Thursday, December 20, 2012

Final Projects - American Born Chinese

This week we have been celebrating the hard work of 7th grade students as they completed and presented self-designed projects that show off what they have learned reading the graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Yang.

The presentations have been entertaining, creative, and also full of new understandings about the themes at the core of this book.  Check out some of the pictures and videos below and feel free to leave a comment!

What did you learn watching the presentations of your peers or performing your own?  

Which presentations were you particularly impressed by and why?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Narrative Leads


This week you will be working on a blog post of your choice and experimenting with narrative leads. A narrative lead you love, the beginnings of our fictional stories, memoirs, or personal essays, will fuel you as writer.  Choose to begin a narrative with a lead that you love and makes you happy - this will make the reader happy too!

 Your narrative blog post is due Wednesday, December 20, 2012

Here are some narrative lead options from Nancie Atwell's classroom to consider:

Typical (Try to avoid a typical lead)
It was a day at the end of June. My mom, dad, brother, and I were at our
camp on Rangeley Lake. We arrived the night before at 10:00, so it was dark
when we got there and unpacked. We went straight to bed. The next
morning, when I was eating breakfast, my dad started yelling for me from
down at the dock at the top of his lungs. He said there was a car in the lake.
■ Action: A Main Character Doing Something
I gulped my milk, pushed away from the table, and bolted out of the
kitchen, slamming the broken screen door behind me. I ran down to our
dock as fast as my legs could carry me. My feet pounded on the old wood,
hurrying me toward my dad’s voice. “Scott!” he bellowed again.
“Coming, Dad!” I gasped. I couldn’t see him yet—just the sails of the
boats that had already put out into the lake for the day.
■ Dialogue: A Character or Characters Speaking
“Scott! Get down here on the double!” Dad bellowed. His voice
sounded far away.
“Dad?” I hollered. “Where are you?” I squinted through the screen
door but couldn’t see him.
“I’m down on the dock. MOVE IT. You’re not going to believe this,”
he replied.
■ Reaction: A Character Thinking
I couldn’t imagine why my father was hollering for me at 7:00 in the
morning. I thought fast about what I might have done to get him so riled.
Had he found out about the way I talked to my mother the night before,
when we got to camp and she asked me to help unpack the car? Did he
discover the fishing reel I broke last week? Before I could consider a third
possibility, Dad’s voice shattered my thoughts.
“Scott! Move it! You’re not going to believe this!”
When beginning a story, craft several leads. Experiment. A lead you love will fuel
you as a writer. Choose the way in that makes you happiest; it will make your
readers happy, too.
© 2002 by Nancie Atwell from Narrative Leads Lesson 12
Lessons That Change Writers
(Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Resources for American Born Chinese Final Project & Extra Credit Blogging Opportunity


This week we begin working on American Born Chinese final projects.  If you are doing a research project on the Monkey King or Chin-Kee and stereotypes, please check out the resources below.  Students who are interested in learning more about Gene Yang might also want to explore these links.

**Extra Credit opportunity - This week you will not be required to blog so that you can spend more time working on your final projects. If you would like to complete a blog post you may blog about a TeenBiz article of your choice on your blog.  Please provide a summary of the article that lists the main points and your response to it: What are your thoughts, opinions, questions, and reactions to the reading? You could also do more research about the topic and inform the class about what you learned.  To find an article of interest to you, use the search function on TeenBiz.  Minimum two paragraphs.

The Monkey King

Chin Kee

When taking notes on your reading research, whether online or in your book, make sure to keep track of page numbers and sources!  Use a graphic organizer like this one:

Evidence or Examples
Page number or source 

 Suzy says, "Today when Timmy called me a...a chink, I realized...deep down inside...I kind of feel like that all the time"

ABC (188).