Grace Rowell

7th grade English Portfolio

My Reflection

1. At the start of the year I cam from sixth grade with the ideas of writing in the same form each time. I mean, when I was explaining something, for my first point I would always use "for example", and the second I would use "Additionally". Now, in seventh grade, writing is not as 'formed'. We write in a different wy each time. I think my writing has gotten better in the category of "writing freely".

2. I think one of my writing strengths is definitely adding a lot of detail to my writing. I think this because I've always seen myself as someone who adds so many descriptive words to their writing.

3. One skill that I want to develop for next year is the skill of backing up my writing with other details. It's like the details that support my paragraph. I haven't really done that that well this year, and for eighth grade, I really want to develop this skill more.

4. I think my Rwandan Genocide Article shows my growth as a writer. My partner and I wrote in a different way, like a newspaper article, which was a different and fun way to express facts. In this article, I think I was able to tackle the facts and come out with something more presented and formal.

5. This Holocaust Diary entry is the work I'm most proud of. It shows my use of details and dialogue. I'm proud of myself because in the beginning of the year, I had a murky idea of how to write dialogue, and now, that idea is much clearer. I also really liked how deep I really got into the story. For example, I wrote as if I were that person, but even more, like emotional details and thoughts.

Artifact #1

Thousands killed in Rwandan genocide



RWANDA, Africa - Between the months of April and June of 1994, ethnic tension and disagreements between the tribes the Tutsis and the Hutus boiled over and the mass-murder of many Tutsis began.

Early organizers of this appalling event included military leaders, business men, mayors, politicians, and police.

Through mass-murder, hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were killed by the Hutus. $750,000 worth of machetes were imported from China to Rwanda to aid in the slaughter. Many innocent civilians were killed not only by the main leaders of the genocide, but also by their own friends and neighbors.

People believe that the genocide was sparked by the death of the then-current Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana. A French judge blamed Paul Kagame, who was then a Tutsi rebel group leader for starting the rocket attack that killed Habyarimana.

Later, many campaigns and acts of violence began to spread, and they did not stop until about three months later.

Even though the death of the president did help in starting the genocide, there was always ethnic tension between Tutsis and the Hutus.

In 1916, when Belgian colonists arrived in Rwanda, they considered the Tutsis superior to the Hutus, and they provided the Tutsis with better jobs and education.

The two groups were further divided when Belgians required all Rwandans to wear identity cards that classified them by their ethnicity.

Eventually, resentment grew among the Hutus, which eventually led to many riots in 1956 in which 20,000 Tutsis were killed.

A Belgian supported the Hutu revolution in 1959 forced as many as 300,000 Tutsis to flee, decreasing their numbers in Rwanda even more. Then, in 1962, Belgium granted Rwanda independence.

(picture) Some Tutsis were able to take refuge in nearby villages

The Hutus took control, since the country is governed by a majority of Hutu political parties. This lead to discrimination and violence towards Tutsis, and, as estimated in the mid-1960s, half of the Tutsis were living outside of Rwanda, mostly in Burundi.

The Tutsis were treated as scapegoats by the Hutu extremists in the government, being blamed for causing problems such as Rwanda’s increasing economic, social, and political pressures.

On October 2, 1990, civil war broke out between the Tutsis and the Hutus. After three months of massacring and killing, the Rwandan genocide was officially declared to have ended with the signing of the Arusha Accords, an agreement to share power, in August of 1993.

Artifact #2

Dear Liliana,

Today has been so horrible. As we exited the trains, I squinted into the sunlight. The gruff voices of soldiers and officers directed the men and women apart to separate sides of the camp. I hobbled next to my sister in the direction of a shabby building, all made of wood. Some women were shuffling around with a dead look in their eyes.

“This will be your home until otherwise happens,” a rough voice said. It was a woman, probably in her thirties. She looked very harmful, so I backed away. Then, she said in a lower voice, “I’m sorry about the conditions of the bunks. But you’ll have to make do.” It was true. The wooden platforms, or “bunks” stretched across the room and down to the floor there were three “floors” that were each three to four feet apart. It looked very uncomfortable. The woman then called us to lunch.

Everyone moved towards the cafeteria in a type of slow motion. People walked slowly and got their food slowly. The food that was served was some watery soup with potato shavings. I was told it was lucky to get a piece of turnip. The meal was barely enough, just enough to keep us alive, but not enough for heavy work. A loud screech erupted from a crowd. Through an opening, I saw an elderly woman had fallen, and was dying. The crowd leaned down, presumably to help her, but came up with her bowl of soup and bread. I shook my head my anger.

The work was explained to us by a Nazi soldier. “You will wake and dress when told, then you will go to roll call. Afterwards, you will enjoy your morning meal. You will then walk two and a half miles to the nearest farm, where you will pick crops. You will have a break for lunch, then continue work until dinner.” As the soldier droned on, I continued in my thoughts. How many will die? When will these horrible actions discontinue? I guess I’d better get used to this boring and hard life. Bye for now. -Mariana

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