Monthly Archives: October 2012

Resources for Tomas and the Library Lady


This week, we are reading Tomas and the Library Lady in our Houghton Mifflin reading book.  Here are some resources to increase your understanding and enjoyment of the story.

Click on “Meet the Author” to learn about the author.

Click on “Meet the Illustrator” to learn about the illustrator.

Click on “Video” to watch a video of the author talking about Tomas.

Click on “Review” to read a review of the story.

Click on e-Word Game to practice the vocabulary words.

The genre is biographical fiction.  Biographical fiction is a story containing facts about a person’s life which is based on careful research and presented in dramatic episodes that usually include fictionalized conversation.

Enjoy the story!


Should We Raise the Titanic? Persuade Me!


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 stating our position
  • 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.

Click here for an interactive online persuasion map to help you organize your thoughts and map out your argument.

Here are our FIRST drafts.  Which one is most persuasive?

Arguments For Raising the Titanic

Arguments Against Raising the Titanic

Now, join the debate.  Should we raise the Titanic?  Vote here.

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, clickhere.
  • 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. :)

Resources for “Finding the Titanic”


We are reading the story Finding the Titanic and writing a persuasive writing on the topic.

Here are some fun online resources to improve our reading comprehension and writing skills… and just have fun as we learn about the Titanic.

Hi Haiku! Nice to Meet You!!


This week, we have been reading a story about a journey from Japan to California.   Click on our post Resources for “Grandfather’s Journey” to learn more about the story and our learning activities around it.

Our writing assignment this week is to compose an original haiku poem.  Haiku is a non-rhyming type of poetry from the Japanese culture. Haiku poets write about everyday things.  Many themes include nature, feelings, or experiences.

This week, our students will write traditional haiku.  We will then share our haiku in a class Haiku Exhibit and Competition.  We will vote for our favorite haiku poem.  Please stay tuned…

Here is Ms. Rankin’s very first Haiku:

Click here for your Haiku Template.