Work on College/Personal Essay

5 Oct

Today we will be doing a Brainstorm worksheet for our next writing piece the college or personal essay.

We will also read a great example essay: Absolute Value.

You will have time to work on your writing piece or read your book.

12th Grade: 

We will be reading quotes from Henry David Thoreau Quotes.

Quick Write: Which is your favorite and why?

9th Grade: 

Skill: Epigraph– a quote before a piece begins that hints at themes and main ideas of the piece.

Personal Essay and College Essay Work

2 Oct

12th Grade: Our next writing piece will be the college essay Common App Questions

9th Grade: Our next writing piece will be the personal essay

Personal Essay Questions

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
  4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Complete this Essay Brainstorm sheet.

If you finish you will have time to do some reading.

Library/Computer Lab Assignment

1 Oct

Today we will be in the Library (period one will be in the computer lab)

During class complete the following assignment, type, print, and hand in by the end of class.

1. New Vocabulary Words: Define with part of speech

12th Grade: Brawn, Tout

9th Grade: Reprove, Cursory

2. Write a brief story (at least 50 words) using these words. Use the skill Sensory Imagery at some point.

3. Write a brief explanation (at least 50 words) of something you did this past week, without telling me what it is you did.  Use Showing Not Telling!

4.  Tell me about your Independent Reading Book

Title, Author, number of pages, why you chose this particular book

***If you finish early you may read your book.

Seniors Bring in College Essay Topics Tomorrow!

Class Books and Library Visit

30 Sep

12th Grade:

Quick Writes:

-If your house was burning down, everyone and the pets have gotten out ok, and you could only grab three possessions, what would they be?

-Have you ever wanted to run away? Why Why not?

Read opening to Into the Wild

Be sure to get your college essay topic.

9th Grade:

Read Sanctuary (page 9)

Quick Write:

-Think of everything you can about a tree. List characteristics and traits.

About halfway through class we will go to the library to get books for reading. You may read our class book if you want.

New Skills: Epigraph and Personification; Begin Class Books

28 Sep

12th Grade:

Bring in your topics for your college essay.

Quick Writes- write 50 words on the following quotes.

“A man is rich in proportion to the the number of things he can afford to let alone.” -Henry David Thoreau

“Children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.” -G. K. Chesterton

Skill Epigraph

Epigraph: a quote or statement before the beginning of a piece of literature that highlights a main idea or theme in the piece to follow. It can be used to draw a reader’s attention to a certain idea or concept, or to help set the mood of the piece.

Some examples

Into the Wild

We will read the opening to Into the Wild

9th Grade:

Quick Writes:

What are the different social groups in our school?

Write 50 words on your thoughts of this quote: “We’ve spent so much time judging what other people have created that we’ve created very, very little of our own” -Chuck Palahniuk from Choke

Skill Personification

Personification- Giving human or life-like qualities to things that are not human or living.  By giving human traits and actions to nonhuman things, we can bring them to life.


We will read the opening to Speak.

Vocabulary; Skill- Showing not Telling

28 Sep

Two New Vocabulary Words

Define the following words, write a sentence for each, and think of something/someone that could be described with the word.

12th Grade: Ambiguous (adj) – unclear, hard to determine
Nefarious (adj) – wicked, evil; criminal

9th Grade: Ostentatious (adj) – overly showy, trying to impress
Expedient (adj) – quick, effective

Skill: Showing not Telling-

-instead of telling us something, show us!


Telling: Roger is mean.

Showing: Roger tripped me in the hallway. At lunch, in between harassing freshmen, he was throwing french fries at our table.

Telling: The girls were excited.

Showing: Giggles and screams filled the arena. The soft curls were now damp with perspiration and the anticipation of the event. They held tight to each other in a mock effort to contain themselves. Arms flailed upward, and voices echoed in varying tones. The moment was here.

Telling: The room was vacant.

Showing: The door opened with a resounding echo that seemed to fill the house. Cob webs once attached flowed freely in the air as the open door brought light to a well worn floor. The light gave notice to the peeling paint on the walls and to the silhouettes once covered by pictures. The new air gave life to a stuffiness that entrapped the room. Faded and torn white sheets covered once new furniture now drowning in dust.

More in depth discussion Herehere, here, and here,

Memoir is Due! Get a Book for Independent Reading

25 Sep

Today our memoirs are due. Make sure you have them typed and in class. I will give you a rubric to fill out and you will also label the skills you used.

Skill: Effective Title

Quick Writes:

What is one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do? Did you succeed? How was it challenging mentally or physically or both?

What is something you have failed at? Did you learn any lessons from your failure?

Independent Reading Books

For homework, get yourself a book of your choosing to read independently. Bring it to class next week.


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