vocabulary story
  • Outsiders book review
  • Poetry

If you are in Period 5 or 6, you will continue working on your essay. 

  • This is your last day in the computer lab. 
  • By now you should have a completed draft and will be revising and editing using the checklist. 
  • You must save a finished essay to the Huntley folder in the MS Student Dropbox by the end of the period.

Mon. 10/30 – Revision & Submission

WRITE DOWN TODAY’S HOMEWORK – Study for the vocabulary quiz.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO finish your Outsiders Essay, edit and revise using the checklist, and save a copy to the Huntley folder in the MS Student Dropbox.

DO NOW – Get right to work.  Re-read your writing from last week to get back into the analysis.


  • Proofread for typographical errors and other careless mistakes
  • Work through the checklist, revising your essay as needed to fulfill all expectations
  • If you have time, find a partner to exchange essays.  Use the checklist to provide suggestions for additional revision.  You can write suggestions/comments/questions on your partner’s checklist.
  • Consider an enrichment assignment:  write a creative response to The Outsiders.  It can be a poem, a “next chapter,” a point of view shift (Dally’s story?), a book review, or something else.
  • Study for the vocabulary quiz


  • Make sure your essay has been saved to the Huntley folder in MS Student Dropbox
  • Submit your completed checklist
  • Turn in your copy of The Outsiders

Thu.-Fri. 10/26 & 27 – The Outsiders Essay

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK – Vocabulary Quiz Tuesday (Packet Answer Key, Here)

YOUR GOAL FOR THE NEXT THREE CLASS PERIODS IS TO draft, revise, and submit your Outsiders Essay.

DO NOW – Get set up to work on your essay.

  • Take out all necessary materials – novel, notebook, essay instructions.  Have your English Handbook available for reference to help with transitions and revision.
  • Use the handout as a guide to set goals for your writing days.
  • Keep the website open on one half of your screen to follow the outline for your essay topic.
  • Open Microsoft Word on the other half of your screen.

Outsiders Essay 2017

Outsiders Essay Topics

Vocabulary Unit 2 Study Packet Answer Key

Wed. 10/25 – Outsiders Wrap-Up


  • Report to Computer Lab 209 tomorrow
  • Vocabulary packet due tomorrow
  • Vocabulary quiz Tuesday

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO wrap up our discussion of The Outsiders and prepare to write an essay

DO NOW – Open your notebooks to your quotes about climax, falling action, and resolution

Tue. 10/24 – Falling Action and Resolution


  • Make sure you have finished The Outsiders by tomorrow. 
  • Make sure you are prepared for a notebook check tomorrow.
  • Vocab. Packet Due Thursday
  • Vocab. Quiz Tuesday

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO read Ch. 12 and identify details of the climax, falling action, and resolution.

DO NOW –  Open your notebook and write today’s heading, “10/24 – Falling Action and Resolution”

As we read the final chapter of The Outsiders, your assignment is to think about the falling action and resolution of the story.  To review, falling action includes details that bring the story back down to a normal level of conflict and tension.  The resolution is the way in which the protagonist’s conflict has been resolved.

  • Select ONE quote from Chapters 11-12 that shows Ponyboy’s life returning to normal, and explain how it demonstrates falling action or a reduction in tension and conflict.
  • Select ONE quote from Chapter 12 that shows how Ponyboy has resolved his conflict.  Explain how the quote demonstrates resolution.

Mon. 10/23 – Climax and Falling Action


  • Finish Ch. 11 for tomorrow.
  • Outsiders Unit 2 Vocabulary Packet due Thursday; Quiz Tuesday 10/31

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO read Chapters 10 and 11 in The Outsiders, with an eye on the climax of the novel and the falling action.

DO NOW: Take out your Core Workout assignments to be collected.  Open your notebooks and write today’s heading – “10/23 – Climax and Falling Action”

  • As we read today, you will choose and describe the moment/situation that presents the climax of the novel (which may have already happened).  Identify the page number, and share a quote from the climax.  Be sure to explain your choice.
  • In addition, you will select a specific quote that reveals details of the falling action (what follows the climax as the story returns to a normal level of tension).  Be sure to identify a page number, and explain your choice.

If we do not finish Chapter 11, finish it for homework.

Looking ahead: Wednesday, be prepared for your next notebook check.  Here’s what you need to show…

  • “Groups” assignment draft (10/2)
  • 3 Outsiders Charts (10/4)
  • 12 Outsiders quotes with analysis (Chapters 4-9)
  • Chapter 6 theme paragraph (10/16)
  • 4 Core Workout paragraph responses (due 10/23)

Thu.-Fri. 10/19 & 20 – Chapters 8 & 9

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK – Core Workout #1 Due Monday

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO read Chapters 8 & 9 in The Outsiders

DO NOW – Open your notebooks and write the heading for Thursday and Friday: “10/19-20 – Chapters 8 & 9”

As you read, select two quotes from each chapter and explain what important insights or details they reveal about the novel.

By the end of the period Friday, you should have two quotes selected and analyzed for Chapters 4 through 9.

Wed. 10/18 – Chapter 7 and Irony


  • Write two quote analyses for chapter 7.  By tomorrow you should have two each for chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 (see previous posts for more information if necessary)
  • Take your button with you today and remember to wear it to the assembly tomorrow (period 4)
  • Core Workout #1 is due Monday.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO discuss chapters 6 & 7 and analyze elements of irony in the novel.

DO NOW – clear your desks and be prepared for a reading check.  Write your name, period number and number your paper 1-4.

After the reading check…Write down today’s heading – “10/18 – Chapter 7 and Irony”

Then, write down the following definition:

IRONY – In literature, a situation is ironic when the outcome is contrary to what is expected.

Chapter 7 Quote: the newspaper headline, “Juvenile Delinquents Turn Heroes” (p. 107) 

What situation is the headline referring to?

What is unexpected about what happened?

  • It’s ironic that greasers acted honorably and did the right thing
  • It’s ironic that boys on the run for a serious crime committed an act of courage to help others.
  • It’s ironic that Johnny seemed to be at peace while helping to save the children in the burning church.
  • It’s ironic that Johnny was given an opportunity to save a life after taking one.

Write a short quote analysis paragraph. (1) Share the quote. (2) Describe the incident it refers to. (3) Explain why this situation is ironic, using one or more of the examples above in your discussion.  Be sure to discuss how the situation contradicts expectation (goes against what most people would expect.

Your second quote for Chapter 7 can be your choice (it does not have to be about irony)

Continue to think about irony as we read the novel.

Tue. 10/17 – Vocabulary Quiz 1


  • Finish Chapter 7 and any work you did not finish Monday
  • Complete CORE WORKOUT 1 by Monday. (+2 if you complete it by Friday)

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO complete Vocabulary Quiz 1 and then read Chapter 7 silently.  OR, you can work on the Core Workout.

DO NOW – Clear your desks for the quiz.  You need a pen or pencil.  Have a copy of The Outsiders ready to read when you are finished.

Mon. 10/16 – Chapter 6 and Themes

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK: Study for tomorrow’s vocabulary quiz.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO read Chapter 6 in the Outsiders and write about emerging themes in the novel.

DO NOW: (Handout HERE)

1) Read Chapter 6.

2) As you read, select two additional quotes from the chapter and write them in your notebook, including the page number. Be sure to explain why you consider them important to the novel. Including chapters 4, 5, and 6, you should have SIX quotes in your notebook.

3) Answer the questions on the back of your handout. You may use your book.

4) When you finish, look over the list of themes you copied into your notebook on Friday. Here they are again, if you need to copy them:

  • Look beyond stereotypes and prejudices
  • Adolescence is defined by loss of innocence
  • Family and friends are essential support systems
  • Hold onto your identity
  • Despite broken dreams, continue to seek meaning in life
  • Enjoy every moment of life! Don’t take anything for granted.
  • Nothing gold can stay.

5) Select one of the themes above. Write a long paragraph (7-10 sentences…kind of like the paragraphs in your summer reading essay) in which you

  • Explain the theme
  • Share multiple examples from the novel, including page numbers for reference

6) Study for tomorrow’s vocabulary test and/or read Chapter 7 (Due Wednesday)

Fri. 10/13 – “Nothing Gold Can Stay” continued…

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK: Study for Tuesday’s vocabulary quiz.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO finish Chapter 5 in The Outsiders and discuss emerging themes.

DO NOW: Add “and Fri. 10/13” to yesterday’s notebook heading.  You will continue to select quotes from the chapter and explain their significance.  Choose at least 2.

Emerging Themes in The Outsiders

Write down the following list of themes that are developing as we read The Outsiders.

  1. Look beyond stereotypes and prejudices 
  2. Adolescence is defined by loss of innocence
  3. Family and friends are essential support systems
  4. Hold onto your identity
  5. Despite broken dreams, continue to seek meaning in life

Circle at least one that you can analyze with the support of evidence from the novel.

Thu. 10/12 – “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK – Study for Tuesday’s Vocabulary Quiz.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO complete the homework check for Chapter 4, discuss significant quotes, and begin Chapter 5.

DO NOW – Write your name on the Post-It note on your desk.  

You will have 5 minutes to answer the questions.  

Significant Quotes: Share the quote by reading it aloud, then explain why you selected it.

Chapter 5 Notebook Work:  Today’s heading is “10/12 – Nothing Gold Can Stay”

As you read, find two more significant quotes, copy them down, and explain why they are important to remember.

We will continue Chapter 5 tomorrow.

Wed. 10/11 – “This Can’t Be Happening”

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK: Finish Chapter 4 and your quote selections.  Be prepared for a brief quiz tomorrow.  

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO check the answers for your vocabulary packets and continue reading The Outsiders. 

DO NOW: Take out your vocabulary packet and check your answers.  Then, write down today’s heading  – “10/11 – This Can’t Be Happening”

outsiders-unit-1-synonyms key

outsiders-unit-1-sentences key

Warm-up: 5 Questions about Chapter 3 – A quiz preview

  1. Cherry asked Ponyboy about watching sunsets because…
  2. What did Ponyboy notice that one of the socs was wearing?
  3. What did Cherry say to Ponyboy as they were leaving?
  4. What mistake did Johnny and Ponyboy make as they were headed home?
  5. Why did Ponyboy decide he wanted to run away?

Notebook work as you listen to and read Chapter 4 today…

Select at least two quotes that seem to be significant to the story. Copy them down as you read, or later, with page numbers. Explain why the quotes seem to have such impact.

Fri. 10/6 – Greasers and Socs


  • Groups reflection due Tuesday
  • Outsiders Vocabulary Unit 1 handout due Wednesday

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO read Chapter 2 independently and consider some important ideas presented in the novel.

  1. As you read, complete the notes box for Cherry Valance, and add some of her thoughts about Socs to that box as well.
  2. Also, write the following details down in your notebook and explain what you learn about them from Two-Bit and Cherry
  • Fair fights
  • Stick together.
  • Don’t get caught.
  • Things are rough all over.

If you finish your reading and notes, you can begin working on the vocabulary packet.

Thu. 10/5 – Greasers

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK – “Groups” reflection due Tuesday.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO continue developing an understanding of the characters in The Outsiders.

DO NOW – Open to your Outsiders Characterization Charts. Review the details you have added so far.  When you are called on, be prepared to share a detail to include in the charts.


An experience or period in a young person’s life that makes him or her aware of the cruelty or unfairness of the world.

For Johnny Cade, this happens when…

For the Curtis Brothers…

Wed. 10/4 – The Outsiders

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK: Groups writing reflection final draft due Tuesday.  Expand into a 1-page discussion. 

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO begin reading The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, and become acquainted with the main characters, known as “greasers.”

DO NOW: Take out your homework assignment.  Take out your notebook and write today’s heading on the next FULL PAGE.  You will need three pages to create the following charts:

(PAGE 1)

(PAGE 2)

(PAGE 3)

Today we will begin reading the novel, The Outsiders. Some interesting details about the novel:

  • S.E. Hinton began writing the novel when she was 15 years old, and it was published when she was 18. Imagine that!
  • The novel was published before “YA” fiction existed as a genre, and probably helped to invent it
  • The novel has sold over 10 million copies
  • The Outsiders is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where S.E. Hinton grew up.

    Outsiders Setting


    As we read,

    Pay close attention to the details about characters as they are introduced.

    Listen to Ponyboy Curtis narrate the story, and draw some conclusions about him as well

    Jot down details you learn about “greasers” and “socs” as well.

Tue. 10/3 – Nothing Gold Can Stay

WRITE DOWN THE HOMEWORK – Write or type a final draft of your “Groups” assignment from last night.

  • Edit to elevate word choices, improve transitions, and to make the flow of ideas clear.
  • Make sure you have a proper heading and a title

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO analyze the poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” by Robert Frost, and make thematic connections between the poem and the short story, “On the Sidewalk Bleeding,” by Evan Hunter.

DO NOW: Write today’s heading – “10/3 Nothing Gold Can Stay”

  1. List some people, experiences, or things that are precious to you.
  2. Write down a precious memory you wish you could go back and experience again.
  3. Write down a struggle you have experienced or are starting to experience that has made your life more complicated.

10 Minute Notebook Discussion and Writing

Consider the poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” by Robert Frost as you recall the story of Andy, the Royal, in “On the Sidewalk Bleeding.”

Discuss and write about one or all of the following prompts:

  1. How does the idea of “loss of innocence” relate to both the poem and the story?
  2. How does the statement, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” apply to Andy’s situation?
  3. Although Andy’s story isn’t about nature, what is “natural,” predictable, or true about what happened to Andy?

Final thought:

Write an EPITAPH to Andy.  An epitaph is a statement made in memory of someone, usually found on a gravestone or memorial.  Use the imagery and main idea of the poem in your epitaph.

Mon. 10/2 – “On the Sidewalk Bleeding”

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK (you can abbreviate the details and refer to the topic instructions on

In your notebook, write about a group you “belong” to.  Share specific details about people, activities, and experiences/memories.  In your response, be sure to discuss:

  • The purpose of the group – your reason for being together; your goal as a group
  • The history of the group – how you joined or created the group; how others are “eligible” to join the group
  • The culture of the group – what keeps the group well-bonded and happy
  • The importance of the group as a part of your life – how it helps you grow as an individual; how long this group will exist (maybe you will outgrow it or no longer be eligible?)

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO read the short story, “On the Sidewalk Bleeding ” by Evan Hunter.

DO NOW: After you write down today’s homework, open your notebook and write today’s heading – “10/2 – On the Sidewalk Bleeding and Mood”  When you receive a copy of the story, look over the questions on the back page.

AS YOU READ you will be responsible for jotting down words and phrases that help you sense the MOOD of the story.  

These details can be:

  • descriptions of the setting
  • spoken words
  • inner thoughts
  • actions
  • narrative details


Work on the questions at the end of the story.  Write all responses in your notebook.

Thu. 9/28 & Fri. 9/29 – Summer Reading Assessment


THURSDAY AND FRIDAY’S GOAL IS TO write your Summer Reading Assessment.

DO NOW: Prepare your workspace.

  • Open your notebooks to any relevant notes
  • Take out your Plot Outline
  • Take out your novel, if you have it
  • Have pens or pencils ready for writing
  • You may need extra loose leaf paper


  • No talking during the assessment.  You must complete all writing on your own.
  • When you receive the assessment handout, make sure your name is written at the top of the page, along with your novel’s title and author.
  • Make sure all loose-leaf pages have a proper heading (name, period, date, English 72) and the title, “Summer Reading Assessment” at the top.
  • Use your notes and your novel to help you. 
  • Thursday’s goal is to complete at least ONE response.
  • If you finish one, keep working.  Start another.
  • If you finish with time remaining, re-read your work carefully and revise, if necessary.
  • At the end of each period, turn in all work along with your assessment handout.
  • If you finish early, you can read silently, work on enrichment writing, or sit silently.

Wed. 9/27 – Summer Reading Assessment Prep

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK: Review your novel and Plot Outline handout for the Summer Reading Assessment.  You will be writing tomorrow and Friday.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO rehearse writing a long paragraph response for the assessment.

DO NOW: Open your notebook and write today’s heading, “9/27 – Summer Reading Assessment Prep.” Also, (1) take out your Plot Outline handout and (2) your “Seventh Grade” story.

Part 1: Using your notes on “Seventh Grade” and the story itself, write a response to the following prompt:

Just like real people, characters in fiction have positive and negative traits.  Discuss ONE way in which Victor can be admired, AND ONE way in which he is flawed. In your response, be sure to provide specific textual evidence as support.

Write a DETAILED and meaningful PARAGRAPH with a target length of at least 7 sentences.

Base your responses and analysis on SPECIFIC references from the book:

  1. Be sure that each answer contains the TITLE and AUTHOR of the work you are analyzing (“In Title, by Author…”)
  2. Write a topic sentence that expresses the main idea and focus of your paragraph (you may use the italicized sentence in the prompt to help you get started)
  3. Include multiple and detailed examples from the text that support your analysis and demonstrate your ability to use the text effectively
  4. Craft a closing sentence that effectively concludes your analysis

Be prepared to share part of your response during the discussion.  Consider copying down the full sample written response or editing your own to reflect an acceptable response.

Part 2: For the remainder of the period…

  • Review your Plot Outline and make sure you have all necessary information. 
  • THEN, find at least two details from your novel for each part of the outline.  You can use post-its to mark pages, copy quotes to your notebook, list page numbers, or any method of your choosing to ensure you can easily locate the evidence if needed tomorrow.

Tue. 9/26 – Story Elements Review

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK: Complete the Plot Outline handout for your summer reading book.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO review the elements of a story by discussing the short story “Seventh Grade,” by Gary Soto.

DO NOW: Open your notebook and write today’s heading, “9/26 – Seventh Grade Story Elements”

As we discuss the short story, be prepared to share some of your findings from last night’s reading.

      1. CHARACTER details (YELLOW) What do we learn about the PROTAGONIST, the most important story character?  Describe him, including strengths and weaknesses.
      2. CONFLICT details (RED) What do we learn about the story’s main conflict (man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. nature, man vs. himself, man vs. something else)?  Explain the main conflict. Who is the ANTAGONIST, or the opposing force in the story?  Describe the antagonist.
      3. MOOD details (BLUE)  What do we learn about the mood of the story?  How does it change over the course of the story?  Describe the changing moods.
      4. SETTING details (GREEN) Write down important setting details (time and place), as well as the feeling of the place

Here are more story elements you need to remember before analyzing your summer reading book.  Stories follow this general structure:

Authors begin with EXPOSITION or establish the way things are (think of the curtain opening at the beginning of a play)

5) EXPOSITION: Describe the way things are at the beginning of “Seventh Grade”

Authors establish a CONFLICT that will be the main struggle of the PROTAGONIST or main character.

6) CONFLICT: Describe Victor’s main struggle.

Authors develop RISING ACTION or tension — the results of choices made, actions taken, and experiences — which cause the story to become more complicated.

7) RISING ACTION: How does Victor’s story get more complicated?

Authors build a story to reach a CLIMAX, or turning point, when the protagonist gets to face his or her conflict and is usually changed in some way.  This climax usually occurs near the end of the story.

8) CLIMAX: What turning point leads to the resolution of Victor’s story?

Authors, having designed the story to lead up to the climax, will now quickly bring the tension back down to “normal” in the FALLING ACTION and reveal to the reader how (and if) the conflict has reached a RESOLUTION.

9) FALLING ACTION & RESOLUTION: How does Victor’s story wind down in the final paragraphs?  What has he resolved/fixed/figured out?

Begin working on your Plot Outline for your novel.  Finish it for tomorrow.

Mon. 9/25 – Name-Calling is Bullying

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK – Finish reading “Seventh Grade,” by Gary Soto, and color-code the details you find:

  • At least 4 CHARACTER details in YELLOW
  • At least 2 CONFLICT details in RED
  • At least 2 MOOD details in BLUE
  • At least 2 SETTING details in GREEN

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO consider hurtful names and celebrate kind ones.

DO NOW – Open your notebook to a new heading: “9/25 – Name-Calling is Bullying”

Consider the following quotes from The Misfits.  Respond to ONE of them, explaining your point of view about the statement.  If you finish before the discussion, respond to other quotes.

So does being cool mean you get to go around calling other people names?  Skeezie, The Misfits, p. 91 

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been called a name, it still hurts – and it still always comes as such a surprise that I never know how to respond. Or maybe I do, but I’m afraid.  Bobby, The Misfits, p. 131

Another thing I think about names is that they DO hurt. They hurt because we believe them. We think they are telling us something true about ourselves, something other people can see even if we don’t.  Bobby, The Misfits, p. 250

Activity Preparation:

Below your response, make a list of names you have been called.  Create a chart, and categorize the names as kind or hurtful.

Kind Names  

Hurtful Names

After you have made your list, consider all of the names.  Which ones stand out to you as most kind, or most hurtful? 

  1. Today you will be making your own button for a kind name or hurtful name you choose.  As in the novel, you may choose to promote awareness of a hurtful name and create a circle-slash with the name in it.  Or, if you prefer, you can feature a kind name you prefer to be called.
  2. After selecting the name, neatly design your button.  Use color and attractive lettering.  Add some small pictures or a background.
  3. When you are ready, carefully cut out your button and bring it to the button maker.
  4. After your button is finished, add it to the class chart paper, where it will be held until we attend the assembly to meet and listen to James Howe, author of The Misfits.
  5. When you finish the button, find a comfortable place to read Seventh Grade silently.  Use highlighters or colored pencils to identify the story elements (character, conflict, mood, and setting details).

Anyway, I do not want you thinking that I or Addie or Joe or Skeezie feel sorry for ourselves.  We do not.  Other people may call us names or think we’re weird or whatever, but that does not mean we believe them.  We may be misfits, but we’re okay.  Leastwise, in our own eyes we are, and that’s all that really matters.  Bobby, The Misfits, p. 14

The point is that being a minority isn’t only about the color of your skin or your religion. it’s about not fitting in, being on the outside.  Bobby, The Misfits, p. 137

Because when you get down to it, thinking of somebody as 100% human seriously gets in the way of hating them.  Bobby, The Misfits, p. 46

Wed. 9/20 – Kindness

WRITE DOWN THE HOMEWORK: Have a restful long weekend.  Be kind!  Make sure you are ready for the summer reading assessment next Thursday/Friday.  Also, report to Library on Monday.


DO NOW: Take out your notebook and write today’s heading, “9/20 – Kindness”

Part 1: Video – “Giving is the Best Communication” followed by 10 Minute Notebook Response

After watching the video, respond to the following prompt:

  • Why is kindness important in a community? 
  • Consider examples of kindness you have witnessed or experienced in your daily life as a student in the Roslyn Middle School community.  Share a few real examples, large or small.
  • Does an act of kindness have to be a large one to have a large impact?  Explain.

Part 2: Warm Fuzzies – A Year-Long Project

Warm Fuzzies…

  • are positive…they are written acts of kindness.
  • make us feel welcome
  • make us feel safe
  • encourage us
  • inspire us to share more Warm Fuzzies.

Write a few warm fuzzy statements in your notebook after your video response.  Select one to write on your Post-It, and stick it on the board.

Next Week: Thursday/Friday – Summer Reading Assessment.  

You have read two books this summer: The Misfits, and a book you chose from the 7th Grade Summer Reading List (link).

Next Thursday and Friday, you will complete a writing assessment about the book you chose.  Take some time in the next seven days to brush up on the details of that novel.  

Tue. 9/19 – Prepositions

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK: Optional – complete a Prepositional Poem for enrichment credit.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO learn about prepositions.


Part 1: Open your Grammar for Writing book to p. 211. 

Part 2: Get ready to complete your Prepositions Page (link, here).  Have a pen or pencil ready.

Part 3: Prepositions Practice – Complete Exercises 1 and 2.

Enrichment: Write your own prepositional poem.

  • Think about a person, place, thing, or idea that is fascinating to you. 
  • Place your subject in a particular place, time, and/or situation, so that we can “discover” its location through your words.
  • If you prefer, you can take the subject somewhere (for example, a ball in a sporting event is taken through the defense, toward the goal, or over the fence).
  • Almost every line should begin with a preposition. The prepositions will provide us with information such as location, position, and direction.


Mon. 9/18 – Editing and Submitting Written Work

WRITE DOWN YOUR HOMEWORK:  If you have not finished your Character Building Narrative and Reflection, you must do so!

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO finish typing your assignment, edit and revise, save a copy to the Huntley folder in the MS Student Dropbox, AND submit your Checklist.

DO NOW: Log in, open your assignment, and locate your English Handbook.

Here’s what will happen today:

  1. Finish typing your Character Building Narrative and Reflection
  2. Re-read carefully, correcting any obvious errors
  3. Improve word choices: use the synonyms feature in Word, or use
  4. Improve transitions: use the lists on p. 7 in your English Handbook
  5. Make sure you have a proper heading (p. 5 in your English Handbook)
  6. Consider a personal title for the assignment.  If not, make sure it has a title.
  7. Complete your checklist.  Make any additional changes to ensure your assignment is your best effort.
  8. Work with someone else who is finished with #1-7.  Read someone else’s assignment and provide specific feedback.  Use the checklist as your guide.
  9. Repeat #8 with one or more other students.
  10. Make any changes to your checklist.
  11. Save your document in your own folder.
  12. Save a COPY (“Save as”) in the Huntley folder in the MS Student Dropbox.
  13. Submit your checklist.

Finished? Read a novel, or work on an assignment for another class.

Th.-Fr. 9/14 & 15 – Writing Process: Drafting and Revising

WRITE DOWN THE HOMEWORK: Continue your revision work, if you need to.  You must have a completed typed draft saved to the Huntley folder in the MS – Student Dropbox by the end of the period Monday. [File name includes your last name, period number, and title “Character Piece”]

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO follow a revision checklist and type another draft of your Character Building Narrative and Reflection.

DO NOW:  Prepare for revision.  Open your notebooks to your draft.  Locate your English Handbook and open to page 11.

Your HANDBOOK will help you revise and submit your writing.

  • Review “Revising Your Writing” and “Editing Your Writing” on page 11.
  • Review “Submitting Written Work” on page 6.
  • Review “Transitions” on page 7.

The CHECKLIST must be submitted when your assignment is complete.

  • Use the checklist to help you organize and revise your Character Building Narrative and Reflection

After you receive/log in to your laptop…

  • Open a new Microsoft Word document
  • SAVE the document with the title, Last Name First Initial Period Number character piece…which would look something like this: Huntley J 2 character piece 
  • When you are ready to type, add a proper heading (Handbook, pg. 5) and your title first.
  • Save as you go.
  • Consider backing up your work.  You can save it to a usb, or you can save a copy in the “MS -Student Dropbox” in the “Huntley” folder.
  • When you are finished, refer back to page 11 in your handbook.  Monday you will complete and submit your checklist for the assignment.

Wed. 9/13 – Character Building Narrative and Reflection

WRITE DOWN THE HOMEWORK: Complete the draft of your Character Building Narrative and Reflection.  It should include all required elements and be written in your notebook.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO select a topic about character-building and draft an extended narrative and reflection.

DO NOW: Turn to a new notebook page.  Write the heading, “9/13 – Character Building Narrative and Reflection”

Open your notebook to last night’s homework paragraphs and look over your responses.  Your reflections there may help you choose a topic from the list.  Keep them in mind as you review the choices.

When you receive the topic sheet, read the topic choices carefully.  When you make your choice, write the topic at the top before beginning. 

Your Character Building Narrative and Reflection should include:

  • An introduction to the topic/person, providing background and your personal connection
  • A description and discussion of the specific character qualities you value
  • Stories as examples to “show” your reader
  • Any other details that are part of the topic assignment
  • A conclusion in which you reflect on your feelings and understanding about the topic

You should finish your draft in class, or if necessary, for homework.

Topic sheet link, here.

Tues. 9/12 – Building Character

WRITE DOWN THE HOMEWORK: Complete your personal character building inventory.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO discuss the characteristics of heroism, and explore how you identify with some of them.


When you receive your loose leaf, write your name and period number at the top.  Write the heading, “Grammar Inventory.”  Then number 1-10, skipping lines.

For numbers 1-10, write down the requested part of speech from the sentence provided.

      1. Write the noun:  I play football.
      2. Write the proper noun:  I live in Roslyn.
      3. Write the pronoun: We are in English class.
      4. Write the verb:  We must use the technology.
      5. Write the linking verb:  English class is thrilling.
      6. Write the adjective: Enjoy the gorgeous weather.
      7. Write the adverb: He quickly finished the assignment.
      8. Write the preposition: Go to your locker.
      9. Write the conjunction:  I will eat broccoli or carrots.
      10. Write the interjection:  Wow!  You finished!

DO NOW: Open your notebooks to your homework – five character statements about Welles Crowther – and your personal reaction. 

DISCUSSION: Have your pen or pencil ready.  As you listen to people share character qualities, add more to your own list.

TODAY’S WORK:  Look over the list of character qualities shared today.  Which of these qualities do you see in yourself?  Circle, underline, highlight them in your notebook.

Then, add a break (a line, a new page, your choice) and write the heading…


Answer the following questions completely and thoughtfully.  Each response should be a paragraph that includes specific personal details to support your choices.  You may complete them in any order.

1) Who has taught you positive character qualities?  Which traits?  Share an example when and how.

2) What memorable experiences have you had that helped you develop positive character qualities?  Which traits?  Share an example when and how.

3) What qualities possessed by Welles Crowther or the fictional Luella Bates Washington Jones do you admire and want to possess yourself?  How can you acquire these qualities?









Mon. 9/11 – Characterizing Heroism

WRITE DOWN THE HOMEWORK: In your notebook, complete five character statements and your personal reaction to “The Man in the Red Bandana.”

DO NOW: Take out your Portmanteau/Six Word Memoir assignment to be collected.  Open your notebooks to the next page and write today’s heading, “9/11 – Characterizing Heroism”

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO learn about one of the many, many individuals who sacrificed their own lives on September 11, 2001, so that others could survive.  343 New York firefighters, 23 police officers, and 37 Port Authority officers were killed in their efforts to save lives on that day.  In addition to these first responders, a number of civilians took action to help others.  Today you are going to learn about one of those individuals.

  • You will be watching a video called “The Man in the Red Bandana.”  As you view it, list descriptions and actions presented in the video that reveal what kind of person Welles Crowther was.

  • Following the video, you will examine a slideshow about Welles Crowther’s life.  Continue to add to and elaborate upon your list of qualities describing him.

Slideshow: Welles Crowther, The Man in the Red Bandana

Discussion Share some of the words that you wrote down to characterize Welles Crowther.  Again, add to your own list as you hear others share.

Analysis Examine your list carefully.  Circle, highlight, underline the words you believe are Welles Crowther’s most important character qualities.  Select at least five.

SynthesisFor each word you have chosen, write a statement to explain the character quality, and include a specific example of the quality. Your examples do not have to all be from Welles Crowther’s life if you have other personal examples.

Reflection.  Write a personal reaction to the story you heard today.  The reaction can be brief but should identify some specific details to support your thoughts and feelings.  You can discuss details beyond Welles Crowther’s story.

Come prepared tomorrow to share one of your statements with the class.

Friday 9/8 – Portmanteaus and Six Word Memoirs


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO (1) invent a new word, a portmanteau, that reveals something unique about you, and (2) write a six word memoir that expresses who you are at this moment in time.

DO NOW: Take out your homework to be collected. Open your notebook to the next page.  Write today’s heading, “9/8 – Portmanteau and Six Word Memoir.”

Personality Words handout

Portmanteau Examples

  • CRONUT (croissant + donut)
  • FRAPPUCCINO (frappé + cappuccino)
  • BRUNCH (breakfast + lunch)
  • TURDUCKEN (turkey + duck + chicken)
  • CHILLAX (chill + relax)
  • FRENEMY (friend + enemy)
  • THREEPEAT (three + repeat)
  • SHARKNADO (shark + tornado)
  • STAYCATION (stay home + vacation)

Portmanteau and Six Word Memoir sheet, with instructions

Six Word Memoir Examples

  • Yeah, I know I am weird.
  • Learning to accept my own flaws.
  • I need more than 24 hours.
  • Xbox doesn’t want me to study.
  • Math books make really good pillows.
  • Acted first, thought second. Regrets? None!
  • School starts again. Take me away!
  • Picked last. I surprised them all.
  • Stole my stuff, not my memories.

Thurs. 9/7 – Thanks, Again!

WRITE DOWN THE HOMEWORK: Finish your “Thank You, M’am” Final Reflection (LONG PARAGRAPH of 7-10 sentences…at least a half written page).  It will be collected, so do not write it in your notebook!

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO continue analyzing the short story, “Thank You, M’am”


  • Locate your English Handbook and open to page 2 for the homework check.
  • While your signature is being checked, open your notebook to the next page.
  • Write today’s heading, 9/7 – “Thank You, M’am” discussion.
  • Respond to the following prompt: How does Langston Hughes’ poem, “The Dream Keeper” relate to his short story, “Thank You, M’am”? Share (and cite) a detail from the poem and a detail from the story in your response.

Dream Keeper – Langston Hughes

  1. Bring me all of your dreams, you dreamer,
  2. Bring me all of your heart melodies 
  3. That I may wrap them in a blue-cloud cloth
  4. Away from the too-rough fingers of the world.


  • Be prepared to provide a story summary detail
  • Be prepared to share a vocabulary definition
  • Be prepared to share an example of VERNACULAR
  • Be prepared to describe either Roger’s or Mrs. Jones’ character
  • Add to your notes as needed to make sure your work from yesterday is complete.



5) Analyze the moment when Roger begins to change.  Identify the paragraph(s) and explain the details that reveal his change.

INDEPENDENT WORK – Answer questions 6 and 7.  Each statement should include a reason that provides evidence from the text.

Your homework is Part 4:  Cross out questions 8-15 as a reminder that you do not have to complete them!

Wed. 9/6 – Thank You!


TODAY’S GOAL IS TO (1) Receive your English Handbook and go over some details about this class, and (2) read and discuss a short story titled “Thank You, M’am,” written by Langston Hughes.

DO NOW: Locate your English Handbook and open to page 4.  While you wait to begin, you should review pp. 4 & 5.

ABOUT THE ENGLISH HANDBOOK: We will refer to your handbook many times this year.  It is chock-full of useful information about English class.

  • It will help you be prepared for writing assignments.
  • It will help you use your notebook effectively
  • It will help you with grammar and usage
  • It contains important academic vocabulary
  • It provides you with writing enrichment opportunities.

…and much, much more!


Know the purpose for your reading and writing.

  • Look over the questions you will answer
  • Questions to help you focus on the task: Why are we reading this?  What is the lesson?  Are we learning about craft?  About a theme?  About character?  About a topic?  All of the above?


CHARACTER can be an individual’s (1) mental and moral qualities, (2) interesting or unusual qualities, (3) inner strengths, or (4) good reputation

VERNACULAR is language used by ordinary people.  It often changes from place to place or through time.   (Example: ain’t)

MOTIVATION is a character’s reason for his or her actions in the story

As we read:

  • Keep all materials — story, questions, and notebook — on your desk
  • Stay focused and follow along
  • Do not read ahead…stay with the class, in the moment
  • No breaks or off-topic interruptions

Tue. 9/5 – Welcome Back!

DO NOW:  Please sit anywhere.  When the bell rings, wait quietly for instructions.

TODAY’S GOAL IS TO (1) learn a little bit about English 7, and (2) complete a 15 minute writing assignment about a “Summer Moment”


  • Mr. Huntley and Mrs. Covino are the Team 72 English teachers
  • Our extra help will be held in this room, Rm. 110.
  • Mr. Huntley has a website,, which you are looking at right now.  Be sure to bookmark/favorite the site on your computers/tablets/phones.
  • Mrs. Covino has a website,, which will list homework for all core subject areas for most teachers on Team 72.  Be sure to bookmark/favorite the site on your computers/tablets/phones.
  • We will be discussing English class in more detail tomorrow, when we have time.  

WRITING ASSIGNMENT.  Make sure you have a sheet of loose leaf and pen/pencil ready to write.

FIRST, write a proper heading at the top:

  • Name
  • Date
  • Period
  • English 72 – Huntley/Covino

NEXT, write a title for your assignment.  If you can’t think of one, write “Summer Moment”

THEN, write about a meaningful moment you experienced this summer.  It should be a MOMENT in time, not a day, a whole trip, etc.  Your moment should include:

  1. details that reveal your strong emotions about the moment
  2. details about the setting for your moment
  3. dialogue/conversation that occurred
  4. some reflection (your thoughts) on what made this moment special for you

Your writing should SHOW more than it TELLS, so that the reader can experience your moment, not just know about it.