Hills' Happenings

8/11-8/15 2014

Great First Week!!!

We had a wonderful first week in room 140! It is going to be a fabulous year!

Week's Assignments:


Monday - In class reading - "The Most Dangerous Game" - Letter Group reading and plot activity

Tuesday - Discuss Independent Reading Project; Begin reading "The Gift of the Magi" - plot activity

Wednesday - Writing Wednesday (ACT prep); Notes on character; in class reading - "The Necklace"

Thursday - in class reading - "The Necklace" - complete character chart

Friday - Vocabulary Quiz #2; in class reading - "The Cask of Amontillado" - character activity

*Independent Reading Project Book Check Monday, August 25- this is a test grade

ACT 100 Vocabulary Terms for the week:

amicable - agreeable

anachronistic - out of date

anecdote - short account of event

anonymous - nameless

antagonist - opponent

Independent Reading Project

Independent Reading Project Guidelines

Mrs. Hills English 9

This semester, you will be responsible for reading two books completely on your own. You will select the book, read the book, and complete a project without in-class help from me or your peers, so I need to give you details about what sort of books you should read and what the projects will be like.

For starters, here are the Basics… no matter which project you choose to complete:

  1. Select a complex book that you have never read before that interests you. Your book should be close to 250 pages in length.

· DO NOT select a book that might be too easy or too difficult for you.

· DO NOT select a book that seems boring.

· DO NOT select a book that you’ve read before.

*If you are uncertain about which book to read, ask your parents, the school librarian, your friends, or me for recommendations. Also, think about your favorite movies and select a book that seems similar to a movie you like.

  1. Include the book title and author somewhere prominent on your project. Also include your own information (name, class period, date).
  2. Write ONE paragraph summarizing the story. Include who the main character is, what he/she wants, an important obstacle/conflict he/she must overcome, and whether he/she gets what he/she wanted. *Each paragraph you write for this project should be full. Don’t try to get away with four or five sentences.
  3. DO NOT copy/plagiarize anything from the internet, books, a friend, etc… All of the writing you include on your project must be your writing.


THE PROJECT (The part you physically turn in)

THE THINKING (The part where you analyze, explain, make connections, etc…)

THE CONVENTIONS (The part where you follow the rules of our language and the assignment).


Book title and author are included. It looks AMAZING!!! Final project is colorful, typed, neat, and organized. Everything that should be included is included.

Events, characters, and theme are clearly and completely represented with multiple, specific examples. Project exemplifies complex and well-supported thinking.

Project exemplifies perfect attention to quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) and quantity (length/amount of writing).


Book title and author are included. It looks good, but pieces may have been purchased rather than student-created. Project is colorful, typed, neat, and organized. Everything that should be included is included.

Events, characters, and theme are represented with some specific examples. Project is proficient, showing complex thinking.

Project is proficient in quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) and quantity (length/amount of writing).


ONE requirement of the project may be missing. It looks okay. Final project may not be colorful OR typed. It should still be neat and organized.

Events, characters, and theme are unspecific. More examples are needed. Project shows low-level thinking (usually summary).

Project is insufficient in quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) OR quantity (length/amount of writing).


Project is incomplete. Time and effort are needed. Final project is not colorful, typed, neat, or organized.

Events, characters, and theme from the book are missing, unclear, or incomplete. Project shows limited or minimal thinking.

Project lacks quality (sentence structure, word choice, spelling, grammar, punctuation) and quantity (length/amount of writing).


Project can not be scored because requirements are not met.

The final project shows little or no overall thinking.

Project is incoherent.

This rubric applies to all independent reading projects you complete in my English 9 class

HERE ARE YOUR OPTIONS: You must complete a different option for each book you read.

GRAPHIC NOVEL – Make a graphic novel or comic book version of an important scene in the book. Write a paragraph explaining the scene’s importance.

DIORAMA – Create a three-dimensional scene from the book. Most students create this inside a shoe-box, although you might also consider a multi-sided diorama that shows different scenes or points of view. Also, write a paragraph describing how the events in your scene contribute to the meaning of the book you read.

COLLEGE APPLICATIONCreate an application that a character from your book would submit to a college. On the application include Name, Academic Rank, Courses Taken and Grades, Extracurricular Activities, and Work and Volunteer Experience. Choose one of the following questions to answer in a one-paragraph essay from the character’s point of view:
1) What experience, event, or person has had a significant impact on your life?
2) Discuss a situation where you have made a difference.
3) Describe your areas of interest, your personality, and how they relate to why you would like to attend this college.

BOOK JACKET—Design a book jacket to reflect the story you read. Write one paragraph explaining the choices you made for cover art, colors, organization, and fonts. What makes those choices appropriate for the story? *Your book jacket should not look like any that already exist!

GIFTS Select a character from the book and choose three to five gifts you believe that character most needs or wants. Draw or cut out pictures to represent these “gifts” and write a note (one paragraph) to that character/person explaining of why you picked these things for him or her. In your writing be specific, and use examples from the story to support your thinking.

A CHARACTER’S ROOMWe learn a lot about people by how they decorate. Select a character from the book you read and draw two rooms that would mean a lot to that character. Write a paragraph of explanation that includes descriptions and examples of why you designed the room as you did. Reference specific portions of the book when possible.

Who is Mrs. Hills?

I am so glad you asked! I am a wife, a mom, and a teacher. I have been married to Rusty for seventeen years and we have three amazing kiddos. Tyler is 11 in the sixth grade and Ashley and Ally, my twin girls, are 9 in the fourth grade. I spend my free time at baseball/softball fields and basketball courts (depending on the sport season). I have been a teacher since 1999, however this is my first year officially at BHS. I received my BA in English from Freed-Hardeman University and my MAED in Secondary English Education from the University of North Alabama. I am excited about getting to know my students and having a phenomenal 2014-2015 school year!