Friday, September 21, 2012

Comparing and Responding

This week in composition we used our Story Grammar books to review subjects and predicates.  Students were reminded that the topic of the sentence is the subject, while the comment about that topic is the predicate.  Students analyzed sentences from Christopher Paolini, Jack London, Beverly Cleary, and many other authors.  Some sentences were quite complex with as many as four subjects and three predicates!  Having a solid understanding of the purpose and function of subjects and predicates will go a long way toward helping students construct better sentences.  Additionally, we began our study of comparison writing.  We took a close look at infographics and writing samples in order to develop an understanding of the purpose of this type of writing.  We also evaluated the effectiveness of each example by looking at what worked well in each one.  Here are two intriguing examples of comparison pieces that we looked at this week:


By the end of the week, students were brainstorming topics to compare and they were organizing their current knowledge.  Some realized that they may have to do a little research in order to insure that they have accurate details and specifications.

During literature class, students studied S.E. Hinton's use of Robert Frost's poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay."  They considered the significance of Hinton's poetry choice as well as Ponyboy's intent when he recited it for Johnny.  We analyzed the poem by looking at its structure, language, rhythm and rhyme scheme, and it's theme.  With their apologies to Frost, students composed response poems in the spirit of "Nothing Gold Can Stay."  Topics for the poems had to focus on change and ideas ranged from the seasons and growth to friends and time.  Their work should be ready for publication early next week.

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