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English

Into the Wild of English With Cats: A Full ELA Semester for 5th, 6th & 7th Grade

Three live classes/week and reading comprehension & writing projects over 15 weeks to form a full ELA course with vocabulary, grammar, literature, informational reading & creative/essay writing on two Warriors novels, drama, poetry & more.
Alaina Bell Gao
344 total reviews for this teacher
New class
Class
50 minutes
per class
3x per week
over 15 weeks
10-14
year olds
3-9
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific

Mon, Jan 30, 2023

Jan 30 – May 25, 2023 (15 weeks)
Mo, We, Th
9:00 – 9:50 AM
 Enroll
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Description

Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
Reading Informational Text (Reading Comprehension):
-read history/social studies, science, and technical texts with comprehension
-determine two or more main ideas of a text
-explain how they are supported by key details
-make inferences using support from the text
-analyze how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced in a text through examples and anecdotes
-discuss the relationship between two individuals/events/ideas/concepts in a historical/scientific text
-consider how ideas influence individuals or events in the text, or how individuals influence ideas or events
-compare and contrast one author's presentation of events with that of another
-analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting similarities and differences

Reading Informational Text (Vocabulary, Craft & Structure):
-determine the meaning of academic vocabulary using context and language clues
-make connections between related words
-use a dictionary and thesaurus
-scan for words and answers showing understanding of conventions and synonyms
-skim for main ideas and to determine the structure 
-compare and contrast the structure (e.g., chronological comparative, cause/effect, problem/solution) of two texts
-analyze how a particular sentence and paragraph fits into the structure and contributes to the development of the ideas
-explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text
-determine whether a text is trustworthy, well-developed, and reasonable
-determine an author's point of view and purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text
-analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations by emphasizing different evidence or interpreting the facts differently
-discuss information presented in different media or formats 
-compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text

Reading Fiction (Reading Comprehension):
-read and comprehend stories, drama, and poetry
-discuss the characterization
-compare and contrast the characters and their points of view
-compare and contrast several events in the plot
-analyze the relationship between setting, character, and plot
-identify the conflicts and determine how the characters respond to the challenges
-discuss how the characters change
-connect quotations and examples together and interpret them as themes
-make inferences and find quotations to support them
-compare a theme/topic in both a novel and a poem
-compare and contrast stories in the same genre
-compare several versions of a story/poem, including one with visual or multimedia elements
-compare and contrast fictional and historical portrayals

Reading Fiction (Craft & Structure): 
-determine the meaning of words using context and language clues
-consider the connotations of words
-identify the narrator/speaker and their characteristics and tone
-consider why the author uses this narrator and how they impact the story
-find and analyze any diction describing the setting
-find and analyze adjectives describing characters or events
-consider how an author builds up a mood
-identify examples of figurative language and explain their meaning and power
-look for repetition, alliteration, and rhyme and consider their purpose
-find examples of varied sentences, including simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences, and ones with offset introductory elements, direct address, lists, parentheses, dashes
-explain how a sentence helps develop the story
-explain how the chapters, scenes, and stanzas build upon each other

Writing:
*narratives
*opinion essays
*informative/expository
*research projects
*comparison/contrast, and cause/effect
-paraphrase (from text, video, etc.)
-write for different audiences
-write narratives about imagined experiences
-write narrative essays about real experiences
-write opinion essays with a clear topic, opinion, and structure that is supported by facts and details
-conduct short research projects
-summarize or paraphrase information in notes
-provide a list of sources
-integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably
-integrate information presented in different media or formats 
-write informative/explanatory essays to examine a topic and teach about ideas and information
-support your point with facts, definitions, details, and quotations
-draw evidence from literary or informational texts
-research, reflect, plan, write, revise, and edit your work to strengthen it
-choose powerful, suitable, and intriguing diction and figurative language
-use linking words, phrases, and clauses
-add formatting like titles, headings, illustrations, and multimedia to aid comprehension
-revise your work so each sentence builds your thoughts in an organized way without useless words or phrases
-edit for conventions like spelling, capitalization, and punctuation
-indicate titles with proper formatting
-give and receive guidance and support from peers
-use technology to produce and publish writing
-editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards
Paragraph/Essay Schedule:
Analytical - Weeks 1 & 2
Opinion - Weeks 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7
Research Projects - Weeks 7 & 9
*While the research during week seven will be teacher-led and done in class, week nine's research project is homework and should be overseen for internet safety.
Compare & Contrast - Weeks 8, 13, 14 & 15
*Other comparative activities will be done in class without formal writing.
Informative/Expository - Week 9
Cause/Effect - Week 10
Personal Narrative - Weeks 11 & 12
Reflective - Week 15

WEEK 1: Inferences With Poetry, Vocabulary & Art
Reading (Poetry): “Cats” by Eleanor Farjeon; “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” by T.S. Eliot; “The Old Gumbie Cat” by T.S. Eliot
Annotation: Poems
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Write a cat poem using some of the provided vocabulary or other characterizing diction.
Essay (In Class): Analytical paragraph - Word Grouping

WEEK 2: Plot Episodes With a Graphic Novel and Animal Research
Reading: Warriors: Winds of Change (Warriors Graphic Novel Book 1) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: Graphic Novel - Sticky notes/notebook
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Choose an animal, research about its life, and plan several plausible plot episodes. (To be developed into a short story)
Essay (In Class): Analytical paragraph - Plot Episodes

WEEK 3: Powerful Diction in the Novel & Articles
Reading: Prologue of Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: Prologue (5 pages)
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Begin writing your short story with a focus on choosing powerful diction that will characterize and develop a mood.
Essay (In Class, Possibly Homework): Opinion essay - Planning - Cats are . . . (in class)

WEEK 4: Opinions About the Fantasy Genre and Cats
Reading: Independent reading fantasy novel
Annotation: Personalized
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Continue writing your short story with a focus on choosing powerful diction that will characterize and develop a mood.
*Essay (In Class and Homework): Opinion essay - Writing - Cats are . . .

WEEK 5: Narration, Characterization & Tone in the Novel and Essays
Reading: Chapters 1-4 of Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: 49 pages
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Not homework, but could work on short story
Essay (Homework): Revise your opinion essay.

WEEK 6: Point of View & Structure with the Novel and Essays
Reading: Chapters 5-8 of Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: 47 pages
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Not homework, but could work on short story
Essay (Homework): Edit and add linking words before you present the final version of your opinion essay with a list of sources.

WEEK 7: Realistic Portrayals in the Fantasy Genre
Reading: Independent novel.
Annotation: Personalized
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Continue writing your short story with a focus on realistic and vivid characterization.
Essay (In Class): Opinion paragraph - Writing - Representation of Badgers, Foxes, and Wild Dogs

WEEK 8: Skimming and Scanning in the Novel and Essays
Reading: Chapters 9-12 of Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: 53 pages
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Continue writing your short story, as you write powerful, dramatic, and relevant conflicts.
Essay (In Class): Compare and contrast paragraphs - Writing - Comparing the Content & Structures of Two Essays

WEEK 9: Portrayals & Purposes in Drama and Essays
Reading: “Dick Whittington and His Cat”
Scavenger Hunt - Independent novel
Creative Writing: Not homework, but could work on short story
Essay (Homework): Brainstorm a research topic about an animal and research it using books or the internet. Choose several strong sources and provide a list of sources. Then, present your work to teach your classmates. Add formatting like titles, headings, illustrations, and multimedia to aid in comprehension, but write only one to three sentences per slide with a legible font that is at least size 16 (to be viewed clearly while sharing).

WEEK 10: Paraphrasing the Novel and Research
Reading: Chapters 13-16 of Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: 36 pages
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Continue writing your short story.
Essay (In Class, Possibly Homework): Cause and Effect Paragraphs - Writing - Human Actions & Their Impacts on Migration

WEEK 11: Dynamic Characters in the Novel and Essay
Reading: Chapters 17-20 of Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: 41 pages
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Continue writing your short story with a focus on character development (dynamic character).
Essay (In Class): Personal narrative essay - Planning - A Change

WEEK 12: Themes in the Novel and Nonfiction
Reading: Chapters 21-25 of Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
Annotation: 41 pages
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Finish your short story and add powerful, suitable, and intriguing diction and figurative language.
Essay (In Class): Personal narrative essay - Writing - A Change

WEEK 13: The Fantasy Genre
Reading: Finish reading your independent novel.
Annotation: Personalized
Scavenger Hunt - Independent novel
Creative Writing: Finish your short story.
Essay (In Class and Homework): Comparative Essay - Planning - Two Fantasy Novels

WEEK 14: Appreciating Various Versions
Reading: Poetry - “She sights a Bird–She Chuckles” by Emily Dickinson; “The Young Cat and the Chrysanthemums” by William Carlos Williams; “The Rum Tum Tugger” by T.S. Eliot; “Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer” by T.S. Eliot
Annotation: Poetry
Scavenger Hunt: Follow the clues to find vocabulary, characterizing words/phrases, figurative language, syntax, and quotations.
Creative Writing: Revise and edit your short story.
Essay (In Class & Homework): Comparative Essay - Writing - Two Fantasy Novels

Week 15: The Final Reveal - Sharing Time!
Reading: Classmates' short stories
Annotation: Give encouraging feedback to each other.
Scavenger Hunt: Find examples of dynamic diction, sizzling syntax, and creative choices in your classmates' work.
Creative Writing: Present your short story.
Essay (Homework): Present your revised and edited comparative essay.
Essay (In Class): Reflective Paragraph - Writing
Each learner must have their own copy of: Winds of Change (Warriors Graphic Novel Book 1) by Erin Hunter Into the Wild (Warriors) by Erin Hunter Another fantasy novel (learner's choice for independent reading) Access to an online or paper dictionary and thesaurus is encouraged. Each learner should also have a way to annotate like sticky notes or highlighters and a pencil, as well as a notebook specifically for English. *All other literature will be provided in the classroom. *Youtube videos will only be available via our Outschool classroom. Learner's Choice (Independent Reading): Bravelands: Broken Pride by Erin Hunter Another Warriors book by Erin Hunter The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin Before the Sword by Grace Lin The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill​ The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo The Wild Robot by Peter Brown Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate Endling #1: The Last by Katherine Applegate The One & Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate The One & Only Bob by Katherine Applegate Animorphs book by K. A. Applegate Land of Stories book by Chris Colfer The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster Chronicles of Narnia book by C.S. Lewis Percy Jackson book by Rick Riordan Rick Riordan Presents book (like Dragon Pearl, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, or Aru Shah And The End Of Time) Spirit Animals book by Brandon Mull Wings of Fire book by Tui T. Sutherland Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston Dragons in a Bag By Zetta Elliott The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade by Max Brallier The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo Charlie Bone and the Time Twister by Jenny Nimmo A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep & Joanne Ryder The Tiger's Apprentice by Laurence Yep The Rain Dragon Rescue by Suzanne Selfors The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine Story Thieves by James Riley The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga (for mature readers only) by David A. Robertson
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Rubrics will be provided for the written assignments and learners will be encouraged to self-assess their work. I will also refer to this rubric in my feedback.  Additional guidance will be provided in the classroom in the form of videos, examples, and graphic organizers.

However, there will be no grading in this course (A, B, C, etc. or percentages). Instead, I record feedback (video) with specific praise and suggestions for the future, believing that essay writing and English skills develop over time (for a lifetime) and at varying rates for all individuals. Individual growth and sustained/renewed interest is most important. 
2 hours 30 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 4+ hours per week outside of class.
There are battles between cat clans in the Warriors series, so this class may not be suitable for sensitive learners, especially since there there is a murder cover-up in Into the Wild (another cat wanted to take control). The murder takes place in the past and there is no graphic description of the event.

Additionally, some research will be required for our class. For this, learners may use books and/or the Internet. Some more kid-friendly search engines are Google Safe Search (https://www.safesearchkids.com/google-kids) and Kiddle (https://www.kiddle.co/). Do oversee your child's researching process.

Finally, we will use the following resources in our course.

Google Docs/Slides: I will prepare a document for each learner to type their essays and short stories in, and this will allow me to see their work and guide them as they develop their writing. They will also present some animal research in a Google Slides presentation. These files will be prepared for them. No sign ins or Google accounts will be necessary.

Youtube: I will post video resources in the classroom. The videos will play directly in Outschool and the learners will not be directed to Youtube.

CK12 Flexbooks: Your learner will not need to access this resource themselves since the articles will be shared on the screen during our class.

Teacher

Alaina Bell Gao
🇨🇦
Lives in Canada
Let's explore the world through literature, art, and social studies!
344 total reviews
164 completed classes

About Me

Hi! My name is Alaina Bell Gao, and I am an Ontario-certified (Canadian) English teacher with 15+ years of professional teaching experience.

Teaching Style:
● Share the joy of learning
● Learn with my learners
● Welcoming class culture
● Patient... 
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