Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lesson 38

Today, you will continue working on your news article.  You will use the notes you took from your two Web site sources to outline an article that you will put in your newspaper project.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lesson 37 April 8, 2008

April 8, 2008

Look for BIAS in what you read!

Bias is when an author favors one view

more than another.

Ask: What idea is the writer leaning toward?

Ways a Reporter Can Influence (Bias) a Story

By running an incomplete story.

By excluding some facts.

By including an incorrect fact.

By including opinions with facts.

By not including enough facts and details.

By using emotional language

Look for BIAS in what you read:

They may present one-sided messages.

Ask: Do they present the opposing view as well?

Evaluating Bias Activity:

1. Open your Epals account

2. Open the mail in the incoming mail box

3. Read the email and look for bias using the worksheet.

4. Complete the bias worksheet.

5. Using your comments on the worksheet, write a reply to the author that details the bias you saw in the article.

6. Send your response to the author by replying to their email.

Evaluating Bias Worksheet

What does the author want me to do or think

Does the author present more than one side of the story?

Does the author exclude any facts?

Are the facts correct?

Are their opinions included with the facts?

Does the author use emotional language?

Responding to the Author: Reply to the author’s email using the following guidelines.

1. Use a greeting: Dear _______________

2. Tell them that you read their article and what you thought of their topic.

3. Tell them if you saw any bias and what words or sentences contained bias.

4. Say whether you agree or disagree with their position.

5. Thank the author for sharing their views with you

6. End your email with a friendly closing (your friend,) and your name.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lesson 36 April 3rd, 2008

Writing an Advertisement

1. Go online to research a business in Curacao that you'd like to write an advertisement for.

2. Using the Lesson 35 handout, complete the sections for brainstorming, thinking of keywords, searching for a business, choosing a business, and taking notes on the business.

3. When the Lesson 35 handout is completed, use the Lesson 36 handout to write sentence for each of the following propaganda techniques:

a. Testimonial - a quote from an expert

b. Name Calling - an "us versus them" mentality

c. Bandwagon - everyone's doing it/going there - don't be left out!

4. Choose the your favorite of the above three sentences - the testimonial, the name calling, or the bandwagon and post it as a comment to this blog.

Include your name and your partner's name

State the name of the business and what kind of business it is (Ex. Sarah's Lane - a gift shop)

Post your favorite propaganda sentence

5. We'll read and discuss your posts at the end of class.

6. Be sure to remember any strategies you learned so that we can share them!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lesson 35 - The Cay Project

Today, you will think of something you would like to do if you ever visited Curacao.  Think of a business that you would truly enjoy visiting.  For example, you might select a hotel or restaurant.  Maybe you're the more adventurous type and would prefer to go scuba diving.  Imagine that you have one chance to visit any business you want.

STEP 1: Use your guided notes page to brainstorm three types of businesses that you'd like to visit.

STEP 2: Write in keywords that you can use to find these businesses in a search engine.

STEP 3: Browse the Internet looking for sites on really good businesses that you might visit.  Select a business and write the URLs for sites that give you information about this business on your guided notes page.

STEP 4: Take notes from the Web pages. using your guided notes chart.

On Thursday, you will create an ad for this business using the propaganda strategies we've been studying in class.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lesson 34 March 20, 2008

When you return from Spring Break, you'll begin reading a novel called The Cay.
In order to give you some background knowledge about the setting of the book, we're going to spend this last class together before the break to do a scavenger hunt.

Mrs. Gibbs will place you into groups or pairs.
You will each have a scavenger hunt handout.
Please put your names on the handout and decide how you want to divide up the task of finding the answers to the 20 questions listed there.

Remember to use your best strategies for searching and locating information, because you're working hard to try to get as many answered as possible before the class ends.

Be sure to find RELIABLE sites - the questions are a little tricky, but you can do this!

Good Luck!!

Lesson 33 March 18, 2008

Today, after reviewing what you've learned about propaganda,
your challenge is to create your own propaganda poster and upload
it onto your home drive. At the end of class, we'll put them up on the
screen and see what sorts of propaganda techniques you've learned to

Here are your instructions:

1. Brainstorm with your partner the topic you want for your poster.
Look at the handout for suggestions.

2. Brainstorm with your partner the words you will include on your
poster. You may want to come up with a title, a tagline, and/or instructions
as we discussed in the mini-lesson.

3. Brainstorm with your partner the images you want to include on
your poster. Think about fonts and colors, size and proportion as well!

4. Using PowerPoint or Publisher (you decide) design your poster.

5. Upload your finished poster to your home drive so that we can put
it up on the screen. Be sure your name and your partner's name is in
the file name.

6. Write any strategies you've found to be useful on the back of your
notes sheet. We'll share them later.

We'll be around to help if you need it...

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lesson 32 Propaganda

Use these Web sites to search for posters that you can use on your propaganda PPT (in your home directory).

Web Site 1
Web Site 2
Web Site 3

Use good search strategies to search within the sites.

Your assignment is to find two posters, copy and paste them into the slides, and answers these questions about each poster:

  • What is the author trying to tell you?
  • How does the author communicate this to you?
  • What do you think the purpose is?
  • Do you think the author communicates his message?
When you finish your PowerPoint, be sure to save the new version in your home directory!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lesson 31

March 11, 2008

First we will do a short challenge activity to make sure we are learning the things we need to be learning in our Internet lessons. Then, we will look at bias on Web sites.   Angie will give a very short PowerPoint about bias and will give some examples of how to evaluate Web sites on the whaling industry.

After you see these examples, you will look at three Web sites and see if you can find bias in them.  Be sure to complete your worksheet on these sites.

Here are the links to the sites we will use today:

Now - your turn:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lesson 30: The Newspaper Article

Today we are writing the newspaper article that you began on Tuesday with Ms. Jackie.  I will review the upside down pyramid scheme for writing a newspaper article, then we will get started.  You should finish your article today.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lessons 29 and 30

My Name:____________________________________ 2nd or 6th?

Lesson 29: Dust Bowl Newspaper Article – March 3, 2008

Structure of a Newspaper Article:

l ______Headline____________ – The title of the article.

l _________Byline____________– Name of person who wrote the article.

l ______Dateline________________– city/state/country where article was written.

l ________Hook________________- Short, interesting sentence that makes the reader

WANT TO read the article.

l ______Lead______________- Summarize the 5 W’s:

___Who_____, _____What________, ____When___________, ______Where___,

__________Why_______ AND _________How______________

Second/Third/Fourth paragraphs

1. Give __________important___ ______details_________ __first_____

2. Include one or two ____direct ________quotes______

3. Put the ___least___ ______important______details____last________

Last paragraph

1. ___Wrap_____ ___it___ _____up____ in an interesting way.

2. Make sure all pictures or figures have a ___ caption__________

General Notes

1. Write in the third person (he, she, it, they)

2. Be objective -- never state your opinion.

3. Use quotes to express others' opinions.

Writing your Dust Bowl Article!


2. Sources: (look on your notes sheet or write them here…)

3. Organize your paragraphs:

Use the boxes on the back of this page to:

a. Write the 5W’s in the first box

b. Write important details in the second box

c. Write less important details in the third box

4. Open your Word document (DustBowlArticle)

a. Begin to write your article from your notes

b. Proofread your article

c. Ask your elbow partner to read it

d. Ask a teacher to read it.

e. Make changes as needed

5. Find a picture or figure or map

a. Copy it onto the Word Document

b. Write a caption for the picture or figure.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lesson 28

Follow this step by step guide to a good newspaper article:
1. What was your research question for your Dust Bowl article?
2. Research your question using keywords in a search engine. Find two reliable and relevant (useful) Web sites. Use your Evaluation Checklist (in your folder) to help with this.
3.Take notes on the information on your Web site.
Title of Web Site 1: _______________________
URL: ____________________________
Information I Can Use: My Notes:
Direct Quote 1
Direct Quote 2
What does the site say in answer to my question?

My response to what the Web site says about my question:

Web Site #2: ____________________________
URL: ___________________________________
Information I Can Use: My Notes
Direct Quote 1
Direct Quote 2
What does the site say in answer to my questions?

My response to what the Web site says about my question:

4. Now, open a new Word Document.
5. Save it as “DustBowlArticle1” in your English Students folder in your home directory.
6. The HOOK: Grab the reader's attention by using an opening sentence which is a question or something unexpected!
7. First paragraph: In the first few sentences, answer these questions:
8. Now, give the details. It is always a good idea to include one or two quotes from people you interviewed. Write in the third person (he, she, it or they). Be objective. Use active verbs so the reader feels things are really happening!
9. Last paragraph: Write a good conclusion. You might try ending with a powerful quote from one of your sources.
10. By-line: At the end, state who wrote the article; 'By ....'.
11. Proof-read your article and edit where needed.
12. Add a citation for each of your sources.

Save your article again in the English Studies folder. You will be putting it into a newspaper template soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lesson 27

My Question: _____________________________________

My Keywords: ______________________________________



My Search Engine: ____________________________________


Don’t forget to EVALUATE the two Web Sites you select! Use your EVALUATION HELP guide to assist you as you select two useful and reliable sites!

Title of Web Site #1 - ________________________________________

URL: ___________________________________

Direct Quotes My Notes My Response

Title of Web Site #2 - __________________________________________

URL: ___________________________________

Direct Quotes My Notes My Response


Helpful Strategies that I used to find my two Web sites:

Helpful strategies that I used to evaluate my two Web sites:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lesson 26

Students will write down their questions from the last lesson. They will think of 2 backup questions in case they are unable to find enough sites for the first question. They will then identify topic and focus keywords for the questions. Finally, they will find Web sites that they can use to answer their questions. They will record the URLs in a Word doc in their home directories.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lesson 25: Asking Questions February 19, 2008

February 19, 2008 – Lesson 25 Questioning

When we’re researching a topic, we ask questions BEFORE to find out:

1. What do I ____ALREADY______ know?

2. What do I _________WANT________ to know?

We ask questions during the research to find out:

1. Where can I ______FIND______ the info?

2. Can I _____USE_______ this info?

3. Can I ______TRUST_______ this info?

We ask good questions because:

Good ____QUESTIONS________ lead to good _KEYWORDS_________;

Good ______KEYWORDS_______ lead to good ____SEARCHES______;

Good _____SEARCHES______ lead to good _____ANSWERS______!

Good questions have:

1. Appropriate _SCOPE_: Not too _SMALL__ nor too _LARGE__.

2. Are ___RESEARCHABLE___: it’s __POSSIBLE__ to find the answer on the Internet or in books.

If you can answer the question with a few clicks, the scope is too small.

If you’d have to ask lots of little questions, the scope is too large.

A question is UNresearchable if it:

1. Relies on __OPINION__ (Who’s responsible for the Dust Bowl?) or

2. Is ____UNCLEAR______. (What was the Dust Bowl like?)

Good questions have two parts:

1. ____TOPIC____ - General Inquiry

2. _____FOCUS___ - Specific Refinement

Questions that have a TOPIC and a FOCUS are researchable because these two parts become your keywords for searching.

You can tell if a question is likely to be a good one by asking:

Is it too large?

Is it too small?

Can you find the answer on the Internet?

Does it rely on opinion? Is it clear?

Does it have a topic and focus?

TOPIC: Dust Bowl

FOCUS: You pick (farming, weather, government, people, migration, life styles, etc)


When your question has been approved by Mrs. Gibbs or Miss Jackie, please post it on the blog!

Lesson 24 February 14, 2008

Synthesizing What We Read On the Internet

Lesson 24: February 14, 2008

A: ____________________________________________________

S: ____________________________________________________

R: ____________________________________________________

R: ____________________________________________________

S: ____________________________________________________

A: ____________________________________________________

Reading for Synthesizing

Partner Reading and Synthesizing

l Go to Mrs. Gibbs’ Web site

2. Click on the link for the PBS Dustbowl

3. Click on the link for People and Places

4. Click the link for the name of the person or event written below:

Your Person or Event:

Black Sunday

Read one paragraph at a time.

Partner 1: Read aloud for Main Idea

Partner 2: Read again, then pause to think and discuss

Together: Write your notes on the double entry page attached.

Together: Write your personal response on the attached page.

Together: When you’ve finished all of the paragraphs,

write your synthesis.

Together: Post your synthesis on the TICA Bulldogs Web site

Click on New Post

Type in your synthesis

Click on Post

Click on View Blog to see what everyone wrote

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lesson 23 Synthesis

Synthesizing What We Read On the Internet

Lesson 23: February 12, 2008

What are we doing when we synthesize information from several sources?

Reading for Synthesizing

A: Activate prior knowledge;

S: Scan for key words;

R: Read through once to get the main idea;

R:Read through again - pause and think/discuss;

S:Summarize in your own words;

A: Add a personal response.

Write a Silly Sentence:


Practice Together

The realities were obvious. It was flat, treeless country where you couldn't count on rain, and the wind blew all the time. On old maps it had been sensibly labeled The Great American desert.



Practice Online Together



Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lesson 22 Feb. 5th 2008

Harlem Renaissance Project - Paraphrasing!

When we write about things we've read from online (or print) sources, we need to put the information into our own words. This is called paraphrasing, and it helps us to:
  • make the information our own by saying it in our own words
  • avoid plagiarizing material - a huge no-no!

Today, we're focusing on paraphrasing information from online sources.

You will receive a double entry journal with eight boxes:

In the first box, there is a direct quote from the encyclopedia about Langston Hughes. We'll read it together, then look at the box on the right to see how this quote was paraphrased.

In the second box down, there is another quote from the same article. Let's work together to paraphrase this one! We'll write out paraphrase in the box on the right.

Next, log back on to one of the sources you used for your Harlem Renaissance artist project. Find a quote from the article and write it in the 3rd box down. Write another in the 4th box. Work with your elbow partner to paraphrase each of those quotes.


  1. If you don't have all of your slides completed (please see Lesson 21 for list of slides you need), please finish those now!
  2. Look through each slide to see if you've copy-pasted information from sources, or if the wording is very close to the original.
  3. If you've not paraphrased the information that is on your slides, please do that now and include your original writing only on the slide.
  4. If you're quoting the article - or a person - word for word, make sure you have it in quotes and include the citation on your works cited page
Good luck! We'll take time off from lessons to look at your presentations on Thursday!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lesson 21

Harlem Renaissance Project

Lessons 18 – 22

Berea Middle School

Days Four (Lessons 21)

Today, we will take time to finish our Harlem Renaissance project. By the end of this class, you should have AT LEAST SIX slides in your PowerPoint presentation:

1. Title Slide – this should have the name of the artist and your name.

2. Five facts about your person (Encyclopedia)

3. Paragraph about an important life event, such as a tragedy or stroke of good luck (Newspaper)

4. Paragraph about an important day or an important piece of art, music, poem that the person created (Magazine)

5. What can you conclude about your character’s life based on what you have read?

6. Works Cited: Citations for Encyclopedia, Newspaper, Magazine.

NOTE: Be sure to save your completed PowerPoint in your home directory in your English Studies Folder so that Mrs. Gibbs can grade it!

Write down any strategies you’ve found helpful!

You may ask your elbow buddy for help with the project, but each person must submit his or her own PPT.

What I conclude about my artist:


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lesson 20 - Harlem project/magazines

Harlem Renaissance Project

Lessons 18 – 22

Berea Middle School

Day Three (lesson 20)

Today you will use an online magazine to find information about a special day in the life, or the work, of the Harlem Renaissance artist you have chosen to research. You should do the following things by the end of the day.

1. Use this page to record notes about the work of your artist. Then, make a PPT slide with this information on it.

2. Put a citation for the article that you used on the citations slide at the end of your PPT.

3. Upload the new version of the PPT into your home directory in your English Studies Folder. (This will be graded, so you must do it today.

4. Write the strategies you learned today on the back of this sheet. If you share your strategy with the class during the sharing time at the end, you will receive a raffle ticket!

Note: You may ask your elbow buddy for help with the project, but each person must submit his or her own PPT.


Artist’s name: _________________________________________

Date of article: ___________________________________

What type of work did they produce? (art, music, writing, etc.)

What was the magazine article about? Was it a review, a commentary?

Interesting things I learned about the artist:


“____________________________________.”___________________. Title of Article Online Name of Magazine

_____________. ______________________________________.

Year of Publication Publisher

_________________. <_________________________________________.>

Date of Access URL

Strategies I learned:




Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lesson 19

Harlem Renaissance Project

Lessons 18 – 22

Berea Middle School

Day Two (lesson 19)

Today you will use an online newspaper to find information about an event in the life of the Harlem Renaissance artist you have chosen to research. You should do the following things by the end of the day:

  1. Use this page to record notes about an interesting or important event in the life of your artist. Then, make a PPT slide with this information on it. Let’s think about a title for the slide…
  1. Put a citation for the newspaper article that you use on the citations slide at the end of your PPT.
  1. Upload the new version of the PPT into your home directory in your English Studies Folder. (This will be graded today, so you must do it today!)

Note: You may ask your elbow buddy for help with the project, but each person must submit his or her own PPT.


Artist’s name (who): _________________________________________

Date of article (when): ___________________________________

What happened?

Where did it happen?:

Why was it important enough to print in a newspaper?


Interesting things I learned about the artist?



“____________________________________.”___________________. Title of Article Online Name of Newpaper

____________. ______________________________________.

Year of Publication Publisher

_________________. <_________________________________________.>

Date of Access URL

Strategies I learned:


Lesson 18

Taught on January 22, 2008

Today we will begin our Harlem Renaissance project. You will select an artist from the Harlem Renaissance and create a PPT about that person.

Today we will focus exclusively on online encyclopedias. You will go to the encyclopedias and look for articles on your artist.

Encyclopedias are great when you want an overview of a topic. It's a good place to start when you begin a topic. If you are looking for a person, it gives you biographical information, such as where your person was born or when he/she died.

You will use the guided note taking sheet that we give you in class to take note on the article from the encyclopedia.

Then, you will create a slide for your PPT to show the information that you read in this article, writing the information in your own words.