This week we are reading about flamingos. We're focusing heavily on subject/verb agreement. The thing that confuses students, and really, everyone, is when the subject isn't right in the first couple of words. If the subject is near a prepositional phrase, it can be confusing.
In the sentence, "there is five species of flamingos, but all of them has certain things in common" both of the verbs are incorrect. Most students got the first one easily (there are), but the second one, tucked into the compound sentence, gave them trouble. (all of them have). You have to disregard the prepositional phrase "of them" and narrow the subject down to the simple subject, "all." Therefore, the verb should be "all have."
Today is the day that students have been begging for--the day we watch The Twilight Zone episode of "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street." They've been begging and pleading to watch the episode, and today was the day. It was a nice way to return from Spring Break, too.
Before starting the episode, I gave students this handout. I wasn't about to ask students to watch the episode and write down detailed notes. That way lies madness, so I gave students a chart. There was a column to record details about the music and sounds and another column to record notes about mood and suspense. I chunked the events by the mood and change in mood. I certainly didn't expect students to make notes on every single item, and I certainly made that clear. Three or four items from each scene was plenty. Throughout the viewing session, I would comment on particular shadows, sounds, or angles to provide modeling and to help students stay on focus.
Just in case, here's a link to the episode on hulu.
Students used the handout from the previous section to write a paragraph answering the questions in the prompt in the picture. I asked them to identify two parts for their two pieces of concrete evidence. They would identify the parts in the concrete evidence and then explain how those items created suspense and mood.
Before student started writing their paragraph, I showed them my own example. My model served as a model and it gave us an opportunity to review the parts of a paragraph to see how they fit together. My example is in the picture below. The sentence underlined in green is the topic sentence that introduces the paragraph. The sentence in red is the concrete evidence, and the sentences in yellow are the commentary.
Today's lesson picture is a shot of the Maple Street sign in The Twilight Zone episode.