English Language Arts


ELA courses study the art of language and communication specific to the English language. This means we will practice, survey, and examine a variety things within this subject matter: reading (fiction/nonfiction), writing (various types of informal writing/formal writing) as well as use best practices in verbal and nonverbal communication - listening and speaking.

AR Book Finder

Look up books in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks then email or speak to Ms. Karst about possibly getting it for you:

Find used books through Amazon

Steps to Reading Success

Elements of Plot

Elements of Plot - Template - Diagram with notes

Creative Book Projects for Grade 8

Creative Book Projects for Grades 9-11

New Creative Book Project: Cereal Box - link to specific instructions online

How to Create Your First Animoto Video

Biographical Cause-Effect / The "What" to "Who" Research Project for Senior Independent Reading

For step-by-step instructions click here on How to Create Your First Animoto Video YouTube video or click on one of the pictures above.


  • AUTHOR (and a little note, background and/or picture of your book’s author)
  • TITLE (picture of the book + speculation of thematic/intention of choice of that title)
  • Note whether it is FICTION or NON (perhaps note the genre: Romance, Sci-Fi, etc.)
  • A clear description of the SETTING of the novel (It’s best to have a few picture representations of the setting as you describe it.) It’s also best with regard to the SETTING to note as clearly as possible the:
    • Time
    • Place
    • Environment
  • CHARACTERS (introduce the main character/s and the antagonist/s or other important influences or influential characters
  • PLOT: You must present most of the basic story line or “happenings” in the book; however, DO NOT GIVE AWAY EVERYTHING! (pictures here would be good too)
  • IMPORTANT THEME or POINT: Tell your audience what this novel brought into perspective for you or what it meant to you.
  • CONFLICT: The major struggle or conflict should be mentioned. (But, you may have to limit the detail here so as to not give everything away to a future reader of this book!)
  • AT LEAST 3 QUESTIONS: Don’t tell us how your book ends - don’t show us the RESOLUTION. Instead, ask your audience at least three important or intriguing questions (to get them interested in finding out more about the book - or just checking out and reading it for themselves.)
  • TIME: The completed trailer should be a minimum of 1.5 minutes to a maximum of 3 minutes.
  • MUSIC: Please choose appropriate music. (I will discuss this more in class and show examples.)
  • PICTURES: Must have a minimum of 12 pictures. Specific ones should be dedicated to:
    • Author
    • Book
    • Setting/s (multiple pictures)
    • Character/s (multiple pictures)
    • Plot, Action, Conflict (multiple pictures)
    • Questions that are posed should each have an appropriate / intriguing picture as they are presented