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Students will create a free Symbaloo account and learn how to access their bookmarks and online favorites from this one user-friendly source.  We will use Symbaloo every single day.  Symbaloo is a free social bookmarking service in the cloud.

Short Story Unit
The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

Why Sport Hunting is Cruel and Unnecessary

After reading Richard Connell's short story "The Most Dangerous Game", students will read this article from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).  We will discuss primary and secondary sources as we examine the sources cited for this article.  We will discuss bias as it applies to the position of this often controversial group.  As an independent assignment, students will be asked to write a position paper either in support of or arguing against PETA's position.  Internet research may be used as a component of the assignment but is not required.

Thank You, M'am by Langston Hughes

NPR-A Victim Treats His Mugger Right by Michael Garafalo

Students will differentiate between a primary and a secondary source as we look at (and listen to) this NPR article about Julio Diaz's experience with a mugger.  Students will be asked to write the introductory paragraph (minimum of five sentences) of a paper in which they compare Julio Diaz's experience to that of Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones.

The Sniper by Liam O'Flaherty

NPR-Voice of Conflict: Northern Ireland

Prior to reading Liam O'Flaherty's short story "The Sniper," students will participate in a class discussion about the fighting that has taken place for so many years in Northern Ireland.  We will complete a KWL based on their knowledge of this conflict.  Students will then read this transcript from a 2007 NPR broadcast interview of families personally affected by this battle.  As an extension activity, students will work with a partner to create a graphic organizer that distinguishes the experience of the sniper in the fiction selection to that of the individuals interviewed by NPR.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

19th Century France-A Visual Resource

After reading "The Necklace" students will examine various slides from the internet resource originating from the University of Texas.  We will discuss the reliability of various types of internet cites and how students should use this same criteria when conducting their own research.  We will use the "Fashion" and "Caricature" tabs to make inferences about 19th social class.  We will also consider these slides in connection with the following words:  ambiguity, analogy, bias, deductive, implied, inductive, paradox, premise, and stereotype.

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

For Those Who Want to Lead, Read

 "Evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight.  Some studies have show,  for example, that reading makes you smarter through "a larger vocabulary and more world knowledge in addition to the abstract reasoning skills." Reading — whether Wikipedia, Michael Lewis, or Aristotle — is one of the quickest ways to acquire and assimilate new information. Many business people claim that reading across fields is good for creativity. John Coleman, co-author of Harvard Business Review's Passion and Purpose:  Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders, provides both anecdotal and research-based evidence on the benefits of reading.

Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Go Hand In Hand,4570,7-153-10370_12141-294259--,00.html

Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Series
Sadlier-Oxford On-Line Support
Here is a terrific resource to help students develop a more expansive vocabulary.  One of my favorite tools is the FLASHCARDS option in the "Puzzles and Games" category.  Be sure and check this out!

Amazon Teens
This online book giant has a special section for teen readers. This site provides lengthy summaries, multiple reader reviews, author information, and purchase price.

Scholastic Book Central
This kids publishing company has a fun site for teens to explore interesting reading opportunities and contests to enter. This site features book summaries, author information and links to other sites about the books.

Random House
This publishing company has a special site just for teens. You can find summaries, author biographies, and links to other sites about the boks and authors

School Website Links

Parent Portal

Study Sites
Quizlet is a lightning fast way to memorize vocabulary lists. It's like flashcards, but much more fun and interactive!

Study Stack
Study Stack--Flash Cards and Study Games

Personal Website
Ms. Hall at West High

Read along as I blog about my kids, my school, educational topics, and a few other passions!