Wednesday, December 16, 2009


How did the exercise on the Beatles' songs help you with understanding figuarative language?

How good is your poem? Read it out loud 'slowly' to somebody. If  he/she can guess the topic with no hints...your poem is probably very strong

Monday, December 14, 2009

Poetry - Showing not Telling

You next poem will be a figurative/sensory narrative poem that retells a major world event in 'showing not telling' language. Monday's H/W will be to select that event.

Use your social studies textbook to select a major event of the 19th, 20th or 21st Century.   More adventurous students can choose to select a topic from the links below.

All you need for Tuesday's class is the name of the event and a print out of the text you will use for your poem. see below
e.g.The Titanic Sinks!

The RMS Titanic, also known as the Unsinkable Ship, set sail on her maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. It was leaving Southampton, England to reach New York. This ship was the biggest ship ever and was created by White Star Lines and was constructed by Harland & Wolff. On April 14 a terrible disaster happened. The Titanic hit an iceburg. It was 11:40pm when she grazed the side of the iceburg. Three hours later it sank. Over 1,500 people died on that fatal night. The captain, Edward J. Smith ignored warnings from other ships about iceburg sightings. They tried to turn the ship so it would not hit the iceburg. They turned but not enough. The ship started to sink at bow, making the passangers move to the stern. She split in two and sank bringing everyone in the water down too. Many froze in the -28 degrees Fahrenheit water. About 706 people survived, living to tell this tragic tale.

The easiest way to do this is to just select a story from your Social Studies Textbook

Friday, December 11, 2009


What did you learn about interpreting poetry today?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Brag Sheet - Sensory Narrative

This piece of writing truly touched me. Can you understand why?

As he held tightly to his mother's hand, tears welted in his eyes and trickled down his cheeks. Everybody wore black suits and dresses, but nobody cried as much as he did. Seven year old John knelt by the wooden casket every waking moment of the never ending funeral. His mother lay inside clutching a white beaded rosary. She dressed in a lacy, black dress and black shoes. Everybody did everything they could to cheer John up, but it seemed impossible. How could he ever live on without a mother? Know he would have to be passed back and forth with relatives and foster homes. He would be forced to change schools, and leave his friends behind. There was no way out of this terrible, unfair fairy tale that seemed to end now. There were no good endings, it was the end of the book. He pressed his clammy hand upon the smooth, wooden casket as the priest closed it forever. His mother already had a grave stone placed where the grave was to be, and it was beside his dad's grave. John carefully placed the red roses on the grave, sniffled, and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. His pale white face stared at the finished wood casket as his aunt generously rubbed his shoulder and whispered kindly in his ear that " Everything is going to be okay." Each and every friend and relative was at his side ready to face the challenges that lay ahead for him. " Maybe change is for the best" thought John as if to convince himself that everything really was going to be okay. "This unfortunate event could have happened to anyone, and out of all people it had to be me?" thought John. The cold stormy sky's rain pored down on John's neatly combed, brown hair. Each time he stepped, mud splashed up from the grass and dirtied John's black fancy pants. John wouldn't have missed this ceremony for his life. It seemed like the end of the road for him, but somehow he knew he would make it through. He knew that this was what his parents would have wanted for him.  by Maddie

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brag Sheet - Midwest Region Essay

Below is one of the few essays that scored the highest grade in the recent class writing assignment. Read this essay 'very' carefully and look how effectively it introduced a variety of 'unique' facts about the Midwest in an engaging and interesting way. Also note the use of GRAAB and SSS. I did make a few changes in red as examples of how you can all avoid repeating the name of the region continually through your essays and the word 'many'.(Hint Hint nudge Nudge...This is an excellent example of  the type of answer that will be required for Thursday's Midwest Test essay!)

Explain why the Midwest is referred to the "Unique region" in the US

By Ryan Ensor

As the glaciers melt away, in time the hairy buffalo slowly trot onto the plains with Nomad Indians close behind onto what will soon become one of the most distintive regions of a new country. There are a variety of reasons why the Midwest is referred to as the “Unique Region” of the US. Impressive historical monuments can be found nestled across this part of the nation. The Midwest may not be home to New York’s Statue of Liberty, or Arizona’s Grand Canyon, but Mount Rushmore is known throughout the world and has become South Dakota’s claim to fame.  Mount Rushmore portrays George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt. It attracts a plethora of tourists everyday to stare at the carved faces in the side of the Mountain. The Crazy Horse Memorial is as important to Indian heritage as Kitty Hawk in the Southeast is to the Wright Brothers. The Crazy Horse Memorial is a huge statue of a horse and rider, although this marvel is not yet complete. The Sand Hills, located in Nebraska, are three hundred feet tall. These monuments are just some of the many marvels in the Midwest.

Sports teams, hot air ballooning, and winter sports are all popular hobbies in the Midwest. The Minnesota Twins are as important to Minnesota as the Red Sox are to Boston. The Ohio State Buckeyes and Wisconsin Badgers are popular college teams from Ohio and Wisconsin respectively.  Alternatively, multi colored hot air balloons filled the sky as they soar during a typical midwestern summer festival. Hot air ballooning is a popular pastime for  residents and visitors to the area alike and is also enjoyed nation wide! In most places, hot air ballooning is scarce, and this is one of the reasons the Midwest is so unique. Additionally, ice fishing, ice hockey, and ice skating are very fun for winters in across the land areras bordering the Great Lakes. In fact, ice fishing is as uncommon for other regions as a blizzard hitting the Florida coastline would be.

The history of the Midwest is as interesting as the history of the whole country. Glaciers, huge frozen blocks of ice, once covered the entire Interior Plains flattening mountains and trees. When the glaciers cleared away, buffaloes and Indians came on to the now settle in the Plains. Soon the French came into the Midwest exploring and looking for land to take for their own. In 1803, The US concluded the Louisiana Purchase.

To conclude, the Midwest is unique in many ways.  Mount Rushmore, Minnesota Twins, and hot air ballooning are just a few resons. As the red, white, and navy blue Minnesota Twins compete in the World Series foreign tourists gape at the granite faces of Mount Rushmore. The crowd roars in triumph when the Twins win the World Series making their mark on history, and the tourists realized what a unique region the Midwest truly is.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Coming Next Week

  • Midwest Region Test - Thur
  • Northeast Region -Research Skills Project
  • Reading, Writng, and Interpreting Poetry
Don't forget your piece of fruit for Monday's class

Friday, December 4, 2009

Brag Sheet- Narrative

The way Thomas integrated the description of the scenery with  his action narrative was very impressive.

A Camping Trip to Remember

By Thomas Williams
   When the fading sunlight prickled through the trees onto my fellow campers walking on the forest trail, we looked almost like ants marching in a line to get back to their anthill. The trail was weathered into the woods and clear over the dense, overgrown jungle of forks in the dirt trail. The smell of the cool Appalachian summer air put me at ease. My conversation was interrupted and stopped as cheers erupted from the crowd of traveling boys. We had reached our campsite; it was green river pasture.
   Surprisingly, even though it was just a two-mile trip, all of the campers seemed as tired as dogs. The sound of panting hit at my eardrums. Chris and Patrick, two boys in my cabin, toiled with tarps for a blue tent. While they were at work, I put on my Crocs and plunged into icy Green River. I felt energetic as I paddled in the stream. I found a place where the current was not very strong and picked up a rock. I pulled my arm back and let loose a hard sidearm. The rock skipped once, twice, three times. The smell of enchiladas on the cook stove made my mouth water. The yellow sun from earlier had become a golden ball above the horizon struggling to stay where it was. The ominous cloud cover soon crept over it. David, my camp counselor, called for us to come and eat. I had been ready a long time ago!
   Dinner was happiness for my taste buds, but no one had enough of it. Everyone took any chance they could of getting more food even if it meant stealing off other people's plates. Five or six people only got a half serving! Five counselors can only carry so much!
   When the final ray of sunlight disappeared from view, few of us had flashlights. David set to work building a campfire. It took a while before the the taste of s'more finally reached my mouth. When it did, the smell of smoke was almost better than the smell of s'mores.
   It was midnight before sleep came. Sleep was what everyone needed, but no one was able to get more than an hour of it. My dreams were brought to reality by the pitter-patter of rain on the foot of my sleeping bag. The bag was taking on water rapidly while lightning flashed in the sky above. The rain stopped as fast as it had begun. All 40 campers stumbled out of the makeshift tent and onto the soft, drying, ground. I listened to the sound of shuffling cards from the pack Martin had brought along. As the sun began to peek through the clouds hours later, David and the other counselors helped us pack our backpacks, sleeping bags, and tarps. After that, I vowed never to go camping again. That promise won't last very long!

Brag Sheet - Narrative

Read  Forrester's narrative. See the impressive integration of proper nouns in his work ?

Baseball Tryouts
“One who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

As I step into my dad’s navy Suburban car, I am struck with nervousness. I put on my Adidas baseball cleats after hearing my dad give me advice on pop- flies and grounders. Trepidation filled the March air when I stepped onto the Myers Park Trinity soil. I had never even touched a real baseball bat in my life, yet I was trying out for the best team in the league. I squeezed my Spalding baseball mitt and slowly approached Founder’s Field.

The coach told us to warm up by throwing the Adidas baseball back and forth to each other. A couple of the more experienced players gave me a few tips on how to throw the ball more accurately after I had whiffed the ball a litany of times. For example, to receive a better grip on the ball, put on finger on each side of the ball; put one on top of the ball.

Finally, the tryouts began. Firstly, the coach instructed us to individually run a lap around the diamond, the bases, so that they could obtain our average time. I had become extremely jittery by the time it was my turn, but when the coach stated go, I went. Dust flew up towards the Carolina Blue sky. I sprinted towards home plate after rounding first, second, and third. Even though I had an average Little League score, I still strived for more.

Secondly, the coach instructed us to vie pitching. On my first try, I bounced the ball off the plate and gave the catcher a bloody nose. I stopped and apologized, but that didn’t stop the red, gushing blood from coming out of his nose. I threw balls for the other two. One bounced before it reached home, and the other nearly took the head off of a man walking by. My talent in pitching pretty much states my fielding skills also. I caught zero out of five pop- flies, stopped two out of three grounders, and didn’t make a single accurate throw to first.

At this point, my outcome was obvious, yet I still had to suffer through batting. I swung at and missed all the balls with my Easton baseball bat except for one that went about five inches. Stepping back into my squeaky, leather seat of the Suburban car, I tell my dad how horrible I did. My dad tried to cheer me up, but that didn’t matter. By this point, I had realized that I probably shouldn’t have tried out for the best Myers Park team first, but I should have tried out for a smaller team and worked my way up. As they say, “One who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

~Forrester Welch

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brag Sheet

Personal Narrative

By: Kate Mace

As the sound of my mom’s voice echoed through my brain, I caught a glimpse of the New York, yellow taxicab racing toward my family. The hotel we were staying at towered over the streets of the city. While I was waiting for the cab to pull up in front of the hotel’s massive doors for us to climb in, I made a mental plan for our day in the city. First, we had gotten out of bed, eaten breakfast, and made our way to the front steps to sit down while my mom called a cab. After we stepped into the scented cab, my mom told Larry, the cab driver, that we were going to FAO Schwartz. Usually, my mom told us where my family was going for the day, but today, she surprised us by telling the cab driver we were going to one of the greatest and biggest toy stores on the planet! The bland, drab seats of the cab gave me no further excitement when I rested my head on the back of the seat. The bleeping of the horns and the squealing of brakes called me to my senses.

The cab was stopped in front of the enormous building with an even more humongous sign welcoming you into FAO Schwartz. As the aromatic scent drifted p into my nostrils, my jaw dropped. Even the windows were stuffed to the gills with cute stuffed bears and Lego sets. The mellow colors of the plush toys made my little brother squeal with joy. Matthew, my little brother, pointed out that there was a giant pile of stuffed animals in the middle of the room, and kids were jumping and playing in it. Without asking, I ran up to the heap of toys and did a giant cannonball into it. The cushy, plush animals engulfed me like a volcano engulfs the chunks of rock that plop into its burning mass. As soon as I stuck my head out of the pile, it was pushed back under again when my brother decided it was his turn to jump into the animal pile. Luckily, my mom saw this whole scene unfold so I didn’t have to waste my breath yelling at my brother to get off of me. The pitter-patter of my little little brother’s feet abruptly stopped as my mom scooped him off the ceramic floor before he too could jump on the pile. I felt relieved as we ran up the stairs to the giant piano.

Even though there were a lot of kids at FAO, I still had a lot of fun. The gentle sound of Lucas’s snoring put me in a peaceful mood. The pitter-patter of rain, not feet, filled my ears up to it’s uppermost level, so that I could hear nothing else. I was tired and happy when the cab reached the hotel yet again. Walking through the doors of the Duke Frabresan, I took a deep breath of the perfumy smell. As my mom ushered us to the door of our room, I saw the delicate flowers sitting on the stool next to the table. Because the door was shut, the music became muffled. Jumping on a bed covered in soft, fluffy pillows never felt so good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

GRAAB Techniques

Feel free to post an example of your GRAAB technique for comment.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brag Sheet -Descriptive Narratives

Read these narratives below. They were chosen to be displayed because they contained clear sensory descriptions of  places in the story. Can you replicate this writng in Friday's assignment? Feel free to comment.

Walker Mountain

By Ansley

The comforting songs of the bluebirds and the vicious howling of nearby dogs filled my ears when I first stepped foot on Walker Mountain in Valle Crucis. A shimmering pond lay obediently at my feet like a king’s cocker spaniel. Fanned out bundles of oak leaves violently swayed above my head as if in a hurricane. The dazzling mountains glowed under the leader of the universe’s gaze. Crackling pine needles crunched softly under my warm bare feet. Walker Mountain felt like my new home, safe and cozy.

Once I was inside the rectangular, little house a bubbly feeling crawled up my spine that made me feel like I was on top of the world. The smooth, waxy maple floor slid under my feet like Michelle Kwan’s Olympic skates on the slippery ice. A delightful scent of pine wood drifted up my nostrils. The bright, glaring sun shone down onto the peaceful house releasing a forcefield to protect my family and my friends from any danger that might knock on our door. When we finally put our tired minds at rest after the last embers of the campfire had died down, the glowing moon and the twinkling stars watched over us like angels looking after their loved ones. As soon as I had strolled into the well-kept house, I knew it would be hard to leave it behind.

Sailing down the everlasting mound of lime grass, my chocolate hair whipped in my face covering up my bright blue eyes. The brilliant, red sled turned the corner and soared down the hill. My New Balance shoes screeched to a halt, and I flipped off the sled, tumbling the rest of the way down the grass. Tall trees were hurt after I had accidentally slammed into them. Never ending laughter, from my friends, echoed in my ears, for they had injured trees as well. Bogey, Mary and Kate’s yellow lab,   continued...

 The Time I Went To Ben And Jerry’s    
by Hannah
As I trudged in, I could smell a scent of sweet vanilla ice cream traveling up my nostrils. People were cluttered throughout the parlor. A soft breeze blew in my face as the glass door slammed shut. Marshall, my older brother, was chatting with my mom about the first day of 10th grade. After hearing the blabbering of Marshall and my mom for five minutes, we finally swayed up to the sparkling counter. The generous lady at the front counter had a tie-die shirt on that said Ben + Jerry’s in big, bold letters. The walls around her had cows on them everywhere I turned. I thought as if I were at a farm. I excitedly ordered my favorite ice cream, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and plopped myself down at a shining table. As I dropped down, I glimpsed at my mom and Marshall paying for her ice cream, his ice cream, and my ice cream. When I scooped ice cream into my mouth, I suddenly felt like I was in heaven. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough melted on my tongue as if it were a snowflake that had fallen from the sky. I took another bite, and it danced in my mouth as I swallowed the tasty treat. A massive smile came upon my face when the creamy, sweet goodness shot down my throat. Strutting the out glass door, I still could taste that outstanding taste of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. To feel that magnificent taste was like going to NYC for the first time. The scent of the sweet Vanilla Ice Cream and the tasty Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough faded away as I pranced out of the building.

Petit Saint Vincent Boat Ride
by Maddie

As the cool summer wind whipped my tangled, wet hair, and the salty Caribbean water splashed my face, I knew this was a time to remember. The inner-tube swung back and forth as the small boat tugged Tyler, me, and my friend, Anabell through the rapid waves. White wave trails followed the boat through the open waters as we had yelled, “Faster! Faster!”. A shiver declined down my back as the cold breeze howled in my ear. Suddenly, the inner- tube’s stiff, braided rope crossed with another boat’s anchor, and the ride took a turn for the worst. My clammy hands clung tightly to the rubber handle; however, my brother, Tyler,had let his hands slipped off. My eyes closed tightly in fright of what might happen next as Tyler crashed into the stern of another boat. I gasped for air, because I had been enclosed underneath the inner-tube after it had flipped. From Tyler hitting is back on a boat, to me running out of breath, I would remember that moment for a lifetime.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...