Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Will the Future Hold?

We have been analyzing different views of what the future looks like.
First, we discussed the bleak future that is portrayed in the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut.
We compared that depiction with the fantastic, flying-cars world of the 1960's TV series The Jetsons.
Next, we'll read an article in which top scientists predict what life will be like in the year 2113.
What will be in our immediate future in ELA class? After Thanksgiving, we'll tackle Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fairness, Equality, Sci-Fi and Trophies

We spent last week exploring the issue of homelessness, reading an article called "I Was Homeless" and watching a clip of a story of 60 Minutes: "Hard Times Generation".
We discussed the matter in terms of "fairness" and "equality" especially in light of statistics like this.
But does "equality for all" mean equal outcomes for all or rather equal opportunity under for all?
This theme is central to the story we'll read this week, "Harrison Bergeron", by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
We'll follow that short story with a non-fiction article which lays out the debate, "Should Everyone Get a Trophy?"

Saturday, November 2, 2013

What We're Reading

Grade 7 students have been reading a lot.

Here are some books that they've said they liked in October:

Change Up: Mystery at the World Series by John Feinstein
Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Warriors: The New Prophecy by Erin Hunter
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Crossed by Ally Condie
The Year We Disappeared by Cylin and John Busby
Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett

October Recap

Where did October go?
Here are some spooky, Halloween related activities that we did in class this past month:
  • We read "The 11:59" by Patricia McKissak, a short story about the "death train" of Pullman Porter lore.
  • We wrote the ending of a Halloween story by author Bruce Coville.
We also marked the anniversary of Super Storm Sandy and wrote about the independent reading we'd done in October.