Independent Reading Assignment


Over the next month, my students will be working on a WWI Independent Reading Assignment. They will choose their novel or non-fiction book from this GoodReads list. They need to make sure the book is available through the Los Angeles Public Library or the Los Angeles County Library and place a hold as soon as possible and have the book sent to the closest library to their house. Once they get the book, they need to submit a short explanation of why they picked it and when they started reading it. There is a great deal of data on the importance of reading and of being part of a reading community. This is the culture our Ninth Grade Academy is trying to build.

Double Entry Journal

The purpose of double-entry journal (DEJ) is to give students an opportunity to express their thoughts and become more involved with their readings. Students will divide their pages into two with a vertical line down the center. On the left side, they will write the page numbers, the dates they read, and short quotes or events from their book. In the right column, they write personal responses to the quotes on the left. These reflections can include their own opinions, disagreements, interpretations, events in their lives that the quote reminds them of, guesses about the meaning of new words, and connections to the textbook and/or video lectures. DEJs allow students to pick out the parts they think are important, and to ask the questions they have, instead of doing exercises that the teacher made up. Approaching the reading this way will help to improve comprehension and vocabulary. These journals will be assessed on a weekly basis rotating (per 1) January 22, (per 2) January 25 and so on.


Independent Project

Each student will be required to demonstrate they have read and understood the book with a project. They will work with the teacher to define the dimensions, develop the project, and create a rubric for grading it. Earlier in the year, students brainstormed how they could customize writing projects. The projects should help students demonstrate knowledge of California History-Social Science standards: 10.5 Students analyze the causes and course of the First World War.
1) Analyze the arguments for entering into war presented by leaders from all sides of the Great War and the role of political and economic rivalries, ethnic and ideological conflicts, domestic discontent and disorder, and propaganda and nationalism in mobilizing civilian population in support of “total war.”
2) Examine the principal theaters of battle, major turning points, and the importance of geographic factors in military decisions and outcomes (e.g., topography, waterways, distance, climate). 3) Explain how the Russian Revolution and the entry of the United States affected the course and outcome of the war. 4) Understand the nature of the war and its human costs (military and civilian) on all sides of the conflict, including how colonial peoples contributed to the war effort.
5) Discuss human rights violations and genocide, including the Ottoman government’s actions against Armenian citizens.

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