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I hated school, I hated my life, and I hated my environment at one time, but one teacher on one great day changed that forever. He is the reason I want to teach and I strive to touch students lives the way he did mine.

In life, we come across remarkable and influential mentors that help shape and mold us into who we become and what we aspire to be. Mr. Michael Dupong, mentioned above, is the teacher who has most affected my choice to teach. On the first day of my eighth grade English class I walked into a darkened room with a blue screen on the wall. Once the bell rang, he turned on an excerpt from Dead Poet Society to foreshadow the weeks to come with poetry, but also in life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQtmGcdSDAI) and then another to remind us that we must constantly look and think in different ways (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8fu-hq3S7A). After the clip we jumped on our chairs and described something that we had not noticed before and were asked to write about it. I had never been introduced to a course like this, nor had I ever witnessed such creativity in curriculum. I thought it was amazing! Teaching literature presents the opportunity to share a passion for Literature in new, inventive, and exciting ways - that is what I had to do with my life!

Throughout high school I also found an appreciation for theatre and public speaking. This has become just as much a part of my life as literature. Through stage production experience in directing, acting, sound / light production, properties, set design, and improvisation I have gained amazing experience and appreciation for literature, but was also able to accumulate new aspects of history and math that I was unable to appreciate before. I will always seize the opportunity for new experiences, life lessons, and learning opportunities; however, I would still be hating everything in the world if it was not for the extensive support from family and friends and the amazing teachers and mentors I have encountered since.

"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."

~James Dean~

Character Chronicles

Senior Composition

Ms. Caitlynn Ward

Fall 2010

Rationale: In order to create a cohesive learning environment for all students, they must learn the basic fundamentals of character education. In order to incorporate this into classroom curriculum, each student will be required to write a biography about an author, a critique of a story, or a comparative essay which must relate to the schools character word of the month. This will be a month long process every month of the school year in order to obtain an article from each student to be published in a monthly magazine for all students and teachers of the school to read. Not only will these ongoing processes create independent learning for students who are preparing to enter college and move past the repetitious lifestyle of high school, but it will also be a cause for incorporating literature into character education that can be circulated within the school.

Summary: Each month our unit will be comprised of poetry and prose relating to character education while still maintaining curriculum standards and comprehensive testing, but the students major writing assignment each month will be centered around the character building word of the month and how the literature that we are reading relates to the word. There will be three groups: biographers, critiques, and comparing experts. The character words; trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, citizenship, honesty, courage, diligence, and integrity will be the base of all monthly unit plans.

Objectives:

Reading Fluency- with fluency: accuracy, comprehension and appropriate expression

adjusting reading rate to difficulty and type of text

Pre-Reading- access prior knowledge, preview, predict with text support or rationale, set a purpose and rate for reading

During Reading- utilize strategies to: determine meaning of unknown words, self-monitor comprehension, question the text, infer, visualize, paraphrase, summarize

Post reading- Apply post-reading skills to comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate text: identify and explain the relationship between the main idea and supporting details, question to clarify, reflect, draw conclusions

Making Connections-Compare, contrast, analyze and evaluate connections:text to text (information and relationships in various fiction and non-fiction works), text to self (text ideas and own experiences) , text to world (text ideas and the world by analyzing and evaluating the relationship between literature and its historical period and culture)

Literary Techniques- Analyze and evaluate literary techniques, sensory details, figurative language, and sound devices previously introduced

Literary Elements-Use details from text(s) to: demonstrate comprehension skills previously introduced, analyze: character, plot, setting, point of view, analyze the development of a theme across genres, evaluate the effect of tone on the overall meaning of work

Writing Process- Apply a writing process to write effectively in various forms and types of writing

Audience and Purpose- Compose text:showing awareness of audience, choosing a form and point of view appropriate to purpose and audience

Ideas and Content- Compose text with: strong controlling idea, relevant specific details, complex ideas, freshness of thought

Organization and Sentence Structure- Compose text with: effective beginning, middle, and end, a logical order, effective paragraphing, cohesive devices, varied sentence structure, clarity of expression, active voice

Forms/Types/ Modes of Writing- Compose a variety of texts: using narrative, descriptive, expository, and/or persuasive features, in various formats, including workplace communications (resume, letter of application, follow-up letter) including; summary, literary analysis, and reflective writing

Length: This will be a monthly process to build students reading comprehension skills and writing. At the beginning of each month a handout will be presented with the authors and readings that relate to the character word of the month and the students will pull a group name from an envelope so they can meet with their group and delegate duties within their group. The second week the groups will meet again to discuss their findings and give suggestions to anyone struggling with their assignment. The third week each student will read their draft to their group for peer review. The last week will have extreme emphasis on editing and revising within the group before their section of the magazine is handed in for publishing.

Materials and Resources: Computers and printers should be provided from the school, along with appropriate reading material. A smart board, projector, and television with DVD player will also be imperative for presenting additional media material to the class.

Assessment:

Formative: Participation points will be given for completing each step of the assignment on time. Check marks will be rewarded by peer evaluation both for the student being reviewed and the person reviewing. Oral feedback will be provided during discussion times within the 3 group settings to ensure that students stay motivated and on track. The third week drafts will be submitted for written comments and suggestions.

Summative: 60% of the unit grade will be assessed from the final essay draft students will hand in for publishing. They may revise if needed, but the final draft will be published in the class magazine.

Character Chronicles

Senior Composition

Ms. Caitlynn Ward

Fall 2010

Week 1

Monday: Introduce character word of the month, Handout: Character word and literature, assign groups and let students delegate duties

Tuesday: Begin literature relating to character word (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Wednesday: Continue literature (TKM)

Thursday: Continue literature (TKM)

Friday: Quiz and continue literature (TKM)

Week 2

Monday:Students meet with groups to discuss their findings and give advice to students struggling with the assignment

Tuesday: Continue literature (Poetry)

Wednesday: Continue literature (Poetry)

Thursday: Continue literature (Poetry)

Friday: Quiz and continue literature

Week 3

Monday: Students read first draft aloud within their group and perform peer reviews

Tuesday:Students read first draft aloud within their group and perform peer reviews

Wednesday: Computer lab day

Thursday: Students hand in second draft, continue literature

Friday: Quiz and continue literature

Week 4

Monday: Extra credit due, hand back second draft with suggestions and comments, wrap up literature

Tuesday:Test on literature material, format brainstorm and presentation of extra credit / student body submissions

Wednesday:Edit and revise within groups

Thursday: Computer lab day

Friday: Submit articles and illustrations

Week 5

Monday: Computer lab day (construction of magazine)

Tuesday: Reflection: In class discussion about the finished product (what works and does not)

Senior Composition Ms. Ward

Tolerance and you October 1, 2010

Objective

To introduce the theme of tolerance and begin project planning

Instructional

Framework

Initiating&Constructing&Utilizing

Lesson Plan

Format

Student Centered

Student Centered:

Initializing and Const