English 8 Update

Mrs. Penny's English Class - 10/13/15 - 10/30/15

Major Assessment on the Second Six Weeks

Transall Saga Essay of Analysis - Due 10/23/15 (Test Grade)


Language Study Assessment - 10/23/15 (Quiz Grade)


CAP (Culminating Assessment Project): Character Sketches - Due 10/30/15 (Test Grade)

Big image

Transall Saga Literary Analysis Essay

In a literary analysis, the student's goal is to explain his/her personal interpretation of a particular aspect of a piece of fiction. In this case, students will be focusing on characters, character development, and characterization found in the novel Transall Saga. The students' interpretation comes from the thinking, writing, and discussing work they completed during the reading.


This assignment invites students to show their understanding of the novel Transall Saga by writing a 1 1/2 - 2 page analysis response that focuses on one single character or one idea that involves many characters.


A thesis statement for a single character analysis might look like this:

In the novel Under My Sun, Strom Banks encounters many generous and friendly people, but he only learns to become a kind-hearted person himself when he finally realizes how much his family really loves him.


A thesis statement for a single concept and multiple characters might look like this:

Throughout the story Blinking Red, the major and minor characters all keep very important secrets. Some keep the secrets for good reasons, and others keep them to protect their own evil ways.

Essay Timeline

At this point, students have had minimal experience with literary analysis writing. Therefore, we are working closely with students through regular conferencing and mini-lessons to help guide them through the process:


Timeline for Work Completion:


Tuesday, October 13

  • Students review the teacher model and receive the essay assignment document.
  • Review outline structure and blank outline.
  • Students complete thesis statement and prepare at least 3 AECs.

Note: Thesis and AECs are due for a completion grade on Thursday, October 15.


Thursday, October 15

  • Mini-lesson: Introductions
  • Review model
  • Complete outline
  • Begin drafting on paper


Monday, October 19

  • Mini-lesson: Weaving Quotes
  • Drafting in computer lab


Tuesday, October 20

  • Drafting in computer lab

Note: Rough draft is due on Wednesday, October 21.


Wednesday, October 21

  • Revising/Editing


Thursday, October 22

  • Revising/Editing
  • Prepare FINAL COPY


FINAL COPY must be submitted by 8:30 AM on Friday, October 23.

Scoring Guide

Essays are graded holistically, based on how the identified characteristics work together to create a paper that:


- Is interesting to read and engaging – a meaningful attempt at literary analysis

- Is appropriate for this unit of study

- Has a strong, focused thesis

- Is insightful and thoughtful

- Uses a logical organizational structure with connected ideas

- Has strong word choice, sentence development, and appropriate use of conventions




A+ 100, A 95

Highly successful and effective. Shows exceptional understanding of concepts, knowledge, and skills.


A- 90, B 85

Successful and effective. Shows adequate understanding of concepts, knowledge, and skills.


B- 80, C 75

Partially successful and/or effective. Shows limited understanding of concepts, knowledge, and skills.


Fix, 65

Unsuccessful. Come to tutorials for extra help. Revise and re-submit.

Language Study Assessment

Learning Targets


  • Analyze and model a sentence for structure, conventions, and grammar
  • Identify and write using subject verb agreement.
  • Identify and write with a variety of phrases and clauses.
  • Memorize and identify helping verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and subject/object pronouns
  • Use a variety of correctly structured sentences.


In Preparation for the Language Assessment

Students should review their notes in their journals. Write summaries of all Cornell Notes on each topic: prepositional phrases, pronouns, verbs, and sentence types. They should review the mentor sentences that accompany Transall Saga. Lastly, they should look over the study guide, which will be handed out a week in advance of the quiz.


Note: Grammar Practice resources are listed under "Resources" on our class website (www.tinyurl.com/rmsela8).


The Language Assessment is on October 23rd and is worth 1 Major Assessment Grade.

Character Sketches (Unit CAP)

During the week of October 26-30, students will be working on their Culminating Assessment Project (CAP) for the first unit.


The assignment is as follows:


You are working as an apprentice for a fiction writer, and he has asked you to develop 2 completely unique character sketches for characters that he might consider adding to his next novel.


He has provided you with models of the type of character sketches he likes to work from, and he wants you to analyze the provided models of character sketches to determine the qualities your submissions must have.


The author would like for you to consider addressing some or all of the following:


• What the character has learned from life

• The character’s interactions with older or younger people and/or authority figures

• Evidence of character strengths and weaknesses

• Character’s reactions to difficult situations

• What is most important to the character


(Luckily you’ve been practicing writing about characteristics like this in your “Character Quick Writes.” Be sure to use those ideas as you create your original character sketches.)


We'll be utilizing a Writer's Workshop approach to allow students time to plan, draft, revise, and edit their work. The completed CAP will be submitted online to Google Classroom by 8:30 AM on Friday, October 30.