Henry E. Huntington Middle School

Classes / Homework

ELA 8 Honors (Period 6)

Mrs. Robbin Nordsten

Course Description

Recent Posts

WD Quiz February 2

Chapters 5 & 6
There will not be a separate test for 3 & 4.  There may be a couple in 5 & 6 that relate to those lessons though.


If you missed my class today, here is your homework:
Read pages 40 - 44 in Study Sync
Answer the following questions:
1) Alfons says, “It was horrible, but at the same time very exciting to us kids.” Which phrases or sentences in the passage creates images that help you understand why Alfons and Helmut were excited by what they witnessed?
2) The passage says that man Jews, including Helen’s father, were “stubbornly optimistic about the future.” Why were they so sure things would get better for them? Use details from the passage to support your thinking.
3) In paragraph 10, the author provides some statistics about Kirstallnacht. 20,000 Jews arrested, 36 killed, 36 seriously injured. How do these stats help you visualize the impact o Kristallnacht in its victims?
HH, 14 point font, 1.5 spacing, Arial font
When you use a quote, please delineate whether you are using a quote dump (QD) or an embedded quote (E) in the margin of your paper, once you print it.
This will be due Wednesday at the beginning of class.


Hi guys,
Make-ups for the WD Quiz is Wednesday at snack NOT Tuesday at snack.  So sorry. I am in meetings all day.

Homework for November 8, 2017

If you missed class due to Safe School Ambassadors, or an absence, here is the homework.  You are to read and annotate "The Bells" in your Study Sync book.  It can be found on page 73.  Please do questions 1, 2, & 5 on page 77.
Huntington heading
Times New Roman
12 point font
1.5 spacing when you get to body of essay
Title is 14 point font, bolded, and underlined
Title i "The Bells" - Questions 1, 2, & 5

Homework for Thursday 11/9/17

If you have left for an early Veteran's Day weekend, or if you are out sick, here is your homework:
In your Study Sync book, please read page 96 - "the Silver Box"
Do Think questions 1, 2, & 3 (NOTE: period 6 do 1-4)
Print out your typed copy and turn in on Monday, November 13th
  • 12 point font
  • Times New Roman
  • 1.5 spacing
  • Huntington heading
  • for your parentheticals, just use page number
Have a great 3-day weekend!

Ten Days In A Madhouse Essay

Hi all,
I want to clarify in case you didn't write this down:
The research is due Monday
The essay is something that we will be writing in class for 2 to 3 days.  DO NOT write the essay at home!
Have a good weekend!

Alfred Hitchcock & Elements of Suspense

                                                            Name: _________________________

                                                            Period: ______


This quarter we’ve been reading stories in Study Sync that contain elements of suspense. Suspense can be created by the setting / atmosphere, the plot, the characters, and their motives, and as Alfred Hitchcock said, by “letting the audience play God” – providing them information not known to the characters in a movie. This is one of the main ways Hitchcock creates dramatic tension in his 1948 thriller The Birds.


Assignment: Having watched the movie The Birds, note the dramatic elements Hitchcock used to create suspense. NOTE: If you didn’t watch the movie,




























  1. ______________________________________________________________________



  1. ______________________________________________________________________




Homework for Monday, October 16, 2017

Hi all,
Tonight you will fill in the homework sheet pertaining to the movie, The Birds.
Please note each dramatic element that Hitchcock used in the movie to fulfill those elements of "Suspense" that we have been studying all quarter?
If you were not able to see the movie, due to the PG-13 rating, please go online, and find articles about how Hitchcock used Suspense in The Birds.
For those of you in the assembly, I've attached the homework sheet for your print out.


Dear parents,
My Protocol on recommendations for private schools for the upcoming 2018/19 year are as follows:
1) The parent must email me to request a letter of recommendation.    
2)There will be a MAXIMUM of 3 letters of recommendation for each student, so please submit your top 3 choices.
3) All requests for a letter of recommendation must be received by 12:30pm on December 22, 2017. I will NOT accept any requests after that date and time.
Thank you for your consideration.

Suspense Essay

Here are the fine-tuning points you may have forgotten.  Make sure you proof for these before printing your final copy:
  1. Creative Title (14 point font, bold, underline
  2. HH is SINGLE space
  3. Spell out the date
  4. First letter of date and first letter of name align
  5. Label each sentence & bold the word (example: [Hook], [CD1], [CM1], [CM2], [CD2], [CM1], [CM2], [CD3], [CM1], [CM2], [Concl]
  6. Highlight the sentences  as follows: Hook - just underline, TS is pink, CD's are blue, CM's are yellow, Concl is green   NOTE: PRINT OUT FIRST, THEN HIGHLIGHT your paper (do not highlight on the computer)                                                                         
  7. Change your spacing to single space before printing
  8. Your key should be typed at the bottom of the page (example:  TS = (highlight a line of pink), etc.
  9. No 'I', 'me', 'us', 'they', etc.
  10. CM's cannot have more than 2 sentences, so make EVERY WORD COUNT!  :)
Please put finishing touches on your essay, proof for above, and then print for turn-in on Monday.
Next week we will begin Edgar Allan Poe! 

Tips for Annotations

Mrs. Nordsten

English 8

Why Annotate?


To be an “active reader” you should have questions in your mind. As you read, you should be looking for the answers to these questions. You should have a pencil in hand so that you can “annotate” your text. This means you “take notes” IN your textbook (or on sticky notes you paste in your textbook). Annotating helps you to stay focused and involved with your textbook. If you come across something that you don’t understand or that you need to ask your teacher about, you’ll be able to quickly make note of it, and then go on with your reading. It allows your to fully enter a text.


The types of techniques that you can use to annotate text are:

  • Underline important terms
  • Circle definitions and meanings
  • Write key words and definitions in the margin
  • Signal where important information can be found with key words or symbols in the margin
  • Write short summaries in the margin at the end of sub-units
  • Write the questions in the margin next to the section where the answer is found
  • Indicate steps in a process by using numbers in the margin.



Student journals, reading material, and chart paper



Students responds to the following prompt in their journals:


Do you write in books? Why or why not? Do you write in some kinds of books but not others? What kinds of things do you write? Have you found annotating books to be useful to you at all?


Whip around the room to have students share their answers. Are there any differences in how you write notes on, say, a novel or poem as opposed to a history textbook chapter? What are the uses of book annotations?


Lead a class brainstorm of methods that students have learned to annotate texts. Have they used Post-It notes? Have they written notes directly on the lines and in their margins? Have they underlined or highlighted? Have they kept a reading journal? Have they recorded their annotation methods on a piece of chart paper. If they are not mentioned by students, add highlighting and underlining to the list.


Next, ask students why and how annotation is important and useful. What kinds of notes do they write? Question? Comments and observations? Shorthand of the content for exam review? Bits from class lecture and discussion? Connection to other material? Doodles? Record their ideas on the chart paper as well.


Explain that they will now work in groups to further investigate annotation techniques.


Divide the lass into six small groups and give each group one of the following to investigate and practice, along with the related link. After they have mastered the technique, this group will be responsible for teaching the skill to the class. You might give the whole group the same text to work with for practice, like a chapter from current class reading.


Group 1: Highlighting and Annotating

The Open University: Highlighting and Annotating and Open Loops: Twelve Ways to Mark Up a Book


Group 2: Writing Notes in the Margin (Marginalia)

Bucks County Community College: Notes in the Margin and Example of Annotated Text


Group 3: Taking Reading Notes

Associated Content: Book Note Taking Skills:How to Take Reading Notes From Textbooks and Other Written Resources


Group 4: Keeping a Reading Journal

George Mason University Writing Center: Keeping a Reading Journal and TeacherVision: Double-Entry Journals


Group 5: Comparing Methods

Pennington Publishing Blog: How Margin Notes are Better than the Yellow Highlighter


Group 6: Using Digital Tools for Annotating

Digital Inspiration: The Best Tools for Annotating Web Pages, Big Think: Tools for School: Digital Document Annotation on an iPad, Touch or Laptop and New York Times Open blog: Emphasis Update and Source


Tell each group to read about and discuss each technique to make sure that all group members understand it, and then practice it briefly, in preparation to explain it to the whole class. They should also speculate on the best uses and purposes for their specific technique.


When groups are ready, go around the room and ask the first four groups to demonstrate their techniques to the class. Then have the fourth and fifth groups share their finds as well.


Process the Activity by discussing the following questions:

  • What did you notice while practicing these methods that might help you in some way as a student and reader?
  • How does interacting with a text help make meaning and increase retention?
  • Which style(s) of annotation are you now most likely to use based on your personal preference and learning style?



Annotation Objectives Review:

  • Examine and analyze text closely, critically, and carefully.
  • Make personal, meaningful connection with text.
  • Clearly communicate your idea about a piece of text through writing.



Homework for October 5, 2017

Print out the following pages.  The one entitled "Paragraph Structure" is a review sheet. The "Argumentative Essay Prompt" is your assignment for tonight. You should get your bullet points down to support your stance and then we will finish in class tomorrow.


Argumentative Essay Prompt

In this unit you have read stories from some of the masters of suspense, including Stephen King and Lucille Fletcher. In addition, you were able to experience a nonfiction text as Walter Lord interviews survivors of the Titanic and their trip on a doomed ocean liner.

Of course, not everyone agrees on the elements that make up a suspenseful story. Write an argumentative essay that explains whether you think a fictional story or a nonfiction account of an actual event forms the basis for a better suspense story.

To support your ideas include textual evidence from at least two selections.



  • 12 point font
  • Times New Roman
  • Huntington heading (be CAREFUL now)
  • 1.5 spacing
  • 1 page MAXIMUM!


Format (Don’t forget R.A.C.E.)

  • Hook
  • Topic sentence
  • Concrete Detail (CD1)
  •             Commentary (CM)
  •             Commentary (CM)
  • Concrete Detail (CD1)
  •             Commentary (CM)
  •             Commentary (CM)
  • Concrete Detail (CD1)
  •             Commentary (CM)
  •             Commentary (CM)
  • Concluding sentence (CS)




Paragraph Structure

This week we have focused on how to write a strong paragraph using Concrete Detail and Commentary in a 1:2 ratio. Here is a review sheet for you to keep as we begin writing.

Topic sentence/statement (TS)

This sentence should state the main point of the paragraph and be straight to the point

Example 1: Cinderella lives a miserable life.

Example 2: Global warming is a world problem and needs to be stopped.

Concrete detail (CD)

This sentence is the "what" is happening. It should be either facts, examples, illustrations, evidence, support, plot references, paraphrases, citations, quotations, plot summary, etc. It should be a concrete detail and should start with 'for example' or a different transition.

Example 1: For example, she does all the cooking, cleaning, and sewing.

Example 2: If it is not stopped, statistics show that the world will be drastically hurt.

Commentary (CM)

There are one or two commentary sentences in each chunk. They contain no facts, rather, comments from the paragraph writer about the fact presented in the CD. This sentence contains analysis, interpretation, character feelings, opinions, inference, insight, reasons, or color commentator. It is important that the commentary explain how the concrete detail helps prove the writer's point (the TS).

Example 1:

CM1: This shows that she feels taken advantage of by her selfish stepmother and stepsisters.

CM2: This is important because her horrible life gives her a present, her fairy godmother.

Example 2:

CM1: Global warming should be man's greatest worry.

CM2: This is because the Earth can become negatively and drastically affected world wide.

General practice is that commentary sentences often start with a transition such as the following:

  • This (also) shows that
  • This is (important) because
  • In addition
  • Furthermore,
  • Therefore,
  • Also
  • For example,

Concluding sentence / closing sentence (CS)

The Concluding Sentence (CS) is the closing sentence that wraps up the TS and sums up the paragraph. It closes up the thoughts and gives insight to the next paragraph. Emotional or connotative words are preferred here usually beginning with "As a result" or another concluding sentence.

Example 1: As a result, she becomes a princess.

Example 2: Therefore, global warming is top priority and cannot be ignored.

Absences for today (Make-up work)

Today you are to do the five Focus Questions for "Violence in the Movies" (page 33).
12 point font (14 title)
Single Space
Times New Roman
Title: Violence in the Movies Focus Questions
Submit to me online by 11:00 tonight