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    • 8th Grade: The Metamorphosis
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Monthly Archives: March 2019

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Rhetoric 9/10 – (Reading and Analyzing) Semester 2

The unit started off with students answering a prompt convincing or persuading a potential listener.


From this, the students were introduced to the three important elements of a Rhetorical Triangle (ethos, pathos, and logos) and watched a TED-ed video on the methods of persuasion.

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Students then viewed a selection of advertisements for a variety of different products and analyzed how ethos, pathos, and logos were used to influence consumer decisions. Per advertisement, students individually answered questions on a given worksheet followed by a class discussion.

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Through this activity, students learned how to provide reasons for their answers and to defend their chosen appeal with supporting evidence. In a group, students found their own set of advertisements, identified the rhetorical techniques used and their effectivity on the audience, and presented them to the class.

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In addition to learning about effective rhetorical techniques, students were introduced to logical fallacies (errors in reasoning that weakened an argument), given a list of terms to discuss, and shown a video to reinforce what they’ve learned. Subsequently, students searched for three other examples of logical fallacies used in advertisements and had an option of answering a given chart or making a video for extra credit.

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Next, students deepened their understanding of the Rhetorical Triangle by analyzing Coretta Scott King’s speech where they had to identify the rhetorical techniques from the SMART Bank of Rhetorical Terms and evaluate their impact through a given chart. The speech was read orally by a volunteer after which students analyzed the speech in pairs using the Rhetorical Triangle.


A class discussion occurred after which students revised and added to their individual SMART charts as needed. For their assignment, students wrote a reflection evaluating King’s speech, cited textual evidence, and used their SMART chart as a guide to support their conclusions.

Students received copies of Marc Antony’s funeral speech (from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar) and read along while they listened to the audio version. The audio was played again while small groups annotated the speech and took note of numerous rhetorical elements (ethos, pathos, logos, repetition, tone, connotation, irony, rhetorical question, syntax and more). Using their notes, students wrote a paragraph evaluating the effectiveness of the various rhetorical elements used in the speech. They then repeated this process with Ninoy Aquino’s 1983 Arrival (undelivered) speech.

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The last assessment of the quarter was persuasive essay writing. Students applied what they learned in their previous speech analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of a speech by Severn Suzuki which they viewed. After submitting the final assignment for the quarter, students chose one of the speeches listed from “The 20 Most Inspiring Speeches in Film” by The Telegraph in preparation for the next unit.

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English 9 – Introduction to Fiction (Quarter 3)

To start off the unit on fiction, students played a series of competitive fiction games. This was followed by a short video and lecture on Fiction vs. Non-Fiction.

The first short story of the unit was “The Last Leaf” by O’Henry. Students read along while listening to the audiobook and answered a comprehension/reflection sheet.

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Students were then put in groups and assigned a specific character from the story. Groups categorized each character based on character types and qualities (e.g. primary, a protagonist and dynamic), and presented their poster to the class.

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Students were given a reviewer and orientation on the elements of fiction and Socratic circle, which led to a Socratic seminar on the themes of “The Last Leaf.” Subsequently, students completed a short-answer graded seatwork based on “The Last Leaf.”

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The next short story is a classic in Philippine literature. Before reading the story, students brainstormed symbols of Philippine culture to gain background knowledge of Filipino culture before reading the text. While reading “May Day Eve,” students answered guided questions, which focused on the character and plot.


To give them a visual interpretation of the text, students viewed trailers and movie clips of “May Day Eve” before discussing the themes further in a Socratic circle.

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Students were led to analyze and interpret the story through a group collage based on their assigned topic (imagery, symbolism, themes, and cultural references) and to share their findings with the class.


The types and elements of plot, characterization, and author’s purpose were dissected together as a class through a lecture, character-analysis table, and plot-ordering activity.

A short in-class essay ensued based on either “The Last Leaf” or “May Day Eve.”

Finally, students had a chance to write their very own Flash Fiction after listening to and learning about different types of flash fiction (romance, thriller, horror, science fiction, and fan fiction).

For the final stretch of the unit, students learned about the literary analysis, its essential elements, and identify (the below) on a sample literary analysis essay.

  • Creative opening/hook
  • Thesis statement
  • Topic sentences
  • Lead into textual evidence
  • Textual evidence (usually quotes)
  • Commentary
  • Transitions
  • Concluding sentences
  • Block quotation?

Five selected short stories (“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, “Footnote to Youth” by Jose Garcia Villa, “Karma” by Khushwant Singh, “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov) were assigned with 2-3 students per story. Students read the story and answered questions in groups to test their basic understanding, application of the elements of fiction, and analysis of the story.

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The final assessment of the unit was a literary analysis, to which each student was assigned a devised and personalized question as guidance for their thesis statement.

After individual consultation with the teacher regarding their outlines and first drafts, students reviewed how to deliver an effective persuasive speech. In doing so, students watched three examples of IB literary analysis speeches and were tasked to “mark” the students against a literary analysis scoring sheet.

In preparation for their speech guides, students were given one-on-one feedback from the teacher.

During their final presentations, classmates wrote down comments on a peer evaluation sheet to be handed right back to the presenters for the purpose of constructive feedback.

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After the oral presentations, students submitted their final literary analysis essay.

In preparation for the next unit, students were oriented and guided on the cause and effect essay and started researching based on a suggested list of topics provided by the teacher.


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English 7 – A Wrinkle in Time (Quarter 3)

The 3rd quarter began with a review of the five-point plot structure through a brief PowerPoint lecture, followed by an activity and mini-quiz. Students were then introduced to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle and made predictions on what the novel would be about through a Word Cloud / Wordle. Students read chapters 1-7 of AWIT and answered two study guide worksheets. Following this, they were introduced to the different roles in a literature discussion circle (summarizer, commentator, language finder, illustrator, discussion facilitator, and reflector) and were grouped into their discussion circles. Students rotated roles and experienced all 6. Students were then asked to evaluate their performance as well as that of their peers in a confidential form.



Subsequently, students researched and chose a book to compare and contrast with A Wrinkle in Time, first approved by the teacher.

Next, students were oriented on the two different methods of compare and contrast (point-by-point method vs. block method) and given multiple examples for each as well as the breakdown of the structure. Students were guided on elements of fiction that they could incorporate into their Comparative Essay. They then created a Venn Diagram followed by an outline to be approved by the teacher before writing their first draft. After more feedback from their teacher, students completed their Comparative Essay. Students were put into one of 4 groups (plot, characters, setting, or themes) and were given a week to research their assigned topics with guidance from the teacher. When each group finally gave their presentation, other groups evaluated them through peer-evaluation forms to provide them with feedback that they can incorporate in the future.


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Afterwards, students were oriented and introduced to the group creative writing task options (a diary entry, an additional chapter, an epic poem, a short story, or an alternate ending). In brainstorming and generating ideas, each group completed a graffiti wall for each of the options through the rotation. Finally, students picked a topic they were most interested in and completed their creative writing task with feedback and guidance from the teacher.

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Lastly, students learned the basic elements of film before watching Disney’s 2018 and Harrison’s 2003 adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Students answered and discussed pre- and post-movie reflection questions before working on post-movie charts comparing the book to the film of their choice.


In preparation for the next unit, students reviewed racism, segregation, and southern tradition through a series of mind maps, class discussions, and reflection and comprehension sheets based on short videos.