Welcome again, Level 9 friends and family!


We have really gotten into our new book, Redwall, which is a very popular adventure story set in a fictionalized medieval England Abbey, after which the book is named. We have taken the opportunity to discuss some similarities and differences between this fictional abbey and a real abbey of the time, and talk about why the author chose to make the changes that he did to the real-life stories of abbots and monks from history. The students have proven very insightful and have really shown off their critical thinking skills. We have also used this book as a jumping-off point to discuss the ideas of archetypes and symbolism, two very important concepts in literary criticism. We have then used those ideas to draw comparisons between Redwall and other popular literature such as Harry Potter and Star Wars. The students have again proven insightful.


For writing class, we have been dividing our time between working on a longer research project and doing creative short story writing. In our research time, we have talked about how to select a topic for research and begin the process of preliminary research and developing a research question, which we will finalize in the month to come. For creative writing, we have written a handful of stories, the most interesting of which was a folktale explaining the origin of something. They impressed me with their creativity, and I think the stories show off their versatility in writing styles.


In our periodical reading class, we have still been focusing on current political events. We have read and talked more about the American election, because given the somewhat unusual nature of this year’s campaign has provided a great deal of reading material. We also talked about the security case between Apple, Inc. and the FBI (now resolved) which presented some very interesting issues about privacy, software, and state security.


The students have done such a great job this month and I am looking forward to continuing to work with them on these fascinating topics.