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Showing posts from February, 2015

Paraphrasing and Jimi Hendrix

Playing Hooky and Patent Medicine

This week we read two of my favorite chapters in Tom Sawyer (I have about 20 favorite chapters).  The first was the scene where Tom feigned illness to avoid going to school.  Not only did he end up having to endure another boring day at school,  but he ended up getting his tooth pulled out by Aunt Polly! 

The other chapter involved Tom's aunt trying to cure his "depression" with a patent medicine.  Tom gets the idea to give this remedy to his cat, Peter,  and the results are hysterical.  Twain writes the following to describe the event: 

Peter was agreeable. So Tom pried his mouth open and poured down the Pain-killer. Peter sprang a couple of yards in the air, and then delivered a war-whoop and set off round and round the room, banging against furniture, upsetting flower-pots, and making general havoc. Next he rose on his hind feet and pranced around, in a frenzy of enjoyment, with his head over his shoulder and his voice proclaiming his unappeasable happiness. Then he wen…

Coffee Klatch and Tom Sawyer

I gave my students some essential questions to consider as they read the novel.  That way they know what to look for when highlighting and annotating the text.  I always hated when my professors wouldn't give us the writing prompt until AFTER we read a novel!  We read the first chapter in class.  I had two volunteers read the dialogue between Tom and the "new" boy.  That really made it come to life, and the kids thought it was funny, especially when the boy says that anybody that will take a dare can "suck eggs."

There is quite a bit of challenging vocabulary in the book.  Some is antiquated and not worth spending too much time on.  Many of the words can be figured out by looking at the context of the sentence.  For the first three chapters, I selected words that I felt would be useful for my students-words they will see and use!  We had a coffee klatch to introduce our first set of words.    Each student received a paper cup with a word and short definition.  U…