Writing Projects we will be doing this year by order of introduction

Ideas Trait

Key Quality: Finding a Topic

Crest and Motto: Create a motto and write a brief essay explaining the symbols.

Invention Quick Write: Come up with a cool invention you could use at school--something that would make life easier, less stressful, and/or more fun! Some ideas might be: homework machine, automatic essay writer, bully-proof forcefield, remote control for your teacher, ultimate hall pass that transports you somewhere fun, cleaning machine for backpacks and lockers, flavor and texture enhancer for cafeteria food.

News Article: After completing a newspaper evaluation with your instructor, you will write a short news story in the style of either Upfront or USA Today. To see Upfront online go to:

Email a friend about your favorite book: You and a friend will need to draft six emails (send and reply at least three times). You will draft these emails on paper first and then put them into a Prezi.

Two Voice Poem: You and a partner will create a poem of your choice to be performed aloud. We can video tape these and use the green screen to place images behind you that relate to your poem.

Two voice poems can be used to compare and contrast things. Refer to the example to craft a two voice poem that contrasts two different things.

Organization Trait

Constructing the Lead

Constructing the Lead Think About:

1. Did I give the reader something interesting to think about right from the start?
2. Will the reader want to keep reading?
3. Have I tried to get the reader's attention?
4. Did I let the reader know what is coming?

Write a good lead!

Constucting the Lead Warm Up 1 p.116

Here's the ugly lead:

Animals are important in our world. My favorite animal is the gecko because I saw one in Hawaii last year on our vacation. But, this paper isn't about geckos, it's about saving the polar bear.

Here's Mr. Bentley's example lead:

It’s hard to imagine a 1,200 pound, 10 foot tall polar bear having any rivals. It’s a creature at the top of the arctic food chain. But polar bears do have one enemy which has put them on the endangered species list and is threatening their very survival. In 2008, scientists from Polar Bears International estimated only 20,000 of these majestic creatures were left. The culprit: global warming. Rising temperatures are destroying habitat by melting ice floes, a polar bear’s hunting ground. But all is not lost. Yet. We have the power to save polar bears if we change our behavior right now.

Write a good lead for the "Mystery Box!"

Constructing the lead Warm up 1 p. 116 extension

Mr. Bentley was smiling, chuckling evilly as he stood in front of the class shaking a small, white box. It was square, with a hole cut in top, and a sock protruding from the opening. "This is a mystery box," he said. "You slide your hand into the sock and reach in. Use your senses and imagination to visualize what could be in there." This is how our teacher tortures us: by tantalizing us with mysteries and then forcing us to write essays about them before the big reveal. What was it going to be this time and how long would we have to wait? Unfortunately for me, I didn't have to wait long to find out.

Constructing the Lead

Personal Poetry

"Where I'm From" template

Create a poem using the organizational elements below.
Refer to the "Creating the Lead Think Abouts" above.

I am from _. (items from around the house)

I am from _. (items found in your backyard)

I am from _. (items found in your neighborhood)

I am from . (names of relatives)

I am from . (sayings from your childhood)

I am from _. (names of food and dishes)

I am from _. (family traditions)

I am from _.__ (favorite memories)

Mr. Bentley's sample "Where I'm From" poem

"Where I’m From"

I am from blue jeans and cargo shorts, college t-shirts and short sleeve button downs, tennis shoes, cowboy boots, flip flops.

I am from clinking games of horseshoes, raucous laughter from jokes well-told, and steaming platters of linguiça and Swiss sausage being carried around the backyard with a shot glass of wooden toothpicks.

I am from two lane roads with no sidewalks, rolling hills dotted with oak trees, wheat fields, cow pastures, and mud-covered trucks.

I am from big Spaniard ancestors named Raphael and Rudolpho, from Scots-Irish grandfather’s named Irvin and Jim, from Iowa farmboys and Vermont Yankees and gold miners and farmers.

I am from red beans and homemade tortillas, from pot roast and white toast and sausage and gravy. I’m from BBQ’d tri-tips cooked rare, eggs over easy, bread pudding with raisins, and generous dabs of butter.

I’m from big family dinners with tables spilling into all the rooms and sometimes even outside. I’m from loud Christmas parties with guitars and fiddles, birthdays with chocolate cakes and arguments over politics at the kitchen table and cups of coffee. I’m from pinched cheeks and big hugs and, “Look how tall you’ve grown!” or “How old are you now?” or “Aw…I remember when you knee high to a grasshopper!”

Constructing the Lead

"Fade In"

Check out this website to read screenplay leads! You can look up your favorite film alphabetically. Remember, a lead should be engaging and make us want to read more! A movie's lead in a screenplay should do this, too. After you've studied a few different leads, try writing your own for your own movie!


Voice Trait

Word Choice Trait

Sentence Fluency Trait