Monthly Archives: February 2013

Passive and Active Voice

Today was another altered schedule due to Junior Achievement Day! I saw 5th, 3rd, and 4th periods, and we worked on passive/active voice and took a quiz.

Everyone will take a very similar quiz very soon, and it will be a common quiz, so it’ll be worth big points! Make sure you understand passive and active voice! 🙂

The world was conquered by pioneers.

Pioneers conquered the world.

Ask yourself: Is the “ACTor” in the sentence before the verb? If so, you’ve got an ACTive sentence. In general, active voice is better writing, but in some cases, the actor is not meant to be the focus.

For example,

Stores will be closed on Monday.

Does it really matter who is doing the closing? Not really, so passive voice is probably better than active in this case.

Class Today–Video Analysis

Depending on which class period you have me (and IF you had class today because of the adjusted Practice CRCT schedule), we’re working on evaluating Spike Jonze’s decisions in adapting Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are from a picture book to a film.

wild things RTL video analysis scaffolding

Tomorrow, we’ll work on analyzing the film–deciding why the differences and similarities are there: why would a director keep some details, add other details, and completely leave certain elements out?

Tomorrow is a regular schedule:
7th–finish our first analysis. Begin video analysis.
8th–work on our Outsiders analysis.
3rd and 4th–work on the Wild analysis we began today.
5th–finish filming, begin Wild analysis.

The Latest Contests

Young Georgia Authors

Unlike many writing competitions, the YGA does not provide a prompt to which students must respond, or provide any other boundaries to their genre choice or creativity beyond a 5 page maximum length limit (if typed, 12 point font, double-spaced).

Entries may include
Short Stories Poetry Essays/Literary Criticism/Analysis Journalism Academic/Research Reports Personal Narratives Any Other Original Student Writing

United States Achievement Academy Short Story Contest

Short Story Contest for All Nominated Students in Grades 5-12 – All nominated students in every subject offered by USAA are invited to participate.

Short Story Contest for All Nominating Teachers

Topic: Describe in short story form “The Best Field Trip Ever”.

Send us a short story of 500-750 words describing the best field trip you can imagine. It can be a field trip you have already taken or a field trip you would like to take. Create characters for your story that have an adventure of some sort on this field trip. Describe the setting, use dialogue, conflict and solutions, but most of all, use your imagination. Did you like the field trip? Did you dislike it? Where did you go? Was it interesting or exciting? Was it boring? Did you learn something? You can use this topic in any way you want. Do not send an essay describing a field trip. Create a field trip story.

Student Instructions: All short stories submitted must be typed and double-spaced. Only one entry per student. Indicate that you are a student by typing the word “Student” at the top of your manuscript. Your name, home address, email address, nominating teacher, school name, city and state, and your grade level must appear on the first page of the text. You can email your essay to or mail it to Debra Dinsmore, USAA, 2528 Palumbo Drive, Lexington, KY 40509.

Composition Notebook Challenges

It’s one think to learn grammar/language rules and concepts, it’s quite another thing to see those concepts transform your writing. Tuesday in class, we did writing “push-ups!”

If you were absent, grab your composition notebook, and complete a series of quick writes, showing off that you can do the five challenges.

Click here.

Language Arts Looove Day

Today, we took a step back from our literary criticism to have a little taste of some of the most well-known “love experts” of the literary world: William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning.

Related Links:

Shakespearean Insult List (use these at your own risk) 😉

The Love Story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning

The Balcony Scene (Act 2, Scene 2) as performed at the Globe in London (Shakespeare’s Theatre)

Short Bio of Shakespeare

Calling all Comic Creators! Here’s a Contest for YOU!

Here’s a chance to win!

Design a single frame or comic strip of a super-powered protagonist who tries to improve society. Each entry submission should include a photo. Two winners will be chosen from each of three age categories.

Click here for more info.

Criticism Paragraph

Here’s the link to The Outsiders critical piece: Outsiders

For others, remember: Go to Galileo

If you need the password, check Edmodo or ask a buddy.

Once you log in, browse alphabetically to the database called “Literary Resources.”

Type your novel or author title in the query box and decide which sounds like it fits your essay the best.

See you Monday.