Mrs. Pressley's English Class

November 13, 2015

Author Visit Friday, November 20th!

On Friday, November 20th students will have the distinct pleasure of meeting with Mr. Alam, an accomplished author!

A Boy, His Bibi and a Bari

by S. R. Alam

It was December 1979 and my dad was sending me ‘home’, to become more cultured in the ways of Bangladeshi life. To me home was England... Being the eldest son, I had to grow up and needed this indoctrination in the ways of Bengali life and culture before I became too ‘westernised.’

A Boy, His Bibi and a Bari is the story of a 10 year old boy, sent by his parents from the UK to Bangladesh to live with his grandmother. While there he was to become cultured in Bengali life, language and living to avoid become over-westernised.

The visit lasted for one year and was a rite of passage. S.R Alam experienced life without rules or parental control. He dropped out of school, became a barefoot adventurer, traded in the bazaars, fished in the monsoon floodwaters, witnessed a bull fight and ran wild with the monkeys.

A Boy, His Bibi and a Bari is a story about the clash of cultures faced by immigrants. S.R Alam’s memoir conveys the struggle to ensure a young boy does not lose his roots and identity.

What we have been studying...

Writing, writing, writing!

Students have spent the past week writing narratives. They wrote one about a middle school experience similar to the Gary Soto's story Seventh Grade that we read together in class. Students had time in class to prewrite, begin writing, revise, and edit their writing before turning it in on Google Classroom.

Enduring Understandings

Minor moments are as interesting as major ones.

Exposition has a place in narrative writing.

Readers want to know what their writers are thinking.

Essential Questions

Which life experiences are worth writing about?

What are theme statements and why do they matter?

What is the relationship between expository and narrative writing?

How do I learn to write well without a teacher present?

Looking Ahead

Students will continue practicing the writing process with one more narrative about a lesson they learned through a life experience. Talk with your child this weekend about their narratives. Discuss some of the lessons you've seen them learn over the years and help them come up with some good ideas for next week's writing. Towards the end of the week, students will take a look at narrative poetry and see how story telling isn't limited to prose.

Wednesday of each week is either a reading day or a library day. Students have most of this time to read, work on their vocabulary words, and write their reader response.

Keep Reading: Just a reminder that students should be reading two hours a week; one in school and one at home. Journals don't have to come home daily, but I encourage you to look through your child's journal at least once a week to see how they are doing.

Google Classroom

Power Point presentations and other materials are available on Google Classroom to support you and your child. To access Google Classroom, go to and use your child's email ( and their unique PISD password. Once arriving at Google Classroom, to access my page, use this code: 5vq6956.