Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Death of North Korean Leader

Here's a clear and simple explanation about North Korea and the death of Kim Jong II.

This is interesting:  a game for learning about the Koreas:

What I'm Reading

I just finished reading War Horse.  It's historical fiction, which is our next genre, and the movie is coming out on Christmas Day.   The narrator is a horse named Joey who  participates in World War I.   He experiences both cavalry and trench warfare, and sees action from both the British and German sides.

Next up: Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

A New Book Series -- with an online game!

and it's by James Dasher of Maze Runner!

Anyone interested in clouds and weather?

I've never seen clouds like this!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quotes and Extra Credit

Extra credit:  Memorize one of these quotes. 
Quote of the Day: "A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds."  -Francis Bacon -- 2 points

"Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow."
-Frances Hodgson Burnett  -- 2 points

Is the mightiest sword
Forgiveness of those you fear
Is the highest reward
When they bruise you with words
When they make you feel small
When it's hardest to take
You must do nothing at all...
- Jane Eyre. (5 points)

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
- Paul Boese.  -- 2 points

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
-Mahatma Gandhi    
-- 2 points

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
--Oscar Wilde    
-- 2 points

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Happy Bill of Rights Day!

I'm slow getting this up, but today is Bill of Rights Day.  We really should celebrate that in the United States we are guaranteed these rights.  Here is a source of more information:

Want to try your hand at ratifying some amendments?  These "votes" are nonbinding, but it's interesting to participate in, because it has similarities to the ratification of our United States Constitution when an attempt was made to involve as many citizens  as possible in the ratification process.  (Note: At that time voting citizens would have all been adult males.)
Go to 

And the outcome: 

More on The Bill of Rights:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday: A1 Basketball Games -- Come to class.  Bring your dollar if you wish to go to the game.
We will take roll, and you will wait to be called down over the intercom.
A2, A3, and A4 will not be going to basketball games during class.

Reading The Giver
A1 read from  107 to (Not today because of the basketball games)
A2 read  94 to  117.   They answered questions for 12, should have the three best sentences to summarize chapter 13 circled in their composition books, and read chapter 14 and answered the questions that go with it, though not everyone finished reading chapter 14.
A3 read  94 to 117.  They answered questions for 12, should have the three best sentences to summarize chapter 13 circled in their composition books, and read chapter 14 and answered the questions that go with it, though not everyone finished reading chapter 14.
A4 read 100 through page 121.   They should have the three best sentences to summarize chapter 13 circled in their composition books, and read chapter 14 and answered the questions that go with it, and read chapter 15 and answered the questions.

Exit slip: 
1. What happens when twins are born in the community?

2. What memory did Jonas share with Gabe?

Questions for The Giver:Write the answers in your composition book, or on neat paper to be taped into your composition book.
Giver Chapt 10-16 comp book.doc

Next Book-of-the Month:  Historical Fiction
After that: Nonfiction including biography and autobiography and other single-subject books.  No how-to.
See recommendations for  Historical Fiction
and for  Nonfiction.

No late, revised, or make-up work for term 2 will be accepted after January 6, 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


1. Self-Starter:

A. Students who did not receive at least a 38/45 on each part of the Paragraph Post-Test wrote another paragraph to make up points.
B.  Students who did not need to do the make-up work wrote Santa letters for extra credit.  The other students also had a chance to do a Santa letter today or by class time  Thursday.  These letters are helping to raise money for charity.

A. Paragraphs --
This is your make-up assignment:  Write a paragraph contrasting our society with that shown in The Giver. 
  • a topic sentence
  • at least three major ways that they are different (supporting details in the body of the paragraph), telling about their community and ours within each major detail,
  • and a conclusion.  
  • Use transitions to show relationships between sentences and to show the place of the ideas in the paragraph.
Highlight your topic sentence with green, underline transitions, and highlight your conclusion with red.
This is a sample of a complete and contrasting paragraph:  (This is on a different topic, but shows a complete paragraph, with all needed parts and highlighted and underlined as directed.)

Hot chocolate and orange soda provide two very different drinking experiences for several reasons.   First, the hot chocolate is just that -- hot, while soda is best served cold.  Next, the hot chocolate smoothly glides through your mouth.  On the other hand, the soda bubbles and fizzes against your lips and in your mouth.  Color is another difference.  My favorite hot chocolate is a rich deep brown topped with clouds of white whipped cream.  Orange soda, in contrast, is a vibrant orange color.  Also, a generously sized mug holds the chocolate with whipped cream, but the soda is best from an ice cold and crystal clear glass bottle, just opened.  In conclusion, though hot chocolate and orange soda are different in temperature, texture, color, and in how they are served, either can quench your desire for a delicious drink.

Transitions:  This is a list of transitions that are useful for paragraphs that contrast.

Transitions show relationships and help your sentences to fit together.
Some of the transitions you could use in a paragraph that contrasts: conversely, instead, on one hand, on the other hand, on the contrary, rather, yet, but, however, still, nevertheless, in contrast, first, second, third, first of all, to begin with, in the first place, at the same time, in conclusion, with this in mind, after all, all in all, all things considered, briefly, in brief,  on the whole, in short, in summary, in the final analysis, on balance, to sum up, to summarize, finally

3. Reading The Giver
A1 read from 95 to 107
A2 read  81 to 94
A3 read 72 to 94
A4 read 77 to 100

Spelling  The Prefix "fore-"
Thursday: A1 Basketball Games -- Come to class.  Bring your dollar if you wish to go to the game.
We will take roll, and you will wait to be called down over the intercom.
A2, A3, and A4 will not be going to basketball games during class.

Reminder:  Study your spelling for January 5.
Take or finish your Book of the Month Assessment if needed. Times available to take or finish the Book-of-the-Month test are Tuesday and Wednesday during CaveTime in the Computer Writing lab 211, and after school on Tuesday and Wednesday in the same lab.


Friday, December 9, 2011

December 17 -- Authors and Authors!

Jessica Day George says:  "I will be at a twelve author MEGA EXTRAVAGANZA December 17th, 12-2 pm, at the Orem Library! Come see me, Robison Wells, Dan Wells, Ally Condie, Brandon Mull, Nathan Hale, Jed Henry, Rick Walton, Bree Despain, Kristen Chandler, E. J. Patten, and Tyler Whitesides!"

Friday, December 9, 2011

Self-Starter:  Prepare for spelling test and  Book-of-the-Month Assessment

Spelling test on the "-ate" words.

Prefix and words for our next text:  The Prefix "fore-"

Book of the Month Assessment for November-December: Distopian fiction

Open this template and type your answers on it:    
My Nov. Dec. Book-of-the-Month Assessment.doc

Here are the questions.  You will answer five of the six.  
        BoM Questions for Nov Dec.doc

You will receive a grading sheet.  Attach your answers to the front of the grading sheet.  
Grading for Nov.-Dec. Book of the Month.doc

 Themes and Types of Government:

Additional Themes in Literature and What is a Theme?

Forms of Government


We will have a make-up  (or finish) day for the test next Tuesday during Cave Time.

Practice your "fore-" spelling before the vacation, so you won't have to worry about it over the vacation.





Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Prefix "fore-"

 Vocabulary/Spelling #5              Test on January 5, 2012

Prefix to study:   fore- which means front (or before)
1.      forehead  (no extra credit)
2.       forecast     -- casten "contrive." Contrive = find out, imagine   So forecast means to "find out or imagine before"
3.      forethought  -- thought is from Old English: "cause to appear to oneself.”  So forethought means to "cause to appear to oneself before" 
4.      forefront  -- (no extra credit)  Note: Something at the forefront stands out, projects,  or comes first. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Additional Themes in Literature

You might find these themes in your distopian book: 

Becoming beautiful does not fix everything.
A seemingly perfect world is never perfect.
You should be true to yourself and not blindly follow everyone and what they think.

The natural inclination of man toward greed and power makes it unlikely that there could ever be a utopia.

Change may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary.
Ambition destroys.
We create our own destruction as we create our technology.

People are destroying nature and themselves with uncontrolled technology.
Just when you think life is finally going to be easy, 
something bad happens to balance it all out. 
Death is just a part of life.
Sacrifices bring reward.
We all have more in common than we have differences.  
Ignorance can be bliss.
Knowledge can be dangerous.

(Also see the list on the back of your handout from December 7.)  supporting Themes Chart.doc

Some of the other themes found in literature:

We need to treat others the way we would like to be treated.
Crime does not pay. 
Friendship depends on sacrifice.
The greatest beauty is found in simplicity.
Racism is an evil that harms everyone it touches.
Things are not always as they seem.  or You can't judge a book by its cover.
The pen can be mightier than the sword.
The names we call ourselves or each other can have great power.
Pride leads to a downfall.
"Spirit can defeat physical strength." 
Themes for Freak the Mighty
Through teamwork we can be much more than we could be on our own.
Sometimes fantasy opens our eyes to a truer reality than we could see before.
Friendship can make both our lives and ourselves better.
You can't tell what's on the inside of a person by looking just at the outside. 
"One must live the way one thinks or end up
thinking the way one has lived" ~ Paul Bourget
  • "Every man loves what he is good at."
About the quote: A True Widow by Thomas Shadwell.
What it means: People like to do things that they are good at.
Found on 
  • "Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence." - Sholem Asch
Simple: The power to forget, not remember, is important for humans to exist.
Found on
What is a theme?
·     A theme is a big idea about life revealed in a piece of literature.

·     A theme is an idea or message about life, society, or human nature.
·     Novels will usually express several themes.
·     A theme in literature is stated as a complete sentence.
·     It will not be a question.
·     The theme of a book will be expressed in at least several different places in the book.
·     A theme will not necessarily be directly stated.  More often it is implied from the story – from what happens and how the characters act and react.  

Some Themes You Might Find in Historical Fiction
No matter how different we are, we have more similarities than differences. Family can provide purpose and strength to individuals. The quest for freedom is a costly thing. The quest for freedom is worth any cost. When cultures clash, both are damaged. When cultures can come together peacefully, both are enriched. Strong families build a strong society. Those who create war (or conflict) seldom consider the human cost. Building a new world builds the people who do it. We fear what we don't understand.  or We fear those we don't understand. An individual can change the future. Handicaps challenge us to achieve. Kindness can be found in unexpected places. Good things happen to good people. Bad things happen to good people. Perseverance pays. True friendship is priceless. Friendship (or kindness) can bring light in the midst of darkness. Self-sacrifice for the sake of others is a noble thing. The things you seek are already inside you. Happiness comes not from seeking something more, but from appreciating what you already have. Pride leads to pain. True friendship knows no boundaries. Honesty is the best policy. Purpose promotes survival. Working together we can survive better than we could alone.

 Extra Credit Opportunity:  

Examples of Theme from Movies


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Self-Starter:  Pick up and complete the word sort.  Do not sort them alphabetically. 
 Pre-Suff Word Sort 3 -ate .doc
If you are absent, do this, then ask the teacher for the answer key.  In class most students did it two different ways: one of many different ways you could do it, then the way Ms. Dorsey directed.

2. Themes in The Giver and in your distopian book.   This is homework to prepare for your test on Friday.  supporting Themes Chart.doc

3. Reading The Giver
A1 read from 83 to 95.
A2 read 68 to 81.
A3 read 65 to 72.
A4 read 77 to

Important reminder:
The Book-of-the-Month Assessment will be given on this Friday, December 9.
The spelling test on the "-ate" words will also be given this Friday, December 9.

The Charity Basketball Games will be held next Thursday and Friday. Bring your dollar!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

1. Self-starter:  Students copied the questions for the book assessment, to be used for preparing for the test.
If you were absent, see this post:   November/December Book-of-the-Month

Students had time to review their spelling -- all of the prefix and suffixes so far with their spelling words and meanings, and we played Sparkle.

2.  The Giver  -- We finished the ceremonies  (assigning of jobs and the one selection) if needed.

A1 -- to page 83, halfway down, and they wrote in their composition books a 1/2 page or more response to what they'd read in the book or to the poem "The First Book" by Rita Dove.  Instructions:  When instructed to write (under "Notes and Quick-Writes," quickly and constantly for five minutes about he part of The Giver we just read or about the poem.    The First Book -- Poem by Rita Dove
A2 -- to page 68
A3 -- to page 65
A4 -- to page 77

Reminder:  This Friday will be the Book-of-the-Month Assessment and you will also take this week's spelling test on the "-ate" words. 

November/December Book-of-the-Month

Questions for Friday, December 9

November-December Book-of-the-Month Assessment
Answer five of these questions about your Book-of-the-Month book.  Don’t forget to use specific details, examples, and description from the book in your answers.

The Setting:
What is the setting – place- time?
What is the setting – government, society, community?
       What is good about it?
        What is bad about it?
The People:
    How do the people live?
The Rulers:
          Who rules?
How much power do they have?
If they live differently from most of the people, how are      their lives different?
The main character:
How does the main character find himself/herself in conflict with society?
Does he or she fight against the society?  How?
The Theme or Message:
What  does this book teach about how life could or should be lived?
--- about what is of value in life?
--- about how to balance freedom and security?
--- about what governments should or should not do?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More "-ate" Words

When the suffix "-ate" is used to form verbs, you can end up with


For extra credit, can you come up with more verbs that end with the suffix "-ate"?

-ate Spelling

-ate  means cause, make, operate upon

Artists create art.

People used to segregate people by race.

Separate the yolk from the white.

The standing wolves dominate the one on the ground.

Forms of Government

Types of Government
Watch the PowerPoint and fill out the following chart to compare and contrast several forms of government, and to evaluate them.

What is the form of government?

Who is in control?

How much control do they have?
Rank these types of government from most desirable to least desirable: 1-8.
 no one

the people (demos)
 Their control is limited if they consider  the rights of others.

 The people turn over part of  their power to representatives that they choose.
 Representatives' power is limited because the people can vote them out.

the governing power is used without the consent of the people being governed

 a committee or other elite group rule
  potentially unlimited
Commmunism and socialism are often ruled by an oligarchy.
There is also a theory that all democracies eventually end up ruled by an oligarchy.


 The government owns everything .
 potentially unlimited


 The government does not own everything, but they do  control all businesses and finances.
somewhat limited but could include vast control


  A dictator rules and everyone must obey the dictator.

  An emperor, king, or queen—holds power for life.

English 7, Dorsey,  The Giver. Distopian Fiction 

Then there are combinations:  
For example:
-- Democratic Republic
-- Constitutional Monarchy 
-- Socialist Republic (though the reality may not match the label!)