The key to making this oral presentation useful is to focus on the most important and interesting information that was discovered during research. Three to six minute presentations should be organized and presented with as much sincere enthusiasm as the student can muster.
Visuals may enhance and effectively add to the value of the presentation.
Students have randomly chosen their presentation order and should be prepared for their assigned day.
• Speak to be heard and understood.
• Make eye contact with the audience.
• Try to maintain a natural posture -- not too stiff and not overly relaxed.
• Try to maintain composure by taking a deep breath before beginning.
• Using a simple outline is fine.
• Avoid reading or sounding like a memorized robot; inject life into the subject.
• Visuals may help.
• Try to project confidence even it's not felt.
Research - Notable American Sites
Students will be researching a famous American site. The first step is to gather as many resources as possible.
Please note the minimum of four sources. This number should include a variety of sources, such as magazine articles, books, guidebooks, newspaper articles, pamphlets, the Internet, or even a DVD. Do NOT use the Internet exclusively; students must find at least two sources other than the Internet. Although an encyclopedia may be used and included in the bibliography, it is not to be considered one of the four primary sources for this paper. Please use sources other than Wikipedia.
The classes will review narrowing a topic, summarizing, note taking, using note cards, organizing notes, utilizing transitional phrases and sentences, designing title pages, formatting an MLA7 Works Cited page, and practicing internal citing. The research paper will be the primary focus during class; therefore, it will make up a large portion of the fourth quarter grade. Class time will be given to work on research and writing; but students will be expected to do research, writing, and revising as homework each night also.
Finally, after the rough drafts are completed, students will share their new knowledge with their classmates.
March 14 Choose topics.
March 25 - 29 Techniques for taking notes and making resource cards
Begin looking for resources.
Design mini poster
April 1 - 5 Take notes.
Come prepared with resources EVERY day.
April 9-12 Take notes.
April 15 -18, Organize notes for rough draft /oral presentation.
24 -25 Write and type rough draft.
April 26 Typed rough draft due (200)
Turn in note cards with rough draft (200)
* Draft should include 3-6 double-spaced pages of information and a Works Cited page.
* A title page and internal citing will be added to the final draft.
* Use appropriate font size (Times New Roman 12) and 1” margins.
April 26 Discuss and begin working on oral presentation and title page.
Choose numbers for oral presentations.
April 29 Work on Oral Presentation
April 30 Adding Internal Citing
May 7 Typed final draft due (400)
(Title page, 3-6 pages text, attempted internal citing, Works
May 6 - 10 Oral Presentations - 3-6 minutes (200)
Notes of Importance:
* Make sure not to waste time. The days will go by faster than you can imagine, so dig in quickly.
Class research days are great time to ask Ms. Ketcham about anything you don’t understand about your topic or how to put your paper together. After school times are also available as always.
* A daily performance grade will be given for use of time during class.
It’s fine to work on the next step of the project ahead of time as long as you don’t sit in class saying you have nothing to do.
* Please note that on occasion other short assignments will be added.
*TEN PERCENT WILL BE TAKEN OFF LATE ASSIGNMENTS.
*PLAGIARISM IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE!
Topic of Card (not topic of paper) Book #, Page #
• Notes pertaining to the topic listed
• Written in one’s own words - in phrases
• Quote anything that came directly from the
East Wing 5, 105
• finished 1902
- pictures of First Ladies
- china bookcase (made 1800- 1810)
- Presidential seal above the door
Keeping Track of Works Cited
All Works Cited/ Bibliography information needs to be listed on index cards or on an open doc. in the proper format. (This way all information will be available when needed.)
• Every time a new source is used, make a new card (or add to the doc.).
• Every card/citation needs a different number in the upper right-hand corner.
• When ready to type a formal Works Cited page, alphabetize the resource cards by author's last name.
MLA7 - Works Cited
Students will practice making a Works Cited page in anticipation of using one for their upcoming oral presentation and later research paper.
MLA7 (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.
The following sites can help also:
MLA Citation -
Phrases: Prepositional, Participial, Gerund, and Infinitive
Students are reviewing prepositional phrases and looking at participial, gerund, and infinitive phrases.
* Recognize prepositions, such as to, for, with, at, through, and by.
* Recognize the object of the preposition: the noun or pronoun after the preposition.
* Recognize the prepositional phrase, such as in the tiny boat.
Example: The children played in the dusty field.
Object of the preposition: field
Prepositional phrase: in the dusty field
* Recognize the difference between beside and besides and between and among.
* Recognize that prepositional phrases are used to modify.
The girl with the pigtails sat in the boat.
With the pigtails modifies girl. (adjective phrase)
In the boat modifies sat. (adverb phrase)
* Recognize that participles look like verbs because they usually end in ed or ing, but they act like adjectives.
The rotting boat sank to the bottom of the lake.
Rotting describes boat.
* Recognize that participles also may have phrases attached to then.
Sinking under the pressure, the competitor lost his momentum.
Sinking under the pressure modifies competitor.
* Recognize that gerunds look like verbs because they end in ing, but they are used as nouns.
Reading is my favorite hobby. (Reading = subject of sentence)
His hobby was fishing. (Fishing = predicate noun)
He wanted skating to be a part of his life. (Skating = direct object)
Her hobby of gardening was unusual for a girl her age. (Gardening=object of
* Recognize that gerunds may also have phrases.
Singing loudly in the car was her secret.
Singing loudly in the car is the gerund phrase, used as a subject.
* Recognize that infinitives look like verbs preceded by a to (to play), but they are used as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.
My favorite hobby is to read. (To read is a predicate noun.)
The time to study is days before a test. (To study is an adjective describing
To get home, Will traveled by bus. (To get home is an adverb describing
Recognize that infinitives may also have phrases.
To sing on Broadway was her dream. (To sing on Broadway is a noun. the subject.)
Catholic Daughters Contest
“Here I am Lord, I Come to Do Your Will” Psalm 40
Doing My Best to Do Good
Essay: Typed. Not to exceed 500 words.
Poetry: Typed. Any style. Not to exceed 8 lines.
Art: Size 8½ x 11. NO LETTERING.
Medium: crayon, markers, ink, paints, charcoal, black or colored pencil, pastels
Computer: Size 8½ x 11 or 8 x 12. NO LETTERING.
Art must be the artist’s own creation and should fill the majority of the page. No clip a
art or images imported from web sites.
Photography: Size 8 x 10. Do not add matting. Color or black and white.
Picture must be taken by the contestant — not a computer downloaded image. Cannot be a collage.
All entries must be of contestant’s own imagination and creation.
Contestants may enter a category only once but may submit entries in multiple categories.
Theme must be the focus of the creation.
Entries will not be returned. All material becomes the property of the Catholic Daughters National Court.
Decisions of the judges are final.
All entries must be accompanied by an entry form.
Student names should not be on the submitted work.
Local winners are forwarded to State.
State winners are forwarded to National.
National Prizes: 1st - $100; 2nd - $50; 3rd - $25
Family Tree and Stories
Students will be researching their family tree as well as family stories by talking to parents, grandparents, and other relatives when possible. They will be looking for maiden names, names of grand and great-grandparents as well as places of birth -- or where their ancestors ended up living -- if the information is available.
Additional information that has a place on the tree includes special events in the family's history, jobs or trades that the family has worked, and holidays that the family celebrates, especially ones stemming through tradition.
There will be places on the tree for a picture of the student as well as a family picture. Additional photos may be added as wished.
The family tree should be completed neatly and filled in as accurately and completely as possible. It will be laminated when finished.
A small family tree is available for the purpose of writing down information. Students will be given the larger family tree to complete as soon as they have shown that the basic information has been gathered.
Students may work on the large tree at school if they'd like when they finish daily assignments.
During the same time period, students will be trying to track down interesting, unusual, or sentimental family stories. They will choose three or more of those stories to write.
Old pictures could be a great starting point. What was happening when that photo was taken? What was life like for the family at that point in time? What was captured at that moment in history? Was it part of a family tradition? The questions are endless.
Pictures might not be available. Talk to relatives! With technology today, it's easier than ever -- email, call, text, Skype, or sit down and talk face to face. Prepare some questions to begin, but let the conversation take you back in time. (Examples: What was your great-grandpa's favorite toy when he was young? What does your grandmother remember about her grandmother? Did any relatives fight in a war? How did that affect the family? Do you know when your family came to this country? What was their first experience with America?) Don't forget to take notes so you don't forget important facts.
Active & Passive Voice
Students chose a genre --science fiction, mystery, fantasy, contemporary fiction, etc.
Then they created characters, a conflict, and some exciting adventures leading up to a solid resolution.
In class, we talking about and practiced using strong verbs, varying sentence structure, incorporating rich vocabulary, creating worthwhile characters, including dialogue, adding conflict, crafting an interesting beginning and satisfying conclusion, and using good mechanics.
Veterans Day Reflection
Eighth graders attempted to track down family stories of those who served in our armed forces. Those who did not have family members who served explored themes such as honor, patriotism, courage, and sacrifice.
Students took their notes and wrote a short, reflective piece that may double as a thank you to the veterans who will attend our Veterans Day celebration this year.
The Veterans Day committee will select the writing they believe best honors our guests and exemplifies what the holiday celebrates. Writers will be invited to read their pieces.
Popsicle Stick Puppet Dialogue
Finding Addresses and Formatting a Business Letter
Students searched online for the addresses of the people or businesses they plan to write. Each student will fleshed out the information he/she wants to include in the letter, which should be both straightforward and interesting. Facts, examples, and details to support the purpose of the letter should be included.
After the letters are typed, edited, and revised, they will be mailed.
Business Letter Proposal
The following are the concepts the class covers in the mechanics unit:
* capitals & end punctuation - How lovely today is!
* interjections - Wow! What a day it was.
* proper nouns - Middle East, Biology I
* proper adjectives - Mexican pizza, French accent
* commas in compound sentences - Are you going to the play, or are you playing golf?
* commas in a series - I'm reading, listening to the radio, and lounging.
* commas between two or more adjectives before a noun - The old, rusty car broke down.
* commas after introductory words - Oh, I didn't know.
* commas after introductory phrases - Sitting at home, he worried about rain.
* commas after introductory clauses - Because she wanted to do well, Nancy studied.
* interrupters - She, however, did take a break.
* appositives - Christmas, December 25, is a holiday.
* nouns of direct address - Are you going to the mall, Ann?
* dates, addresses, & letters - Dear Sir:
* quotations in dialogue - "Which do you like?" asked Lucy.
Indent each time a new person speaks.
* titles of short works - "The Raven"
* Titles of long works are underlined or put in italics. - Are You My Mother? Are You My Mother?
* colons - You should bring the following: homework, paper, pens, and textbooks
* semicolons - I wanted to go to the play; therefore, I saved money.
* abbreviations - MA, mph, NATO
* numbers - There were 327 students in the gym. -- Three hundred twenty-seven students were there. -- There were eighty people standing. -- seven o'clock -- 7:00 -- Chapter 13
* apostrophes in contractions - I'm, they're
* apostrophes in possessive nouns - child's toy, children's toys
* apostrophes form the plural of numbers, letters, words, & symbols - How many 3's are on the paper? -- You want ten A's on your report card. -- There are too many and's in your letter. -- I don't like to use too many &'s.
* hyphens - She had an I-know-what-you-did smile. He was the runner-up.
* dashes - The championship -- it went into overtime -- was so exciting!
* parentheses - Mandy Donald (1934 - 2010) was known for her caring nature.
I Am Poem and Puzzle Piece
Students are writing poems, trying to describe who they are.
The poem starts with the words "I am," and it ends with "I am part of the whole, one piece of the puzzle." Middle lines may continue the "I am" pattern, or they may utilize various other action verbs: I play, I hum, I dance, I wonder, etc...
The puzzle pieces will be decorated with graphics, words, and quotes that visually reflected both the poem and themselves.
Old magazines appreciated.