Sunday, November 22, 2015

Trimester 1 Geo Review

1. authoritarian
2. communism
3. socialism
4. Bernie Sanders
5. Sahel
6. savanna
7. groundnut
8. gross domestic product
9. GDP per capita
10. Uluru
11. Ohio
12. California
13. Texas
14. Democratic Republic of Congo
15. physical feature
16. region
17. tertiary
18. map scale
19. Antarctica
20. Indian Ocean
21. Europe
22. French
23. China
24. refugee
25. animals
26. table of contents
27. index
28. climate
29. North Dakota
30 Missouri

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How cool is this? You can rent Big Pink!

Bob Dylan and the Band's Big Pink Available for Rent
If you ever find yourself in West Saugerties, New York (near Woodstock, of course), you can rent Big Pink, the house in which The Band lived and where they and Bob Dylan recorded The Basement Tapes and Music from Big Pink. The cost is $650/night for up to nine people. Sweet! The actual basement, however, is off limits. Here is the listing for the rental. (h/t Consequence of Sound)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Map of the Day: Population Cartogram

A cartogram is a map in which some thematic variable is substituted for area. This particular cartogram shows the sizes of the countries of the world relative to their populations.

You can zoom in anywhere on the map on the original version of the cartogram, which can be found here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"A Beautiful Game"

Girls learn to play soccer in a Syrian refugee camp. Includes some graphic images of the violence from the Syrian Civil War.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NOVA Arts and Makers Fair!

This Saturday! 10:00 a.m.--4 p.m.! Inaugural event! Super Fun!

NOVA's sixth grade Geography class will be hosting a table. We will be explaining the NOVA Prize and raising awareness for important global issues. Please stop by and say hi!

More info here!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Detective Homage Assignment

For this creative writing assignment, you will create an homage to one of the following writers of detective fiction:

·        Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)
·        Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, etc.)
·        Ellen Raskin (The Westing Game)
·        Peter Abrahams (Down the Rabbit Hole)
·        Jack D. Ferraiolo (The Big Splash)
·        Alane Ferguson (The Christopher Killer)

The various homages to Sherlock Holmes (Young Sherlock Holmes, Enola Holmes, etc.) are not eligible.

You may write your homage on the same book than you used for your Book Review or you can base your homage off of a different book (including one you might have read previously).

An homage is different than fan fiction. Fan fiction uses original characters and creates new scenarios and stories for them. An homage creates new characters but is written in the same style as the original.

You will create new characters, a new plot, and a new setting for your homage. Your homage should borrow elements from the original, but should not be a copy of the original. An homage to Holmes could include a detective of any gender or age with keen powers of deduction. An homage to Ellen Raskin could include an eccentric millionaire creating an entirely new puzzle to be solved by new pairs of heirs. An homage to Christie could find 10 unrelated people invited somewhere (not an island) for mysterious reasons.

An example of an homage in the popular culture is the TV detective Monk. Monk is an obsessive-compulsive detective living in San Francisco who doesn’t get along well with people but has a knack for solving crimes. The TV doctor House was also inspired by Holmes; he solved medical mysteries but had a prickly personality.

Your homage will consist of two things: a treatment and a story excerpt. The treatment is like an outline. The story excerpt is 4-10 pages from what may be a longer work. You do not have to write the entire story, though you can certainly work on it in Open Writing next year if you take this Enrichment class.

Homages can be humorous. However, homages are not parodies. You are creating a work in the style of the original work; you are not mocking that work.


1. Explain to whom (which author) and to what (which work) you will be creating your homage. Explain why you chose this author and work for your homage. At least one paragraph.

2. Detective character sketch: This is a written description, not a drawn sketch, though you may certainly include a drawn sketch if you’d like. Describe your detective. Include name, age, physical appearance, personality, etc. Explain what traits your detective shares with the character upon which he or she is based. Minimum two paragraphs. Note: You will have to change the nature of this section if you are creating an homage to And Then There Were None.

3. Setting: Where will your story take place (may be fictional or real place). Describe the actual locations (school, home, library, stadium, park, etc.) which will feature in the story. Minimum one paragraph.

4. Mystery: What is the mystery? Who are the suspects? What are the initial clues? How is this mystery similar to the original? Minimum three paragraphs.

5. Solution: How is the mystery solved? What clues are used by the detective to solve the case? Minimum two paragraphs.

6. Vocabulary: Find 6 vocabulary words that you think fit the style of your author. These should not be common words. The words can come from the original works. You can also use other sources to find words that you think would be appropriate. Please list the words and their definitions. You will later incorporate these words into your story excerpt.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mystery Novel Review

  • Word Count: 400-600.
  • Calibri, 1.5-line spacing, size 14
  • Do not indent paragraphs
  • Include header at top of page with title, author, page count, city of publication, publisher, price, and age range.
  • Include heading with name, date, period
Book Review should include:
  • novel opening
  • background on author
  • at least one quote
  • sense of what the book is about without giving away spoilers
  • analysis of quality of book
Karen Ray's review of The Giver in The New York Times (Oct. 31, 1993).

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Yunasa Summer Camps

On Thursday our Geography class was visited by Dr. Patty Gatto-Walden, who conducted a session on Giftedness. Dr. Patty talked about the summer camp she co-founded, called Yunasa. You can find a link to the camp's homepage here. There are actually two different camps: one is in Michigan and the other is in Colorado. The deadline for applying to the camps is April 5. I just wanted to provide the link on the chance any families might be interesting. Let me know if you have questions and I will do my best to help you find the answers.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weekend Reading

Many of you are interested in the health of our oceans. You can read a report from National Geographic here. Global Warming is having a huge impact on ocean life.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Breaking News

To be published September 22, 2015.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oly Old Time Festival!

The Olympia Old Time Music Festival is this weekend, February 12-15. Check out the schedule on their website here. Rizley, Ellie, and Hatcher's band will be playing Thursday evening. Check it out!

Library Open Mic!

The Olympia Timberland Library is hosting an evening event, and you're invited. This event is for teens only--no adults (or teachers) allowed! You're welcome to perform or just hang out. Should be great!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Middle East Quiz

Countries: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.

Blank Middle East map.

Practice on-line at Seterra.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Secret Identity Writing Assignment

I borrowed this writing prompt from the 826 Boston Writing Center:
Do you know someone who acts like they have a secret, or has an aura of mystery about them? Now imagine if that person were actually leading a double life! Write a piece where you discover that someone close to you is actually a spy, superhero, alien, or has any other secret identity you can think of.
  • Size 14 font, 1.5-line spacing
  • Title and heading
  • Story must include dialogue
  • Story must be at least 2 pages in length
At least 2 pages of writing due Thursday, January 8. Note: Story does not need to be finished by Jan. 8, but you do need to bring at least 2 typed pages to class that day. Plan ahead so that you have work printed prior to beginning of class.