Category Archives: English Handouts Gr 8

2 Weeks to Go

The second quarter is quickly coming to a close; of the three major tasks for this academic session, two of them are now complete.  The Poetic Brain Frame has been assessed and handed back while the Poet Research Essay has today for a deadline.

We will spend the remainder of the quarter working on our Poetry Scrapbooks.  We will continue to focus on “words and phrases of great power” as the starting point of our poetic studies. Each class from this point will start with a poetry activity, which will then be followed by class time for scrapbook work.

Please take the time to review your son or daughter’s scrapbook. No two scrapbook should look the same, but there is a list of requirements that have to be met with the assignment. (shared in the googledrive) Our goal is to demonstrate a layered understanding of poetry through the use of varied text types and approaches to each page.  For example, a student may introduce a new poem on a page, then layer background information, interpretation, a drawing and some connected thinking or other poems on this page.

As discussed in class, we hope different kinds of poetry will get a student to stop and ponder for awhile- to think deeply about the layers of meaning within the poem.


Task 1: Research Brain Frame   

Task Overview:

We will review the steps to complete  research on your chosen poet and poem.   You will research your poet’s life and achievements to see how he or she is connected to transformation; how has  your poet had a transformative effect on you, society, and/or culture.  You will collect information and then create a large size (A3) brain frame that demonstrates your understanding of the poet.  You will use your metacognitive reading skills to achieve a deep understanding of the poet’s achievements while demonstrating your research skills.


  • Follow the brain frame rules reviewed in class
  • A4 paper can be used to supplement your central A3 sheet, but only if it is directly attached to the A3 and is not attached to any other A4 sheets.
  • Title, date, name, block needed

Due Date: Friday, November 14 at 3pm.



Task 3: Creating a ‘Things Poetic’ Scrapbook

Your goal is to create a simple personal scrapbook of Things Poetic.  This collection should include the following items:

  1. At least 3 examples of your best poems produced this quarter with a focus on Transformation.
  2. Collected poems, piece of poems, or ‘things poetic’ from other sources: just give credit but share these pieces that you think best represent transformation.
  3. Evidence of Revision and Reflection: Write at least 2 entries (paragraph style) on your thoughts about our poetic transformations; one should be about your own poem; a second should examine another poet’s poem while the last entry should be about you thinking about transformation and one essential question.
  4. Original Cover Art

Don’t forget- this is a SCRAPBOOK.

You will have class and home time to create the parts to your scrapbook.  We will read and model great works throughout the quarter with the goal of including your best in the collection.

Steps for Success:

  1. Reread the poems presented in class.
  2. Model your own work on the designs of these pieces- imitation is the first step in original work.
  3. Vary your styles to come up with your own collection of work.
  4. Your underlying theme should be about transformation.
  5. Write down your thoughts about poetry throughout the quarter.


Due Date: December 8-9, 2014 at the start of class, ready for a sharing session


Task 2: Looking at Poetry from Three Sides

Student Goal:

You will examine in detail your chosen poem.

You must think about the following key questions for your poem:

  • Why is this poem your poet’s most transformative work?
  • What personal experiences helped your poet write this poem?
  • How do they use poetic devices to help transform the readers perspective?
  • How has this poem transformed people, society, or the world?

You must look at the content of the piece, what big ideas it introduces, how it is connected to your poet’s life, and how other readers could connect to it. This poem must be examined in detail and should represent your poet’s most transformative work. It may, in your opinion, be the piece that shows this poet’s main approach for personal, societal or cultural change.

Your report should include the following:

  1. The full poem should be printed on one page only; the title and poet’s name should be at the top of the page.  Include your handwritten markings of your thoughts and ideas about the poem as you read and analyzed it.
  2. A detailed look at the poem using the 3 levels of examination (expository essay).

3 levels (or sides) of Poetic Examination: Understand, Analyze, and Evaluate

You will examine your poem in detail using the understand-analyze-evaluate approach.


Using Background Knowledge and Asking Questions:

  • What does the poem say or do?
  • What are the structures (poetic devices) used in the poem?
  • What is the poem’s topic?



Connect: Give some background information on the details of this issue.

Ask: What is the issue or theme of the poem?

Ask and Infer: Examine the verses and analyze their meaning; use specific lines to show your understanding. Are the poet’s ideas clear? How did the poem make you feel?  

Infer/Predict: Define the issue that your poet wants to change. List and explain the causes of this issue.

Determine Importance: Give specific reference within poem to show poets ideas and intentions and how they used poetic devices to accomplish this.

Synthesize: Explain the ideas and solutions offered by poet.


Connect: Put the poem into context by looking at the poet’s audience. Who is the poet’s audience?  Why do you think this?

Infer: Why did the poet choose specific words or lines; evaluate how effective these lines are in encouraging change. Is the poet successful or not?  Why?

Determine Importance /Synthesize: Examine individual lines to explain your opinion on the poem.  Do you empathize with the poet’s message?

Synthesize: Bring your idea together on this poem. Why did you want to study your particular poet and poem?


Writing Style, Process, and Formatting:

It is always important to remember that all of your ideas about the poem should be referenced to words and lines within the poem; therefore, if you make an inference about the poet’s idea, you must back up your idea with the particular part of the poem that reveals this idea.

Other details:

  • This task should be between 500-1,000 words, not including the poem.
  • No bibliography required.
  • This is a paper copy (hard copy)
  • You should follow the writing process.
  • The format: MLA See this video for help.

Due Date: Friday, November 28, at 3pm

6 Weeks to the End of Semester

This quarter does not seem to be so much a bout transformation but acceleration; we get back from the October and there are only 6 weeks to go!

Important Items (Assessments) Coming:

  1. Task 1: Poetic Brain Frame is due on Friday, November 14 at 3pm.
  2. Task 2: Poetry form 3 Side Essay/Analysis is due on Friday, November 28 at 3pm.
  3. Task 3: Poetry Scrapbook is due on Monday/Tuesday Dec 8/9 at the start of the class.

I will have the assignments posted directly after this post, and these will include student requirements and rubrics.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

There are still a few parents who haven’t had a chance to meet me this semester.  I am still ready to get together- contact Ms Kristine or Ms Susan in the MS office and they can make an appointment for you.  I would love to share my observations about your son or daughter as well as chat about how we can support English learning.

Task 2: Research Brain Frame

Task Overview:
We will review the steps to complete research on your chosen poet and poem. You will research your poet’s life and achievement to see how he or she is connected to transformation; how has your poet had a transformative effect on you, society, and/or culture. Essential questions to answer: You will collect information and then create a brainframe that demonstrates your understanding of the poet. This large size (a3) brain frame will be included in your poetry scrapbook. You will use your metacognitive reading skills to achieve a deep understanding of the poet’s achievements while demonstrating your research skills.

Step 1: Poet and Poem selection
Poetry Off the Wall selection process (in class)

What will my final product be? (what kind of brain frame?)
Why am I doing research?
How will I collect and save information for this task?
Will I be using my ISM GoogleDrive?
How will I be using GoogleDrive?
What are the format requirements of the final product?
Do I need to do some of the research at home and some of the research at school?
Will I get time in class to complete the product or will it be assigned as homework to complete?
Do I need to write a thesis statement?
Do I need to submit a works cited page (aka bibliography)?
What is the due date?

STEP 3: Key Information
Poet’s full (real) name
Born – where & when
Died – where & when
Family background
What sparked the poet within?
Types of poems written by the poet and most important poem

STEP 4: Choose Brainframe!
select the type of brain frame that works best with your information
Create a rough BF and start to arrange your information within the structure
Put your notes together into a rough brain frame
Complete your BF at least 2 days before the due date for submission so you have time to evaluate it.

STEP 5: Evaluate Brainframe!
Evaluate your work by using a checklist.
You need to have this checklist available for writing conferences with your teacher.
You will be required to hand in this checklist with your essay.

Other ITEMS to think about:
Have you formatted the BF correctly?
Have you completed all the parts of the BF?
Does the product have your name, your block, your teacher’s name and date of submission?
Does the BF have a title (Poet’s Name)?
Have you found all of the key information?

Task 2 is due November 14-15 (last class of the week)

EH Week 3 Transformation (November 4-8)

Welcome back from your autumnal break- I hope everyone is recharged and ready to go.

We have only 6 weeks until the end of semester- and many things to do. Here is a simple list of the larger assignments and due dates for the remainder of our time with Transformation:

Task 1: Creating a ‘Things Poetic’ Scrapbook *DUE DECEMBER 12-13*
Ongoing through the quarter, you will create your own collection of things poetic; your goal is to create and collective transformative pieces that deal with change (personal, societal, world).

Task 2: Research Brainframe *DUE NOVEMBER 14-15*
You will research one important poet of your choice. Your research article will be worked on throughout the quarter and completed by the assigned due date. It will be published in your poetic scrapbook as well.

Task 3: Looking at Poetry from Three Sides *DUE NOVEMBER 28-29*
You will analyze one of your poet’s pieces that best represents his or her contribution to change (personal, societal, world). This analysis will become a part of your scrapbook.

Task 4: Transformative Performance *DUE DECEMBER 10-11*
You will use your research and poetry analysis to create a transformative presentation on your poem and poet. You will have a choice board to select your approach to poetic transformation so that you can display personal, societal, and/or world transformation.