Jan. 28, 2008 – 6 Traits Agenda

Humanities Agenda



Objective: To become better writers by exploring 6 different traits of writing, evaluating writing samples using rubrics, and working in groups for peer collaboration.


Leonardo da Vinci was the embodiment of the Renaissance ideal of the universal man, the first artist to attain complete mastery over all branches of art. He was a painter, sculptor, architect and engineer besides being a scholar in the natural sciences, medicine and philosophy.

Quick Write – If you could go back in time and ask da Vinci 3 questions, what would they be? Include why would you ask them. (1 paragraph to ½ page) – 10 min. (I will randomly choose 2 people to read their response to the class.

1. Leonardo Quick Write – 15 min.

2. Two students share their writing + discussion – 10 min.

3. Review the 6 Traits of Writing – 10 min.

4. Groupwork: (sound off #s 1-5)

  • Everyone get up and sit with your group – 2 min.
  • Choose a group spokesperson (group leader) – 2 min.
  • Pass out materials to all groups, distribute – 2 min.
  • READ Sample #1, discuss it, score it using the rubric given – 10 min.
  • Class discussion – was there consensus? Concerns? – 5 min.
  • READ and score Sample # 2 – 10 min.
  • Pass out Scored Work Samples – how did your group compare to the professionals? – 5 min.

5. Conclusions – compare each groups scores for each trait. Similar? Different? Why? What can we learn from this? – 5 min.


1. Score your Leonardo daVinci writing from the warmup using the 6 Traits Rubric. Keep the rubric. Revise your work and bring it to class on Wednesday.

2. Score your Feudal Narrative using the 6 Traits Rubric. Bring your writing and the rubric score to class on Wednesda for peer review.

Today’s Agenda as a Word Document

6 + 1 Traits of Writing

How to become great writer

We are going to explore the 6 Traits of writing and use them to become more powerful writers. Look at each of the Traits in detail. Your goal should be to always write at the highest level. We will learn how to score sample writing pieces in class, then you will be expected to score some of your own work and then other student’s work. In the process, you will learn how to discriminate between different levels of writing and make your own writing better.

Homework: Use the scoring guide/rubric to score your own Feudal Narrative. Bring a copy of your Feudal Narrative and the rubric to class on Wednesday.

6 Traits of Writing – click here

Writing Rubric – click here

You will find the NWREL website very useful for helping you understand the 6 traits and how to improve your writing in each area. Click Here

The Renaissance – 1300 s to 1600s in Europe

The Renaissance – 1300 s to 1600s in Europe

After watching the video, The History of the

Renaissance in class, answer the following focus

questions in complete sentences by re-stating

the question in your answer.

Due Date:    Wednesday , 1/23/08

changed to :  Thursday/Friday (HI, or J class)

Click here for the Renaissance Focus Questions


Click the World Studies book, or here, to go to the Prentice Hall website which has support information.  You can use this and other online resources to help you with the focus questions.

Dragon Keeper is here


As part of our ELO focus 7th grade students will be reading DragonKeeper. Time will be given in ELO to read and complete activities. All assignments will be graded and included in your Humanities grade.
For the next two weeks, January 18 – February 1, we are going to dedicate our entire time in ELO to the reading of the novel, Dragonkeeper, by Carole Wilkinson. We will be exploring the novel in detail and doing work that supports and builds understanding. If you don’t finish reading the book before the Chinese New Year holiday, you’ll be expected to finish reading it during Chinese New Year Holiday.

Packet Due Date has changed! 

All work for the novel will be collected on Friday, February 22nd.

Work Packet = 50 pt. HW grade

** There will be a culmination writing assignment worth a 50 pt. TEST grade. You will be given a prompt about the book and expected to write an in-class essay about it. This will also be in preparation for the ERB which will be coming up in the Spring.

Note: Carol Wilkinson will be visiting SAS Pudong after the Chinese New Year!

Amazing Eloquent Ballads

Everyday we work till we’re tired,

Even when we don’t get paid,

We don’t understand why we were hired,

Our jobs vary from cook to maid.

That stanza is from Helena’s Ballad From Peasant to King.  She does a fantastic job of capturing the life of peasants to kings in her descriptive and lyrical ballad.  She describes life in the feudal system and the interaction of each of the levels of the feudal pyramid, like when she says, “We lords are generous to all our knights, We do many jobs such as helping the king.”  Read the rest of her great ballad here.

Wow!  You have really blown me away with the quality of your ballads grade 7.  So many vivid descriptions on a variety of themes from the Middle Ages.  Major themes included the Plaque, Kings, Knights, the Feudal System, Catherine Called Birdy, and the Crusades.  Your creativity is fantastic.

  1. Next step is to post your Ballad on your Blog.  
  2. Then you need to read 3 of your classmate’s ballads and make 3 posts on your blog commenting on those ballads.  Use constructive criticism, but also include a quote from their ballad in your comment.  Create a link to each of the ballads so that readers of your blog can then link to the student’s blog who wrote the ballad.  You’ll increase the traffic to both of your sites that way.

Have fun and enjoy each other’s ballads.  Keep your comments positive and constructive.

Writing a ballad


“There are twelve months in all the year,

As I hear many men say,

But the merriest month in all the year

Is the merry month of May.”


As we continue to learn about the Middle Ages, we will learn about a popular form of poetry called the ballad. Ballads are lyrical poems. Many popular songs are written in this style.

Ballads tell of an event. They were often used to spread the news, provide entertainment, or create a “bigger than real life” story.


You will choose a topic from the Middle Ages to write your ballad about. You are not limited to the the choices given.


You will have some class time to work on your ballad. It will be graded as a 50 point TEST grade. Follow the rubric for scoring details.

Your finished, typed ballad is Due on Wednesday 1/16/08


Here is an example of a ballad, the subject is Robin Hood.


Ballad Writing Tips

  • Ballads often have verses of four lines
  • usually have a rhyming pattern: either abab or aabb or abcb (usually the easiest to rhyme)
  • repetition often found in ballads
    • entire stanzas can be repeated like a song’s chorus
    • lines can be repeated but each time a certain word is changed
    • a question and answer format can be built into a ballad: one stanza asks a questions and the next stanza answers the question
  • Ballads contain a lot of dialogue.
  • Action is often described in the first person
  • Two characters in the ballad can speak to each other on alternating lines


Ballad writing – step by step