Organizer #1 of 4 Writing Strategies Differentiation Due: Tuesday, 24 January 2012 All homework must be completed in its entirety



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For each question below, choose the answer that is the most effective substitute for each underlined part of the sentence. If no substitution is necessary, choose, “Leave as is.”

  1. While Sara visited with Sam: she finished her science project.

    1. with Sam. She finished

    2. with Sam; she finished

    3. with Sam, she finished

    4. Leave as is.

Which punctuation rule did you use to answer this question? (Use your grammar packet to help you!) ________________________________________________

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  1. Why should I wear a sweater?” grumbled the boy as his mother reminded him again of the cold weather.

    1. ‘Why should I wear a sweater’?

    2. “Why should I wear a sweater”

    3. “Why should I wear a sweater”?

    4. Leave as is.

Which punctuation rule did you use to answer this question? (Use your grammar packet to help you!)

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  1. The Alaskan rivers are clear and sparkling in summer however, they are frozen in winter.

    1. in summer, however, they are frozen in winter

    2. in summer; however, they are frozen in winter.

    3. summer: however they are frozen in winter.

    4. Leave as is.

Which punctuation rule did you use to answer this question? (Use your grammar packet to help you!)

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  1. When Tom arrived at school he was carrying all his books with him.

    1. arrived at school; he

    2. arrived, at school he

    3. arrived at school, he

    4. Leave as is.

Which punctuation rule did you use to answer this question? (Use your grammar packet to help you!)

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Assignment #6: Due Thursday, 19 January 2012

Point of View and Characterization


Standard: R3.9 – Explain how voice, persona, and the choice of a narrator affect characterization and the tone, plot and credibility of a text.

ESLR: Resourceful Learner – Take responsibility for learning

Rationale: In this lesson you will practice analyzing the point of view of a narrator and identifying techniques of characterization in passages.

Point of View


To properly understand passages you read, it’s important to analyze the point of view of the passage’s narrator. The point of view is the perspective of the character who tells the story. The narrator is NOT necessarily the author—don’t make this mistake. After you determine whose point of view the passage is told from, consider the unique insights and attitudes that person has. When this passage asks about POV, it asks for the insights and attitude, not the 1st, 3rd limited, or omniscient.

Characterization


Characters are the people who perform the actions in the story. In order to fully understand the passage, you should pay attention to characterization – the combination of details about the personality and motives of a person in the story.

Directions: Read the passages below and then answer the following questions about point of view.

Finding the Perfect Speaker


Graduation day for the senior class at Davis High School was coming up in three short months, and the student council had yet to decide on who the graduation speaker should be. As senior class president, I decided to call a meeting to discuss our options.

Jamaal was the first to offer a suggestion. “I think we should have the mayor speak,” he said. “He’s a great leader, and we could learn a lot from him.”

Teresa rolled her eyes. “Come on, Jamaal. The mayor is your uncle,” she said “That’s the only reason you’re suggesting that.”

Jamaal seemed a little embarrassed when Teresa said this. I didn’t want him to feel bad, so I interrupted the discussion and asked if anyone else had a suggestion.

Julia raised her hand. “I don’t have a specific speaker in mind, but I think it would be great if we get somebody who graduated from this school,” Julia said.

Many students agreed that this was a good idea. Even Jamaal agreed.

“Okay, then,” I said. “I have three people in mind: Morgan Smith, Doug O’Brien, and Danzy Farber. Does anybody have any more suggestions?”

A few students said that each speaker was a great choice, and nobody had another name to suggest.

Morgan Smith had graduated high school five years ago. While a senior in college, she published her first book, a memoir about her high school years. She wrote, produced, and promoted the book all by herself, and she sold quite a few copies.

It was even up for some awards. Smith had previously offered to return to the school at any time to run some workshops. Currently, she was spending most of her time writing her second book, so she had a flexible schedule. She was my personal choice because I wanted to become a writer too.

Doug O’Brien was the football team’s quarterback seven years ago. He had gone on to a great career at a local college and was now an assistant coach at the same college. Graduation came during the off-season, so it seemed like O’Brien would be available as well.

Danzy Farber, who had graduated from our high school twelve years earlier, was a molecular biologist who had recently become a full-time research fellow at Columbia University in New York. Her latest project was scheduled to begin the week before graduation. She probably had the busiest schedule of the three potential speakers.

Now it was time to vote. The results were close, but Morgan Smith received nine votes to seven over Doug O’Brien and Danzy Farber. I went to Principal Howard’s office and told her that we wanted Morgan Smith to be our graduation speaker.

“Good Choice, David,” Principal Howard said. “It will be great to catch up with her.”



  1. Who is the narrator of the story? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 1.

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  1. What is the narrator’s point of view regarding the choice of Morgan Smith? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 2.

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  1. Why did Teresa think Jamaal suggested that the mayor should be the speaker? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 3.

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  1. What is the most likely reason that Jamaal was embarrassed? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 4.

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  1. What is Principal Howard’s point of view about the choice of Morgan Smith? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 5.

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Directions: For the following questions, determine which character in the story would most likely say or think the following quotations.

  1. That’s not the only reason I’m suggesting the mayor!” _________________________________________________

  2. Thanks, Principal Howard. I’m really excited about Morgan Smith too.” ________________________________

  3. Jamaal, you did this last year too, when you suggested that your brother’s band should play at the junior prom.” _________________________________________________

  4. I’ve got some of my own writing I’d like to show Morgan Smith. I’m going to work hard to get all that together by graduation.” ______________________________________

  5. Does anybody have anything to add before we vote on the speaker?” _____________________________________

  6. I’m so flattered that you have asked me to be the speaker. I’d love to come back to Davis High School. Do you want me to bring copies of my book?” _________________________________________________

  7. I’m going to make my plane reservations tomorrow, Principal Howard. I can’t wait to see you and everybody else.” ____________________________________________

  8. This worked out well. I’m glad I called this meeting.” _________________________________________________

Directions: Read the biographical passage below and then answer the following questions about characterization

The Great Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini was a famous escape artist and magician. He was born in Budapest, Hungary, on March 24, 1874, although later in life he would claim to have been born in Appleton, Wisconsin. His real name was Ehrich Weiss, and he moved to America with his family when he was four years old.

Houdini’s father was a rabbi, and his family was poor. Houdini was sent to work at the age of eight, selling newspapers and shining shoes. When he was only thirteen years old, he left home to make his own way in the world. He moved to New York City and got a job that paid enough to bring his family to the city with him. Houdini was a great athlete, excelling especially in swimming and track.

It was in New York City that Houdini learned magic. He began with simple card tricks, calling himself “the king of Cards.” Soon Houdini picked up some trick in which he escaped from handcuffs. He even performed at the Chicago World’s Fair at Coney Island, where he met Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner, who would become his wife. They were married only two weeks after they met! Mrs. Houdini joined the acts as Houdini’s assistant, and they took their show on the road, traveling the country and perfecting Houdini’s tricks.

Over time Houdini’s escape act moved beyond mere handcuffs. As they traveled from town to town, Houdini and his wife drew crowds by challenging audiences to devise a restraint from which Houdini could not escape. It couldn’t be done. He escaped from handcuffs, leg irons, straight jackets, jail and prison cells, a mail pouch (without tearing the paper!), a giant football, an iron boiler, milk cans, coffins, and a water-torture cell. Even more amazing, no one could figure out how he managed his escapes, even though he performed them in full view of the audience, which was allowed to inspect the restraints when Houdini finished.

In 1899 a promoter named Martin Beck saw one of Houdini’s amazing performances. He urged Houdini to focus on a career as an escape artist. Houdini took his advice, and Beck booked Houdini for numerous shows. Soon Houdini was headlining venues all over the United States.

Houdini became a star in the United States and in Europe. He was wealthy enough to buy an entire building in Manhattan for his residence, and he took up the newly invented daredevil sport of aviation in his leisure time. But most of his time was spent training for his great escapes. He would practice holding his breath and maneuvering in tight spaces.

Houdini also starred in silent films to bring his magic to an even wider audience. In fact, Houdini is the only magician in history to star in five feature films. However, it is his work as an escape artist that most people remember now, many years after his death.

It has been rumored that Houdini died in a daring escape gone wrong, but that is a myth. In fact, he died of complications from a ruptured appendix, on October 31, 1926. He had popularized the art of magic and was beloved by people all over the world who enjoyed his performances and daring escapes.


  1. What is Harry Houdini best known for? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 14.

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  1. How did Houdini’s wife, Wilhelmina Beatrice Rahner, likely feel about her husband’s performances? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 15.

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  1. How did Houdini feel about the advice from Martin Beck? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 16.

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  1. How did Martin Beck likely feel about the first Houdini performance he saw? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 17.

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  1. Why did Houdini start working at such a young age? Write your answer below and underline the details in the passage that support your answer, marking them with the number 18.

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Assignment #7: Due Friday, 20 January 2012

Practice Writing Clearly



Standard: WS1.2 – Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, appropriate modifiers, and the active rather than the passive voice.

ESLR: Resourceful Learner – Take Responsibility for Learning

Rationale: On the CAHSEE you will be asked to (a) rephrase a sentence to make it more effective (usually using the active rather than the passive voice) and (b) to replace a word in a sentence with a more appropriate word. So remember, passive voice is something that happens to the subject, and active voice allows the subject to perform the action. This makes the sentence clearer and easier to understand. (Example of Passive Voice: The piano was played by the singer. Example of Active Voice: The singer played the piano.) An easy way to check for passive voice is to look for a “be” verb (is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been) + another verb. Remember also that all words in the sentence need to fit the tone and topic of the writing.

Directions: Carefully read the passages in order to correctly answer the questions. Find the correct answer using POE. Circle your answer and respond to any questions that follow according to the directions.
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