Lauren K

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?

At the beginning of the year, my writing was very sloppy and poor. I had to use writing templates to not struggle. Throughout the year, my writing progressively got much better. It flows nicely and has more emotion.

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

I think my writing strengths include emotion and adding information. I am good at using rhetoric. I often use grammar correctly along with spelling.

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

Next year, I would like to improve my rhetoric. I would like to develop the skill of going deep into my writing instead of staying on the surface.

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

I think The Walrus and the Carpenter essay captured my growth as a writer and a thinker in many ways.  It challenged me and made me work harder.

5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.  

I am most proud of my Holocaust letter because it flows nicely. It clearly shows what I've worked on all year.

Artifact #1

Thinking is an ability that everyone uses. Without thinking, horrible things will happen and it will lead to disasters in the future. In “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll, the poem shows an example of this reality. Lewis Carroll emphasizes the theme of do not make decisions before thinking it through by using personification and ethos.

First Carroll uses personification to make the poem appealing to children. When the Walrus is convincing the oysters to leave with him, he insists, “‘O oysters come and walk with us’ / The Walrus did beseech” (31-32). This shows uses of personification. Personification makes the story seem silly and interesting to little kids by giving human qualities to animals and objects. It is important that the poem is appealing to kids because the theme is directed to kids and as kids get older, they start to notice the theme. If the theme was just blurted out to them, they will not follow the theme and will probably forget about it. Without personification, the story would not be stimulating and children will not continue paying attention to the poem, so they will not discover the theme.

Carroll also uses ethos to give the Walrus credibility. When the eldest oyster thinks that the Walrus is not ethical and honest, the Walrus says, “‘A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, / Along the briny beach’” (33-34). It shows the Walrus using ethos and how he is credible. He is asking politely and not asking for much. His appearance and personality make him seem trustworthy. It is important that he is trustworthy because if he is not, the young oysters would not think the Walrus is trustworthy and they would not go. The oysters would be frightened instead of childish and naive.

In conclusion, Lewis Carroll uses personification and ethos to embrace the theme of do not make decisions before thinking it through in “‘The Walrus and the Carpenter.” His use of personification and ethos make the theme visible to the reader. It is important to think of the situation before it leads to disaster.

Artifact #2

Dear Frida,

At the ghetto, most of my family was killed in the few weeks there. I miss my mother and father, sisters and brothers. I just have my little sister, Elli, to comfort. We were sent to Poland. I remember the torturing, long train ride here. Grey walls enclosed us. There were shrieks of fear. I was hungry. We had to fight for food. All I managed scavenge for was some bread for Elli and I to share. I remember having a sharp pain in my leg, for I could barely sit in the small, crowded area. It felt almost as if a year passed by the time we entered Poland.

“Anna, I’m scared,” Elli stammered. I could see her take each longing breath, her eyes filled with fear.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be okay.” I tried to sound brave, but there was still fear in my voice. We quivered as we got off the train, “I know you’ll be.”

I hugged her, tears dripping down my face.

Her voice was soft. “I know that you will be brave. You can do anything.” I could barely hear her voice over the rush of people. “Anna,” she whispered, “I want you to know that I've never been afraid of dying.” She was confident, more than I could ever be “I’m afraid of losing the people I love.”

She was slowly breathing. Her eyes closed. Her heart stopped pumping. It was something I've never witnessed before. My own sister died in my arms.

The thing I will never forget about her is her piercing blue eyes.

Agony rushed through me. Relief also came following behind. Taking care of Elli in these conditions was just too challenging.

Ever since that event, I have been thinking of when I was younger. All the happy memories flooded through my body, but was soon washed away with tears. I remember one time when I was talking to my sisters. The conversation flowed nicely. It included stuff like what was going on at school and our friends. It somehow finished with goal setting. Some things were basic like going to Australia or Antarctica. Some were more extreme like jumping out of a plane, swimming with sharks, and hugging a polar bear. Others were fantasy-like such as flying around the world or breathing underwater. No matter what it was, I promised my sisters that I would do it with them. I’ve never broken a promise before. I also never expected my family to die for decades after. I never thought of death in general. My mother always told me that I was optimistic. I don’t think there ever was a time I wasn't--until today.

Your's truly,


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