Monthly Archives: November 2011

Keeping up with the Finches–Our Reading Calendar

Here’s our latest calendar (It posted a little unclearly, so I’m linking the file To Kill a Mockingbird Calendar 2011). One parent had a great idea: If you’ve never read To Kill a Mockingbird, what a great opportunity this is to read with your child! 🙂 If you’d like some background about the story before you start, here’s a link to The National Endowment for the Arts Resources, and here’s A CBS News Article. Finally, here’s Glencoe’s fabulous study guide, which we’ll be using pieces of in class.

Science Fair

The science fair will be on December 8th! Judging will be on the 8th and then the fair will be open to the public on the 9th. The fair will be held in Holcomb Bridge Middle School media center.


Southern Tea Cakes and Growing Up

We started previewing To Kill a Mockingbird yesterday, and we’ll continue today.

Along with Gone with the Wind, it’s one of the most well-known Southern novels, perhaps even the most famous American novel. I couldn’t let you finish eighth-grade without reading this classic! 🙂

This novel also meshes well with our persuasive unit because Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer. A major criminal trial occurs in the story that some scholars say shadows the legendary Scottsboro Trials. We’ll compare the two during the second half of the book.

Today in class, you’ll gather some 1930s context by analyzing the photographs of Dorothea Lange and a few other landmark Depression-Era photographers.

The small-town culture played a huge role in TKaM, but so did the time period. What impact did the time period have on the events and characters of Harper Lee’s novel?

For Fun: A Few Great Links
ven more lovely 1930s documents
Would you have been a fan of FDR?
How did his approach to the Great Depression influence the approach to today’s economic slump?

Read more to find out!

National Endowment for the Arts To Kill a Mockingbird Radio Show

This a fantastic radio show and will give you even more background about the novel.

Field Trip WebQuest Links

Stone Mountain


New Echota

MLK Center

Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Andersonville Prison

World of Coke

“Argumentation” is Greater than a Quarrel/Fight

Today in class, we answerered the essential questions:

1. What is a “naysayer”–why does it matter?
2. What is the counterargument, and how can it help me hone my persuasive skills?

Learning how to create a logical and supported argument is one of the toughest (yet most VALUABLE) things you can harness this year!

A WRITTEN argument is very much like a dance or a boxing match, only your opponent is often invisible. In order to write a good argument, you have to be able to IMAGINE what your “naysayer” will think and IMAGINE how they will counter your attacks (counterargument).

Today, we practiced that.

Tomorrow, you’ll face an actual opponent (QUICKIE DEBATES!), and I’ll share some strategies that will help you support your arguments.

I’m looking forward to it!

Coming Up . . .

Here Comes the Hustle!

Next Saturday is the Holcomb Bridge Hustle 5k! Come to walk, come to run, come to volunteer, but come! 🙂

Here’s the link to register:
Register for the Hustle