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Book reports are due on the last day of each month, except December and May.This schedule of book reports for the year contains a brief description of each one: PDFBook Report Schedule

September Report: Design a jacket for your book. Detailed instructions are here: PDFSeptember Book Report -- Due 9/30/11
October Report: Write about each of these elements of your story: Character, Setting, Plot, Action, and Solution. Detailed instructions are here: PDFOctober Book Report -- Due 10/31/11
November Report: The focus is on your main character. Fill out the character map (worksheets), then you will meet with Matt at the end of the month to discuss your story and tell him about your main character. Detailed instructions, including character map, are here: PDFNovember Book Report  A rough draft is due on 11/16, and the final report is due on 11/30.
January Report: Read a biography of someone of a different culture (not your own), and write a report that answers the questions here: PDFJanuary Book Report -- Due 2/1/12
February Report: This will be an oral report of a biography subject, presented in first person. Read a biography or autobiography of a person you admire and are comfortable dressing up as. Detailed instructions are here: PDFFebruary Book Report
March Report: This month you will read a fictional chapter book of your choice, then make a "story box." Detailed instructions can be found here: PDFMarch Book Report --Due 3/29/12
April Report:
For your final book report of the year, you may read any story and present your report any way that you wish! --Due 4/30/12



Minnesota Family History--due Monday, 5/21

Become a Minnesota family historian: Your assignment is to interview an adult family member about a primary source connected to your family's Minnesota history, then write a personal narrative to share in class. All the details are here:documentMinnesota Family Stories . You will present your project during Portfolio Sharing as part of a museum walk.

Holocaust Novel: Essential Questions--due Monday, 3/5

Answer the following questions as completely as you can, based on the reading of your Holocaust novel:

1. Who, or what, stands up in your book to stop the injustice or tyranny (the Nazis)?
2. How did someone in your book suffer because of the Holocaust?
3. How does your main character change from the beginning of the story to the end?
4. How do children lose their innocence in your novel?

Your paper will be evaluated by the following FCAs (Focus Correction Areas):

Full, proper sentences and paragraphs: 30 points
Details that support your answers: 50 points
Punctuation and spelling: 20 points 

10 Universals of Culture Booklets--due Monday, 10/17

We started making booklets in class--students will need to finish them at home, filling booklets with images that will help them learn and remember the 10 Universals of Culture. We will use our booklets for reference when we work on our upcoming social studies projects.

For the cover: Add a title and decorate. For the inside pages: Create a collage on each page, showing examples of each cultural universal.


Each week, students will be given a list of spelling/vocabulary words on Monday and will turn in their assignment on Friday. Students should follow these instructions:

1. You are to write each word in a sentence that shows you know the meaning of the word in its context.
2. You are to draw a picture/icon of word that also shows your understanding.

Weekly lists can be found on the right side of this page.


For Monday, March 19:
Write a fictional story

Setting: Alaska
Main Characters: 11 boy and 11 girl
Plot: they get lost (this can be metaphorically instead of literally), and then are found.
No more than 5 pages

Focus Correction Areas:
4 or more metaphors = 50 pts
Story Follows Map = 30 pts
Paragraph Form = 20 pts.

For Monday 9/26:
Write a speech you would give if you were running for Student Council President. Your speech should contain--and will be evaluated in--these three Focus Correction Areas*:

  • 5 Paragraphs
  • Introduction and Conclusion
  • Punctuation

*With the focus area approach of the Collins Writing Program we are using, students concentrate on just a few elements or skills at one time.

For Monday 9/19:
Reading, Writing, and Living with Empathy. Students can read one of the short texts we are studying in our writing workshop, or they can read their novels. Read a bit and let the words on the page create a movie in your mind, then write what you see. Read a little more, then write again. Continue to shift between reading and writing.

2. Walking in a Character's Shoes. Write an entry through a character's point of view. What do you picture in your mind? What might your character be thinking or feeling? Write an entry about it. Then go back and read more, stop and think, and then write some more.

3. On the separate half sheet of paper provided, complete the sentence: "Reading works best for me when...." Draw a picture to go with your sentence.

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