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Middle School Week In Review (11/9 - 11/13)

This week we concluded our civics unit with a presentation of each micronation's "constitutional confederation". Students will continue to work within their nations to examine how their governments will function in practice, including relations with other nations. We will have a civics unit assessment next week.

We have started our next unit, which will be a genre study of dystopian fiction. Each student has been assigned a literature circle group and will be reading either Divergent, by Veronica Roth; The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; or The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancy. We began our unit by learning about the concept of utopia. Students learned about real life attempts at utopian societies and identified traits that were common to each. Students then applied their understanding of the concepts by creating their own utopian societies. After sharing the details of their imagined society, we discussed what factors might cause their society to fail.

We then viewed a series of short films and trailers about different dystopian societies, including Elysium, Wall-E, and the film 2081, based on the short story "Harrison Bergeron", by Kurt Vonnegut. Students worked with partners to identify details, patterns, and themes in each trailer. We will continue to track these as we read our dystopian fiction.

We also began a new activity called "Poem/Mini-text of the Week". Every other week we will examine a mentor text and learn about a specific literary element. This week we read the poem "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins. We practiced annotation and analysis and learned about the author's use of simile and metaphor. Students practiced creating their own similes and metaphors and will apply this understanding to a writing task for which they'll create an "emulation poem" inspired by their mentor text.

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