Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coming Next Week

  • Midwest Region Facts
  • GRAAB Non-fiction WritingTechniques
  • Poetry Writing- Poetic Devices (simile, metaphor, hyperbole, alliteriation, personification, onomatopoeia, sensory language)
  • Nouns Test - CLOSED NOTES (Make sure you have tackled all the exercises on the blog on Nouns)
  • Figurative and Sensory Writing (in class writing assessment on an abstract noun of your choice)
  • Spelling Test (Fri)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Southeast Region - Essay Question

See how Robert was able to incorporate so many precise facts that we had learned about the Southeast  region in his essay test answer.  This is an exact example of HOTS in practice. You will have three more regions tests and similar questions. Set this as a standard for  your own essay writing.

Explain how the regional specialties served at a traditional Southeast meal might be different to food served in restaurants in other areas of the country.
Time limit: 30minutes
The warm gumbo bowl steams heavily. Its captivating scent gestures diners to dig in. The Southeast has a litany of enchanting food. Fortunately, several cultures have heavily influenced Southeastern cuisine. A long time ago, the French sailed to Louisiana to settle; therefore, giving the Gulf Coast delightful eating. The Spanish journeyed to Florida, while bringing a cornucopia of Spanish recipes. Slaves from Africa brought their own cooking styles. Coincidentally, the Southeast grows a multitude of crops. From pecans, to peanuts, and peaches, the 180-day growing season helps grow copious foods. In Florida, the citrus capital of the world, one can always find a tasty tangerine. Rice is very popular in the Southeast, so it might be on the menu. Luckily, numerous Southeast animals will be on this plate. There is an assortment of farms in the Southeast, and they provide steak, pork, and chicken. The Mississippi River, Atlantic Ocean, and Gulf of México combine to always have a fresh catch. Fish, shrimp, and crab make seafood an enormous possibility. To reiterate, the recipes of early settlers, plentiful cash crops, and several Southeast animals to make the Southeast a popular eating region. As the customer leaves the restaurant, he is satisfied, for the unique Southeastern cuisine fills his stomach.

Showing not Telling Sensory Writing Examples

Congratulations to Ryan S and Ansley, (Graham class) and Robert  (Buxton class) for your triumph in the '5-Day 10 minute writing' competition. We will have another writing competition next April with different partners. Enjoy some notable pieces of writing from your classmates last week. Let these be the 'standard' by which you judge the quality of your own  personal narratives this evening.  Feel free to  leave a comment about the writing.

Day 1
Gazing at the crowd of young school kids glazed eyes, I begin to feel what it is really like to be ignored.  The itchy lace surrounding my neck urges me to scratch all ober my body, buy I stay as still as possible. Mild dewey oders of my husband's pitchfork slowly waft towards my smooth, straight nose. A wrinkly face belonging to my husband shimmered like a ray of sunglight on a lakeunder the light. His narrow, wiry glasses bob up and down on his nose as he slightly turns his head to peer at the kids tired faces. As the noisy students trudge to the museum's lunchroom, my husband and I sign with relief.  by Ansley and Ryan S.

Day 2
Up on the mountain, the Grinch glared down at the mountain he used to love. The stars and the moon were the only hasppiness in the Grinch's life of despair. As the cold December rain whislted, the quiet town of Whoville slept in a shower of peace. A sinister grin spread across his face while he tailored his Santa suit. He seemed older than the hills that rolled over the quiet, sleepy town.  As the clock struck 11pm,  the Grinch mopped his sweat-filled brow and cut the pine wood for hiss sleigh. Not a soul paced the old,rocky streets at his hour. He smelled freshly wrapped candy canes whafting out of every chimney. The Grinch knew Christmas would never come to Whoville again.
by Kate and Will.

Day 3

I felt lost. Bustling around me, my siblings of different colors shoved and pushed me as if I were dirt. I felt crammed, like an elephant in a desk.  My stomach churned whem students came. I was as quite as a Churchill mouse. I was only a small portion of this master piece.  A blob, barely seen. A breeze of students passed knowing that they shouldn't be running. Me, only a small circle of this dazzling painting wishing to be free.  by Jack and Sabrina

Day 4 The Music 'O Fortuna'
I could hear  the awful, fear instilling band as I stumbled past. If only I had thought before commiting that awful crime. Had I stopped and considered before stealing, I would not be here walking to my death, like a pig to slaughter. Trepidation was everywhere. The joys and regrets of my short, pitful life flashed before me like a movie.  It was not my fault that I was desparate,stole, and was sentenced here before this rookery waiting calmly for the end.  The evil drumming stopped, a voice rang out, and I knew no more. I had chosen the wrong path, and paid the price like a sorry gambler.  by Robert

Day 5  the word...  'BEAUTY'
I hld back as I walk into the kitchen trying to resist the untouched chocolate truffle. I feel as if I want to marry the sweet chocolate sensation. I hear my conscience calling out, 'don't do it, don't do it' ! I wipe a drop of sweat off my forehead. The dark chocolate powedered covered dessert is just too much for me.  I cannot take it anymore; I have to have one. I reach nito the bagm get one, and plop it into my mouth. I know it now. Beauty is not a sight but a taste.

These were just some of the outstanding pieces you all created. Fine efforts for just 10mins of writing. Watch out for 'showing not telling' competition number 2 in the spring!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Coming 'After' Thanksgiving and before Holidays

  • Midwest Region
  • GRAAB Non-fiction WritingTechniques
  • Poetry Unit-Introduction
  • Nouns Test (Make sure you have tackled all the exercises on the blog on Nouns)
  • Figurative and Sensory Writing (in class writing assessment)
  • Figurative and Sensory Reading Test (simile, metaphor, hyperbole, alliteriation, personification, onomatopoeia, sensory language)
  • Selection of States for State Report

Friday, November 20, 2009

Personal Narratives

Feel free to share some of your best sentence (s) that you create in your narratives on the blog.  State what type of sentence your are sharing e.g. sensory, figurative, action,  emotion, use of proper nouns, quotes etc... Other students are encouraged to give  polite, respectful constructive feedback where possible.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Narrative Writing - Time Shift (Past Perfect)Sentences

Use these exercises to practice creating 'time shift' sentences in narrative writing.
Who said 'time travel' was impossible?

This is a 'challenge' exercise that only a few of you will understand. +2 if you can do these questions!!!

Enjoy these videos to see the 'time shift' sentences, more commonly known as past perfect sentences, used in real context.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

H/W Clarification

For tonight's h/w activity... you only need to get 'sensory' words from one of the following five topics that appear on the video (video choice number 2):

  • The lagoon
  • Helicopter landing
  • Snowboarder falling
  • Pizza eating
  • Ocean waves
You should have sensory words/phrases under the five sense categories (between 12-20) for just one of the above topics.

If you have already done this H/W differently, that don't worry...that is fine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Figurative language Practice Exercises

Use this link to get ideas for your ‘sensory language’ sentence constructions


Personification Practice


Examples of Figurative Language

Research the word ‘hyperbole’. What type of figurative language is it?

This activity contains questions on content we haven’t covered yet, but it is a fun game to play.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coming Next Week

  • Reading Selection -Climb or Die
  • Advanced Narrative Writing (Chronological, Simulatenous, Time Shift)
  • Figurative and Sensory Language
  • Southeast Region Test
  • Nouns (Types, Plurals, Possessives)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brag Sheet - Character Sketch

Irena Sandler

by Mary Grace

‘I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality.’ –    
                                             Irena Sendler

From her forged papers clutched in her hand, eyes full of faith and crisp nurse uniform, everything about Irena Sendler seemed business-like as she entered the Warsaw Ghetto. The more she saw, the angrier she became. Irena Sendler was a remarkable woman who showed courage, loyalty and faith in the face of danger.

Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic social worker and grew up around Jews from childhood. Irena was born on February 15, 1910. She was raised by her Catholic parents to respect, love and help people regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Her father, a physician, was the only doctor who would treat the poor, mostly Jewish patients that had typhus. Her father may not have been held highly in the eyes of others, but he was very loyal to his belief.

Surprisingly, he died when Irena was just seven from the very sickness he cured. Irena was comfortable around Jewish people as a young child. Not only did she oppose the Ghetto Bench System that existed at the Warsaw University, but she was suspended from the University for three years for doing so. She had courage to do so because she was following her heart, which is a most admirable thing. When she grew up, Irena became a Polish Catholic social worker. From Otwock, to Tarczyn, Irena Sendler worked for Urban Social Welfare.

She moved into Warsaw just as World War Two began. Almost immediately, Irena Sendler joined the Zegota and began aiding Jews. Irena Sendler knew she had to help people in the Warsaw Ghetto because she had been brought up as a little girl to know that everyone should be helped. The Warsaw Ghetto was an area that Jews were forced to live in Warsaw, Poland. She didn’t like the way they were treated just because they had a different religion. She joined the Zegota, which was a code name for the Polish Council to Aid Jews (also known as Konrad Żegota Committee). Irena Sendler and two dozen others started to smuggle the children out. To smuggle them out past German guards took tremendous courage. In boxes, suitcases and strollers, the children were taken out of the Ghetto and away from the train that led to the concentration camps. The children were placed with Polish families, orphanages and convent. The families who gave up their children were probably feeling like their hearts were being torn out of their chests. Most of the families would never see their children again. I can only imagine what they were feeling and I admire them for that. Irena Sendler disguised herself as a nurse and forged papers. Before she knew it, she had saved 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto. As she saved the children, she kept track of their names in jars. Their new identities and their old ones were buried in jars beside a tree. Irena Sendler had the hope that after the war she could return the children to their parents.

Irena Sandler continued her life-saving work until she was arrested. In 1943, she was arrested by the Nazis. When they came to her home, she was working with another member of the Zegota on writing down the children’s names in a jar. Irena knew she couldn’t risk them finding the jars. They both showed tremendous courage to keep calm with the soldiers at their door. Tactfully, she stuffed the jar into her underwear. Not only did the Gestapo torture her, but they sentenced her to death. But still, she did not give away anything. This was incredibly devoted of her and courageous. On the way to her death sentence, the Zegota bribed her guard into letting her go. With shattered, broken arms and legs, Irena Sandler was left in the woods. She lived in hiding for the rest of the war and continued to help the Jewish children. At the end of the war, she tried to return the children to their families. Sadly, most of the parents had been killed or gone missing. Some say she was a hero. She disagrees, "heroes do extraordinary things. What I did was not an extraordinary thing. It was normal." With all things considered, this was an extremely modest thing for her to say. Some Christians did nothing to help the Jews. Irena Sendler died on May 12, 2008. She showed the world that in times of danger, you must follow your heart and do what you know is right.

To conclude, Irena Sendler showed courage, loyalty and faith in times of horror. She didn’t save just 2,500 children. She saved their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so on. She did believe that people should be rescued. The Jews were drowning and Irena Sendler saved them. Stumbling out of the Ghetto, Irena Sendler holds a box in her hands. Her face twisted with emotion. Her hands shake a bit as she walks through the streets of Warsaw. Arriving home, she pulls the baby out of the box – and smiles.

Brag Sheet - Character Sketch

Mother Teresa
                                            by Caroline Mackey
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”   Mother Teresa

As the frail, old woman looks at the children suffering; tear droplets well up in her eyes, and gently and slowly roll down her wrinkled, old face. Mother Teresa, a missioner and humanitarian, ministered and saved the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying people in Calcutta, India.

Out of five children, Mother Teresa, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, was one child. Sadly, only three of her born siblings survived. She was the youngest out of the surviving children with an older brother and sister. Mother Teresa and her siblings had a father who devoted most of his time to politics and the Albanian cause. After one of his meetings, he fell ill and died. Having her father die made 8 year old Mother Teresa want to help ill and dying people.

In other words, Mother Teresa’s warm, tender nature led her to help the dying, ill, poor, and orphaned. She vowed to give her life to these people the care they need. Speaking out about divorce, protecting people, and caring for other human beings is what makes up a wonderful woman like Mother Teresa. Not only did Mother Teresa care for children, but also spoke out against problems throughout the world. Although Mother Teresa did sublime things she did take pity for God. A famous quote Mother Teresa once said, “If you can dream it you can do it,” really wings me. When I have a dream to be someone or do something, I remember her words and realize that I shouldn’t give up; I should go out and grab the chance. Abandoned, ill and dying people combine to make up the humans Mother Teresa helped throughout her loving life.

Mother Teresa was a good woman who inspired the world and the people with her unselfish acts of love and dedication; thus she took a vow of poverty, and she spent most of her life helping others and serving God. Above all Mother Teresa did what God expects from each of us and that is to do the best that we can, with what we have. She used her position in life to the best of her abilities. She taught the world and people that love will open doors that hate has closed. She taught us that the greatest way to show God's love is to meet the needs of others. She helped those that were in need. She helped the poor, the dying, and abandoned children. She showed them love, compassion, and kindness. She gave them shelter, food and hope. Truly, she was an inspiration. When Mother Teresa said, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person,” she meant to tell people to get up and do things for other people and to lead your own life the way you want it to go.

Sister Teresa was a kindhearted and affectionate woman; therefore, she helped save many lives, provide for others, and make other people feel good about God and life. She experienced things that none of us could ever experience. As Mother Teresa slowly walks away from the Albanian children she helped, they all run as fast as they can up to her and thank her from the goodness of their hearts for what she had done.
Mother Teresa

By Robert Fuller
“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa
An old, frail woman picks up a small child. She washes him, feeds him, and blesses him. They are in the slums of Calcutta, India; however, this little boy is considered “untouchable”. Who is this person who so willingly, lovingly serves those in need? Mother Teresa is this nun’s name. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a joyous, generous, and loving woman who served God with and people in poverty with all her heart.
When she was born on August 26, 1910, her name was Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. Nicola Bojaxhiu, her father, was a pharmacist. Upon his death when Agnesë was 9, Drone, her mother, became a saleswoman. Even as a child, Agnesë was very devout, and she went with her mother to work with kids in poverty.
During her 18th year, Mother Teresa left her home of Skopje, Albania and traveled to Ireland to become a nun with the Sisters of Loreto. She then took the name Sister Mary Teresa after St. Theresé of Lisieux. Six months later, she went to India and taught geography at St. Mary’s High School for Girls in Darjeeling, India. Next, she received a call from God, so she went out to serve in the slums of Calcutta. Determined, wise Mother Teresa started the Missionaries of Charity and made shelters in more than 120 different countries.
At the time that she passed in 1997, sweet Mother Teresa and her kind organization had more than 4,000 nuns helping. Although others criticized her beliefs and actions, she made the world a much better place. Righteously, Pope John Paul II sped up the process to make her a saint. Mother Teresa won countless humanitarian awards, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. From making shelters, to blessing children, and feeding the hungry, Mother Teresa has impacted millions with her love, generosity, and inspiring deeds.
I think Mother Teresa was faithful, hardworking, and wise. She was very faithful because she listened and followed the call of God. Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity intensely comforted and healed. To become one in poverty in order to help them is so generous. Caring for others and comforting the suffering, Mother Teresa helped thousands. She was wise because of all the guidance she gave to the dying, the poor, and those who feel unloved. As Mother Teresa once said, “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”
To conclude, her faith, wisdom, love, and generosity pushed her to do the magnificent things she did and light up lives like no one else. As Mother Teresa feeds the homeless man, he is happy, for he knows he is in excellent hands.

Mother Teresa
by Abbie Wedding
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

                                                                         -Mother Teresa

As an old, natural, and caring lady is getting out of a rustic bed, she’s ready to help India. Mother Teresa is a warm, loving person who puts others first.

She has a valuable background. Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born on August 26th, 1910 in Macedonia, Skopje. Mother Teresa was the youngest of five children; however, only three survived. Nikola, her mother, devoted all her time to politics and Albanian cause. Mother Teresa’s father died in 1918. Mother Teresa was almost eight years old. Her pictures were all she had to remember him. Then later in her life she decided to help the sick and poor. Mother Teresa gave to others and was known as sentimental, wise, and fair.

Mother Teresa had many accomplishments. As Mother Teresa said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” She accomplished so many things that she won the Noble Peace Prize for working to bring help to suffering humanity in 1979. In 1946, Sister Teresa had an experience called a “call within a call” which made her want to care for the sick and poor. She was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity. Roman Catholic women helped the poor, especially the poor of India. She created Nirmal Hriday (“Place for the Pure of Heart”), a place where people who were dying could go and be taken care of. To advocate for the blind, old, and people who are disable, she decided to open a center for them. Amazingly Mother Teresa didn’t judge others, and was always giving to others.

Surprisingly, Mother Teresa has changed the world in various ways. She helped people be aware of poverty in other countries. If Americans really want to make a change in the world, and be like Mother Teresa, they must work hard at it. I f Americans were brave and compassionate, they too can be successful. Americans and Indians are still trying to emulate her actions, even 12 years since her death. This shows how Americans and Indians are good and believe in doing the right thing. September 5th, 1997 in Calcutta, India at 87 Mother Teresa died of a heart attack. Although, she has not been forgotten.

To conclude, from caring for older people, to winning the Noble Peace Prize, and changing the world, Mother Teresa was a life changing, selfless woman. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them” means that people shouldn’t judge people if you haven’t had time to get to know them. The little, old lady lays down in her antique bed, she’s ready to start the next day.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Character Sketch

Can you 'draw' your hooks

Have you multiple 'judgment' phrases?

Did you use at least two SSS techniques?

Can you give a reason for EVERY comma in your writing?

Can you highlight  at least 12 specific and precise facts about your person?

Did you use an effective Power 0 that you explained in your writing?

Is it clear your overall opinion of this person and their accomplishments from your writing?

Have you learned anything through doing this assignment?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fragments and Run-ons Test Practice

Fragments and Run-ons Explanation


Comma Splice
do exercise 2 also
Exercise 1+2 only (exercise 3 only for experts!)

Only for experts...
(Hard but fun to do!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Enjoy the song from today's class

The lyrics are catchy, but they portray a strong message.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Coming Next Week

-Overcoming Adversity - The Life of Nelson Mandela
-Comma Rules (C.O.M.M.A.S.)
-Fragments and Run Ons (Fused and Comma Splices
-Writing a Character Sketch
-Regions Study - The Southeast

You will be tested on your knowledge of fragments, run-ons, and comma rules at the end of the week, so use the blog effectively to watch the videos and do the practice  exercises before Friday.

(+1... Which comma rule did I use  in that last sentence?)


ERBs start week beginning Nov 9th. No H/W in any subject at all that week.
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