Freshmen: Academic Writing and Thinking in Week 8

After extensive guidance in reading the opening chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird (TKaMB), students will work independently this week to read Chapters 4 through 6 of the novel in preparation for their first assessment on Friday. As students read, they should be annotating (taking notes) in their books so that they will easily be able to locate quotations needed for their assessments. Students sometimes find it challenging to annotate because they aren’t sure what to mark in the text. Students have been (and will continue to be!) coached to mark characterization, setting, conflict, and any hints that support theme.

In class, we will spend the majority of our time learning how to write literary analysis in an academic manner. This includes making claims about texts, including textual evidence to support claims, and explaining how that evidence supports the claims. In addition to learning about the content of an academic response, students will also learn the structure of quote integration. This requires careful attention to details of sentence structure and grammar. These skills will be assessed on Friday.

Finally, students will receive their narratives with feedback this week. In class, they will spend one period making revisions to their narratives using the feedback I provided. This revision grade will not be an adjustment of the original essay grade. Rather, it will be a new grade in the gradebook based on the extensiveness and effectiveness of the revisions.

Parents, how can you help?

  • Please help me to monitor your child’s comprehension of To Kill a Mockingbird. If your child is finding the text difficult to comprehend, encourage him or her to seek out additional help. I have lots of resources and strategies to aid comprehension. If we can put interventions in place early, we can avoid stress and work incompletion later in the quarter.
  • Ask your child to teach you how to incorporate evidence into your writing. Through their article of the week and their study of TKaMB, students are learning how to introduce, integrate, and cite quotations as they use these quotations to support their analysis of the text.