> The Things You Can Read


The Things You Can Read welcomes you and thanks you for your readership. We, here at The Things You Can Read, ask your help, if you visit our site regularly, please follow us either via email or Google Friend Connect.  Launched on June 7, 2012, our site has already attracted a great deal of attention.  One of the goals of the site is to feature reviews of Children's Picture Books, Young Adult novels and Adult Literary Fiction/Nonfiction.  A second goal for the blog is to be a resource for teachers of English and writing--with examples of student created writing, writing tips, resource links, and the opportunity to pick the brain of a seasoned English teacher.  To spice things up...every now and then, we'll also include random quotes and thoughts on education and life in general, but our ultimate goal is to reach out into the blogosphere and be a "Book Whisperer" and "Writing Whisperer" to children and adults of all ages.   Thank you for your readership.  Here is to a lifetime filled with reading and writing.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

DO NOW: THE PLAN STRATEGIES FOR GETTING THE ANSWERS RIGHT!


DO NOW

DIRECTIONS:  SELECT THE BEST ANSWER.

The Girl Who Watched and Waited:  The Jane Goodall Story


Q: You can tell that this story is a biography because it –

  1. is about the lives of animals in their natural homes
  2. takes place somewhere that is far away from here
  3. tell about events in the life of a real person
  4. is more interesting that other kinds of stories

Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience; I currently teach English in the public school system of Virginia. In my spare time, I am an avid reader. writer, reviewer, blogger, writing/art journaler, beekeeper, grad student, and MOTHER. - See more: Here

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Norman Rockwell Activity




Norman Rockwell illustrated covers for The Saturday Evening Post for 47 years. The public loved his often-humorous depictions of American life.

Synopsis

Norman Rockwell was born in New York City on February 3, 1894. Talented at a young age, he received his first commission at age 17. In 1916, he created the first of 321 covers for The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell's Americana images were loved by the public, but not embraced by critics. He created World War II posters and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. He died on November 8, 1978.


Using a Norman Rockwell Painting: Develop the Story Elemennts Based on the Painting.

PLOT DIAGRAM




Biography

Norman Rockwell Museum



Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience; I currently teach English in the public school system of Virginia. In my spare time, I am an avid reader. writer, reviewer, blogger, writing/art journaler, beekeeper, grad student, and MOTHER. - See more: Here


Harelm Renaissance: "Early Autumn" by Langston Hughes









FLASH FICTION
Flash fiction goes by many names, including microfiction, microstories, short-shorts, short short stories, very short stories, sudden fiction, postcard fiction, and nanofiction.
While it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact definition of flash fiction based on word count, consideration of several of its features can help provide clarity about this compressed form of short story.

A Plot Involving Exes

Two former lovers, Bill and Mary, cross paths in Washington Square in New York. Years have passed since they last saw each other. They exchange pleasantries about their jobs and their children, each of them perfunctorily inviting the other's family to come visit.

When Mary's bus arrives, she boards and is overwhelmed by all the things she has failed to say to Bill, both in the present moment (her address, for instance), and presumably, in life.
Point of View

The story begins with a brief, neutral history Bill and Mary's relationship. Then it moves to their current reunion, and the omniscient narrator gives us some details from each character's point of view.

Almost the only thing Bill can think about is how old Mary looks. We are told, "At first he did not recognize her, to him she looked so old." Later, Bill struggles to find something complimentary to say about Mary. "'You're looking very . . .' (he wanted to say old) '. . . well,' he said."

Bill seems uncomfortable ("a little frown came quickly between his eyes") to learn that Mary is living in New York now. We get the impression that he hasn't thought much about her in recent years and is not enthusiastic about having her back in his life in any way.

Mary, on the other hand, seems to harbor affection for Bill, even though -- or perhaps because -- she was the one who left him and "married a man she thought she loved." When she greets him, she lifts her face "as if wanting a kiss," but he just extends his hand. She seems disappointed to learn that Bill is married. Finally, in the last line of the story, we learn that her youngest child is also named Bill, which indicates the extent of her regret for ever having left him.

The Story's Title

At first, it seems obvious that Mary is the one who is in her "autumn." She looks noticeably old, and in fact, she is older than Bill.

Autumn is a time of loss, and Mary clearly feels a sense of loss as she "desperately reach[es] back into the past." Her emotional loss is emphasized by the setting of the story. The day is almost over. It's getting cold. Leaves fall inevitably from the trees, and throngs of strangers pass Bill and Mary as they talk. Hughes writes, "A great many people went past them through the park. People they didn't know."

Later, as Mary boards the bus, Hughes re-emphasizes the idea that Bill is irrevocably lost to Mary, just as the falling leaves are irrevocably lost to the trees from which they have fallen. "People came between them outside, people crossing the street, people they didn't know. Space and people. She lost sight of Bill."

But the word "early" in the title is tricky. Bill too will be old one day, even if he can't see it at this moment. If Mary is undeniably in her autumn, Bill might not even recognize that he is in his "early autumn." Bill is the one most shocked by Mary's aging. She takes him by surprise at a time in his life when he might have imagined himself immune to winter. He's like a boy in school who wonders how he got behind a desk when it was summer only yesterday.
"Chains of Misty Brilliance"

Overall, "Early Autumn" feels very sparse, like a tree nearly bare of leaves. The characters are at a loss for words, and as a reader, you feel it.

But there is one moment in the story that feels noticeably different from the rest: "Suddenly the lights came on up the whole length of Fifth Avenue, chains of misty brilliance in the blue air."

This sentence marks a turning point in many ways.

First, it signals the end of Bill and Mary's attempt at conversation, startling Mary into the present.

If we take the lights to symbolize truth or revelation, then their sudden brightness might represent the irrefutable passage of time and the impossibility of ever recovering -- or re-doing -- the past. That the lights run "the whole length of Fifth Avenue" further emphasizes the completeness of this truth; there is no way to escape the passage of time.

But it's worth noting that the lights turn on right after Bill says, "You ought to see my kids" and grins. It's a surprisingly unguarded moment, and it's the only expression of genuine warmth in the story. Perhaps you'll find my interpretation unforgivably sentimental, but I think his children -- Mary's too -- might be those lights, the brilliant chains that link the past with an ever-hopeful future.



Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience; I currently teach English in the public school system of Virginia. In my spare time, I am an avid reader. writer, reviewer, blogger, writing/art journaler, beekeeper, grad student, and MOTHER. - See more: Here


Monday, September 26, 2016

INTERACTIVE ENGLISH NOTEBOOK



WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE...







Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience; I currently teach English in the public school system of Virginia. In my spare time, I am an avid reader. writer, reviewer, blogger, writing/art journaler, beekeeper, grad student, and MOTHER. - See more: Here

5 Elements of a Story Booklet








Booklet Directions

1.  Cover: Draw and label Plot diagram, TITLE FOR BOOKLET is 5 Elements of a              Story by ______
2.  Define Exposition COMPLETELY
3.  Define Rising Action COMPLETELY
4.  Define Climax COMPLETELY
5.  Define Falling Action COMPLETELY
6.  Deine Resolution with all Synonyms Conclusion and Denouement COMPLETELY
7.  Define Plot:  A sequence of events in a story
8.  Paste information onto page 8


Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience; I currently teach English in the public school system of Virginia. In my spare time, I am an avid reader. writer, reviewer, blogger, writing/art journaler, beekeeper, grad student, and MOTHER. - See more: Here




MORE PLOT AND JOY OF BOOKS!

September 28 and 29, 2016



Do Now

Draw and label the plot diagram.





What Genres did you notice in the Book Shop?


Answer the following Questions:

  1. What does Ms. Brown say is the difference between sympathy and empathy?
  2. Give an example when you showed empathy toward someone.
  3. Do you agree with Ms. Brown's conclusions about empathy?


INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOK ACTIVITY



Genre Review

Literary Genres


“Genre” is the term used to describe the various types of literature.

              “Genre is a French term derived from the Latin genus, generis, meaning "type,"
              "sort," or "kind." It designates the literary form or type into which works are
              classified according to what they have in common, either in their formal
              structures or in their treatment of subject matter, or both. The study of genres
              may be of value in three ways. On the simplest level, grouping works offers us
              an orderly way to talk about an otherwise bewildering number of literary texts.
              More importantly, if we recognize the genre of a text, we may also have a better
              idea of its intended overall structure and/or subject. Finally, a genre approach
              can deepen our sense of the value of any single text, by allowing us to view it
              comparatively, alongside many other texts of its type.”
                  
* Fiction and Nonfiction are considered the two main types of genres.

Fiction includes stories that are made up in the mind of the author.  They are “make-believe” or imaginary.  The stories are not true, although they may be based on truth, including scientific, historical, or geographic fact. 

Some of the major subdivisions of fiction are realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, science fiction and fantasy. 

·   Realistic fiction includes stories that seem like real life, and stories that could happen in today’s world.  The situations are true to life or could be true, but the characters are made up. 

o     Adventure stories are a type of realistic fiction that are exciting and usually have an aspect of peril, threat, or danger.  Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, is an adventure story.

o     Humorous stories refer to stories that are primarily intended to entertain and amuse. Events are frequently exaggerated. An example is Hoboken Chicken Emergency.. These may also include family stories such as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume and school stories such as The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson.

·   Historical fiction includes stories that take place in the past and that are based on historical fact. Usually the setting and the events in the story are close to the facts, but the characters are made up. However, historical fiction may include real people as characters.  Examples of books with real people included among the characters are Follow the Drinking Gourd and Sign of the Beaver.  War stories and biographical fiction are types of historical fiction.

o War stories are historical fiction books set during a period of war and conflict.  Examples are Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry, and Baseball Saved Us, by Ken Mochizuki.

o Biographical fiction includes stories in which the main character is one who really lived in an earlier period of history.  The “Dear America” and “My Name Is America” series are biographical fiction stories written in a journal style. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series is another example.

·   Mystery books include detective stories, as well as various types of situations in which characters must solve a puzzle or predicament.  Usually a secret is involved in the plot.  The best known examples are theNancy Drew and Hardy Boys series.  The series that many of us grew up reading has been updated and spawn off to include titles intended for younger readers.  The A to Z Mysteries and Nate the Great are excellent for third graders.

·   Science fiction includes stories that are based on scientific fact. It can include space fiction and time travel.  In time travel and space fiction, the characters travel back and/or forward in time. In stories for children, the characters often begin in the real world, go off on their adventure, and then return to the real world.  The author tries to make the facts as realistic as possible so the reader believes the event could actually take place. Although fantastic, science fiction contains elements within the realm of possibility because of scientific discovery.  Examples are The Giver, by Lois Lowry; Running Out of Time, by Margaret Haddix; and A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle.

·  Fantasy books are make believe stories that are so fantastic that they can't possibly be true. They often include animals behaving like people. Examples are James and the Giant Peach, by Raold Dahl and The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, by Louis Carroll. 

o Fantasy animal stories are stories in which the animals are given human characteristics, such as wearing clothing, speaking or making decisions.  Examples are Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White; Babe the Gallant Pig, by Dick King-Smith and Clifford, the Big Red Dog, by Norman Bridwell.

o Ghost stories or supernatural fiction are stories in which one or more of the characters may be visitors from the spirit world.   A popular example is Wait Till Helen Comes, by Mary Hahn.  Often reluctant readers will enjoy these titles.

o Time fantasy and space fiction are fantasy stories in which the characters travel back and/or forward in time. Examples are Time Train, by Sid Fleischman and The Castle in the Attic, by Elizabeth Winthrop.

o High fantasy series are stories that are epic in nature, usually include a quest of some sort that continues over many volumes, including many that echo the Arthurian quests for truth and justice.  Series such as C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Lloyd Alexander’s Prydian cycle, and Jane Yolen’s "Young Merlin" series are in that category.  The Star Wars saga and the Harry Potter series are also in this genre.

·   Nonfiction books are books are factual books, and are usually classified with Dewey Decimal numbers There are some special genres within the nonfiction category, such as biography, poetry, drama, and folk or traditional literature. 

o Biographies give true facts about the lives of famous people.  In our library, biographies have 921 on the spine label, followed by the first letter of the famous person’s last name.  Collective biographiesinvolve more than one person and are labeled with 920 and the letter.  Biographies are written by persons other than the subject of the story.

o Autobiographies are books that people write about their own lives.  In our library they are included with the biographies.  Students enjoy Gary Paulsen’s two autobiographies involving rugged sports and sled dogs.

o Poetry includes single, illustrated poems (such as Paul Revere’s Ride), and collections of poetry by one poet (such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein) or collections of many poets’ works compiled by an editor (such as New Kid on the Block, edited by Jack Prelutsky). 

o Drama includes works written in dramatic form.  Books can include collections of short plays or book-length plays, such as the works of Shakespeare.  Our varied collection of Readers’ Theater books in the Instructional Materials room provides students with an introduction to drama and practice with fluency at the same time! 

o Folk literature or traditional literature includes stories that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Myths are stories of the gods and heroes of ancient times, and are sometimes classified in the religion section of the Dewey Decimal Classification System (292), whereas folktalesfolk riddles, nursery rhymes and Mother Goose are classified in 398.  These stories often contain elements of cultural identity, such as traditions, cultural mores, and rituals.  Sometimes, elements of religious belief of the people are included.   Epics are long stories that originate as poetry or song and that celebrate a national hero.  Beowulf and El Cid are epics, as are The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer.   Hero stories and legends include the American tall tales, such as stories of Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill.  Tall tales usually include hyperbole, or exaggeration, about the hero.  European hero stories and legends include stories of Robin Hood and King Arthur and his knights, many including elements of mythology within the stories.

o Fables includes narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans.  They may include the supernatural.

·   Cross-genre books are books that fall into more than one category. A book may be a mystery fantasy; or a historical fiction time travel story.  An example is The Ghost Cadet, by Alphin.  This story combines elements of fantasy and historical fiction because it includes time travel back to a Civil War battlefield



Don't Forget To Be Awesome!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience; I currently teach English in the public school system of Virginia. In my spare time, I am an avid reader. writer, reviewer, blogger, writing/art journaler, beekeeper, grad student, and MOTHER. - See more: Here



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PLOT: Making a Foldable



Objective:  To identify elements of plot when reading fiction.

Do Now

Draw and label the plot diagram.



Class Activity

Plot Diagram Booklet



Add: Initiating Event and Moment of Final Suspense on your plot diagram!




Booklet Directions
1.  Cover: Draw and label Plot diagram, TITLE FOR BOOKLET is 5 Elements of a Story by ______
2.  Define Exposition COMPLETELY
3.  Define Rising Action COMPLETELY
4.  Define Climax COMPLETELY
5.  Define Falling Action COMPLETELY
6.  Deine Resolution with all Synonyms Conclusion and Denouement COMPLETELY
7.  Define Plot:  A sequence of events in a story
8.  Paste information onto page 8

Story Pyramid: Analyzing Stories

Words You Need to Know

Conflict: a problem that occurs in the story
Setting: time and place where the story occurs
Tragedy: a story ending in death and sadness

Analyze: to look at something very closely.
Most stories have the following parts: exposition (inciting incident), rising action, climax (turning point), falling action, and denouement (resolution).  This pyramid is used to show how stories move; it is a graphic plot chart. Sometimes a story can be more complicated than this pyramid, but most stories fit perfectly into the pyramid.

Let’s look at each part of the pyramid…

Exposition (inciting incident): The exposition is like the set-up of the story.  The background information that is needed to understand the story is provided, such as the main character, the setting, the basic conflict, and so forth.

The exposition ends with the inciting moment, which is the one incident in the story without which there would be no story. The inciting moment sets the rest of the story in motion.
Rising Action: Rising action is a series of events and actions that move the story to a climax.  During rising action, the basic conflict is complicated by secondary conflicts (obstacles and challenges that frustrate the main character’s attempt to reach their goal).
Climax (turning point): The climax is the turning point in the story.  After the climax everything changes.  In most stories, things will have gone badly for the main character up to this point; after the climax, things will begin to go well for him or her.  However, if the story is a tragedy, the opposite will happen after the climax: things that have been going good for the main character begin to go bad.
Falling Action:  During the falling action, the conflict unravels with the main character either winning or losing. The falling action might contain a moment of final suspense, during which the final outcome of the conflict is in doubt. 

Denouement: The story ends with the denouement, also called the resolution.  In most stories, the denouement has the main character in a better position than at the beginning of the story. However, tragedies end with death and sadness, in which the main character is worse off than at the beginning of the story.

Start Scribbling!
Believe In Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love, and the Power of the Written Word!

Syllabus Link: HERE


Don't Forget To Be Awesome!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am an educator with over 25 years of teaching experience; I currently teach English in the public school system of Virginia. In my spare time, I am an avid reader. writer, reviewer, blogger, writing/art journaler, beekeeper, grad student, and MOTHER. - See more: Here


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