English Lessons

Information Please: Anne Pegram, Mark Twain

Electronic Encyclopedia: Research Activity

Along with traditional reference sources, students can now access relevant, up-to-date information via electronic references. Using groups of related persons, places and things students will research factual information, with the eventual goal of presenting findings to the class using presentation software.

The Diary of Anne Frank: Barbara Adams, Herndon MS

ClarisWorks: Writing Activity

Students learn about the Holocaust in seventh grade, but are then as eighth-graders are given the opportunity to experience it on a more personal level as they read the play The Diary of Anne Frank . Acting the play out in class provides them an almost firsthand knowledge of Anne.They are then better able to identify with Anne as a person, and therefore allow the Holocaust experience to almost come alive. It is at this point that it is valuable for them to write on the subject in order to further synthesize their feelings and reactions.

Biography Newsletters: Judith Cohn, Mark Twain MS

ClarisWorks and Scanner (optional)

After reading a biography, students will create a newsletter report about the subject of the biography. The report will include five paragraphs and a list of interesting additional facts.

Original Children's Books: Kelli Larrick, Walt Whitman MS

ClarisWorks Creating a Slide Show

After learning the elements of a short story and reading/critiquing several children's books and authors, students will write, revise, and publish an original children's book which incorporates the elements of a short story.

Mythology News Trogan Times: Linda Joseph, Whitman MS


This newspaper is designed as a culminating activity for a unit in which we read an abridged text of The Iliad.

Black History Month Newsletter:

Linda Dinsmore and Georgia Eckelt, Rocky Run MS (ClarisWorks)

This newsletter is designed to familiarize eighth grade students with the process of creating all of the elements of a newsletter. This activity includes background information, grade sheets, directions for creating a newsletter and a sample newsletter.

Birthday Buddy: Lisa Fiegel, Mark Twain MS

ClarisWorks, Internet and Groliers Encyclopedia

Students will explore an Internet web site and/or the Groliers Encyclopedia to investigate a famous person who shares their birthday. Students will write a five paragraph comparison and contrast essay on their findings. Finally, students will use the writing process through the ClarisWorks word processing.

Figurative Language: Susan Clark, Herndon MS

ClarisWorks and Slide Show

Many students have a mental block when it comes to poetry. By analyzing words, phrases and levels of meaning, the students will put the poetic interpretations back together to understand the poem.

Sell It Yourself: Steven Leckie, Herndon MS

ClarisWorks and Slide Show

After classroom instruction investigating advertising techniques, students will use ClarisWorks to create magazine ads for products or services they create.

Biography Research: Susan Owensby, Mark Twain MS

ClarisWorks and Internet

Students will read a biography and one or two other sources related to the same person focusing on what this person has discovered, invented, or achieved. Included will be the actions and decisions made by the person to accomplish such importance.