This session will feature books that provide the students with rich literary elements while exploring rites of passage for all children, along with culturally specific text that challenges the reader to examine their own life through the experiences of the characters in the story. The classes will include analysis of at least a few chapters per day with breaks. I will be teaching children how to think, not what to think, usually through questioning. This means that I will push them to struggle with concepts so they master their next level of development in English.
Book List Options: “The Pearl”, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, “Animal Farm”, “The Outsiders”, “Wonder”
- Vocabulary Enrichment Unit
- Connotation vs Denotation
- Greek & Lation Prefixes Suffixes & Roots
- Short Stories and Narrative: Plot Structure, Characterization and Setting
- Read & analyze short stories for elements of plot and character
- Identify vocabulary in context
- write a creative short story
- Figurative Language: How to Abstract Literal Language
- Identify and create: Similes, Metaphors, Idioms
- Read & Write Descriptive Imagery & Poetry
- Analyze & Create Characters
- Analyzing literature and film to compare/contrast elements
- Public Speaking & Performance
- Write & perform a puppet show or skit
- Non-fiction & the World at our Fingertips
- Look for bias in short grade-level news articles
- Write analytical paragraphs with a thesis and justification
The class begins with questions inspired by situations in the story and their connection to the world around us. Students will be encouraged to use their critical thinking, creativity and personal opinions in order to explore new ideas, and express themselves more clearly.
Reading time will use both group and individual formats to build student proficiency in the English language. Group reading time will allow students to listen to as well as learn from their peers. Individual, one-on-one reading time will enable the instructor to work directly with a student and focus on developing specific skills.
Every day, a group of words will be chosen from either the text or the concepts we are working with, and analyzed using six key skills:
- Part of Speech
- Word Family
- Phonetic Pronunciation
- Sentence Writing
Assessments will be administered as a way to make sure the students are grasping the concepts that are being discussed and analyzed.
The students will write essays about ideas within the text being read, using skills which they have developed in lower grades, as well as adapting new skills that allow them to reach the next level of understanding.
- Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly and inferentially
- Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text. Provide an objective summary of the text
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings
- Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in poems and stories, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and alliteration.
- Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
- Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
- Write arguments to support claims using reasoning and evidence.
- Write informative texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information.
About the Teacher
Ms. Lara has taught English for fifteen years in different countries around the world. After getting her BA in Sociology and Photography at the University of California, San Diego, she worked with students with special needs for several years, trying to understand every kind of learner and diverse modalities of helping students to utilize their strengths and access learning from their own points of view. She has taught in Honduras and Hungary, as well as many kinds of schools around the US. After teaching English, Science, Art, and Music to 2nd, 6th, 10th and 11th grade students in the Caribbean, she came back to the
US, and got her teaching credential at California State Monterey Bay. Following this, she taught at a small high school in Santa Cruz, CA for twelve years, where she instructed 9-12th grade English, Art, Digital Photography, and History as well as Advanced Placement classes for 5 years. In 2012, she took a hiatus to complete a year as a Fulbright exchange teacher in Budapest, where she taught ESL and was an ambassador for the US. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2015, and received a commendation for her work in 2018. She now tutors students in many subjects, while being a student herself, pursuing another degree. She enjoys working with students and learning from them, and finding new ways to communicate and understand the world around us.
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