Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wow, Markus Zusak on The Outsiders

Markus Zusak is the author of The Book Thief.  His favorite book as a  fourteen year old boy was The Outsiders.  Here he is talking about it and reading a short excerpt.

The Outsiders -- an excerpt read by Markus Zusak

Friday, September 27, 2013

Preparing for Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Announcements and Reminders: 
By last time  you should have signed up for your realistic fiction book for the Second Basic 8 Book of the Month, but you may still sign up. 

Realistic Fiction -- Contemporary

If you haven't turned in your First Basic 8 Book of the Month, turn that in as soon as possible (ASAP) either on Edmodo or as a hard copy. 

Library Time, as needed?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Announcements and Reminders: 
By today you should have signed up for your realistic fiction book for the Second Basic 8 Book of the Month.

Realistic Fiction -- Contemporary

If you haven't turned in your First Basic 8 Book of the Month, turn that in as soon as possible (ASAP) either on Edmodo or as a hard copy. 

Receive new book order fliers.

1. Individual Reading Time
2. Book Share 

3. About the September/October Book Project and receive handouts for it. 

Basic 8, Book #2 Assessment -- Character Cube


How do you learn about someone new?  What evidence can we gather to learn about him or her? 

How We Learn About Character


CSI  American Fork

Now Investigating:  Conventions in Sentences Investigation 

4. Investigation by Imitation!   
Your task:
a. Label the page with today's date and copy the first sentence into your composition book:

His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age.   
                                           -- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

These are imitations of the above sentence:
Hector's room smelled of gym socks, Hot Cheetos, and lies. 
                                             -- Jeff Anderson

My car smells of Armour-All vinyl cleaner, banana peels, and teenagers.                -- Ms. Dorsey

b. Create your own sentence using a list with commas in a series by copying and filling in the blanks on this sentence.

[Write in a Place] smells of ______________, _____________, and __________________.

B8   What is a sentence?

5. The Outsiders
B5  to top of page 95, iTunes chapter 6, 17:13
B6 to   page 109  iTunes, chapter 6 , 41:11
B7 to top of page 87,  iTunes chapter 6 ,  2:55
B8 to page 96,  chapter 6,  19:31

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Paragraph B7

Write a paragraph contrasting (pointing out differences) between Dallas' appearance in the book and his appearance in the movie.


light blonde hair
blue, icy

elfish face

high cheekbones and a pointed chin

small, sharp animal teeth


likes to get in rumbles

(same personality?)

dark brown hair

not elfish face

no pointed chin

teeth regular

not pointed ears

Paragraph B8

Central Idea Sentence: 
It must be a sentence.
It must include the topic -- Dallas Winston's looks, movie of The Outsiders, book of The Outsiders.
It must make a statement about the topic.

Write a paragraph contrasting (pointing out 

differences) between Dallas' appearance in the book 

and his appearance in the movie.

hair blonde -- almost white
wispy-- doesn't use grease
hatred in his eyes
eyes are blue -- icy
elfish face
pointed chin
small, sharp, animal teeth
lynx-like ears

basically the same personality?
dark brown  hair

you don't see hatred in his eyes

eyes brown

not an elfish face
not a pointed chin
normal teeth
not animal-like ears

B6 Paragraph -- Dallas

Write a paragraph contrasting (pointing out differences) between Dallas in the book and Dallas in the movie.

Book              Both            Movie 
 blonde                                 dark brown
(almost white)
blue eyes                              brown eyes
elfish face                             not elfish
pointed chin                         not pointed chin
sharp animal teeth               regular teeth
lynx-like ears                        regular, rounded ears
                         doesn't like kids
not good-looking                   cute, handsome
                         personality about the same
                          been in the cooler

   Dallas Winston's looks are very different in the movie than they are in the book.  In the movie Dallas' hair is dark brown, but in the book it is described as so blonde it is almost white.  Another difference is that in the movie he is somewhat handsome, while in the book he is not good-looking at all.   While his eyes in the movie are brown, the book says his eyes are an icy blue.  

We can see that Dallas Winston in the movie looks very different from Dallas Winston in the book The Outsiders.

B5 Paragraph -- Dallas

Contrast the description in the book with the way he is portrayed in the movie.

Book                               Both           Movie
hair - light blonde                              hair-- dark brown
eyes -- blue, blazing ice                    eyes -- brown
elfish face                                          regular face
like a lynx --ears                               ears -- regular
sharp animal -- teeth                         teeth -- regular
not good looking                               handsome
chin -- pointy                                     a little pointy
doesn't like hair oil                            greasy hair
                           doesn't like kids
                           same personality

      The creators of the movie The Outsiders, changed Dallas Winston's looks from the way he is described in the book.   In the movie, instead of having blonde hair, he has dark brown.  Also, in the book he has a pointy face, but in the movie he has a more handsome, regular face.  The book describes his ears as lynx-like, but the actor in the movie has rounded ears.

The movie doesn't show everything the same as the book of The Outsiders, especially Dallas Winston's looks.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vote for Seventh Grade Student Council Members today.

Book Project #1 
Please be aware that it takes the teacher a few days to grade major assignments such as the individual book assignment.

If you need to revise your Book Assessment, and have handed it in on Edmodo, use the graded document for making your corrections.

If you handed in a hard copy and need to revise or complete it, attach your newer version to the old one before you hand it in, please.   

Book orders are due today.
Online Ordering Information
Web address:
Class Activation Code: GKLJW

Sign up for your contemporary realistic fiction book for the 

September/October Book of the Month. 

1.  Welcome Mrs. Jones who is here to explain the

Battle of the Books -- Special Opportunity

2. iRead:   Individual reading time: Read quietly and individually.  You could find books on the shelves, but it's best if you are reading your book for your assignment. 


CSI  American Fork

Now Investigating:  Conventions in Sentences Investigation 

Label in your composition book:  CSI #3
  • What do you notice about this sentence?   
  • Write down at least three things you notice about it. 
  • Copy it into your composition book. 

Her cleats, shin pads, and sweats were in her backpack, slung over her shoulder and heavy with homework. 

-- Peter Abrahams, Down the Rabbit Hole (2006)

B8 -- Ian's lesson on commas in a series. 

Reason #3 to Use a Comma:  Three or more items in a list will be separated with commas. 
This is called "commas in a series" or "series commas."

Summarizing  -- The SWBS Strategy is one that can help you summarize a story. 
Summarizing with the SWBS method -- Examples
Wanted. . .
But. . .
So. . .
his youngest brother to be home and safe and didn’t want to call the police to find Ponyboy
Pony and Johnny had fallen asleep in the vacant lot
Pony was very late getting home and Darry got so mad he hit Pony.
Ponyboy and Johnny

just wanted to cool off at the park before going home
the Socs came and jumped  them and were drowning Ponyboy
Johnny killed Bob with his switchblade.

Effective Summarizing: 
A summary is a short restatement of the main events and essential ideas of a text.  
The summary will be much shorter than the original.
You will not insert your own opinions and ideas into a summary.
You will write your summary in your own words. 

A good summary of fiction will include characters, setting, and important details from the plot, in order. 
Drawing a story map can help you create a summary. 
You need events from the beginning, the middle, and the end. 

B5  to  middle of page 86, iTunes chapter 6, 1:27
B6 to   page 102  iTunes, chapter 6 , 27:46
B7 to page 79,  iTunes page 45, track 2,  29:33
B8 to page 91, "coming from inside the church," chapter 6,  11:03

HRM -- Highly Recommended Books

Highly Recommended Books

Jaren B. loved The Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mrs. Jones will be here the first 10 minutes of class to introduce The Battle of the Books!

Battle of the Books -- Special Opportunity

Monday, September 23, 2013

Announcements and Reminders:

  • Sign up for your next book for the Basic 8 Book of the Month by Friday, September 27.  See these links that explain the genre:  Realistic Fiction -- Contemporary --  Contemporary Realistic Fiction   
  • If you did not finish the Edmodo assignment -- answering two  questions about The Outsiders -- in class, finish it outside of class as soon as possible.
  • There is now a third question about The Outsiders on Edmodo.
  • And there is an extra credit opportunity also -- reading an article and writing about vandalism. 


1. Individual Reading Time -- You may be working on preparing to type your book assignment.  

2. CSI  American Fork

Now Investigating:  Conventions 

in Sentences Investigation 

Label in your composition book:  CSI #2  with today's date.

  • What do you notice about these sentences?  
  • What do they have in common? 
  • Write down at least three things you notice about them. 
  • Select one of the sentences to copy into your composition book. 

"In the moonlight, Sophie caught a glimpse of an enormous long wide wrinkly face with the most enormous ears."  
                       The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl

"With an earsplitting bang of metal on wood, they hit the thick tree trunk and dropped to the ground with a 
heavy jolt."

           Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Reason #2 to Use Commas:  To set off an introductory  (at the beginning of the sentence) word, phrase, or clause to make the meaning clear.  

Commas with Introductory Elements

3. Type your book assignment in computer lab 211.

Take whatever you need to complete your assignment.

Take your planner if you hope to go to the media center.

---   Use Edmodo and open the assignment, or

open your template here:  Basic 8-1 Template.doc

---   You may turn it in on Edmodo, or  print a hard copy to 

hand in to the top wire basket for your class. 

If you are done, type your answers to the three questions 

about The Outsiders, and, if you wish, to the extra credit

question about vandalism.   

If you have extra time, select or read your realistic fiction 

book for the next book assignment. 

Cool Reading Club!

A.F. Public Library provides an online email book club for teens.  Check out how cool it is with this sample email.    Each email gives you about a five-minute selection to read from a book for teens.  You get to read five selections over a week from that book, then the club goes on to another book, and you have a good idea of whether you would like to read more.  

Recent sample email:

American Fork City Library
Web Address:
Sposored by Friends of American Fork City

***** THIS WEEK'S BOOK *****

THE LORD OF OPIUM by Nancy Farmer

Start Reading today's book in HTML:


Matt has always been nothing but a clone--grown from a
strip of old El Patron's skin. Now, at age fourteen, he
finds himself suddenly thrust into the position of ruling
over his own country. The Land of Opium is the largest
territory of the Dope Confederacy, which ranges on the map
like an intestine from the ruins of San Diego to the ruins
of Matamoros. But while Opium thrives, the rest of the
world has been devastated by ecological disaster--and
hidden in Opium is the cure.

And that isn't all that awaits within the depths of Opium.
Matt is haunted by the ubiquitous army of eejits,
zombielike workers harnessed to the old El Patron's
sinister system of drug growing--people stripped of the
very qualities that once made them human.

Matt wants to use his newfound power to help, to stop the
suffering, but he can't even find a way to smuggle his
childhood love, Maria, across the border and into Opium.
Instead, his every move hits a roadblock, some from the
enemies that surround him--and some from a voice within
himself. For who is Matt really, but the clone of an evil,
murderous dictator?

Dear Reader,

Hi, my name's Daniel, I'm 16 years old, and this is my first time
doing this. Even though this probably goes without speaking, I love
to read. My favorite series is the Inheritance cycle by Christopher
Paolini. I tend to only read fantasy, but every once in awhile I
like to read science-fiction, or a mystery.

Read today's segment.

This book starts out pretty mysteriously. Usually, you can at least
figure out what's going on from the first segment. One thing really
stuck out to me, though. The first was the reference to The Day of
the Dead. It'd be really creepy to be visited by dead relatives, but
it would be nice because you could never truly lose somebody.
(Assuming you like them, that is.) Talk to you tomorrow.


Email me at:

Missing an email? Go to:

***** THIS WEEK'S BOOK *****

THE LORD OF OPIUM by Nancy Farmer
Published by Atheneum
ISBN: 9781442482548, Copyright (c) 2013 by Celia Bryce


Matt woke in darkness to the sound of something moving past him. The
air stirred slightly with the smell of warm, musky fur. The boy
jumped to his feet, but the sleeping bag entangled him and he fell.
His hands collided with sharp thorns. He flailed around for a rock,
a knife, any sort of weapon.

Something huffed. The musky odor became stronger. Matt's hand felt a
metal bar, and for an instant he didn't know what it was. Then he
realized it was a flashlight and turned it on.

The beam illuminated a large, doglike face at the other end of the
sleeping bag. The boy's heart almost stopped. He remembered, long
ago, a note Tam Lin had written him about the hazards of this place:
"Ratlesnakes heer. Saw bare under tree."

This was definitely a "bare." Matt had only seen them on TV, where
they did amusing tricks and begged for treats. The bear's eyes
glinted as it contemplated the treat holding the flashlight. Matt
tried to remember what to do. Look bigger? Play dead? Run?

The flashlight! It was a special one used by the Farm Patrol. One
button was for ordinary use, the other shone with ten times the
brightness of the sun. Flashed into the eyes of an Illegal, it would
blind the person for at least half an hour. Matt jammed his thumb on
the second button, and the bear's face turned perfectly white. The
animal screamed. It hurled itself away, falling over bushes, moaning
with terror, breaking branches as it fled.

Matt struggled to his feet.Where was he? Why was he alone? After a
minute he remembered to switch the beam off to save the battery.
Darkness enveloped him, and for a few minutes he was as blind as the
bear. He sat down again, shivering. Gradually, the night settled
back into a normal pattern, and he realized that he was at the
oasis. He cradled the flashlight. Tam Lin had given it to him, to
protect him from animals when he was camping. "You don't need a gun,
lad," the bodyguard had said. "You don't want to kill a poor beastie
that's only walking through its backyard. You're the one that's
trespassing." Matt could hear Tam Lin's warm Scottish voice in his
mind. The man loved animals and knew a lot about them, even though
he'd been poorly educated.

Matt found the campfire he'd banked the night before and blew the
coals into life. The flaring light made him feel better. In all the
years of camping here, he'd never seen a bear, though there had been
many raccoons, chipmunks, and coyotes. A skunk had once burrowed
into Matt's sleeping bag in the middle of the night to steal a candy
bar. Tam Lin had burned the sleeping bag and scolded the boy for
foolishness. "Leave food about and you might as well put a sign on
yourself saying 'Eat me.'" Matt had been scrubbed head to toe with
tomato juice when they got back to the hacienda.

Matt heaped the fire with dry wood from the supply Tam Lin had
always maintained. He could see the familiar outlines of an old
cabin and a collapsed grapevine.

Tam Lin wasn't with him. He would never come here again. He was
lying in a tomb beneath the mountain with El Patron and all of El
Patron's family and friends, if you could say the old drug lord had
friends. The funeral, three months before, had been attended by
fifty bodyguards dressed in black suits, with guns hidden under
their arms and strapped to their legs. The floor of the tomb had
been covered with drifts of gold coins. The bodyguards had filled
their pockets with gold, probably thinking their fortunes were made,
but that was before they drank the poisoned wine. Now they would lie
at their master's feet for all eternity to guard him at whatever
fiestas were conducted by the dead. Matt drew the sleeping bag
around himself, trembling with grief and nerves.

He would not sleep again. To distract himself, he looked for the
constellations Tam Lin had shown him. It was early spring, and Orion
the Hunter was still in the sky. "Heed the stars of his belt," said
Tam Lin. "Where they set is true west. Remember that, lad. You never
know when you'll need it." They had been roasting hot dogs over a
fire and drinking cider from a bottle Tam Lin had cooled by
submerging it in the lake.

"What a grand existence it must be," mused the bodyguard, turning
his battered face to the sky, "to roam the heavens like Orion with
his faithful dogs at heel." The dogs, Sirius and Procyon, were two
of the brightest stars in the summer sky. Pinning Orion's tunic to
his shoulder was ruby-red Betelgeuse. "As fine a jewel as you'll
find anywhere," Tam Lin had declared.

Matt hoped Tam Lin was roaming now in whatever afterlife he
inhabited. The dead in Aztlan came home once a year to celebrate the
Day of the Dead with their relatives. They must be somewhere the
rest of the time, Matt reasoned. Why shouldn't they do what made
them happiest on earth, and why shouldn't Tam Lin?

Matt found Polaris, around which the other stars circled, and the
Scorpion Star (but that was so easy even an eejit could do it). The
Scorpion Star was always in the south and, like Polaris, never
moved. Its real name was Alacran. Matt was proud of this, for it was
his name too. The Alacrans were so important, they could lay claim
to an actual star.

Matt didn't think he could fall asleep again, and so he was
surprised when he woke up in the sleeping bag just before dawn. A
breeze was stirring, and a pale rosy border outlined the eastern
mountains. Gray-green juniper trees darkened valleys high up in the
rocks, and the oasis was dull silver under a gray sky. A crow
called, making Matt jump at the sudden noise.

After breakfast and a short, sharp swim in the lake, Matt hiked
along the trail to the boulder that blocked the entrance to the
valley. In this rock, if you looked at just the right angle, was a
shadow that turned out to be a smooth, round opening like the hole
in a donut. Beyond was a steep path covered with dry pebbles that
slid beneath your feet. The air changed from the fresh breeze of the
mountain to something slightly sweet with a hint of corruption. The
scent of opium poppies.


Matt had left the Safe Horse under a cliff the night before. It was
still waiting, as it had been commanded, but its head was down and
its legs trembled. "Oh no! How could I have been so stupid?" cried
Matt, rushing to the trough. It was half full of water, but the
horse had not been given permission to drink, and now Matt
remembered that he hadn't watered it the night before. It would
stand there, mere inches away from relief, until it died. "Drink!"
Matt ordered.

(continued on Tuesday)

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