Students will be reading and analyzing several of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories and poems. They will explore the elements of literature as applied to his works. The students will consider how Poe's life may have affected his work, and they will compare and contrast the mood and themes found in both the stories and poems.
"The Cask of Amontillado"
"The Masque of the Red Death"
"Deep in Earth"
"To My Mother"
"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
A seemingly peaceful town lends its setting to a story about conformity and resistance to thinking and change. The story leads readers to question mob mentality, scapegoating, and cruelty in a civilized society.
Students will begin looking for foreshadowing as the story unfolds.
"The Ransom of Red Chief" by O. Henry
Another quiet, sleepy town is the setting for one of O. Henry's most famous short stories. The characters are humorous, and the twists and turns lead to one ironic moment after another. The students discussed foreshadowing, irony, allusion, and perspective as they read this classic tale.
Independent Reading & Quarterly Book Projects
Reading is a vital way to learn information of various types, and it can be a huge source of enjoyment. In addition to reading together in class, I would like you to do some independent reading. Ideally, I would love for you to be able to do a great deal of reading, but I know that life keeps all of us busy, and sometimes we cannot always fit in as much as we would like. I would like you to try to read about ten pages a day. (Of course, you may read more!) The reading should be at your ability level, and you should choose various genre.
What is genre? Genre is the category that the book falls under: biography/ autobiography, historical fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, drama, science fiction, realistic fiction, mystery, etc... Eighth grade students also need to read a World War II or Holocaust-related book at some point during the year. I own many from which you may choose if you cannot decide. This book does not have to be one of your quarter projects, but we will use the knowledge gained from it during fourth quarter.
Each quarter, you will need to present one book in one of the following ways: orally, with the use of technology, written, or in a round-table discussion (available quarters two through four). For example, one quarter you might present a book talk with a poster to the class, telling your classmates about the novel and making them interested in reading it. Another quarter you might choose to do a mini newspaper, writing articles about major events in the story. A Power Point presentation, character monologue, movie short, puppet show, treasure box, or series of diary entries are just some of the possibilities. Presentation options are limitless as long as they show effort and creativity as well as demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the book. (Before you spend a great deal of time on a project, please run it by me first.) Just as with the genre of the book, please choose a different presentation method each quarter.
Projects are due approximately one week before the end of the quarter. If you plan to present a monologue, a book talk, or any other form of project to the class, let me know so that I can schedule some time for your presentation. Please ask questions if you have them and do not wait until the last minute to complete this assignment. If you finish and there are still three weeks left in the quarter, that’s okay. Turn it in early. Then you won’t have to worry about it as the quarter draws to a close.
Independent reading will also be the basis for written responses to some classroom lessons.
Due dates: Friday, October 5; Thursday, December 13; Friday, March 1; Friday, May 3
Thomas Jefferson said, "I cannot live without books." I hope that you find some authors and books that you love, too.
Basic Independent Book Project Guidelines
Show understanding of a novel you have been independently reading in an interesting and creative way. (Always pretend the teacher/class knows nothing about the book.)
Keys Elements to ALL Projects:
Key Elements to an Oral Presentation:
Key Elements to a Written Project:
Do NOT go online to look for thoughts.
Key Elements to a Technology-based Project:
Key Elements to a Round-table Discussion:
Sampling of Projects: book talk, Power Point, character talk, book review, puppet show, book (movie) trailer, graphic novel presentation, photographic journey, character diary, letter to a character/ author, feature article for a newspaper, live TV/radio report of a breaking event from the novel followed by backstory, movie, scrapbook, (Please talk to me before you invest a great amount of time.)