Only one more week before we won’t see each other for a while. (Yay?) Do this:
1. Study for a grammar test. You must know how to locate prepositional phrases, verbs (the whole verb, please!) subjects, and direct objects. Pages to help you with this are 36-37, 57-58, and 73-81.
2. If you’d like a better grade on your short story (and I hope that you do!), rewrite it and fix the grammar mistakes. Turn it in to me next week, with your graded draft so that I can see how you improved it.
3. I will give you time in your groups next week to finish your planning for your “puppet writer” story. Maybe some of you are supposed to fill out character sheets at home? That would be peachy, so do that.
4. Let’s eat cupcakes next week, shall we?
Okay, Guinea pigs, here’s the deal: In small groups, you are plotting a new story with new characters and an intriguing setting. You will work on this again next week, and then when you’ve finished, you will direct your Puppet Writer (*ahem* that would be me) to draft the story for you over the break. No need to do much about this project until we meet again, except that you could be thinking of a great story with realistic characters.
Besides this, click on the link below to a worksheet entitled “Dialogue Ping-Pong” and have a blast writing a conversation with perfectly punctuated quotations. This is homework; turn in a rough draft and a final draft.
For grammar, memorize the 23 Helping Verbs for a test. I will ask you to write them down on paper, in any order. Also please do pages 57-58 and 73-77 in your grammar book.
“What is our assignment for next week, Mrs. B.?” asked Gilbert, who had returned from his camping trip.
“Well, Gilbert,” answered Mrs. B, taking a look at her planning calendar. “You need to write the final draft of your short story, and turn it in on Tuesday.”
“Okay,” babbled Gilbert. He wasn’t really listening to Mrs. B answer his question, because his mind was still back on the mountain.
“Do you understand what to do?” queried Mrs. B.
“Um….not really,” he confessed. “I actually didn’t remember to finish my story because I decided to go camping overnight instead. And,” he whined, “Archie said we would probably have another two weeks to finish it. I believed him.”
“Sounds like Archie is not a very reliable friend for you,” declared Mrs. B. “Your story is due next week, so I suggest you buckle down and finish it. Pronto.”
“You’re right,” signed Gilbert. “But, um…what does ‘pronto’ mean?”
As I just told the fictional character named Gilbert, your short stories are due next week. Include at least a little bit of dialogue, and also finish pages 283-285 in your grammar book. Here is that dialogue we worked on in class today –
It’s time to write! It’s time to write! It’s time to write the rough draft of your short story! I’m excited…are you?
The rules are simple: give your character a problem, and then get him or her out of it. Do it in at least 3 pages, and no more than 10 pages. (Sound like a lot? Nah. Add setting description, character description, a few minor characters if you need them and ta da! You’ll be done.)
Have fun. Also work on Direct Objects, pages 35-37.
Your prepositional phrases retest was a success. Go check your grade!
This week you need to practice writing in past tense for your upcoming story. Click on the link below for a worksheet that will help you with tenses. The worksheet is due next week.
And, it’s time to figure out what kind of trouble you’re going to get your characters into. All stories have a central problem, also know as a conflict, that affect the main character (the protagonist). This might be something unlawful such as a kidnapping or a robbery. Or, it could be something personal, like two brothers who are arguing about who gets to drive Dad’s car to the concert on Saturday. It could be something touching, like a grandma who has saved all of her life for a trip to Paris, and finally has enough money. Maybe a little girl lost her pet lamb, and the whole family is searching the neighborhood in the dark trying to find Lambie. I know! Maybe two kids are home alone while their Mom is at the grocery store and it’s too wet to play outside, and suddenly a cat wearing a … nevermind. That one has been done before.
Think of a conflict for your story. Write a paragraph describing to me what the conflict is, and how you will turn it into a story. Don’t just tell me that your antagonist is going to steal cookies from your protagonist and eat them beneath the oak tree…tell me WHY he wants to do that! The conflict has to affect your protagonist directly, and your readers have to know the reason behind the conflict.
Whoa. I’m talking a lot. I will stop now and let you get to work!
Your characters are coming along! This week you get to portray your character a little better, so that you can begin to “know” him or her, and so that you can practice your writing skills as you reveal your character to your audience.
Here is a worksheet. Do what it says:
And, if you scored a “C” or below, you must retake the prepositional phrases test next week. (“A” or “B” scores make retake for fun because grammar is. Fun, that is.) Tomorrow please check back right here for a study worksheet to help you!
I’m looking forward to reading your “mom character worksheet” answers. Ha! I wonder how your mom would do with those questions if she had to answer them about you?
This week you get to “create” two characters of your very own. Remember to use the worksheet that I gave you in class (and I’ll link it below, too). Answer ALL of the questions about each of your two characters. Take some time with this — remember that you are creating two fictional characters out of thin air, and you will be placing them into a story soon. They need to be as “real” to you as you can make them! (One will be your protagonist, the other your antagonist.)
Otherwise, you need to work on grammar! Specifically on prepositional phrases. There are plenty of practice pages in your grammar book, so if you can find the prepositional phrases in the sentences on pages 22-33, you’ll be well-prepared for our next test. We will have our next test on October 22, which is in two weeks.
Oh, my goodness — it’s October already. Time to find verbs and subjects! In grammar, find the verbs and the subjects in the sentences on pages 18-20, 22, 23. First, remember, you have to get the prepositional phrases out of the way…and then the verb should pop right out.
For story writing, choose one assignment, below:
1. Retell the story of Baby Moses from Miriam’s point of view. (She was his sister, who put his basket by the river.) Write in first person.
2. Retell the story of Jonah and the Whale in first person, from either Jonah’s POV or from the whale’s POV. Write in first person.
3. Retell the story of Goldilocks from one of the bears’ POV’s. Write in first person.
4. Retell the story of Rumpelstiltskin, from his POV. Write in first person.
5. Retell the story of the three little pigs and the wolf…from the wolf’s POV. Write in first person.
6. Retell the story of the gingerbread man, from the fox’s POV. Write in first person.
Your retold story may be longer than 7 sentences…but not shorter! The checksheet for this assignment is below.
You’re doing a fine job with the “7-sentence story”, but now it’s time for me to get stricter with my grading. This week you will rewrite one of the fables (attached below) as a 7-sentence story. Remember that I said you could revise it any way you like — modernize it, make new characters, etc. — as long as you keep the basic story line in tact. Besides grading your story for content, I will grade it for “form” and “style”, too. Also below you will see a link to a checksheet, which explains exactly what I am looking for when I grade this paper. Read it carefully!
In addition to writing your fable, let’s take a grammar quiz on prepositional phrases, shall we? Practice with pages 22-25 in your grammar book. Although the directions tell you to look for subjects and verbs, I will only ask you to find prepositional phrases in your quiz.
Finally, remember that you need to memorize 23 helping verbs from page 10. Use the Helping Verbs Jingle to help (and because it’s fun to sing…..)
I’m looking forward to enjoying your 7-sentence stories this week! While I do that, you will write some more stories –
First, write a “bad story” according to the two bad story examples I have attached here. Remember, “William’s Adventure” has too many problems, and “Princess Anabella” doesn’t have a problem! Have fun.
Then, using the story prompt paper I gave you, write two more 7-sentence stories. Pay close attention to your verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Also, introduce the setting of the story in a sneaky way — instead of coming right out and saying “This story takes place in the desert”, make it more creative: “The scorching sands stretched for miles and miles, beyond what poor Charlie could see with his bare eyes.”
For grammar, begin to memorize the list of helping verbs on page 10. (The Helping Verbs Jingle will help you! Find it on You Tube.) Do pages 11 – 12 this week.
Okay, junior high writers, here we go! We begin our year by writing short stories and studying prepositions. Your first week of homework has two parts –
First, do pages 1-9 in your grammar book. The directions will ask you to “cross out any prepositional phrases. Underline the subject once and the verb twice”, but all I care about this week is that you underline the prepositional phrases. If you know what the subject and verb are, go ahead and find them; but if you don’t, that’s okay. ( If your grammar book hasn’t arrived yet, you’ll just catch up when it does.)
The second part of your assignment is to write two short stories, just like we did in class today. Here is our story:
Larry was walking along a deserted railroad track in the Alacama desert in Chile. He was inspecting the track for problems when he heard an awful growl. Larry turned and saw a huge, hairy monster that was about to grab him! Gesturing wildly, Larry waved his arms in an attempt to slug the monster in the chest. The monster, who started crying, explained that he had been lonely, and only wanted to give Larry a hug. Larry gave the monster a warm bear hug. Larry and the monster lived happily ever after.
Our little story is only 7 sentences long, and follows the pattern that I gave you on the worksheet. I will attach the worksheet below, in case you can’t find yours.
Write TWO stories — each of them in the same 7-sentence pattern. Write a rough draft first, then a final draft. You may type your stories if you like. Be sure to double-space them.