Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book review

Assignment: Analytical Book Review

Description: Students will read a book of their choice, either literature or informational text. They will then write a review that analyzes the author’s development of a particular theme and evaluates the work as a whole as well as the author’s treatment of the topic. The review will include a brief summary, their opinions about the book, and a recommendation of who should read it. 

Standard(s):
R2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze is development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
R3: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
W2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
L1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Proof: Attach the following:
Published draft of essay
Rubric
Dillon powers 
Sniper One 
Bullets flying, men screaming, the battle for the pink palace rages on. Sniper One by Dan Mills is a book about bravery, freedom, war, and a mans will to live. It takes place in Iraq, with a British squad of men with the task of defending a highly vulnerable and hostile area. He comes from a long line of military heros, so joining the forces was a clear choice for him. He quickly rose to the rank of class 2 warrant officer and did tours of duty all over the world. One such tour took place in Iraq, where he had to face the real danger of war and the tragedys that come with it. 
Sniper One begins with Dan Mills, who is only a sergeant at the time, and his squad of men. They are tasked with the dangerous task of defending the Pink Palace, a central building that is difficult to defend, especially from the rocket and mortar fire. The team is made up of several specialists, Dan himself is an expert sniper, and each member has a pivotal role in the groups survival. While at the palace an ambush takes place, and Dan is forced to defend the palace with just his squad of eight men. Here we see dans true bravery, and leadership skill as he has to keep his men alive. He is barraged by Chinese 108mm rockets, mortars, snipers, and waves of hostile infantry. He is forced to make life changing decisions that save most of his teams lives, however he loses two men in the battle. His team successfully defends the palace and American reinforcements show up, but not without a price. Two of his best friends die in the fight and he is wounded by shrapnel. This takes a big tole on him and inspires him to write the book. 
Dan uses extremely vivid detail, making the reader feel as though they are really in the heat of battle. He is an excellent writer and conveys feelings and emotions well. The reader will feel the sorrow he felt seeing his friends die, he makes the reader build a bond with him and his squad so when something happens to them you feel it as well. He uses good transitions to make a smooth flow throughout the book, and language that makes certain events stick with the reader. If something is supposed to be remembered he highlights it, covering it over and over again and ensuring that the reader understands exactly what he was going through at that moment. 

One main theme in the book is fight or flight. This is a term used for the human instinct of either fighting your way out of a tough situation or just fleeing as fast as possible. He covers what goes through his head, and how his training has helped him to know when to flee and when to fight. His training taught him to fight his way out of everything no matter what, unless the situation is so bad he has no other choice. This is evident when faced with the challenge of defending the pink palace from the ambush. He decides to fight even against the overwhelming odds. He makes the correct choice, and saves the pink palace and makes a major difference in the war, as that was a major base of operations. He goes over what was going through his head and how he made the tough decision to fight. 

Dan Mills captures his and his squads bravery with exceptional detail. Sniper One is a book that I would recommend for any middle school aged child and up. Even adults would enjoy this thrilling heroic tale about one British squads journey during a surprise attack in Iraq. 
Reflection:
What did you like/dislike about the project? I liked being able to pick the book I read and report on it to everyone else 
What was easy/hard about this project? I thought it was easy as long as you read the book
Do you believe you mastered the standard(s) being assessed? Provide proof of mastery, explaining SPECIFICALLY what you did in order to meet the standard(s), or describe SPECIFICALLY what you could do to achieve mastery in the future. I met all of these standards in paragraphs 3 and 4. I covered A theme and showed how I could use proper gums. I analyzed the authors use of detail and how it improved over the paper. 
What did you learn from completing the project?
I learned that I really enjoy reading when it's a book I like and choose. 

Middle Ages essay

Assignment: Elizabethan England Research Project

Description: Students will complete an interest-based inquiry on a topic of their choice as it relates to Shakespeare and Elizabethan England. From their research, they will create some sort of product that demonstrates their learning, present their project to the class, and write a research paper with a minimum of five credible sources, cited in MLA format.

Standard(s):
W2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
W7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
W8: Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.
SL4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
SL5: Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
L1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Proof: Attach the following:
Published draft of essay
Product (or picture of product)
Presentation (screenshots, upload, or link)
Rubrics for paper and presentation
Dillon Powers 
4/4/16
English essay 

Elizabethan weapons and armor 
Muskets firing, swords clashing, the war rages on. Elizabethan era weapons and armor are very different from the medieval era. These differences range from the use of Knights, to the ranged weapons they used, all the way down to the types of swords and armor used during combat. In the medieval era they used swords and knights in suits of armor to battle. Ranged weapons were limited to crossbows and bow and arrows. This technology evolved during the Elizabethan era. They gained many new weapons and armor choices that would revolutionize combat forever. 

During the Elizabethan era knightly combat began to fall out. Knights were used as machines of war during the medieval era but during the Elizabethan times they were used as a symbol of royalty. They were still used during combat but they were also expected to be highly cultured, and follow the code of chivalry. They competed in tournaments and had to earn the way to a knight. They would begin as a page, and then, after they had earned the title, they became squires. After being a squire for several years they finally earned the title of a knight. This was one of the highest titles, was only achieved through hard work and dedication. A knights suit of armor consisted of many articles of clothing for protection. For example, " Linen Under-shirt and under-pants. Woollen stockings, Sabatons - armor for the foot and consisted of riveted iron plates on the boots, The Aketon - arming doublet, Armor protecting the arms Layer of chain mail over the arms, Besagues which were small round 'shields' laced to the mail at the shoulder to defend the armpit, Rerebrace covering the upper arm, Vambrace for the defence of the lower arm, Armor protecting the legs Greaves - Protecting the calf and ankles, Poleyns -Protecting the knee cap, Cuisses - Protecting the thigh, Chest Armor - Breast Plate - Faulds were rings of armour which were attached to the breast plate and protected the hips, abdomen and lower back, Back Armor - The Backplate, Face protection - A Visor was a detachable piece of armor which protected the face and eyes, Hand Armor - The Knights wore gloves called Gauntlets, Spurs were attached to the heel by straps and used to 'spur' the Knights horse on in battle, Surcoat: A robe, with a belt around the waist, was placed over the body armor. The Knight's surcoat was emblazoned with the cote of arms or device of the Knight in order for identification purposes, Weapons - A Dagger and Sword were attached to the Knights belt and a shield was carried in defence displaying the Knights heraldic blazon". The Knights had a very large selection of armor to choose from. 

During the medieval times there were also several weapon upgrades. The old weapons and ways of war became irrelevant as the era turned to guns for weapons. This made large improvements for the way wars were fought. For example, "By 1595 all bows were ordered to be exchanged for muskets. The most popular firearm was called a Matchlock (this name derived as it was fired by the application of a burning match). It was inaccurate, slow to load and expensive. It was eventually replaced by the Flintlock. Canons were developed which replaced the heavy artillery of the Medieval years such as the ballista, trebuchet and the Mangonel.". This changed battle forever. Instead of being in the front lines and attacking each other with swords, ranged combat became easy and extremely lethal. 

Another major change was hand to hand combat, as it got less affective people used it for show. It was an important skill and all nobility were expected to know how to fence. "The weight of swords used during this era are usually presumed to be a lot heavier than they actually were. The use of the sword and the acquisition of fencing arts changed as technology increased and firearms were introduced and used for military warfare. The elegant rapier was used in preference to the older, clumsier cutting swords. A sword was an important part of a nobles apparel and it was important that he had adequate fencing skills.". The sword became less about lethality and more about style. Nobles used it as a way to show their expertise. They were the best of the best, and were expected to show it. Guns may have replaced swords on the battle field, but in day to day lives, they became the new accessory to every nobles outfit. 

During the Elizabethan era, many new innovations happened on the battlefield, guns replaced swords, warfare became cheaper, and troops became easier to train and cheaper to higher. Armor choices changed, Knights became less battlefield worthy, and the need for swords and close range combat became irrelevant. Ultimately, warfare changed forever during the Elizabethan era, and had it not been for the innovations made during the Elizabethan era, warfare may not be the same today. 

Reflection:
What did you like/dislike about the project? I liked learning about the Elizabethan times and how different things were.
What was easy/hard about this project? It was an easy project as long as you kept up with the research.
Do you believe you mastered the standard(s) being assessed? Provide proof of mastery, explaining SPECIFICALLY what you did in order to meet the standard(s), or describe SPECIFICALLY what you could do to achieve mastery in the future. I met the first three in the entire paper. These were standards that I met for writing and research. I also met L2 in my paper. In the other standards I met them by presenting. I conveyed what I researched and used an electronic presentation to show it.
What did you learn from completing the project?
I learned that war changed drastically in the Elizabethan time. That it was a revolution and lead to war the way it is today.