Quarter 1

Cultures: Asian Traditions

During quarter 1, students will read articles and books with a focus on some aspects of Asian culture. Perhaps this sounds like a social studies class? It is impossible to study literature without a history lesson or a social lesson tied to it! We focus on themes, figurative language, the author’s purpose and techniques, and many other aspects of language arts while we read, but we also usually end up having amazing conversations about the topics. It is healthy and necessary to have these book conversations because reading becomes pleasurable only when connections appear and meaning is made from what one reads.

Short Texts

We will be reading four short texts as follows:

Here is a video to accompany the first article:

How to Read a Short-Story:

SafeTube Link

novel study

“The Breadwinner,” by Deborah Ellis

Review from Amazon:
The first book in Deborah Ellis’s riveting Breadwinner series is an award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families, and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Parvana’s father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner. The 15th anniversary edition includes a special foreword by Deborah Ellis as well as a new map, an updated author’s note, and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.



We will be reviewing, comparing, and contrasting these three types of writing:

  • argumentative essay
  • info/explanatory essay
  • narrative essay


  • In place of IR (independent reading) tests this year, students are required to use Whooo’s Reading.
  • Project-based learning
  • Daily writing


We cycle through the TN State Standards throughout the year. Download them here in PDF format.

This Quarter’s Testing

  1. CFA (Common Formative Assessment) #1
  2. Checkpoint #1