Language Arts 6

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This course contains only the language arts (writing, spelling, grammar) lessons from English 6/Level 6.

Course Description — Students will improve their writing skills by a variety of methods. Students will regularly write both creative fiction and researched non-fiction while practicing a variety of sentence structures and poetic devices. Writing assignments include: short stories, poems, book reports, literary analysis, summaries, autobiographical story, commercial, dialog, humor, letters, descriptive pieces, biographical essay, persuasive essay and research report. Students also will develop in their speaking, spelling, and grammar skills through their writing assignments as well as through the use of online resources.

Day 1*

Learning*

  1. I write lots of directions, not just in this course, but in all of them. I want you to be careful to read them all before you click on the link. It’s always important to read the directions. It could save you work! Maybe I tell you to only answer the even numbered questions, but you could go and answer them all if you didn’t read the directions first!
  2. *So, today’s assignment is to practice following directions.

Day 2

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeon.

Spelling

  1. Play hangman.

Day 3

Grammar

  1. Watch this video to remind yourself about syllables.

Spelling

  1. Try the spelling bee.

Day 4

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeon?
  2. Remember that getting everything correct isn’t as important as learning from your mistakes.

Spelling

  1. Can you complete the word search before the time runs out?

Day 5

Writing

  1. Write a poem in the same form of this one. More directions follow.
    • Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
      And sorry I could not travel both
      And be one traveler, long I stood
      And looked down one as far as I could
      To where it bent in the undergrowth;
  2. It is written in the form: ABAAB. This shows that each stanza has five lines.
  3. The matching letters show which lines rhyme. In this poem the “B lines,” the second and last lines, rhyme and the “A lines,” first, third and fourth lines rhyme.
  4. Also pay attention to the length of each line. Each line in the first stanza is nine syllables long. (A stanza is what we call each paragraph of a poem or song.)
  5. So, you will write one stanza, trying to make each of the five lines nine syllables long and using the rhyme scheme, ABAAB.

Day 6

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeons. Can you fix the mistakes?

Day 7

Writing

  1. Write a short story.  Get a high five and/or hug for every vocabulary word from your reading assignments that you put into your story.

Day 8

Grammar

  1. Play Quest for the Parts of Speech game as a review of the parts of speech. Keep your code to play again. You can do this on Day 9 as well. (This game has “friendly ghosts” in it. If your parents don’t want you to play it, these are other options: grammar gorilla or word invasion.)

Day 9

Grammar

  1. Play Quest for the Parts of Speech game as a review of the parts of speech. Use your code to keep playing. (This game has “friendly ghosts” in it. If your parents don’t want you to play it, these are other options: grammar gorilla or word invasion.)

Day 10

Writing

  1. Write better sentences. Combine the sentences into one long sentence. Then compare your version with the computer’s. They don’t have to be identical. Learn from the examples.

Day 11* 

Writing

  1. *Do this worksheet on metaphors to remind yourself that a metaphor is a description where one thing is said to be something else. (Answers)

Day 12

Writing

  1. Write three metaphors. Get a high five and/or hug if you use one of your vocabulary words.
  2. Here’s an example of one: The fog horn was a baritone making his presence known with a low operatic note.

Day 13

Spelling

  1. Play 8 letters.

Day 14

Grammar

  1. Fix the sentences. These are all fragments, incomplete sentences. Make them into proper sentences.
  2. Proofread the sentences by choosing the correct words to put in the blank.

Day 15

Writing

  1. Do this lesson on simile. Read the lesson and then click on the practice at the bottom of the page.
  2. Write a simile that includes an animals.

Day 16

Writing
  1. Write about a time when either you treated someone differently because of how they looked or you treated someone the same despite how they looked.

Day 17

Writing

  1. Write a simile and a metaphor about yourself.

Day 18

Grammar

  1. Write the verb that correctly completes the sentence. Be careful to find the subject and to match the verb to it. A singular subject needs a singular verb. He has (singular). They have (plural).

Day 19

Spelling

  1. Participate in the spelling bee.

Day 20

Writing

  1. Do this simile exercise. Click and drag to complete the phrases. Click Next Game for more phrases.

Day 21

Writing

  1. Read this poem.

EDIBLE

My shirt is red tomato soup,

My pockets are green peas.

My khakis are brown dog biscuits.

My socks are cottage cheese.

I have vanilla ice-cream shoes

with limp spaghetti bows.

I wish I could eat everything,

but then I”d have no clothes!

–Jacqueline Sweeney

  1. Choose a noun. Choose two adjectives that describe that noun. Turn each into a metaphor.
  2. EXAMPLE… apple; red, delicious
    • My apple is red becomes my apple has blushing cheeks.
    • My apple is delicious becomes my apple is a symphony in my mouth.

Day 22

Writing

  1. Do it again.
  2. Choose a noun. Choose two adjectives that describe that noun. Turn each into a metaphor.
  3. EXAMPLE… apple; red, delicious
    • My apple is red becomes my apple has blushing cheeks.
    • My apple is delicious becomes my apple is a symphony in my mouth.

Day 23

Grammar

  1. Proofread the sentences. You need to make sure you create complete sentences. Every sentence needs a subject and a verb and can’t be combined with another sentence without punctuation or conjunction.

Day 24

Grammar

  1. Proofread the sentences.

Day 25

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeon.

Spelling

  1. Spell the plurals. Just do the first fifteen, the sentence portion of the page.

Day 26

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeon.

Spelling

  1. Type the correct plural form. Then click on “harder” (under the score box) and keep trying. Learn from your mistakes!

Day 27

Writing

  1. Write about an imaginary country. It needs a name, a language, a currency, a national identity, what makes it unique, what is its character.

Day 28

Spelling

  1. Try the spelling bee.

Day 29

Grammar

  1. Dialog lesson read over and answer the questions. You’ll be writing a dialog tomorrow.
  2. Write an example of dialog that uses each a speech tag, a descriptive tag and an action tag.

Day 30

Writing

  1. Choose any character from a book you are reading and write a dialog between you and the character. Use your paper from yesterday to remember your grammar rules for writing dialog.

Day 31

Grammar

  1. Read the comma rules. Study them. Do you think you know them?
  2. Write three sentences applying rules 3b, 10 and 11.

Day 32

Writing

  1. In your opinion, which episode so far, in a book you are reading for school, has been the most entertaining? Why? (Explain thoroughly. For instance, if you say because it is funny, then give three examples of funny things that happened.)

Day 33

Grammar

  1. Which sentence is correct? (Comma practice)

Day 34

Grammar

  1. Read about the different types of sentences– simple, compound and complex.
  2. Copy from your reading one of each type of sentence.
  3. Click here. (Remember not to click on anything else.)

Day 35

Writing

  1. Choose a setting from a book you are reading for school and write about a day you spend there. Use simple, compound and complex sentences. Make sure this gets saved. Hold onto this for Day 36’s grammar lesson.

Day 36

Grammar

  1. Read this pages on simple compound and complex sentences.
  2. Do the quiz on simple, compound and complex sentences.
  3. Use your writing assignment from Day 35 and underline every sentence. Use three different colored pencils and color code your story. Every sentence should be unlined marking it as simple, compound or complex. Assign a color to each type of sentence.
  4. Make sure your comma usage is correct.

Day 37

Writing

  1. Governments have often been accused of rewriting history. You try it. Choose a famous event in history and rewrite it. Was Benedict Arnold really the hero of the American Revolution? You decide.

Day 38

Spelling

  1. Participate in the spelling bee.

Day 39

Writing

  1. Look at some ways to combine sentences. Write better sentences. Pay attention to commas! Combine the sentences into one, and then check the computer’s version. They don’t have to be identical. Learn from the examples.

Day 40

Grammar

  1. Try to find the common comma errors.

Day 41

Spelling

  1. Race to the finish. There are levels. Keep playing

Day 42

Writing

  1. Try combining these sentences. Are you better at it now? Don’t forget those commas!

Day 43

Writing

  1. Copy the best sentence from the chapter you read for school today, or a book you have recently read. It could be the most exciting, the most descriptive, the funniest, the cleverest…. Label it with the book title and page number.
  2. What makes it so great? Write your answer.
  3. Now label the parts of speech in your sentence. Use color, numbers, arrows, however.
  4. What type of sentence is it? (ie. simple, compound, complex)

Day 44

Grammar

  1. Listen to the explanation about clauses and phrases. Stop when it asks you to identify clauses.
  2. Try this independent clause quiz. An independent clause could be its own sentence.

Day 45

Writing

  1. Make a poster about a book you have recently read for school (or are reading if you are close to finishing). (If you are reading Gulliver’s Travels, your poster should be on one of your themes you took notes on as you read.)
  2. Include on your poster three examples from your book.
  3. Include any biographical information on the author.
  4. Include a title for the poster and explanation of what your poster shows.
  5. Present your poster. (It should be neat, organized, appealing, easy to read by your audience.)
  6. An alternative is to prepare a power point presentation including the same things.
  7. Today you just have to plan it out. Gather the quotes/examples from the book. The deadline is Day 50

Day 46

Writing

  1. Research the author. How does the author’s background make him or her suited to writing this novel?
  2. Write about the author for your presentation.
  3. Have you found the three examples that you want to include from the book?

Day 47

Writing

  1. Write a short summary of your book.
  2. You can use this at the beginning of your presentation.

Day 48

Writing

  1. Put together your presentation.
  2. Here’s a reminder of your directions.
  3. Make a poster about a book you have recently read for school (or are reading if you are close to finishing). (If you are reading Gulliver’s Travels, your poster should be on one of your themes you took notes on as you read.)
  4. Include on your poster three examples from your book.
  5. Include any biographical information on the author.
  6. Include a title for the poster and explanation of what your poster shows.
  7. Present your poster. (It should be neat, organized, appealing, easy to read by your audience.)
  8. An alternative is to prepare a power point presentation including the same things.

Day 49

  1. Finish your presentation! Do your best!
  2. Here’s a reminder of your directions.
    • Make a poster about a book you have recently read for school (or are reading if you are close to finishing). (If you are reading Gulliver’s Travels, your poster should be on one of your themes you took notes on as you read.)
    • Include on your poster three examples from your book.
    • Include any biographical information on the author.
    • Include a title for the poster and explanation of what your poster shows.
    • Present your poster. (It should be neat, organized, appealing, easy to read by your audience.)
    • An alternative is to prepare a power point presentation including the same things.

Day 50

Speaking

  1. Present your poster or power point. Read your title. Tell a little about the book and explain the theme you chose. Share about the author. Share the examples from the book and explain how they support the theme. Answer any questions.
  2. Ask a parent to take a picture for your portfolio.

Day 51*

Grammar*

  1. Print out this packet. (L is using page 8 as well.) Review pages 6 and 7, dialog grammar. We’ll use the other pages. Keep them together.

Writing

  1. Choose someone from the history you have studied or find interesting.
  2. Find an interesting quote by that person. Copy the quote as well as the title, author and date written from where you got the quote.

Day 52

Grammar

  1. Cut out the squares from the punctuation print out.
  2. Make different dialogs.

Writing

  1. Make a list of ten facts about the person you chose. You will be writing a biographical essay.
  2. You’ll be using this checklist to help you correct it when you are done. You should be aiming to include all of these things as you write your essay.

Day 53

Grammar

  1. Cut out and fill in the capitalization piece in the printout.

Writing

  1. Organize your facts into three groups, three main topics. It’s okay if you have to discard a fact that doesn’t fit. The facts will become the details in your three topic paragraphs that will tell about the person’s life.
  2. Write one paragraph for your biography essay. (Here’s a reminder of what a paragraph should look like.)
  3. Find more facts if you need to.

Day 54

Grammar

  1. Read the comma rules.
  2. Without looking, name as many as you can. There are 10.

Writing

  1. Write two more paragraphs for your biography essay. These are the second and third paragraph for the body of your essay, the middle. These tell about the person you’ve chosen. Make sure they are in good paragraph form.
  2. Include all your facts.

Day 55

Grammar

  1. Cut out the comma piece from the packet. Write an example sentence for each rule–write in the mini book.
  2. Attach the mini book to the comma worksheet page.

Writing

  1. Write a dialog between the person you chose for your biography essay and another historical character. What would George Washington and Abraham Lincoln talked about? Neil Armstrong and Davey Crockett?
  2. You could use the dialog bubble page from the printout if you like.

Day 56

Writing

  1. Read this article about a good opening sentence.
  2. Write your introduction for your biographical essay. Remember the last sentence of the paragraph is your topic sentence, your thesis. It should tell what the point of your essay is.

Day 57

Grammar

  1. Do the comma worksheet from the packet. You can attach your mini book to it. Sentence one on the worksheet corresponds to comma rule number one.
  2. You could save your comma sheets from this packet in your portfolio.

Writing

  1. Write a comedy dialog. One idea would be to think of some misunderstanding where they are talking together but thinking about two different things.
  2. (An example from Penrod: Penrod’s teacher thought he was talking to her, but he had been daydreaming and thinking of something else.)

Day 58

Grammar

  1. Read the simple, compound, complex worksheet. Find one of each in your reading.

Writing

  1. Read about writing a conclusion.
  2. Write a concluding paragraph for your biographical essay.

Day 59

Grammar

  1. Read the four types of sentences worksheet: declarative, interrogative, imperative, exclamatory.
  2. Do this online quiz. You have to click on the arrow to go to the next question.
  3. What was your score?

Day 60

Writing

  1. Write an advertisement for the (pretend) band the main character of your book is in.
  2. If you want, draw, color, make a mini poster to advertise them.

Day 61

Writing

  1. Put all your paragraphs together. If they aren’t typed, type them now.
  2. Here is a page with a list of transition words.  Add words like these to connect your thoughts. You need to have a transition between your paragraphs. You can’t just jump from one idea to another. You need sentences like, “While George Washington was a great leader during times of war, he was also a great leader during times of peace.” In the previous paragraph you talked about him as general; in the coming paragraph you will talk about him as president.

Day 62

Writing

  1. Make sure in your biographical essay you have simple, compound and complex sentences. You should try and have declarative, interrogative and exclamatory sentences as well. The more varied your sentences, the more interesting your essay. Work on editing your sentences to make them varied.

Day 63

Writing

  1. Read your essay out loud. Note any parts that don’t read easily. Fix them. Look up one in the thesaurus one adjective and one verb in your essay. Replace them with a better word.

Day 64

Writing*

  1. Use this checklist and mark it as you read through your essay. Fix any problems. Check for capital letters and commas. Fix any mistakes. Add a title. List at the bottom of your essay the information on the places where you got your facts. Write a title at the top. Write your name and date on it and print it out or post it to your blog.
  2. Take your name off and add an email address.
  3. Then, go to the peer editing page and follow the directions.
  4. With your parent’s permission, email me with the essay in PDF format.
    • Tell me it’s for level 6, day 64 and tell me the name of the essay that you sent feedback for.
    • I will post it on the peer editing page. I have a gmail address with the username allinonehomeschool.
  5. Editing other writing will help your writing. Don’t skip this.

Day 65

Writing

  1. Write a letter to your mother as a character from the time period you are studying in history. If you have to write in hieroglyphics, so be it.

Day 66

Grammar

  1. Be a sentence surgeon. Continue on to the next after you check your answer.

Day 67

Grammar

  1. Play Paralaughs for parts of speech practice.

Day 68

Writing

  1. Read this example of a book report.
  2. Read through the notes on the side pointing out the different parts.
  3. Write an introduction paragraph for a book report on a book you have finished recently reading for schoolInclude everything mentioned in the example: title, author, your feelings about the book, summary and thesis. The thesis is the topic sentence, the main idea of your report. What is it that you want to tell people about the book? Write it in that final sentence of your introduction. This is your thesis. Think of some examples of this and jot them down.

Day 69

Writing

  1. Reread the next three paragraphs in the example book report.
  2. Write your three example paragraphs. They should be three to five sentences.
  3. Make sure your first sentence of each paragraph tells what you will be talking about and uses a connection. The example uses the word “also” to connect the paragraphs.

Day 70

Writing

  1. Reread the last paragraph of the example book report.
  2. Write your conclusion. Make sure you restate your thesis in the first sentence (but in different words!) Make sure you include your thoughts and feelings about the topic. Write three to five sentences.
  3. If you ever wrote three simple sentences in a row in your essay, change one to break up the sentence type/length.

Day 71

Writing

  1. Use this editing guide to check over your work.
  2. Fix any problems you see.
  3. Reread the example book report and note everything written along the side (we skipped the second point–that’s okay).
  4. Read your book report essay out loud.
  5. Change it to make it better and to fix problems. Choose better words…make the sentences more interesting…
  6. When you are finished, print it out and share it.
  7. You might want to save this in your portfolio.

Day 72*

Grammar*

  1. Try your hand at finding adjectives in these sentences. Look at the example. Hint: look for nouns and then see if there are any words that describe that noun — in any way.  (On the answer key, #14 is missing a circle around one adjective.  If you caught the one the answer key missed, get a high-five or a hug!)
  2. Save this in your portfolio.

Day 73

Writing

  1. Write a letter to the president. Use a formal letter writing format. In the top corner goes your address, then beneath it the date, then beneath that the name and address of who is getting your letter…look at this example letter for how to layout your letter. Then write it!

Day 74

Grammar

  1. Take this adjective quiz.

Day 75

Writing

  1. Write a letter from a child from the time period you are studying. This is not a formal letter.
  2. Here’s an example and instructions.

Day 76

Writing

  1. Read page one of this pdf about advertising.
  2. Find an example of at least one of these. Here are 20 magazine ads to look at.

Day 77

Writing

  1. Read page two of this pdf about advertising.
  2. Choose a product to write an ad for.
  3. Write/draw/create an ad using the tips on page two.

Day 78

Writing

  1. Read page three of this pdf about advertising.
  2. Answer the questions.

Day 79

Writing

  1. Follow directions on page four of the advertising pdf.
  2. Here are two shampoo commercials.

Day 80

Writing

  1. Write a commercial based on what you’ve learned.
  2. Sell, sell, sell!
  3. You might want to save this in your portfolio.

Day 81

Writing*

  1. Print out this worksheet. In the first box draw your main character for a funny story you are going to write.
  2. Write a bit about him or her underneath. Make sure you give your character a name and age.
  3. What about a character makes him or her funny?

Day 82

Grammar

  1. Play grammar gorilla or word invasion to practice parts of speech.

Writing

  1. Decide on the setting for your humorous story: the bedroom, the playground, the supermarket, the moon…

Day 83

Writing

  1. On your worksheet from day 81, fill in the other three boxes with what’s going to happen in the beginning, middle and end of your short, humorous story. Think about a funny book you read and what events made it funny.

Day 84

Grammar

  1. Play this parts of speech game.

Writing

  1. Start writing your humorous story. You’ll finish on Day 85.

Day 85

Writing

  1. Write your humor story.

Speaking

  1. Read it to someone and see if they laugh.

Day 86

Writing

  1. Write a description of the main character of a book or story you are reading for school. Write as much detail as you can think of. Describe more than just how he or she looks.

Day 87

Spelling

  1. Play this homophones game (words that sound the same but are spelled differently).

Day 88

Grammar

  1. Read about subject vs. object pronouns.
  2. Choose the correct pronoun. Learn from your mistakes!

Day 89

Grammar

  1. Which pronoun fills the blank correctly? Learn from your mistakes!

Day 90

Grammar

  1. Choose the correct pronoun. Learn from your mistakes!
  2. You could “print screen” and save this in your portfolio.

Day 91 

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeons.

Day 92

Grammar

  1. Play semicolon wars. Remember, a semicolon goes between sentences.
  2. You could “print screen” and save this in your portfolio.

Day 93

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeons.

Day 94

Spelling

  1. Play Sweet 16.

Grammar

  1. Fill in the parts of speech.

Day 95

Grammar

  1. Play sentence surgeons.

Day 96

Writing

  1. What do you know about animal rights concerns? (If you read Black Beauty, what issues were brought up in the book.)
  2. Read this article on animal cruelty today.
  3. What animal rights concerns are brought up in this article?
  4. Write a paragraph comparing and contrasting your feelings about animal cruelty/rights and the article (or book’s) perspective on the topic.
  5. If you would like to write your persuasive essay on a different topic, choose one and read about it today.

Day 97*

Writing

  1. *Print out page 5 only. Fill in what you can on the FIRES chart. One topic can be mistreatment of chickens today. Here is a place where you can find articles on current animal cruelty cases. The third topic could be a “counter argument,” an argument why we don’t need to or shouldn’t worry about animal rights–that could be that prices would go up and quality would go down if their techniques changed. This is going to become an essay on animal rights.
  2. Fill in the rest of the chart as best as you can. (You don’t have to fill in every box, but you’ll want to have at least one of each kind of box filled in, meaning you should have at least one statistic, etc.) Here is one more article on horses that you might want to consider.

Day 98

Writing

  1. Read this example of a persuasive essay.
  2. Write an introduction and your two reasons for an essay on an animal cruelty/rights based on this example and your chart from day 97.

Day 99

Writing

  1. Using the example, write your counter argument section and conclusion. Make sure your essay is complete.

Day 100*

Writing

  1. Edit your essay, fill out a critique of your essay and publish it.
  2. Save this in your portfolio.

Day 101

Grammar

  1. Edit the paragraph on the Amazon rainforest.

Day 102

Grammar

  1. Copy this sentence:
    • One smooth path led into the meadow, and here the little folk congregated; one swept across the pond, where skaters were darting about like water-bugs; and the third, from the very top of the steep hill, ended abruptly at a rail fence on the high bank above the road.  (from Jack and Jill, by Alcott)
  2. It is describing three different sledding paths the children could take. The first was for the smaller children. Look at the punctuation. There is a list of three sledding paths. The list is divided by semi-colons, not commas.
  3. Circle the first comma. What is it’s function? It is needed because before and after the comma are two independent clauses; they could both be complete sentences. “One smooth path led into the meadow.” “Here the little folk congregated.” The comma always comes before the conjunction, eg. and, or, but, so
  4. When you are listing something and use commas in the listed items, then you use semi-colons to separate the items on your list. Normally you would use commas in a list. Eg. red, green, yellow, blue  “One smooth path led into the meadow, and here the little folk congregated;” There is a comma in the middle of the first item on the list, so we need a semi-colon after it before we list the next thing.
  5. Underline all the verbs. She uses great verbs that describe not just tell what the characters are doing. How is “swept” across the pond better than “goes” across the pond? How is “darting” about better than “moving” about?
  6. Circle the next comma. “one swept across the pond, where skaters were darting about like water bugs;” This comma separates off unnecessary information. The author is saying that kind of as an aside, she’s not really giving us information on which pond as if we’d be confused if she didn’t clarify. She’s just adding a description.
  7. “skaters were darting about like water bugs” is a simile. Skaters are being compared to water bugs using like or as.
  8. Write a simile describing skaters.
  9. Circle the next two commas. These two are a pair. The sentence could be, “And the third ended abruptly at a rail fence…” She adds in a description of the third.

Writing

  1. Now, you write a list of three things you are going to do today.
    • eg. Today I’m going to wake up, make my bed and drink a cup of tea.
  2. Now add a comma to the each thing on your list. (You’ll need to add words.) You’ll also need to add semi-colons.
    • eg. Today I’m going to wake up, not that I have a choice; make my bed, if tossing back my covers can count; and drink a cup of tea, a warm, lovely cup of tea.
  3. Now, add a simile.
    • eg. Today I’m going to wake up, not that I have a choice; make my bed, if tossing back my covers like a Salvador whipping around his bull cape counts; and drink a cup of tea, a warm, lovely cup of tea.

Day 103

Grammar

  1. Copy the second paragraph.
    •  “Well, no; it usually takes twenty-one days for bones to knit, and young ones make quick work of it,” answered the doctor, with a last scientific tuck to the various bandages, which made Jack feel like a hapless chicken trussed for the spit. (from Jack and Jill, by Alcott)
  2. Circle the quotation marks. Quotation marks go around whatever someone is saying. Whenever a new speaker begins, a new paragraph starts. That’s why this sentence is its own paragraph.
  3. Circle the first comma. This comma comes after an introductory exclamation. examples: Well, Yes, No, Actually…
  4. Circle the semi-colon. This is used as a period. You could use a period there. Semi-colons are used a lot more in older writing than in modern writing.
  5. Circle the next comma. This again separates two independent clauses. What are the two clauses that could stand alone as their own sentences? (Answers)
  6. Circle the next comma and quotation marks. You always use a comma instead of a period when closing out a quote before a speech tag, like said Susan. You are allowed to use exclamation points and question marks though. The comma always comes before the quotation marks.
  7. Circle the next two commas. Here we see again the sectioning off additional information. These are dependent clauses, meaning they couldn’t be their own sentence. “with a last scientific tuck to the various bandages” doesn’t work as a sentence.
  8. In the last clause we read another simile. “made Jack feel like a hapless chicken trussed for the spit” Here is a picture of a chicken trussed for the spit. Do you see the strings on it, tying it together?

Writing

  1. Your turn. Write a comment someone is saying.
    • eg. “I’ll be home by noon,” she said as she walked out the door.
  2. Add an introductory expression (and comma.)
    • eg. “Wait, no, change of plans, I’ll be home by noon,” she said as she walked out the door.
  3. Add a conjunction and independent clause to your quote.
    • eg. “Wait, no, change of plans, I’ll be home by noon, or I’ll call you,” she said as she walked out the door.
  4. Add a comma and additional description to the end of your sentence.
    • eg. “Wait, no, change of plans, I’ll be home by noon, or I’ll call you,” she said as she walked out the door, letting it slam behind her.
  5. Now add a simile.
    • eg. “Wait, no, change of plans, I’ll be home by noon, or I’ll call you,” she said as she walked out the door, letting it slam behind her like the crash of thunder when the storm is near.
  6. Make sure you have all your commas and quotation marks.

Day 104

Writing

  1. What is something, other than food, that you would describe as delicious?
  2. Write a sentence using the word delicious.

Day 105

Grammar

  1. Make a list of 5 nouns, 5 verbs, 5 adjectives and 5 pronouns from your reading. (hint: herself, yourself, etc.  are pronouns)

Writing

  1. Write a short story about what you would do for amusement if you were stuck in bed. Use LONG sentences.

Day 106

Writing

  1. Alcott’s second paragraph in chapter five is just one sentence. It contains more than eighty words! Let’s write a long sentence together.
  2. Let’s start with one piece of the structure of her sentence. You will write a sentence starting with when. Read all about that type of sentence below.
  3. After the first clause, you will put a comma. A when clause is a dependent clause. It can’t stand as its own sentence. eg. When I get up in the morning, my bones creak and crackle. The phrase “when I get up in the morning” is not a sentence by itself. It is “dependent” on the rest of the sentence. The second part of the sentence is an independent clause; it can stand alone as a sentence. “My bones creak and crackle.” When we pair the two together, you get a complex sentence. Remember those?
  4. Now, you do it. Write a complex sentence. Start out with “When…,” Don’t forget the comma!
  5. Now let’s add in a first part to the sentence, followed by a but.
  6. An independent clause followed by a comma and a conjunction (such as but) followed by another independent clause is a compound sentence.
  7. Alcott compounds a complex sentence. Let’s try. eg. At night I sleep peacefully, but when I get up in the morning, my bones creak and crackle.
  8. You give it a try.
  9. Now we are no where near eighty words yet, but we have a good start. Go look at her sentence, the whole second paragraph. Do you see the independent clause that starts it, ending with “Year”, the but when and the dependent clause, ending with “chambermaid” followed by a comma? Then there is one more independent clause, ending with “February.” That is how far we have gone in copying the structure of this sentence.
  10. What’s next? She says, “when Washington’s birthday was always celebrated by the patriotic town,” describing February.
  11. So, our turn. We are going to add on a description to the end of our last word/phrase. eg. At night I sleep peacefully, but when I get up in the morning, my bones creak and crackle like an old board in a slow burning fire. I didn’t do it just her way. See what you can come up with.
  12. Now one last time. She adds, “where the father of his country once put on his nightcap, or took off his boots, as that ubiquitous hero appears to have done in every part of the United States.” This is describing the last word from the phrase before, “town.”
  13. Alright, let’s see if we can add one more descriptive phrase. eg. At night I sleep peacefully, but when I get up in the morning, my bones creak and crackle like an old board in a slow burning fire that’s been drying in the shed waiting for its moment to shine. Now you try.
  14. How many words did you end up with? I got 39. I am trying to lengthen your sentences, but it’s not just about how many words, it’s about mixing up the structure of your sentences. It will make your writing more sophisticated and more interesting to read.
  15. Think of an event in your life that you’d like to write a story about.

Spelling

  1. Play this spelling game. All the words start with A.

Day 107

Writing

  1. Write about Christmas day.

Day 108

Spelling

  1. Play this spelling game.

Writing

  1. Read this example of an autobiographical incident.
  2. Write the introduction, dialog and summary — first three to five paragraphs — following the example you read.
  3. Make sure you start out with an interesting first sentence. One way to do that is by talking directly to the reader. An easy way to do that is to use a question.

Day 109

Grammar

  1. You know adjectives describe nouns. You know that numbers and even words like a and the are adjectives.
  2. Words like that can be adjectives. Which cat? That cat.
  3. Here’s another kind of adjective, participle adjectives. The fallen tree, the spilled milk, he is fascinating, she was frustrated
  4. Do this online worksheet on a different type of adjective, participle adjectives.

Day 110

Writing

  1. “In a moment Ralph was as meek as a Quaker, and sat looking about him with a mildly astonished air, as if inquiring the cause of such unseemly mirth.”
  2. As meek as a Quaker is a simile. Similes compare two unlike things using like or as. Later there is an as if. Let’s write a sentence with an as/as and an as/if.
    • eg.  It was as hot as a pancake on the griddle, but my brother was running around like a maniac, as if he weren’t already hot enough.
  3. Now write a short story with your first sentence being the one you just wrote.

Day 111

Spelling

  1. Read over this spelling list.

Writing

  1. “While Jack was hopping gayly about on his crutches, poor Jill was feeling the effects of her second fall, and instead of sitting up, as she hoped to do after six weeks of rest, she was ordered to lie on a board for two hours each day.” This is the first sentence of the chapter you read today. Let’s write one like it.
  2. First step. Start with a dependent clause starting with “while.” Don’t forget to follow it with a comma. Then add an independent clause, one that could stand alone as a sentence. Example: While I was waiting, a dog came up to sniff my shoes.
  3. Next, Alcott uses a comma and a conjunction (, and). Let’s skip that part for now.
  4. The second part of her sentence starts with another dependent clause (Which I believe is specifically called an adverbial phrase, but you don’t need to know that.) That’s followed by an aside, an extra description. Then the sentence is finished with an independent clause. Right now let’s write a dependent clause followed by an independent clause. Don’t forget to separate the two with a comma. And remember this has to go with your first sentence. Example: Until he was satisfied that I wasn’t the source of whatever scent he was chasing, he eagerly circled me.
  5. Now, add in a clause after the first comma and make sure to use a comma after it. Alcott added there, “as she hoped to do after six weeks of rest.”  Example: Until he was satisfied that I wasn’t the source of whatever scent he was chasing, as he obviously was after something, he eagerly circled me.
  6. Now, we have to combine the two together. Use a comma and a conjunction between the two sentences you just wrote. Example: While I was waiting, a dog came up to sniff my shoes, and until he was satisfied that I wasn’t the source of whatever scent he was chasing, as he obviously was after something, he eagerly circled me.
  7. Add a particle adjective and maybe a metaphor or simile. Come on. See what you can do. Example:  While I was waiting, a dog came up to sniff my shoes, and until he was satisfied that I wasn’t the source of whatever scent he was chasing, as he obviously was after something, he eagerly circled me, a frozenstatue on the corner of 24th and Main. (I underlined my participle adjective. I added the metaphor of comparing myself to a statue.)

Day 112

Spelling

  1. Play this spelling game.

Writing

  1. Work on writing the body of your autobiographical incident. Look at the example again.
  2. Think about all our writing practice. Try and include a simile, multiple clauses with added descriptions, and even a new word you’ve learned.

Day 113

Writing

  1. Write a short one act play, just a single vignette like Washington cutting down the cherry tree. On your script you will write the dialog as well as describe the action. Here is an example of what a script looks like.

Day 114

Spelling

  1. Play this spelling game.

Grammar

  1. Another type of adjective is the relative clause. Here’s an easy exercise to introduce you to the topic. (alternate link)
  2. Do you see how the phrase (clause) that follows “who” or “which” describes the noun? the bee, which produces honey,

Day 115

Spelling

  1. Take this spelling test. Take note of how many you got wrong.

Writing

  1. Look at this sentence.
    • Jack understood, and, hopping across the room, gave both the thin hands a hearty shake; then, not finding any words quite cordial enough in which to thank this faithful little sister, he stooped down and kissed her gratefully.  (from Jack and Jill, by Alcott)
  2. I’m going to pull out two parts of the sentence. I’m going to chop it up and edit a little for ease of use.
    • Hoping across the room, he gave her a hearty handshake.  Not finding any words, he kissed her gratefully.
  3. She, of course, used a lot more words and combined them all into one long sentence. This time I just want to point out this sentence structure. Here’s the structure: participle phrase – comma – subject described in the participle phrase – rest of sentence including predicate (verb).
  4. IMPORTANT PARTS: comma after the opening phrase and the next word has to be the subject described in the phrase
  5. Hoping across the room, he gave her a hearty handshake.  Not finding any words, he kissed her gratefully.
  6. I put in bold the participles and the subjects they modify (describe).
  7. Write two sentences with this structure. Examples: Drying my hair, I hung my head upside while helping my three year old on his quest to know why.  Knowing the answer, I raised my hand.
  8. Work on your autobiographical incident. Finish the body. Look at the example again and read the notes on the side. Make sure you use a variety of sentence structures. Use at least one sentence that starts with a participle phrase. Use at least one relative clause.

Day 116

Spelling

  1. Take this spelling test again if you got more than four wrong.

Writing

  1. Read this sentence from Jack and Jill.
    • Then, having shaken hands heartily, Mr. Acton went away, and Jack flew off to have rejoicings with Jill, who sat up on her sofa, without knowing it, so eager was she to hear all about the call.
  2. Let’s look at the structure of this sentence. It’s a compound sentence because of the conjunction“and” in the middle with an independent clause on both sides of it. That means you could split the sentence in two and both would work as sentences.
  3. Let’s look at the first half. “Then, having shaken hands heartily, Mr. Acton went away.” Let’s just pretend that’s a sentence for now. This is what we talked about the last day, participle phrases. I put in bold the participle and who it modifies.
  4. Remember, that the participle phrase must be followed by a comma and immediately by the subject it modifies. “Having shaken hands” is talking about what Mr. Acton was doing, so he has to come right after the comma. If it doesn’t it’s called a dangling participle. It just dangles there not attached to anything. All alone. That’s sad and that’s bad. Don’t do it.
  5. Write a sentence in this structure, starting with a participle phrase. eg. Waking to the alarm, I sat up abruptly.
  6. Now, let’s look at the second part of the sentence.
    • Jack flew off to have rejoicings with Jill, who sat up on her sofa, without knowing it, so eager was she to hear all about the call.
  7. I put in bold the relative clause remember those from a couple of days ago?
  8. Let’s ignore “without knowing it” and write a sentence with a relative clause. We’re going to attach it to your last sentence so continue the thought. eg. I tugged at the covers, which seem to have wrestled me in the night, and slipped from the bed.
  9. Now put them together with a conjunction. Don’t forget the comma before the conjunction! eg. Waking to the alarm, I sat up abruptly, and I tugged at the covers, which seem to have wrestled me in the night, and slipped from the bed.
  10. Work on your autobiographical incident. Write the conclusion. Look at the example.

Day 117

Spelling

  1. Read over this spelling list. Notice anything?

Writing

  1. Let’s look at this sentence.
    • It was impossible to refuse the invitation he had been longing for, and in they went to the great delight of Roxy, who instantly retired to the pantry, smiling significantly, and brought out the most elaborate pie in honor of the occasion.  (from Jack and Jill, by Alcott)
  2. What do you see in this sentence that we’ve been talking about?  (Answers)
  3. What are the two independent clauses?  (Answers)
  4. What conjunction connects them?  (Answers)
  5. What is the relative clause?   (Answers)
  6. Write a sentence following the same structure. Make sure you include a relative clause.
  7. Edit your autobiographical incident. Look at your transitions. Look at your sentence structures. Reread all of the notes in the margins of the example.

Day 118

Spelling

  1. Play a spelling game.

Grammar

  1. Let’s look at the commas in this sentence from Jack and Jill.
    • “Now, my dears, I’ve something very curious to tell you, so listen quietly and then I’ll give you your dinners,” said Molly, addressing the nine cats who came trooping after her as she went into the shed-chamber with a bowl of milk and a plate of scraps in her hands.
  2. We start with quotes because someone is talking.
  3. After the word “now” there is a comma. We put a comma after an introductory element. Examples: Now, Yes, So, Because of his insistence, After the snow stops falling,…
  4. We also put a comma after “now” because there are commas around “my dears.” We put commas around a person’s name, even if it isn’t a proper name as in this case, when we are addressing that person. Examples:  “Mom, could you…”  “Also, Tim, I need…” You only use a comma if you are talking to the person.
  5. Of course we don’t put two commas after “now.” One comma is enough for both situations.
  6. There is a comma before the conjunction “so.” In a compound sentence, you always put a comma before the conjunction. (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so — FANBOYS — acronym for all the conjunctions)
  7. Then there is a comma after “dinners,” because it is followed by a speech tag (in this case, said Molly).
  8. We have one final comma after Molly, separating the participle phrase modifying “Molly.” The sentence could be flipped. Addressing the nine cats, Molly said, “Now, my dears, I’ve something to tell you.”  Of course, I shortened it a bit. Alcott uses the participle at the end and uses a comma. Current rules (yes, they change) would say there shouldn’t be a comma there because the participle directly follows the word it modifies, the word it describes.
  9. You will see that although there are rules of grammar and punctuation, some of it is subjective and can be suited to the author. Some of it is NOT SUBJECTIVE, so stick to the rules as best you can!
  10. Write a sentence following this structure. eg. “Today, my beloved children, we are going to play a game,” I said, laughing at their excitement.   (Note: I used “I said” so the participle wouldn’t directly follow the word it modifies so that I could use a comma. Here it is commaless.)  “Today, my beloved children, we are going to play a game,” said their mother laughing at their excitement.  Personally, I like the comma.
  11. In your sentence make sure you address someone, my dears! Your sentence should have all the commas hers does except you decide how to structure your speech tag to use a comma or not before your participle phrase.

Writing

  1. Edit your autobiographical incident. Check capitals, commas, spelling.
  2. Read it out loud and fix any places that don’t seem right.
  3. Publish.
  4. Save this in your portfolio.

Day 119

Spelling

  1. Play this spelling game.

Grammar

  1. Play word invasion. Choose your speed. Leave everything checked.
  2. Look at this sentence from Jack and Jill.
    • With the help of the brace she could sit up for a short time every day, and when the air was mild enough she was warmly wrapped and allowed to look out at the open window into the garden, where the gold and purple crocuses were coming bravely up, and the snowdrops nodded their delicate heads as if calling to her, “Good day, little sister, come out and play with us, for winter is over and spring is here.”
  3. We start with an independent clause, “With the help of the brace she could sit up for a short time every day.” It is independent because it can stand alone. It could be its own sentence, but Alcott loves long sentences!
  4. Today, we would use a comma after brace, after an introductory phrase.
  5. Next, we have a comma followed by a conjunction.
  6. Then, we have a when dependent clause. We would today follow that with a comma (after “enough”).
  7. That is followed by an independent clause “she was warmly wrapped and allowed to look out at the window into the garden.”
  8. We have a phrase next which modifies (or describes) “garden.” That is unnecessary information and is set off by commas.
  9. We have a comma to set off a quotation.
  10.  We have an personal address set off in commas.
  11. In the quote itself we have a compound sentence with the conjunction “for.” The “f” in FANBOYS.
  12. Now you write a sentence with a similar structure using everything I wrote in bold in order.
    • eg. I sit at my computer every day, but when I think about how much time I’ve spent in that chair, I sigh a big sigh, acknowledging the magnitude of it, and I think, “Self, you best be getting up out of that chair, for your days are numbered.”  Use all the parts!

Day 120

Spelling

  1. Take a spelling test.
  2. You could “print screen” and save this in your portfolio.

Grammar

  1. Do the lessons on this page about participles. Keep scrolling down and do all the lessons and check your answers.

Day 121

Grammar

  1. Take a look at this sentence.
    • “How is the old fellow?” called Frank from the boat, while Gus stood leaning on an oar in a nautical attitude.
  2. Notice the lowercase “c” and comma before “while.”
  3. This is a complex sentence because before the comma is an independent clause and after the comma is a dependent clause–it couldn’t be a sentence by itself.
  4. Write a sentence in this structure. Use a question as a quotation, a lowercase word after the quotes, a comma and “while.”
  5. Here’s my example:
    • “What are you doing?” asked my son from the doorway, while I was crawling around the floor, looking for my lost pin.
  6. See if you can do this adverb/adjective activity.

Spelling

  1. Retake the spelling test IF you got more than three wrong.

Day 122

Writing

  • “Oh, when can I go out? I can’t wait long,” she said, looking as eager as a little gull shut up in a cage and pining for its home on the wide ocean.
  1. (I edited the sentence a bit.) Write a sentence in this fashion.
  2. First, the quotation. Start with an introductory word and comma. You don’t have to use a question. Your quote can just be one sentence and end with a comma this time.  Example: “Yes, I think she is coming today,”
  3. Follow the quotes with a lowercase word (meaning, don’t use a name) and then a comma.  Example:“Yes, I think she is coming today,” I said,
  4. Here is a participle phrase using a simile (comparing two unlike things using like or as). Jill is being compared to a gull shut up in a cage and longing for the ocean.  Example: “Yes, I think she is coming today,” I said, looking as unsure as most contestants on “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”
  5. Now put your sentence in a short story.
     

Day 123

Grammar

  • Her back was turned to Jill, but something in the long brown braid with a fly-away blue bow hanging down her back looked very familiar to Jill. So did the gray suit and the Japanese umbrella; but the hat was strange, and while she was thinking how natural the boots looked, the girl turned round.
  • “Why, how much she looks like Molly! It can’t be–yes, it might, I do believe it is!” cried Jill, starting up and hardly daring to trust her own eyes.
  • (from Jack and Jill)
  1. In the second paragraph, look at the hyphen (–) and see how it is used in this case.
  2. The hyphen in the first sentence is used in a different way. Since we have been looking at adjectives, I wanted to point it out, “fly-away blue.”
  3. The noun is bow. It’s a blue bow. “Fly-away” describes the color of blue. It’s not away blue and also fly blue. It’s fly-away blue, meaning the color of a clear sky.

Writing

  1. Let’s write long adjectives. Remember, this is different than saying “big enormous cheery red house.” Each of those adjectives is describing house. (One test is to say “and” between each adjective. If it still makes sense, then they don’t get a hyphen.)
  2. When we write hyphenated adjectives (adjectives linked with hyphens), the words together are one adjective.
  3. Write a two-word adjective with a noun.  Example: small-town girl  She’s not a town girl and a small girl; she’s a small-town girl.
  4. Make it longer. (If you need to, write a whole new one.)  Example: small-town-never-been-to-the-city girl
  5. Make it longer. Example: born-and-raised-in-a-small-town-never-even-been-to-the-city-before kind of girl
  6. More examples: deer-in-the-headlights look    tantrum-throwing two-year-old boy
  7. Take your adjective and put it in a short story.

Day 124

  • A thousand things came up as they sewed together in the afternoon, and the eager minds received much general information in an easy and well-ordered way. Physiology was one of the favorite studies, and Mrs. Hammond often came in to give them a little lecture, teaching them to understand the wonders of their own systems, and how to keep them in order– a lesson of far more importance just then than Greek or Latin, for girls are the future mothers, nurses, teachers, of the race, and should feel how much depends on them. Merry could not resist the attractions of the friendly circle, and soon persuaded her mother to let her do as they did; so she got more exercise and less study, which was just what the delicate girl needed. (from Jack and Jill)

Grammar

  1. What is the hyphenated adjective in the above selection?  (answer: well-ordered)
  2. How is the other hyphen used? (answer: It’s marks off an aside comment that’s important.)
  3. Do you remember how a semi-colon is used? (answer: like a period)
  4. I won’t make you copy this whole structure. Can you write a sentence with all three of these punctuation marks?
  5. Here’s my example:
    • I’m tired, end-of-the-day tired, with still hours to go in front of me–not that I’m complaining; I’m grateful I have the strength to sit and type and even think, a little. Go for it!

Day 125

Grammar

  1. Play Fling the Teacher, an English review game.

Day 126

Writing

  1. This week you are going to write a fiction piece. Choose what you are going to write: humor? mystery?
  2. Read a sample of another middle schooler’s work for inspiration. Go to page 44.
  3. Today write a title, list of characters and their descriptions and a basic outline of the beginning, middle and end

Day 127

Writing

  1. Write your story.

Day 128

Writing

  1. Write/edit your story. Make sure you use great words and a variety of different kinds of sentences.

Day 129

Writing

  1. Use a thesaurus to change one verb and one adjective in your story.
  2. Take two sentences and make them one. Do it again.

Day 130

Writing

  1. Read your story out loud and mark any places where you stumbled. Fix those places.
  2. Finish editing your story for spelling, capitalization, punctuation…
  3. Publish it!
  4. Save this in your portfolio.
  5. Did you fling the teacher last time? If not, try again. (You could “print screen” and save this in your portfolio.)

Day 131*

  1. You are going to be writing paragraphs. Choose topics from what you have read or from what you have studied for history or science or even music or art or any subject that interests you.
  2. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
  3. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
  4. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.
  5. *Print out a number of notebooking pages to use for writing your paragraphs. You can choose to type instead. Here are a few places you can choose blank ones from. You can choose ones with a place to draw a picture.  Notebooking pages   More Notebooking pages   More Notebooking pages
  6. Write a paragraph as described above.

Day 132

  1. Write a paragraph.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic. Easy ways to gain interest are to ask a question or use a startling fact.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 133

  1. Write a paragraph.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 134

  1. Write a paragraph.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 135

  1. Write a paragraph.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 136

  1. Write a paragraph as usual.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 137

  1. Write a paragraph as usual.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 138

  1. Write a paragraph as usual.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 139

  1. Write a paragraph as usual.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 140

  1. Write a paragraph as usual.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 141

Grammar

  1. Play this game to learn the difference between these verbs.
  2. Try this lie quiz. You lie yourself down. You lay something else down, like a piece of paper.

Day 142

Grammar

  1. Do you know which one to use? Good vs. Well  Good is an adjective and describes nouns.
  2. How about your vs. you’re? (You’re is a contraction. It is short for you are.)
  3. Finally, read down this list of confusing words and take the quiz at the top of the page.

Day 143

Grammar

  1. Here’s another set of confusing words lessons and quizzes.
  2. Affect/Effect
  3. Its/It’s.  Read the directions and decide whether each sentence needs its or it’s.
  4. Can/May

Day 144

Grammar

  1. Clause quiz
  2. Making better sentences

Day 145

Grammar

  1. Read about sentence fragments.  (Fragments are dependent clauses with no independent clause attached to it. They are not supposed to stand alone.)
  2. Find the fragments. If you aren’t getting them right, click on the links at the top to review.

Day 146

Grammar

  1. Find the fragments.

Day 147

Spelling

  1. Try word builder.

Day 148

Grammar

  1. Find the fragments.
  2. You could “print screen” and print this to include in your portfolio.

Day 149

Writing

  1. Write a paragraph. Use great words and check your punctuation and such.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic. Easy ways to gain interest are to ask a question or use a startling fact.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.
    4. You could save this for your portfolio.

Day 150

Writing

  1. Write a short story. Don’t use fragments!
  2. OR, write a poem and use only fragments.

Day 151

Writing

  1. Write a paragraph. Use great words and check your punctuation and such.
    1. The first sentence of your paragraph should be interesting and tell your topic. Easy ways to gain interest are to ask a question or use a startling fact.
    2. The middle sentences should gives facts, details about the topic.
    3. The last sentence should restate the topic and give an opinion about it or tell why it is an interesting/important topic.

Day 152

Grammar

  1. Complete this comma exercise.

Day 153

Grammar

  1. Correct the punctuation.
  2. Fill in the apostrophes (‘s).

Day 154

Grammar

  1. Grammar Gorilla  Play the advanced level.
  2. Word Invasion   Leave all the parts of speech clicked.

Day 155

Writing

  1. Read these two examples of five-paragraph essays.
    • one, simple but shows how the introduction introduces the three points made in the essay
    • two, this shows transition words starting each paragraph of the body
Day 156

Writing

  1. Choose a topic to write an essay about. You can choose something you are learning about or something you love that you know a lot about.
  2. Write a thesis statement, or the big idea your essay will be about. In the examples these were just that his pet was the best ever and that the author loved when her family got together.
  3. Now decide on three things you will say about your topic. From the examples: the dog is fun, beautiful and takes care of him; presents, food, and being together
Day 157
Writing
  1. Write an introduction paragraph.
    1. Start with an interesting, attention grabbing sentence.
    2. Include something fascinating or ask a question.
    3. Introduce the things you are going to talk about, but this is not the place for your facts and details!
    4. The last sentence should state your main idea for your whole topic, the big idea. That’s your thesis statement.
    5. There should be at least three sentences.
Day 158
Writing
  1. Write the first paragraph for the body of your essay.
    1. Your first sentence should be your topic sentence, the main idea for the paragraph. This paragraph will be about one of those three things you decided to talk about in your essay (Day 156). Be interesting!
    2. Then include details, the facts.
    3. Then state your conclusion. This will transition to your next paragraph.
Day 159
Writing
  1. Write a second paragraph for the body of your essay. Make sure you use a transition word or phrase at the start of the paragraph.
Day 160
Writing
  1. Write a third paragraph for the body of your essay. Make sure you use a transition at the start of the paragraph.
Day 161

Writing

  1. Write your conclusion paragraph.
    1. The first sentence should restate your thesis.
    2. Tell why the topic is of interest or important.
Day 162*
Writing
  1. Read your essay out loud. Mark any awkward parts.
  2. Fix any problems.
  3. *Use these guidelines to see if there is anything that needs changing.
  4. Finalize your essay.
  5. Publish it!
  6. How do you think you did? Print out the guidelines and fill in a score for each category.
  7. You could save this for your portfolio.
Day 163
Grammar
  1. Read about appositives.
  2. Practice with appositives.
Day 164
  1. Which verb is correct?
  2. Do these appositive exercises.
Day 165 

Grammar

  1. Commas!  Click on “The sentence, please.” Add the commas that are necessary.

Writing

  1. Write better sentences. Combine the sentences into one long sentence. Then compare your version with the computer’s. They don’t have to be identical. Learn from the examples.
Day 166*
  1. You are going to start your end-of-the-year project. Step one is to choose a topic. I suggest it should be about what we’ve been studying in science or history. You should read your science and history assignments to see if you have an end of the year project for those subjects that can be combined with this report. After you’ve read your science and history assignments for today, choose your topic.
  2. *Print out this research sheet, Research Report Note Taker. You will use this sheet to record your resources, where you got your information from, and what you learned. The info lines are short. Don’t try to copy a sentence. Just write bits to remind you like, made in 1902, or Teddy Roosevelt. This will help you not copy what others wrote.
  3. Read this pdf on elements of writing  and refer to it as you write. It gives good ideas for writing good beginnings, middles and ends 🙂
Day 167
  1. Work on your research. Make sure it’s all going on your note taking sheets. Fill in three resources today.
Day 168
  1. Work on your research.  Fill in three resources today.
  2. While you are researching, look for someone to quote. Find something someone said that is interesting to use in your report. Copy it down exactly and make sure you write down exactly where you got it from. Include a page number if there is one.
Day 169
  1. Work on your research. Fill in three resources today.
Day 170
  1. Today, write your introduction. I’ll copy below what I wrote you before about an introduction. You might want to take a look at this again, elements of writing.

Writing

  1. Read about writing an opening sentence.
  2. You are going to write an introduction for your research report. It needs to be at least three sentences long.
  3. The last sentence is going to be your main idea. It will tell the main idea of your research report. It should be as specific as is possible.
  4. Your first sentence should be interesting. It should make people want to read your biography. An easy way to get people interested is by asking them a question. Other ways include using a quote or by making an interesting observation.
  5. Here’s an example of a research report. Why don’t you read it? Notice that this will be longer than the five-paragraph essay you are used to. It is the same, however, in having an introduction, supporting details and a conclusion.

Day 171

Writing
  1. Today you are going to organize. Think about your introduction. What is your thesis? What is the point you are going to make with your research report? You need to use your facts to make that point.
  2. Gather your facts into groups. All of the facts in each group should be about one topic. The goal would be to have at least nine groups of two or three facts. Try and use the facts you have and see how they relate to each other. Find more facts if you need to.
  3. Color code them. Mark the ones that go together all the same color. Then make a key by writing the name of that topic in the color the facts are marked with.
  4. Now you are going to decide the order that you are going to use your groups. Each group will be one paragraghs. Think about how your topics will flow in your report. One has to lead to the next.
  5. If you have any group with four or more facts, think about if it should be divided into two separate groups.
  6. Decide on their order and number your key.
Day 172
  1. Look at this sample again. It is in two parts. There are several paragraphs about adaptations to the body and several paragraphs about adaptations to behavior. Make sure your facts are organized, not just a list of information you want to get out. For instance you could have several paragraphs about the building of the Panama Canal and several paragraphs about its use and impact. You would keep together the groups that were part of the one or the other.
  2. When you are happy with your order, write it down. You will use this Online Outline Maker to enter in your information.
  3. You have already written your intro. For your outline, you are just going to be working on the body of your report.
  4. You will “Add a Main Topic.” These are your topics. Each one of these will be your paragraphs. The goal is to have at least five.
  5. Then you will click on “Add” and then click on your topic box. Write in a fact. Do it again with all of your facts. If you have more than three facts for a topic, think about how you can divide the topic into two mini topics.
  6. Print your outline and save it!
Day 173
  1. Today start with your first topic on your outline and begin writing. Remember that the first sentence of your paragraph gives the main idea for that paragraph. Each paragraph has a main idea sentence, the details that tell about that idea and a conclusion sentence. You don’t need strong conclusion sentences for every paragraph. Use your first and last sentences as transitions to close a topic and link it to the next.
  2. You need to write three paragraphs today unless you intend on writing a really long report. Once, in seventh grade, I wrote a report that was 27 pages long! (It did have some pictures and diagrams, though.)
  3. You might want to take a look at this again, elements of writing.
Day 174
  1. Write at least three more paragraphs. Make sure they are written in the right format. Also, think about how to transition from one paragraph to another. Remember transition words?
Day 175
  1. Write another three paragraphs today. Try and finish all of your topic paragraphs listed on your outline. Don’t forget to use your quote and to use it in quotations marks.
  2. Are you giving examples, facts and details in each paragraph to support your topic sentence? Read through these two short lists (FIRES and SARQS) for ideas on adding factual power to your paragraph.
  3. Don’t forget to use your quote and to use it in quotations marks. (Parents: I will have them label it’s source when they write their bibliography.)
Day 176
  1. Write your conclusion. The first sentence of your conclusion retells your “thesis” or main idea of your report. Don’t use the same exact sentence from the introduction! You need to add another sentence and then conclude with a final sentence. Your final sentence should give meaning to your report. Use the word “I” and tell what you think of the whole thing, why is it important.
  2. Take a look at this again, elements of writing.
Day 177
  1. Look at this editing guide. Judge your report. Where do you need to do some work to make it better?
  2. Make it better.
  3. Add similes, descriptions, more interesting word choices.
  4. Make sure you have long and short sentences. Think about how you practiced with long sentences.
Day 178
  1. Read your report out loud. Mark anywhere that sounded weird to you.
  2. Fix all the problems. Look at capitalization, commas and sentence structure.
  3. Now you are going to add something. Right after your quote you need to tell the reader where the quote is from. After the quote write the author’s last name and the page number like this. (author, number) If there is no page number, just list the author. If there is no author, put the webpage name. Tomorrow you are going to make a list of the resources you used and the reader will be able to use what you write by your quote to find what resource it was from. If the quote is something someone said, you need to have in your report who said it. The parenthesis is for where you found it, not who said it.
Day 179
  1. Today make sure your report is the way you like it. Add a title or a title page.
  2. Finally, you are going to add a bibliography, a list of all the resources you used to get your information.
  3. Make a page with the title, Bibliography.
  4. Write out your resources in an alphabetical list on that page. Here is bibliography help.
Day 180
  1. Publish and present!

You Did It, Congratulations!