Monthly Archives: October 2011

Using Descriptive Writing in our Personal Narratives


Carrie, Mary, and Laura Ingalls

In the selection By the Shores of Silver Lakewe learn that Laura’s sister is blind.  Laura must “see out loud” for her sister Mary. Laura describes everything that she sees in great detail so that Mary can “see” in her mind’s eye what Laura sees.

A writer can do the same thing for his/her readers.  Descriptive writing vividly portrays a person, place, or thing in such a way that the reader can visualize (see in the mind’s eye) the topic and enter into the writer’s experience.

This week, we are writing our final drafts for our first personal narrative.  A personal narrative tells the true story of what happened to you.  Personal narratives provide great opportunities for descriptive writing.  Click here for a Personal Narrative Sample Paper.

We will use descriptive writing to bring our narratives to life in the reader’s mind.  Click here for our Personal Narrative Evaluation Rubric.

Please check back soon to read our personal narratives and enjoy our use of descriptive language.

Students’ Personal Narratives


Vote for the Most Persuasive Argument


This week, we finished writing, editing, and typing our persuasive essays on the topic of raising the Titanic.

Our persuasive writing had to include a title, an introductory sentence that states our opinion, three reasons that support our opinion, and a concluding sentence that restates our opinion.  To earn an A grade, we also had to provide elaboration (evidence, examples, and/or facts) to support our reasons.

We are including all of our persuasive writing for you to read and enjoy.  The essays that include elaboration qualify for the the online Persuasive Essay competition below.  Please “express yourself” by voting on the essay that you believe is the most PERSUASIVE!

Persuasive Paragraphs Against Raising the Titanic:

Persuasive Paragraphs in Favor of Raising the Titanic:

Persuasive Writing ~ Should We Raise the Titanic?


Last week, we wrote and edited our first persuasive writing paragraphs on the topic of raising the Titanic.  Our writing must include the following components:

  • a title
  • an introductory sentence
  • three supporting sentences (plus elaboration for an A grade)
  • a concluding sentence
  • proper grammar, punctuation and spelling

Click here for our persuasive writing evaluation rubric.

We are now preparing to type our writing.  Click here for the persuasive writing template.

Update at 3:10pm:  We just came from our technology lab, where we typed our persuasive writing paragraphs.   (Blue highlights indicate areas that need to be edited.)

Persuasive Paragraphs in Favor of Raising the Titanic:

Persuasive Paragraph’s Against Raising the Titanic:

Assignments that Still Need to Be Turned In:

  • Edgar Ar’s Persuasive Writing
  • Erik’s Persuasive Writing
  • Gerardo’s Persuasive Writing

Resources for “By the Shores of Silver Lake”


This week, we are reading an excerpt from the book By the Shores of Silver Lake, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Here are some resources to improve your comprehension and enjoyment of the story.

  • To meet the author, click here.
  • To learn the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Laura Ingalls Wilder, click here.
  • For extra-credit Think About the Story questions to answer in the comment field, click here.
  • To read a story summary, click here.
  • To download our reading vocabulary and comprehension PowerPoint for the story, click here.
  • To learn the definitions to our vocabulary words, click here.
  • To practice this selection’s vocabulary words by playing an eWord  Game, click here.
  • To use the eGlossary, click here.
  • To take a vocabulary quiz and upload your certificate, click here.
  • To download and print a Hidden Message Puzzle to support the reading, click here.

Join the Titanic Debate!



“The discovery of the Titanic has caused great controversy and has divided many people. Some feel that the wreck of the Titanic should be explored while others believe that the ship should be left undisturbed. There are countless opinions on what should be done with the ship…”

Click here to read several viewpoints on what should (or should not) be done with the Titanic.

What do you think?  Express yourself on our  poll in our previous post. 🙂

“Should We Raise the Titanic?” ~ Persuade Me!


Lasy week, we read Finding the Titanic in our Houghton Mifflin reading book.  You can click HERE to learn about the author, play an eWord Game, use the eGlossary, and take an online poll.

The online poll asks, “Should the Titanic be left on the ocean floor, or should it be brought to the surface for study?”

This week, our writing assignment is to write a persuasive writing piece that answers that question.  What does persuasive mean?  Click here to find out!  Now, stay tuned to read our writing!!! 🙂 🙂  While you wait, you may join  the debate and express yourself on our very own poll. 🙂