What I’m Teaching This Week: 12/14-12/18

With just five days til Winter Break, it’s time to wrap up our poetry unit and say goodbye to 2015. I usually end December with O. Henry’s classic Christmas tale “The Gift of the Magi” and a White Elephant gift exchange/thank-you letter writing activity. This year, though, the calendar gave only three weeks of instruction between Thanksgiving and Winter Break instead of our usual four, so I’m setting aside my usual pre-holiday lessons in order to squeeze in the poetry unit capstone.

I’ll be on vacation from this blog feature for two weeks, but the run-down will return in early January.

Here’s the plan:

(Due to the end-of-unit poetry work, there won’t be enough time for the weekly bell-ringers. No new M.U.G. Shots, lit. terms, or vocab. words this week. We’ll return to this procedure in the new year.)

Announce the names of students chosen to be our Poetry Cafe spoken word presenters for Thursday’s event.

Review the answers to this past weekend’s Analogies worksheet.

Brainstorm what they remember about Edgar Allan Poe from our study of “The Cask of Amontillado” back in October. Then, launch a Prezi-based study of “The Raven.”

After a full-class discussion, students will create their own Faux Poe parody stanzas.

For HW, students will finish the Faux Poe activity, if not done in class.

Poetry Stations, Day 1 – Now that we’ve studied some of the masters, students will create their own original poems. Today, students will visit three of these five creation stations:
Acrostic Poetry
Blackout Poetry
Paint Chip Poetry
Reversal Poetry
Roll of the Dice Poetry
(More info. about the stations can be found here.)

For HW, students should read their S.S.R. books.

Poetry Stations, Day 2 – Today, students will visit whichever two stations they didn’t get to work at yesterday. (Our Wednesday class periods are shorter than Tuesday periods, hence the weird division of labor.)

For HW, students should read their S.S.R. books.

Relax and enjoy Poetry Cafe, featuring 15 students performing spoken word poems and a class potluck of treats and hot cocoa. (Note to administration: This is NOT a holiday party; it is a reinforcement activity of CCSS SL.9-10.6 and RL.9-10.10. So there.)

For HW, students should read their S.S.R. books. (But you know they won’t. Let’s keep it real, it’s the night before break.)

Friday (Minimum day schedule – we’re finished by lunch time!)
What to do with sugar-soaked teens and half-hour classes? Micro-Fiction, of course. After a quick Prezi overview, I’ll set ‘em loose writing two-sentence stories in four genres – drama, sci-fi, romance, and horror. It’s a perfect way to trick them into doing some actual work on what they think of as a “fun” day.

For HW, there’s no official assignments over the break (vacations should be vacations), but I will remind students that their second-quarter S.S.R. book talks will be due in early January and they would be wise to chip away at their pages while we’re away.

Teach on, everyone!

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