A Lesson for Tomorrow: Writing Like Crime Scene Investigators

I cringed as I listened to a former student explain how her teacher grades discussion. “You have to talk three times to even be graded,” she said, swirling the last inch of iced coffee in her plastic cup. “And you can’t ask questions. Questions show that you haven’t thought something through enough to talk about […]

MTW: Weaving Argument and Description Together

Mentor Texts: I used excerpts from the following reviews: “With Poetic Intensity, Kevin Powers Tackles the Terror of War” (book of poetry) “Modern Family: A Hard Jay’s Night” (television episode) “Pharrell Williams: Just Exhilaratingly Happy” (album) Note: Read Rebekah’s post about how she uses this mentor text to teach figurative language “Titanfall Supplants Its Ancestors […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Moving Past Summary in Film Analysis

Mentor Text:  “Captain America on the Potomac” by Linda Holmes for NPR. April 1, 2014. Skill Taught: Moving past summary in film analysis Background: My English 9s are working on an essay  on the theme of a Pixar short film of their choosing as an entry point into the world of analytical, academic writing. The films are […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Restaurant Review PLUS Interview with Writer

Mentor Text: Wells, Pete. “Fred and Barney Would Feel Right at Home.” The New York Times. The New York Times Co. 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 7 April 2014. Author Information: “At the Critics’ Table.” The New York Times. The New York Times Co. 3 Sept. 2013. Web. 7 April 2014. Background: Driving to work this week, […]

Mentor Text Wednesday: Teaching Students to Write Meaningful Comparisons & Contrasts

Mentor Text:  Bowman, Donna. “On the Eve of Its Finale, It’s Time to Compare How I Met Your Mother to Itself.” The A.V. Club. 30 March 2014. Skill:  Teaching Students to Write Meaningful Comparions & Contrasts Background:  My IB seniors are barreling toward their Big Exam. Truthfully, they have done so much heavy mental lifting in this course […]