Let’s Visit ! #16stubc

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Pixabay CC0

Pixabay CCO

One of the reasons we are blogging is to make connections with other student writers. Take some time to visit these classrooms from other parts of the world.  Introduce yourself as a student from Texas (remember, no last names!) and ask a question or share a thought in response to what the student you are visiting has to say.

Be sure to leave the link to your blog so that you can receive a visit in return!

Mrs. Flannery’s class in Australia

Mrs. Gordana’s class in Serbia

Mrs. Carvalho’s class in Portugal

Mr. Dahl’s class in China

Mr. Webb’s class in New Zealand

Blogging Begins Soon!

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As we prepare to set up our blogs for the 2016-17 school year, we need to have a sense of what it is that we are creating.  What is a blog? What makes some blogs more inviting and effective than others?

First, a brief overview of blogs, courtesy Edublogs:

One way to learn more about blogging is to visit some blogs.  As you explore the sites below, think about what you like (or don’t like) about the design and layout of the blogs. How important is ease of navigation?  Which posts draw your interest more than others?
What’s the difference between a page and a post?

Paper Fury is a blog by Cait, a young Australian writer who likes to review books.

Mrs. Smith’s class in Canada blogs about what they are learning.

Our Westlake High School librarians keep a blog.

This teen homeschooler blogs about life on her family’s farm.

Anthony Wyatt is a chef who publishes a food blog.

Amanda Eccleston blogs about her career as an elite mid-distance runner.

Sky is a student who blogs to share his passion for cars.

Mrs. Kriese publishes a blog about her interests, experiences, and random thoughts.

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Hello to our fellow challenge bloggers!

We are on spring break the week of March 14th,
and we are preparing for state testing the week of March 21st.  

We look forward to participating in the challenge,
and we’ll be joining you just as soon as we are able.  
Meanwhile, please enjoy the blogging work we’ve been doing already this year!

We appreciate your visit, and we welcome your comments!

On Broadway!

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This week we begin our study of Phantom of the Opera, one of Broadway’s most famous musicals.  Some of you are already familiar with the play and are fans of the music.  Most of you have heard of the story, but you don’t yet know the details.  You’re in for a treat!

Every year, students say this is a fun unit, and that’s true.  We do have fun! But we also learn a lot. Our study of the plot gives us a better understanding of the terms rising action, internal and external conflict, character motivation, climax, resolution, and theme.  We’ll discuss the influence of setting on mood and plot, and we’ll explore the nuances of diction and tone. We’ll debate some difficult questions, and if past years are any indication, a few of us will even be moved to tears.

What musicals have entertained and inspired you?  Are there some Broadway songs that you and your family know by heart and can sing without prompting?  Share your favorites in the comments!

A Closer Look at A Christmas Carol

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Take a look at Charles Dickens’ original manuscript of A Christmas Carol:

 

Scroll through Dickens’ handwritten manuscript page by page by clicking HERE.

Turn the pages by using the buttons in the upper left corner. Zoom in to more clearly see Dickens’ revisions by using the controls at the bottom of each page.

Notice that even the most talented writers (especially the most talented?) revise their work!

For more background information on Dickens and A Christmas Carol, see this website.

Poppies Grow, Row on Row

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In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, British soldier
Poem composed in May 1915

Artist Paul Cummings had a vision: one poppy for every British soldier who died in World War I, each planted at the Tower of London as a tribute to the sacrifice of those men. The resulting imagery is powerful indeed.

What do you think and feel as you view the result of this artist’s work?

Take out your Writer’s Notebook and turn to the next blank page. Can you capture the sight with imagery of your own?

Read any good leads lately?

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http://wrmstkriese.edublogs.org/files/2012/10/hunger-games-zkr5tb.jpg

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This was the day of the reaping.

–Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

The writer of an article, essay, story or book begins with a lead to draw the reader in–to make the reader want to read more.

In the comment section of this post, share an interesting lead to an article, essay, story or book you’ve read recently.  Be sure to include the author’s name and the title of the work.  See the first two comments for examples.