New Novels, New Year, New Grammar

The Trial in “To Kill A Mockingbird” by: Julia D.

This week in 8th Grade Language Arts, we began reading the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We have been acting out the trial instead of just reading it normally. For each chapter, Mrs.Teitelbaum gives us a new part. This has been a very fun and interactive way to read the book, and the whole class has really been enjoying it.

Although reading To Kill a Mockingbird has been our main focus this week, we have also been starting most days with grammar worksheets. One of the worksheets we do has many different types of exercises on the page. For example, there might be a part where it asks you to find spelling mistakes in a sentence. The other worksheet consists of exercises for a lesson we have been learning about grammar. Overall, this has been an eventful week in 8th Grade Language Arts.

The Trial & More on To Kill a Mockingbird by: Abigail F.

This week in eighth-grade language arts we got to the point in To Kill a Mockingbird where Tom Robinson goes on trial for the alleged beating and rape of Mayella Violet Ewell (daughter of Bob Ewell). We have been reenacting the trial in class. Every person has a role and acts out their part. There is one narrator who reads the parts that aren’t spoken aloud.

On Monday, we read Heck Tate’s testimony. Tuesday was Bob Ewell’s turn, and on Wednesday, Mayella’s testimony was read. On Thursday, we got to Tom Robinson’s account of what happened.

Interestingly enough, Boo Radley’s story has completely disappeared from the book. The only reason I was reminded of it was because Scout said that Mayella seemed even more lonely than Boo Radley. This was because, when asked, Mayella seemed not to know exactly what a friend was and thought that the opposing counsel, Atticus, was mocking her.

Boo hasn’t seen the light of day for twenty-five years and Mayella does not have any friends. She is a nineteen-year-old girl who is raising her seven younger siblings and has been taking care of the house since her mother passed because her father disappears for days on end and comes back sick and drunk. According to Tom, it seems like Mayella was so desperate for human companionship outside of her family (and perhaps even an abusive father), that she forced Tom into an uncomfortable situation he couldn’t get out of. Tom (if he is telling the truth) was just trying to do the right thing by helping Mayella out with household chores because he pitied her  and that backfired. Boo, Mayella, and Tom are all victims in their own way.

Tu B’ Shverbs by: Yosef B.

In LA class we started a new unit. The unit is called subject-verb agreement. A verb must agree in number with its subject. This is a singular example, “He eats dinner.”

Here is a plural example, “The kids eat dinner.”

There are really tricky errors to notice. A subject and a verb that are separated must agree. The subject of a sentence can never be found in a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase is a phrase that starts with a preposition, and ends in a noun. The herd of cows sleeps in the barn. It’s singular because it’s only one herd.

Compound subjects (joined by and) take plural verbs. A present tense plural verb does not end in s. Steve’s kindness and strength make him a good leader. In either/or situations, the verb must agree with the subject nearest to the verb. Steve nor his friends eat salad.

If the subject of the sentence is a singular indefinite pronoun use a singular verb form. Singular indefinite pronouns are, each, no one, every, everybody, everyone, someone, etc. Tu B’Shevat is soon, and our class is performing a Tu B’ Shevat parody at the Tu B’Shevat Performance, so we have also been preparing for that.

Happy New Year by: Masha B.

It was the first week back from winter break, so happy new year!!! 6th grade started reading a new book called Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz. It is about a boy named Jakob, even though everybody calls him Yanek, surviving through the Holocaust. The story takes place in Krakow, Poland. Then we started learning about commas, such as were they go and what they’re used for. An example is that when you write a city and state you put the comma after the city and before the state: Ex. Jacksonville, Florida. We also did some bell work.

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