amanda.troy@ppsel.org719-522-25807th/8th Humanities
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Monday April 15th, 2019: Students revisited the requirements of the simile poem and looked at the teacher examples again--they were also given the due date of April 26th (next Friday). The remainder of class was spent on analyzing the YouScience results-What are your top two aptitude areas? Within your top three aptitude careers, which job interests you the most and what are two facts about this job? Based upon your top three interest careers, which job interests you the most and what are two facts about this job?

Tuesday April 16th, 2019: Students worked on organizing their portfolios for SLCs.

Wednesday April 17th, 2019: Students analyzed persuasive language in preparation for their persuasive musical synopsis and poster creation. First, they read over Broadway critic statements and wrote their own based on their musical. Next, they read an article about the power of verbs and analyzed Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Finally, they analyzed two musical synopsis pieces and discussed the language used before rewriting their own critic statements. 



Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday April 8th-10th, 2019: Students worked on completing their college and career readiness surveys via YouScience. We will be looking at the results later this week!

Thursday April 11th, 2019: Students should complete any work for their YouScience inventories.

Friday April 12th, 2019: Students were introduced to their simile poem project. They read over the teacher example and checklist before choosing an object from our expedition (i.e. The Mexican flag, the pen that signed the Treat of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the railroad tracks, the wheels of a wagon, etc.). The remainder of class was spent on planning the simile poem.


Monday April 1st, 2019: Students were given time today to work on their Found Poems (due Thursday) and their musical proposal letters.

Tuesday April 2nd, 2019: Students went over how to paste their songs into their proposal letters before moving into work time on pasting songs, finalizing letters, working on found poems, and beginning their flash fiction pieces. 

Wednesday April 3rd, 2019: Students were given the YouScience Snapshot overview and letter to take home--please return these by Friday if your child does not have an e-mail address to create an account on Monday. They were then given work time to finish their Found Poems and reflections (due tomorrow), finish typing their proposal letters, and continue working on Flash Fiction pieces. 

Thursday April 4th, 2019: Students in 1st and 2nd periods began with the revision protocol focusing on one of five areas: sentence fluency, word choice, voice, organization, and conclusions. Each class had work time on the following: found poem organizers, found poem finals, found poem artist statements, any pasting/typing for proposal letters, or flash fiction rough drafts. 

Friday April 5th, 2019: Students in 1st and 2nd continued with three more revision protocol sessions and moved into work time on flash fiction pieces. 


Spring Break through March 31st


Monday March 11th, 2019: Students began with an ABC Relay of the Mexican American War. We then read through sample flash fiction/micro-fiction pieces before moving into the teacher model of writing a flash fiction piece for various genres. Students then chose a photograph and four genres of literature to write a two to three sentence flash fiction piece based upon. After our sharing, we went over the guidelines for their micro-fiction/flash fiction project based upon the Mexican American War. 

Tuesday March 12th, 2019: Students were given a work session today to work on typing their proposal letters "selling" their musical idea with accompanying song samples--we will be returning to these after Spring Break for final revisions.

Wednesday March 13th, Thursday March 14th, and Friday March 15th: Snow Days


Monday March 4th, 2019: Snow Day

Tuesday March 5th, 2019: Students worked in groups to create their rough drafts for their musical proposal letters. They were also given work time on their body paragraphs focused on their original songs. Tomorrow we will be completing the revision protocols for both the introductions and body paragraphs. 

Wednesday March 6th, 2019: Students revised their proposal letter introductions and body paragraphs in two revision protocols today. We then moved into an analysis of two counterarguments and a partner practice creating a counter-argument paragraph. Tomorrow we will plan and revise our counterarguments, as well as plan our conclusion paragraphs. 

Thursday March 7th, 2019: Students created and revised their counterarguments today before moving into a partner analysis and practice with conclusion techniques. They were then given time to plan their conclusion paragraphs for typing next Tuesday.

Friday March 8th, 2019: Students were given time to work on the initial planning stages for their Found Poems using texts from our Mexican American War case study--these will be due next Friday.


Monday February 25th, 2019: Students were given the first half of class to work on their argumentative essay assessment preparations: EBC research organizers (due today), ABC/CBA integrating evidence note-catchers (due Wednesday), and/or the essay planning packet (due Wednesday). We then moved into a Jigsaw of primary documents from both viewpoints on the Mexican American War. Together, we analyzed John O'Sullivan's "Annexation" article. Students were then put into groups of B, C, D, E, or F with a corresponding article. In small groups, they read over and analyzed their article, filled in the "In Your Own Words" sections and completed the corresponding key point section on the Jigsaw note-catcher. Tomorrow, we will begin by moving into mixed groups for our Jigsaw. 

Tuesday  February 26th, 2019: Students began by jumping back into their Jigsaw groups and debriefing their document. They then moved into mixed groups to share the perspectives of their primary documents. Next, we completed a reading based upon the what makes a war a "just war,"--students then chose one element from the article to include in their argumentative essay plan (i.e. in the introduction as a hook, in a body paragraph to support the argument, or as an evidence piece in the counterargument). Finally, students were given the last part of class to work on any essay prep plans: ABC/CBA organizers or key word/phrases plans. ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY TOMORROW! (Was the Mexican American War a justified war?)

Wednesday  February 27th, 2019: Due to class photos being taken today, classes were shortened; therefore resulting in less time for our argumentative essay assessment that was to take place during class today, so we will be taking our in class essay assessment tomorrow. Today, students had two options: 1. Complete any essay prep plans and documents OR 2. Plan the introduction and body paragraphs for their musical proposal letters. 

Thursday  February 28th, 2019: Students were given the first five minutes to prepare for the essay assessment in terms of getting their computers set up, their notes out, etc. They were then given the entire class period to write their essays based upon the justification or injustice of the Mexican American War. 


Monday February 18th, 2019: No School

Tuesday February 19th, 2019: Students began by going over the argumentative essay checklist (their in-class assessment will be next Wednesday). Next, they researched both sides of the prompt: Was the Mexican American War a justified war? Tomorrow, students will take a position to begin building their argument and developing their claim for their essays.

Wednesday February 20th, 2019: Students began by completing a "Word Wizard" protocol of writing down three words to use in their proposal letter and three words for their argumentative essays. We then moved into a proposal letter introduction analysis activity before students write their final product proposal introduction rough drafts tomorrow. Next, students wrote their initial claim for their argumentative essays either in favor or against the justification of the Mexican American War. The remainder of class was spent working on their EBC organizers for the position they are taking in their argumentative essays. 

Thursday February 21st, 2019: Students began by creating a more specific claim for their position on the Mexican American War. They then moved into 20 minutes of research time using their EBC organizer. Next, we completed a mini-lesson based upon integrating and explaining evidence via the A+B+C/C+B+A method (stating source+strong verb+evidence). We will be completing our research and ABC/CBA organizers tomorrow, as well as moving toward the key word/phrase argumentative essay organizer that is due on Wednesday of next week. 

Friday February 22nd, 2019: Students moved into finishing the EBC organizers (due Monday at the beginning of class) and sharing their final claims. They were then given the remainder of class to work on their ABC/CBA organizers (due Wednesday at the beginning of class).




Monday February 11th, 2019: Students went over the proposal letter rubric to accompany their song samples before reviewing various persuasive techniques. They then evaluated former letters based upon our final product rubric.

Tuesday February 12th, 2019: Students received their personification practice self-directed assigned (due Thursday). They then presented their Mexican American War perspective posters and completed an AFL: Write a claim stating what sparked the Mexican American War according to the four American perspectives. Next, students were given time to work on their Mexican American War timelines, people of interest case files, metaphor poems, and song rough drafts.

Wednesday February 13th, 2019: Students worked on their final products today in terms of completing research, character organizers, song plans, song rough drafts, and typing of their rough drafts. Also, their metaphor poems, organizers, and rough drafts were due today, so they were given time to complete those if needed. 

Thursday February 14th, 2019: Students began by getting our their personification practice homework before receiving a progress report. They then used class time to work on their Mexican American War timelines and People of Interest Case Files and any missing work (i.e. metaphor poems, song research, song plans, character organizers, etc.).



Monday February 4th, 2019: Students began by reviewing mood and tone through context clues and figurative language, as well as a quick review of what theme is (i.e. an opinion statement and not a topic). They then moved into a partner practice of choosing a theme topic, tone, and mood, and creating a free verse poem incorporating figurative language and strong word choices to develop their poem. After sharing, we moved into our perspective poster project from last week. Students completed their posters based upon an American perspective of the war before ending with our exit ticket: Based upon these American perspectives, what "sparked" the Mexican American War?

Tuesday February 5th, 2019: Students began a metaphor poem project today in which they chose one abstract and one concrete noun with significance to his or her life; they then chose from a list of metaphors those which could reflect the noun of their choice. Next, they read over sample metaphor poems and the requirements before moving into work time on their organizers and rough drafts. We will be returning to these to work on finals on Thursday.

Wednesday February 6th, 2019: Students began by choosing a theme for their final product song--they then chose a symbol to use in their song that would represent their chosen theme. Next, we went over the different song structures, and students chose a structure to use for their own song rough draft. The remainder of class was spent on further research, character organizers, figurative language song plans, and the beginning stages of their song rough drafts per the song structure templates. 

Thursday February 7th, 2019: Students worked on their final metaphor poems (due Wednesday 2/13) and their Mexican American War Timelines (due T 2/12). If a student finished his or her work, she or he moved into the personification practice (due next Thursday 2/14).

Friday February 8th, 2019: Students were given work time today to work on the list of items in the table below--please see all due dates to ensure all work is completed on time for final product, writing, and reading.

Welcome to History through Reading and Writing’s Final Product/”Catch Up” Day!

Below you will have a list of tasks and when they need to be completed:


To Be Completed By:

1. Research for your song (final product)

Beginning of class on M 2/11

2. Character organizer for your “singer” (final product)

Beginning of class on M 2/11

3. Song Plan with Figurative Language and Domain Specific Language (final product)

Beginning of class on M 2/11

4. Song Rough Draft on your Song Structure Template (final product)

Beginning of class on W 2/13

5. Timeline with your two events BEFORE the war, eight DURING, and three AFTER (writing)

End of class on T 2/12

6. Person of Interest #1 and #2 for your Mexican American War case file (writing)

End of class on T 2/12

7. Final Metaphor Poem (writing)

Beginning of class on W 2/13

8. Personification Analysis and Personification Expedition Poem--self-directed project (writing)

Beginning of class on Th. 2/14

9. Justification or Injustice of the Mexican American War organizer (writing)

End of class on T 2/19

10. Lewis and Clark journals and map activity (reading)

End of class 2/14

11. Native American tribe research poster (reading)



Monday January 28th, 2019: Students began with a poetry warm up centered around onomatopoeias; they read "Ears Hear," chose a location of their own, and created an "Ears Hear" onomatopoeia poem using at least seven onomatopoeias within that given location (i.e. a movie theater, a classroom, a bowling alley, etc.). Next, we shared our slant rhyme songs from last week before moving into our Mexican American War case study. Students focused on taking notes on the basis of why the war started and the outcome (what was lost and gained), as well as creating their third person of interest file based upon Juan Seguin. 

Tuesday January 29th, 2019: In groups, students read over five student samples of past quarterly writing assessments that fell into the category of proficient or mastering--they had to identify three points from the rubric that explained why such a writing piece would fall into such a category. Next, they completed their informative quarterly assessment. Finally, they spent the last 15 minutes of class working on their Mexican American War timelines and "Person of Interest" case files. 

Wednesday January 30th, 2019: Students were put into their final product musical and song writing groups today. They began by researching their musical topic before meeting as a group to create a story map of their musical idea, which they then split up into separate song ideas. Each student then researched his or her song topic before moving into the characterization organizer for the "singer" of the song they will be writing. 

Thursday January 31st, 2019: Students were given different quotes from newspapers and politicians in the United States prior to the start of the Mexican American War. They read the quote, looked up unknown words, wrote their interpretation, and drew a quick sketch of said interpretation. Next, they were put into mixed groups, assigned one of the quotes, and given a list of tasks to create a perspective poster based upon the question: What "sparked" the Mexican American War?

Friday February 1st, 2019: Students went over their final product song writing checklist before given time to research their specific song area focus and begin planning the figurative language and poetic devices needed for their songs. 

Monday January 21st, 2019: No School

Tuesday January 22nd, 2019: No School

Wednesday January 23rd, 2019: Students began their final product prep today of creating a musical storyline based upon various perspectives from 1800s American History, writing accompanying song samples, and writing a proposal letter to a theater of their choice. We began with a hook activity of watching clips from The Newsies and Hamilton. Students listened to clips from various popular historically based songs, such as Cherokee and The Ballad of the Alamo. With a group they analyzed one of these songs to prepare for writing their own historically based song.

Thursday January 24th, 2019: Students took upon the role of a theater proposal team today. They read through three 2017 final product proposals and songs, filled out accompanying proposal note-catchers, and chose one they would like to produce. Next, we moved into a slant rhyme practice with a sorting activity and identifying the consonance and assonance in various songs.

Friday January 25th, 2019: Students chose a song handout ("Fight Song," "My Heart's a Stereo," "I Want Crazy" or "The Miseducation") to rewrite using the given slant rhyme on the note-catcher. We will share these new songs on Monday.


Monday January 14th, 2019: Students moved into their first poetry mini-lesson today with a focus on rhyme scheme. We began by trying to sort slips of the poem "October" into the correct order before moving into a reading of the basics of rhyme scheme. Next, students practiced identifying the rhyme scheme within the poem "Rain Poem." Next, they received the rhyme scheme of "October" and returned to their groups to check their sorting before reading through the actual poem. We then moved into our whole group and partner practice using one of three rhyme schemes and creating poems based upon a photograph of their choice. Finally, we shared our poems with the class, and our peers had to identify the rhyme scheme within the poems. 

Tuesday January 15th, 2019: Students began by identifying the rhyme scheme within "Dust of Snow" and writing a third stanza following the same rhyme scheme. They were then given the rest of class to work on their political cartoons from last Friday based upon their interpretation of one of our guiding questions: What happens when change occurs? Whose history do we believe? Students had the option of creating their final cartoons via the computer or by hand--these are due first thing tomorrow. 

Wednesday January 16th, 2019: Students began with a sorting warm up using words with various elements of assonance and consonance. We then moved into a self-analysis of our final political cartoons, a Gallery Walk of political cartoons, a peer analysis of political cartoons, and a class sharing of cartoons. 

Thursday January 17th, 2019: Students began by creating assonance and consonance groups based upon given vowels and consonant blends. They then worked with a group to create a poem using their examples of assonance and consonance. Next, we moved into our Mexican American case file study based upon the events and people of the war. Our focus is guided by the question: Was the Mexican American war a justified war? Students used various timeline templates with the PBS interactive timeline ( ) to identify two events before the war, eight events during the war, and three events after the war that strongly impacted the conflict and outcome. In addition, students filled out two person of interest questionnaires based upon the two people they felt influenced the war the most. We will continue with the case file study tomorrow. 

Friday January 18th, 2019: Students moved back into their Mexican American War case file project in which they worked on their timelines of pre-war, during the war, and post war events with the focus on: Was the Mexican American War a justified/necessary war? Timelines should be done by next Wednesday. 

Monday January 7th, 2019: Teacher Work Day

Tuesday January 8th, 2019: Students began the BBK today for our spring expedition. First, they got into their "SNAP-Summary, New Learning, Already Know, Picture" groups to discuss a quote about the border between Mexico and the U.S. Next, they looked up the definitions of emigrate, migrate, and immigrate before setting up their SNAP charts and filling in the section for what they already know. Next, they were assigned an article about immigration between the U.S. and Mexico. Each student then read and annotated his or her article, as well as completed a $3.50/35 word summary. Within groups, each member offered one piece of New Learning to add to their N section of their SNAP charts based upon the article she or he read. Finally, students shared their dollar summaries with their groups in preparation for their whole group S/Summary tomorrow. 

Wednesday January 9th, 2019: Students began by completing their $5.00 summaries and moving into a partner reading about the Mexican American War. Next, they discussed how America would be different had the war never happened (we will be returning to this question later this quarter). Students then returned to their SNAP chart groups to Jigsaw three articles about Chinese and Irish immigration in the United States. Individually, students completed a $2.00 summary before returning to their SNAP chart groups to add to the NEW Learning section. Finally, students created a $4.50 summary based upon today's Jigsaw. 

Thursday January 10th, 2019: Students created the P-Picture portion of their SNAP charts before sharing as a class. Next, we moved into an analysis of political cartoons with a focus on stereotypes, metaphors, symbolism, and overall meaning.

Friday January 11th, 2019: Students were given the task of creating a political cartoon based upon one of our guiding questions using a past or current event: What happens when change occurs? Whose history do we believe? They went over the political cartoon checklist and worked on their planning and rough drafts of their political cartoons. We will be working on the final of these cartoons next Tuesday. 


Mrs. Troy is returning for her eighth year at PPSEL as the 7th and 8th grade History through Writing teacher. She joined the PPSEL community in 2011 after serving as the building substitute, long term Social Studies substitute, English Intervention Specialist, and girls’ basketball coach at a Port Huron, Michigan middle school. In addition, Mrs. Troy is a native of Fort Gratiot, Michigan and graduated from Saginaw Valley State University in 2010. Throughout her time in college, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with minors in both English and Social Studies. Also, during her college years she was given the opportunity to work for the America Learns Program working in urban, inner city middle schools as well as grasping the opportunity to spend time in Mobile, Alabama volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.

In her free time, Mrs. Troy enjoys running (even on the treadmill!), reading and writing, playing basketball with her husband, and being with her “smallest student:” her son, Alexander! Some of her favorite things include: music, dancing, orange coconut water, The Chronicles of Narnia, summer weather, and spending time with her hilarious and devoted family. Furthermore, Mrs. Troy is very passionate about both writing and history and hopes to instill that knowledge and enthusiasm for learning into her students!