"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein

* work supplemented by technology  

 Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: 9th Grade English

To Kill a Mockingbird  is one of my favorite classics to teach, so my classes tend to spend several weeks studying the novel and related thematic issues.

Various Lesson Plans and Supplemental Materials

Assessments & Assignments

Artifacts: samples of student work

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice: 12th Grade Advanced Placement English

Jane Austen's classic was the text that my seniors and I focused on for several weeks.

Lesson Plans and supplemental materials

Assignments and Assessments

  • In class group work: Thematic Analyses: Etiquette, Marriage, Parents, The Role of Women and Pride & Prejudices  
  • Sample homework assignments include having students blog on a nightly basis. Blog topics included: *
    • discussing a specific character and Austen's depiction of that character
    • analyzing the function of the various letters in the novel
    • creating a sample tabloid exposing Lydia and Wickham scandalous marriage  
  • Advanced Placement sample essay, which was given to students as a timed in class practice writing assignment and grading rubric.

8th Grade ELA

Lesson Plans and supplemental materials

1. Short Stories: Overall Objectives

 2. Music & Lyrics: Overall Objectives

Assignments & Assessments

  • Self and teacher evaluation checklist for a unit on short stories
  • Creative writing rubric for short story unit.
  • "Power of Persuasion" rubric
  • Survey to assess students' interests and hobbies both in and out of school

Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 for English 10

This classic novel was the primary text that I used with my 10th grade summer school classes for the 2009 and 2010 summer sessions.

Classwork & Related Activities

  • 4 Corners: An activity to immediately interest students by introducing them to many of the thematic ideas that the novel will explore.
  • Burning a Book: A "Do It Now", or DIN. As soon as the bell rings, students begin working on reading this poem and answering the questions.  
  • Metallica Activity: Students will listen to the Metallica song and then consider its relevance to Fahrenheit 451.
  • Genre & Science Fiction: Re-introducing students to literary genres and specifically science fiction and using these graphic organizers for notes.
  • Similes & Metaphors: After tracing Bradbury's frequent use of similes & metaphors in the beginning of the novel, I created a mini-lesson on using these techniques in writing.
  • What is happiness?: An activity following Clarisse's simple yet profound question to Montag..."Are you happy?"  
  • What They Learn In School: Following Clarisse's honest and critical assessment of the education system in her society, we read aloud the poem, spend time discussing the content and answering questions posed by the instructor.
  • Silenced: An analysis of an image intended to introduce students to censorship and media propaganda.
  • First Amendment: Exploring what rights are guaranteed to citizens of the U.S.A.

  • Student Artifact: Character Sketch/Foil of Mildred & Clarisse
  • Link to class blog (work in progress 2010)

Assignments & Assessments

 

Typical Homework Assignments: