Ms. Egan’s Newsletter 11/24

Happy Thanksgiving Middle School Families!

I hope you continue to have a relaxing vacation.

The trimester ended last Friday, and grades will be ready at parent teacher conferences the week after next. Please note the grades you were able to see on Gradelink right before break were not completed, and there are assignments that still need to be put into the system.

Once we return, 5th and 6th grade will begin reading Bud, Not Buddy and 7th and 8th will begin Of Mice and Men. Our writing component for this unit is an argumentative essay based on close reading and interpretation of the novel, and our theme is Change Requires Effort.

Of Mice and Men is a Nobel Prize winning novel written in 1937. It uses the language of its time, and it portrays working class men trying to create a better life for themselves during the Great Depression. Keep in mind the characters use mature dialogue and racial slurs that are no longer acceptable in our modern American language. We will discuss as a class why this is offensive and why we no longer use these terms. You might also want to discuss it with your student if he or she brings it up. It is important to understand and be exposed to our history so we can continue to improve our knowledge and acceptance of others, and to see how much we have progressed as a society.

Bud, Not Buddy tackles racial discrimination during the Great Depression as well. Since we are using a Catholic curriculum for both novel studies, we will address Jesus’ teachings of acceptance, inclusion, and social justice. Our overarching theme is Change Requires Effort, so we will also discuss how, as a society, we have changed since the time period in which these novels take place.

I will be sending letters home with more information and ideas for discussions outside of the classroom regarding the study of these novels.

We will be starting Ancient Egypt in Ancient Civilizations, and The Constitution in US History. During this US History unit, 7th and 8th graders will get a taste of how our government was created and how it works.

Keep in mind Grandparents Day is Friday 12/1, and the following week is parent/teacher conferences.