quoting sources

Quote Integration and the Start of the Novel

English I Honors students worked on their quote integration skills with topics and quotes from “The Sniper,” a story we read earlier in the year.

Students worked on developing the skills necessary to selecting good passages to quote in support of a thesis and effective integration with one’s on writing. Afterward, they had final minutes to prepare for tomorrow’s group teaching efforts with the parts of speech project they have been working on.

English 8 students began Nightjohn and looked for evidence in Sarny’s words that indicate she is a slave. We’ll be using this tomorrow to explore voice and diction, determining what those words mean and how to analyze a piece of writing in those terms.

Journalism students worked on their articles and went on walkabout with me to take a look at how easy it is to find a topic for articles.


English 8 Strategies students continued with yesterday’s work of quote integration. We came up with some good examples of effective quote integration when we did our individual practice today:

  • For example, there are “people who just stop and talk” because they think they’re good and popular.
  • For example, so many people are trying to get to class and “[y]ou can’t get through the hall.”
  • For example, “[p]eople are pushing or shoving” because they’re mad, probably about something childish.
  • For instance, during the class change, people “just stop and talk.”
  • For example, Ms. Wade doesn’t like it when “[p]eople are pushing and shoving.”

English I Honors students finished the presentations in preparation for their coming poetry project (more information available at the Moodle site) and then turned to my personal favorite poem, Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art.”

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

We’ll be finishing up the poem (and two others similar) tomorrow.


English 8 Strategies began the sometimes-tricky art of integrating quotes from a document into one’s own writing. We had an introduction and a bit of practice, but tomorrow, thought it’s Wednesday and we should be working on sentences, we’ll continue it with some more challenging practice.

English I Honors practiced for their oral project which we will begin working on next week. We’ll have the actual presentations in small groups tomorrow.

Creative writing continued with existing projects and one-on-one consultations with me.


Quotes and Group Editing

English 8 students worked on group editing as we gradually whittle our way down to pair work in anticipation of a year of workshopping. Students read a letter to them from one of last year’s students and edited its content and grammar.

English I students worked on integrating quotes into their own words, a key element in literature and informational text standards. We began with an easy quote and thesis from “The Sniper.”

  • Topic: Sniper felt sorry for his actions
  • CD: “The sniper looked at his enemy falling and he shuddered. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse.” (13)

As a class we came up with something along the lines of, “The sniper, after shooting his enemy, feels ‘bitten by remorse’ (13) because he’s come to admire his enemy.”

With our second paring, students worked in pairs. In the end, I gave them as an authoritative example the following:

For example, when he realizes “an old woman” who has her head “covered by a tattered shawl” is an informer, he doesn’t hesitate to see her as an enemy and to shoot her. (11)

We also came up with a hashtag to promote:

Creative writing students worked on a productive prompt to begin the class:

When a special event is on the horizon, people plan for it and get excited about it. Maybe it’s a dance, an election, a family event, a party, a birthday, or an important sports game.

Think of a special event that you planned for and looked forward to that turned out much differently from what you expected. Write about what you expected would happen and what actually happened.

Afterward, we looked at the idea of a rushed story (or content gaps) before heading to longer, sustained writing. We’ll be turning to pure workshop work next week.


  • English 8 Strategies: add 10 items to your expert list.
  • English I Honors: determine why “The Most Dangerous Game” can’t be in any other location or any other time.
  • Journalism: none.
Double Do's and Don't's

First and Fourth periods learned about cultural laws and do’s and don’t’s before applying it to a text from the textbook about hospitality in ancient Greek culture and its role in the Odyssey.

Notes from fourth period
Notes from fourth period

Second and fourth periods returned the the question of citations and worked to incorporate quotes into their own words. The notes are available here.

We then practiced by creating a bit of a Schaffer paragraph. The second period students collaborated to create this:

Charlie Gordon is such a bad speller that he couldn’t spell simple words. For example, he spells “every” “evrey” (310). This is a word that many people can spell in kindergarten. He sounds it out correctly, but in this case, he spells it wrong. In addition, he writes “scool” instead of “school” (311). A lot of people can spell this before they go to school. (1 more CM)

The sixth period students created this:

Charlie Gordon misspells words that are basic and most people can spell in first grade. For example, instead of spelling it “write,” Charlie spells it “rite” (310). It is a word that can be confused with “right,” but teachers drill it in your head. No one should confuse these two. In addition, he spells “should” as “shud” (310) (2 CMs and CS)

We were unable to finish in both classes, so the remaining work will tide us over until we come back to school, either tomorrow or never if this Snow-mageddon comes to mixed-metaphor fruition.


  • English 8 Strategies: 
    • complete the Schaffer model paragraph begun in class;
    • write the second Schaffer model for which we determined the topic sentence in class:
    • Second period topic sentence: “Charlie Gordon is such a bad speller that some words are difficult to read.”
    • Sixth period topic sentence: “Charlie Gordon misspells some words so badly that they’re difficult to read.”
  • English I Honors: 
    • Determine text structure of the text we read in class (an image of the text is available here)
    • Read the section on Circe.
    • Turn in you final draft of the Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack Project Monday.

First and fourth periods continued working on “The Most Dangerous Game” today. We began by looking at how to integrate quotes into our own words. We practiced a bit before returning to yesterday’s groups and finishing up the planning.

Second and fourth periods finished up the short introductory unit on the Schaffer model. We completed the scaffolded cycle with individual work on the topic, “The Schaffer model is useful/confusing” (depending on the student’s view).


  • English 8 Strategies: complete the final in-class Schaffer paragraph.
  • English I Honors: 
    • finish the planning for the paragraph on “The Most Dangerous Game” (as needed);
    • use the planning to write the actual paragraph on “The Most Dangerous Game.”

The real role of leadership in education … is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility.

I am somebody! I was somebody when I came; I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful, and I am strong. I deserve the education I get here. I have things to do, people to impress, and places to go.

First and fifth periods worked to pull together a number of strands together: citations, direct quotes, the Schaffer model, and sentences using introductory phrases. We’re using our two-part definition of empathy from yesterday (empathy means a. sharing the same emotion as someone and b. taking action as a result)  to organize a short piece about Charlie (from “Flowers for Algernon”) being empathetic. We worked on planning today with a graphic organizer to that end. The mini-project, which foreshadows our larger research project which we’ll begin Monday, will be due Monday and will be evaluated on these criteria:

  1. The finished product will have three paragraphs: a short introductory paragraphs and two Schaffer body paragraphs, each with two concrete details. (30 points)
  2. Each concrete detail will include a direct quote from the May 20 progress report. (20 points)
  3. Each direct quote will include a proper citation. (20 points)
  4. Each paragraph will have one sentence that properly uses an introductory phrase that requires a comma.

Second and fourth periods continued watching Romeo + Juliet, the 1997 re-visioning of the play. We completed act two today and should finish the whole play tomorrow.

  • First and fifth periods: continue planning the empathy piece as needed.
  • Second and fourth periods: work on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack project.