ELA 7 and 8

Hello! My name is Dawn Lucken Hills and I teach 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts at Keewaydin. This is my second year in the building and my 8th year in Minneapolis Public Schools. Prior to coming to MPS, I taught at a small Catholic school in St. Paul. Other than a year or two of Adult Basic Education, I have always worked in middle school settings. I love the energy middle schoolers bring to school and I really enjoy watching students discover and grow into critical thinkers, readers, writers, and savvy consumers of media. I have a BA from Concordia College in English and a Master's in Teaching from the University of St. Thomas. I love reading, watching terrible television, lifting weights, and finding yummy food to eat. I live in St. Paul with my awesome husband, delightful son, perfect dog, and two cats. 

In 8th grade ELA, we will begin the year talking about the idea of Utopian and Dystopian societies. We will read an anchor text as a class and students will have an opportunity to choose a novel that fits into our theme to read on their own. While we are reading, we'll work with the craft of writing, look at vocabulary, learn how to manage a large project, and compile a small portfolio of work. 

Seventh graders will begin the year with some personal narratives. We will read a number of short stories about growing up and discovering the challenges involved in getting older. Students will write about themselves using prompts and will continue their practice of using evidence from text to strengthen their claims. We will learn about the elements of a short story and will work to identify them in stories we read and use them to structure our writing. 

ALL 7th and 8th grade students will need a notebook for ELA. This is a must for every single class period. Students also need to have a book they will read from beginning to end as we will begin most class periods with about 10 minutes of independent reading. This gives students an opportunity to calm their bodies and minds and prepare themselves to work in the ELA classroom. Books can come from home or from our classroom library. 

I'm looking forward to another great year at Keewaydin! If you would like to contact me, please email at: dawn.lucken-hills@mpls.k12.mn.us


Mrs. Lucken Hills