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Critical Media Literacy: Days 5 and 6 December 4, 2016

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  1. We watched and read different critiques about commercial products to brainstorm how to write a critique about the commercial products students selected over Thanksgiving break. First, we watched Ellen’s Bic for Her critique and worked in groups to identify Ellen’s claim about the pen using this ellen-video-foursquare-analysis.
  2. Afterwards, students read different articles about commercial products and stereotypes and identified the claim made in each article. They annotated while reading and discussed the articles in groups.  Here is a list of the articles students read:
    1. addy-walker
    2. college-feminisms
    3. is-the-makeup-industry-finally-embracing-diversity
    4. monopoly-was-designed-to-teach-the-99
    5. nyt-gendered-toys
    6. playmobil-article
    7. slave-tetris-article
  3. On Friday, students closely examined and interpreted the product packaging and one commercial or print ad about the their product in order to develop a strong claim about the product. They began this packet commercial-product-deconstruction-brainstorming which is due Monday, December 5th in class.


1.Vocab quiz on Unit 2, parts 1-10 on Monday, Dec. 5th

2. Commercial Product Deconstruction Brainstorming due.

3. Book Club discussion on Tuesday, Dec. 6th. Students should be halfway done with the book!



Wordy Wednesday Unit 2, Day 1 November 30, 2016

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We took time to read our book club books and received our ‘role sheet’ assignments: open-ended-role-sheet. You need to fill out the first side of your notes sheet (no longer a role sheet!) for next Tuesday.

Next, we did the first 10 words in our Unit 2 vocab study. Here are the notes: Unit 2 Vocabulary (full packet) (Do Part 1 on your own if you were gone.)

Critical Media Literacy: Days 3 and 4 November 29, 2016

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On Monday we looked at how social norms appear in the media.

  1. Students shared out their product selections.
  2. We examined social norms using quotes around the room.


On Tuesday, we looked at persuasive techniques in the media.

  1. Students first received their book club books (Persepolis, Maus II, American Born Chinese, Running for Hope, or March I) and we took some time to read.
  2. We looked at ads and examined persuasive techniques in them:Propaganda Techniques (L16) We also looked at the persuasive techniques in the ad for our own product.

HW: Read the first half of your book club for next Tuesday 12/6!

Critical Media Literacy: Days 1 and 2 November 22, 2016

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We are starting a new unit focused on analyzing media messages in order to make ourselves more aware of the media we are consuming. Did you know that research shows teenagers spend more time consuming media each day than they do in school? Of course, you did!

  1. We started Monday by analyzing a Hardee’s print ad. Students answered the following questions: critical-media-literarcy-warm-up-day-1
  2. Then, we discussed the 5 Key Concepts of Media on notes sheet L14: intro-critical-media-literarcy-note-sheet
  3. Then, students rotated around to different stations to analyze media themselves using this sheet: media-stations-copy

On Tuesday . . .

  1. We started by listing stereotypes we see perpetuated by the media.
  2. Then, we watched this awesome video by MTV’s Franchesca Ramsey:

3. Finally, students did their own analysis of a print ad using this handout: magazine-image-annotation. If this was not completed in class, it is homework for Monday.

4. Students received their Black Friday Mission: they must locate a consumer product (something you can buy) to analyze for its bias. Think: ‘girl’ pens, little girls’ coloring books, ‘boy’ toys, culturally representative dolls, t-shirts, boxer shorts, really anything. You can either buy it, take a picture of it, or print out a description of it from the internet. You also have to answer some questions about it. Here is the assignment sheet: product-selection-handout

HW: Finish Magazine Ad Annotation if you’re not done. Select a product and complete the Product Selection Questionnaire

Enjoy your holidays and enjoy questioning consumer culture!

We also announced our Poetry Out Loud winners who will be advancing to the school-level competition: Izzy, Chace, Elayna, Fiona, Ella, Sky, Emma, Yulibeth, and Sara! You will all need to keep your poem memorized and choose one more from the Poetry Out Loud website. First place winners also received a book of poetry from Ms. G to start their collections.

Vocabulary Test November 16, 2016

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  1. Poetry. Students are doing a wonderful job reciting their Poetry Out Loud poems! Our guest judges have been super impressed with everyone’s performance so far.
  2. Poetry. We are wrapping up the poetry unit. The poetry podcasts sound great! Students will turn in their poetry podcast and recitation reflections in class tomorrow.
  3. Vocabulary. We will finish recitations tomorrow and begin our vocabulary test review. The  vocabulary test is this Friday!

HW: Finish podcast and recitation reflection. Review vocabulary handouts Week 1-Week5 for vocabulary test on Friday.

Finalizing Your Podcast November 11, 2016

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On Thursday we had our last workday on our podcasts. This weekend every group needs to finalize their podcast and upload it to our class SoundCloud account.

Here is all the info you need:

If you want to listen to the completed podcasts, go here:

Have fun editing and let me know if you have any questions!

Poetry Day 1 November 1, 2016

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Today we prepared to record our poetry podcasts!

Here is the Poetry Podcast Assignment. Before recording, students needed to complete three things:

Tomorrow we will have a short vocab quiz and then begin our recording! Want to see an example of a finished podcast? Here’s Ms. Garvoille’s awesome podcast made last week at NCCAT:

Memoir Day 17: Snapshots September 26, 2016

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  1. Students all took their second Vocab Quiz!
  2. Next, we looked over what we’ve written so far and started typing up sections that we think are worth keeping. Here are the directions for the assignment: snapshot-of-your-writing.

HW: Finish your “Snapshot” in Google Drive for tomorrow. (UNLESS you’re in second period–then you don’t have to do it YET.)

Also, finish reading 3/4 of your memoir book, do your role sheet, and LOOK CUTE TOMORROW ‘CAUSE IT’S PICTURE DAY!

Memoir Day 16: Writing Day! September 23, 2016

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Today we spent the majority of the day writing in our writer’s notebooks, exploring ideas and topics to write about for our own memoir projects.

 1. Free read.

2.  Writing. Students continued lesson on indirect characterization by writing a physical description that hints at how they feel about a person they love and how they feel about a person that challenges them.

3.     Writing. Afterwards, students abandoned their school desks to find a comfortable and inspiring place to write. It can be difficult coming up with something to write for your own memoir. To help students find memoir writing topics, we asked everyone to draw a prompt from a box and begin writing whatever comes to mind.  If the prompt didn’t inspire them they drew another prompt from the box. We wrote for 20 minutes and spent the last ten minutes of class reviewing what students wrote, what topics were easiest to write about, surprising memories that surfaced while writing, and topics they want to continue writing about. Some example prompts from the activity include:

            “Tell me everything you know about ice cream.“

            “Write about your mother’s jewelry.”

            “We all come from someplace. Where you come from?”

            “Over the years what Halloween costumes have you worn?”

4. When students finished, each answered the following three questions:

  • The words really started flowing when I was writing about ___.
  • A memory that surprised me was ____. I think I remembered it because ___.
  • A topic or idea I would like to continue writing about is ____.

HW: Finish reading 3/4 of your memoir book for Tuesday. Complete Role Sheet #3 by Tuesday. 

Honors: Complete blog #3 for Monday.

Memoir Day 16: Characterization Practice September 22, 2016

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Today we continued to talk about characterization with a focus on indirect characterization.

1.     Students free read for first ten minutes.

2.     We looked at Diane Arbus’s Identical Twin photograph and students wrote a physical description of one twin in their writer’s notebooks. They shared their descriptions with classmates, trying to get each other to figure out which twin they wrote about.

3.     Then we went over how we can use physical description to describe the personality of a character. We used this note sheet (insert hyperlink) to talk about how dialogue, action, and description can hint at the personality of a character.

4.     Afterwards, students worked in partners to identify uses of indirect characterization through excerpts taken from Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac, “Georgy Porgy” by Roald Dahl, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and “Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin.

5.     At the end of class, we went back to the Diane Arbus photograph and pretended like the twin on the left just killed her sister’s puppy and the twin on the right was a typical spoiled, parents’ favorite. With this knowledge, the students edited their first description of the twin of their choosing and used new descriptive words to hint at the twin’s personality.


Diane Arbus photograph, Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967

Honors HW: Write 2 comments on memoir blog by tomorrow, 9/23.