Happy October Break

Dear Parents and Students,

Happy October Break!

The Personal Narrative will be the first major summative assessment we will enter in Powerschool. We are in the process of developing this piece of writing in class. In addition, each student is encouraged to draft and revise his/her writing at home. A major summative assessment for Trimester I, this grade will be entered in the “Project Category;” this category equates to 50% of each student’s final grade. The Personal Narrative will be due after October Break.

Draft Due: October 10th
Final Draft Due: October 17th

Use the checklist below to see if you are on track. You should be able to answer YES to all of these questions before Monday. You will find Pre-writing and drafting support in Write Source Pgs. 96 – 106.

◊I can answer the 5 W and H questions (Who, what, when, where, why, and how) about my narrative
◊My narrative shows the lesson I learned
◊I have put the events in my narrative in order (chronological “time” order)
◊I have a clear beginning, middle and end
◊I have many sensory details in my narrative (what I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel)
◊I have dialogue that helps bring my characters to life
◊My Rough draft is complete

Reading / Accelerated Reader – Over the next few weeks, you will notice a grade in this category. Reading counts for 15% of a student’s overall grade. The score in Powerschool shows how far students have progressed towards their Accelerated Reading goal, and represents the percentage completed to date, not total number of points earned.

Students have individualized goals for reading this trimester. Students should have reached half of their goal by 9/30/11. Students will be responsible for the entire goal by 11/18/11. Please note that students have until November 16 to complete AR assignments and until November 18 to take quizzes.

Ancient Sparta – Challenge: Can you survive the Spartan education program?

Spartan boys had to complete a very tough program of education which molded them into good soldiers.

Challenge Task:

  • Click this link to see if you would make a good Spartan soldier. Your aim is to score as many points as you can, and so be elected into a mess and made a member of the Spartan army.

Was Sparta always so warlike?

‘Archaeological evidence now suggests that in the centuries before 500 BC, Sparta had been quite different. Like other Greek cities, Sparta had traded widely to get luxury items and had been home to poets and craftsmen producing beautiful objects.  So why had Sparta become so austere by the 5th century?’

  • Click here to read a story that gives one possible reason for this change.

Source: http://www.ancientgreece.co.uk/sparta/story/sto_set.html

Rites of Passage in Sparta


In Sparta, the agoge (a-go-jay) was a definite test that boys underwent before they could be considered men. In the comments, can you think of anything nowadays that definitively marks the transition from childhood to adulthood?

Explore the site below and gain more knowledge about life in Sparta. You never know what might pop up in class…
Agoge – Spartan Military Training

Here is the link to today’s powerpoint: The-Spartan-Agoge (Review this for Friday’s quiz)

A Spartan Dilemma

What was life like in Sparta? We will read the following passage as a class to get an idea…


The day had dawned with wonderful anticipation for Commander Alexandros, a leader of one thousand of his land’s best soldiers.  His young son of seven was to enter the Youth Military Academy, and his wife was expecting another child very soon, perhaps this very day.

Alexandros beamed with pride as his son was met by Academy officials at the gate.  Even though his son would never leave the Academy until the age of 20, the commander knew that to be a tough, disciplined soldier (perhaps an officer someday), academy life was required.  It was the only life Alexandros himself had known.  Academy had developed his skills as a leader of men in a land of bravery.  Everyone who was truly worthy aspired to become such a brave, loyal warrior.  Real men weren’t interested in the arts, or words of other men; real men ruled other men.

However, his send-off for his son was interrupted by a messenger’s panting announcement that his wife’s time had come.  Upon Commander Alexandros’ return home, the midwife passed him with eyes gazing downward.  A wailing in the next room alerted him to sharp emotional, not physical, pain.  His wife was sobbing uncontrollably.  He entered to find an apparently healthy baby boy comfortably cradled next to his mother.

Unfortunately, all was not as it seemed.  His wife removed the blanket to reveal the infant’s clubfoot.  The right foot was positioned slightly askew, pointing outwardly somewhat perpendicular to his leg.  This boy would never be able to march among the legions of soldiers.  Commander Alexandros now fully realized the source of his wife’s sadness.

Upon notification of the birth of his son, the council elders would visit and inspect the child for physical fitness.  This one would never pass inspection, and it would be killed.  Inferior physical specimens could not contribute to the society, so they had to be done away with.

Commander Alexandros quietly walked out of the room.  His joyous day soured.  Like any good soldier, he followed orders well.

In your table group, discuss the following questions and then post your individual responses to your blog. Make sure your responses are in complete sentences and refer to the question asked.

  1. Name any positive characteristics you can detect in Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
  2. Name any negative characteristics of Commander Alexandros. (Take turns listing characteristics.)
  3. From the story, can you infer, or figure out, any information about the land in which Commander Alexandros lives?
  4. What is your overall impression or feeling about the land in which he lives?  Would you want to live in such a place?

Ancient Greece Video Questions

Ancient Greece

Video focus questions


1. Copy these questions onto a word document.
2. Take notes in a different font color below the questions.
3. Answer all questions in a third color under your notes.
* Be sure to re-state the question in your answer. All responses should be well thought out and well-written.

  1. Explain the main differences between the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta.
  2. Describe the Athenian form of democracy and system of voting.
  3. What role did the Acropolis play in the life of Athens?
  4. Why did the Athenians name their city for the goddess Athena?
  5. Why are Greek vases valuable sources of information for archaeologists?
  6. What role did the Greek gods of Mt. Olympus play in the Greeks’ daily life?
  7. Why did ancient Greeks visit Delphi? What was the significance of the Oracle?
  8. Compare and contrast life for boys and girls in Athens with that of children in Sparta.
  9. What was the importance of athletics in ancient Greece? What were the ancient Greek Olympics like?
  10. How was Greek culture spread throughout the world?

Due: Tuesday, Sept. 20th

Open House Letter

Open House is Wednesday, September 14th. You are required to write a friendly letter to your parents that you will leave in your locker for them to find.

Heading – include Middle School Open House, September 14, 2011 (you do not need to write an address). Include a small photo of yourself at the top (you can use Photo Booth)

Greeting – must be included

Body – 3 paragraphs

  1. Welcome your parents and thank them for coming.
  2. Tell your parents what you like so far this year and what you look forward to in 7th grade. Also include the teachers you want your parents to be sure and visit. Don’t forget your specialist teachers in addition to your core teachers.
  3. Tell your parents what you think they can do to help you this year. Be honest and thoughtful.

Closing and Signature – must be included

Revise, Edit and Publish on Wednesday.

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