Reading a Short Story


Click here to read the short story  “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto

At the end of the story, the narrator says that Victor “was going to like seventh grade.”

“What are three things you are going to like about being in seventh grade?

Write your answer in the form of a paragraph on the THOUGHTS tab of this website.



Non-Fiction Text

HOW to Read Nonfiction Texts [Expository]

Understanding Text Structures

Understanding Question Answer Relationships [QAR]


  • QAR = Question Answer Relationships


Making Generalizations


Symbolism & Christmas

  1. Watch:  The Signs of Christmas by Miss Debb & Andrew
  2. Pre-write:  Symbolism at Christmas Time
  3. Read:  Symbolism at Christmas
  4. History:  Top 10 Christmas Symbols
  5. Symbols:  What They Stand For
  6. Learn More:  Wikipedia
  7. Write:  Christmas Symbols


Understanding Literature

Genres of Literature

There are five major genres, or categories of literature:  Fiction, Non-Fiction, Folktales, Drama, and Poetry. Click here for an overview of the Genres of Literature.

  1. Fiction: writing that is a product of the imagination.
    • Historical Fiction: based on or around a person or event from history.
    • Science Fiction: dealing with aliens, the future, or advanced technology.
    • Fantasy: containing monsters, magic, or other supernatural elements.
    • Realistic Fiction: a story that could have happened, but didn’t.
  2. Nonfiction: writing that is true or factual.
    • Informational Writing: writing that provides information on a topic.
    • Persuasive Writing: writing that attempts to influence the reader.
    • Autobiography: the story of one’s life told by oneself.
    • Biography: the story of someone’s life told by someone else.
  3. Drama: writing that appears as a play or script.
  4. Poetry:  writing that is concerned with the beauty of language
    • Comedy: has a happy ending.
    • Tragedy: ends in death and sadness.
  5. Folklore: stories that were handed down through the oral tradition.
    • Fairy Tale: a story with magic, monsters, and/or talking animals.
    • Fable: a very short story, usually with talking animals and has a moral.
    • Myth: has gods or goddesses and often accounts for the creation of something.
    • Legend: a story based on something that might have once been real, but has since become exaggerated beyond the realm of nonfiction.
    • Tall Tale: stories usually set in the American frontier where the main character has exaggerated strengths, skills, or size.  The tone of the author is humorous.

quiz kid



Take a quiz about Genres:

Genres of Literature Quiz


Understanding Fiction

Elements of Fiction

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Click Here to Watch Power Point about the Elements of Fiction

READ about the Elements of Fiction Stories.



Understanding Irony

Simply put, irony is the use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.

There are three types of irony:  verbal, dramatic, and situational.

Three Types of Irony:

Situational Irony:

Dramatic Irony:

Verbal Irony:


Understanding Realistic Fiction

REALISTIC FICTION stories are imagined ones that could really happen today. The story may be set in real places, but the story is NOT based on history, nor does it contain elements of science fiction.  While the characters are realistic and true-to-life, they are ‘made up’, or imaginary people with normal human powers.  Realistic fiction characters are often confronted with struggles  that many teens are faced with.

Understanding Plot Structure in Literature

Understanding Characterization






Click here to see a list of Character Traits




Understanding Conflict in Literature

      “Every storyline involves some kind of conflict.  It is a struggle between two (different) forces.  These forces can be either internal [feelings] or external [physical]. []

    • View a Powerpoint about the different types of conflict in literature by clicking here:
    •  Conflict in Literature.

Understanding Figurative Language

UnknownLearn more about figurative language by watching this power point presentation: Figurative Language PPT.




Click here a list of terms & definitions:

Figurative Language Terms Sheet




Click here for a copy of the

Figurative Language Close Reading Packet






Click to watch videos/powerpoints about different types of figurative language:



Understanding Point of View



Click here to watch video:

Flocabulary Point of View 

Understanding Theme

Click here to watch videos to help understand themes:

  1. Understanding The Theme of a Story
  2. How to Find the Theme of a Story


Elements of Drama

FLASHBACK is when a writer interrupts the action of the story to show a scene from a character’s past. FLASHFORWARD is when a writer brings the action of the story back to the present time.

The move “The Sandlot”  is a great example of this. Until the last few minutes of the movie, the story revolves around a flashback involving a group of boys playing baseball. Then it flashforwards [switches back to the present] when one of those boys is a baseball announcer and his friend is a professional baseball player.

Watch the Animate Video:  The Piano by Aidan Gibbons

Watch the movie “The Sandlot”:


All About Poetry


Poetry means different things to different people.  It  is a type of literature that expresses ideas, feeling, or tells a story in a specific form, usually using lines and stanzas.


Making Evidence Based Claims