November 11-15

Monday: We are starting a new unit today!  We will be reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  We are taking a couple days to learn about the context of the book and to talk about censorship.  Today we went through a PowerPoint on Mark Twain and watched a video on the Jim Crow Laws.  As a reminder, we want to use wisdom as we deal with the sensitive issues that will come up in this unit and in the book.

Homework: Spelling homework is due on Wednesday. 

Tuesday: We met in discussion groups to talk about racism and censorship.  We watched the video below, which shows two sides of a debate whether or not Huck Finn should have racially offensive words removed from the book.  We talked about how the book has many instances of the N-word being used and discussed our reaction to that.  Students will decide if they would like to say the word aloud when reading from the book or not.  However, it is never to be used in a hurtful way towards someone else.

Wednesday: We worked on apostrophes today for grammar.  We also read an excerpt from Tom Sawyer that describes Huckleberry Finn.  We met in groups to create an illustration based on that description.  Tomorrow we’ll start reading!

Thursday: We worked on prereading vocab and completed a cloze reading assignment to determine our language competency and to see whether this book will be at our frustration, instructional, or independent reading level.  Finally, we read chapters 1-2 and completed a dialect/slang translation chart.  One of the most common complaints of Huck Finn is that the slang makes it difficult to read.  The students got a feel for Twain’s writing style and how to figure out what’s being said.

Homework: Spelling test tomorrow, translation chart and vocab due tomorrow

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