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 it was terrible and it took me quite a while to complete each writing assignment. Right now, it is improved although it is still not perfect. I have more thoughts to develop and organize into my writing essay.
2. What do you consider your writing strengths?
I consider my writing strengths are not so strong, some thoughts sometimes take more time to develop and express in writing. Precise grammatical skill and abundance of vocabulary are still the strengths I need to develop.
3. What writing skills do you need and/or want to continue to develop next year? Explain?
I need to continue to work on how to best express and communicate my thoughts and opinions. I also need to work on how to make my writing more interesting in order to capture the reader's first impression. Continue to work on grammar and vocabulary is still my number one priority so I can use precise and clear language in my writing.
4. What piece of writing from this year best captures your growth as a writer and thinker? Explain why.
The piece of writing that inspired me the most was the Holocaust Diary. I had the freedom to do research of the Holocaust event and created my own diary in my very own thoughts. Through the process I had to be creative and used my imagination. I have to say that the other person who also worked on the same writing did inspire me every time.
5. What piece of writing from this year are you most proud of? Explain why.
The piece of writing that I am most proud of is the Giver essay. Two contradictory views could be chosen to write the final draft and by taking the unfavored side, I think, did challenge me to develop my thoughts in a more creative way.
Everyday in the morning I don’t know what my fate would be and every night I don’t know if I should be grateful that I survived for another day. This morning we gathered in the center square waiting to get work assignment. Even we were constantly starving but we had to show strength in order to not being left to a group with people who are sick or too weak to work. We all knew the group without work assignment would be sent to the far end facility with high chimneys and would never return. Father had been getting weaker because he was saving his portion of food to my brother and me. His whole body was like a skeleton wrapped with skin without any fat or muscle. One night father did not come back after work and I knew his fate instantly. The whole night I was thinking about father and could not sleep at all. Fate played against my family again that my brother got sick. Then another sad night I learned that I was left alone without any family in this camp.
One day, siren sounded loudly and we were ordered to gather at the center square. The German soldiers were standing on one side and another side was the Russian soldiers. The Russian captain took the center stage and announced the German had been defeated and the war was over and they were here to take over the camp. And the best news was we would be set free. Some people cheered but most of us were just full of tears silently. Finally I would be free but I would start a new life alone by myself. I had no fear at all because nothing can defeat me again after surviving this Nazi’s experience.
Even with this good news that we would be out of the camp in a week, I was losing strength and getting weaker because my sickness had not getting better. The doctor from the Russian troop told me that I would be transported to nearby hospital for further treatment soon.
We were transported to a temporary hospital in a nearby city and recovered there before being sent back to our homeland. Today I am living with my uncle and aunt. I never knew what happened to my mother at all, father, and my brother, they will always live in my heart.
The world in The Giver by Lois Lowry is a utopia because through happiness, people live in a safe and perfect environment.
Happiness is shown when people are released from the community and bad memories are kept from the people. One day when Jonas volunteered at the Nurturing Center, he asked, “Larissa, what happens when they have the actual release?...Pure happiness, I’d call it.” (32) The release can be a good thing, for elders and newborns, as Larissa says release is pure happiness. Though Jonas later learned that “release” actually means death, people are able to escape the “perfect” society where they cannot see the beautiful things in the world.
People in the community are kept from bad memories for good reasons so they have no example to follow. Jonas possessed the painful memory of the warfare and he felt very disturbed when his friends, Asher and Fiona, were playing a war game and said “What’s wrong, Jonas? It was only a game” (134). For instance, the death and massive destruction brought by the war certainly should not be repeated. Without those bad memories people can follow good rules and will not behave badly or hurt other people.
Lowry painted a utopian world where people should live happily, no fear for starving and poverty, no worry for crime and war, no rich and poor, etc. Someday the world will evolve to a perfect place for us to live and a Utopia world described by Lois will become a reality.