Again & Again & “Duffy’s Jacket”

Class began the usual way. The welcome activity today asked students to identify the subject and predicate in the sentence below:

In the spring, April Henry visits the school to give a presentation.

The subject of the sentence is WHO or WHAT the sentence is about, so the subject of this sentence is April Henry. The predicate of a sentence tells you something about the subject, and it always includes the VERB. In this case, the rest of the sentence is part of the predicate.

After reading time, students transitioned right into book talks, and after book talks, we reviewed capitalization rules using the Kahoot! that seemed much harder last week. 🙂 I also showed students where they could go to review grammar/punctuation concepts on the website.

Next, students were presented with this scenario:

Imagine this: 

  • You’re sitting at your lunch table on Monday, and you see a few people from your science class walk by. You’re table has a couple open seats, so you invite these friends to sit with you. When they sit down, your old friends get a little quiet, so you introduce the new people. You start chatting with the new friends, and soon after your old friends get up to return their trays, but they don’t come back. You figure they just got caught up chatting with another table.
  • Your science friends join you for lunch the next day, and you notice that your friends, again, leave early. The day after that, they leave early again. You ask them about it, but they smile and tell you nothing is wrong, but on Friday the same thing happens .
  • What can you infer from this situation? What lead you to be able to make this inference?

Students had some time to talk in their groups briefly, and then we shared out that it seems like the old friends don’t like the new friends. We can tell that because of a pattern that occurs – new friends sit down, old friends leave – and when patterns show up in our daily lives, we should take notice of them because they help us understand the world around us.

In the same way, when something shows up again and again in a book – be it a word, description, behavior, image, event, etc. – that is something the author is telling us to pay attention to, and so it is what we will call a SIGNPOST, a place in the text where we should stop and think about why that something keeps showing up.

Again and Again Anchor Chart Handout

Students talked for a bit about what elements, images, or sounds are showing up again and again in the creepy videos we have watched. By paying attention to these things, we will come to a better understanding of what suspense is and how we can create it ourselves.

This lead us to “Duffy’s Jacket.” Students were given the handout below and were able to begin working on it in class – annotating the text based on those big questions, creepy things, and the again and again signpost. While completing this isn’t homework tonight since you need to be studying for your quiz tomorrow, it will be homework over the weekend if you didn’t finish in class.

Duffy’s Jacket EXCERPT


  1. Read for 25 minutes
  2. Study for your quiz tomorrow.