“Beware the Thunder” and RACER (in-class response)

Class began the usual way today. Students from down synonyms and antonyms for their weekly words as the WA, and then they either moved into reading or planning/practicing book talks.

After book talks happened, students had a break because the next part of class promised to be a bit difficult.

We have been working with theme and explaining evidence for a few weeks now, and today students skills were put to the test; however, this “test” allowed students to use all of their notes, examples, handouts, and past writings in order to write a RACER response about theme for “Beware the Thunder,” the story students read for homework last night.

After students reviewed how they did on their revisions from yesterday, students received the rubric below that serves as a breakdown for what I’m looking for in each part of the answer.

Racer and Beware the Thunder Rubric

I also encouraged students to use the attached organizer in order to come up with their themes because the theme you begin with is SO important to being able to explain something well. If you start with a poor theme, then you are going to have trouble explaining the evidence well.

Discovering Theme GO (7th)

Students had a significant amount of class to work on this – about 35 minutes – but they will be finishing tomorrow.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Compete your book talk reflection. You have ONE WEEK from the day you go to do this.