Extra Credit Due Monday

I know some of you are concerned about your grades.  Here is a 20 point extra credit assignment.  It can be used as a classwork, homework or assignment grade (whichever category helps your grade the most).  It is an open writing assignment.  Basically write something (good).   It can be the finial draft of your story, a new story, a reaction to what is happening in Guatemala, predictions about the world cup, a report about volcanoes, a poem, your thoughts on Macbeth or Shakespeare. Quality over quantity.  Original thought is rewarded.  Don't tell me what you think I want to hear write what you are interested in writing.  Plagiarism rules apply and site sources.  If it is not well done (edited, and spell check) it will not be excepted. Please email me with any questions.  I hope you are all well.

"The Most Dangerous Game"  Due Friday the 16th of April

The success of "The Most Dangerous Game" depends in large part on building suspense. In executing this task, the author wastes no time. In the first fifty words, he establishes the existence of a mysterious island with an ominous name, Ship-Trap Island. Sailors dread it. He then shrouds the island in the "thick warm blackness" of a "moonless Caribbean night," imagery that suggests hidden evil. A few paragraphs later, the main character, Rainsford, hears a gunshot coming from the direction of the island, falls overboard while standing on the ship rail to look for the source of the shot, and swims to the island, where he finds thick jungle and, of all things, a splendid château on a bluff. At the château, the first person to greet Rainsford is a giant, the biggest man Rainsford had ever seen. What happens next? That is the question the author wants the reader to ask as he unfolds his tale. "The Most Dangerous Game" is Richard Connell's best known story and has spawned many imitations and a number of film adaptations including The Simpson's.

File Size: 30 kb
File Type: doc
Download File

File Size: 43 kb
File Type: docx
Download File

Nonfiction Writing Activity 2 — The Interview

interview classmates
Unlike poets, playwrights and novelists, journalists and other nonfiction writers don't make up their stories. They get their information by doing research and by talking to people. For your next assignment, practice interviewing people and then use that information in a story.
Pick a question on any topic: What do you want to be when you grow up? What's your favorite breakfast? Who is the funniest person you know? It can be any question that comes to you.
Then ask 15 people that question. But don't settle for a one-word answer. Follow up their response by saying "Why?" We want to know why people feel the way they do. Write down their answers.
When you are finished, write an article using your research. The first paragraph (called a "lead") should just sum up the basics: "Nearly 90% of all fourth graders prefer muffins over cereal for breakfast, saying they want something that fills them up but without all that sugar in it."
Then, as you continue with the story you can get into more detail, first about the most important points and then the less significant material. So a sentence that says, "Of the 13 muffin eaters, 10 also said they don't really like cereal because they don't like milk" might come next followed by an explanation of their muffin tastes: "Seven preferred blueberry muffins, five liked corn muffins and one even said he liked bran muffins." You might then explain why those were their favorites. Finally, you would deal with the other two kids who weren't muffin eaters, talking about why they preferred cereal and what kinds.

  Nonfiction Writing Activity 1 Describing the Real World

Pick a room, any room, and spend 10 to 15 minutes observing it. It can be in school, in a candy store, or in your home. Try to be as descriptive as you can. In the coming assignments, you will work on different types of nonfiction writing, but in each case your ability to find the right words and the colorful details will be what makes your story come to life.

Write several paragraphs describing the room — the size and layout, the furniture and decorations, the people in it, etc. Use plenty of details so that the reader can close her eyes and picture the room. Your reader would like to hear the sounds (a radio playing, neighbors shouting), smell the odors (bacon cooking, garbage rotting) and, of course, see the sights. But don't just tell them there is a chair, or even a comfortable chair. Tell them where in the room the chair is, what color it is, what fabric it's made of, and what it feels like to sink into the chair.

Oral reports (group)

To begin the new year students will research and present an oral report on a Genocide of the 20th century.  It will be a group project with both group and individual grades.    Each group is to research their topic to establish a knowledge base.  Let the five w's of reporting serve as your guide.  Your first task is to present the fundamental facts in a concise manner.  Secondly explain to the class how your event relates to a concept we have discussed in class (racism, stereotyping, apathy, democratic institutions).  This critical analysis is your chance to shine.  What is your interpretation of the facts?  What suggestion or predictions or thoughts do you offer on the larger topic of genocide and human nature.  Presentations will last approximately ten minuets and should include both visual aids and the use of technology (para normal, podcast, movie maker, power point).    A rubric has been provided. 

Create Your own Podcast students will create their own podcast from a personal naritive

 We will study the art of storytelling.  Each student will choose a story from their lives.  The best stories will be have a strong narrative with a sequence of events-this happened then that happened then this happened-so we inevitably want to find out what happened next.   But for your podcast is a it is not enough to tell a little story.  You also have to explain what it means.  Your podcast should have a moment of reflection about what the story means to you.

Click below to download my example podcast
(oops my podcast didn't load correctly-I'll try again at school)

Blog # 4


Finial Draft Due

Finial draft of your short story is due Friday

Blog #3 President Obama's School speech

Listen to President Obama's School Speech.  The speech can be found @ "from the teacher's desk" page of this website. Blog a 4 to 5 sentence response.Your opinions are welcome and even encouraged.  Due 9/23/09

I am interested to read what you think!

Rough draft due

Rough draft of your short stories are due the last class of the week.  For day one that is Thursday and for day two classes that will be Friday.  It must be typed double spaced.  I am excited to read your stories. 

Blog #2 Homework week of September 7th due September 14th

Visit the website learnoutloud.com.
Explore the website checking out the pod-casts.
Listen to a podcast.
Write a 4-6 sentence blog at our class website (remember your section number and no last names).
Tell the name and web address as well as your opinion of the podcast.

I look forward to reading your blogs

Blog #1 First assignment

Review this website and then write a blog.  The blog can be a comment or a question.  Be sure to sign you name (first name only) and your section number. 
Thank you

Coming Attractions

Write your own Adventure:  A hypertext writing experience
Podcast:  This is your life
Using Wikis to tell a collaborative story on line
Paper-bag skits
An oral history exploring and sharing family stories

Letter to Mr. Griffith

Directions:  Write an extensive letter to me on how you perceive yourself as a student, reader, writer, and as a person. The letter should be two pages in length and in the appropriate letter format. Use explicit (precise and clear) language that will help me see you as you see yourself.    

Ideas that you will want to address are:
  • When have you felt particularly successful in school?
  • When have you been most proud of learning something?
  • What’s the hardest part about school?
  • What do you love to read?
  • What do you hate to read?
  • When is reading easy, fun or particularly difficult for you?
  • What do you love to write?
  • When is writing easy, fun or particularly difficult for you?
  • What qualities do you have that set you apart from your peers? What makes you unique?
  • What kind of influences does your family have on you as an individual?
  • What kind of influence do your friends have on you?
  Due your finial class of the week- 27th or 28th of August

Due at the end of Trimester 

Maus questions:  three for the first three chapters and two questions for each of the last chapters (4,5,6).
Also due are your sponge notebooks with 16 sponges, 12 vocabulary words.  If you are missing


None yet but assignments are coming soon to a classroom near you.

Little Jamie Griffith's Math final 

Taking this practice test is guaranteed to make your teeth whiter and your waist smaller or your money back.  Studies show that students taking this practice test are 80% more likely to pass math and thus not have Mr. Griffith for a fourth year in a row.

Seriously, good luck on your finals, I hope this helps

File Size: 219 kb
File Type: jpg
Download File

File Size: 195 kb
File Type: jpg
Download File

File Size: 322 kb
File Type: jpg
Download File

File Size: 132 kb
File Type: jpg
Download File