Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nuts & Bolts

The Slice of Life Story Challenge, created and hosted by Two Writing Teachers,
Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres, starts March 1st.  Join us! Details here. 

Last week my students and I dipped into slicers' writings and we used a poem from Jennifer Mitchell to connect to our current unit and preview the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Below is a lesson snapshot from our week for this week's slice.

  • Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. 
  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. 
Students will be able to identify figurative language and use it to make inferences in order to analyze figurative language's effect on tone.

4 class periods
178 minutes

Common Texts:
Menu Mockery from Guy's American Kitchen & Bar
"As Not Seen in Classrooms" weekly Slice of Life from my blog
"All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury (here or here)
"Wild Weather" by Jennifer Mitchell


Book Talks:
Ashfall by Mike McMullin
Life As We Knew It by Beth Pfieffer
First Light by Rebecca Stead
The Trap by John Smelcer

Read Aloud
Shared Reading
Independent Reading
Collaborative annotation
Word Study
Close reading
Socratic Seminar
Quick writing
Analysis frame

Chart paper
Poem text (1 per group)
Graphic organizer*: Lead/Description/Memorable Wording/Unique way of Crafting Writing/Ending

annotation charts (pictured)
analysis paragraph

* from Linda Rief printed on 11 x 17 paper


  1. Lee Ann, thanks for sharing this snapshot of your week. I'm curious about the titles you chose to bookshare. Do they have a particular strength for figurative language? I love your sharing of student work. This is something I haven't tried yet, but would like to. I need to check out Scribd . . . and so my learning curve continues and I continue to be inspired by my fellow slicers!

    1. Thanks for sharing your thinking and question, Ramona. I chose these books to book talk because they connected with ideas or theme, not figurative language (this time). One of my next steps, to follow our mini-lesson, will be to send students into their books to gather examples of figurative language. Scribd is a useful tool for me to organize and upload documents. I like that I can then embed them (which I haven't done as easily with other document sharing sites) or just share the link.

  2. I am with Ramona. I know how work with a Scrbd just a bit--definitely need to learn more. I have been working on figurative language for a couple of months with my sheltered English students in high school.

  3. Thanks for sharing so many pictures of the students' work, Lee Ann! I still get giggly when I think about the fact that students (other than my students!) studied something I wrote! It's so much fun to see their thought processes in action! Like Ramona, I'm curious if the books you book-talked are related to figurative language? (That would be impressive! I don't plan booktalks that carefully but it seems like a great idea!)

    My students and I are so excited to get to know your students during the challenge! Can't wait!!!

  4. Your students must love the American kitchen menu! Jennifer's poem is really good, & exactly a good mentor text for the students isn't it? I'll like reading some of the student posts. Hope it's fun for you too Lee Ann!

    1. Thanks, Linda! It's a little stressful herding 145 high school students, but if we can get it together as a group, the end result will be well worth it.