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What we've been up to in Grade 8 English

Movie Outing

posted Sep 15, 2014, 7:32 AM by   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 7:34 AM ]

Excitement was in the air for weeks...‘The Giver’ movie was about to be released.  And finally it happened.  On Saturday, September 6th, more than thirty 8th-grade students headed over to Marikina to view the film that they had been waiting for.  Everyone had been wondering how true-to-the-book the film would be.  As a class we had watched the trailer multiple times, extrapolating from small clues that some big changes had been made in the film.  Jonas was no longer a 12-year-old (as he had been in the book, still largely innocent with some baby fat left around the face.)  In the film he was a leaner and more handsome 16-year-old.  We had class discussions critically analyzing why this and other changes had been made.  One answer seemed to become something of a refrain--they are marketing this film to teenagers.  We talked about how audience impacts the choices that a creator makes, no matter what form the product takes--writing, film, furniture design or another work of art.  The creator is always aware of audience.  

Ask an 8th-grader if they support the changes that were made to the story by the producers of the film version of ‘The Giver.’

In the next weeks we will be exploring the narrative in ‘The Giver’ more closely, and we will be writing about it in blogs.  Be on the lookout for an invite to read the class’s blogs about ‘The Giver’!  (These blogs will be hosted on a closed site that is only open to those who have been invited.)

Expanding Active Reading

posted Aug 12, 2014, 10:50 PM by

In 8th grade we have started off the year by delving into 'The Giver,' a Newbery Award winning book, written in 1993 by Lois Lowry.  As we have spent time reading in class I have heard audible comments such as "Wait....I don't get this," and "No!!!  They DO that?  How can they DO that?"  Some of those kinds of comments aren’t audible though.  Many such comments are being written onto little post-it notes, and then stuck on the pages of the book. These are our active reading notes.  Ask the 8th graders what kinds of things they are making notes on.  Their goal at the moment is to broaden the types of active reading notes they take, trying to include comments about the author’s use of vocabulary; statements about the introduction of new characters; and questions about possible themes.  We feel a little bad for the spines of some of these books which are being stressed out by the weight of all the notes.  But we are excited that our discussions and analysis of the book will be richer because of the extra time we took to actively read!

Planning to Travel

posted Apr 25, 2014, 8:15 PM by   [ updated Apr 25, 2014, 8:30 PM ]

As part of our Nonfiction Unit assessment, students have divided into small groups of 3-4 people who will act as members of a travel agency.  They have chosen a client from the Faith Academy community, and are in the process of creating an itinerary for that family based on their specifications.  We are in the initial stages of planning together, deciding on travel dates, locations and budgeting.  The final product will be a video that showcases the vacation package.

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