7-2 English Language Arts

Ms. D'Water

Short Story Writing

Students wrote some incredible short stories at the beginning of this quarter. Genres ranged from realistic fiction to sci fi to dystopian! They tried their hands at incorporating figurative language into their stories, writing dialogue, and following a plot diagram. It was fun getting to read about their creative ideas and watch them grow as writers.

Ask your child to show you their story - they are online in their Google Drive and Google Classroom!

Here are a few first lines as a sneak peek:

"She thought someone was following them, but her mind was playing tricks on her. Maya’s mind often does this to her, ever since a few days ago, but she didn’t know for sure if someone was there." - Bella G.

"The cold air wraps around me, I feel a little chill. I walk through the woods at about 2:00 pm. My stand isn’t far but I picture a long walk for some reason.The paint on my face starts to run down with my sweat. Finally I arrive at my destination. The stand hasn’t changed since last year. It’s still just, standing there." - Ryan K.

"March 9, 2017


My name is Martin O.D.

Just call me Martin.

Anyways, I live in a city.

You know, large building, lots of cars, that place!

I have short-term memory loss.

That means I forget a lot.

However, I can see lots of small details.

I’d be pretty good as a detective.

Speaking of, someone died last week.

I think his name was Matt, or something.

Mort wasn’t really important to me, but I feel bad for Jordan’s family.

I want to find out who killed Mac." - Jayden H.

Walk Two Moons

This quarter we read the book Walk Two Moons. As we read we noticed signposts -- a reading comprehension strategy found in the book Notice and Note. This book was filled with "aha moments", "memory moments", "words of the wiser", "again and again", "contrasts and contradictions", and "tough questions". We discussed loss, joy, family, and acceptance. We followed Sal, the main character, across the country, through her awkward 7th grade year, and on her emotional journey of accepting the loss of her mother. We laughed with Phoebe, Gram, and Gramps. Most importantly of all, we enjoyed the process of all reading the same book, creating wild theories together, figuring out how things connected, and learning from each other.

What's next?!

When we come back from break in January we will ease back into things with some collaborative vocabulary work. After that, we will dive into the world of research! We've got some cool, new tech tools that will make it much easier for students to keep track of their research and build their bibliographies. It really is an exciting time to be in school because of the rapidly changing technology that we have at our fingertips! While learning research skills, students will also be learning about immigration and history.

New Books in the Classroom Library

I am always looking to expand our classroom library! Scholastic book orders earn points for the class that are used to get new books - look for the January flyers after break! Additionally, if you are ever looking to get rid of books, we will gladly take them. :)

Ms. April D'Water

7-2 English Language Arts teacher

Horace Mann Middle School