Friday, April 18, 2008

Special assignment - Novels

(Note: If you are looking for the “true story” blog assignment, which is due Monday, April 28, read the NEXT entry - Week 27.)


This assignment is a substitution for those students who did not have their questions for our book discussions today (Friday, April 18):

Please write a paragraph (at least 5 sentences) explaining why you would or would not recommend this book to someone else.

This assignment is due on Monday, April 21. If you complete it by then, it will take the place of your missing discussion questions.

I'll look forward to reading your opinions!

Note: I am the only one who will be reading this assignment. Your comment will not be published.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Week 27 "There I was..."

Hey, kids! We're back to blogging. This week you get to write a story - a true story about something you have experienced. Choose a topic. It should be interesting, but keep it small enough to write about it well. No novels needed! Now pick a point in time right before the main thing happens and start there. Use strong verbs, vivid details, and sensory words to bring your reader right into the action with you. "There I was..."

Here's my example:

There I sat, cross-legged on the hard wooden gym floor on a Friday afternoon. The older students were seated in the bleachers, but the seventh-graders were on the floor as usual for assemblies. Today’s event was actually a “pep-fest”. We were there to cheer on the boys basketball team. They had won their conference and were going to compete for regional champs that same evening.

For me and my friends, the more exciting part of the festivities was the raffle drawing. The ninth grade class was going on a spring trip. They had sold raffle tickets as a fundraiser. For weeks, the grand prize had been gleaming at us all from the locked showcase in the entryway of the school. It was a beautiful, brand-new stereo system. I mean, it had EVERYTHING - turntable, AM/FM receiver, speakers, and a cabinet to hold it. But, best of all, it had the latest in stereo technology…an eight-track player.

None of my friends had even held an eight-track cartridge, but we all wanted to. An eight-track never needed to be turned over. It would just keep playing as long as you liked. And it didn’t get scratched like records. Some people were even lucky enough to have one in their car! Not my family. My dad had recently lost his job. We were likely to be sticking with the old cars we had for some time. Tomorrow was my birthday, and I was pretty sure my gifts would all fall into the category of “things I need” such as pajamas and socks.

I would have liked to have claimed at least one hundred of the raffle tickets that filled the gigantic clear plastic bag that the PTO chairwoman was dragging to the podium. Since that wasn’t possible, I had helped sell tickets for the fundraiser. Each pack of twenty I sold had earned me one of my own. I had also managed to convince myself it was okay to buy just one with a quarter from my piggy bank. So, all together, four tiny tickets in that bag had my name on them - "Kristen Johnson."

Wait. What? I looked at my friends sitting beside me. They were screaming and pointing. “Get up there! You won!”

Dazed, I managed to get to my feet and stumble over lanky seventh grade legs to get to the front. Time seemed to be passing in slow motion. I couldn’t think. What had just happened? Was it possible? Was I the winner of the grand prize?

Ten minutes later I was on the phone in the office calling home. “Mom,” I said. “I’m going to need a ride home from school today.” I paused. “I don’t think they’ll let me take my new stereo home on the bus!”

My twelfth birthday still ranks among the best ever.

- Be sure to save your writing in a word processing program.
- Read it over to yourself aloud, to make sure it makes sense. Check for good descriptive details.
- Make any editing changes needed (correct spelling, capitalization and end punctuation).
- Then copy and paste it into the comment section.
- Don't forget to include your first name and code, so that you get credit for your effort!