The Witch of Blackbird Pond
A comprehensive unit exploring the historical setting of Elizabeth George Speare's novel and its connection to modern lives.

Marilyn Chan
Kelly Duncan

Table of Contents:
Historical Background
    • Life in Colonial America
    • WebQuest
Chapter Guides and Discussion
    • Introduction
    • 1. Chapters 1 - 4
    • 2. Chapters 5 - 10
    • 3. Chapters 11 - 15
    • 4. Chapters 16 - 18
    • 5. Chapters 19 - 21
    • Freedom's Plow - Langston Hughes
    • The Secret Heart - Robert P. Tristram Coffin
Literary Terms
    • The Tell-Tale Heart - By Edgar Allen Poe
    • Suspense
    • Plot
    • Symbolism
    • Interview
    • Literary Response Essay
    • Student Work Samples
    • CA 8th Grade Language Arts
Literary Analysis
Adolescent Literature
Salem Witch Trials
Focus Content Area:
English/Language Arts
Grade Level:

The purpose of this website is to make The Witch of Blackbird Pond more accessible for middle school students, especially those who are struggling readers or non-native speakers. In order to bridge the gap between our modern, tech-savvy students to the historical setting of Colonial Connecticut, Iíve created lessons and activities that are meant to engage students by exploring connections in their own lives.  I have also included chapter guides which contain key terms and background information essential for understanding the novel.  In creating this unit, I have been able to cover multiple standard outlined in the California Educational Standards for 8th Grade Language Arts.  From writing original poetry, to conducting interviews, to writing a literary analysis of the novel, students are exposed to different forms of writing as well as literary works from various time periods.  As a middle school teacher, I believe that it is part of my job to cultivate intellectual curiosity among my students, and I hope that this unit challenges them to become more self-motivated and engaged readers.

Historical Background:

Life in Colonial America

Life in Colonial America was very different from the way we live today. Using these links, research what it would be like living in Colonial America. Respond to the journal prompt below.


Journal Prompt: Imagine that you are teenager transported to the era of Colonial America.

What would your daily life be like?

How would your daily routine be different from the way it is now?

What would you miss the most about living in the 21st century?

Start with these questions to write in your journals....

(Half a page typed, 1 page handwritten)



What You Already Know/What You Want to Know

Before beginning the novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond it is important for you to understand a few historical concepts. Fill out this K-W-L chart with what you know and what you want to know about each term by creating a question.

Sample K-W-L:


K - What you KNOW

W - What you WANT to know

L - What you LEARNED


Sounds like a type of animal. Could be a place.

If it is a place, where is it? Who lives there? Why is this important to the book we are reading?







Research to Build Knowledge

Now use these links below to help you research the true meaning of each concept. Use this new information to fill out the area on your K-W-L chart under the column What You Learned:




Colonial Connecticut

Chapter Guides and Discussion:


The following pages are available for you to use as guides to help you read and understand Elizabethís Speareís The Witch of Blackbird Pond. The book as been divided into 5 sections. As you read each section pay attention to the key vocabulary words as well as some of the characters, events, themes and symbols that may be important. You will be documenting your observations on the worksheets in each section.

All worksheets will be handed out to you in class and will also be available for you to download. They are due after we finish each section.

1. Chapters 1 - 4

Colonial Life and Key Words

Some of the words you will see in the novel are no longer commonly used. For instance many of the characters say thee or thou instead you.
Therefore, "Thou art kind" translates to, "You are kind".

Be sure to complete and submit the Vocabulary Worksheet
. Follow the directions carefully.
  1. Read the sentence and make a prediction of what you think the underlined word means.
  2. Use or a dictionary to find the definition of each word the way it is used in the sentence.
  3. Write your own original sentence using the vocabulary word or draw a picture to show that you know what the word means.
Key Words:


In chapters 1 - 4, the main character Kit, meets many interesting people on her way from Barbados to Connecticut, as well as in Wethersfield Town. As you read the chapters, begin writing your observation in the Understanding Characters
chart below regarding the characters that she meets. Here are some webites to help you choose the most appropriate adjectives to describe each character.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Understanding Characters Ė Chapters 1 - 4


(page numbers)


Who they are in relation to Kit


Three words that describe them


(1, 8)



Nathaniel Eaton

(1, 8)



Mistress Eaton




Mistress Cruff








John Holbrook




Aunt Rachel









(29- 30)



Matthew Woods




Discussion Forum

Go to Schoolloop to post an original, open-ended question for your classmates to view. You must also post a response to one of your classmates questions. Be sure to follow the discussion forum rules.

2. Chapters 5 - 10

Colonial Life and Key Words

One of the most important symbols in the novels is also one of your vocabulary words for this section. The Charter

What exactly is The Charter?

(Connecticut Colonial Charter of 1662)

The Charter is a document signed by King Charles II of England, which authorizes the right for colonies to exist. According to The Charter, the citizens of the colonies are allowed to own land and govern themselves however they see fit, without interference from the King. Read for yourself the actual Connecticut Colonial Charter of 1662.

Pay attention to the different reference to the charter throughout the novel. What does The Charter symbolize to the citizens of Colonial Connecticut?

Key Words from your Vocabulary Worksheet

Reading Questions

Answer the following questions as you read chapters 5 - 10. Be sure to fill out the worksheet
using complete sentences.

  1. Describe the meeting house. What does it look like? What is itís function?
  2. One of your vocabulary words is courting. William had come to call on or court Kit, which in that time period means "to date" her. Describe how they are both expected to act during their courtship. How does Kit feel about William courting her?
  3. What causes Kit to run off to the meadow? How does the meadow make her feel?
  4. Describe Hannah Tupper. Who is she? Where does she live?

Discussion Forum

Go to Schoolloop to post an original, open-ended question for your classmates to view. You must also post a response to one of your classmates questions. Be sure to follow the discussion forum rules.

3. Chapters 11 - 15

Colonial Life and Key Words

One of the your vocabulary words is pupil, which is another word for student. Schools in Colonial America were very different from schools now. They didnít have the same kind of pens, pencils and paper that we have today. Many students learned to read and write using hornbooks, similar to the one that Kit owns.
These hornbooks are not actual books, but are made of a piece of wood carved with a handle. A piece of paper is attached to the front of the hornbook with a sample of the alphabet, numbers and  sometimes the Lordís Prayer from the bible. Covering the paper is a clear sheet made out of animal horn, so that the hornbook can be used over and over again without being ruined. This is what students would use to copy and practice writing.

In chapter 13, Judith and Kit attend a
husking bee in which they participate in helping to husk the corn that the munity has harvested for the season. The purpose of the husking bee was to not only make the work of harvesting and husking the corn easier, but also to allow the comminity to get together and have fun chatting, singing songs, telling jokes and just being with their friends and family. In order to make the husking more exciting, they seperated the party into two groups and raced to see which group would finish husking their pile of corn first. Sometimes the colonists would find an ear of red corn, also known as Indian corn, and according to tradition, whoever found an ear of red corn would receive a kiss from their sweetheart. Of course, some young men would then hide the red corn and pretend they husked it when the time was right.

Key words from the Vocabulary Worksheet:

Important Quotes

Important quotes from the novel are not just what a character says. They could also describe significant events in the novel or a characterís thoughts, feelings and actions. I have chosen five significant quotes from the novel and it is up to you to to explain why the quote is important by stating what is happening in the scene, which characters are in vleved and why the quotation in important to the story.

Fill out the Important Quotations worksheet for chapters 11 - 15. You must also find two quotes from chapters 11 -15 that you feel are significant to the story.
Here is an example:

Discussion Forum

Go to Schoolloop to post an original, open-ended question for your classmates to view. You must also post a response to one of your classmates questions. Be sure to follow the discussion forum rules.

4. Chapters 16 - 18

Colonial Life and Key Words

In Colonial America people who broke the law were punished differently than the way we deal with criminals today. Troublemakers were placed in the center of town, like in front of the meeting house in Wethersfield, where the towns people can see and mock them. The forms of punishment include:

Stocks: Made out of wood, which has holes for the criminals ankles to be locked into as he/she sat down.

Pillory: Also made out of wood but had holes for the hands and the head. The criminal had to stand while the townspeople harrassed them by throwing food and garbage at them.

Whipping post: This is where a criminal was tied and whipped.

Key words from the
vocabulary worksheet:

Cause and Effect

In chapters 16 - 18, Nat, Hannah and Kit are punished by the people of Whethersfield. What were the causes and effects of their actions? Fill in the
cause and effect chart using examples from the book.






Chapter 16

Nat and two other sailors are put in the stocks









Chapter 16

John Holbrook leaves Wethersfield.







Chapter 17

An angry mob attacks Hannahís home.









Chapter 18

The constable arrests Kit



Write a prediction of what you think will happen in the rest of the novel.








Discussion Forum

Go to Schoolloop to post an original, open-ended question for your classmates to view. You must also post a response to one of your classmates questions. Be sure to follow the discussion forum rules.

5. Chapters 19 - 21

Colonial Life and Key Words

In the coming chapters, Kit has to face accusations of being a witch. Due to the Puritanís religious beliefs these accusations towards Kit could cause her banishment or even execution. We know that The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a fictional story, but it is based on real events in American history. How could have this really happened in Colonial America?

In Salem, Massachusets in the 1690ís many women were accused, tried and executed although it could not be proven that they were witches. These trials are famously called the Salem Witch Trials.

Watch a short video about the Salem Witch Trials:

Read more information about the Salem Witch Trials here:

Key Words from the vocabulary worksheet:

Drawing Conclusions

Now that you are nearing the end of the book, have your predictions regarding the fates of the characters coming true? Fill out the drawing conclusions worksheet following the directions below.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Drawing Conclusions

How did each of these characters end up by the end of The Witch of Blackbird pond? In the second column list the ways in which each characterís conflict(s) were resolved. In the last column write your own reflection about that character. Were you surprised, pleased or disappointed about how things turned out for them?



(List 2 Ė 3 details)

Your thoughts


~ Hannah escapes from the angry mob on Natís ship.

~ She is happily living with Natís mother.

~ She will probably be happier living with Natís grandmother because she wonít be lonely or have to worry about Puritans.


Discussion Forum

Go to Schoolloop to post an original, open-ended question for your classmates to view. You must also post a response to one of your classmates questions. Be sure to follow the discussion forum rules.


Freedom's Plow - Langston Hughes

Freedomís Plow
By Langston Hughes
When a man starts out with nothing,
When a man starts out with his hands
Empty, but clean,
When a man starts to build a world,
He starts first with himself
And the faith that is in his heart-
The strength there,
The will there to build.

First in the heart is the dream-
Then the mind starts seeking a way.
His eyes look out on the world,
On the great wooded world,
On the rich soil of the world,
On the rivers of the world.

The eyes see there materials for building,
See the difficulties, too, and the obstacles.
The mind seeks a way to overcome these obstacles.
The hand seeks tools to cut the wood,
To till the soil, and harness the power of the waters.
Then the hand seeks other hands to help,
A community of hands to help-
Thus the dream becomes not one manís dream alone,
But a community dream.
Not my dream alone, but our dream.
Not my world alone,
But your world and my world,
Belonging to all the hands who build.

A long time ago, but not too long ago,
Ships came from across the sea
Bringing the Pilgrims and prayer-makers,
Adventurers and booty seekers,
Free men and indentured servants,
Slave men and slave masters, all new-
To a new world, America!

With billowing sails the galleons came
Bringing men and dreams, women and dreams.
In little bands together,
Heart reaching out to heart,
Hand reaching out to hand,
They began to build our land.
Some were free hands
Seeking a greater freedom,
Some were indentured hands
Hoping to find their freedom,
Some were slave hands
Guarding in their hearts the seed of freedom,
But the word was there always:

Down into the earth went the plow
In the free hands and the slave hands,
In indentured hands and adventurous hands,
Turning the rich soil went the plow in many hands
That planted and harvested the food that fed
And the cotton that clothed America.
Clang against the trees went the ax into many hands
That hewed and shaped the rooftops of America.
Splash into the rivers and the seas went the boat-hulls
That moved and transported America.
Crack went the whips that drove the horses
Across the plains of America.
Free hands and slave hands,
Indentured hands, adventurous hands,
White hands and black hands
Held the plow handles,
Ax handles, hammer handles,
Launched the boats and whipped the horses
That fed and housed and moved America.
Thus together through labor,
All these hands made America.

Labor! Out of labor came villages
And the towns that grew cities.
Labor! Out of labor came the rowboats
And the sailboats and the steamboats,
Came the wagons, and the coaches,
Covered wagons, stage coaches,
Out of labor came the factories,
Came the foundries, came the railroads.
Came the marts and markets, shops and stores,
Came the mighty products moulded, manufactured,
Sold in shops, piled in warehouses,
Shipped the wide world over:
Out of labor-white hands and black hands-
Came the dream, the strength, the will,
And the way to build America.
Now it is Me here, and You there.
Now itís Manhattan, Chicago,
Seattle, New Orleans,
Boston and El Paso-
Now itís the U.S.A.

A long time ago, but not too long ago, a man said:
His name was Jefferson. There were slaves then,
But in their hearts the slaves believed him, too,
And silently too for granted
That what he said was also meant for them.
It was a long time ago,
But not so long ago at that, Lincoln said:
There were slaves then, too,
But in their hearts the slaves knew
What he said must be meant for every human being-
Else it had no meaning for anyone.
Then a man said:
He was a colored man who had been a slave
But had run away to freedom.
And the slaves knew
What Frederick Douglass said was true.

With John Brown at Harperís Ferry, Negroes died.
John Brown was hung.
Before the Civil War, days were dark,
And nobody knew for sure
When freedom would triumph
"Or if it would," thought some.
But others new it had to triumph.
In those dark days of slavery,
Guarding in their hearts the seed of freedom,
The slaves made up a song:
Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
That song meant just what it said: Hold On!
Freedom will come!
Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
Out of war it came, bloody and terrible!
But it came!
Some there were, as always,
Who doubted that the war would end right,
That the slaves would be free,
Or that the union would stand,
But now we know how it all came out.
Out of the darkest days for people and a nation,
We know now how it came out.
There was light when the battle clouds rolled away.
There was a great wooded land,
And men united as a nation.

America is a dream.
The poet says it was promises.
The people say it is promises-that will come true.
The people do not always say things out loud,
Nor write them down on paper.
The people often hold
Great thoughts in their deepest hearts
And sometimes only blunderingly express them,
Haltingly and stumblingly say them,
And faultily put them into practice.
The people do not always understand each other.
But there is, somewhere there,
Always the trying to understand,
And the trying to say,
"You are a man. Together we are building our land."

Land created in common,
Dream nourished in common,
Keep your hand on the plow! Hold on!
If the house is not yet finished,
Donít be discouraged, builder!
If the fight is not yet won,
Donít be weary, soldier!
The plan and the pattern is here,
Woven from the beginning
Into the warp and woof of America:
Who said those things? Americans!
Who owns those words? America!
Who is America? You, me!
We are America!
To the enemy who would conquer us from without,
We say, NO!
To the enemy who would divide
And conquer us from within,
We say, NO!
To all the enemies of these great words:
We say, NO!

A long time ago,
An enslaved people heading toward freedom
Made up a song:
Keep Your Hand On The Plow! Hold On!
The plow plowed a new furrow
Across the field of history.
Into that furrow the freedom seed was dropped.
From that seed a tree grew, is growing, will ever grow.
That tree is for everybody,
For all America, for all the world.
May its branches spread and shelter grow
Until all races and all peoples know its shade.

1.  Compare and contrast the theme of freedom between the novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond and the Langston Hughes poem "Freedomís Plow. Are the messages regarding freedom in America similar or different?

2.  Choose key phrases from the poem and the novel to support your opinions.

The Secret Heart - Robert P. Tristram Coffin

"The Secret Heart" by Robert P. Tristram Coffin is an example of a couplet poem. As you read the poem, pay attention to the structure of the poem and its deeper meaning.

Key Terms

Structure is the form or the shape of a poem. In poetry, the structure of the poem is sometimes just as important, if not more important, than the words themselves.

Stanza: a group of lines that are meant to be read as a unit. Stanzas can be made up of couplets or have as many lines as the poet wants.

Couplet: a pair of rhyming lines


The Secret Heart

Robert P. Tristram Coffin



Across the years he could recall
His father one way best of all.

In the stillest hour of night
The boy awakened to a light.

Half in dreams, he saw his sire
With his great hands full of fire.

The man had struck a match to see
If his son slept peacefully.

He held his palms each side the spark
His love had kindled in the dark.

His two hands were curved apart
In the semblance of a heart.

He wore, it seemed to his small son,
A bare heart on his hidden one,


A heart that gave out such a glow
No son awake could bear to know.

It showed a look upon a face
Too tender for the day to trace.

One instant, it lit all about,
And then the secret heart went out.

But it shone long enough for one
To know that hands held up the sun.



This poem can also be found in the 8th grade Prentice Hall Literature book on page 811.




After reading activities



Answer the following questions in complete sentences.


1. How many stanzas are in the poem?


2. How many of those stanzas are couplets?


3. Choose the couplet that stands out to you the mist and copy it down. Explain the meaning of that couplet and why you chose it.


4. Who are the characters in the poem? Describe what they are doing.


5. In line 17 and 18, what kind of look did the father have that was "too tender for the day to trace"?


6. What evidence in the poem shows that the father did not often show how he cares for his son? (Find a quote in the text)


7. What is "The Secret Heart"? What does the match light symbolize in the poem?



Writing your own poetry using couplets!


Directions: Using the key terms that youíve learned in this unit and "The Secret Heart" as an example, write your own poem using couplets. Your poem can be about any school appropriate subject.


You can fill out this brainstorm guide/rubric to help you write your original poem.




1. Copy or type your poem onto a piece of blank paper for your final draft. Do not use binder paper!

2. Include illustrations or designes to decorate your poem.

3. Attach the brainstorm guide/rubric to the back of your final draft.


Your poem will be graded on the following:



Total Points: 20




Literary Terms:

The Tell-Tale Heart - By Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe is known for his suspenseful and thought provoking short stories such as "The Tell-Tale Heart". As you read the story, pay attention to the way Poe creates a feeling of suspense in the way he descibes the setting, plot and characters. Also be sure to pay attention to important objects that may actually be symbols that are key to understanding the meaning of the story.

You can find a copy of this story in the 8th grade Prentice Hall Literature book on page 522.

Use the pages titled "suspense", "plot" and "symbolism" to help you complete the following post reading assignments.

A. After reading "The Tell-Tale Heart" fill out this Plot diagram by mapping out important events in the story.

B. Answer the following questions in 2 - 3 complete sentences.

1. Why does the narrator hate the old man and what sound finally drives him to kill the old man?


2.   Is the sound he hears real or imagined? How do you know? Find evidence from the story.


3.   What part of the story is the most frightening or suspenseful to you? Why?


4.   What do you think the eye symbolizes? Hint: How does the eye make the narrator feel?


5.   What do you think the sound of the heartbeat symbolizes? Hint: Why does the sound of the heartbeat cause him to confess?


What is suspense?

Suspense in books or movies is the feeling of uncertainty about whatís going to happen.

Journal Write: Write about a scary movie that you once watched.

What was the scary movie about?

How did the director of the movie create suspense and keep you interested?

Think about the charactersí actions, music and specific events in the movie.

(Half a page typed, One full page written)


Parts of the plot:

*Think of a childrenís story that you are familiar with, such as Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or Hansel and Gretel. Summarize that story by writing what happened in each stage of the plot.


What is a symbol?

A symbol is a concrete object that represents an abstract idea. This is an object in a story that also has another, deeper meaning.

*Make a list of symbolic objects? What do each objects represent?



In the novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond, we learn early on that Kit moves from Barbados to Connecticut Colony. Today, many people still immigrate from one place to another in order to find better opportunites for themselves and their families.

Your job is to interview someone who has immigrated from another country to the United States. This person could a friend, a family member, a family friend or even a teacher.

Steps to conducting your interview:

1. Write down at least 15 interview questions. Example questions:
Where did you immigrate from?
Why did you immigrate to the U.S.?
How long have you lived here?

2. Find a person who you would like to interview.

3. Take careful notes or record the answers to your questions.

4. Type a short summary of what you have learned about the person you interviewed. Describe in detail who this person is what type of experiences he/she has had as an immigrant in the United States.

5. Attach a copy of your interview questions to the final draft of your write-up.


1. Length and Format: 1-2 pages typed, Times New Roman, double-spaced lines. (5 points)
2. Content: Were your interview questions thoughtful? Was the information that you included in your write-up detailed and thorough? (10 points)
3. Conventions: Did you pay attention to grammatical mistakes, spelling mistakes and puntuation errors? (5 points)

Total Points: 20

Literary Response Essay

Response to Literature - Symbolism
Essay Assignment

Your assignment is to write an essay responding to the novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond. This essay should focus on the topic of symbols and what those symbols represent in the story. You can use the
symbol worksheet that we have been working on during class to help you brainstorm for your essay.

You will be given a copy of the rubric. We will be working on this essay as a class, but in order to receive an A, you must use your own ideas and choose your own symbols to write about.

Follow these steps for writing your essayÖ

  1. Fill out the outline so that you know what symbols you will be writing about.

  1. Hand write or type your first draft.

  1. After editing your first draft, type and print out a second draft to bring to class to proof read.

  1. Revise your second rough draft, being careful to correct all mistakes.

  1. Turn in your essay! Be sure to include all attachments: Outline, First and second rough drafts, rubric (found on the back of this sheet).

Essay Format

Use the outline to help guide you in writing your essay.

  1. Introduction: Includes a hook. Introduces the title, author, and a thesis statement. Summarizes which three symbols you are writing about.

  1. Body Paragraphs: These are the three paragraphs that describe the symbols. Include examples and quotations from the story.

    1. Body Paragraph 1: Discusses your first symbol and includes examples.

    2. Body Paragraph 2: Discusses the second symbol and includes examples.

    3. Body Paragraph 3: Discusses the third symbol and includes examples.

  1. Conclusion: Summarizes your ideas and connects them to life or human nature.

*** Your essay must have be at least 5 paragraphs long. ***

Total Points: 100

Student Work Samples


CA 8th Grade Language Arts

ELA.8.1.1. Analyze idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes to infer the literal and figurative meanings of phrases.
ELA.8.2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)
Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA.8.2.3. Find similarities and differences between texts in the treatment, scope, or organization of ideas.
ELA.8.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Structural Features of Literature
ELA.8.3.1. Determine and articulate the relationship between the purposes and characteristics of different forms of poetry (e.g., ballad, lyric, couplet, epic, elegy, ode, sonnet).
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA.8.3.2. Evaluate the structural elements of the plot (e.g., subplots, parallel episodes, climax), the plot's development, and the way in which conflicts are (or are not) addressed and resolved.
ELA.8.3.3. Compare and contrast motivations and reactions of literary characters from different historical eras confronting similar situations or conflicts.
ELA.8.3.4. Analyze the relevance of the setting (e.g., place, time, customs) to the mood, tone, and meaning of the text.
ELA.8.3.5. Identify and analyze recurring themes (e.g., good versus evil) across traditional and contemporary works.
ELA.8.3.6. Identify significant literary devices (e.g., metaphor, symbolism, dialect, irony) that define a writer's style and use those elements to interpret the work.
ELA.8.1.0 Writing Strategies
Organization and Focus
ELA.8.1.1. Create compositions that establish a controlling impression, have a coherent thesis, and end with a clear and well-supported conclusion.
ELA.8.1.2. Establish coherence within and among paragraphs through effective transitions, parallel structures, and similar writing techniques.
ELA.8.1.3. Support theses or conclusions with analogies, paraphrases, quotations, opinions from authorities, comparisons, and similar devices.
Research and Technology
ELA.8.1.4. Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches by using computer networks and modems.
ELA.8.1.5. Achieve an effective balance between researched information and original ideas.
Evaluation and Revision
ELA.8.1.6. Revise writing for word choice; appropriate organization; consistent point of view; and transitions between paragraphs, passages, and ideas.
ELA.8.2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.8.2.1. Write biographies, autobiographies, short stories, or narratives:
a. Relate a clear, coherent incident, event, or situation by using well-chosen details.
b. Reveal the significance of, or the writer's attitude about, the subject.
c. Employ narrative and descriptive strategies (e.g., relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description, background description, comparison or contrast of characters).
ELA.8.2.2. Write responses to literature:
a. Exhibit careful reading and insight in their interpretations.
b. Connect the student's own responses to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references.
c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience.
d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
Written and Oral English Language Conventions
ELA.8.1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions
Sentence Structure
ELA.8.1.1. Use correct and varied sentence types and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.
ELA.8.1.4. Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.
Punctuation and Capitalization
ELA.8.1.5. Use correct punctuation and capitalization.
ELA.8.1.6. Use correct spelling conventions.
Listening and Speaking
ELA.8.2.0 Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.8.2.2. Deliver oral responses to literature:
a. Interpret a reading and provide insight.
b. Connect the students' own responses to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references.
c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience.
d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or personal knowledge.