We are wrapping up another busy week in Middle School. This week we finished our unit on Plot and Fiction Writing. We learned about "static" and "dynamic" characters, identified examples in stories that we have read, and gave thought to who the static and dynamic characters are in the fiction pieces the students are writing. We also took a look at theme, identified examples from the short story "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury, and learned how to create a theme statement. Students then applied their understanding of theme by working together in small groups to identify the theme of a shared text (in this case each group had their own picture book to work with), creating theme statements, and finding textual support. Students continued to work on and revise their short stories, paying attention to specific mistakes that inexperienced writers make. These include not varying sentence structure, getting mired down with unnecessary detail, inconsistent tense/point of view, and not using active verbs.
Students also analyzed the characteristics of a feature article. We began writing for our Fall issue of the DGS Gateway and are aiming for a publication date of November, 22. Students are working in small groups and 6th grade students are paired up with 8th grade mentors whose job it is to help them learn the ropes of school newspaper writing, draft/edit articles, and meet deadlines.
Next week they will be traveling with Ms. Kathleen for their overnight trip to the Nantahala Outdooor Center, so I won't be seeing them, but the week after we will be back together working on our first Social Studies unit, continuing our journalism lessons and Gateway work, and completing fiction pieces.
Below kids work hard on an assessment and then celebrate and students in 7th grade have a big reaction to a major plot twist in Sharon Draper’s novel Out Of My Mind.