Hero Journey – Campbell

“The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly. What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of a fiasco.

“But there’s also the possibility of bliss.”

Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss


Pursuit: YEA! (http://schools.friscoisd.org/hs/lonestar/site/home/news-announcements/2015/10/01/yea-application)
Deadline extended: October 5, 2015 at 5 p.m. Access the online application here and select TX Frisco Chamber of Commerce.
The Frisco Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an innovative educational program for students in grades six through twelve.
The program begins in November and runs through April. Classes meet each Tuesday evening from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Frisco ISD Career and Technical Education Center, 9889 Wade Boulevard in Frisco.
Pursuit: Video Contest (http://www.txgifted.org/video-contest)
Deadline: November 11
TAGT is once again sponsoring a video contest, Raise Your Voice, and a photo gallery, Capture G/T, in support of the 2015 TAGT Annual Conference theme, Leading Conversations. TAGT seeks to showcase the voices and images of gifted students across the state, as well as encourage creativity and collaboration!

The Scarlet Pimpernel/Fr. Revolution

Research topics by groups: What are the key points and information about your topic? What are the connections to the French Revolution – before & after?

Group 1: First Estate
Group 2: Second Estate
Group 3: Third Estate
Group 4: Versailles/Marie Antoinette
Group 5: Baroness Orzy

You may use these sites as starting points to learning more about:

1) the causes of the French Revolution;
2) the important figures of this time period/aristocrats; and
3) the results of the Revolution.


Marie Antoinette | PBS
Marie Antoinette is the official online companion to the PBS documentary Marie Antoinette. It contains a wealth of information about Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution, including educational guides.


Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment & French Revolution
The Galileo Project Hosted by Rice University, the Galileo Project provides information about Galileo’s family, career, and scientific inquiries. Included are a list of Galileo Project texts, an ov…

New School Year

Hello, Mausome GT Parents/Guardians,

I hope this email finds you well and that a memorable summer was had by all! I, jokingly, told the kiddos last year that I would be researching their summer reading by spending some time in the land of the hobbits. Although,  I didn’t see any hobbits, I did see the Misty Mountains (aka The Remarkables) and some other sites.

I always enjoy seeing the kids after summer because they change so much, and they’ll continue to change as this year progresses, personally and academically. I’m so lucky that I get this benefit by being able to be their teacher another year.

What have we been doing? LOADS! Did they tell you about the Marshmallow Challenge? Our motto from that: Think like a Kindergartner – dauntless and creative. We’ve also spent several days reviewing, deepening, and solidifying our understanding of the hero’s journey – from fairy tales to personal stories to fiction. On Friday, we will have a gallery walk of their mindmaps for The Hobbit. I can’t wait to see the finished product of their thinking and their mapping of Bilbo’s journey. The drafts look intriguing.

Tomorrow, they will take their district-required expository CBAP (their first major grade). We’ve been working towards this since the first day, and I hope they see the connection when they see the prompt tomorrow. We will want to do our best and keep in mind that there will be a revision portion next week. 🙂

Finally, I told the kids to bring a coloring book. We are going to use this as a “brain break, get our creative process going” activity. Personally, coloring  is something that I still do as an adult, especially when I have to do any kind of lengthy writing.

Thank you, again, for sharing your kids with me for another year.

End of Middle School Faire

8th graders:

Today, I want to you write a reflective paragraph about your middle school GT experience. Be sure that you have a thesis statement or a main idea. J Be sure to provide details. Think about the tone that you want to convey to your classmates.

Once you’ve done this, think about a dish (from your culture or one that just happens to be your favorite) that compliments what you’ve written.

You could use the dish as your inspiration. We will have our End of Middle School Faire on Friday. J

TS Character County Food Fair

Tom Sawyer: Characterization/County Food Fair – Thursday, June 4th! (unless you let me know you were bringing it Friday)

  1. Choose a character who interested you the most and that you’d like to analyze using STEAL.
  2. It can be a major character,  a minor character, a moral character, or an immoral character.
  3. The cardstock is for your FINAL, so work on scratch paper.
  5. As part of the brainstorming process, you will need to look for 2 interesting pieces of text evidence for each letter of the STEAL acronym. That means you will have 10 pieces of interesting and revealing text evidence that allows you to analyse your chosen character.
  6. These 10 pieces of text evidence should come from throughout the book, not just from one section. These must show or reveal who your character is as a person (STEAL).​
  7. Be sure to include the analysis and the 5 to 7 of the most revealing pieces of text evidence on your cardstock. This must be neatly and creatively done.
  8. The analysis can be done for each letter or written in paragraph form.
  9. You will need to illustrate your character. The illustration and the analysis should be all on the front of the cardstock.

“County Food Fair”: Match a Southern dish to your character. For example, if I analyse Huck Finn, I might choose Mississippi Mud Pie to represent him – (layered (multi-dimensional, hard crust (life’s struggles), chocolate (dark), and white (innocence), Mississippi (regional).

G/T In the Know

Grade 8 (going into Grade 9)
Summer Reading: There is no assigned summer reading for students going into GT Humanities I, but students still want to know “what to read”. I encourage you to read throughout the summer, focusing on the philosophies and the classics:

  • http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/ap-literature
  • Anthem
  • Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy

Awards/Celebration: May 29
Field Day: June 1
Field Trips: June 2 (Team Cheetahs) & June 3 (Team Pumas)

Grade 7 (going into Grade 8)
Summer Reading: You will read The Hobbit.
Awards/Celebration: May 28
Field Day: June 1
Field Trip: Thursday, May 22

Barnes and Noble Bookfair for FISD
“Barnes and Noble is going to have a special “bookfair” the weekend of May 22-24 to sell summer reading books to our students.  The FISD libraries will get a portion of the sales from this weekend.  When students present the attached flyer (grade level specific) to the upstairs cashier at B&N, we will get credit for the sale and the student will be entered into a drawing for a free book.  If B&N runs out of a specific title during the designated weekend, they will ship the book to the student’s home free of charge.  It really is a win-win for all of us!”

Order Form (going into Grade 6 GT) – Stargirl
Order Form (going into Grade 7 GT) – Lone Star Reading List 2015
Order Form (going into Grade 8 GT) – The Hobbit
Order Form (going into 9th grade Pre-AP) – Anthem

Independent Study and Mentorship (ISM)
Final Presentation Night
ISM Teachers: Matthew V. Pirtle (Heritage HS); Kara Brittain (Independence HS)
Date: Friday, May 22, 2015
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Heritage High School (Auditorium)
ISM Program Description
*Centennial/Independence ISM will be a part of HHS’s Final Night

Evening’s Schedule (Approximate):
6:30 – 7:00 Come and Go Student Showcase (cafeteria at most campuses)
7:10 – 7:45 Mentor Acknowledgment (Auditorium)
8:00 – 8:30 Individual Student Presentations (Classrooms)

* If you’re unable to attend our feeder high school’s ISM night, you may attend another high school’s event:
Frisco – May 19
Wakeland – May 20
Lone Star – May 20

**Extra Credit Opportunity: If you attend an ISM presentation, write about the one presentation that you found to be the most interesting and why. Be sure to include the student’s name and his/her topic. Your write-up should also reflect information that you gathered from having had a conversation with the student about his/her topic.