Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Nonfiction Creative Writing

Based on your non-fiction reading the past few weeks you will now write a blog about the topic you learned. This won't be your typical blog post though. You will be writing in a narrative format AND from the perspective of an inanimate object.

Have fun!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Exploring Nonfiction Reader Response

Reader Response
e questions
1- Write a summary of what you read in your book recently. 

2- Copy a short passage that you found to be interesting. Explain what made it interesting for you. 

3- Explain some of the things that you have learned so far that you are not likely to forget in the near future.

Happy Writing:)

Conflict in 'Of Mice and Men'

Conflict is the struggle between opposing forces in a story. Four common types of conflict are:
  • Man vs. Man
  • Man vs. Self
  • Man vs. Nature
  • Man vs. Society
In Of Mice and Men, conflict surrounds the plot and is a major part of the action. Several conflicts emerge at the same time, and ultimately cause the plot to materialize into an interesting and suspenseful story.

Brainstorm the different types of conflicts via your Google doc, creating a chart that addresses the conflict, types of conflict, and the effect that the conflict has had on the plot so far. 

From your brainstorming session, choose at least two conflicts to explore more in depth in this blog. Be sure to include textual evidence and support and also identify the effect that the conflict has had on the plot so far. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dreams of OMAM

Using "To A Mouse" by Robert Burns as inspiration, write a short poem expressing what happens when you have a dream and it doesn't come true.


Based on your brainstorming via Edmodo, write a short poem elaborating on your dream and/or why dreams or visions are an important part of life.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Of Mice and Men

Describe the atmosphere of the ranch and bunkhouse. Be sure to include characteristics of different characters that were formally or informally introduced to us in this chapter. Support your choice with textual evidence and interpretation.

Why doesn't Curley's wife have a name?   What message, if anything, is John Steinbeck  trying to send by not giving her a first name?  
Support your choice with textual evidence and interpretation.

What are your overall impressions of Of Mice and Men thus far? Support your choice with a proper explanation.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

For this blog, you are to judge whether the original short story or the film better represents "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by comparing and contrasting the two. Use the graphic organizer to help develop your ideas and to help support your argument while writing. When organizing your blog, you may want to designate a particular story element used in both works for each of your body paragraphs (example: one paragraph for plot, one paragraph for characters, etc).

Be sure to use quotes and/or examples from both works in each body paragraph to illustrate your claims. Your concluding paragraph is where you will make your final judgement about which work tells a better story about Walter Mitty.

Your blog should be 5 paragraphs in length, with at least six well integrated quotes or examples (at least three from each work). Steer clear from first person narration; offer your opinion with the words and idea you select.

Monday, October 23, 2017

1st Quarter Reflections

We have reached the end of 1st Quarter...can you believe it?! Now take a moment to reflect on what you have learned so far. Some questions to consider:

What are your personal struggles in ELA? Successes in ELA?
Where are you in your personal Book Challenge? 
How have your blogs been progressing since August? 
What strategies have benefited you? 
What have you learned about the world? 
How has your writing progressed?
What are your goals for ELA for the next three quarters? 

Make sure to include a topic sentence and supporting details that fully support your main idea. This blog must be at least 3 paragraphs. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Film vs. Novel

Objective: To analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script 

This blog contains three different parts, which will in turn lead to at least three different paragraphs. Make sure to follow the TIQA format throughout your blog.
  • Part 1: Select an event from the book and compare it to a scene from the film. How are they different and why?

    Part 2: Evaluate choices made by directors or actors. Below are three options to choose from or you can pick your own.

    1.  In the film, the director shows us “the community” differently from how we find out in the book. What’s different? Why do you think he chose to do it that way? How does it change the story?
    2. What do you think of the director’s choice of Brenton Thwaites to play Jonas? Does he look the way you imagined him in the book? Whom would you have chosen?
    3. The way the ending of The Giver is portrayed in the film vs. the novel.

    Part 3: What impacted your understanding of the The Giver the most - the novel or the film?

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Giver: Characterization & Themes

This blog will include three steps:

1- What type of character is Jonas?
Dynamic characters grow and change during a story and Static characters do not. Determine which type of character Jonas is in the story.  Answer this question using textual evidence to support your answer. 

2- Determine the theme in Lois Lowry's novel, The Giver. Analyze how this theme develops throughout the text, including its relationship to characters, setting, and/or plot. Be sure to use textual evidence to support your analysis of theme.

3- Making Connections to The Giver: Going Beyond the Book 
Based on your paired text with The Giver (the article, poem, story, etc) explain the general connection to the The Giver  - for example, it may be a common theme. Refer to your graphic organizer and work we did in class.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Lottery History

Write the history of the village from "The Lottery." Cover the last 100 years and make up five major events that you think made the town what it is.

This should be write as a narrative...be creative!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Narrative Twist

Choose either "The Necklace" or "The Lady or the Tiger?" and write a new ending for that story. Your new ending should show a major character changing as a result of the events in the original story. You can rewrite the ending starting from any point in the story that you choose. You need to add dialogue to your story. Try to make the ending as creative as possible.


  • Character is chosen
  • Picked logical events from the story
  • Showed a new/distinct decision the character would make
  • New ending to the story

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Giver Chapters 1 - 4

This week's blog is going to focus on The Giver. Your blog will center on the signposts that you have found in your reading from Chapters 1-4.  You will focus on two of the six signposts which include: Contrasts & Contradictions, Aha! Moment, Tough Questions, Words of the Wiser, Again & Again, or Memory Moment. Each signpost will be its own separate paragraph.

Your objective is use the guiding questions on the Notice & Note packets at your desk to get you thinking more in depth about the different elements of a story, which include, plot, conflict, theme, foreshadowing, and character development.

Ask yourself... What could the answer to my signpost tell me more about plot, conflict, theme, etc.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Student Blogging for 25 Book Challenge

Throughout the year, students will be blogging in response to whichever book they are currently reading for their Book Challenge.  Based on the student’s reading, each blog should include: title of what book they’ve been reading, page numbers completed (from page # to page #), their actual three paragraph response, and a graphic of their book or something related to their book.

Below you will see several different types of prompts that fall under two categories: ‘Miscellaneous’ prompts or ‘Test Readiness Terms’ prompts. You will be using these prompts to guide your writing.  Please do not use the same prompt(s) every time you write a blog on your Independent Reading.  When you choose a prompt, that will serve as your topic sentence and you will need to incorporate supporting details/textual evidence throughout the following paragraphs. 

If you choose to do an Illustration for your blog post, you must still include a two paragraph explanation. It is important to note that only three blog entries can be designated to any one book, so on average you will be reading a new book every three weeks.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me about them in class. Happy Blogging!


Each blog is worth 100 points:
20 points – Paragraph one, based on topic sentence, supporting details, completion and effort
20 points – Paragraph two, based on topic sentence, supporting details, completion and effort Question Prompts
Prompts: Miscellaneous
• After reading, I wonder…
• Are the characters realistic (do they seem like they could be read people)? Why
or why not?
• Create a plot diagram.
• Create a timeline of events from what you have read so far.
• Create a ‘WANTED’ poster for the antagonist.
• Describe a character that you would like to meet (which doesn’t mean that you
think you would like the character, but that you think the character would be
interesting). List 4 questions that you would ask.
• Describe something you have read that is similar to this.
• Describe the main characters.
• Describe the major conflict. What side are you on?
• Describe the most important event. Give at least three reasons why you think it
is the most important event.
• Describe the setting – when and where what you are reading takes place.
• Describe the setting’s time and place. Create a new setting that you think
would be better for the story and describe it.
• Describe the setting’s time and place. Draw it.
• Describe the setting’s time and place. List the clues that helped you identify the
• Describe what was either believable or unbelievable about your reading.
Defend your opinion.
• Describe the similarities and differences between the main character and you.
• Describe the theme (central meaning/message) of your reading.
• Describe your least favorite character and explain why. Describe your most
favorite character and explain why.
• Do any of the characters feeling change as you’ve read? Explain why or why
• Do you like what you’re reading? Why or why not?
• Draw a comic strip or graphic novel page for what you just read.
• Draw a line down the center of your paper. On the left, write facts from what
you read. On the right, write your personal opinions about what you read.
• Draw a line down the center of your paper. Write a cause (why did it happen?)
on the left and its effect (what happened?) on the right. Do this until you have
three cause and effects listed.
• Draw a picture for what you just read.
• Draw an interpretation of the passage – may be a picture, symbols, graphic
• Draw 4 objects that represent your reading. Write a sentence for each, telling
what each item says about what you’ve been reading.
• Draw the line down the center of your paper. One the left, list what you like
about what you read and why. On the left, list what you didn’t like and why.
• Explain how you have been surprised by what you are reading.
• How did the reading make you feel? Why?
• How do authors characterize their actors? (Dialogue, direct commentary,
actions…) Explain.
• How have your feelings changed as you’ve been reading?
• If the author were here, what would you say and ask him/her?
• If you could change what you’re reading, how would you change it?
• If you could talk to the author, what questions would you ask? Why?
• If you could talk to the author, what would you want to tell them about
yourself? Why? How does that relate to what you’ve been reading?
• If you were a character in this book, who would you be? Why?
• If you were the author, how would this end?
• If you were the author, what would you change? Why?
• If you were the author, what would you have happening next?
• In 4-6 sentences, describe several insights you’ve gained from your reading.
• In few sentences, summarize what you read today.
• Is what you are reading believable? Why or why not?
• Is the setting described well enough that can put a picture of it in your mind?
Why or why not?
• List at least three problems the characters faced? Which was the most life
changing? Explain
• List five major events in order from which happened first to last.
• List the personality characteristics of the main character (feelings, interests,
behaviors, etc.)
• List the physical characteristics of the main character (clothing, physical
features, etc.)
• List three new vocabulary words from your reading. What can you tell about
them from their structure? What can you tell about them from their context?
• List three questions you have about what you read.
• Make a timeline of the events that have occurred in your book so far…
• Predict what will happen next.
• Pretend what you are reading is nominated for a national award. Explain why
you think it should or should not receive an award.
• Pretend you are a talk show host and two characters are the guests on your
show. Which characters would you chose and why? List two questions that
you, the host, would ask each character.
• Pretend you are famous reporter on TV. Write a story about what you’ve read
for the evening news.
• Pretend you are the friend of one of the characters. Write him or her a letter.
• Pretend you get to create the music soundtrack for what you’ve been reading.
What five songs would you include? Write an explaination for each song: why
would you include it, how does the song connect to events.
• Pretend your job is to write magazine ads. Create an ad for what you’ve been
• Select a quote from your reading that you liked. What made you pick it? How
does it make you pause and think?
• Quote a passage & respond to it. How did it make you feel?
• Summarize what you just read.
• Tell me about the main character. What kind of person is he/she?
• Think of a problem that a character had to face. Write the problem and how the
character solved it or is working to solve it. If you were that character, what
would you do differently?
• Thinking about what you just read, draw the picture that appears in your mind.
• This connects to my life…
• This text relates to my life because…
• Use pictures/graphic organizer/web to represent your reading (so far) in the
• What are some things you do when you don’t understand what you’re reading?
• What are the two most important ideas from what you’ve been reading?
• What are two emotions the main character has felt? What made the main
character feel that way?
• What character is like you? Describe how is he or she like you?
• What do you like about what you are reading?
• What do you think will happen next?
• What does this book remind you of?
• What emotions do you feel about your reading? Describe what is going on in
the reading that makes you feel that way.
• What emotions did you feel while you read? Give details from your reading
that made you feel that way.
• What event could have happened in real life? What would be similar in real
life? What would be different in real life?
• What has been the most important part of what you’ve been reading?
• What has been the most interesting part of your reading?
• What has happened so far? What do you think will happen next?
• What have you been reading? What does it remind you of in your own life?
• What have you found boring about what you’ve been reading? What made it
boring? If you were the author, what would you do to make it more interesting?
• What have you learned about life from what you’re reading?
• What ideas do you have about what is going to happen? What clues have you
read to give you those ideas?
• What is something you’ve learned from your reading?
• What is the author trying to tell you about life in this story? Defend this moral.
• What is the mood of what you’re reading (happy, sad, funny, serious, etc.)?
Defend your idea.
• What is your favorite part of the book you’re reading? Why?
• What message or less was conveyed.
• What object is important? Draw it. Write an explaination for why you feel it is
• What passage describes how you want to live your life? Why?
• What questions would you like answered about your reading? Would you like
the book/article better if you knew those answers now? Why?
• What special way did the author write (for example, flashbacks, told in first
person, multiple voice narrative, foreshadowing, lost descriptive words that
create visual images in your mind, etc.)? Did that make reading it better or
worse? Explain.
• What surprises you in this story? Explain why.
• What was going through your mind as you read?
• What you are reading is going to be made into a movie. Create the movie
• What you are reading is going to be made into a movie. Make a list five
characters, what famous actor will play each character and what about the
character makes that actor the best choice for the part.
• What you are reading is going to be made into a movie. You are the movie
executive that chooses the location for the filming. Where would you chose
and why?
• Which character do you like best? Why?
• Which character do you like least? Why?
• Who are the characters? Describe who they are, what they look like and how
they are connected.
• Who is the author? What do you know about the author? What do you imagine
the author must be like?
• Who is the most important character to you? Why?
• Who is the most interesting character in the book and why.
• Why did you choose this to read? Give at least 3 reasons.
• Why do you think the author wrote this?
• Without using complete sentences or paragraphs, reflect on today’s reading.
• Would you be friends with the main character? Why or why not? Support w/
evidence from your reading.
• Would you recommend this book to friends? Why or Why not?
• Write a journal entry as if you were a certain character from your reading.
• Write a paragraph describing the setting.
• Write a quote from what you are reading that has meaning for you. Explain
why you chose this quote.
• Write a quote from your reading that connects to your life. What did it mean to
what you’ve been reading? What did it mean to your life?
• Write a review of what you just read (summary plus personal opinions).
• Write a summary of what you just read.
• Write a summary of what you’ve read.
• Write about a situation a character experiences. Write about a similar situation
you experienced.
• Write about how one character feels. Write about a time you felt that way, too.
• Write down one word from your reading that you didn’t know. What is your
guess about what it means? How did you make that guess?
• Write an editorial, an opinion essay, about an event from your reading.
• Write an obituary for the protagonist or antagonist.
• Write the biography for one character.

Prompts: Test Readiness Terms

When analyzing, look closely at all the parts or ideas to explain how they are
• Analyze how your feelings change as you read this story and why.
• Analyze what motivates the main character’s behavior.
• Analyze the author’s ability to write. What does the author do most
effectively? What does the author do least effectively?

When comparing things, look closely to find all things that are alike between them.
• Compare what is happening to a character in the book with your own or a
friend’s life.
• Compare the plot of what you are reading with your favorite book.
• Compare where you live to the setting described in what you are reading.

When contrasting things, look closely to find all thing that are different between
• How does what you are reading contrast with a novel you were assigned to read
in school and didn’t like reading.
• Contrast the theme of what you are reading with something you read last
• What would be a good contrast to the setting of what you are reading?

When defining something, look at it carefully and identify the qualities that make it
• Define what makes an interesting story or poem.
• Define what is needed to make a good setting.
• Define what is needed for a reader to be able to relate to a character.

When describing something, use descriptive words and lots of details. Describe it
so that a person reading what you wrote can make a picture in their mind with what
you are saying.
• Describe the important ideas in this story.
• Describe the similarities and differences between the main character and you.
• Describe the main characters.
• Describe the mood of what you are reading.

When you differentiate, you want to explain the difference.
• Differentiate between the main character and your favorite teacher.
• Differentiate between a good story or poem and a bad story or poem.
• Differentiate between the setting of what you are reading and where you live.

When discussing something, closely examine the subject in detail.
• Discuss why you like or dislike what you are reading.
• Discuss what you think what moral, or life-lesson, can be found in what you are
• Discuss what images appear in your mind as you read & how the author helped
create those images.

When evaluating, look closely to determine what is important and significant.
• Evaluate whether the title fits the story.
• Evaluate the quality of the writing.
• Evaluate whether the main character would be worthy of your friendship.

When explaining something, give reasons why things happened or give reasons for
how you got your answer.
• Explain what kind of reader would like this book most.
• Explain why somebody should or should not read this?
• How would you explain the plot of this story to somebody interested in reading

When identifying something, look closely and explain what makes it unique.
• Identify what the author has done to try to keep you reading the book.
• Identify the main characters. Describe what has happened that makes you
believe they are the main characters?
• Identify the protagonist. Identify the antagonist. Describe what has happened
that makes you believe they are the main characters?

When interpreting something, think and examine it carefully, then give the
meaning or significance of it.
• Pick the phrase from what you are reading that made you think. Interpret what
the author meant.
• Pick out 2-4 words from what you are reading that you had difficulty
understanding. Interpret what you think each word means based on context
clues (other words around that word that might help you interpret what the
author means).
• Which characters would you interpret to be ‘good’? Which would you interpret
to be ‘bad’? What has the author written that leads you to those interpretations?

When creating a list about an event or thing, provide all of the details or all of the
steps in order.
• List the reasons why another person should or should not read this.
• List the events, in order, that have happened so far in what you’ve been reading.
• List five characters and their personality and physical traits.

Main Idea
When looking at the main idea, look for the most important idea or reason.
• What is main idea? Defend your answer.
• Write the main idea of what you are reading and what are your reasons for
thinking it is the main idea.

When outlining something, you are creating a brief description.
• Outline the important events of what you are reading.
• Outline the plot.
• Using outline form, describe what is needed for an effective poem or book

To prove something, you give details and examples for what you think or believe.
• Prove what the author is trying to tell you about life (the moral).
• Prove how reading this can change or impact the reader’s life.
• Prove the theme of what you are reading (bravery, loyalty, friendship,
loneliness, etc.).

To summarize, give a brief description of what happened with only a few details.
• Summarize what has happened in the book so far.
• Summarize what you just read. Make me want to read it!
• In few paragraphs, summarize what you read today.

Usually is a way to describing something that often, but not always, occurs.
• Usually a reader imagines the places being described in the story. Draw a
picture of the image you have from this story. What do you usually see when
reading a story?
• Usually an author uses descriptive words to allow us to set the mood and
setting. How does this author do that? What words do you usually use?