MS English

Frightfully Good Writing

Who doesn’t like a good, old-fashioned scary story during Halloween season?  After studying classic tales of terror such as “The Tell-tale Heart” and “The Monkey’s Paw,” the students in English 8 set their sights on writing about a frightening story of their own to share. For over two weeks in late October, these budding young writers were busy honing their writing chops as they brainstormed and selected their “scariest moments” to develop personal narrative essays to share.

The writing process for this assignment began with the students reflecting on various events in their lives that were frightening to them for different reasons. After carefully considering their purpose and audience for this assignment, students chose one of their ideas for the subject of their narrative. After choosing their topic, students focused on the development of that idea by including elements particular to creating an entertaining reading experience for their audience. These elements included opening with an engaging lead to “grab” your attention, adding vivid verbs and specific imagery that appeals to the reader’s five senses to make the narrative “come alive” for the reader, and using clear and varied transition words and phrases so the story flows smoothly from one part to the next. Additionally, writers were to reflect upon the meaning of the experience for them and reveal how they learned an important lesson, grew in some way, or how they came to a new understanding about the world through their scary experiences.

Now, you might think–being Halloween time and all–that this was just sharing tales of witches, ghosts, and (of course) zombies, but you would be slightly mistaken. While there were a few of those, including a teacher’s example about a terrifying childhood encounter with “Bigfoot,” the collection of narratives was quite diverse, ranging from terrifying travel incidents to haunted hotel rooms to emergency room visits and horror movies that cause nightmares long after leaving the theater!

All in all, I hope the students enjoyed the “process” of writing that they followed as they worked on improving each draft of their paper on their way to making the final copy the very best it could be. They certainly did not disappoint. I’ll be looking forward to reading more from these thoughtful young authors in the near future.

HS Art

The SIS High School Art students have been busy creating fabulous work this semester.  Their work will be displayed for all to enjoy on April 17th and 18th during our student led conferences.  Here’s a sneak peak of some of things we have been working on.

Art I artists have just finished their color unit.  Color is one of the seven elements of art. Elements of art are used as the building blocks in all works of art.  For this unit, artists first practiced mixing acrylic paints to complete a color grid. The color grid mixing was a warm up activity to prepare the artists for their major project which was a “fun” color wheel.  Using only the primary colors, artists created secondary and tertiary colors. They also used white to create tints and black to create shades in each section of the color wheel. Art 1 artists are now beginning their drawing unit which focuses on line, form, and shape. 

Art II artists are currently finishing their ceramic unit.  This is the first year in high school that artists work with the throwing wheel.  Wheel work is very difficult and takes skill to be successful. The first step in wheel throwing is getting the clay properly centered before creating.  If the clay is not centered properly the project will be lopsided and will easily collapse during production. All of the Art II students successfully threw a bowl, dish, or vase.  After letting their pieces dry to become leather hard the artists trimmed and sanded their pieces before firing and glazing. 

AP Studio Art 2D Design artists are working on various projects to complete their breadth section of their art portfolio.  The breadth section must show a wide range of skills, while focusing on composition and elements/principles of design. Artists have worked with perspective, color, composition, landscapes, and photography so far this year.  Their realistic hand drawings completed in graphite are currently displayed in the display case outside of the art rooms. 

Scenery and Set Design students are currently working in collaboration with the drama department creating backdrops, sets, and props for the upcoming grade 6 and grade 8B performances which will take place on Friday, December 7th in the Little Theater. Under the guidance of Ms. Leadbetter and Ms. Wiest design students brainstormed possible backdrop ideas, voted, and are in the process of drawing the backdrop on large boards.  The backdrops will then be painted and used for the theater performances. Set design students will also be helping with set changes, lighting, and sound for the performances. 


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