Archive | September, 2015

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.

In the Lab to Work on Memoirs

24 Sep

Today we are in the computer lab to work on our memoirs, which are due tomorrow!

Than vs. Then: Work on Memoirs

22 Sep

Then vs. Than

It’s pretty easy to remember the difference between “Then” and “Than.”  Just remember that “Than” is for comparisons; otherwise use “Then.”  It’s a simple mistake, but one that can cause people to judge your intelligence!

Work on Memoirs

Today you will have a majority of the time in class to work on your memoirs.  If you are stuck, here are some ideas to explore:

  • Making a new friend
  • A fight
  • Strange coincidence
  • First time
  • Last time
  • Fish out of water story
  • A new place
  • Leaving
  • Loss
  • Victory
  • “I wish I could remember/forget”
  • Vacation
  • 1st day of school
  • Accident/Mistake
  • “My stomach dropped”
  • Beginning
  • Ending
  • “I don’t know where I’d be if not for…”

On Thursday we will be in A206 to work on our memoir. Your typed, finished copy is due Friday!

Effective Lead and Memoir

21 Sep

Skill: Effective Lead

An author’s attempt to grasp the reader’s attention in the beginning of a work.

First impressions are huge.  Think about how fast you flip through TV channels.  How much time does each program get before you switch stations?  In a world of ever shrinking attention spans, you need to grasp your readers’ attention as soon as possible.

Try being vague, create mystery by not immediately letting the reader know exactly what you are writing about…
Try using vague words like “it” before explaining what “it” is.
Start with dialogue.
Start somewhere besides the beginning.
Say something shocking.  Sensory Imagery blast.
Start in the middle of the action.

Check out this page of 100 best first lines of novels.

And this one: 1stLinesof Movies

Working on Memoir

Today you will be asked to begin an outline for your memoir.  Here are some more examples

Memoir examples

Memoir: Due Friday; Typed 12pt. Font, Double Spaced;  Use the skills Organizing Ideas into Paragraphs, Sensory Imagery and Effective Lead; Minimum of 250 words.

Intro to Memoir

18 Sep

Today we read our Six Word Memoirs in class.

Then we saw some examples of student created Memoirs, like this one:

Finally you were given time to work on brainstorming for your own memoir, which will be due on Friday Sept. 25th.

Have a great weekend!

Type Six Word Memoirs

17 Sep

Today we will be in the computer lab.

Quick Writes:

-Write about something you are proud of.

-Write about something you are ashamed of.

In the lab you will type your six word memoir, add pictures, give it personality, and print it out.

Organizing Ideas into Paragraphs; Six Word Memoirs

16 Sep

Quick Write: write about a favorite (or least favorite) memory.

SkillOrganizing Ideas in Paragraphs

-helps reader comprehend your writing, a courtesy, like holding the door open for someone.

1 idea per paragraph

Paragraphs cause readers to pause and absorb what they just read.  Paragraphs can be used to control readers pace or to get the reader to focus on a single sentence or word.

Usually there is a TOPIC SENTENCE, which tells you what the paragraph is about, and a CONCLUDING SENTENCE that wraps up the ideas of the paragraph.

When writing dialogue, a new paragraph should be created each time the speaker changes.

Six Word Memoir

Listen to this radio show from NPR.

Then write a six word memoir for yourself and one for a famous person.