Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Don't forget to bring your supplies to class -- pencils, pens, paper. We have a few students who are consistently unprepared. Don't be one! If you don't have the supplies you are responsible to bring, you may miss the opportunity to earn points on that day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reminder about Wikki

I am working on a web site on which you will(hopefully) be able to post your reviews, ads, or web pages: http://cavemanenglish.pbwiki.com/?pwd=e3xjtdh2p5
We may even begin some conversations!

Check out our wiki for copies of handouts and even the PowerPoint about Sentences.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

April 2/3, 2009

April 2/3, 2009
Self-Starter: Prepare to go to the Computer Lab -- For survey and introduction to our class wiki.

1. Computer Lab for a survey and learning a bit about using the Wikki!

For a copy of the handout we used in the computer lab, go to
Go to the folder named "Student Pages." Open it. Click on the link to files at the bottom of the "Navigator" box. Click on "Wiki Computer Lab 1" to open it. It will upload to your computer and you could read or print it from there.

2. Test prep. practice -- editing. (If you were absent see the folders at the back of the room.)

3. Sentenced Again! We did another section of PowerPoint and completed fill-in-the-blank notes. See Ms. Dorsey's wiki for the notes page and PowerPoint. http://cavemanenglish.pbwiki.com/

4. Stand Tall -- We finished reading chapter 1 and answered some questions in the packet.
B1 and B3 have not read the rest of chapter 1 at all.
B2 read through "You give me a call. . . " on page 6.

March 31/ April 1, 2009

March 31/ April 1, 2009

April 1 is your last day to hand in the book approval for on-time points (20 points out of 10).


Test Preparation -- Recognizing Appropriate Sentence Construction
Students are working on this test practice in pairs.

Sentence Rehabilitation Race -- Students worked with parters to "rehabilitate" fragments, comma-splices, and run-ons into complete, correct sentences. (If you are absent, get the paper from the class folders, and do this on your own to hand in.)

Stand Tall
B2 needs to discuss pages 1 and 2 of the packet.
B-Day needs to look at the poem at the beginning of the book.
Start reading Stand Tall. We read pages 1-3, and answered the question about Mrs. Pierce in the packet. If you have lost your packet, you may go to the class wiki and print off another copy for yourself. Find it in the folder for Stand Tall.

March 27/30, 2009

March 27/30, 2009

Self-Starter: More Test Preparation -- Answer practice questions about using reference works.
(If absent, make sure you get the paper for this.)
Looking at using resources -- Look at media center activity and suggested books.
Some resources you should know how to use:
Special dictionaries
Biographical reference books to find information about people

Self-Starter, continued: Take a quiz about what we've learned so far about sentences. (If absent, make sure you get a chance to do the quiz.)

1. More on Sentenced! See our wikki for the handout and even the PowerPoint. http://cavemanenglish.pbwiki.com/?pwd=e3xjtdh2p5
Students took a review quiz --
Then we learned about phrases and
illegal ways to combine "sentences" non-sentences
fragments/ run-ons/comma splices


2. Getting Started with Stand Tall -- What is a hero? What is a leader?
Ask for the portion of the packet completed today: Page 1-2.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 25/26, 2008

March 25/26, 2008

Test Preparation -- More Practice with an article about "The Evacuation of Saigon."

More about the Book-of-the-Month Club -- One possible project is a poster. -- See some examples from last year displayed in the room. (Your requirements may be a little different.)

Once again, you are "Sentenced." Today we are talking about sentences and clauses (dependent and independent. Students viewed the PowerPoint - Part 2 and filled in the blanks for notes on the PowerPoint information. B-DAY STUDENTS TOOK A QUIZ.

Check out our wiki for copies of handouts and even the PowerPoint about Sentences.

We are going to the Media Center to look for books and to do a scavenger hunt in print resources. (reference books!)

If you are absent, you need to do the test practice, get the worksheet that went with today's PowerPoint (you may ask a classmate for the words to fill in the blanks), and complete (on out own) the media lab assignment.

More on Sentences

Go to this site for games and information! http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/words/grammar/sentencebasics/whatisasentence/game.shtml

And here is even more information:

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23/24, 2009

March 23/24, 2009

Pick up your composition books.
1. Test Preparation exercise -- Reading for main idea and details. (If you were absent, see me for a copy of the practice test questions.)
2. When finished, write in your composition book: Whom do you consider a hero and why?
3. Receive Book-of-the-Month Approvals and Reading Logs.
Look for a book you could highly recommend to other students.
We will go to the media center next time.
4. Sentenced! (Here comes the Judge! Oh, Brother. . .)
Sentenced to the "chain gang," chaining together words and punctuation to create complete, correct sentences.
Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to yourself about what you understand and don't understand about sentences.

How much do YOU know about sentences?
Verbs -- the Core of the sentence, the most important part.
Subjects of the sentence (nouns or their replacements) -- Answer (or ask) the question who or what is the verb giving information about?

If you were absent, see me for the worksheet students filled out while watching a PowerPoint about sentences. You may ask a classmate for the answers to fill in your paper.

We played a game to practice identifying subjects and verbs.

Coming Attractions:
-- Heroes and the novel Stand Tall
Superman? Vietnam War, being different, going through hard times, helping others
Who is a hero? Why? What are the qualities of a hero? Can you be a hero?
-- What is the difference between an independent clause (a sentence) and a dependent clause?
-- More test preparation

The etymology of the word Sentence:
c.1290, "doctrine, authoritative teaching," from O.Fr. sentence (12c.), from L. sententia "thought, meaning, judgment, opinion," from sentientem, prp. of sentire "be of opinion, feel, perceive" (see sense). Loss of first -i- in L. by dissimilation. Meaning "punishment imposed by a court" is from c.1300; that of "grammatically complete statement" is attested from 1447, from notion of "meaning," then "meaning expressed in words." The verb meaning "to pass judgment" is recorded from c.1400.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Book-of-the-Month Club for Term 4

I am working on a web site on which you will(hopefully) be able to post your reviews, ads, or web pages: http://cavemanenglish.pbwiki.com/?pwd=e3xjtdh2p5

For this term, select a book that contains a narrative -- a story. It may be either fiction (a novel or a collection of short stories) or nonfiction (such as a biography or autobiography, or the story of an event or interesting subject.)

For a list of recommended books, search on this blog for "recommended books."

You will have your book approved by a parent or guardian and by the teacher. (See the attachment at http://cavemanenglish.pbwiki.com/?pwd=e3xjtdh2p5 )
You will keep a reading log on your book. (See the attachment.)
You will create a project to "sell" the book to other students.
Do your best to find a book that you think would be a great summer read for at least a few other students in your class.
You have several choices for your project:
-- a book review such as you would see in a newspaper or magazine
-- an informative poster advertising the book (12" by 18", portrait orientation, not landscape)
-- an informative brochure advertising the book
-- an informative "ad" (advertisement) such as you would see in a magazine (8 1/2" by 11")
-- a web page dedicated to the book, the subject, and/or the author -- posted on our new class wikki

Details on requirements for each option are forthcoming.

Books Not Allowed for the Book-of-the-Month

Books Not Allowed for Class Book Assessments (for spring 2009)
[Some of these books are used as class sets in our 7TH, 8TH and 9TH grade English classes. Others may be considered by our English department teachers to be too “young” for you, or otherwise inappropriate as homework for a junior high class.]

Books Not Allowed for Class Book Assessments (for spring 2009)

A Tale of Two Cities
And Then There Were None
Animal Farm
Boxcar Children, any of the series
Bud, Not Buddy
Captain Underpants, any of the series
Charlotte’s Web
Diary of Anne Frank
Getting Away with Murder
Goosebumps, any of the series
Great Brain, any of the series
Great Gilly Hopkins
Gregor the Overlander (#1 and #2)

Books Not Allowed for Class Book Assessments (for spring 2009), cont.

Harriet the Spy
Ice Story
Invention of Hugo Cabret
Mississippi Trial 1955
Phineas Gage
Regarding the Fountain
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Romeo and Juliet
Stand Tall
Tom Sawyer
The Giver
The Outsiders
The Whipping Boy
To Kill a Mockingbird
Words By Heart

Books Not Allowed for Class Book Assessments (for spring 2009), cont.
Judy Blume
Beverly Cleary
Katherine Patterson (most)
R.L. Stein (all)

Books Not Allowed for Class Book Assessments (for spring 2009), cont.
Literature Class books:
Esperanza Rising
Road to Memphis
Princess Bride
Gathering Blue
Pudd’n Head Wilson
Trouble Don’t Last
Keylock Man
Storyteller’s Daughter
Surviving the Applewhites
The Dark is Rising
The Martian Chronicles
The Hobbit

Books Not Allowed for Class Book Assessments (for spring 2009), cont.
Also not accepted:
Any book that is too "young" for you, or too far below your lexile reading level (usually not more than 50 points below). Also, if you find a book is too difficult for you to comprehend, please abandon that book and find on you can understand. Have it approved by parent and teacher.
Books you read for reading skills or literature classes (or other classes), comic books, cartoon books, scriptures.
Please do not select books you have previously read.

The consequence for doing a book assessment on books “not allowed” will be a zero (no points) on the assignment.
Your teacher reserves the right to add or delete books on this list at her discretion.
 Have your book approved by your teacher and parents before you start reading.

March 20, 2009

March 20, 2009

Today is the last day of Term 3. Our last term of the year begins on Monday! Doesn't time fly?
Here are some highlights of what will be happening during Term 4:
(Notice that I'm beginning each of the following lines with a verb -- something we will DO.)

-- What is a hero? What is a leader?
= Writing to explain -- "What is a hero?" (MYAccess)
= Reading the novel Stand Tall by Joan Bauer.
= Comparing ideas about heroes and leaders in Stand Tall, The Giver, The Outsiders, Words By Heart, and Ice Story
= Reading a self-selected book that is approved by the teacher and a parent or guardian.
= Creating an ad, article, or review to "sell" the self-selected book.
= Telling other students about the self-selected book.
= Being SENTENCED! What is a sentence? What does it take to create complete, correct, interesting sentences? (including subject-verb agreement)
= Practicing test-taking skills.
= Reviewing what we've learned through this year.
= Testing -- Yes, state core testing is coming.

The Book Approval for the Book-of-the-Month Assessment is due by April 1 (sooner is better).
The Book-of-the-Month Assessment will be due by (tentatively) May 6.
No late or revised work for Term 4 (or before) will be accepted after May 20.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 18/19, 2009

March 18/19, 2009

1. Mr. Christensen will have all personal narratives back to students by the end of the first class period on the 18th. All revisions of these handed back papers have to be back to him on Friday, March 20th at the absolute latest.
a. If you did not hand it in by last Friday (the late deadline) you do not have the opportunity to revise.
2. Any work that was handed in after Thursday, March 12th has not yet been entered into the computer. It does take time to grade and enter scores. This is one of the reasons we have due dates and deadlines!

1. Students wrote in their composition books responses to the following questions:

What is was the most interesting/Fun thing that you did this term in English?

What one activity/thing would you cut if you had been teaching this term?

If you could give Mr. Christensen (or Ms. Dorsey) one piece of advice as a teacher, what would it be?

2. Students retook the SRI -- Scholastic Reading Inventory -- in the computer lab. Students whose scores show the need will be placed in a reading skills class in eighth grade as one of their electives. Do your best to show what you really know.

3. Students did a WebQuest to learn more about Ernest Shackleton and his expedition, and to show that they can use external and internal text structures to find information. If you are absent, see an adjoining post for the sites and questions from the WebQuest. You may do this at home and return your work.

-3rd Term -- What we did --
Read excerpts from "Survive the Savage Sea"
Non-fiction reading logs
book of the month reading
book of the month assessment
computer lab to learn about finding and citing sources
media center to find books
reading Words by Heart
watching Words by Heart video
Words by Heart hotseat
Forgiveness essay
Revising Forgiveness essay
Sharing Forgiveness essay
Learning how to cite sources
Leaning about Jim Crow laws
Making lie-lay poster
Learning about lie-lay verbs
Calvin and Hobbes cartoons
Learning about capitalization and punctuation
Watching Grammar Rock
Punctuation Takes a Vacation book and activity
Reading Ice Story
Watching Ice Story video
Learning about internal structure and external text features

WebQuest Assignment

For this assignment, you will be asked to complete the WebQuest found below.

A WebQuest, just as the title suggests, is a quest through the World Wide Web. It is used to learn new things about a topic. In this WebQuest, you will be researching topics related to Shackleton and his misfortunate expedition of 1914-1916.

Just as with any other quest, there is a goal to this WebQuest: To complete the entire sheet by the time the end of class bell rings. If you complete the sheet by this time, you will receive 10 points on your third term grade. The first 3 individuals who finish the WebQuest in each class period, and have all answers correct, will receive a bonus of 5 points extra credit on their third term grade.

There is a map associated with this WebQuest: the URLs that are listed below will act as your map. It is up to you to determine how you will navigate the points on the map. Be sure to type in all of the URL correctly, or you will find yourself falling off into Nowhereland (i.e. you will get a page cannot be displayed error).

Good Luck, and don’t get stuck in the ice!





1. Where was Shackleton born? ______________________
2. On what date did the efforts to free the ship end? ___________________
3. This Handy Hint will help you get supplies and animals off of the ship: ___________
4. Who was the first officer of the Endurance Crew? ________________________
5. How many Flashes did Hurley set up on the ice to take a picture of the Endurance at night?
6. What happened to Shackleton during the summer of 1900? _____________________
7. Describe Thomas Orde-Lees: ____________________________________________
8. How many miles was it from where Shackleton and his men were originally stuck in the ice to Elephant Island? ______________________________________
9. According to one Cartoon Shackleton, How fast are they going to “get there” when sledding down the mountain? _________________________________________________
10. What was the name of the camp that the men moved to after the ship sank? ________
11. What Celebration took place on June 22nd? ____________________________
12. After the toot of the morning whistle, how long did it take for Shackleton and the three men to make it to the whaling station? ____________________________________
13. On what date did the efforts to free the ship end? _________________________
14. How many men were left on Elephant Island? __________________________
15. What was the name of Shackleton’s first polar Expedition? _________________
16. How often did the crew clean “The Ritz?” ____________________________

If You Need to Make Up Second Term Credit

If you need to make up second term credit. please see Ms. Dorsey. She will give you a packet that will help you to understand THEME in literature, and to show that you understand THEME. Along with the packet, you will be assigned a novel so you may read it, identify and explain themes in it, and find other pieces of literature and/or songs that have similar themes.

You will also need to pass off the seventh grade suffixes and prefixes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

March 16/17, 2009

March 16/17, 2009

No more late work or extra credit will be accepted for this term. Friday was the last day to hand those in, unless you had already made special arrangements with Mr. Christensen.

1. Lie/Lay Quiz
2. Ice Story Movie -- We watched part of "Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance" -- a Nova special --
and Mr. Christensen will be checking reading logs. (Blue logs -- handed out March 3/4 -- provided also for absent students.) See example on March 5 post.

Friday, March 13, 2009


For several years, my seventh grade classes would always read The Call of the Wild around the same time that the Iditarod sled dog race was being run. We'd have a huge map of the right part of Alaska posted on a classroom wall, with dog cut-outs to represent the dog teams and their mushers. We'd move the paper dogs along the Iditarod Trail each morning as the postings would come in on the Internet. Each student would have a team to root for, and when the race was over there would be small prizes for the students whose teams won, and for those whose team came in last (the red lantern prize for determination and perseverance).
We'd watch short videos about the Iditarod and sled dogs, and learn about the northern lights. Of course with The Call of the Wild we'd learn about the Alaskan Gold Rush.

We're not doing that this year, but you can still follow the Iditarod. It's going on right now. Internet coverage just keeps getting better, and you can find standings, news stories, photos and videos, bios of the mushers, and even an interactive map. My favorite source of all things Iditarod is The Anchorage Daily News. If you'd like to learn about the Iditarod, and follow this great race, go to http://www.adn.com/

By the way, The Call of the Wild is a wonderful book, and a great story for junior high age students, but remember that it was written in the early 1900's, so it's a more difficult read than most of our students are used to (Lexile level: 1120-1170). Another book about the same gold rush is Will Hobbs' Jason's Gold (Lexile level: 860).

[The photo is from Anchorage Daily News. I receive e-mail updates with photos, starting well before the race begins and continuing through the race. You, too, could sign up for the service.]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 12/13, 2009

March 12/13, 2009

1. Students did a surprise activity in their composition books.
If you were absent, read through these questions, and then write nonstop for 5 minutes or more. -- You may do this in your composition book, or write on another piece of paper to tape into your composition book.

What if you were almost a hero?
What if thousands of people wanted to be your friend?
If you left, and didn't come back for while, would anyone miss you?
If you were lost, who would come looking for you?
What if everyone was so busy with something else and they didn't have the time to come find you?
What if you had no choice but to save yourself?
If you could have 6 people to help you survive, who would you bring?
What if you died?
Who would tell your story?
What if you lived?
How would you tell your story?

Write nonstop for 5 minutes or more.

Now here's the "head game": What Mr. Christensen was really getting you to do in the "surprise" activity was to practice a technique you can use when you have "writer's block" -- when you need to get the flow going when you need to write. Just put pen or pencil to paper (or fingers to keyboard), and start writing. Don't worry about what you're writing -- just write! The part of your brain that deals with the physical movement of writing somehow connects with the part of your brain that generates ideas, and the first gets the second flowing. (Brain research verifies this.)
As a bonus, the questions he asked (silently) also got your brain thinking about ideas that could be connected to Ice Story.

2. Students finished reading Ice Story. If you were absent, check out a book to finish reading.
3. Some students read their personal narratives to the class.

Extra Credit -- Sentence!

For extra credit, bring a small poster -- 8 1/2" x 11" -- explaining the origin of the word "sentence" as it's used to refer to sentences that are groups of words including a subject and a verb. In other words, how did that word come to be used for that meaning?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Last Day to Hand in Work

Friday the 13th (tee-hee) is the last day to hand in late work for this term. It is also the last day we will accept extra credit.

Exception: Students who have handed in their personal narratives may hand in revisions up through Wednesday, March 18th.

comic from http://cache.thephoenix.com/secure/uploadedImages/

March 10/11, 2009

March 10/11, 2009

** If you haven't yet, turn in your portfolio assignments and personal narratives. Friday is the last day to hand in late work. The term ends on the 20th.

Students added dialogue to comic strips to show that they know how to use the verbs lie and lay.

Students read Ice Story in small groups through chapter 12.

Students created a time line for Ice Story so far. They created their own External Text Feature!

Student Targets for the Time Line:
Chronological Internal Text Structure,

Subject/Verb Review

image from http://paulbuckley14059.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/calvin-and-hobbes.jpg

Monday, March 9, 2009

Beehive Awards Nominees

2009-2010 Beehive Awards Nominees
These are the young adult books nominated for Utah's own Beehive Book Awards:

Airman by Eion Colfer
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (by a Utah author, who won the Newbery Honor with Princess Academy)
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
Evolution, Me, & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
House Of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I've been hearing so much about this one. My 10th grade daughter and her friends love it. It's by the same author who wrote the Gregor the Overlander books.)
Schooled by Gordon Korman (This is the one that inspired one of my students to come to school dressed as a hippie for his book presentation. Glorious!)
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (one of my favorites, and by another Utah author who is great fun at signings and speakings)
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Recommended Book Blog

Parents (and interested students), if you'd like to find out more about books available for young adults, I have a blog to recommend.
I stumbled upon this blog a couple of days ago*, and am very impressed. No, I don't agree with all of Stephanie Ford's assessments of books, but she's knowledgeable, and her reviews are insightful and interesting.
Check it out at

* I found it while looking for reviews of Shannon Hale's Book of a Thousand Days -- which I love and just read the second time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reading Log for the Rest of the Semester

Reading Log for the Rest of the Semester (The Rest of Term 3) -- These are blue. There are extras in the file at the back of the classroom. These were handed out March 3/4, and students who had been absent were provided with copies. Students may read almost any narrative -- graphic novels, novels, etc.

Name: ___________________ Per: ________

(Remainder of) Term 3 Reading Log

Book Title: ___________________________________________
Author: _______________________________________
Genre: ________________________________
# Pages: _________________

Introduction/Expostion: ___________________________

Rising Action: ___________________________

Conflict: ________________________

Climax ________________________


Each Time you Read:
Date: Pages: What happened:

March 5/6, 2009

March 5/6, 2009
The final draft of your personal narrative, double spaced with all parts of the rubric done, and with the rubric stapled to the back is due today!

Students are finalizing registration today. If you have not registered online, take care of that right away. If you haven't handed in the yellow registration form, hand in ONLY the first sheet with our math class approval stapled to the back of it. Bring it to English class.

Podcast of Grammar Girl! -- Lie/Lay

Read from Ice Story
B1 -- Starting at chapter 3, read through chapter 8.
B2 -- Starting at chapter 5, read through chapter 8.
B3 -- Starting at chapter 3, read through chapter 8.
A1 -- Starting at chapter 3, read through chapter 8.
A2 -- Starting at chapter 2, read through chapter 8.

If you are absent, follow these instructions as you read to catch up:

Ice Story
Internal Text Structure: Sequence

Last time in class we talked about the differences between Internal Text Structures and External Text Features.

By the end of the discussion it was clear to us that External Text Features were things that could be found (most likely) outside of the text and they stood out on the page. We compared them to “right there” questions on the QAR chart. Internal Text Structures, we decided, were not so easily found.

We compared Internal Text Structures to “think and search” questions from the QAR chart because they are harder to find, and we realized that, just like a structure such as a building, they need to be built out of key characteristics. During reading we looked for some key words that would help us see that the author employed a chronological internal text structure.

In today’s activity, we will similarly be looking for key words, but this time we are looking for key words that signify that the author might be employing a sequential internal text structure. See the posts in this blog that describe internal text structure. We will also be looking for unknown words that we can add to our vocabulary list.

List key words that signal that the author might be employing a sequential internal text structure.
List any vocabulary words that are unfamiliar to you or that get in the way of understanding what is going on.

Lie/Lay -- Perfect Tense

Overhead to Help You Understand:
LIE -To lie down is an act that can be attributed to the subject.
There is no object of this verb, as the subject is doing the action without a receiver.
(Hint: substitute "recline." If "recline" works, then "lie" is also correct)

Conjugation of LIE:
lie (present tense)
lay (past tense)
will lie (future tense)
lain (perfect tense) (use with have, had, has)

LAY - Lay must have a direct object. One lays something down.
(Hint: substitute "put." If "put" works, then "lay" is also correct.)
Conjugation of LAY:
lay (present tense)
laid (past tense)
will lay (future tense)
laid (perfect tense) (use with have, had, has)

Practice: (If you were absent, copy this, complete it, and hand it in.)
For each of these sentences tell whether the verb past, present, future, or perfect.
Then change the verb to the correct lie or lay verb.

Harold reclines in the arm chair.

Harold puts his sister in a car seat.

Leslie reclined on the Spongebob Squarepants chair.

Leslie put her purse on the Spongebob Squarepants chair.

Mark will recline in his hotel room.

Mark will put his briefcase in his hotel room.

Jimmy has reclined by the pool way too much this summer.

Jimmy’s friends have put firecrackers under his lounge chair.

Personal Narrative -- Final Grading

Grading (for printed off paper)
Notice that this assignment requires more than just printing off your paper. Make sure you've copied it, double-spaced it, and completed all of the following requirements:

Final Paper Grading Rubric
Points Received Points Possible Areas of Grading: Description and rationale for Grading Criteria
40 GoMyAccess Score 1.0 = 10 points
2.1 = 21 points
3.2 = 32 points
Grading (for printed off paper)
5.6 = 56 points

10 Connection to book
(ideas and content) 0-5 pts = paper does not talk about an experience of forgiveness at all (or contains very little about forgiveness) and does not connect to Words by Heart at all.
5-9 pts = paper talks personally about an experience of forgiveness, but writer did not connect personal experience to Words by Heart, or connected it fleetingly.
10 pts = paper talks personally about forgiveness and connects that experience to their life.

10 1st person Perspective / inclusion of dialogue/detail
(voice/word choice) 0-5 pts = paper does not resemble 1st person perspective at all. No dialogue is included. There is very little detail in the paper
5-9 pts = paper uses 1st person, but includes little or no dialogue or detail.
10 pts = paper uses 1st person perspective correctly. There are adequate amounts of dialogue and plenty of detail that gives insight into the thoughts and feelings of the individuals in the story.

10 Appropriate use of commas
(conventions) 0-5 = No commas were used or commas were placed in inappropriate places. Comma splices cause sentence fragments all throughout the paper or there are incomplete sentences that should be combined with other sentences by comma to make more sense in the paper.
5-9 pts = Commas are used correctly throughout the paper, but there are one or two situations that the comma could be used more correctly to eliminate sentence fragments or run-ons. There is no sentence with commas in a series.
10 pts = Commas are used correctly throughout the entire paper. There is at least 1 sentence that includes commas in a series and in the final draft they are underlined.

10 Capitalization and Punctuation
(conventions/ organization) 0-5 pts = Sentences are not capitalized and are missing appropriate punctuation (periods, quotation marks, question marks, etc).
5-9 pts = Most of the paper has appropriate capitalization and punctuation, but there are a few mistakes.
10 pts = There are no capitalization or punctuation errors in the paper.

10 Subject-Verb Agreement
(Sentence Fluency) 0-5 pts = There are no subjects or verbs underlined in the final draft and there are numerous problems with the subject-verb agreements throughout the paper.
5-9 pts = The final draft has underlined subjects and verbs, but they are either incorrect or there are less than three of them and other mistakes in the paper.
10 pts = The final draft has three underlined subjects and verbs and they are all correct. There may be minimal mistakes throughout the rest of the paper.

5 (+5 EC) Assignment Completion 0-5 pts = The Final paper is turned in after March 5/6.
Points lost if there is no Peer Review worksheet attached.

5 pts EC = The Final paper is turned in before March 5/6.
105 Total

A Bit of Vocabulary for Ice Story

1. of, like, or pertaining to an empire.
2. of, like, or pertaining to an emperor or empress.
3. characterizing the rule or authority of a sovereign state over its dependencies.
4. of the nature or rank of an emperor or supreme ruler.
5. of a commanding quality, manner, aspect, etc.
6. domineering; imperious.
7. befitting an emperor or empress; regal; majestic; very fine or grand; magnificent.

15. a member of an imperial party or of imperial troops.
16. an emperor or empress.
17. any of various articles of special size or quality.

1325–75; ME < class="ital-inline">imperiālis, equiv. to L imperi(um) imperium + -ālis -al 1 ; r. ME emperial < class="luna-Img" src="http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.png" alt="" border="0">

im⋅pe⋅ri⋅al⋅ly, adverb
im⋅pe⋅ri⋅al⋅ness, noun

6. despotic, high-handed, authoritarian


verb (used with object), -set, -set⋅ting.
1. to attack on all sides; assail; harass: to be beset by enemies; beset by difficulties.
2. to surround; hem in: a village beset on all sides by dense forest.
3. to set or place upon; bestud: a gold bracelet beset with jewels.
4. Nautical. to surround (a vessel) by ice, so that control of the helm is lost.

bef. 1000; ME besetten, OE besettan. See be-, set

be⋅set⋅ment, noun
be⋅set⋅ter, noun

2. encircle, enclose, besiege, beleaguer. 3. stud, decorate, ornament.

–verb (used without object)
1. to be imminent; be about to happen.
2. to threaten or menace: He felt that danger impended.
3. Archaic. to hang or be suspended; overhang (usually fol. by over).

Origin: 1580–90; < class="ital-inline">impendēre to hang over, threaten. im meaning "before"
ice floe
1. a person who amuses others by tricks, jokes, odd gestures and postures, etc.
2. a person given to coarse or undignified joking.

1540–50; earlier buffon < class="ital-inline">buffone, equiv. to buff- (expressive base; cf. buffa puff of breath, buffare to puff, puff up one's checks) + -one agent suffix ≪ L -ō, acc. -ōnem

1. jester, clown, fool. 2. boor.

befalling, befallen
–verb (used without object)
1. to happen or occur.
2. Archaic. to come, as by right.
–verb (used with object)
3. to happen to, esp. by chance or fate.

bef. 900; ME befallen, OE befeallan. See be-, fall (v.)

1. bechance, ensue, betide, materialize, chance.

an onset, assault, or attack, esp. a vigorous one.
1615–25; < D aanslag a striking, (earlier) attack (equiv. to aan on + slag blow, stroke; akin to slay ), with assim. to obs. slaught slaughter



1. lacking in variety; tediously unvarying: the monotonous flat scenery.
2. characterizing a sound continuing on one note.
3. having very little inflection; limited to a narrow pitch range.

1770–80; < class="ital-inline">monótonos. See mono-, tone, -ous

mo⋅not⋅o⋅nous⋅ly, adverb
mo⋅not⋅o⋅nous⋅ness, noun

1. tedious, humdrum, boring, dull.


1. something that obstructs, blocks, or closes up with an obstacle or obstacles; obstacle or hindrance: obstructions to navigation.
2. an act or instance of obstructing.
3. the state of being obstructed.
4. the delaying or preventing of business before a deliberative body, esp. a legislative group, by parliamentary contrivances.

1525–35; < class="ital-inline">obstructiōn- (s. of obstructiō) barrier. See obstruct, -ion

1. barrier, bar, impediment. See obstacle. 3. stoppage.

1, 3. encouragement.

1. Pathology. a disease marked by swollen and bleeding gums, livid spots on the skin, prostration, etc., due to a diet lacking in vitamin C.
2. contemptible; despicable; mean: a scurvy trick.

1555–65; scurf + -y 1

scur⋅vi⋅ly, adverb
scur⋅vi⋅ness, noun

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

External Text Features

External Text Features Facilitate Reading!

Utah State Core Standard 1 (Reading): Students will use vocabulary development and an understanding of text elements and structures to comprehend literary and informational grade level text. Objective 2. a. Identify external text features to enhance comprehension (i.e., headings, subheadings, pictures, captions, bolded words, graphs, charts, and tables of contents).

Take Notes:   Copy the large words: 
There are three main types of external text features:
1. organizational aids such as table of contents, appendices, bibliographies, glossaries, and indexes.
2. typographical or format clues such as italics, boldface, different color print, footnotes, blank spaces.
3. comprehension aides such as introductory or summary statements, headings, subheadings, sidebar text, graphs, charts, illustrations, and guide questions.  titles, captions, tables 

Make sure you can recognize these. 

Underline or circle or add them on your notes from last time. 

  1. captions
  2. graphs and charts
  3. tables
  4. table of contents
  5. index
  6. glossary
  7. titles
  8. headings
  9. subheadings
  10. bolded words 

Make sure you can recognize 
captions  (tell you about photos, pictures, other illustrations)
graphs and charts  -- a graph is a drawing illustrating the relations between certain quantities plotted with reference to a set of axes -- http://dictionary.kids.net.au/word/graph

tables -  A table presents information in rows and columns.
table of contents -- found at the beginning of a book, it is a list of divisions (chapters or articles) and the pages on which they start
index -- (in a nonfiction book, monograph, etc.) a more or less detailed alphabetical listing of names, places, and topics along with the numbers of the pages on which they are mentioned or discussed, usually at the back of the book. -- dictionary.com
glossary -- 1.  a list of terms in a special subject, field, or area of usage, with accompanying definitions.   2.  such a list at the back of a book, explaining or defining difficult or unusual words and expressions used in the text. -- dictionary.com
titles -- the distinguishing name of a book, poem, picture, piece of music, or the like. -- dictionary.com
headings -- a main division, as of a  book, lecture, speech, essay, etc. -- http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/heading
subheadings --   Subheadings are titles that divide part of a piece of writing into shorter sections. -- http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-cobuild/sub-heading
bolded words  -- (also called bold face)   a weight of type characterized by thick heavy lines -- http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/bolded

Pages about Particular External Text Features
   Captions with opportunities for extra credit! 

March 3/4, 2009

March 3/4, 2009
Your final draft of your Personal Narrative is due March 5/6! Don't forget, and don't forget to complete each part of the assignment on the rubric.

Turn in portfolio projects if you haven't!

External Text Features and Internal Text Structures!


Begin reading
Ice Story:Shackleton's Lost Expedition by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel.
A1 read through Chapter 2.

Improving your GoMYAccess Grade

Getting a Better Grade on GoMYAccess

For a narrative, add detail, description. Mrs. John in our English writing lab showed the difference between ho-hmmm and Wow! writing --

The cat sat on the wall.
An orange and gold striped cat, who looked like an overripe thistle pod, placidly surveyed the garden from his comfortable spot atop the sun-warmed rock wall.

Mark Twain once said that the difference between the almost right word and the right word was the same as the difference between a lightning bug and lightning!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

I hadn't realized that today was the day, until after school. But today is indeed the 105th birthday of Dr. Seuss. He's not around to celebrate, but we are. So read a book -- either one of his, or another book. I'm sure he would be proud of you either way!

For fun, and extra credit, go to this website, and bring me a list of at least ten books by Dr. Suess. Extra credit is available only through March 13.