Freshmen: Preparing for Testing and Completing the AIR Test

The Final Research Paper is due on Thursday, March 23. Students must bring a printed copy to class and have their papers submitted to prior to arrival. If either of these expectations is not met, students will receive a 10% penalty each date late. This late policy extends through spring break.

Leading up to that due date, students will engage in a series of activities intended to improve their essays:

  • Practice submission to ensure there is no plagiarized content in the essay
  • Peer review activity based on a teacher-provided checklist
  • submission to receive grammar/punctuation feedback
  • Individual revision time to make changes based on peer and computer-generated feedback

Please Note: Plagiarism is a serious offense. We have reviewed examples of plagiarism twice in class, and students will have the opportunity to check their papers prior to submission. Any student who submits a paper that contains plagiarized content will receive 0 points for the assignment. This is a building policy.

In addition to working on the research paper, students will spend a brief amount of time on Monday reviewing information for AIR testing. Students will see a sample essay and have a few minutes to review the AIR testing platform.

Freshmen: Drafting the Research Paper

Important Due Dates:

  • Complete rough draft (includes a minimum of 4 pages and a Works Cited page): DUE MON., MARCH 20
  • Final paper (printed, submitted to DUE THURS., MARCH 23
    • If you are planning a vacation and will be leaving prior to the due date, your child is expected to turn the paper in prior to the vacation or it will be considered late

This week, the freshmen in Room G17 will be drafting their papers. They will have class time each day to work on these drafts, so the majority of the work should be completed during class. If you find that your child has an excessive amount of homework, I encourage you to ask him/her if they are using class time productively.

At this point, students have received feedback on their notes, on a thesis statement, and on outlines–so long as they have submitted each of these components. Please keep an eye on Power School so that you are aware of the work your child has or has not completed. These tasks have been graded for completion, so if you see anything less than a perfect score a major component of the assignment was not completed to basic expectations.

In addition to having work time, students will review Works Cited page expectations, in-text citation rules, quote integration style and punctuation, plagiarism, and basic comma use. Examples of introductory paragraphs and a body paragraph can also be accessed on the lesson plan page.

Freshmen: Developing an Argument

After receiving feedback on their thesis statements and basic argument structure, the Freshmen in Room G17 will continue their work on the research paper this week. Students will continue reviewing their sources and taking notes that will help them support their argument. Note Set 1 is due Monday and Note Set 2 is due Wednesday. Students will also work to develop a thorough outline that shows the order of details include. This outline is due Friday.
Throughout the week, students will have lots of time to work on their research paper and conference with me about their work. Students who use their time efficiently should have a moderate amount of homework to complete. In addition to this work time, students will engage in mini-lessons relating to parallel structure, effective outlining, “chunking” of complex tasks, and use of

Freshmen: Planning and Organizing an Argument

This week, the freshmen in Room G17 will engage in a research workshop:

  • Monday, students will be given additional class time to read their source and complete their SOAPSTone and CRE annotations.
  • Tuesday, students will be introduced to the Classical Argument Structure and plan their argument.
  • Wednesday, students will be introduced to expectations for note-taking. They will also provide their peers feedback on their argument.
  • Thursday, students will work on note-taking after first considering the significance of their research topic.
  • Friday, students will engage in a grammar mini-lesson and have additional time to take notes.

During their workshop time, I will be conferencing with students about their reading workshop books and their research paper plans. If your child comes home with questions or concerns about the paper, please encourage them to use this class time to seek help and feedback.


Note: No due date has yet been established for the final research paper.

Freshmen: Learning About the Research Topic

This week, the freshmen in Room G17 will focus on learning the background of their research question and multiple perspectives of this topic. Last week for homework, students located a number of sources, and this week they will read their sources, studying both the context (SOAPSTone) and the argument (CER).

Using last week’s Romeo and Juliet quiz, we will consider strengths of a quality argument, focusing on strong reasons and relevant and sufficient evidence. We will also review tone, developing tone vocabulary with a mini-lesson.

For homework, students should work on studying their sources and reading for readers workshop.

Freshmen: Concluding Our Study of Romeo and Juliet and Getting Started with Research

This week, the freshmen in Room G17 will conclude their study of Romeo and Juliet. Students will finish their group film projects, editing the film in class on Tuesday and submitting the film in class on Thursday. Students who didn’t finish filming in class last week should find time to do so this weekend or after school.

Students will also have a final assessment on Romeo and Juliet. The assessment will have two sections:

  1. Close reading comprehension questions on a selected passage
  2. A short essay question about a thematic topic in Romeo and Juliet

Students will also begin collecting information sources for the research project we will start next week. On Monday, guest teacher Mr. VanArnhem will attend class, teaching students how to effectively use Google and Infohio to locate high quality information sources. For homework, students will locate five sources relevant to their research question and write a brief summary. This homework assignment is due when students return from the long weekend.

As always, students should continue to read their choice books.

Freshmen: The Romeo and Juliet Film Project, Continued

This week, the freshmen in Room G17 will continue their work on the Romeo and Juliet film project. They will be given multiple class periods to work with group members to write a script, plan the actions of the script, and begin filming.


Independently, students should be working on the following:

  • Memorizing their lines for the film project
  • Maintaining their choice book reading
  • Selecting a research topic for their future research paper

Freshmen: The Romeo and Juliet Film Project

This week, the Freshmen will begin their final series of activities on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. After reading the conclusion of the play on Monday, students will engage in a group film project. For this project, students will select a scene from the play and produce a video representation of the film. Students will be required to identify key lines in their scene, memorize these lines, act out the scene, and use film editing to create mood. An assignment description can be found here and a scoring guide can be found here. Students were able to make group requests; however, I ultimately established the groups. The due date for this project is to be determined.
In addition to this work, students will work toward selecting a research topic for our next unit. Students began this work two weeks ago by exploring the New York Times Room for Debate website. This week, they will work to establish a more concrete plan for research.

Freshmen: Romeo and Juliet Acts 3 and 4

*I’m sorry about the delay in this post. I was out sick on Monday.


This week, the Freshmen in Room G17 will work closely with Act 3, Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet. After listening to an audio version of the scene in class, students will work with partners to create a storyboard, for which they will select key lines from the scene and apply film techniques from second quarter to visually represent the scene. We will fly through the remainder of Act 3 and Act 4, preparing for a final reading of Act 5 and a film project next week.


Note: Freshmen DO NOT have an article of the week assignment this week.

Freshmen: Tone in Romeo and Juliet

This week, we will focus our analysis of Romeo and Juliet on tone. Finishing the work from last week, students will watch the Luhrmann version of the film, comparing how mood and tone are depicted in the various representations of Act 3, Scene 1. Students will continue reading 3.2, learning about Juliet’s response to the death of her cousin Tybalt at the hands of her new husband. Students will consider how Juliet’s use of figurative language impacts her tone. Students will finish the week by independently reading Act 3, Scene 3, and we will discuss this scene as a class.
In addition to this class work, students should be progressing on reader’s workshop and articles of the week. Students will have reading time in class on Friday, and the focus of our conferences will be on tone. The article of the week task due on Friday will require students to start brainstorming for our next unit: the research paper. Students will use the New York Times Room for Debate site to locate debate topics of interest.