Home - 7th Grade English/LA

"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, 
but how many can get through to you." Mortimer Adler

Hello and welcome to the 7th grade English/LA page for HCMS . 
               From time to time I will post notes & reminders here for you to help you to be successful.
     For starters, just in case you lost the paper copy I gave you, here's what I expect from a good Book Chat.  Start reading!
    Please make note of the quotation that is above.  You will never find the joy in reading if you treat reading like a sporting event. Take your time.  Savor the book.  Books have changed lives,  Books have started wars and ended them.  Books have taught people how to do things they never could have figured out on their own.( Books have made me a good cook!) It is clear that I love books and reading and I hope that you will discover that you too can travel this world and unknown worlds through books.  Really!
     Remember, you get to choose 9 of the questions below that work with the book you have read.  You do not have to answer all twenty.  Choose some questions that will work for the beginning, middle and end of the book.  (There are no one word responses.)
     As the year progresses, I will present you with some choices for alternatives to my Book Chats.  Together we can discuss whether you would like to choose one of these.  You may be allowed to choose one alternative after the first quarter. This will depend on your efforts with Book Chats and your meeting deadlines.
     Notice too, that I have included some tools for you to use before you hand in a Final Draft for a grade.  We will be working all year on trying to improve your proofreading skills.
     Why is proofreading so important?   Of course, in school your grade will suffer if a paper you turn in to a teacher has many careless errors.Grades are not everything, though. 
     In the real world too, your writing may make a first impression and you want that to be a good one.  For example, a potential employer reads the letter you wrote applying for a job and notices many errors.  She may decide to interview or hire someone else who is more precise in their writing.  Good and correct writing is an important skill.  Use the tools below and they will soon become automatic.
    Mrs. Burnham

(The content of this page is meant to support students in the event that they lose paper copies of projects.)


REMEMBER! Support your statements with examples from the book and connections to your life or other books. 

 How do I know? 

Go to the text. 

Give examples.  

Do not retell the whole story!


1.    What were your feelings after reading the opening chapter(s) of the book?  After reading half the book?  After finishing the whole book.

2.    Did this book make you laugh?  Cringe?  Smile?  Cheer?  Explode?  Explain your response.

3.    What connections are there between the book and real life and/or to other books you have read?  Explain your reaction.

4.    What are the best parts of the book?  Why?  What are the worst parts of the book?  Why?

5.    What was the author saying about life and living through this book?  Explain.

6.    What parts of the book seem most believable?  Why?  What parts seem unbelievable?  Why?

7.    Do you like the ending of the book?  Why or why not?  DO you think there is more to tell?  What do you think might happen next?

8.    What do you feel is the most important word in the book?  The most important passage?  The most important element (an event, a character, a feeling, a place, a decision)?  Why is it important?

9.    In what ways are you like any of the characters?  Explain.

Do any of the characters remind you of friends, family members, your classmates?  Explain.

10.                 What character would you like to be in this book?  Why?                         

11.                 What personality traits of this character would you like to acquire? Explain.

12.                 What would you & your favorite character talk about in your first conversation?

13.                 Do you think the title fits the book? Why?

14.                 What came as a surprise in the book?  Why?

15.                 What confuses you in the book?  Why?

16.                 Has the book helped you in any way?  Explain.

17.                 How have you changed after reading the book?  Explain.

18.                 How do you picture the author of this book?  Why do you picture him or her this way?

19.                 What questions would you like answered after reading this book?

20.                 Who should read this book?  Why?  Who should not read this book?  Why?  Be specific.


Here's some more do-it yourself help.

Middle School Writing Checklist:

  • TITLE : use one

  • Stick to first person or third person-avoid pronoun shifts and 2nd person “you”

  • Avoid one & two sentence paragraphs (except in dialogue)

  • Know the difference between “then” and “than”

    then= a time than=a comparison

  • Do not overuse “I believe” and “I think”


  • In an essay about a book, include the title and author

    (usually in the first paragraph)

  • Do not overuse “very,” “really,” “a lot,” or “interesting.”

  • Remember the difference in “its” and “it's”

    its = possession it's = it is

  • Put commas and periods inside the quotation marks: “Tell her you are sorry,” said the teacher.

  • Look for run-on sentences and comma splices and punctuate them correctly.

    Make the sentence into two sentences, add a semi-colon, or use a comma and a conjunction.

  • AGREEMENT: make sure the pronouns and verbs agree

  • Repeat key words from the thesis statement in the conclusion and in the body of an essay

These are the very least items I expect you to check for BEFORE you hand in your writing for a grade. Start practicing, please.

Mrs. Burnham




May 1, 2014, 8:09 AM
Aug 20, 2012, 10:59 AM
Dec 19, 2014, 10:30 AM
Dec 19, 2014, 9:10 AM
Aug 1, 2014, 11:15 AM
RULES for Teachers 1914-writing assignment.html
Aug 7, 2014, 9:40 AM