Term 1



Short Stories
Priscilla and the Wimps by Richard Peck
Eleven by Sandra Cisneros
The Gift of the Magi by O Henry
The Last Leaf by O Henry
The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

A Mason-Dixon Memory by Clifton Davis
A Desk for My Daughter by Gardner McFall
Fool Proof by Mary Cook
Pictures of You by Guang-Shing Cheng
A few of the memoirs in: Guys Write for Guys Read by Jon Scieszka
(Various student memoirs)

The Outsiders:The_Outsiders.jpg Whole-class novel study.

We will begin this novel study during the week of September 21st. Most of our reading will be completed in class, however students who are absent from school will need to catch up on the reading during recess time if necessary.

Independent Reading
I love being able to choose books that interest me, and I know that you do too. There will be time for self-selected reading (SSR) in class every day. You should always have your SSR book in class, and you should remember to bring it home for your 30 minutes of reading homework per night. We will be posting book reviews on the books we read for SSR in an SSR discussion group.

Check out my blog for more on what I've been reading this summer!

Term 1

Writer's Notebook
We will be writing something every day. It may only be a paragraph or two, but we will make writing a habit in our daily classes.

A memoir is a piece that focuses on a memorable personal experience of the author. In other words, it is an important true story from the author's life experience. Our first writing assignment will be six-word memoirs which involve pairing six words with an image to tell about an event in our lives or something about ourselves. Then we will go on to write full length memoirs. Check out my memoir on Mrs. Deighton's Page.

We will be using some of the skills that we learned during our unit on memoir to create free verse memoir poems. All students will be asked to enter their poems into two poetry contests. In the past few years, many of our Nationview Intermediate students have had their poetry published in the poetry anthologies that these contests assemble using the best poetry received. Prizes are also awarded by the contest organizers to students whose poetry is chosen to represent the top 10 or so in their age group. Students will be bringing additional information home for parents to review.

Craft Elements
Sentence structures - We will practice using a variety of sentence structures.

Subordinate Conjuntions - AAAWWUBBIS anyone?
Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions: Purdue Owl

Commas after an introductory clause (more about subordinating conjunctions)
All About Commas: Purdue Owl

Prepositions and prepositional phrases
Prepositions: University of Ottawa

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Term 2


The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is a dystopian novel that we will be reading together as a class.

Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics

Utopia: A place, state, or condition that is ideally perfect in respect of politics,
laws, customs, and conditions.

Dystopia: A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and
the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic,
technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated
worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or
political system.

Characteristics of a Dystopian Society

Propaganda is used to control the citizens of society.

Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.

A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens of the society.

Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.

Citizens have a fear of the outside world.

Citizens live in a dehumanized state.

The natural world is banished and distrusted.

Citizens conform to uniform expectations. Individuality and dissent are bad.

The society is an illusion of a perfect utopian world.

Types of Dystopian Controls

Most dystopian works present a world in which oppressive societal control and the
illusion of a perfect society are maintained through one or more of the following
types of controls:

Corporate control: One or more large corporations control society through
products, advertising, and/or the media. Examples include Minority Report

and Running Man.

Bureaucratic control: Society is controlled by a mindless bureaucracy through
a tangle of red tape, relentless regulations, and incompetent government
officials. Examples in film include Brazil.

Technological control: Society is controlled by technology—through
computers, robots, and/or scientific means. Examples include The Matrix,

The Terminator, and I, Robot.

Philosophical/religious control: Society is controlled by philosophical or
religious ideology often enforced through a dictatorship or theocratic

The Dystopian Protagonist

often feels trapped and is struggling to escape.

questions the existing social and political systems.

believes or feels that something is terribly wrong with the society in which he
or she lives.

helps the audience recognizes the negative aspects of the dystopian world
through his or her perspective.

Term 3

This term we will be reading lots and lots of NONFICTION and we'll be writing some NONFICTION too! In fact, I hope that we can create a magazine right here on this wiki.

As part of our research, we'll have to have a look at a variety of online magazines, so check out the links below.

Online Magazine Links:

**Seventeen Magazine**



****Upfront Magazine****

****Odyssey: A Science Magazine****


Reading Links:

The language of fiction . . . .
The Elements of Fiction
Literary Terms: Thinkquest
Literary Devices
Figurative Language

What's on YOUR reading list?
Teen Ink
You Gotta Read: This Book Reviews by and for middle schoolers
Poetry 180
Favourite Poem Project

Writing Links:

How to Write an Op Ed piece: Duke University
Weird Al: Don't Download This Song (Satirical song)
Twilight Spoof/Satire
BBC Skillswise
Grammar Gorillas
Funbrain KidCentre
Rooting Out Words: Funbrain

Term 2
Writing - Mode: Persuasion



Writing Links:


Thesis Generator
Essay Writing

Youth Radio: To Sag or Not to Sag?

Youtube: Interactive Spelling Bee

====Vocabulary and Spelling


This is a photo from 'Brainypics'. Build you vocabulary with more Brainypics.

How to study for the tests:
  • Select 4 words on your word lists (students who are studying two prefixes should choose two words for each prefix)
  • Study correct spelling of the words you selected
  • Study the definitions of the words you selected
  • Prepare four sentences that show an understanding of the meaning of each word you selected
  • Make sure that your sentences are not the same as the ones given in the worksheets