Saki M.

7th-Grade English Portfolio

My Portfolio Reflection

Portfolio Questions:
1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?

At the beginning of this year, I wrote down things that just came to my mind and didn't revise any of my work. I also got pretty bad scores on some of my writings and essays. Now, I have learned from my mistakes and I check over my essays before submitting them.

2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.

I would consider my punctuation and spelling to be my writing strength. I have found both of them very easy since elementary school. The CUPS section on the rubric has always been my highest score.

3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.

I think I need to work on being more creative in my writing. I never seem to have many descriptive details, and my lowest score on the rubric is the evidence section. My main goal for next year is to work on descriptive details.

4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.

The piece of writing that best captures my growth as a writer and thinker is the Giver Essay. This is because my rough draft and final draft had a significant difference. I did not put much effort in my rough draft, but in my final draft, I got a 90% and Mrs. Ellis liked it A LOT better.
5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.

The piece of writing that I am most proud of from this year is my Holocaust Letter. This is because I got a 97%. I also think I did a good job revising it.

Artifact #1

Saki Matsumoto



The world in The Giver by Lois Lowry is a dystopia because the community controls everyone.

People living in the community can not make any choices because decisions are taken away. When Lily asks for her comfort object because she can not sleep, her mother tells her “You’re close to being an Eight, and when you’re an Eight, your comfort object will be taken away” (19). This is an example of how the community takes away all of the decisions that people can make. Comfort objects are stuffed animals, but no one in the community knows that except for the Receiver. That is because the community got rid of animals a long time ago. Comfort objects are given to newchildren so they can sleep soundly. The community then takes the comfort object away from that child when they are an Eight to recycle to the new generation of newchildren without noticing that some children do not want to give up their confort object. The community does not know that there are such things as decisions; they live by the rules. Another example is when Jonas asks his mother about the previous Receiver before him. When he asked, she is a little sad, “Her, not his. It was a female. But we are never to speak the name, or use it again for a newchild.” (64). This is an example of how the community controls what you can do. The selection of the previous Receiver before Jonas had not been successful. The community felt like the name of the previous Receiver should not be used because she was not successful. They can change your freedom of choosing names and even what you can say. Since the people in the community have lived this way for their entire life, they do not try to complain about this. They simply do not know or care that they are being controlled.

In conclusion, Lois Lowry wants the reader of The Giver to think how almost everyone on Earth have an advantage of having independence. She also wants us to realize how hard it would be without independence and to see how hard it will be to try to step into Jonas’ shoes.

Artifact #2




Holocaust Pen-Pal Project - Final Assessment

Letter #4

Dear Jakob and Liesel,

My family and I are on a freight train right now. It smells so bad in here because the only sanitary facility here is a bucket, and everyone has used it so far. I am literally about to throw up any second now. Anyways, about a few hours ago I overheard a conversation between two Nazi soldiers that everyone in our ghetto was being sent to Auschwitz since there are not any extermination camps near us. I told my parents and siblings about what I overheard, and their faces were white.

We stuffed my chocolates, my mother’s piece of cloth she had found on the ground, and my brother’s button that he had found on the ground down my father’s pants. I have not eaten any of my chocolates yet, but I have a feeling I will have to at Auschwitz. Actually, I will probably die before eating them but I am just thinking on the bright side. Many people around me are getting sick, and I do not like it at all. The Nazis didn’t even provide us with food or water! I cannot believe these people, and how they managed to get elected to rule Germany.

A few minutes ago, my sister asked me, “Do you want to escape this freight train right now?” And of course I said “Yes”, but right before we were about to escape, we saw a young boy who had the same idea as us getting shot by some armed guards. My sister started crying and I escorted her back into our freight car. “Where have you been, and why is Clara crying?”, my mother asked us when we got back. “We tried to escape” Clara answered, still crying. My mother started freaking out. She yelled, “Don’t you ever try to do something like that ever again!” and our whole entire car was silent after that. My mother has always had the power to make everyone listen to her.

My sister is crying and my mother is scared, and it is all because of the Nazis. My father told us to stay strong and wait until the war is over. Doesn’t he understand I can’t? I would rather shoot myself right now in front of my family than let some lunatic Nazi shoot or gas me at Auschwitz. Right now, all I want is to make this situation get better soon, even though I know it never will.



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