Thursday, October 4, 2012


When I attended the Pre-Ap Conference this summer, we were taught various ways to help students interact and understand the authors' tone, theme, etc. One of these exercises was called "DIDLS" (Diction, Images, Details, Language, Sentence Structure). I worked with them on a passage from The Wednesday Wars last week and it went SO WELL!! They got it!!

Gary D. Schmidt, author of The Wednesday Wars, Okay for Now, and many others has an incredible way of writing which makes you feel like you're part of the story not only as an observer but as a character! He is AMAZING!! I had the students read the following passage from page 23 of The Wednesday Wars:

“Then Mrs. Baker and I sat. Alone. Facing each other. The classroom clock clicked off the minutes. She was probably considering what she could legally do to remind me how regrettable it was that my family was Presbyterian.”


Based on the “DIDLS” formula, how is this passage effective to create additional meaning?
  • He used sentence fragments to emphasize meaning/emotion.
  • He used sensory details.
  • He explained the situation well enough we could all think of a similar situation we'd experienced! 
Using this method, describe a situation where you may have felt the same way as Holling with Mrs. Baker.

Then, this week, I had them create a page in the Interactive Notebooks to help them remember the steps for "DIDLS." We'll review this throughout the year as we study other authors and text. It's the same format as the one we did on PLOT

(Definitions for each section were taken from The College Board Pre-AP: The AP Vertical Teams Guide for English textbook we received at the conference. BTW...GREAT resource!)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Character Types

As we read our novels, we've been learning about different types of characters. I want them to understand the importance of these details so they are able to understand how an author uses characterization to create a story. As we went through this page creation, I had them tell me which characters in our novels (The Wednesday Wars, The Outsiders, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry) would fit the different character types. It was so exciting when they "got it!" :)

My "Character Types" Anchor Chart.

As they were ready for each description, I folded back the tab for them to copy what was underneath. 
Source of definitions HERE.

What it looked like in their notebook...

...with the definitions.