For a List of Books to Read for Middle School Students, click on the sun.
The Third Wish and The Monkey's Paw
Writing to Persuade
      When you become AP students and now, on FCAT, you'll be asked to express and defend a viewpoint about a genre of literature.  When writing about your viewpoint on a  piece of literature, you have to first reach a conclusion about the selection and then, convince your reader to share the same conclusion that you have.  Before drawing a conclusion, be sure to carefully read the genre - fiction, nonfiction, drama or poetry -- when considering your viewpoint.  Note: Teacher gives a handout in class to help students better understand this assignment.

Assignment:  Write an Essay to Answer the Following Question:

Is Mr. White an innocent victim of the curse of "The Monkey's Paw," or is he in some way responsible for the catastrophe that occurs?  Support your opinion with details from the story.
1.  State Your Position
2.  List Your Evidence
3.  Select Your Evidence
     *  Factual  Evidence
     *  Inferential Evidence
     *  Avoid weak evidence
4.  When Quoting a Passage
     Use MLA In-Text Citation
     (Jacobs 683).
5.  Consider Opposing Evidence
     But, Convince the Reader to
     Accept Your Viewpoint/s Instead
6.  Avoid Careless Analysis of a Text
7.  Arrange Your Evidence Effectively
8.  Finish Strong and Fast
9.  Revise Your First Draft
LA.A. 2.3.1 
In How to Get Better Test Scores - Grade 8 (Perfection Learning,2004)  Students will read aloud page 6 & 7 on clearly stating the Main Idea in writing.
(Test on
Gifted Hands)
Chapter 2: Using Words Powerfully - FROM
The Miracle of Language, By Richard Lederer, in Reading and Writng Nonfiction, Level 1 by Perfection Learning (2006)
Objectives:  Student will learn to use specific words within a sentence or a phrase, and to replace word or phrases wit the best specific word within the context clue given.

Writing for future AP courses and to better respond on Short and Long Response Questions
on FCAT Reading (Responding to literature to
clarify meaning -- writing a grade level essay
on a selection given.)
LA.B.2.3.1; LA.B2.3.2
   Read a Book!  
Click on the boy reading a book
to see a list of Award Winning
1.  Conduct Facilitator:
* Encourages classmates to follow rules including
       having RESPECT for yourself and others. 
    * If a student is having a bad day, let's me know.
2.  Educative Assistant:
    * Explains material differently
    * Helps pass out assignments
    * Collects work
    * Helps substitute teacher with classroom procedures.
3.  Student Educator:
    * Helps other students in paired reading.
    * Encourages students to turn in home learning.
4.  Librarian: 
    * Keeps track of checked-out and returned books in
       the classroom.
    * Keeps bookshelves orderly.
    * Assists students with research at the media center.
5.  Mood Facilitator:
    * Chooses classical and folk music and sounds of
       nature for specific units and journal writing.
Classroom Jobs
Text:  McDougal Littell's The Language of Literature, 7th Grade Edition

"Boy: Tales of Childhood," by Roald Dahl
Between the ages of 7 to nine, Roald Dahl says "only two moments remain clear" to him. 

1.  What was the first one?  Why does he remember it so well?

2.  How is the second "moment" memorable?  Explain what lifetime lesson he learned.

"Growing Up," by Russell Baker
1.  According to Russell's mother, what was his character flaw?

2.  How is the following statement an example of irony?  "I began working in journalism when I was eight years old" (Baker 622).

3.  Why would Russell's mother say to him, "The Lord helps those who help themselves?" (Russell623).

4.  FCAT Short Response worth 2 points:   Explain how Russell's sister showed him how to sell The Saturday Evening Post?
Make sure you include all of the details.

5. FCAT  Long Response worth 4 points:  How and why did Russell decide to become a writer?  Use details from the story to support your answer.

6.  What was Russell's nickname?

Text:  McDougal Littell's The Language of Literature, 8th Grade Edition

by Lewis Carroll -  Students will first read the poem and then rewrite it in their own words.

"Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out,"
by Shel Silverstein
1.  After reading this poem, students will take notes on sound devices found in this poem.  These are:  Alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhyme
2.  CW-HW: Students will answer the questions on page 461
Lesson Plan for
The ANT and the Grasshopper
Directions:  Answer the following questions in complete sentences:
1.  Why is work such an important part of life?
2.  How do you feel about your school work, such as chores you have to do at home or in your yard?
3.  Do you put your best effort into it? Why do you do so or don't do so?
4.  Do you sometimes try to avoid it?  Yes or no, why?
5.  What do you get in return for the work you do?
6.  Think about your attitudes toward work?
7.  How important is work for for a happy life?
8.  Which is more important work or play?
9.   Who was Aesop?
10  Why did he write fables?

Ants and grasshoppers have different lifestyles.  Ants live in organized colonies, and are divided into queens, drones (males), and workers (sterile females), who gather food.  Ants are omniverous; they eat plants and animals, and dead insects.  On the other hand, grasshoppers do not live in colonies, and spend most of their time eating plants.  mostl grasshoppers are plant eaters but some eat dead animals or other insects.  Grasshoppers are also known for their summer songs.  To see some grasshopper verses, click on the picture above.

LA.B.1.3.2; LA.B.2.3.1; LA.B.2.3.3

ALL students will write a reflection essay on what they have learned about oral tradition, the folklore they liked best and least, and how oral tradition keeps the past alive.
  * Identifying Main Idea - Moral
  * Reading Comprehension
  * Analyzing Literature
  * Comparing and Contrasting

Homo Faber
  * Fable with a  moral
  * Illustration or posters

* Island of the Blue Dolphins Test
  * Fable with a moral
  * Illustration
        Instructional Focus:  Main Idea --
           The Moral or Lesson Learned 

1.  Students will write at least two other morals for the "Ant and Grasshopper," Aesop's fable retold in prose by James Reeves (313), and one moral for "The Ant and the Grasshopper,"  Aesop's fable retold in verse by Ennis Rees (314), in the 7th Grade Edition of McDougal Littell's
Language of Literature.
2.  Students will write their own version of The Ant and the Grasshopper
3.  Gifted students will look at the cultural aspects of this fable.
   Timeline Benchmark:  Words and Phrases
*  Word of the Day - Students copy down everything for the Word of the Day and write 20 synonyms for The Word of the Day.
*  Words from The Ant and the Grasshopper  Fables (310 - 315)    McDougal Littell:  The language of literature, 8th Grade Edition - Students will write the definition for each word using their textbooks and a dictionary.
1.  moral
2.  prose
3.  verse
4.  miser
5.  lurk
1.  moral
2.  version
3.  prose
4.  verse
5.  miser

6.   relevant
7.   hovering
8.   lame
9.   lurk
10.  wit
11.  moral
6.  wit
7.  diplomatic
8.  hovering
9.  fable
Timeline Benchmark: Analyzing Literature
                   Standards-Based Objectives:
1.  The student understands and appreciates a classic fable in which animal characters represent a concept with a stated or unstated moral.  FCAT LA.A.1.3.1
2. The student will set purposes for reading LA.A.1.3.1
3.  Through analysis, the student will compare and contrast two versions of a classic fable  FCAT LA.A.2.2.7
    *  Students will answer the questions on page 315 and
        take note on"Literary Analysis"
    *  Students will complete the chart  on page 311 and
        315 to compare and contrast the prose and verse.
4.  FCAT BENCHMARKS covered in
Connections (7th Grade):
EGYPT: Author's Purpose; Best Summary; Character; Cause and Effect; Compare/Contrast; Fact/NonFiction/Opiniion; Genre; Make a Generalization; Vocabulary: Unfamiliar Words/Technical Terms; Synonyms/Antonyms/Idioms
and Multiple Meanings; Math Skills: Basic Operations, Estimation/Rounding
INDIA - Main Idea; Author's Purpose; Point of View; Cause and Effect; Charater; Setting; Compare/Contrast; Fact/ Opinion; Figurative Language; Mood & Tone;  Persuasion/ Propaganda, Words and Phrases: Synonyms/ Antonyms/Idioms, Prefixes/Suffixes; Language Skills: Usage; and Math Skills: Basic Operations, and Ratio and Proportion.

1.  Students will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each character's approach to life.
2.  Students will rewrite the fable or poem  to convey a different moral
3.  Students will illustrate their fable.
4.  Class Interior Decorators, Artists and Poets will work on posters
Art and
Creative Writing
Title screen from Disney's short film.
Illustrated by Milo Winter in a 1919 Aesop anthology.
All students will write 1 long paragraph or 3 paragraphs to answer the following questions:
1.  What is the personality trait that you have that could get you into trouble?  (Examples:
     Perfectionsim, Love to Talk, Procratinator, Know-It-All, Like to Tease, Playful
2.  What can you do to prevent displaying this particular personality trait?
3.  What would be the consequences for displaying and not displaying these consequences?
Instructional Focus - Main Idea - Including Other Benchmarks Across the Curriculum (Connections: Test Preparation Program)
1.  In class, students will go over answers for "A Rich and Ancient Land"  and "Alexander at the Gates" and will peer grade papers.
2.  In class, students will read "Land of the Mighty Pharaohs" and "The Queen Who Would be King" (11-12 ) and answer questions on page 13.  Students will peer grade classmates answers to Research on the Internet at the Media Center.
3.  Students will draw a topic on ancient Egypt

1.  In class, students will go over answers for "A Rich and Ancient Land"  and "Alexander at the Gates" and will peer grade papers.
2.  Students will draw a topic on India for a Mini-Research-Project using the Internet at the Media Center.
             Approaches to Learning:
Reflection:  The student's knowledge of what he
or she has learned in Language Arts, during the first grading period, is individually reflected upon by writing a reflection essay.

           *  FOCUS
           *  ORGANIZATION
           *  SUPPORT
           *  CONVENTIONS

W h a t   d i d   l e a r n ?
A reflection is a way of collecting your thoughts about what you have learned in language arts -- Thinking back on what you have learned.
How to Write a Reflection Essay in Language Arts:
Write a sentence to get the reader's attention.  Perhaps use a moral you have learned from one of the folk tales or stories we have read in class.  Then tie it in with a general thesis statement or a three-pronged thesis statement -- What have you learned in the subject area of language arts?  What have you learned about your over all attitude towards learning?  How can you apply what you have learned in language arts in the future?

Second Paragraph: Explain what you have learned in the subject area of language arts:
* FCAT Benchmarks:  Main Idea/Details - Plot Development and Compare and Contrast
1.  Oral Tradition - Tall Tales: Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox, retold by Adrien Stoutenberg; Pecos Bill, retold by Mary Pope Osborne. 
2.  Short Stories: Cinder Edna, by Ellen Jackson; The Third Wish, by Joan
Aiken; and The Monkey's Paw, by W.W. Jacobs

* Timeline Benchmark: Words and Phrases:
Word of the Day, Idioms      and Textbook Vocabulary.
* FCAT Writes +: Sentence Fragments; Compound Sentence (Using and or  but) and Complex Sentences (Answering Who, What, When, Where, Why, or How in a sentence); Writing a Persuasive Essay for FCAT and Writing a     Persuasive Essay in Response to Literature.
Third Paragraph: Explain what you learned about your overall attitude toward learning.  What did you learn about your organizational skills, study habits, attitude towards home learning and classwork, and ability to complete projects.
Fourth Paragraph: How could you apply what you have learned in language arts in your future?
Conclusion:  Tie your conclusion to your first paragraph.  If you mentioned a moral in your introductory paragraph, then tie your essay together with an interesting statement referring to this moral.  Restate your thesis statement using different words than you used in your body paragraphs. Complete this paragraph with a significant concluding sentence.
Home Learning --
All students will write 1 long paragraph or 3 paragraphs to answer the following questions:
1. What is the personality trait that you have that could get you into trouble?  (Examples: Perfectionist,Talkative, Procratinator, Know-It-All,  Teaser, Playful)
2. What can you do to prevent displaying this particular personality trait?
3. What would be the consequences for displaying and not displaying these consequences?
Reflection Essay
What Have You
Learned in
Language Arts?

Instructional Focus:  Main Idea & Plot Development
9/21-9/26:  You will Review for Test on War Party, The Third Wish, and The Monkey's Paw by answering questions on Main Idea and Plot Development, using a handout.  You will also take notes.

9/27-9/28:  Assessment - You  will take a test on
War Party, The Third Wish, and The Monkey's Paw that will include questions on Main Idea and the Elements of Plot.
       Timeline Benchmark: Analyzing Literature
To answer the Review Questions to Prepare for this Test, Students Will Analyze Passages in these Three Short Stories
When you  are finished with your test, you  will create a Paperback Book Jacket for one of these stories in class. 
*  Imagine that you are working for a book company that will be publishing new editions of these short stories.  You will need to design a cover that catches the attention of customers as well as give important information about one of these stories.  Your book jacket should include:
    1.  A creative and interesting cover.
    2.  A summary of the story, which includes the moral or main idea.
    3.  An informative statement about the author.

Paperback Book Jacket
Areas of Interaction:
Approaches to Learning:
  *  Study Skills
  *  Note Taking
  *  Applying Reading Strategies
  *  Enriching Vocabulary
Human Ingenuity:
  *  Reflection Essay: What You Have Learned in Language Arts
  *  Paperback Book Jacket
6.  Interior Decorator:
    * Decorates bulletin boards
    * Works with artists in class to create posters.
7.  Sanitation Director: 
    * Encourages students to follow rule #7.
    * Has violators pick-up behind themselves.
8.  Recorder
    * Writes on board what teacher is going over in class.
    * Must have good spelling skills and good handwriting
9.  News Reporter:
    * Reports about happenings in school --
10.  Newsletter Editor:
    * Designs 2-page newsletter using reporter's news
11.  Class Artist:
    * Good at drawing and graphic arts.
1.  Instructional Focus:  Author's Purpose  FCAT LA.A.2.3.2
TimeLine Benchmark:  Analyzing Literature
(LA.E.1.3.1; LA.E.1.3.2; LA.E.1.3.3
1.  Students will identify the point of view, identify author technique, and identify the experience being described from a class handout, "Double View," writing on their own paper.
                    Areas of Interaction
1.  ATL:
* Analyzing Literature for Author's Purpose
* Reflection Essay
2.  Health and Social Services:
Guiding Question: If you could have 3 wishes that would come true, what would they be?
3.  Homo Faber: Book Cover

(From:  The BASICNot Boring Middle Grades Language Arts Book. 2000. Nashville: Incentive Publications, Inc.), 46.
Write a first person narrative, fiction or non-fiction, to answer: If you could have three wishes that would come true, what would they be? 
Home Learning:
Instructional Focus:  Author's Purpose
Connect to Your Life:  Students will use a Concept Web Graphic Organizer to map what the like to read and why.
By Rudolfo Anaya
                          Standards Based Objectives:

(LA.A.2.3.4) The student will understand and appreciate a speech
(LA.E.1.3.3) The student will understand author's use of word choice.
(FCAT - LA.A.2.3.1) The student identifies main idea and the student identifies the underlying theme/s.
Students will read "One Million Volumes, " by Rudolfo Anaya in McDougal Littell's The Language Of Literature (2003) on pages 851-860.  Students will understand how Anaya feels about the world of reading and how precious books are.
Other FCAT Benchmarkds and Objectives

Students will complete the "Connect to Your Life" Concept map on what they like to read and why.
(FCAT- LA.A.1.3.2) Vocabulary::  Familiar words used in unfamiliar ways.  The student will nunderstand alternate meanings of words.
READING STRATEGY  Viewing and Representing 
(LA.C.2.3.1) Students will examine and interpret the illustrations used  and determine if these photographs are  appropriate to illustrate Anaya's speech.  Do they represent ideas expressed by Anaya in his speech?
(LA.A..2.3.3) Students will determine which sentence persuades the reader
(LA.B.1.3.3) Students will correctly rewrite incorrect sentences.
1.  To Inform/Explain
2.  To Entertain
3.  To Express an Opinion
4.  To Persuade
Click on the books above to choose literature to read