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Module 1: Unit 2  

Monday, September 26, we will begin Unit 2 of our first Module of Instruction.  Please ensure your student brings their The Lightning Thief book to class each day, as we will be using them throughout this unit.  The students are learning so much about becoming close, analytical readers and effective writers, and they really enjoy the topics we are studying!  See the description of engageny Unit 2 below, copied from the website.  Also, next week is the last week of our first 9 weeks, so all missing work is due by Thursday, September 29.


Unit 2: Elements and Theme of Mythology in The Lightning Thief. In this second unit of module 1, students will delve deeply into mythology: its purpose, elements, and themes that align with themes in The Lightning Thief. While they continue to read The Lightning Thief (sometimes independently), students will closely read multiple myths. In the first half of the unit, they will use the informational text “Key Elements of Mythology” to better understand the elements and themes of the myths they read. In their mid-unit assessment, students will read the myth of Prometheus and write an analytical mini-essay identifying the elements of mythology present in the myth, describing a theme of the myth, and explaining how key details contribute to the theme. In the second half of the unit, students will read, think, talk, and write the myths alluded to in The Lightning Thief. They will determine the themes of myths and how the themes align with themes in the novel. As students build toward writing a literary analysis, the teacher will model writing skills using the myth of Cronus. Students practice these skills using myths they are reading in small, expert groups. For their end of unit assessment, students will write a literary analysis summarizing the myth of “Cronus,” identifying a common theme between the myth of “Cronus” and The Lightning Thief, and explaining why the author chose to include this myth in the novel.

Central Texts used in this Unit:

Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief (New York: Hyperion Paperbacks for Children, 2005), ISBN: 0-7868-3865-3.

Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire, D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (New York: Delacorte Press, 1962), ISBN: 0-440-4069-3. (One copy for Teacher Reference)

Berens, E. M. Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. New York: Maynard, Merrill and Co., 1894. Web. 7 June 2013.

Berens, E. M. “Cronus (Saturn).” Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. New York: Maynard, Merrill and Co., 1894.14-15. Web. 7 June 2013.

Lang, Jean. ”Prometheus and Pandora.” A Book of Myths. New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1914. 1-4. Web. 7 June 2013. <>

Berens, E. M. “Moiræ or Fates (Parcæ).” Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. New York: Maynard, Merrill and Co., 1894.139-141. Web. 7 June 2013.

Guenther, Leanne. “The Story of Medusa and Athena.” Web. 7 June 2013. <>

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Theseus Goes to Slay the Minotaur” and “Theseus and Ariadne.” In Storr, Francis, ed. Half a Hundred Hero Tales of Ulysses and the Men of Old. New York: Henry Holt, 1911. 138-153. Web. 7 June 2013.

“Key Elements of Mythology” Written by Expeditionary Learning for instructional purposes.

The Lightning Thief and "The Hero's Journey" End of Unit Assessment  

Review the text, gists, evidence flags, and graphic organizers from Chapters 5, 6, and 7 in The Lightning Thief for a test tomorrow, September 22.  We will evaluate Percy's challenges and responses within these chapters, as well as how Percy's experiences align with "The Hero's Journey" for this Unit 1 assessment.

Week 6: Unit 1  

We are evaluating the archetypal journey of a hero, and aligning that journey with the one in which Percy finds himself in The Lightning Thief.  In addition to practicing close reading and analytical reading skills, the students are practicing writing through Step-Up to Writing T-Charts and writing effective analytical paragraphs.  

Tomorrow, Thursday, September 15, 2016, we will have a DOL Test over one of the four paragraphs we have been editing and discussing for the last several days as our warm-up. Spoiler Alert!  The test will be over Wednesday on the DOL. :)

We have distributed the second Progress Report, and I ask for parents to encourage students to make sure any missing work is completed and turned in... late work is better than no work! :) 

Week 4  

DOL Quiz Friday, Aug. 26

Week 3: A Hero's Journey, Unit 1  

Monday, August 14 Homework: Read "Shrouded in Myth" one time and come to class Tuesday ready to share what you think the "gist" is :)

Thursday, August 18 Homework:  Complete Vocabulary Cards if you didn't during class: vocabulary word in the center of card, top of card: sentence from the text which uses the word (the 6 words are circled in the text you took home), bottom of card: draw a picture to help you visualize the word, jot a synoym, "gist" (brief) definition.  Also, you may read the rest of Chapter 1 in The Lightning Thief if you would like.

This first unit, A Hero's Journey, is designed to build students’ background understanding of the archetype of the hero’s journey and its continuing significance in modern literature. Students will practice reading closely as they analyze the highly popular novel The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  During the second half of the unit, students will read complex informational text about the “hero’s journey” archetype, and then—through writing and discussion—use this archetype as a lens to understanding Percy’s experiences. At the end of this unit, students will complete an on-demand graphic organizer and write a short response in which they read a new excerpt of the novel and explain how Percy’s experience aligns with the hero’s journey, citing evidence from both the novel and informational text.

Announcement Image for Week 3: A Hero's Journey, Unit 1

Week 2 Wrap Up and Intro. to Unit 1  

We are wrapping up our exploration of Little House in the Big Woods!  We've written the "old fashioned" recipe Ma used for and then made our own butter, tasted cracklin's, and read and responded to some of the wonderful stories within the novel this week.  I have been impressed with all the wonderful projects that the students have presented based on the book!  Way to go!!!  Please ensure your student has all necessary supplies for class, including a composition notebook, two plastic folders with prongs and pockets, and a colored pen (for editing our warm-ups) every day.  Also, students need to purchase The Lightning Thief by Monday, or if you are unable, please send a letter to me, and I will ensure your child has a book for our upcoming unit.  We will have some reading homework from the novel, so please check this page for those updates.  I will be sending home an information sheet about our upcoming, recurring Independent Reading Project, as well as the students' STAR Reading reports next week for your review.  If you are interested in seeing detailed plans which we will be following for our "Hero's Journey" Unit beginning next week, please click on the link to on the following announcement. 

Announcement Image for Week 2 Wrap Up and Intro. to Unit 1

A Great Start!  

We are having a great first week building our learning community!  We are learning about each other, getting organized, beginning our daily editing paragraph warm-ups, exploring and practicing the importance of working together, and beginning our Summer Reading Project presentations!  All Little House in the Big Woods projects are due by Friday, August 5 at the latest (without a late grade).  Students will present a part of their project to the class.  We also have some fun activities planned in response to Little House in the Big Woods.  Please bring books to class each day, as we will spend the next few days delving into the book you spent time reading over the summer!  

Next week, we will explore worldwide cultural creation myths and Greek mythology in preparation of our The Lightning Thief narrative unit.  You're going to love it, as I did when I read it this summer!!!  One teenager said, "I loved it so much I read it 3 times!"  Another student said this week, "I already love it, and I just started reading it!"  :) 

Check out our yearly curriculum on, then click on "English Language Arts", and then "6th grade English Language Arts".

Required Text for First 9 Weeks:  

We will be conducting a novel study as part of our first unit of instruction.  Please plan to purchase The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan for your child.  We will be using this text both in and outside of ELA class beginning Friday, August 12.  Books will be available for sale at the FMS office and will cost $6.50.  Of course, if you have another way of obtaining the book (public library, family member,, bookstore, etc.) that is great, too.  Please know that, while we ask that you purchase the book, it will be yours to keep, and if you are unable to purchase one, please send me a letter and I will provide one for these students.

Announcement Image for Required Text for First 9 Weeks:

Summer Reading Project 2016-17  

School is almost here!  Remember to complete your summer reading project to kick in gear a great year! :)

We hope to see you for Parent Night on Thursday, July 28, 5:30 PM at the FMS Gym, and I'm very excited to begin the school year with you on Monday, August 1!

Please see the section entitled "Forms" if you need to view the entire project description and required assignments for Little House in the Big Woods.

Announcement Image for Summer Reading Project 2016-17