Category Archives: Weekly Writing Assignments

Four Truths and A Lie

This is the new vision of the HWDSB:Image result for hwdsb tagline

So, let’s put our creativity to work…

Students are to create four interesting statements about themselves that are TRUE. But, aim for interesting truths, using interesting vocabulary and phrases. Think hard! Ask your parents for ideas, if necessary.

Then, create one LIE, but don’t make it preposterous. Embed the lie somewhere in the mix. Do not make it Number 5 every time.

Bad example:

  1. My car is green.
  2. My couch is beige.
  3. I have 3 TV’s.
  4. I have a dog.
  5. I have a phone.
    (Lie: I have FOUR TVs!!!!!)

Better example, based on yours truly:

  1. When I grew up on West Fifth Street, there was a horse farm beside us. Sometimes the farmer allowed me to feed apples to the horses. I was terrified and thrilled at the same time.
  2. My sister lives in Ottawa and works for the Canadian Coast Guard.
  3. My nostrils are somewhat misshapen. They are definitely not symmetrical.
  4. I have visited my sister in Tanzania, Africa.
  5. Both my parents were teachers. My mother taught Grade 1, and can still recite the “Phono Visual Chart” from memory. My father taught high school science, and his preferred course to teach was Grade 13 Physics.

That sample was written by me… and the lie is #4. Yes, one of my sisters lives in Tanzania, but I have not gone to visit her.

Think creatively about your own life. Everyone has quirky, interesting “truths” in their own personal history. Have fun! Intrigue us! Entertain us!

Students will be presenting their truths and lie to the class, and we will try to spot the lie.

Image result for truths and lies

WWA due Friday, October 21

Each student has been assigned a Canadian landmark to research. Your task this week is to read about the landmark (log this in your duotang if you like 🙂 )  and create one slide about it. Include WHERE it is, WHAT it is, and WHY it is significant.  Include an image. Copy the URL of the source you use. Aim to use reputable sources; remember that anyone can post on Wikipedia, so use that site with caution. Use your HWDSB Google Drive account so that you can work easily between home and school. Use the same log-in which you use at school.

When you are finished, share your Google slide with me. Don’t forget to give your slide a title (e.g. Golden Boy, Mrs. Read). I will collate them to make one big slideshow so that we can learn from each other.  Some keen students asked if they could have more than one slide. Yes! But, remember, I’d prefer one good slide than three “so-so” slides. Sometimes (well, often) less is more.

Here is a sample:


WWA on Technology, due Friday, October 7

Image result for tech in the classroom

There is a lot of debate on the merits of technology from an educational standpoint, and this was reflected on our graffiti wall last night. According to the Westview policy, students may have their devices for educational purposes in class. They are also allowed, however, to have devices during lunch and recess. This is what we need to debate…. Last year I came to a different arrangement with my class. They only used tech for educational purposes during the second break, and no tech went out at recess.

Students are to think this issue over, and create a policy for technology at lunch and recess that they think is beneficial to everyone’s well being. Have rationale (give reasons) to back up your opinion. Write a paragraph or two explaining your position.

And now a positive about technology–most students in 7A and 7B are producing better writing on a computer than by hand. Please feel free to use your HWDSB Google Drive account at home to write the assignment. Edit your work before you hand it in!

Here’s an interesting article about how two university professors are handling tech in their classrooms, for your information:


WWA #2 “Here’s a Great Gym Game!” Due Friday September 16

Image result for calvin and hobbes gym

The cartoon above represents how I felt about gym class when I was in middle school…, and now I teach middle school gym!  Thankfully, after one week of gym classes, it appears that most students in 7A and 7B love gym, and we want to keep that going.

This week`s writing assignment will allow kids to have direct involvement in planning for gym class. It is a piece of instructional writing: write the rules and equipment needed for a favourite gym game. It could be a favourite from your previous school, or you may google a new one from the internet–just remember to do the write up in your own words.

I will put the games on a clipboard, and throughout the year we will play them during gym class. Remember to think of Westview when planning the game–will it be played in the gym, or outside? What equipment is needed (the simpler, the better!) You might also wish to add diagrams to make the rules clear, if needed.

I’ll let you know during the year when we will play your game, and you can choose to teach the students if you would like a leadership opportunity. If you choose to have me teach the game, I will be reading your assignment aloud to the class, so be sure to write clear instructions!

Assignment #1 : Summer Vacation Explanation of the Duration of the Sunny Elation; Due Friday, September 12


It’s a time honoured tradition in schools around the globe—having students write about their summer vacations. You’ve had TWO MONTHS off (so have I, as many adults remind me throughout July and August….), so the least you could do is tell us about your adventures! How you do this is up to you. Perhaps you want to focus on one special trip and write a couple of paragraphs about it. Perhaps you are bursting with things to tell me and want to list them off. Please give brief descriptions, however. Adjectives are welcomed. Students will have the option to share their selection with the class on Friday.

When your assignment is complete, place it in the “IN BOX” in class–make sure you put it in the correct one (either 7A or 7B). You may write by hand, or use a computer. I would like a hard copy, though, so please print your selection. If you do not have a printer, make arrangements to use the printer at school. Additionally, you might choose to make a power point, website, or Prezi about your summer. Let me know, and be sure to share the file with me at


WWA due Friday, May 6

Please note: There are two priorities that will trump this assignment, and those students may need an extension on this assignment. LTS studying (well, cramming now), and finishing The Bully Boys are priorities!

We have been studying poetry for the month of April, as April is poetry month. We have read the poem by Robert Service entitled “The Cremation of Sam McGee”, which is good fun. Here’s a video that we watched in class:

And a link to the text.

This week’s assignment is to write a 3 stanza poem in the style of “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. In class we discussed which features should be included:

  1. Stanza rhyme at the end of each line, but lines also rhyme internally. So, the pattern is: AAB,  CCB, DDE,  FFE
    This is a tricky scheme, so even if the poem just follows an AABB pattern, it’s okay. The idea is to play with language. To help with rhyming, here is a link to a rhyme generator.
  2. Service uses strong imagery, description, personification, alliteration, simile, humour, archaic words… and uses all of this to tell a story. The challenge is to incorporate as many poetic devices as possible while ensuring that the poem makes sense!
  3. More links: archaic words                                                                                                            poetic devices


“WWA” due Thursday, April 28

No  writing assignment this week… I still need to finish reading and marking the wonderful short stories that students recently submitted.

And… given that the Gauss test is quickly approaching (May 11), the homework for this week is to do a practice test at home. Calculators are permitted. Students may write on the sheet. Underline important words so that you don’t miss key details! Try to time yourself and limit yourself to one hour, which is the limit when writing the actual test.

WWA due Thursday, April 21

Let’s Talk Science Questions: Link to Handbook

On May 3rd, five students from our class will be heading to McMaster University to compete in the Let’s Talk Science Challenge. They have been studying, and it’s helpful to have questions in order to quiz them. The material they are learning is interesting, and relevant, so the students NOT competing have the following assignment:

Skim through the handbook, and find an area that interests you. Read that section carefully and construct a question about it, as well as an answer. Give the page number so that we can double check if necessary. Generate five questions from five different areas of the handbook.

For example:

p.104 Q: What happens to the pH of the ocean as it absorbs more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?

A: The pH of the ocean decreases.

Then, next week we will use the questions to quiz the contestants. Questions may be sent to me electronically via Google Drive.