Why Do We Have to Write Today?

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Notebooks for little girls

In English class, we read “Why Do We Have to Write Today?” by Todd Finley.  Students wrote their own responses to the question, some of which you will see in individual blog posts.  As a group, students came up with these reasons:

  • to ask a favor
  • to request more time
  • to sign a card
  • to obey teachers
  • to tell parents you’ve left
  • to observe lab results
  • to be known
  • to connect with friends
  • to be a teenager
  • to role play
  • to tell stories
  • to explain why
  • to figure things out
  • to feel better
  • to be safe

Why do you write?  Leave us a comment and share your thoughts.

 

Image credit: Andrea R via Compfight

For Mr. Webb’s Class in New Zealand

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Our sixth period students are excited about their upcoming Skype chat with Mr. Webb’s class in New Zealand.  The two classes have been visiting each other’s blogs, and now the kids will get to visit in person…sort of 🙂

We started preparing for our chat by brainstorming what we think we know about New Zealand:

  • New Zealanders have little tiny ponies that are awesome
  • The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed there
  • “Kids ride kangaroos to school,” said Clark (really, Clark, really?!)
  • You can order kangaroo meat at a restaurant
  • Some schools let the kids go barefoot
  • People in New Zealand have really cool accents
  • There are tiny cows in New Zealand
  • It rains more there than in Texas
  • It’s hot and humid in New Zealand
  • People drive on the left side of the road
  • The Auroa School kids are amazing 🙂
  • There are volcanoes in New Zealand

When we compared the size of Texas with the size of New Zealand, we were just as amazed as Mr. Webb’s kids. We know Texas is big, but wow, Texas is BIG!

Capturevia OverlapMaps.com

Some students insisted that our above “facts” are wrong, with some saying kangaroos are in Australia, not New Zealand. We’ll have to do some investigating in the coming days!

Independent Reading: What Did You Think?

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We’re about to complete our reading logs for the last nine weeks, and this class blog is the perfect place for sharing our thoughts about the books we’ve read.

Choose one of the two prompts below and respond to it as a “comment” to this blog post. I’ve made the first two comments myself as examples. Notice that the first thing we’ve got to do in the comment is IDENTIFY THE BOOK WE’RE TALKING ABOUT! Since we can’t use italics, underlining, or bold text in a comment, we’ll have to set titles apart from the rest of the comment by capitalizing correctly and using quotation marks. Comments should be about five sentences long.

1. One of the overarching themes for this year’s study in seventh grade English is the idea of the Call to Adventure: the idea that a person’s journey begins when some person or some event sets a character on a path of discovery.

In the case of Helen Keller, that call came from Anne Sullivan, who called Helen on a journey to discover language and all of the ways that it could enrich her life. In many stories, a character is called to adventure by a mentor or by circumstances that lead the character to his or her challenging journey. This journey might be an actual journey to new people and places, or it might be a figurative journey to self-discovery and the realization of some important truth.  How were Scrooge, Max, and Christine called to adventure?  How about Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, or Harry Potter?

In one of the books you chose to read, did a character receive a call to adventure? Was he or she guided by a mentor who set an example or taught valuable lessons? Elaborate and give an example.

2. One of the reasons we teachers assign independent reading is so that you discover authors whose work you enjoy. This is important because the more you read, the better your reading and your writing will become.

Which of the books on your independent reading list did you enjoy reading the most? What was it about that book that kept you reading? Was it something about the plot (the action in the story that made you want to find out what was going to happen next), the characters (who they were, how they interacted, what they thought and felt), or the style of writing (the way the author put together sentences, chapters, descriptions, dialog, etc)?

Be specific in your answer without giving away any spoilers!

Image credit:  Pixabay and BeFunky