What’s Happening in LA Class!

In Language Arts class, 7th graders have been busy reading Pacific Northwest Native Myths and Legends and reflecting on the different cultures’ creation myths, important deities and animals, and the location of ancestral lands.  We will be connecting this knowledge of the past with the present by investigating the stories of contemporary Native American youth and families and writing our own creation myths related to local indigenous plants, animals, and natural landmasses of the Pacific Northwest.

Students have also been given their next Choice Book Assignment which will be in the format of a newspaper. While some class time will be given for reading and working on this task, students should also be prepared to work at home, too!  Students are required to provide information regarding and bring their selected books to class on Monday, April 2nd (the same day as the next vocabulary quiz).  

It has been lots of fun helping students select new books because I love reading and talking about books!  If anyone needs suggestions, just let me know.

Folktales and Did You Know!

This week, we began delving into the richness of African American Folktales and continued preparing for the Did You Know Presentations that will happen throughout the rest of the year.

Students have been investigating the connection between various African oral traditions and different types of African American folktales.  They will be writing their own version of a Pourquoi Story that features the trickster Anansi and one of their favorite animals or aspects of nature.

Facebook for the Gods

In Language Arts, we have begun to work toward completing the Greek Mythology unit, which concludes with a deity research project.  Students have been researching all aspects of a deity they received by the luck of the draw, becoming experts on everything from the deity’s domain, primary symbols, important relationships, and major stories.  This week, they used their knowledge to create faux-Facebook pages, a platform that is perfect for highlighting the dramatic leanings of the gods.

Draft of Sylvia's Aphrodite Profile Page

Draft of Sylvia’s Aphrodite Profile Page

Lauren's Hades News Feed

Draft of Lauren’s Hades News Feed

In addition to this task, students will create presentations for the class that utilizes slides and a creative writing or artistic endeavor displaying the depth of the research they compiled.  Not only will the above information be shared, but students will also provide details on their deities’ Roman equivalent and a counterpart from another culture.

While students began this work with me, the unit will come to fruition with my substitute, Alison Behnke, who will cover for me while I am in Honduras completing a poetry fellowship.

Alison Behnke is extremely excited to be at Seattle Girls School for the month of November. She loves middle schoolers and has been curious about S.G.S. ever since her son bumped into the school goat on the play structure at Flo Ware park. Alison was born and raised in Seattle. She attended college in Vermont and then hightailed it back to the west coast. She taught at Mercer International Middle School on Beacon Hill for 6 years. When her second son was born, she stepped out of the classroom and spent a couple years writing news stories for young adults. Last year she started substitute teaching in independent schools. Alison’s only complaint is that she isn’t starting her month-long stint at S.G. S. until after Halloween. It’s one of her favorite holidays. Alison once dressed up as a Dick’s milkshake for Halloween. Her partner was a side of french fries. This year her sons, 5-year-old Weston and 3-year-old Calder, wanted to be hawks and requested that their parents be the prey. Alison obeyed and dressed up as a bunny.