Thursday, September 24, 2009

SSR, Speak and Letter Numero Uno


I love that you're all coming in every day with your SSR books out, ready to go, and that you are all so focused on these books that you barely even look up when I ask you to find a comfortable spot for stopping. You're all doing a fantastic job!

You're also doing a great job of reading and discussing Speak. We've had so many interesting conversations around this book this year. I love that you're observing the evidence and tone of Melinda's descent toward (or emergence from?) a dark, dark place. I feel like you're all being supportive of her and sympathetic toward her situation. Today, we read to page sixty-one.

We also spent a little time writing letters. Your final product for this unit is going to require quite a few of these letters, and you all kicked off our letter-writing campaign with great flair! Your assignment today was twofold. First, I told you that the first letter needed to be written from Melinda's perspective and it should be addressed to Rachel, her ex-best friend. I envision this letter as one that Melinda would drop in Rachel's locker or one that Melinda would just tear up because she would never even dream of giving her. We discussed that the social repercussions of Melinda walking up to Rachel and handing her an intimate letter could be dire. We also discussed whether or not Melinda would reveal the whole truth about her rape. I left that decision up to you.

Second, we checked out our current Words Rock! vocabulary words that are pulled directly from Speak. We then narrowed down this this list to seven words. I attempted to get you to narrow it further, but you all insisted that you needed those words for you letters, and who am I to stand in your way??

Here are the words you selected to use in your letter:

abandoned
pretend
victim
voice
sarcasm
exist
hostile

I asked that you incorporate at least four of these words in your letter. You may use a variation of these words (ex: One student changed "victim" to "victimize"--very powerful). You may also repeat words, or use more than four.

Next week, we'll add to our collection of Words Rock! and we'll write another letter, this time from a very different perspective.

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