7th-Grade English Portfolio
My Portfolio Reflection
1. How would you describe your writing at the beginning of the year and how would you describe it now?
I think that my writing ability has changed greatly. I have became more descriptive and have increased my ability to elaborate. Currently, I would describe my writing ability as pretty good. I think that my ability has partially increased because our use of computers in Mrs. Ellis' class. When using a computer, I write better because it is so much easier to type and I don't have to think about my hand and erasing so much. I have also learned a lot of new writing concepts, like rhetoric, punctuating quotations, and a lot more.
2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.
My strength is probably nonfiction writing. I'm good at this because I can do research and then present the information in an interesting way. If I like the topic I'm writing about, I can be good at that topic.
3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.
I want to develop my ability to write about topics that I don't really like. There will be a limit to the types of assignments that I like, so that is why I really would like to develop my ability to write about topics that I don't really like.
4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.
I have chosen my The Giver essay. This captures my growth because it is an in-depth essay with a couple great quotations. I also thought this was my best in terms of growth because of the quality of writing. I think this is some of my best writing all year.
5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.
I'm most proud of my Holocaust letter. I like this because it is historical fiction. I got to use the facts I knew to create an awesome diary entry. I was also very descriptive and put lots of time into it.
The world in The Giver by Lois Lowry is a dystopia because people do not get to control their lives.
In the community, people do not get to choose how they want to live, but the Elders do have control over their lives. When Jonas starts to receive memories about the “real” world and compares it to his, he says, “Before Sameness. Before climate control”(85). This is the moment where he realizes the major differences of his world and the "old" world. Sameness is the idea of everything being the same, from the weather to clothes. It is bad that they do not get to choose because it makes everyone the same. No diversity, no individuality, no freedom. People do not have the option to be unique. The community is dehumanized because they do not have any basic human rights, like freedom of marriage or freedom to choose.
When Jonas talks about his new ultra-controlled schedule as the Receiver of Memory, he thinks to himself, “What would happen to friendships?” (69). Jonas suddenly realizes that his old social life has left him. This reveals that Jonas does not get free time anymore. Jonas is dehumanized because he loses the right to choose. He should be able to choose his own schedule to an extent. He should be able to control his schedule because he is going to commit to the same schedule for a long time.
Jonas definitely makes the right choice of running away from his dystopian community because his community is so harsh to him.
Thankfully, I survived this horrible war. I have been stuck in the labor part of Auschwitz for so long. Today I am finally happy for the first time in months.
Yesterday, we got liberated! There was so much craziness! You could hear lots of shouts and gunfire along with the sounds of artillery and tanks. The tanks remind me of those machine shops we had to work in sometimes during this war.
A German shouted, “We are under attack, take cover! Ready the guns!”
I realized that the same officer who shouted also had been running the gassing chambers. That officer killed my friend John! I really hope that officer gets tried and found guilty for causing all this havoc. I looked over the fence and saw people running with a well-known flag. They were the Soviets. Then, I heard some German officers running, and as soon as they picked up their guns to fire, they fell over.
When they fell over, they screamed, “Aaahhh!” It was really gross seeing the officer’s dead body. It was so hideous, and there was blood everywhere!
They finally are getting a piece of their own medicine. To not get killed, I hid in an outhouse. It smelled horrible! All the pipes were seriously corroded. Also, the toilet looked extremely revolting. But at least I wasn’t dead. When the Soviets came, they carried lots of food. They evenly distributed rations to everyone. I didn’t get as much as I thought I would, but for the first time in a while, I had a decent amount of food.
Fortunately, my parents survived too. We will probably move to the United States because we don’t feel safe here. I can tell that the Nazis and the SS are still around everywhere, especially the lower ranks. For now, we are living in Krakow, Poland. We are living in a small apartment on the third floor of a brick building. On the first floor, there is a silversmith shop. That is where my dad works. My mom has been staying home lately because she is finalizing our moving plans. We are listening to the news radio daily; we found our radio at a garage sale because we can’t afford a brand new one. I have heard about the Nuremberg trials for the 24 main officers. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t know how they got the trials up and running so quickly.
I really hope you and your family survived too. Where will you be moving after the war? Maybe we can meet if you move near me.