Archive | October, 2016

Independent Reading Assignment: Book Movie Trailer

31 Oct


Today we will meet in the library to work on our 2nd Reading Assignment.

Reading Assignment 2: The Book Movie Trailer Project

Imagine your book was being made into a movie. Your assignment will be to create a short video trailer ( 1-2 minutes) for your book. For this assignment you will:

  • Use pictures and video that fit the themes of your book.
  • Use music and sound that reflect the tone and mood of your book.
  • Write and record a narration that details important conflicts and situations in the book, without giving too much away.
  • Include an important line or passage from the book. (If you are clever, you might even be able to use lines from the book for the entire narration!)

Some tips to consider:

  • Watch and pay attention to a few movie trailers. In your notebook, write down any techniques that you think are interesting and could be used in your trailer.
  • Effective Lead: most movie trailers begin with something exciting to get the audience’s attention. Where in your book is an exciting place to begin? Consider your favorite part of the book.
  • Your visuals should work together with your narration.
  • Leave the audience wanting more. Create suspense. End your trailer with unanswered questions and unresolved conflicts.

Here are a couple of good examples

Here are some good places to find pictures and videos for your project. Thanks to the Sachem East Librarians for putting this collection together!

Final Copy of College Essay Due

28 Oct

Today you will submit your final copy of your college essay to Kidblog.

Important: Select “Final College Essay” as Your Category

Make sure you select Final College Essay as a category! If you do not, I will not see your post and you will not receive credit. Be sure to go over the college essay checklist!



Important Reminders

Next week we will work on our Reading Assignment.

All revisions must be in by Friday Nov. 4th

Notebook Check is Monday Nov. 7th

Finish Peer Editing and Work on Final Draft

27 Oct

Go to the Library.

Today you can finish commenting on your partner’s essay.

Then take a look at the college essay checklist and use it with the comments on your essay to revise your paper.

The final copy is due tomorrow!

Collaborating! Go To the Library for Peer Editing

26 Oct


Collaboration is a great tool to improve your work. Just look at Drake and his team working on his latest track above. By putting our minds together we can accomplish great things!

Today you will work with a partner. You will help each other improve your college essays. Remember the point of the essay: to use a story/experience to show their personality, how they have grown, and what important lessons they have learned.

Here are your instructions.

  • Go to Kidblog: Period 3 Period 4 Period 7 Period 8
  • Select your partner from the right-hand side of the screen, and open their college essay draft.
  • Read their essay. You will answer the follow questions in the comments for their post.
  1. Give your name!
  2. What do you like about their piece? Be Specific. Talk about actual sentences, words, and skills you observe in their piece. (Should be a couple of sentences long).
  3. What needs improvement? Be Specific. Talk about actual sentences, words, and problems you observe in their piece. Remember the point of the essay! (Should be a couple of sentences long).
  4. Look for at 3 words that can be replaced with stronger words. (“walk” can be changed to “limped” or “staggered”)
  5. Rewrite their opening. Give them 3 full sentences to help create an Effective Lead.
  6. Come up with two new Effective Titles.
  7. Write a sentence for their piece that has a Reflective Narrator.
  8. If you had to give the essay, in its current state, a grade 0-100, what would it be and why?


3 Skills to Improve Your College Essays

25 Oct


Today we will go over 3 skills that can help make your college essay  more interesting.

Skill: Effective Title

A good title gets the reader’s attention, creates interest, might raise questions, hint at the plot without giving it all away.  Sometimes it comes from a line in the story or something someone says.

Great book titles here and here

Skill: Reflective Narrator

-A reflective narrator does not merely recount the events of a story, they look back and analyze them.  He/she may explain the significance, question actions and event, think about what he/she would do if it happened again, discuss lessons learned, or detail what was going through his/her mind during the event. Here’s a nice article on reflective narrators.

Skill: Bookending

A technique for ending a writing piece, in which an idea that was brought up earlier in the piece is returned to.  Sometimes referred to as a frame story.

Read the Time Magazine Article about the roller coaster Goliath.  Notice the way the story is structured. The author begins with a little bit about the roller coaster Goliath.  Next he is on line waiting to ride the coaster.  The story switches focus and discusses other large roller coasters and coaster technology.  Finally at the end, he returns to his riding of the roller coaster.  He has created a “bookend” structure, in which an idea/situation is introduced, departed from, and then ultimately returned to.  This creates closure in the writing piece.

Examples from movies:

The Princess Bride- The story starts with a grandfather reading a story to his sick grandson.  The actual movie is the story, but every once in a while the “bookend” or “frame story” is reintroduced.  The movie ends with the grandfather and the boy finishing the book.

The Wizard of Oz- The story begins with a tornado in Kansas.  Dorothy is knocked unconscious and awakens in the land of Oz.  The story ends with Dorothy awakening from a dream back in Kansas.

Reading/Catching Up

24 Oct

Today we will have time to do some independent reading, as well as catch up on any work that is missing, or revise work you wish to have a better grade on.

I will call you up to see your current grades.

If you have not finished your college essay draft, it must be in by tomorrow, with your extension coupon.

Here’s a little video about compassion.

Go To A206 to Publish Your College Essay Draft

21 Oct

Today we are meeting in room A206 to publish our college essays.

Log into Kidblog (links are on the right side of this page) and type your essay in a new post. Select the Category “College Essay Draft.”


College Essay: Work on Effective Lead and Epigraph

20 Oct


Today we will spend time making the opening of our essay interesting. Your first few sentences are extremely important. A reader will be making plenty of judgments about you and your writing early in the piece. This is where you either stick out for being interesting or blend in with the crowd for being boring.

Effective Lead Exercise

Write 3 openings for your essay of 3 sentences each, following the guidelines below. When you are done you should have 9 sentences in your notebook.

  1. Create mystery and intrigue. Make your reader wonder what is happening.
  2. Start with action. Think about what the most exciting part of your story is and begin there.
  3. Begin with dialogue. Open your piece with something someone says. Don’t confuse with an epigraph, which is a quote before the beginning of your piece.

Find an Interesting Quote to Use as an Epigraph

Check out this site, BrainyQuote, to find a quote that fits with the themes and ideas of your college essay. They have a handy search by topic feature.


Skill: Epigraph; Work on College Essays

19 Oct

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.

Classic Examples:

Behind every great fortune there is a crime. — Balzac
(from The Godfather by Mario Puzo)

Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me? — Paradise Lost, X, 743-45
(from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley)

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. — Charles Lamb
(from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!” — Thomas Parke D’Invilliers
(from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald)

More examples

Work On College Essays

Once again, you will have more time in class to work on your college essay. I will be checking to see that you have at least a page worth of writing (ideas, rough drafts, outlines…).  Essay Questions.

College Essay is Due Friday!!

Here’s a video college essay for inspiration:

Read “Dreem Denied” and Work on College Essays

18 Oct

Read “Dreem Denied”

Dreem Denied” is another great college essay. It shows how the memory of a lost friend helps the author find purpose in his life.

Work on College Essay in Class

You will be given time to work on your college essay in class. By now you should have a pretty solid concept and begin your draft in your notebook.