Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Evaluating a Speech - President Obama speaks to School Children

What criteria (categories) would 'you' choose to evaluate this speech.  Some possible choices might be:

  • Message
  • Stance (agree with/disagree with)
  • Delivery of Speech
  • Memorable moments
  • Surprising moments
  • Relevance to audience
  • Quotes used
  • Humor
  • Setting
  • Surprising Facts
  • Language and vocabulary
  • etc etc...

Make sure that whichever criteria (Power 2s) you choose to evaluate this speech, you can find at least three pieces of evidence (Power3s) to support the opinion you made

Monday, September 28, 2009

Compound and complex Sentences Practice

Explanation of  Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences
Ignore use of colon (:) and dash (-) explanations


Complex and Compound Practice

Optional Writing Activity to Practice

Coming Next Week

Sentence Fluency Test
Can you write advanced simple, compound, and complex sentences?
Do you know the characteristics of compound and complex sentences?
Can you punctuate compound and complex sentences effectively?
Do the practice exercises on this blog to help you prepare for the test

Prepositions and Prepostional Phrases
What is a preposition?
Why do we use prepositional phrases?

Social Studies Textbook - Lesson 4
Land and Regions

Evaluating Text - Speeches
What criteria would you use to evaluate President Obama's speech to school children?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Evaluating - Mentor Text Example

Make sure the evaluation of your newspaper article resembles the paragraph below. Your opinion of what you read should be very evident. Follow effective paragrpah struture. Have you used sentence fluency?
Two adventurous fifth grade school girls search out more than they bargained for while attending a class outing at the Natural History Museum. A Mummy Mystery is an exciting story that leaves readers on the edge of their seats. The main characters, Molly and Lena, are very mischievous throughout the story. Even though they should be with their class, they wander off on their own almost immediately on their arrival at the museum. Lena is probably the most disobedient of the two. Molly seems be the type of person who worries about what other people think, “Mr. Gardiner will be furious with us!” she exclaimed at one stage in the story. Alternatively, Lena’s fascination with ancient Egypt and complete disregard for her class was demonstrated when she almost ran toward the larger banner over the entrance to the Great Hall. The author, Andrew Clements, tries to use humor to break down some of the tension that builds in the story. It was amusing when Officer Johnson thought he was on T.V. when he first saw the Mummy’s hand move or when Molly whispered to Lena about the Mummy, “…it looks more like a squirrel that’s been hit by a car.” The author does not seem to pay meticulous attention to all of the fine details, leaving some of the events of the story a little confusing. How would a mouse be able to burrow under the Mummy’s wrappings without causing damage? Moreover, the mouse would have died of suffocation if it had been stuck in the glass case all that time. Any “…ancient pieces of corn or wheat”, would surely be rotten after thousands of years and could not have provided food for the mouse. Despite some over exaggerated facts, the daring exploits of Molly and Lena and a few light hearted jokes make the tale, A Mummy Mystery both memorable and enjoyable. On your next field trip, I’d watch the exhibits really closely if I were you. Just in case.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Social Studies Test- Essay Question

Today's social Studies test required you to use your Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) to apply what you learned in Lessons 1&2 to a specific question. Read an 'adapted' copy of Will Gardner's essay below for a fine example of how to do this.

Venu has returned now to his native planet of Venutian. He was very impressed by what he learned on his Social Studies course. Based specifically on your studies on Lesson 1+2, advise Venu on policies he could implement in his own planet.
(notice key words in question that you should have highligted)

As Venu steps out of his spacecraft, his family cheers,"Venu's home". Venu begins to speak to his nation based on what he learned on his travels. Venu is tired of his country being a communist nation, so he plans to change his governement in some ways. Becoming a Republic with unique rights and responsibilities for its citizens, will be a goal for Venu's new governemnt. In a Republic, citizens elect representatives to make decisions on the citizen's behalf. Unfortunately, theese representatives sometimes vote in their own interests and not the ctizens. Venu will ensure that the citizen's representatives will vote fairly. Even though Venu does not want Venutian to be a 'direct demoncracy', he should inform his leaders about this alternative form of government. In a direct demoncrcy, everybody takes part in every decision. Direct demoncracy works well for small groups like clubs and neighborhoods. It would be took much hassle in Venutian to bring everybody together to vote on every decision. Venu should take the time to make sure his new system of government contains certain rights and responsibilities for its citizens. Some rights he learned about inthe U.S. include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freddom to live and work where a citizen pleases. Venutian citizens will have certain responsibilites like voting, going to school, and obeying martain laws. All of these would be written in the Venutian constitution, or a plan of government. By implementing all these new policies, Venu will have success in changing his government from communism to a successful Republic. Venu finishes his speech and sits down drenched in sweat. The chief of Venutian rises and says to the natio,"It's time Venutian implements a real change to its government."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Hope you all enjoyed the overview and video on 'Capitalism' today. Watch it again below if you are interested.

What is your opinion on government intervention into the Free Market?

Great contributions to our class discussions today Mary Grace, Hayden, and Jack. Well done!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coming Next Week

  • Complex Sentences (What's the difference between a dependent and independent clause?)
  • Evaluating Newspaper Articles and Speeches (What criteria will you use to evaluate?)
  • Descritpive Writing
  • SSS Sentence Techniques
  • Social Studies Lesson 3 - System of Free Enterprise in the U.S.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Changes to H/W Tasks

These H/W tasks are POSTPONED until next week
Bringing Newspaer Article
Researching 8-10 facts on an American Entrepenuer/Businessman

Tonight - Finish your Essay question.
Sentence Fluency
Hook,Topic, Power 2 and 3
Approx120-140 words

See exampe of model essays below

Explain why Chuz Zia and his family plan to immigrant to the U.S.

The Chuz Zia family have packed their worldly belongings in suitcases and will begin an epic adventure to the other side of the world. Over the last century, millions of families have immigrated to the U.S. in search of a better life. Families like the Zias are attratced to the U.S. for the variety of freedoms this country offers. Once Chuz Zia arrives inthe U.S., he will have the freedom to choose where to work and where to live. He can begin his own business, or he can work for a company like Microsoft or Coca Cola if he has the qualifications. His children have the right to a free education to gain the qualifications they would need to find suitable work in thier future. Additionally, Chuz Zia can also vote in local and government elections and help select the leaders of the nation once he obtains citizenship. The freedom to practice whichever religion a person chooses is an important right all immigrations receive in the U.S. As a new citizen to this country, Chuz Zia families will also have certain responsibilities. His children must go to school or is parents could face fines. Moreover, all immigrants and citizens alike must obey the law or face being arrested. Speeding tickets and local laws are applied to all people fairly. Recieving a fair trial is another right of all citizens should he need arise. Being involves in their new society is also expected of all U.S. citizens in terms of voting in elections or contributing in a postive way to make society better. To reiterate,  rights  like working for a specific company or responsiblities like following local and state laws, atttract new immigrants like Chuz Zia to the U.S. every year. Whether the Chuiza family are greeted by the Statue of Liberty on the east coast or the Golden Gate Bridge on the west coast, they will quickly come to appreciate what a great nation they have enetered.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sentence Fluency: Compound Sentences

Do you remember the key characteristics of Compound Sentences?

Four Key Rules to make an effective COMPOUND SENTENCE
1) The two halves could stand alone as individual sentences.
e.g. Peter likes tennis, but Mark likes pizza.
2) Two halves are joined by a comma and conjunction
e.g. Claire and Mary enjoy watching television, but their children prefer the internet.
3) Information in two halves of sentences must be linked in some way
e.g. Bolognaise is made of tomatoes and pasta, and it contains shredded meat.
4) A semi colon can replace the comma and conjunction
e.g. Peter likes tennis; Mark likes pizza.

Make sure from now on your writing contains a mixture of both simple(don't start with banned words!) and compound senteces!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Change to H/W Routine Tue&Wed

Do not do the essay tonight on the H/W sheet. Work on choosing effective categories for the topics on the RC RaCS Evaluating sheet. You only need to write 3 categories per topic. Make sure you prioritize the categories. The essay is postponed until Wednesday night. It will need to be finished for this Friday.

e.g. Evaluting the Dining Room
Categories - 1) Choice of Food 2) Service 3) Facilities

Social Studies Test is postponed until next Tue. You still need to make sure you can answer the questions on the back of the H/W sheet by Thursday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sentence Fluency

This week we will begin our first grammar unit titled, 'Sentence Fluency'.

What does it mean to have a piece of writing that shows fluency?

Win +points for adding your comments

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

'Showing' not Telling Poetry

Enjoy these examples of Where I'm From...poetry written by your classmates. Notice the use of vivd descriptive 'showing' language.

I am made of the colors red and gold
Huge celebrations with dragons so bold
I’m from secret escapes from an island
and I’m a swordplayer in demand
I’m a lover of water, sunlight, and sand.
I’m from saddling up and falling right off
and little beany critters going aloft
A melody of any is a joy to me
It’s like I have gills some may say
and I like dreaming even during the day
I’m always showing my teeth,
and with my stomach, I’m likely to be green
I was given the gift of song
and I hark from the land of the gong
I’m ham-handed as can be
But I am exuberant, so I hope that you will like me.

by Katherine Lim

I am from sun blocking banks, law firms, and construction sites
From juicy, crunchy, delicious fried chicken and birthday foie gras

I am from 5 o’clock rush hour on Providence road
From the close calls of Bobcats games and the roar of the crowd as the Panthers play

I am from fireworks and cookouts on the Forth of July and that truly great Oreo pie
From the smell of gooey cookies right out of the oven

I am from the screams and laughs at Carrowinds and the costumes of characters as they greet the fans
From the smell of fried Twinkies and funnel cakes and the crowded but still very fun speed street
I am who I am and that can’t ever be changed

Makaela Sides

When you write descriptively...will you attempt to 'show' your readers like these examples below?

The pizza was delicious.

Steam rising up off the melted cheese made my mouth water. The first bite, my teeth sinking into the cheese through the tomato sauce and into the moist crust, made me chew and swallow rapidly. Even the cheese and tomato sauce, sticking to my fingertips, begged to be licked.

He is angry.

Sitting at his desk, his jaw tightened. His eyes flashed heat waves at me. The words erupted from his mouth, "I want to talk to you after class." The final hiss in his voice warned me about his feelings.

The morning was beautiful.

Behind the mountains, the sun peaked brightly, ready to start a new day. The blue sky remained silent yet showed signs of sadness. The wind whispered through the trees as the cheerful sun rose. The birds sang gently by my window as if they wanted to wake me up.

The coffee was enjoyable.

She cradled the mug in both hands and leaned her head over it in the rising steam. Pursing her lips, she blew softly over the clouded surface and let her eyelids drop. Her shoulders rose slightly as she breathed in, and she hummed with her head low. I lifted the tiny porcelain pitcher and poured a brief rotating arch of white into the black depths of my own cup. She opened her eyes, and we looked at each other across the table without speaking.

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