Reading and Writing


Direct Instruction – “Funnel” Intro Paragraph & Circle Map parts of a thesis.

  • Basic Model: The intro starts very broad and gets more specific as it progresses.  Then the thesis takes everything and sums it up in one concise sentence, which is what each body paragraph will be based on. (Conclusion is a reverse format, with summary of the essay first, narrowing down to a final closing statement.)Intro funnel diagram
  1.  Hook
  2. General summary or theme
  3. Relate summary/theme to topic of the essay
  4. Thesis
    • Author and piece
    • Claim
    • Basic list of support

Vocab Squares

  • In pairs, students use dictionaries and their devices to fill in the worksheet. They should have about 20 minutes in class to work.  “Vocab Squares” worksheet


  • Finish “Vocab Squares” by Wednesday
  • 4-Sentence Intro Assignment:  create an intro paragraph in only 4 sentences.  “4-Sentence Intro” handout



  • Describe a time that you were mature, or that you were in a mature situation.  Respond in half a page.
  • Short class discussion on what students wrote for this freewrite.

Read Gary Soto’s “Oranges”

  • Discuss how the character may or may not have shown maturity in different situations.

Introduce “Say, Mean, Matter” Vocab

For each vocab word from our vocab squares:

  • Say – the word in context (provide the word in the sentence it appears in from our vocab squares)
  • Mean – the correct definition in this particular context
  • Matter – explain why using this word is better than using a similar but different word

Students will have time in class to start this assignment “Say, Mean, Matter” worksheet


  • Finish “Say, Mean, Matter” Vocab by Thursday
  • “Take a Stand” Thesis and Argument worksheet
    • Take a stand on whether or not Soto was mature in “Oranges”
    • Write a full thesis with 2-3 listed supports/reasons
    • Outline and explain the chosen supports/reasons
    • “Take a Stand” worksheet


Collect “Vocab Squares” at start of class

“Seek and Find” Activity

  • Students use their completed outlines from HW
  • Students get into pairs and explain their thesis and each of their supports
  • Their partner must play “Devil’s Advocate” and provide a counter argument for each point they make
  • Then the partners switch roles so that both students present their arguments
  • Rotate twice for a total of 3 sets of partners

Start Reading Gary Soto’s “Seventh Grade”

  • Read for about 15 minutes
  • Discuss themes of maturity in this text

Vocab Worksheet


  • Finish Reading “Seventh Grade”
  • Finish “Vocab Worksheet” by Friday


Collect “Say, Mean, Matter” Vocab at start of class

Discuss “Seventh Grade”

  • I will start the class by reviewing the key plot points and progression of the story.  Discussion will follow this review.
  • Where is the character mature in the story?
  • Where is he immature?
  • Have you ever been embarrassed in class like him before?

“Line in the Sand” Activity

  • Students must choose to stand on one side of the class or the other:  one side says Soto was immature in the story, the other side says Soto was mature in the story.
  • Students will be given 2 minutes to discuss with the other students now grouped around them and explain why they made the choice they did.
  • I will ask the students to defend their positions.

4-Sentence Intro Exit Slip

On a half sheet of paper students must complete a full intro paragraph.  It must be handed in before they leave the class at the end of the period.

  • Students must make a claim on Soto’s maturity in “Seventh Grade”.
  • Include all 4 parts for intro (hook, general theme, connect theme to piece, thesis).
  • Include proper thesis (author & piece + claim/stance + listed support).


  • Finish “Vocab Worksheet”.
  • Study for vocab and reading quiz tomorrow.


Collect “Vocab Worksheet” at start of class, just after we review it

  • We will do a quick partner exchange and peer review grading.

Review Time

  • We will take time to review their responses to the “Vocab Worksheet” as a class discussion after the peer grading.
  • We will also take the time to review any questions or clarifications they may need on the readings for this week.

Reading and Vocab Quiz (on JunoEd)

  • Students will take a quiz on laptops.
  • It will cover both the readings we have done, and the vocab for the week.
  • It is not possible to share a JunoEd quiz directly, but these are the questions I would ask.

Review Exit Slips

  • I will return the exit slips from the previous day.
  • We will discuss any major or common issues I found when reviewing them.
  • Students may ask specific questions about their scores or what was marked as needing improvement during this time.


  • Have a great weekend!