Abby C.
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?

In the beginning of the year, my writing was boring and not descriptive. It was even hard for me to read my writing. Now, I like to read my own writing and it is very detailed and descriptive and I am more proud of my writing.

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

One of the things that I think is a strength is that I talk to my reader. I try really hard to make the reader feel into my writing instead of just reading it. I also try to make the reader think they are in a conversation. Additionally, I feel that I use descriptive writing now, I improved on this a lot since the beginning of the year.

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

Next year, I will need to continue talking to my readers so they are more interested and feel like they are in the paper. I also need to keep improving on details if I want to continue putting the reader in my writing. Another thing that I need to do next year is use better transitions so my writing does not seem repetitive.

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

I think that my Holocaust letter highlights my growth the most.  I learned to include interesting information and facts into fun writing! I also had to think about making the letter interesting and realistic while still educating the reader on the Holocaust.

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

I am most proud of my Holocaust letters. I know that there is only my favorite one down below, but we wrote many for the unit. I am most proud of it because the Holocaust was fun to learn about and even more enjoyable to pretend we were in this time in history. It was also entertaining to build a life of a Holocaust survivor.  

Artifact #1

Dear Daniel and Alexandra,

As I arrived at the camp there was endless commotion. I felt like a complete stranger walking in. When I arrived, I was immediately “welcomed” by guards. Or should I say taken into a room to get my hair shaved off. I looked around, nobody had hair. Then I looked down, there was hair everywhere. When my hair was cut I could not help but cry. My whole identity was practically gone. Not to mention I had the same ugly clothes as everyone else. To make things even worse, everything I had brought to remind me of my family was taken away from me.

“I don’t understand why this is happening to me. I am an outcast and no one can tell me otherwise. And I still don’t know what we did wrong to deserve this cruelty and mistreatment. I don’t even feel like a normal person anymore, I feel like a slave. Thinking about it, I sort of am. All I can do is think of my family. Even if I don’t survive this war, I hope they will stay alive and put up a big fight.”

Later that night I received my job. I would be sorting out the belongings of everyone in the camp. I went to bed a bit later and could not sleep at all. I missed my mom. And siblings. There were no stars in the sky to look up to, but rather ugly concrete ceilings.

The next morning I woke up to banging pots.. Not a nice way to wake up. All of the prisoners were put into specific lines for roll call. I was ordered to the thirtieth row. When my name was called, I was silent. Too terrified to speak.

Then they yelled my name for the second time, “Where is Mier!?” I presented myself to them. After roll call, there was a huge line at the bathroom. I wanted to see what they looked like, not that I had high expectations or anything. Hours later I actually got in! It was awful in there. The “toilets” were concrete with holes cut out in them. And there was no privacy! Everyone could see each other, I didn’t like that at all.

Next was lunch, yummy, cold, watery soup, yay. Just kidding, nooooooo! One of the worst things about this food, is that I’m used to my dads bakery (which is amazing!), and camp food really cannot compare to my standards and what I’m used to. As I finished my meal, all I could see were thin, starving people sitting in these horrid chairs. Then I realized that hunger was an enormous problem here in Belzec.

After lunch/meal time was working period. Before I got to my job factory, I had to walk four whole kilometers just to get to the stupid factory.

As I was sorting through all of the Belzec campers valuables, the people in the pictures became a part of me. I still cannot believe how many people are dying, this whole thing is completely unfair. What did I even do to deserve this mistreatment. All these photos made me think of was my family. I don’t know how I am even starting to get through this without them. I wonder if they are even okay. I hope that they are not going to be “evacuated” soon, even though they probably want to die. I hope you guys are doing okay. We can get through this war together. Stay strong.



Artifact #2

PALO ALTO, California -- On April 5th, 1992, Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia. This major separation caused huge tension, not only between the two countries, but the differing religions as well. Before Bosnia separated from Yugoslavia, they had 44% Bosnian muslims, 31% Serbs, and 17% croats. After the big break, the serbs ruled in Bosnia. They were the “master race”.

On the morning of July 11th, 1995, Bosnian-serb armies fled into the Bosnian government and held the government territory some men armed, some not. Other serb forces arrived at the UN base and started a awful night filled with rape, murder, robbery and forced displacement. They did this to those living by the UN compound no matter what race. The next day, Busses started appearing in a big city named Potocari to take women and their children. Some busses stopped several times at “serb sites” to be thrown off the bus for rape and/or murder.

The next day, Busses started appearing in a big city named Potocari to take women and their children. Some busses stopped several times at “serb sites” to be thrown off the bus for rape and/or murder. Others were transported to the government-held territory. At the last station some men surrendered and taken to join army forces. The finale of July 13th 1995 was when the serb forces overran the UN Safe Haven and dropped a massive bomb in the middle of Sarajevo market.

In the early 1950’s the Yugoslavian government did a great job keeping ethnic tensions to a minimum until in the year of 1980, Josip Tito died. This caused everything to spiral out of hand and republics began declaring their independence, then Bosnia became their own country.

After Bosnia separated from Yugoslavia, the

serbs outnumbered all other races in this newly-

founded country. They wanted to “cleanse” the muslim

and the croats population. The serbs were quite upset

with the croats for collaborating with the Nazis in world

war two. The second world war killed not only many

jews, but also a good amount of serbs too. This is the

reason that the serbs wanted to kill all of the croats, to

get back at them.

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