Andy killed himself- is this a way to end a book?!?! Suicide Awareness and Prevention


We have been hard at work on our first novel unit- Tears of A Tiger by Sharon Draper.  This was an amazing and thought provoking book. Without spoiling it for you ( YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK) it is about a group of high school friends that see their lives change forever when one of them dies in a drinking and driving accident. The book follows the effects of this fateful night and in the end the driver, Andy, committed suicide because he could not live with the guilt. We were floored that he did this- better yet – we were angry and upset! This book brought many questions and issues up about teen drinking, suicide and friendships. Many of us have had friends die or be killed but no one we know has ever committed suicide. We discussed this a lot in our room and Ms. Bodanyi’s room as well.  

This week Miss B choose a U2 song called “A Day Without Me” for our small class close read. At first listen we were stuck- the song had an upbeat tempo and we are not huge U2 fans! 🙂 After we received the lyrics it all began to fall into place- it was about suicide! We listened again and annotate to pull the meaning from the text. Here are some pics of that

Renell Hard at Work!

Renell Hard at Work!

Annotating to pull meaning from unfamiliar text

Annotating to pull meaning from unfamiliar text

The Lyrics

The Lyrics

By the end of the close read we were able to decipher that this song was not random as we first thought and that Miss B chose it because it goes with one of the theme of Tears of a Tiger !  We also discovered that the song -despite the tempo- was actually quite sad and about a person who felt that they were all alone and had nothing to offer the world, just like our character Andy! After this our writing prompt was this—–

Our close read argument statement

Our close read argument statement

Wow!!!! This ignited a fire storm in everyone present !!!! We have tons to say about this some of us felt that it was not selfish and others did- here is one person’s perspective on the topic- ( Rough Drafts)


Here is another ( Rough Draft)


Off to a great start- right? Stay tuned for more excellent writing! Next week we will be starting our research projects about teen drinking – driving- and suicide.

We are back! Close reading into this new year and do Newspapers lie?

Hello everyone! We hope you had a great summer- we did! We are back now for a new school year! We had some really sad changes at the start of the year. Our little school family was broke up- D.J. moved to Florida and Eva is now attending a different school, we miss them everyday and wish them the best ❤ ! On a happier note we have a new family member- welcome Isaiah! We are happy he is with us. Isaiah is a very talented athlete and writer. In fact I.J. (as we call him) is writing his own book! Here is a photo of the new book and our newest class author!

I.J. hard at work writing his book

I.J. hard at work writing his book

Here is the rough draft- when he is done he is going to type it and try to get it published!

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In fact we have all been focusing on writing. This year we all set personal goals and everyone has decided that this is the year of the author!!! Miss B found out this summer that she is having some of her poetry published in an anthology- we are SO EXCITED~~~~~ This has inspired us!

In order to become better writers we need to become better readers. We have been using the CLOSE READ strategy – Miss B plays  a song for us, we listen, then we get the lyrics, listen again and we annotate  and write all over the page. We dissect the song, discover the message and then off the song we write. Sometimes we are given a prompt and sometimes we free write based off our annotations and level of understanding of the text. We use common symbols so we can carry this with us throughout every subject matter. Our comprehension has skyrocketed and we really love this! Here are some photos of us hard at work and our board dedicated to CLOSE READ.

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In a related subject we are learning about informational text. We all love fiction but understand that we need to learn how to gleam understanding  from non fiction texts as well. Miss B wrote a unit that uses newspapers to teach us about how to read, navigate, and understand informational text. We are also learning about awesome topics such as bias, if we can believe everything we read in the papers, and how connections are essential in learning and changing your life for the better. Here are some shots of this in action and a poster we made!

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A new addition to our room is our featured writer of the month wall! Miss B has a new display that shows off our amazing writing! This month our featured author is Isaiah!

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Isn’t his writing superb?!!!!

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Yes- you are reading this correctly! We got another Donors Choose project funded!!!! This one was a gigantic one and affords Miss B the ability to teach art classes to all the 6-7- and 8th grade students! Yep- 150 of us will now get art class!!!!! We have been waiting for this day for as long as we have been at Graham! Come check out our art blog at

Until next week- PEACE!