Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Character Interviews

1. Sydney Opening Moment

2. Finish and present Character Interviews

3. ICB Trivia Round 3

4. Begin movie if time

HW: Read to page 279

Monday, December 16, 2013

ICB: Interview a Character

1. Chris Opening Moment

2. Silent Conversation: Do You Have Instagram Envy?
Read the article "The Agonies of Instagram" and answer 2-3 of the following questions on your blog.
  • Do you use Instagram? If so, to what degree do you identify with the ideas described in the article?
  • Do you think people put too much, too little or just enough energy into the way they depict their lives through photos on social media? Explain.
  • Do you ever look forward to events because you know you will post photos afterward?
  • Is there anything wrong with that?
  • The article quotes David Coggins, who says he doesn’t think people should post “trophies,” or photos of expensive things or places few people get to visit. What is your take on this suggestion?

3. Character Interviews
Select a character from In Cold Blood that you would like to interview. This character could be someone who was already interviewed extensively, such as Dick or Perry, or a character who was never interviewed, such as the rich German tourist, Otto. You will be creating 5 questions for this person (think why and how rather than who, what, when, where) and then your partner will answer them using clues from the book.

HW: Read to page 250 and be ready for round 3 of ICB Trivia next class!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Intro to Features

1. Kyle Opening Moment

2. ICB Trivia #2

3. Analyzing Feature Articles- Find a feature article of interest you from the Press Herald, The New York Times, or The Boston Globe. Read the article and then fill out this analysis sheet in your Journalism folder- we will be brainstorming possible topics once we have read examples.

HW: Feature Article Organizer and read to page 224 of ICB

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Persons Unknown

1. Ben Opening Moment

2. 10 minutes: Finish Hard News Articles and report out

3. Reading Groups: ICB Trivia

4. Character Interviews

HW: Read to page 174

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FHS Breaking News!

1. Paul Opening Moment

2. NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/opinion/sunday/on-dying-after-your-time.html
Read the above article and then respond to at least two of the below questions on your blog:



  • Should scientists try to help people beat old age so we can live radically longer lives? Why?
  • How long would you want to live, if you could choose your life span?
  • Do you agree with the author that “adding years to a life doesn’t necessarily make it any fuller?”
  • What would be the benefits of a scientific breakthrough that allowed people to live radically longer lives?
  • Do you think the benefits outweigh the potential negative consequences, such as higher health care costs for society and fewer jobs for young people? Explain.

3. Hard News Practice: Do this with a partner, and when you finish, post the article as a comment to this blog post.

HW: Read to page 148 in ICB

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hard vs. Soft News

1. Opening Moment: Michael/ Discuss Blog Rubric

2. News Article Analysis Activity

3. ICB Discussion: Meet in reading groups and discuss the questions you brought to class- report out

4. Begin Movie

HW: Read to page 123 in ICB

  • Group 1: Chandler B, Adam, Spencer
  • Group 2: Sommer, Sydney, Paul, Ben
  • Group 3: Cam, Niko, Micheal
  • Group 4: Cody, Evan, Kyle, Chanler H

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fairy Tale Leads

1. Opening Moment: Spencer and Chanler

2. Inverted Pyramid Structure and Types of Leads

3. Fairy Tale Lead Activity: Report Out

4. ICB Focus Questions
  • Why would Perry choose to purchase stockings from a nun?  What is this detail telling us about his character?
  • Note Willie-Jay's description of Perry.  How is Capote playing with the readers' emotions?
  • To what extent is Perry a tragic hero?
  • On page 46, how does an act of fate change Perry's future?
  • How do we feel about Perry's 'confession' about killing the“colored” man with a bicycle chain on pages 53-56?


HW Discussion Questions:

  • Read to Page 96
  •  In your English Folder: jot down  five questions you would like to discuss with your group.  They could be questions that came to your mind while reading, questions you’d like to ask the author, questions you’d like to investigate, or any other questions you think the group might like to discuss.  You will need to have a written answer for one of them that is at least one paragraph.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ICB Character Introductions

1. Niko and Quinn Opening Moment

2. Partner Activity: http://padlet.com/wall/q5yl6x9tg3
Go to the above link and follow the directions for the character you have been assigned.

3. Finish the Capote movie

Exit slip: please respond to one of the following questions on your blog. Please include at least two specific details from the movie in your response.
  1. What are your first impressions of Truman Capote? Is he likeable? Why/why not? How is your first impression of him affected by knowing that he was a real person?

    2. Why does Truman form such a bond with Perry Smith? Do you think Truman falls in love with him? Why/why not? What are their similarities? What are their differences?

    1. What is it about the Clutters' murder that interests Truman so much? Why does he believe so strongly that this case will produce a great book? What does its eventual success say about society's fascination with the morbid?

HW: Read to page 42


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Truman Capote Intro


Goal: to make predictions about In Cold Blood and learn background information on the author, Truman Capote.
  • Make predictions about the book based on the following covers...no peaking at the back



  • Author Background in Partners
  • Watch about 30 minutes of Capote the film.
  • Blog entry exit ticket: 
    • 3 things you know about Capote you didn't know before
    • 2 things you learned about the Clutter murder case
    • 1 question you have about either Capote or the Clutters.
  • HW: Read pages 1-22 in ICB

Friday, November 8, 2013

When Do Pranks Become Bullying?

1. Philip Opening Moment
2. Read the NYT article In Bullying Case, Questions on NFL Culture and choose three of the following questions to respond to on your blog. Each question should have a 3-5 sentence response. When finished, visit the blogs of three other people and post a comment to their response. 


  • When do pranks cross the line to become bullying?
  • How important is intention — whether or not the perpetrator meant to cause emotional harm? How important is the reaction — whether the victim of the prank feels hurt, or not?
  • Have you ever been the victim of a prank that felt more hurtful than funny?
  • Have you ever committed a prank that might have crossed a line? Did you apologize or feel regretful?
  • The behavioral patterns that have been said to occur on the Miami Dolphins include “racist and homophobic slurs and macho threats against a player and his mother,” according to a Times editorial. How do you think the N.F.L. should treat harassment and abuse in the locker room and off the field?

3. Complete the Page One Response in your English folder.


HW: College Essay Draft Letter

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More College Essay Fun!!

1. Last literary press conference panel

2. Silent conversation:
Read The New York Times article "Warily, Schools Watch Students on the Internet" and then write a post on your blog that answers this prompt:

HOW do you feel about the issues and examples raised in this article? Should schools monitor students’ social media activity? WHY or why not?

When you have done your post, visit the blogs of three other people and write a response to their posts.

3. College Essay Peer Review

HW: Set up an appointment with Ms. Leavitt or in the writing center before next Wednesday. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Silent Conversation

http://nyti.ms/1fPUfhK

Watch the above video and then respond to one of the two following questions in comment on this post.

HOW does this video show that sometimes the facts can get lost in sensational news stories?
HOW does this video show how sometimes special interest groups can distort the facts of an event to further their own goals?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Writing Day

1. Opening moment: Cody

2. New Common Application Prompts: It's a first draft, so crank it out.

Pick a time to meet with Ms. Leavitt or make an appointment in the writing center to go over your drafts.

3. Literary Press Conference Assignment

4. Work on creating questions and Reading Response #5: due next class!

HW: 5 Press Conference Questions and Reading Response #5

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Twitter Bios

Goals and agenda for today:

  • Practice concise writing in preparation for the college essay
1. Michael opening moment

2. View The New York Times article "Twitter Bios and What they Really Say". Review the characteristics of a good twitter bio.

3. Write your own 160 character bio, paying special attention to word choice. Keep in mind that making strong word choices is often better than just using the fewest number of words, so choose carefully.

4. Email me your bio- I will be reading these aloud and you will be guessing whose bio is whose.

HW: Profile Revisions and Talk-Back due next class. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lit Circle #4 and Narrative 1st Draft

1. Ben Opening Moment

2. Ms. Peterson's class interviews us- 10 minutes

3. Reading Response Protocol #4: play around with the six-word memoir

4. Review what makes a good college essay 

5. Common app: new prompts! Pick one and start writing

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Makes a Good College Essay?


  • Having an anecdote or a story
  • Having an engaging writing voice
  • Organization
  • Don't be pretentious
  • Don't use cliches
  • Being humble
  • Including some of your interests
  • Try to make it clever and different from everyone else's
  • Word choice should sound natural- don't overuse big words but don't be too simple
  • Have a focus in the beginning
  • Try to make it funny or fun to read
  • Be interested in what the school has to offer
  • Be yourself

What Makes a Good College Essay?

1. Opening moment: Paul

2. This American Life: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/504/how-i-got-into-college

3. Review these 6 pieces of advice from The Huffington Post on how to write a great essay:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marjorie-hansen-shaevitz/the-best-advice-i-have-fo_b_3644712.html

4. Sample College Essays: 
http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/essays/#essay1

What makes these essays work?


HW: Profile Final Draft and Draft Letter and Reading Response #4

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Personality Profile Revisions

Goals and Agenda for Today:

  • Answer the question of how images can be a metaphor for the different facets of journalism
  • Share career profiles
  • Choose one profile to revise to second draft
1. Chanler Opening Moment

2. Reading Response #3: Journalism as Metaphor

3. Peer Review Career Profiles

4. Choose one profile to revise

Journalism as Metaphor



Sometimes an interview might be awkward but it isn't impossible.

When doing an interview you start off by asking small little questions that break the surface. Then you get into the "big picture" which is the big open ended question that sparks a good interview question. The big interview question is the lit up house and the lights leading to the house are the "scratch the surface" questions. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Career Profile

Goals and agenda for today:
  • Discuss personality profile assessment
  • Begin drafting career profile
1. Spencer opening moment

2. Personality profile- writing tips, grading, writing time
Personality Profile Assessment

HW: Reading Response #3 and Career Profile 1st Draft

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Silent Conversation and Writer's Workshop

1. Opening Moment: Quinn

2. Go to this link and then answer the following question on your blog: Do schools provide students with enough opportunities to be creative?

Comment on two other people's posts

3. Share first draft of "Favorite Mistake"

4. Work on interview questions/reading/revising

HW: Interviews due next class and revise "Favorite Mistake"


Friday, September 27, 2013

Reading Response #2 and Personal Writing Cont.

Agenda for today:

1. Opening Moment: Niko

  • Opening Moment Grading Info
2. Book Response #2 in Reading Groups
After book discussions, create a list of questions you would like to ask the authors of the books you are reading. Each group should come up with 2-3 questions for each author. Questions should be focused on the book's subject matter, the author's writing of the book, research done, etc.

3. Brainstorm interview questions for personality profile: Interview questions and answers are due next class.

4. If you haven't completed your first personal writing piece (My Favorite Mistake) you need to do so for next class.

HW: Interviews completed and first draft of "My Favorite Mistake"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Career Profile Brainstorming and Personal Writing

Agenda for Today:

1. Mrs. Bennell is going to come in to talk to us about possible profile interviews.

2. Philip and Sommer opening moment

3. As an introduction to reflective writing, we will be doing an activity centered around a "Favorite  Mistake." https://docs.google.com/a/rsu5.org/document/d/1POzf0KBUBFhAj03pR8-HQiyROWaTPbgJJqtTNoK1IiE/edit

4. Work on creating interview questions and reading response- due next class!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Silent Conversation and Personality Profile First Draft

Goals and agenda for today:

  1. Philip Opening Moment
  2. Silent Conversation: 
    • follow this link to a New York Times article on the dangers of young people playing football: . http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/sports/football/would-i-let-my-son-play-football.html.
    • Post a comment to this post that does one of the following:
      • agrees/disagrees with something that is being said in the article (reference at least one passage)
      • makes a personal connection to your life and experiences (reference at least one passage)
      • References the comments of another person- builds off of them, challenges them, agrees with them, etc.
  3. Pair and share personality profiles
  4. Reading time
HW: Choose a person for your career profile and set up an interview time

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reading Response #1 and Personality Profiles

Goals and agenda for today:

  • Opening moment: Cam
  • Meet in reading groups to discuss your book and your first reading response
    • Group 1: Chandler B, Adam, Spencer, Jimmy
    • Group 2: Sommer, Sydney, Paul, Philip
    • Group 3: Cam, Niko, Quinn, Chanler
    • Group 4: Cody, Evan, Kyle, Michael, Ben
  • Spend the the rest of the period working on interviews and/or writing the first draft of your personality profile...due next class!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Commenting Guidelines and Interview Strategies

Blog Post #2:
What do you think goes into a good interview? What do you think makes a good interview question?You may use a combination of personal experiences and online resources to help answer these questions. If you use information online, don't forget to cite! 1-2 paragraphs.

  1. Next step: visit 3 people's blogs and ask them each a good interview question. 
  2. Reply to the questions you get asked on your own blog! 



Goals for today:

  • Create some guidelines for commenting etiquette 
  • Spend some time reading and commenting on one another's blogs
  • Discuss strategies for interviewing
  • Begin writing interview questions....have interviews done for next class!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Post #1: Blog Set-Up and What is Journalism?

Step #1:Go here to see instructions for how to set up your blog.   Send Ms. Leavitt an email with your blog address

Step #2: The first post to your new blog is to explore what journalism means to you.  Some directions you can take this prompt include (but you are not limited to):

  • What does journalism look like?
  • Is there "good" or "bad" journalism?
  • Where do you see journalism in your life?
  • Talk about journalists you pay attention to.
  • Why are you interested in journalism?
  • What are you curious to learn more about in terms of this class? Journalism in general?
150-200 words.

Step #3: Check out Ms. Peterson's class blog for a fantastic opening moment example!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome Bloggers!

Journalism is all about audience. Journalists are constantly testing the waters of the world around them to figure out ...what do people care about? What should they care about? What do we need them to care about? Their job depends on them being able to understand and capture an audience. This blog will be our chance navigate this very challenge. Our audience? Each other (and Ms. Peterson's journalism class). It will be your opportunity to share the information you uncover---note: this isn't just information you already know, this class is about discovery. You'll be writing to make all of us think, question, and smile. Good luck journalists; may the odds ever be in your favor.