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Welcome to Eighth Grade Language Arts!  A little about me: family & education  Resources available on my website for you to support your child – easily.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to Eighth Grade Language Arts!  A little about me: family & education  Resources available on my website for you to support your child – easily."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to Eighth Grade Language Arts!  A little about me: family & education  Resources available on my website for you to support your child – easily done from Oswego308.org (hard way, type in )  Link to Google Calendar (https://sites.google.com/a/oswego308.org/whowellwords/)  address; any time!

2 Eighth Grade English Language Arts Reading Literature Reading Informational Writing Vocabulary Listening Speaking

3 WHY LITERATURE MATTERS  Stories have power!  “Literature does not teach morals in a didactic way; rather, it gives us a chance to experience moral dilemmas…to imagine living out life’s vexing dilemmas along with the characters we meet.” Tim Gillespie  It is the power of “art over argument” (as expressed by Paul Harvey in a book by Kurt Bruner).

4 WHY LITERATURE MATTERS  It encourages “a capacity to occupy another mind and feel the emotional pulse of another heart.” Tim Gillespie  It increases empathy.  “Good stories do more than entertain us. They encourage us, challenge us, or even transform us.” Kurt Bruner

5 How do we tap into that power? Reading strategies!  Checking comprehension & summarizing  Making meaningful connections  Making inferences about author’s intent  Interpreting literary terms (often sensory images) and inferring what additional layers of meaning the author is implying  Making predictions in text, but also applying what is learned through the story to real life

6 Connections & Inferences Determine Author’s Intent  Become discerning readers  Benefit from the good while rejecting the bad  Decipher key ideas the author’s work advances, intended or not

7 THEME  The moral  The lesson  The universal truth about life  The general idea or insight about life  Every reading strategy path should lead to the theme.

8 What resources do we use to improve our reading comprehension and analysis skills?  Elements of Literature (online at my.hrw.com) various short stories  Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes  Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens  The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett  Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez

9 Oswego Works for Literacy  Free Reading – OWL Notes (approximately one hour outside of school per week)  Book should be at or below reading level unless you are reading with your child  Weekly sharing of book title, author, genre, pages read, and rating  Every four weeks, theme reflection  Extra credit encourages the sharing of literature and that results in the sharing of ideas; hence, the strengthening of relationships

10 WHY COMPOSITION MATTERS  Clear writing requires clear thinking.  Writing forces us to commit to and organize our thoughts.  Your child will be judged, both in and out of school, based on his or her writing.  We write to communicate, and we want the reader to be able to easily understand our messages. Errors impede understanding.

11 How do we become better writers?  Weekly journal time  Narratives (text-based, text-inspired, and personal)  Informational or Expository (student uses research skills & parenthetical referencing)  Argument Text-Based (student reads various literature provided and bases the paper on a claim from the literature)  They Say, I Say by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein

12 Explicit Writing Instruction Traits  Ideas  Sentence Fluency  Organization  Word Choice (vocabulary from A Christmas Carol and “I Have a Dream” with a focus on connotation and word origin)  Voice  Conventions  Presentation

13 We use our Writer’s Choice text for daily grammar homework to work on sentence fluency and conventions. Unit tests comprise grammar grade.

14 Unit 14 – Simple, Compound, & Complex Sentences Main & Subordinate Clauses  Noun Clauses  Verb Clauses  Adjective Clauses

15 Unit 15 - Verbals  Participles & Participial Phrases  Gerunds & Gerund Phrases  Infinitives & Infinitive Phrases

16 Other Topics of Study  Active & Passive Voice  Subjunctive & Conditional Tenses  Subject – Verb Agreement  Subject – Object Pronouns  Noun – Pronoun Agreement  Noun – Pronoun Antecedents

17 How does it all come together?  The skills your child learns as a reader then get applied as a writer. Reading and writing are reciprocal skills.  “Craft in writing must serve content; technique ought to be employed not for its own sake but in the service of some truth the writer is pursuing.” Tim Gillespie

18 Literary devices and figures of speech your child observes and analyzes as a reader are then applied as a writer.  Allusion  Characterization  Dialect  Foreshadowing  Idiom  Metaphors and Extended Metaphors  Parallel Structure  Personification  Setting  Simile  Theme

19 Most important? Theme! Your child must always figure out the theme of his or her writing AND his or her reading. Theme is vital because as SARK said, “Our lives DO count!” When we find the themes in our own lives, we find meaning.

20 Thank you for being here tonight. It shows that you understand how important your involvement is to your child!


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