This week, we worked on connotation and descriptive language. We brainstormed and presented SAT-level words full of connotation for each of the three main characters in "Where Have you Gone, Charming Billy?". We also wrote our own creative piece of writing based off of the story, from a choice of prompts. Prior to reading our novel and in preparation for the end-of-course benchmark test, we looped back and practiced close reading strategies. In particular, we focused on annotating text as we read. We then answered SOL-style questions based on the selected reading passage. We then participated in anticipatory writings and discussion for our new novel, Unwind. We began reading the novel in class.
This week, we practiced commas, apostrophes, and editing sentences prior to taking the 3rd 9 weeks root words/grammar test. We read the nonfiction piece, "Who Wrote Shakespeare" in the Holt Reader and practiced SOL-type questions. We watched short video clips on the Vietnam War and discussed its financial and human toll in anticipation of reading "Where Have You Gone, Charming Billy?" After we read the short story and answered the analysis questions in the Holt Reader, we practiced SOL test skills questions on the story (focusing on connotation, context clues, and inference making). We also completed a character analysis activity, where we had to select SAT level words, which were full of connotation, to describe each character.
In assigned groups, students were divided into Team Brutus, Team Cassius, or Team Antony, with the task of persuading the Tribunal judges that each person's actions were justified in the play. Each team participated in a formal debate, delivering their oral persuasive arguments (which contained evidence aimed at ethos, pathos, and logos), counterarguments, and rebuttals. Additionally, we practiced editing sentences for the eight common comma rules and for proper use of apostrophes.
This week, we worked on finishing Julius Caesar, analyzing theme and symbolism. We also worked in small groups to develop a rhetorical response to an assigned persuasive prompt.