Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Self-Starter:  Fill out a Parts-of-Speech worksheet.  Play Mad-Libs as pairs and groups of four with those words.

2.  Author/Novel Study -- Neil Gaiman reading from The Graveyard Book

3. Period 4 worked on a schema/puns exercise -- with Halloween jokes


Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Treat!

NPR provided a link to Neil Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book.   This is one of my favorite books, and a favorite of many, many other people as well.

http://mousecircus.com/videotour2.aspx?VideoID=1 

NPR is sponsoring a Back-Seat-Book-Club.  You can send in questions for the authors.  This one meets on October 28.
Added October 29: http://www.npr.org/2011/10/28/141766112/kids-book-club-a-graveyard-tour-with-neil-gaiman?sc=fb&cc=fp

Originally published 10/25/11

Paragraphs

"A paragraph is a group of related sentences that develops one main idea.  Although there is no definite length for a paragraph, it is often from five to twelve sentences long." p. 18
  • Clearly indent the first word of every paragraph about 1 inch (5 spaces).
  • Extend every line of a paragraph to the right-hand margin.
  • However, if the last word of a paragraph come before the end of the line, leave the rest of the line blank.  p. 19
Topic sentence and body --
  • Most paragraphs contain one main idea to which all the sentences relate.
  • The topic sentence states this main idea.
  • The body of the paragraph develops and supports this main idea with particular facts, details, and examples.  p. 19

This material is adapted (or directly taken)  
from the college textbook Evergreen: A Guide to Writing by Fawcett/Sandberg, 5th Edition, 1996 Houghton Mifflin Co.  Susan Fawcett and Alvin Sandberg

Beginning Second Term


Reminders:
If you've lost  your copy of the class disclosure document, you can find those materials at                      7th Disclosure Dorsey 2011-2012.doc


Second Term Spelling  

     Our spelling for second term will focus and word parts -- prefixes and suffixes -- and commonly used words that include those word parts.  We'll work with one word part at a time, along with spelling the example words on the chart, with a test every week or so. 

Prefixes and Suffixes Chart 2010   -- This is a file to download.

The Word Parts Poem

     If you have a base word and you happen to find
     something in front or something behind --
     a prefix begins: a suffix ends,
     and that is the basic rule, my friends.
 

Book-of-the-Month   See the Book of the Month tab above for more complete and up-to-date information.

A distopia is the opposite of a utopia, which is a perfect society, and most likely could not exist.  Sometimes (or is it always) a distopia is the result of an attempt to create a utopia.   In the attempt to create a perfect society, the members of the society give up (or are forced to give up) things that we value in our imperfect society, such as freedom. 

This time the book-of-the-month will be a "book-of-the-months."  For November and December you will read another novel -- this time it will be a distopian.    Remember that it should be at least 100 pages long, a novel, one you haven't read before, and preferably close to your reading level -- 100 points below to 50 points above.  If you read one book in a distopian series earlier this year, you could read the next for this assignment.

Examples of books you could read include 

Hunger Games or other books in the series

Uglies or other books in the series

Matched or other books in the series

Gathering Blue or The Messenger by Lois Lowry (We will be reading The Giver as a class.)  

Ender's Game or other books in the series

Hidden Talents or True Talents by Lubar 

Truesight  and others in the series

The Last Book in the Universe by Philbrick 

Tunnels or other books in the series

City of Ember or other books in the series

Leviathan  or other books in the series

Incarceron or other books in the series

Maze Runner or other books in the series

Maximum Ride or other books in the series

Among the Hidden or other books in the series

Unwind by Neal Shusterman 

Eva by Peter Dickinson 

The Adoration of Jenna Fox 

House of the Scorpion

The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm

The Tripods Trilogy

Bar Code Tattoo  or other books in the series

A Wrinkle in Time  

The Roar 

The Looking Glass Wars -- (a very different version of Alice in Wonderland) 

Birthmarked recommended by Mrs. Jones in the media center

Blood Red Road  ? (I haven't read this one.)  (It has been recommended for those who loved Hunger Games.)

The House of Power (Atherton Series)  ? (I haven't read this one.)

The Sky Inside   ? (I haven't read this one.)

House of Stairs  ? (I haven't read this one.) 

The Alliance -- by Gerald Lund

Recommended and Ridiculous:  The Phantom Tollbooth 

_________________________

Scott Westerfeld (author of The Uglies series) recommends this new book.   Below is his blog post about it.  However, I don't know yet whether it has stuff in it that your mom wouldn't like, so approach with care:

Scored – A New Dystopian Novel

Ridiculously Simplified Synopses (1) from Shelfari:

  • Which comes first? Your future or your friends?

 

This site tells about some distopian novels.

_____________________________

As you read, watch for how you learn about what the characters are like, what themes are emphasized in the book, and what the setting is (especially what sort of society/government the people live under).   What do they have that is good and that we might want in our society?  What things that we value have they given up?  

 

Second Term Writing:

1. Writing a complete and correct paragraph -- Especially a contrasting paragraph

 

http://www.uen.org/core/core.do?courseNum=4070

 Originally published 10/25/11


NPR's November Book Club


http://www.npr.org/2011/10/28/141804843/nov-kids-book-club-pick-the-phantom-tollbooth

This book would also work as distopian fiction.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Learn about Oxymorons

Available through November 2011:

Here is a fun link for learning about figurative language, including oxymorons:
http://blog.flocabulary.com/oxymoron/

Extra Credit:  Explain to me why the Zombies are an oxymoron for five extra credit points.
Watch for oxymorons in published books, magazines, newspapers.  Bring them in for extra credit.

Zombie Love Song: http://stephaniemabey.bandcamp.com/

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finish watching The Outsiders and comparing the movie with the book.

A2, A3, A4  wrote in their composition books about the movie of The Outsiders.
A4 -- To Media Center to find distopian books (A2 was also able to go briefly.)

Originally published 10/14/11

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011





Today you will take the October Book-of-the-Month Assessment

Look here!
Open this document:  My October Book-of-the-Month Assessment.doc 

Because Friday is the end of the term, you must have your book read and be ready to write about it today.
Download the questions for the October BoM Assessment.doc
Download the Rubric: Grading for Oct. Book of the Month.doc
Bring your book to class today.

If you know you will be absent today, prepare to take these tests ahead of time.

_________________________________
October Book-of-the-Month    

Book-of-the-Month:  Find another novel, but in a different genre, and read it by October 25.   For example, if you read a fantasy book in September, you could read an adventure or historical fiction or other genre this month

October BoM Assessment.doc 

Grading for Oct. Book of the Month.doc

Be prepared to tell about what happened, where it happened, and who it happened to from the point of view of one of the main characters in the book.  What are that character's problems?  Are the problems solved?  How?   This time we'll try to avoid spoilers (about how the book ends).
For extra credit, come on the assessment day dressed as that character.  

Originally published 10/14/11

Next month: Distopian
See  Beginning Second Term

originally published 10/20/11

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Importance of Learning History

Quote of the Day: "If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. "
-Michael Crichton

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Scholastic Book Club Orders

If you'd like to order Scholastic Books online, and benefit our classroom, go to http://pcool.scholastic.com/parentordering/login.jsp register, and enter code GKLJW.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Confused Words and a Few Illustrations

a lot of money

break

too many papers to grade

brake (on a car)

here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Expand your Vocabulary

from   Brian P. Cleary
PARAPROSDOKIAN is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected often, for comic effect. Example: "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." —Groucho Marx.

Note that some of them are sarcastic, and could be unkind. 
Here are some more:
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.


We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.


War does not determine who is right - only who is left.


Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.


A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.


How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?


Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.


Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.


I didn't say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.


Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?


Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?


A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.


You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.


The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!


Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.


Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.


Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.


Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.


I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.


When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.


Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.


A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.


Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.


Memorize up to three for two points each extra credit. These could be used for second term.
from http://www.englishforums.com/content/humour/paraprosdokians.htm

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Access for November 4


Select one of these two prompts and type the best essay you can.

A Fantastic Day! - HB Unit 1 Level B

Write a fantasy story for your class to read.  Write about a normal, daily event that turns into something that could not really happen.

As you write, remember your story will be scored based on how well you:

·  develop a multi-paragraph response to the assigned topic that clearly communicates the purpose of your story to the audience.
·  describe the characters, setting, and conflict using meaningful sensory descriptions and details that enable the reader to visualize the experiences in your narrative.
·  organize your story in a clear and logical manner, including a beginning, middle and end.
·  use well-structured sentences and language that are appropriate for your audience.
·  edit your work to conform to the conventions of standard American English.

Use any of the tools available to you, such as the Checklist, Spellchecker, or Graphic Organizer.

Copyright © Hampton-Brown.  This High Point Unit Test Prompt is used in MY Access!® with permission from Hampton-Brown.  Essays submitted for this prompt will be scored against the appropriate MY Access!® rubric.

or

A Vivid Childhood Memory
We all have experienced something in our childhood that has impacted our lives.  Think of a vivid memory from your childhood.  Do you remember the first time you rode a school bus?  Do you remember your first best friend?  Do you remember when you learned to ride a bicycle?  Do you remember the first time you earned enough money to buy something that you really wanted?

In a multi-paragraph essay, narrate the events related to a vivid childhood memory.  Be sure to use details and examples so that your readers will be able to visualize the experience and understand what makes your memory so important.
As you write your story, think about these questions:
·  did you write a story about the assigned topic?
·  did you use details to describe the characters, places, and events?
·  did you organize your story clearly with a beginning, middle and end?
·  did you use a variety of words and well-written sentences?
·  did you use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
Use any of the tools available to you, such as the Checklist, Spellchecker, or Graphic Organizer.

You are not limited on the number of times you revise, edit, and final-submit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Outsiders Essay should be finished and revised and edited by the end of today to get a satisfactory grade to be applied to your term grade.  We will not be in a computer lab today.

Self-Starter:  Prepare for a quiz on your commonly confused words.

Today we will do activities to make sure you know the commonly confused words. 
1. Quiz/Practice Test
2. Making Mini-Posters
3.  If time -- Sparkle!


This is the format of the test we will take next Tuesday, October 25 on commonly confused words.:  Practice Commonly Confused Words Test.doc

confused words chart.doc

confused words chart with a few pictures.doc 



Don't forget that you should have your book finished by next Tuesday, October 25!
October BoM Assessment.doc
Bring your book to class on the 25th.
 

No Mock Trial on Wednesday, October 19.

Intervention is available for English and reading classes.

October 19th is the

last day to hand in late, revised, or extra-credit work for first term .

Reminders: 

Are you ready for your Book-of-the-Month test?

Are you caught up on your composition book?  See the tab above labeled "Composition Book."

Test on Commonly Confused Words  -- Don't forget the commonly confused words!  The test will be on October 25.  

October 19 is the last day to hand in late and revised work.

confused words chart.doc 

Monday, October 17, 2011

I hope to have a computer lab for about 25 minutes so you can finish and/or revise and edit your Outsiders essays.
We will also be reading more from The Outsiders. 
A1 to page 128   (p. 110, nightmare, 31:52) 
A2 to page   136  (chapter 9, 8:53) 
A3 to page  128, top  (p. 110, nightmare, 31:33)
A3 to page 144, top  (chapter 9, 22:16)


Here are your instructions for your computer lab/MYAccess work: 

Outsiders essays October 2011.doc  

Hints for Revising, Finishing Outsiders Essays

See these sample essays:

Sample Essays for MyAccess Essay about Character Traits

 Final scores will be taken on these essays at the end of the day on October 19.

 

Reminders: 

Are you ready for your Book-of-the-Month test?

Are you caught up on your composition book?  See the tab above labeled "Composition Book."

Test on Commonly Confused Words  -- Don't forget the commonly confused words!  The test will be on October 25.  

October 19 is the last day to hand in late and revised work.

confused words chart.doc  

 

No Mock Trial on Wednesday, October 19.

Intervention is available for English and reading classes.

October 19th is the

last day to hand in late, revised, or extra-credit work for first term .
 

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How much do you text?

blog.restoredliving.com 

How much do you text? Here is an interesting article about text messaging:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/09/11/how-will-today-s-texting-teenagers-compete.html

Monday, October 10, 2011

an author you might be able to meet

 Awarding-winning author Susan Campbell Bartoletti will  be at the BYU Bookstore Thursday afternoon between 4:15 and 5:15.  She’ll be there to sign books and to chat with anyone who wants to chat.
http://www.scbartoletti.com/

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Self-Starter:  Read through the computer lab assignment and look through your composition book notes to help you select which character you will write about.

Discuss conclusions from last time.

Learn (or be reminded) about the difference between a paragraph and an essay.
Create a small folded "book" that shows the differences between paragraph and essay.

Paragraph to Essay.pptx 


Today we will go to the Computer Lab -- Computer Writing Lab 211.
You will each type an essay.  You may select one of the following topics:
Character Traits  of a Character from The Outsiders
or Analysis of a Character from The Outsiders

Instructions for today: 

Outsiders essays October 2011.doc 



You will write one of these about  a character from The Outsiders. 

You may revise as many times as you wish, and you are able to work on this from home -- through October 19 -- next Wednesday.


Sample Essays for MyAccess Essay about Character Traits

List of Character Traits

Enrichment:  Extra Information about Adjectives: Character Traits and Adjectives

 

A2 -- This is also the day to create our door decoration for Red Ribbon Week!  Bring ideas and stuff (glitter, ribbon, fun paper, pictures you've drawn that have to do with avoiding drugs) to make it great!  We won't have time to do this in class, so we need talented (or at least willing) volunteers to come during Cave Time on Friday to put up our door decorations.

 

Reminders: 

Are you ready for your Book-of-the-Month test?

Are you caught up on your composition book?  See the tab above labeled "Composition Book."

Test on Commonly Confused Words  -- Don't forget the commonly confused words!  The test will be on October 25.  

October 19 is the last day to hand in late and revised work.

confused words chart.doc 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You will have a substitute teacher today because I will be attending training meetings at the district office with other English and history teachers.

P.T.S.A. Reflections entries are due by Wednesday, October 19.   Extra credit is available in English class for entering the literature division.

Book orders are due by the 14th.  I could send an order before that if I receive enough requests.

_______________________________________________


Self-Starter:  Students will read and complete a page about creating effective concluding sentences on paragraphs.  If you  are absent, you could pick one up from the files at the back of the room when you come back, or you could download this file:

Concluding Sentence Lesson.doc

2.  Reading The Outsiders (and listening to the audio book) --
A1   page 104 (Chapter 6, 32:48) to 122
A2   page 110 (Chapter 7 -- page 110, nightmare)  to page 131
A3   page 101 (Chapter 6, 20:05)  to page 122
A4   page112 (page 110, nightmare 3:00)   to  page 138

List episodes/events in your composition book.   Notice conflict.

At page 122:  Stop and write in your composition book under Notes and Quickwrites. 
QuickWrite:  The Outsiders   Label:  Before I Die
            In The Outsiders,  Johnny says, “It ain’t long enough.  Sixteen years ain’t long enough.  I wouldn’t mind it so much if there wasn’t so much stuff I ain’t done yet and so many things I  ain’t seen.  It’s not fair.”
Discuss and/or describe two or three things you would really like to do or see before you die.  Remember to write at least a half page or 12 sentences.


A2 -- Think of ideas, and if you can remember, bring stuff next time to create our door decoration for Red Ribbon Week! There is a competition among the A2 Classes.

 

 _________________________________

October Book-of-the-Month    

Book-of-the-Month:  Find another novel, but in a different genre, and read it by October 25.   For example, if you read a fantasy book in September, you could read an adventure or historical fiction or other genre this month

 Be prepared to tell about what happened, where it happened, and who it happened to from the point of view of one of the main characters in the book.  What are that character's problems?  Are the problems solved?  How?   This time we'll try to avoid spoilers (about how the book ends).

For extra credit, come on the assessment day dressed as that character.  

To find our lists of recommended books and of books you may not use, go to
http://cavemanenglish.pbworks.com/Recommended-Books

Books you may NOT use for the Book-of-the-Month assignments

 Have your book read and be ready to write about it on October 25. 

 

Reminders: 

Are you ready for your Book-of-the-Month test?

Are you caught up on your composition book?  See the tab above labeled "Composition Book."

Test on Commonly Confused Words  -- Don't forget the commonly confused words!  The test will be on October 25.  

October 19 is the last day to hand in late and revised work.

confused words chart.doc 

 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Model Paragraphs for Starburst/Jolly Rancher Contrast

These were written by students on November 4, 2011:
I have corrected some minor editing errors.

Caitlyn K. wrote
    Candies like Jolly Ranchers and Starbursts are [both] sweet, but they are different in multiple ways.  First, Jolly Ranchers are hard and Starbursts are chewy.  Second, Jolly Ranchers are shaped like a cylinder, and Starbursts are shaped like a cube.  Last, Jolly Ranchers are more sour than sweet, and Starbursts are more sweet than sour.  Even though these candies have a different taste, [shape], and texture, they still bring you happiness and life.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The First Book -- Poem by Rita Dove


The First Book
         by Rita Dove

Open it.
Go ahead, it won't bite.
Well. . . maybe a little.
More a nip, like.

A tingle.
It's pleasurable, really.
You see, it keeps on opening.
You may fall in.
Sure, it's hard to get
started;
remember leaning to use
knife and fork?  Dig in:
you'll never reach
bottom.

It's not like it's the end
of the world --
just the world as you
think
you know it.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sample Essays for MyAccess Essay about Character Traits

Prompt:

Character Traits


Character traits in fictional  people may have positive or negative effects on the people around them.

Select a character from your October book-of-the-month who possesses character traits that influence others in a positive or negative way.  Write an essay in which you describe this person's character traits and provide examples of how these traits affect other people.



Sample Essay:

[Introduction with a main idea sentence]

In Rick Riordan’s book The Lost Hero, Jason  comes into the story not knowing his own name or past, but even without memories, and without anyone who has known him before, he profoundly affects other characters in the novel.  His presence automatically causes some characters concern.  On the other hand, he has  character traits that positively influence and help those who become closest to him.

[Body paragraphs that include details explaining the ideas presented in the introduction]

The first “in-charge” person Jason meets when he wakes up on a bus full of kids on a fieldtrip is Coach Hedge.  The coach glares at him, knowing that Jason shouldn’t be there.  When Jason goes to Camp Half-Blood,  Chiron says, the color draining from his face, “ You. . . You should be dead,” and he understands that having Jason at the camp is a very dangerous thing.   However, no one is willing to explain to Jason why they react as they do to him.
Even though his very presence seems threatening to the adults in charge, Jason has character traits that affect his new friends in positive ways. For instance, Jason is kind, and his kindness impresses Piper.  The “mist” has caused her to believe that she has known Jason for several months, and that she and he are girlfriend and boyfriend.  It’s hard for her to believe that those months are illusion, but as she gets to know Jason in reality, he proves to be as attractive and lovable  and kind as in her fake memories.  It’s to his credit that Jason doesn’t take advantage of Piper’s love for him. 
Another example of Jason’s positive influence is his friendship with Leo.  Like Piper, Leo had believed that he and Jason had already been best friends.  Even without remembering or knowing Leo, Jason is unfailingly kind and patient with and protective of this extremely ADHD kid.

[Conclusion that sums up what has been said, and leaves the reader feeling that the essay is complete]
Jason’s goodness, bravery, and loyalty to his fellow campers eventually open minds to new possibilities (as planned by the one who took his memories).  The reader can tell that Jason’s character traits will continue to affect many people as the series continues in the next book.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prompt:
Analysis of a Literary Character

We understand characters in literature by paying attention to what they say, what they do, and how other characters react to them.  The author of a novel will help us understand a character by describing how that character reacts in certain situations.  Select a character from a novel you have read (your October Book-of-the-Month)  and analyze that character's personality.  What adjectives would you choose to describe the character?  What information and evidence from the novel supports the use of those adjectives?

In a multi-paragraph essay, use adjectives to analyze a character from one of the novels you have read .  Use quotations, details, and examples from the novel to support your selection of adjectives.

Sample Essay: 


[Introduction with a main idea sentence]

Jason, one of the main characters in The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, is a young man, fifteen or sixteen (page 3), who is attractive, confused, kind, and powerful.  The reader becomes acquainted with these traits in Jason through what he says and does and thinks, and through what other characters think and say about him.  

[Body paragraphs that include details explaining the ideas presented in the introduction]

Piper, another main character, describes Jason’s appearance this way: “. . . sky blue eyes, close-cropped blond hair, that cute little scar on his upper lip.  His face was kind and gentle, but always a little sad."  And Drew, the cabin leader of the children of Aphrodite, a girl who would require a guy to be very good-looking,  starts flirting with him as soon as she sees him.  So Jason is attractive.
Another quality Jason has throughout most of the book is confusion.  He wakes up in a bus of kids going on a fieldtrip, not knowing quite where he is, who he is, or who these people are he is with. Of course he is confused, not knowing the answers to the most basic questions about himself.  However, he does “know things.”   He knows to pull out a coin that turns into a sword when he needs it.  (23)  In battle, “. . . his instincts won. . .. ”   (25)   Annabeth tells him, "You seem to know a lot, Jason."   (33)   He knows things, but doesn’t know how he knows, and it seems that every time a memory starts to break through, it pulls back and brings on a headache.  He’s even confused about whether he’s a good kid or a bad kid.   Leo tells him,  "We go to the 'Wilderness School" . . . Which means we're ‘bad kids’.. . .” (7) Yet Jason  “knew he hated mean kids."  (10)  
This young hero is also kind.  Piper thinks of Jason (at least the way she thinks it was) : "He was so nice to her and so patient, he could even put up with hyperactive Leo. . . He's accepted her for herself and didn't judge her. . . " (49)   . . . To Be Continued. . .    This essay would still need more details to show how he was kind, then to show how he was powerful.  
The last paragraph would be the conclusion to wrap things up and leave the essay feeling complete. 


Here is a complete essay that received a score on MyAccess of 5.3!

It's by Eric A.  Congratulations, Eric!

     In The Maze Runner, written by James Dashner, we are introduced to the main character Thomas, who is without any memory, except for his first name.  Thomas begins his new life in an elevator like container, or "the box" (1).  When "the box" opens to reveal his mysterious new life,  he is confused.  Thomas is set out on a test to solve the maze.  This test shows that Thomas is strong,  friendly,  determined,  and courageous.  Mr. Dashner unveils these traits to the reader as if they were going along on the adventure with Thomas.  

     Most of the time when we thing about being strong, we think of muscles, and how much weight someone can lift.  Thomas shows us that he definitely is physically strong during his training to become a runner (210).  His friend, Minho also calls him a "big shank" (201).  We see that strength can also be inside, or emotional.  During this test, when things are at their worst, Thomas keeps it together and trudges on knowing that he will find an answer.  Thomas' strengths grow as the book goes on.       

     Thomas' personality draws people in, and he makes friends easily.  When chatterbox Chuck annoys everyone around him, Thomas realizes he is just lonely.  He becomes a friend to Chuck, and this friendship becomes one they both value (13).  Thomas attempts a friendship with Gally(17), but is not successful.  Further in the story when Chuck needs encouragement, Thomas tells him, "I promise on my life, I'll get you back to that room (home)  of yours" (195).  It is clear that friendship is important to Thomas and he treats others the way he wants to be treated.  

     Thomas is determined to make his goals, or dreams, come true even against all odds.  He wants to become a "maze runner" even when everyone says he does not have what it takes to become one (34).  Thomas trains (201) and is eventually successful becoming a runner.  Another goal he has is to solve the maze.  Again he is told he can't do it, but this does not stop him and he keeps on trying (231).  Just like all the others in the maze, Thomas wants to get his memory back and return home.  Discouragement along the way makes this seem impossible, but this is his most important goal and nothing will change that.  Thomas and his determination make him the "Energizer Bunny" of the maze. 

     All of Thomas' attributes can be wrapped up into the fourth one listed, courage.  It takes courage to go on in the face of danger and discouragement.  Courage is used to show and use your strength.  Putting yourself out there to make a new friend can be a courageous act.  Of the times Thomas was courageous through the story, two stand out most.  When faced with capture and death from the grievers he put himself in danger to save his friend, Minho (134).  He also "took one for the team" and let himself be stung by a griever, so he could save the glade (city) (295).    Courage is more about whom you are and how you act rather than how you act.  It is a foundation to a person's entire character.  

     These character traits were designed to effect the other characters in a positive way.  The strength Thomas showed helped to get the others through the maze and served as support to everyone.  Chatterbox Chuck found a loyal friend in Thomas, and this opened doors to many other friendships.    It was his determination that kept Thomas and the others moving farther and farther towards their goals.  Courage saved some of the friends from harm, motivated them to keep going, and helped them all to make good friends.  The characters Thomas has many traits, some good, some bad, but these are the traits that meant the most to me.  

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Here's another essay that did well.  It lost some points because it lacks a conclusion, and needs more editing, but it does explain the traits of the character.  


Thanks to Nathanael B.



         In Tina Monsen's book, Leahona Legacies, Bubba is the main character and the kind of person that always takes charge when there is a problem or if they are just playing a game. Bubba is always a very good influence on other people. He is always positive and optimistic, and those are just some of the things that I will tell you about.

        First, he always takes charge when there is a problem, like in the book they are cleaning out their neighbor's attic and find an ancient map that sends them on a quest, and he was the very first to take charge. The main people in the book are on a baseball team, and he is the unofficial team captain. They also have some very dangerous criminals chasing after them in the story, and he is the one who chose the plan of action to get the criminals caught.

        Second, he is always honest, cheerful, courageous, and a good influence on others. For instance, they needed to climb a cliff, and he was the one who went up first then threw down a rope for the others. When it was poring and they could not go out side and look for more clues to reach the treasure, and he was very positive and optimistic and let every one come inside and have some snacks and they planed the next day.

        He is also very friendly, which he clearly shows threw being very nice to the team his family friends and neighbors. For instance he was the one who convinced the team to go and clean the neighbors attic where they found the map that lead them on their quest to find the treasure.

        His positive attitude and very uplifting spirit leads the team on very many other adventures and fun activities which includes: climbing the face of a very imposing cliff, and going in to the mountains off of the beaten path and in to an abandoned cave.


(Needs a conclusion)
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Thanks to Alicia J --



         I wrote about Dominic from the book "Everest: The Climb" by Gordon Korman.  I chose him because he's the main character and the narrator describes his traits a lot.  I took notes on how he was judged because he was very small for his age.  He was good at climbing and his dream was to climb to the top of Everest.  Many thought he couldn't do it because of his lung capacity which he was bound to struggle breathing with such thin air from the altitude.  He showed them that he could do anything he set his mind to.  

        His personality had a positive effect on most characters in the book because he was kind and a really good climber.  The only person who he probably had a negative effect on was Tilt Crawley.  Tilt was jealous of Dominic because he was strong and always helping others.  Dominic was younger than him and would beat his record of being the smallest person to climb to the top of Everest.  Tilt decided to secretly email a newspaper company to tell them false things about Dominic to make the public worried about such a small teenager attempting the climb.

        In one of Tilt's e-mails to the newspaper, he wrote that Dominic was a poor little boy who their leader of the expedition, Cap Cicero, forced to join the team just for the pride that he was the youngest to climb Everest.  He included that he should not have done that because now Dominic caught a very dangerous disease.  This is all of fib to scare the public.  Instead of thinking that Tilt was writing the mysterious e-mails, they suspected it was Ethan Zaph who was a member of another team.

        Other than that, everybody else liked Dominic.  Even the Sherpas who normally do all the hard work were grateful when Dominic carried the heavy packs up a steep slope for them.  Cap was proud of Dominic for being such a great climber but sometimes doubted having him on his team because of his size.  He also got many negative opinions about letting him climb too.  Dominic always proved them wrong, though.

        An example of the positive way he effects other characters is when he didn't stop searching for Nestor and Ethan until they found them.  Cap and the doctor, Andrea, had gone looking for them on the totally wrong side of the mountain.  Dominic knew that they had to break the rules and slip out of Base camp to save them.  It was a bitter night and they had to be smart and prepared for anything.  After filling their packs an extra supplies of gas tanks and breathing masks, their started their journey.

        They climbed a icy, sloping mountainside for over two hours and almost reached the top when they found out that they didn't have enough pegs.  It was to far to heave their bodies up over the edge so they almost gave up.  This is were Dominic came in.  He remembered that Perry had an ancient peg in his pack which was his uncle's who intended to have it put on top of Everest.  "Use your uncle's peg!"  Dominic shouted to Perry.  It was just enough to get them to the top of the slope and save Nestor and Ethan from freezing to death.

        From my perspective, I think after reading the book, I really liked Dominic.  He can be funny but if you need to get the job done, he'll do it right.  At times when everything seems to be going wrong, he turns it in a different direction and helps his teammates get back on track.  Especially when their lives are at risk, he's always there to save the expedition.  The author did a really good job at describing this character in the book.  I was surprised at how big of a personality Dominic had despite his small structure. 

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Character Traits (of a Character from The Outsiders)
Thanks to Bonnie S.





         In the book "The Outsiders," Johnny is Ponyboy Curtis' best friend. In the book I think that Johnny has character traits that affect people in a positive way because he is not as mean as the others in the gang. He helped out the little kids that were in the church that was burning down, and he is brave enough to stand out and show others that they are doing something wrong, if they are doing something that is wrong.

        First of all, Johnny is not as mean as all of the others in the gang. I found it interesting that Dally (one of the boys in the gang) was Johnny's role model, because I thought that Johnny and Dally had opposite personalities. Dally is so entertained with hurting others feelings and making people hate him, because when they all snuck into the movie theaters, he tried to make Cherry Valance and Marcia feel as uncomfortable as possible. Because of his actions Cherry threw a  bottle of coke at him. On the other hand, Johnny is so nice and kind and does not want to do things like that. In fact he was the one who stopped Dally when he was annoying the girls. Because of Johnny's actions Cherry and Marcia talked to Pony and Johnny and trusted them.

        Second, Johnny and Ponyboy had saved those kids that were stranded in the burning church. The two boys had been running away from "the fuzz" or the police because Johnny had killed someone. They had been hiding in an old abandoned church building, and while they were out eating lunch with Dally, there had been a picnic going on at the church. The building had caught on fire because Pony and Johnny were not being careful with their smokes. Both of the boys had rushed into the burning building to save some kids who had decided to go exploring. Johnny had ended up in critical condition because of his generosity.

        Third, Johnny is brave enough to stand out and make a difference. When they had snuck into the movie theater, while Dallas was picking on Cherry and Marcia, Johnny and Pony were getting sick and tired of it and wanted him to stop. Ponyboy knew better than to tell Dallas Winston what to do. To everyone's surprise, Johnny stood up and told him to lay off. He did. Another time that Johnny stood out, was when the Socs were drowning Ponyboy and Johnny had stabbed Bob. I think that he was standing out and making a difference because he could have just ran away from the situation and tried to get someone else to help Ponyboy, but he tried to help the situation himself.

         So you can see, that Johnny was not a terrible person just because he had killed Bob.  If he would not have killed him, the social gang probably would have killed Ponyboy and Johnny for picking up their girls. The Socs were drunk, and they had already started trying to kill Ponyboy by drowning him.  Johnny stabbed Bob as a matter of self defense.  So, I think that Johnny did affect people in the book "the outsiders," because he is not as mean as the other kids in their gang, he helped the little kids get out of the burning church building, and he is brave enough to stand up for people when they need it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Writing With Writers -- Online Activity

Writing News Stories
http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/news/index.htm

Nouns

This one is more for the moms (and dads) than for you students:


List of Character Traits

Character Traits – List 2



Characters (and real-life people) have unique attributes called traits. Use the following list of character traits as a guideline when writing book reports and essays about the different characters you've read about. Don't stop with this list, though; you can probably think of many more terms to describe your characters.


# Honest
# Light-hearted
# Leader
# Expert
# Brave
# Conceited -- Humble
# Mischievous
# Demanding
# Thoughtful
# Keen
# Happy
# Disagreeable -- Agreeable
# Simple
# Fancy
# Plain
# Excited
# Studious
# Inventive
# Creative
# Thrilling
# Independent
# Intelligent
# Compassionate
# Gentle
# Proud
# Wild
# Messy
# Neat
# Joyful
# Strong


# Bright
# Courageous
# Serious
# Funny
# Humorous
# Sad
# Poor
# Rich
# Tall
# Dark
# Light
# Handsome
# Pretty
# Ugly
# Selfish
# Unselfish
# Self-confident
# Respectful
# Considerate
# Imaginative
# Busy
# Patriotic
# Fun-loving
# Popular
# Successful
# Responsible
# Lazy
# Dreamer
# Helpful
# Simple-minded


# Humble
# Friendly
# Short
# Adventurous
# Hard-working
# Timid
# Shy
# Bold
# Daring
# Dainty
# Pitiful
# Cooperative
# Lovable
# Prim
# Proper
# Ambitious
# Able
# Quiet
# Curious
# Reserved
# Pleasing
# Bossy
# Witty
# Fighter
# Tireless
# Energetic
# Cheerful
# Smart
# Impulsive
# Loyal

Character Traits list from

© 2000-2009 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Enrichment:  Extra Information about Adjectives:

Character Traits and Adjectives

  Previously published 10/2/10