Poetry Unit: Week One

Sorry for the delay on updating – It’s been a rather busy week!

Here are the notes and information for this week:


We reviewed theme and contrasted it from main/central ideas. Notes can be found here:

Theme and Central Idea


Finding Theme

Finding Theme

Then we used the TP-CASTT analysis system to dissect the poem/song, “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Samuel Beam, in small groups.

Poem and notes are found here:


Flightless Bird, American Mouth


In groups, our class created an analysis by paraphrasing and discussing the theme of the poem, “Not Waving But Drowning” by Stevie Smith.

The poem and notes can be found below:

Not Waving But Drowning: Poem

Not Waving but Drowning- Prezi Notes


Today we listened to and the did a TP-CASST analysis on, “Kitchenette Building” by Gwendolyn Brooks. This poem proved to be a bit challenging but allowed for some great discussion amongst groups.

The poem and notes:

Kitchenette Building: Poem

Kitchenette Building- Prezi Notes

Homework and next Class:

Students are being asked to have a poem selected for their speech presentation by class on Tuesday, March 2.

If you are struggling to find a poem:

1. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/browse

2. On the left, ” Refine Your Search”  – you can narrow down by author, idea, etc.

3. Find a poem you can analyze. There are thousands of poems on this site. If you are still struggling to find one, please let me know as soon as possible.

Next class period we will be working on our speech presentations in the Media Center. Please plan on working on your presentation – come prepared!

Poetry Speeches will begin on March 9, 2015. 

I think this is “everything” for the time being. As always, feel free to ask questions, seek help, and so forth.

Enjoy your weekend,

William Milburn


Field Trip: Oregon Jewish Museum

As I mentioned in my email, our eighth grade class will be visiting the Oregon Jewish Museum, in Northwest Portland, for their exhibit on Anne Frank.  This should provide students a great connection to our unit from earlier in the year. Additional information on the museum and exhibit can be found here:


Our field trip is newt week, Thursday, March 5th from 9:10-1:30pm. Students are to bring a sack lunch or preorder one from the cafeteria (see the form).  Completed permission forms and the five dollar fee were due today during third period. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the trip.

For now,

William Milburn


Poetry Unit: TP-CASTT

Today we started our Poetry Unit for English.

First, I introduced the unit assessment. To much of the chagrin of some of our students, we will be doing another speech. The guidelines and rubric are below:

Poetry Speech

Poetry Speech Rubric

Then, we discussed the TP-CASTT analysis system by applying it to the poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”.

The TP-CASTT handout can be found here: TP-CASTT Analysis

The application of this system to the poem can be found here: Nothing Gold Can Stay & TP-CASTT

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

William Milburn

Onward to Poetry

Book Preservation Speeches are mostly completed. We’ll have a few more to complete on Thursday. Then, we will transition and  being our unit on Poetry.

Students: If you would like to preview the poem for Thursday, you can find a copy of it in the link below. I know it’s familiar poem for most of you. I did this intentionally so we have a solid foundation to build from.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

For now,

William Milburn

Farewell, Fahrenheit 451

Aside from the speeches, we are finished with Fahrenheit 451.  

Students: Please return the novel to the media center as soon as possible. If you have any unanswered questions or want to explore the novel any further, please let me know. I am more than happy to discuss it with you.


For now,

William Milburn

Speeches Day One

I am very impressed with the Book Preservation Speeches given today. I can tell that many of our students put in great thought and effort into creating insightful speeches.


We will continue with speeches next Monday and will most likely finish on that day. Our class will then move into our poetry unit which is one of my favorites to teach.

Enjoy the long weekend,

William Milburn

The Phoenix

Today we discussed the symbolism of the river in Fahrenheit 451. Notes from the Prezi can be found here:

F451 River Notes

We then did some discussion on the ending of the novel, and reviewed with a competitive game.

Speeches will begin on Thursday.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

-William Milburn

Final Reminder:

Book Covers and Book Preservation Speeches are due tomorrow.

We will review the symbolism of the river, and the end of the novel tomorrow in class.

Speeches will begin Thursday, February 12.  Students should be ready to present on this day.

For now,

William Milburn

Project Work Day

Today, students were provided time to work on the upcoming assessments (Book Cover Project and Book Preservation Speech).

Reminder: Journals were due today. Book Covers and Speeches will be due on Tuesday, February 10 with the speeches beginning on the 12th.

As always, email me with any questions or concerns. Enjoy the weekend!

-William Milburn

Journal Clarification

Here are some additional components that will be taken into consideration when I grade the Fahrenheit 451 journals (Criterion B). As you prepare your journal, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can I demonstrate note taking skills?
  • Did I annotate “Dover Beach”?
  • Is my journal organized?
  • Are new entires easily located?
  • Did I write down the Essential Questions?
  • Did I accomplish all the tasks that were asked of me?
  • Will it be obvious to Mr. Milburn that I have been keeping pace with the expectations of our class?

Hope this helps clarify to even further. If you have been putting in the effort to meet the expectations of my class, then this will be no problem. I am a firm believer in the correlation between organization and success. If you want help and feel that this is an area you are still struggling with, please arrange a time to meet with me. I am more than willing to help!

-William Milburn