Thursday, December 6, 2012


It's been a while since I've updated my posts. It's crazy how busy this year has become!

My Honors English 8 classes have just finished reading The Outsiders in class and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry as their assigned "at-home" reading. We've had some AMAZING discussions about both books and made terrific text-to-self connections. I'm astounded at how insightful these kids are! :)

In one of the lesson plan packages I purchased from Secondary Solutions, I found an explanation of the literary genre, Bildungsroman. Both novels fit the genre criteria of being a "coming of age" novel. So...for their Interactive Notebooks, I created a half page header they could cut out and glue in which gives the definition of the genre and the four points of criteria a novel must meet in order to fit. We then had a class discussion where we outlined the characteristics of Ponyboy (The Outsiders' protagonist) and Cassie (Roll of Thunder's protagonist) at the beginning of the novel and the end. I wrote their descriptions on the board. Then, I had them divide the bottom half of the page in half again vertically and write a paragraph explaining how each of the novels (one per side) fits the Bildungsroman criteria. It was really powerful! They saw how the experiences the characters went through over a period of time helped to mature and develop them.

(NOTE: My 9th graders have finished The Wednesday Wars; we did the same thing with Holling on the full bottom half of their page.)

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