Mr. Dia’s LA Classes

(Oct 25th)

7th Grade:

We have started working on our collaborative social studies/language arts project. For this unit we will construct biographical cubes. For this project each student will research and write about a historical figure.

6th Grade:

We have completed reading The Giver. For our next unit of study we will read information text and continue to work on response to literature. We are looking at the structure of Research Reports. Each student should bring an article home to read to you twice weekly for the next 3 weeks.

(September 27-)

7th grade: We are working on response to literature and writing prompts. We are using the death penalty and the Troy Davis case as our context. Students have a series of writing prompts to respond to and are required to use the provided text to support their opinion.

Writing Prompts:

1. What are some reasons to have the death penalty?

2. Do you think the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for heinous crimes? Why or why not?

3. Is life is prison without parole a suitable replacement? Why or why not?

Debate Topic:

Half of the class will assume the role of Lawyers representing a convicted murderer; the other half representing the family of the victim. They will present arguments before a judge about what sentence is appropriate.

At home discussion questions:

1. Why is capital punishment more expensive than life imprisonment? Are financial considerations a valid reason to limit the death penalty?

2. What effect has DNA evidence had on the public’s view of the death penalty?

3. What limitations has the Supreme Court placed on the death penalty in the past decade?

4. What actions should be considered heinous crimes?

6th grade: Currently, we are examining fiction as a tool used to present social issues. We are reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. Students will work on writing/responding to a series short response to literature essays.


1. What do you think it would be like to have a career choosen for you? (2 or more paragraphs due Sept. 30)

2. Underneath the placid calm of Jonas’ society lies a very orderly and inexorable system of euthanasia, practiced on the very young who do not conform, the elderly and those whose errors threaten the stability of the community. What are the disadvantages and benefits to a community that accepts such a vision of euthanasia? Support your answer with something from the text or history?

3. Discuss the similarities between our society and the society in The Giver.

4. What point do you think the author was attempting to make about utopian societies?

*Test Writing Prompt: Analyze one of the important characters from the novel. Include reactions of other to the character and how the character feels over the course of the novel. Do his/her feelings change during the novel? What influences change in this character? How do you relate or connect with this character?

(September 15th-)

7th grade: We will continue our parts of speech/sentence study. We will also start a Response to Literature unit. Students are expected to clearly describe specific reactions and responses to the literary work, support their statements with quotations and details, and summarize with an effective conclusion. We will use The Diary of Anne Frank as our text. We will take a look at story structure, how conflict moves a story, the effective use of foreshadowing and flashbacks. Students are expected to continue to read 30 minutes each night.

6th grade: For the next two weeks (Sept 18-29) we will continue our grammar study and start a Response to Literature unit. Students are expected to construct a two page personal response to a short work of literature (Upfront Magazine). We will go through the stages of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading. This assignment is due September 29th.


Reading Workshop: Crafting an independent reading life (fiction & nonfiction), Author’s purpose/perspective, book clubs

Writing Workshop: Writing process/MLA conventions, response to literature

Spelling/Mechanics: Parts of Speech/Sentence


One Response to Mr. Dia’s LA Classes

  1. Sydney Burgess says:

    Fabulous! There were years, year after year, when I did not know a thing about what my middle schooler was doing in readers and writers workshop, as they used to do. Both now in high school seem to write and read just fine and are thriving, so I guess whatever they were doing in MS was developmentally adequate. But knowledge is confidence and as a lowly parent, a little confidence feels mighty good.

    Thanks for putting this info together and presenting it to us in such a thoughtful and approachable fashion.

    Sydney Burgess

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