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Our Week In Review (1/21 - 1/24)

This week we paused our Agriculture and Ancient Civilization Unit to focus on a mini-unit pairing acknowledgment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and an introduction to research. The unit began with a close reading of MLK Jr.'s "What Is Your Life's Blueprint" speech. We spent time thinking about our own "blueprints" and answering and discussing comprehension/analysis questions. After this we created a class list of what we already know about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement and a list of questions we have. Students then worked together to sort facts and questions into topics. Each student was asked to choose a topic to research. The class was given sources and began reading up on their topic. The following day I introduced notecards as a means for tracking information and sources when doing research. Students are expected to collect at least 10 notecards with source information a summarized or paraphrased fact.

We also continued our informative writing unit. Students are outlining their essay and beginning a first draft. Next week we will finish up our mini-research unit, informative essays, and continue with Agriculture and Ancient Civilizations. Don't forget that on Wednesday we have a great field trip planned. We will be going to see the play "Akeelah and the Bee", eating at the 7th St. Public Market and visiting ImaginOn.

Middle school students identify questions for a mini-research unit.

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