Language Arts Assignment - Week of June 1 - 5

Check out our Teams channel for a short assignment and final message from Mr. Trout.  Have a great summer!

Language Arts Assignment - Week of June 1 - 5


Hello Gryff 7!


I hope you enjoyed your time off from language arts last week as you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend.  If you’re still working on the essay from our last assignment, please feel free to send them to me to have it applied to your language arts grade.

Since we are quickly approaching the end of the fourth quarter (and the end of the year!), I want to give you the chance this week to make up or redo any assignment that you might not have turned in or didn’t earn the grade you were hoping for.  You’ll find in the files tabs on the general page of our Teams channel all the graded class assignments for quarters one, two, and three.

Class assessments are not posted, but all the classwork and practice work we completed as we prepared for those assessments are posted.  Since quarter four is a an average of quarters one, two, and three, improving your grades for these assignments can go a long way in improving your quarter four grade.  You can email me a picture of your completed worksheet or you can complete by the assignment by writing the answers in a word document.  Just make sure I know what assignment you are completing.

Lastly, if you have completed all of your assignments or are happy with the grades you received on them, you can play the Quizziz game posted below.  Just copy the link and enter the game code.  You can play the game as many times as you wish, and any score with a 80% score or higher will receive a grade boost for your quarter with the lowest average.  The game reviews vocabulary, along with some fun trivia questions about U.S. cities (you know I had to!).

Quizziz Link:

Quizziz Code: 9640329


Good Luck!

Language Arts Assignment - Week of May 18 - 22

Hello again, Gryff 7!

Last week we read the poem When This Is Over.  I know I really enjoyed that poem because of the hope it gave all of us, and I hope you enjoyed it as well.  I also loved reading your poems, and I hope you had a blast writing them. 

This week we are going to take a break from the dreaded coronavirus, but we are keep our focus on writing.  While last week you were able to be a little creative, this week I want you to be a little critical and introspective.  We are going to read an article titled Should You Be Able to Choose the Books You Read in School?  article will provide you with both sides of the argument, each written by a different author.  Obviously, the author will be presenting his/her opinion but also presenting some facts to support that opinion.

For our assignment this week, I want you to answer the questions below after you have read the article.  I have included our lesson on fact/opinion for you to review if needed.  Then I want you to write an opinion essay on how you feel about the topic.  The requirements for the essay are listed below.

This week’s optional activity will help improve the writing midterm essay we worked on at the end of quarter two.  So, all the efforts you make here will be reflected on that grade.  Also, since we are off next Monday for Memorial Day, you will have two weeks to work on this assignment.   Please feel free to send it to me early so I can provide you with some feedback for you to revise.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

The article and fact/opinion PowerPoint can be found under the Class Files and Documents tab in a folder titled Week of May 18-22

Article Questions:

  1. What is a fact presented in the article that supports the opinion that students SHOULD be allowed to choose their own books to read in school?
  2. What is a fact presented in the article that supports the opinion that students SHOULD NOT be allowed to choose their own books to read in school?
  3. Select one of the authors featured in the article.  Do you think they are a good source of information to speak about the article’s topic?  Explain.

Essay Requirements:

  • At least 3 paragraphs long
  • Clearly state your opinion in the opening paragraph
  • Research your own facts to support your opinion
  • Include your source of information in your paragraphs
  • If you email me your essay before Friday, May 22, I will send you feedback for revisions.  Otherwise, email me your finished essay by Friday, May 29

Language Arts Assignments - Week of May 11-15

Welcome back, Gryff 7!

Last week we read the short story Aftershocks about a family struggling to get back to normal after an earthquake hit Japan in 2011.  I hope you enjoyed the story and were able to find a little solace in its message. No matter how bad things may seem or how much our live have changed, there is hope.  We will return to ‘normal’ life.

After reading that story, many of responded with ways that you are coping with being quarantined, and I really enjoyed reading your responses.  Now I am excited to learn what you plan on doing once we get back to normal.

This week we’re going to focus on poetry.  I know that we have read several poems in class, but I want you to think about what makes a poem a poem.  For your language art’s lesson, you will read a great poem about what the poet wants to do once the quarantine ends called When This Is Over. Then I want you to examine what makes a poem a poem before write your own about what YOU will do once this is all over.

I look forward to reading your poems!


Part I - Read the poem When This Is Over by Jennifer Dignan


Part II – Watch the video What Makes a Poem…a Poem? and then respond to the questions below.

  1. What are three characteristics of a poem described in the video?
  2. What characteristic of the video apply to the poem When This Is Over?Explain


Part III – Write your own poem using the following requirements

  1. Title your poem the same title as Jennifer Dignan’s poem: When This Is Over
  2. Describe at least three things you are going to do when this is over.Be specific and use the poem as an example
  3. Write at least 20 lines long
  4. Use figurative language and descriptive language
  5. Be creative!


Write you answers to the questions and your poem in a word document.  Then mail it to me at

Language Arts Assignment for May 4-8

Hey guys!

For this week’s optional language arts assignment, I found a great short story from February’s Scholastic Scope issue that reminded me of our current situation.  The short story is called Aftershock, and it’s about a young girl coming to terms with her ‘new’ life after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.  The protagonist Katie is trying to come to terms with how the disaster altered her life: thousands dead, entire towns destroyed, and dangerous radiation leaking from damaged power plants.  I was amazed at how her struggles are so similar to the challenges we’re all facing in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

Interestingly, a short nonfiction article was paired with the story titled When Bad Things Happen: How Do We Over Come Them?  What a strange coincidence that this was publish right before we left school for the last time this year because something bad happened: a global pandemic.

So, for this week’s assignment, there is a short worksheet to complete before and after reading the story and article.  The worksheet is a pdf document, so you can complete in one of two ways.  If you want, you can print it out, complete it with a pencil, and then scan it or send me a picture of it.  Another option is to just write your responses in an email to me.  Just make sure to number them so I know which answers are for which questions. 

Remember, this work is optional, but if you do complete it, it will improve your grade for quarters 1, 2, or 3.

I look forward to hearing from you guys.  Have a great week!

Click on the Links below to access the story and worksheet:

Aftershock Short Story & Nonfiction Article

Practice Worksheet

Assignments for April 27th - May 1st

Hello Gryffindor Team! This week will be focused on reviewing Narrative Conflict. If you want to refresh your memory on conflict, here’s the handout we used during that unit. Conflict Handout Document Our reading and activity for the week will be all about conflict, and I think you’ll enjoy it!

Create Your Own Adventure

Have you read a Choose Your Own Adenture novel? The stories describe a scenario then let you decide what action to take. If you make the wrong choice the story might come to a bad ending! This week we’re going to write our own miniature Choose Your Own Adventure story.

First, every story needs a conflict, so decide what type of Narrative Conflict you want to write about. Next, think up a scenario and write a short scene describing the conflict. Finally, just like a Choose Your Own Adventure, describe two different ways the conflict could be resolved. Perhaps one choice leads to success, and another to doom!

To complete this activity, fill out this Word Document. It has an example scenario to give you an idea of what you will need to write.

You can complete this activity in Microsoft Teams or by emailing the completed document to Mr. Trout.

Reading of the Week

The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs

This week’s reading is a classic horror short story, The Monkey’s Paw. You can either read the full text online here: The Monkey's Paw Website. Or download a version that has been edited so that it is easier for modern readers to understand: The Monkey's Paw PDF

You can also watch a short film adaption on YouTube! The Monkey's Paw Short Film. There are many movie adaptions, but this one is the most accurate (and spooky).

When you have finished reading the story, respond to the following prompts in your writing journal or in the Microsoft Teams Class Discussions:

  1. What is the main type of conflict in this story? Explain your answer.
  2. How did Mrs. White try to resolve the conflict? How about Mr. White? How were their choices different?
  3. What is Mr. White's third wish, and why do you think the author left it to the reader to figure it out?

Class Assignment for April 20-24

For this week’s optional language arts assignment, there is a very interesting article of the week and a challenge for you.  First read the article titled Crazy Contraption about Rube Goldberg machines.  What is a Rube Goldberg machine you ask?  Well, as you will find out after reading, they are overly complicated machines made of household items and designed to complete a simple task.  You can find on YouTube many different examples of Rube Goldberg machines, but check out my video on the one I made over spring break and then read my paragraph describing my machine.  Then I challenge you to build or design you own Rube Goldberg and email me your video or drawing.  Be sure to check out the instructions below.

Article of the Week:

Crazy Contraption (Rube Goldberg article).pdf

Mr. Trout's Rube Goldberg Machine Video:

Mr. Trout's Paragraph for Rube Goldberg Machine:

Instructions for designing your Rube Goldberg machine

  1. Design a Rube Goldberg machine with at least 5 different parts
  2. Draw or build your Rube Goldberg machine
  3. Write a paragraph using either cause/effect or process organizational pattern to describe your machine.  Review your notes for organizational patterns.  They can be found under the Class Files and Documents tab.
  4.  Send your video/drawing and paragraph to Mr. Trout at

Assignments for April 14th - 17th

Hello Gryffindor 7! I hope you had a relaxing Spring Break. This week we are going to focus on retaking tests to improve your grades. Below you will find the Naiku codes for all the Unit Tests you can retake. You can find study material in the 'Class Files and Documents' tab.

There is also an optional unit test for Author's Viewpoint, Purpose, and Source, and a short story and article for you to read.

Optional Unit Test for Author's Viewpoint, Purpose, and Source

This unit test is optional for all students. If you score 75% or above, an A will be added to the grade book to help boost your overall class grade. If you score below a 75%, no grade will be added and it will not affect your overall class grade.

Naiku Codes for Author's Viewpoint, Purpose, and Source Unit Test

  • Core 1: g672k
  • Core 2: gt29a
  • Core 3: ugrha
  • Core 4: zt5nz

Naiku Codes for Unit Test Retakes

These retakes are for the two unit tests we took in the third quarter. The better of your two scores will be the one shown in the grade book. These retakes are optional, but they are a good opportunity to improve your language arts class grade.

Unit Test Retake - Plot, Conflict, Cause/Effect

  • Core 1: e1qxe
  • Core 2: e40yc
  • Core 3: 56oo7
  • Core 4: zt5ue

Unit Test Retake - Fact/Opinion

  • Core 1: n2y2n
  • Core 2: gt29a
  • Core 3: v479r
  • Core 4: a2pez

Incomplete Assignments

If you have any incomplete assignments, take this opportunity to finish and turn them in to raise your grade. All 3rd quarter assignments can be found in the 'Quarter 3 Graded Assignments' folder in the 'Class Files and Documents' tab. If you are not sure what to do for your assignment, or which assignments you need to turn in, ask Mr. Trout or Ms. Porter through email or Microsoft Teams!

Text of the Week

What We Saw by Sarah McCarry
Are We Alone? by Mackenzie Carro

This week's reading is a short fictional story about a boy who makes an incredible discovery on another planet. It is also paired with an informational article about our real-life search for alien life.

Read the story by following this link:

The class password is woodbridge1. Once you're finished reading, use your writing journal or Microsoft Teams to respond to the writing prompt:

  • Do you think there could be alien life on other planets? Why or why not? If you did meet an alien, what would you say to them?

Assignments for March 30th - April 3rd

Hello Gryffindor 7! This is Ms. Porter, your student teacher. This week we're going to try to begin using Microsoft Teams, so if you can access Teams you should check out the 'Gryffindor ELA 7' group. All of the assignments for this week are ready to go, and I think Teams will make online learning a lot easier.

If you don't have easy access to Teams, don't worry! All of the instructions and materials for learning will still be available here. It's very important to Mr. Trout and I that all of our students have opportunities to learn during this school closure.

There a few more assignments this week, but I recommend that students pace themselves and do one or two things a day. As before, this work is optional.

Join Your Quizziz Class

On Tuesday I will be posting a Quizziz game about Author's Purpose, Viewpoint, Bias, and Source. In order to join the game, each student needs to join the Quizziz class. You will need to click the link below and sign up for Quizziz to join the class. 

Article of the Week

Should We Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth? by Thomas Quine

While you are reading this article, consider the author's purpose for writing this article. Is he trying to persuade, inform, or entertain? Does he seem to be biased or unbiased toward the subject? What are some facts and opinions he presents in the article?

Read the article by following this link:

The class password is woodbridge1. Once you're finished reading, use your writing journal to respond to the following questions:

​1. What is the author's purpose? Explain your answer.
2. Is the author biased or unbiased? Explain your answer.
3. Give an example of fact and opinion in the article.

Hatchet Discussion Questions

After you have finished reading Hatchet, look at the PowerPoint titled 'Hatchet Discussion'. The PowerPoint is also available under 'Class File and Documents' and in Microsoft Teams. When you have opened it, play the slide show from the beginning. You will hear me explain the assignment and read the questions.

You may respond to the discussion questions in your writing journal or in the Class Discussions channel in Teams. You can choose which questions to respond to, and I encourage you to discuss your answers with your classmates! I hope you enjoyed the novel, and I'm sure you all have interesting thoughts to share about it. I look forward to reading your responses!

Download the PowerPoint here, or under 'Class File and Documents':
Hatchet Discussion.pptx

If you are unable to access the PowerPoint, the discussion questions are also written below.

1. Brian once had an English teacher who encouraged his students to “get motivated.” He told them, “You are your most valuable asset. Don’t forget that. You are the best thing you have.” How does this message give Brian courage when he is alone in the wilderness? Describe how Brian learns to depend on his own ingenuity. [Chapter 5]

2. Discuss how Brain uses information that he has learned from movies and specials on public television to understand the animals in the wild. How does this knowledge contribute to his survival? What does Brian mean when he says that his knowledge is “tough hope”? [Chapter 13, page 127.]

3. Brian is at times overcome with fear. Discuss how fear is both helpful and harmful to Brian. How does he learn to deal with fear? At what point does he learn not to fear the animals, but to share the woods with them?

4. In spite of Brian’s bad luck, he does feel that he has some good luck. Describe his first good luck moment. What is his ultimate good luck? Discuss how Brian’s experiences in the wilderness might change the way he deals with bad luck in the future.

Hatchet Bonus Quiz

A bonus quiz on Hatchet will be posted on Thursday. It will contain 15 multiple-choice questions and 1 written response. If you do not have access to Teams, this quiz will be emailed to you as a Word Document. You may fill out the quiz, and then email the document back to Mr. Trout. If you have access to Teams you will find the quiz under the Assignments tab on Thursday morning.

You will have plenty of time to take the quiz, so make sure you only begin when you have finished reading the book and are ready to answer the questions.

Have a great week!

Article of the Week (Mar. 23-28)

The Truth About Binge-Watching 
by Mackenzie Carro

This week's article is from Scholastic Scope.  When we left school, we were focusing on author's viewpoint, and the author of this article expresses an interesting viewpoint on binge-watching television.  

Read the article by following this link:

Our classroom password is woodbridge1.  Once you're finished reading, use your writing journal to respond to the following:

1. What is the author's viewpoint expressed in the article?

2. What is a piece of text evidence that supports you answer to question 1?

3. Write a paragraph responding to the following: Do you agree with the author's viewpoint?  Explain why or why not.

Happy reading!