Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Monday/Tuesday, November 27/28, 2017

Announcements and Reminders for Monday/Tuesday, November 27/28, 2017:
We will begin today with individual reading time to read your book of the month.
Get out your composition book and a book to read.
Schedule for December 19/20, 2017

Study for your argument vocabulary test.
See the words and definitions on this post under Vocabulary.

Battle of the Books -  We are starting to form teams for our Battle of the Books competition. If you are interested check with Mrs. Jones in the media center for more information and meeting times. The school competition will be held the first of March with the winning team moving on to the district competition.

Targets for Today:
  • I can read a variety of texts, and recognize literary elements within them. 
  • I can define and recognize themes in literature. 

Today's Agenda:

1. Quiet, Individual Reading Time
Sign up for your Book-of-the-Month book, if still needed.

Is anyone ready for an interview?

2. Theme: 
Characteristics of a Good Theme Statement
1. Theme must be expressed in a complete sentence. “Love and rejection” is not a theme statement. It is just an indication of the topic of the story. What in particular is the author saying about love and rejection? 

2. Theme should describe the general meaning of a story, not specific events, actions or characters. Do not use the names of characters in the story when stating the theme. You should make specific references to the story, however, when providing relevant details and examples to support your theme statement. 

3. The theme must hold true for the story as a whole, not just part of it. Pay particular attention to the story’s conclusion to make sure that the outcome matches what you think the theme is.

Listen to and read along with a short story "The Smallest Dragon Boy." 
Elements of Literature, page 46.  
Page 46 -- Read though this page to prepare for reading the story. 
The story begins on page 48. 

B5 did not finish:  They got to 26:51. 
  • Read along as you listen.
  • Notice that there are helpful definitions at the bottom of some pages (footnotes).  
  • As you listen, jot down in your composition book -- under Reading Responses  (about page 33 +) -- what you think might be topics or themes in the story.   
    • Label this entry "The Smallest Dragonboy": Theme
Note: I use quotation marks on "The Smallest Dragonboy" because it is a short story, not a whole book.

Common Themes in Literature:
Crime Doesn't Pay
We are often our own worse enemies.
Love conquers all.
Good will triumph over evil.
Sometimes the weak can help the strong.

Themes from student book interviews:
With determination a person can do anything.
You can't judge someone by outward appearances.

Money makes the world go round. 
Money is power. 
Money is the root of all evil. 
Money can’t buy happiness.

If You Were Absent:

See above.
Read the story and on a paper you can tape into your composition book, jot down what you think may be themes from the book.  Then select one major them and write it out as a theme.  Put a star by it.
Find the story at

and the audio for the story at


Argument Writing:  A type of writing that states a position on a topic and defends it
Hook: A sentence or sentences that will engage your reader – get their attention
l         Claim/Thesis: A sentence that states your position and includes your main reasons
           Introduction:  The first paragraph of an essay
           Topic Sentence: The sentence near the beginning of the paragraph that states the central idea of the paragraph
          Background Information: The information the reader needs to understand a topic and why it is being discussed
           Body Paragraph:  A paragraph that comes between the introduction and the conclusion
           Transitions:  Words or groups of words that connect ideas and show relationships
           Formal Style:  Writing that does not include contractions or the pronouns "you" or "I"
           Reasons:  Logical main points to support a claim
           Evidence:  Facts, examples, statistics, etc. that support a claim
           Explanation:  explains the evidence and shows how it supports your reasons/claim
           Counterclaim/Opposing Claim:  an opposing argument; something the other side would say 
           Rebuttal:  proving why a counterclaim (opposing claim) is wrong using reasons and evidence
           Conventions:  correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation
           Citation:  giving the source of the evidence 
           Conclusion:  sums up the main point of the whole essay