Friday, May 18, 2012

Exam Time!

Students will take their Final Exam (averaged with the End of Course exam) on May 24th and 25th.  The format will be similar to the exam they took at the end of the 3rd quarter but will be cumulative.
Students should use their sourcebooks and four-column-note study sheets to review for this test.  Here are the major topics covered.

You should
  • be able to analyze a poem--main idea, author's purpose, tone, and literary techniques in use.
  • be able to identify Literary Techniques in poetry and fiction--like Bradbury.
  • be able to define words using their knowledge of our Word Roots (4-column notes)
  • be able to recall the types of leads we learned and practiced (quote, quicklist, anecdote, concession, surprising fact, or sensory details)
  • be able to recall the types of conclusions we learned and practiced (pointed question, echo, prediction, or instruction to the reader).
  • be familiar with the components of an essay, including appropriate organization and support
  • be familiar with text features and graphic aids and be able to use them to comprehend a non-fiction article.  
  • understand the persuasive appeals of Ethos, Logos, Pathos, and Kairos.
  • be able to identify a correctly punctuated sentence by recalling your Punctuation Road Rules four-column notes.
  • know the stages of plot and the types of Conflict
  • know how writers develop characters.
  • be able to identify theme and conflicts in the fiction and non-fiction we've read together this year. 
  • be familiar with the basic events, characters, and themes of Fahrenheit 451.
  • be able to recognize elements of Ray Bradbury's style.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Permission Slips

We sent home permission slips on May 15th and 16th for students to watch Life is Beautiful.  If you have lost yours, print this blog post and get a signature on it as permission.  (Mrs. Jackson's 1st period class members have already signed this slip as part of their lit circle study.)

Language Arts Permission Slip for Life is Beautiful— 
Due before May 21 (b), May 22 (a).

_____ Yes, my student, _______________________________________________,  may view the film Life is Beautiful.

_____  No, please provide an alternate assignment for my student: ____________________________________________.

Parent/Guardian Name:  __________________________  Signature: _________________________  Date: __________

In eighth grade Language Arts this year, we’ve been reading the play version of The Diary of Anne Frank.  We would like watch a film to give students more background about this time period but one that also demonstrates situational, dramatic, and verbal irony and gives us the chance to meet the state standards in speaking, listening, and viewing. We’d like to show Life is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella), an Italian film that won three Academy awards--best actor, best foreign film, best music (for Nicola Piovani’s original dramatic score). In this film, an Italian man chooses to hide the atrocities of the concentration camps from his young son by pretending that they are playing an elaborate game.  His intention is to ensure that, for his son, life will always be beautiful.  Much of the movie actually takes place in Italy, developing the main character and showing the love and happiness of their family before they are sent to the concentration camp.  It is rated PG-13 for Holocaust-related thematic elements but because it is often viewed through the eyes of a child, there are not graphic depictions of violence or death.  In the past, our students have been moved by this powerful and sensitive movie.  It also presents several meaningful opportunities to discuss situational, dramatic, and verbal irony, which are challenging literary techniques for our students.  We hope that you will trust us to discuss these issues thoughtfully and professionally.  It is readily available at any video store or the public library if you would like to preview it yourself.  Please return this permission slip by May 22, 2012 or sooner.           
~Kim Izzo/ Kim Combs ( and Morgan Jackson, (