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?
My writing in the beginning of the year was a lot worse than what I wrote at the end of the year. I think I learned mostly from experience, but I learned a lot about the different writing techniques and the different writing styles. In my opinion, over the course of this school year, my writing has improved.
2. What do you consider your writing strengths? Explain.
I think my writing strength is thinking of creative ideas because I never struggle at thinking of ideas for a writing assignment. The part that I enjoy the most in a writing assignment is finding a creative idea to start the essay and that is the part I think I do well.
3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain.
I think I need the skill of using better vocabulary words when I write and writing with proper grammar and spelling because I tend to make many mistakes with grammar and spelling. Many teachers have told me to use better vocabulary words when I write so I am going to try and use better vocabulary words in my writings.
4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.
I think the Perspective writing best captures my growth as a writer and thinker because it is the last writing assignment of the school year, and I think this shows the most improvements compared to my first writing assignment, the personal logo project.
The Hero's Journey Essay also captures my growth as a writer and thinker because I really enjoyed the book and I felt confident in what I wrote. This is the second to last assignment we did this year after reading the book, The Outsiders.
5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.
The piece of writing from this year that I am most proud of is the Walrus and the Carpenter Essay because I just feel like I did the best in that assignment and understood the topic well enough to express every detail well. The poem in my opinion was easy to understand especially after we watched the animated video so it was easier to write the Essay. Since we were analyzing about how the poet used figurative language, I was also able to learn about it as well.
Hero’s Journey Essay
There are many stories like Harry Potter or Star Wars that have many heroic moments in it. The book The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, is one of them. Ponyboy, the main character, over the course of the whole book, represents heroism in many ways. This book is an example of a monomyth because Ponyboy goes through the process of the Hero’s Journey.
Ponyboy experiences The Initiation when both Johnny and Dally dies, and when the Greasers and Socs have the skin rumble. Before the rumble, Ponyboy, Sodapop, and Darry talk about who is going to fight and the strategies to win the rumble. When Darry tells Ponyboy to not participate, Ponyboy says, “Let me fight, Darry, If it was blades or chains it’d be different. Nobody ever gets hurt in a skin rumble” (135). In the Hero’s Journey, the second part of The Initiation is when the hero experiences a low point where he or she must do battle with his or her greatest internal and external fear. His or her fear must die to make way for courage, enlightenment, and independence. Finally, the hero experiences a dramatic change in the way he or she views life and becomes the “one” with his new self. In The Outsiders, the Greasers have a skin rumble and Ponyboy battles with his greatest internal and external fear. In the beginning, Ponyboy’s view of the Socs were very different compared to his view after the rumble. Ponyboy first thought that Socs got whatever they want and his view was very limited but after going through so much, he is now more aware of who the Socs really are. And eventually he convinces his brother to let him fight in the rumble and overcomes his fear.
In conclusion, Ponyboy experiences the path of the Hero’s Journey and therefore this book falls into the category of monomyth. The second part of The Initiation, when Johnny and Dally died and when the Socs and the Greasers had a skin rumble, proves that this is an example of the Hero’s Journey. Although this book is fictional, The Outsiders takes place in the real world and similar events could happen. So some parts of the book, like when Ponyboy and Johnny stand up and save the little kids from the burning church, could be mimicked in the real world.
Walrus and the Carpenter Analysis
Anybody knows with common sense to not follow random strangers into places. In the poem, Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll, the characters experience this the hard way. The author emphasizes the theme of to think before acting by using personification and pathos.
First, Carroll uses personification to make the message universal and open to everybody, including children. When the Walrus tries to convince the oyster to come with him, he says, “O Oysters, come walk with us!”(31). The Walrus is trying to persuade the oysters and make them fall for his trap to eat them. This is an example of how Carroll uses personification to make this statement more interesting and understandable for little children. Instead of getting right to the point, he creates a story with people and animals to make the poem more fun and effective to children. This statement refers to the real-world because people may actually do the same thing as the Walrus for bad purposes.
Carroll also uses pathos to give the audience a warning that these things can happen for real.
When the Walrus and the Carpenter are preparing the feed on the oysters, the Walrus says, “I weep for you / I deeply sympathize”(97-98). When he says this, he is trying to lure the oysters in and is secretly sorting them out by size for him to eat them. He is using pathos to gradually convince the oysters that nothing is happening. Pathos is when language is used to affect the audience's emotional response. By using pathos, the Walrus makes the oysters only focus on him instead of what he is actually trying to do.
In conclusion, by using figurative language and rhetoric, Lewis Carroll makes emphasis on the theme to think before acting. To make the poem more universal and interesting to everybody, including children, Carroll uses personification and pathos. Through this, children get the theme of the poem and understand to think before acting.