December 19

ELA 7-8 Finishing up Projects Before the Break

We’ve only got 2 classes left for 2022! We won’t begin anything new, but you’ll use these classes to confirm you’ve finished recent activities/projects we’ve done. You can use this as an opportunity to see if you can properly track your own completions through our Teams Assignment Tab.

Here is the list of recent-to-older activities to complete:

  1. Beginnings 9 (assigned to you today) See below for video.
  2. Five Frame Stories: Instructions at this blog link.
    1. Five images added into Google Slides – shared.
    2. Storyline developed to make a reasonable plot based on images selected. (Around 5 sentences each image.)
    3. Using Screenrecording tool WITH MICROPHONE to record a VIDEO of your Five Frame Story. Video uploaded to your Google Drive and then Shared with me to the gmail account. (The video is the final project.)
  3. 55 Word Stories: Instructions at this blog link. You should have a minimum of 4 completed. (1 from the 1st day trying & 3 from day 2)
  4. Beginnings 8 Free Write activity. (We did this Dec 6 – many people were missing that day.)
  5. Quill Sentence Combining Activities: Assigned/done also Dec 6th.
  6. “Thank You Ma’am” Flipgrid response to short story questions. We read this story together using Active Reading Cues (predictions, motivation of characters, summarize) and then you answered/discussed the questions attached in your handout. Most used Flipgrid to record responses and some submitted written responses in Google docs.

Are you keeping up with our work in ELA 7-8? You’ve had many months now to get used to the format for class and kinds of assignments we do.
If you’re not finding a way to be more aware of what’s unfinished, we should talk about strategies for that.

December 14

ELA 7-8 Five Frame Stories – creative writing/using technology

Stories include a Beginning, Middle, and End.

How interesting/challenging would it be if you were given Random Images and had to create a reasonable storyline that could tie all those images together as a story? We’ll try it and see!

Two Options: Create a Plausible Storyline (slightly serious) or make a Goofy/Comical Storyline

Supports for both options:

  1. Plausible, serious-ish storyline: you can use the websites linked below to find a series of photos that include the same setting, actors/models, so the storyline seems as if it all fits together smoothly, through the images you choose.
    1. Websites you can use to get 5 images in a series include:
      1. pixabay
      4. burst
  2. Goofy/comical-ish storyline: you can instead really test yourself by using a Random Image Generator to select 5 images for you that you have to then try developing a storyline to suit those images and tie a reasonable storyline altogether.
    1. lets you set how many images you want (5) and you can let it pick randomly or you can select a category (ex: animals). Then those are the 5 you go with for your story.
  3. You want to select 5 images for the Beginning-Middle-End parts of a story.
  4. You’ll add each image as a Slide in Google Slides.
  5. Then you’ll develop the Story details for the images to tie them together in a story.
  6. In the final step, you’ll audio record yourself Telling your story along with your images.

Image Examples: Series Serious (horizontal) and Random Goofy (vertical) 






Adrenalin (above) Red (below)

Category: ELA 7/8 | LEAVE A COMMENT
December 8

ELA 7 – 8 Writing Development: 55 word stories

Some writing practice for you today: Another Beginnings Writing Prompt and then a “55 word story” Challenge!

  1. Beginnings #8 Label it properly in your Google Doc and share to me.
  2. AND Written in the same Google Doc, try developing some Fifty-five Word Story Writing:
    It is a type of story writing that involves writing descriptively (activating the 5 senses) and including dialogue (speech exchanged between characters or internal dialogue). But there is a restricted pattern for sentence lengths you have to follow; the instructions are below.

    1. You can try using a Story Generator if you want.
    2. Write one story after another. See how it goes!

Instructions: from Write Moves text pgs 169-170Write Moves: A Creative Writing Guide and Anthology - Broadview Press

Dip your toe into story structure by writing a “55-word story”, a fiction narrative exactly ten sentences long.

  • The first sentence must have precisely 10 words, the second sentence nine words, the third sentence eight words, and so on until the final sentence is composed of a single word.
  • All acronyms and digits must be spelled out (“28” is “twenty-eight”, which
    counts as two words).
  • The 55-word story must include a setting, a character in conflict, and a resolution (or sense of “ending”).
  • To compose, write the numbers 10 through 1 (the number of words allowed in each sentence) down the left side of your page.
  • Draft the story first as a list of sentences then transcribe your draft into prose format (see the example below).
  • Notice that each time a new character speaks, there is a new line.

Here is a 55-word story called “Wax and Wane” written as an example:


“Say that again,” she whispered, tickling fingers through its hair. (10)
It’s not yours,” he whispered, knealing in the barn. (9)
“Tell me again, Duane,” she sobbed, eyes excited. (8)
“It’s not yours, not yours, Diane – Not! (7) The animal purred between them both. (6)
“Say it again,” she whispered. (5) Duane shifted his body. (4) The kitten slept. (3)
“It’s beautiful.” (2)
Mine!” (1)

Category: ELA 7/8 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 16

First Chapter Friday (ELA 7-8)

You’re going to pick a new novel today and just read the beginning. You may not continue or finish that novel, but you’ll read the beginnings of many novels and get a sense of what you like and don’t like in stories.

As you read, you can consider:

  • The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of the story told
  • What you find interesting or not interesting.
  • Whether you would continue reading that book if you could and if you’d recommend it to others.

You’ll create a video review of your First Chapter Friday to share your thoughts.

Some novels you can pick from to start include:

Less mature novels first — > to more mature novels at the end

Additional Books & Links: December 2022

  • Wolfish:
  • Moongarden: sci-fi book of a young girl in training on the Moon, after Earth’s plants turned toxic. She is training for the role her parents also play in their society, to be Number Whisperers, but she’s afraid she’s not skilled or capable. (58 pgs preview)
  • Illuminations: a young girl’s family are talented painters of magical illuminations, but in trying to help she releases a magical creature that wants to destroy her family.
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking: a young girl’s magic works only through bread dough, making gingerbread men come to life, but finds a body on her bakery floor (4 chapters preview)
  • Spy School – Book 1: young boy tries to stay safe from cyber-enemies
  • Amari and the Night Brothers (Book 1): young girl is a supernatural investigator
  • Amari and the Great Game (Book 2) young girl is a supernatural investigator
  • Refugee: follows the story of 3 characters fleeing persecution – a boy trying to flee Nazis, a cuban girl fleeing, etc.
  • When Stars are Scattered: graphic novel of a young Somolia boy and his brother growing up in a refugee camp in Kenya
  • Squire: graphic novel of a young girl who wants to become a Knight, so when war breaks out among her people, it’s her opportunity to earn citizenship by training in a competitive program. (35 pgs preview)
  • Elatsoe: a young girl lives in a version of America where there is magic, monsters, and ghosts of animals she can revive. (43 pages preview)
  • The Benefits of Being an Octopus: seventh grade girl helps look after her younger siblings while her mom works (26 pgs preview)
  • Wishtree: an old tree is the main character here who listens to the stories of the townspeople nearby and has animal friends it speaks with
  • Big Nate Series (Book 1): boy protagonist surviving 6th grade
  • Alone: 12 yr old girl plans a secret sleepover w best friends but wakes up to an abandoned town and no internet, power, etc. (43 pgs preview)
  • Ground Zero: fiction story of 9 yr old boy who went to work with his dad at the World Trade Center on the day 9-11 happened (29 pgs preview)
  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street: 5 siblings have to figure out how to save their home after their landlord doesn’t renew their lease

Physical Book Copies you could try: on the table (Ms Waldner’s library)

  • The Maze Runner (dystopian/sci-fi)
  • Scythe (dystopian/sci-fi)
  • The Hobbit
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (sci-fi)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • The Giver (dystopian/sci-fi)
  • The Hobbit



Category: ELA 7/8 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 6

ELA 7/8 Identity Self-Portraits

Writers can express ideas about their identity through poetry, like we’ve read. They can also do it visually, as we will try today.

For today’s activity, you will need:

  • your markers and/or pencil crayons
  • While you do the work, Ms Waldner will take your photo and Cartoon it for this activity.

In groups of 4-5, look at the four self-portraits at the following link and follow these steps:

  1. In general, discuss the things you notice in each self-portrait example.
  2. Create a list with examples of their identity they included through visuals.
    1. Example: musical notes or keys of a piano may represent their musical interest or talent
    2. Example: A Canadian flag likely represents their nationality.
  3. Write your list examples out on Post-its
  4. and see if you can create Categories to group them under.
  5. If you get stuck, you can check this List of Identity Categories

    Individually, then…

  6. Using the Categories of Identity, write/develop your own list of examples that represent you. Try to develop examples in each category.
    1. Example: Maybe you include a wheat sheaf to represent a farming background.
  7. I will give you a printed cartoon of your photo.
  8. On the LEFT, colour it as normal.
  9. On the RIGHT, draw and colour in your identity examples from your list.

If Done, scroll to the bottom for Step 3. 

After you’ve coloured in your image, then you have TWO OPTIONS for what to do with the blank perimeter on the page.

  1. Draw lines from the center out and create/draw words that you feel represent how you feel or what you think people think of you. (see image)
  2. Create horizontal or vertical lines and create/draw words that you feel represent how you feel or what you think people think of you. (see image)



Category: ELA 7/8 | LEAVE A COMMENT