Thursday, May 9, 2013

Non-Fiction Conclusion Strategies

What do you notice about this mentor text conclusion?  What craft strategies did Burleigh use?

A love potion.  A high-energy snack.  The "food of the gods."  But maybe there's something simpler still. Experts say that chocolate contains nearly 300 different flavors.  Perhaps, to the person about to bite into a banana split with double hot fudge topping, this is really the secret of its charm.  Maybe, if so many flavors are hiding in it - chocolate has a little something for everyone!

~ Chocolate:  Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh

How about this conclusion from Catherine Thimmesh?  What strategies does she use?

Today, the mystery continues:  Where did we come from?  Luckily, we now have a three-and-a-half-foot-tall, long-armed, short-legged clue.  A clue that sported primitive jaws - like a chimpanzee's - but boasted a modern pelvis - very much like a human's.  A clue that shocked with the unimaginable:  a small (chimp-like) brain along with the (human-like) ability to walk upright.

Where did we come from?  The answer is still unknown...but now we have a magnificent clue.

Because somewhere deep in the past, near the beginning, lived Lucy.

~ Lucy Long Ago:  Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From by Catherine Thimmesh

Monday, May 6, 2013

Research Paper Lead Strategies

Good historians pay attention to craft, especially for their lead paragraphs.
What strategies did these writers use?

Once upon a time in America, when automobiles were black and looked like tanks and laundry was white and hung on clotheslines to dry, there were two wonderful baseball leagues that no longer exist.  They were called the negro leagues.
Teammates:  How Two Men Changed the Face of Baseball
by Peter Golenblock

Let's look at another mentor text.  This was one is quite different.  What strategies does Burleigh use?
Chocolate.  It is that dark, pleasantly bittersweet, creamy, luscious, mouthwatering, impossible-to-forget taste.  Mmmmm.
Chocolate.  Hot chocolate on a cold night, chocolate cake topped with chocolate ice cream at a birthday party, or chocolate chip cookies plucked from the cookie jar before bed.  Chocolate.  Chocolate milk, chocolate brownies, chocolate fudge, chocolate pudding, chocolate cheesecake, and chocolate candy bars...
It is not surprising that there are so many chocolate goodies - most people in our country say chocolate is their favorite flavor.  What is really surprising is the story of chocolate itself.
Chocolate:  Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh

And one more!  You should know by now that I do everything in threes...
What strategies does Thimmesh use?
"Nothing quite like it had ever been discovered," explains paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson.  "The camp was rocking with excitement.  The first night we never went to bed at all.  We talked and talked.  There was a tape recorder in the camp, and a tape of the Beatles song 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' went belting out into the night sky, and was played at full volume over and over again out of sheer exuberance."
Its resurrection began on a hot, sticky day in Hadar, Ethiopia, in November 1974.  The scientist who stumbled upon it, who discovered that first bit of elbow jutting out of the sediment, was, in fact, searching for it.  Had, in fact, traveled to the other side of the world hoping to find it.  Or somone like it...he wasn't that picky.  He was hunting hominids:  skeleton bones of human ancestors.
Lucy Long Ago:  Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From by Catherine Thimmesh

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Parenthetical Citation

Wahoo it's drafting time! We're in the home stretch my precious pop-tarts.

Parenthetical Citation QUICK Overview:

  • EVERY fact, quote, stat, story, etc. that is not your original idea (basically everything BUT your thesis and your crafty leads which we'll work on next week) needs to be cited
  • The author's last name goes in parentheses after the fact and before the ending punctuation. Put the page number - if there is one - one space after the name and before the ending parentheses. Do not write page, p., # or anything else like that. If there is no author, use the title of the book (italics) or article/web site (quotes).
    • Blah blah blah (Sanchez 36).
    • "Blah blah blah" (Sanchez 49).
    • Blah blah blah (Sanchez and Kelly 45). <-- 2 authors
    • Blah blah blah (Sanchez, Kelly and Smith 89). <-- 3 authors
    • Blah blah blah (Sanchez et al. 342) <-- more than 3 authors
    • Blah blah blah (The World According to Sanchez). <-- book without author (very unlikely)
    • Blah blah blah ("Top 10 Reasons I Love Kristen Sanchez"). <-- article or web site without author (more likely)

  • If you quote someone who was quoted by someone else, do it like this:
    • "Blah blah blah" (qtd. in Sanchez 47).
    • "Blah blah blah" (qtd. in "Top 10 Reasons I Love Kristen Sanchez").

    • If you SAY the author's name in your set up for the quote or for the fact, you don't need to put his or her name in parentheses. You just need to put the page number. If there is no page number, you don't put anything.
      • According to world famous historian Kristen Sanchez, "Blah blah blah" (47).
      • In her book The World According to Sanchez, Kristen Sanchez argues that blah blah blah (89).

    • When you have multiple facts, quotes, stats, etc. in a row from the same source, you do not repeat the citation in full. If it's a book with page numbers, you just put the new page number like this:
      • Blah blah blah (Sanchez 36).
      • Blah blah blah (48).
    • If it's a book with page numbers and it's from the SAME page, you write Ibid like this:
      • Blah blah blah (Sanchez 36).
      • Blah blah blah (ibid).
    • If it's an article or web site without page numbers, you just write ibid like this:
      • Blah blah blah ("The World According to Sanchez").
      • Blah blah blah (ibid).

    Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    How & Where to Find Images for Your Civil War Podcast Project

    Public domain.

    This is a term that is important for you, as big, bad 8th graders, to know.

    The public domain refers to works (writing, images, music, etc.) that are not owned by anyone, are not protected by copyright, and can thus be used freely.  Examples include:
    • The Bible (created before copyright laws existed)
    • Shakespeare plays (copyright has expired)
    • The Constitution, Congress laws, Supreme Court documents, etc. (government document)
    Photos from the Civil War are all in the public domain because their copyright (if they had them to begin with) has expired.  Photos from modern reenactments, paintings and other Civil War related works, however, might not be in the public domain.

    Rather than using Google Image search to find images for your podcast, we'd like you to use the the web site collections listed below.

    WHY?  Because you need to understand and abide by copyright rules and all the given sites have public domain images only.  Also, you will find really great images from these sites that you might not find through a Google image search.  Oh, and it's always good to try new things (even if we're making you do it).

    Create a folder on your desktop clearly labeled with your full name and project description (ex. Kristen Sanchez Civil War Project).

    Save your images inside the folder (rather than right on the desktop).  This will make it easy to import into iMovie when you're ready.  Make sure that you save the largest image size possible.  Thumbnails and low resolution images will become fuzzy in iMovie and you will lose points.  Remember, NO clip art is allowed.

    Keep track of your image sources. You need to include a bibliography at the end of your iMovie that includes ALL sources (text and images).  EasyBib has a citation creator for photographs.

    Search the following sites:

    If you want to use an image NOT from one of these sites, show it to me to get my okay.

    Once you have your images (you should have at least 8), you should work on a plan.  I recommend that you take a printout of your narrative (part 2) and highlight with different colors into logical chunks.  You will need the same number of photos as you have chunks.  Oh, and it is okay to revise your writing before you begin recording.  Sometimes when we reread a few days later we realize we can make something sound better.  You should definitely do this!

    Most of the photos we have from the Civil War era were taken by a man named Mathew Brady.  You can read more about Mathew Brady at the links below.
    You can also learn more about Mathew Brady at