Writing with Sharon Watson-Easy-to-use Homeschool Writing and Literature Curriculum

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Do Monsters Exist?

Do Monsters Exist?

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit a particular site in Scotland each year, hoping to see a monster. What are they looking for?

It turns out that tourists are not the only ones looking for something. Operation Groundtruth has begun a search for the Loch Ness Monster (“Nessie”), a monster some claim they have seen. They are using a marine robot equipped with sonar to search the depths of the loch.

Nessie, if she exists, is thought to be a marine reptile, perhaps a plesiosaur, left over from the age of dinosaurs.

What has Operation Groundtruth found so far? The steep sides of the loch, the deep trench of the loch, and even a World War II airplane lying on the bottom of the loch. No Nessie. Yet.

 

 

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The Story Behind Dr. Seuss and the Grinch

The Story Behind Dr. Seuss and the Grinch

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

You know about Dr. Seuss, and you know about the Grinch. But do you know the story behind the story?

When Ted (we know him as Dr. Seuss) was 53 years old, he was fed up with Christmas. He was tired of the noise, the constant activity, and the busy-ness, and he wished everyone would get along with each other.

His desire was that people would celebrate the joy and peacefulness of Christmas without all the hoopla detracting from it.

So what did he do? He wrote a story about it. He created a Scrooge-like creature who hates the noise and celebration of Christmas. Ted writes this in the story:

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Tenacity

Tenacity

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

This quote is from Louis Pasteur, a famous scientist who lived in the 1800s and proved that it was not “bad air” that caused some diseases but actually microorganisms that we categorize as germs today. He also developed a vaccine for rabies, and his name is given to a method of killing germs in milk: pasteurization.

So, his secret is his tenacity, but what is it?

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Exiled

Exiled

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

What does Jesus’ disciple John have in common with Napoleon Bonaparte? I suppose the image below gives it away, but, yes, they were both exiled—banished from the homes and countries they loved.

John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos in AD 95 during Roman persecution of Christians. While banished to the island, John wrote the book of Revelation. Vistas of the Mediterranean Sea may be beautiful from there, but the island itself is only 30 square miles and very rocky and sterile.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the former emperor of France after the French Revolution, was actually exiled twice. The first time,

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New Species: Have You Heard of Sparklemuffin?

New Species: Have You Heard of Sparklemuffin?

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

Every year, paleontologists (those who study fossils or life in prehistoric times) find evidence of a species we didn’t know about before, like a new species of terror bird (Llallawavis scagliai) in Argentina. Its skeleton shows it was ten feet tall!

And, often, other types of scientists discover new animals or species still living that no one knew about. For instance, a new type of shark called the lanternshark was discovered in the Pacific off the coast of South America last year, and now we know about a spider that looks like it has a peacock tail. It has been dubbed Sparklemuffin (Maratus jactatus), according to livescience.com.

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Miracles

Miracles

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

Mr. George McWhirter Fotheringay doesn’t believe in miracles.

At least, that’s what H. G. Wells tells us in his short story “The Man Who Could Work Miracles.” First published in 1898, it tells of a man who didn’t believe in miracles but ended up doing some anyway.

One day, Mr. Fotheringay argues his case in a local tavern. He defines a miracle as “something contrariwise to the course of nature done by the power of Will, something that couldn’t happen without being specially willed.”

While arguing against miracles, he ends up doing one.

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The Legend of Linda the Lonely

The Legend of Linda the Lonely

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

“Long, long ago, in a lavish lodge near the village of Liverwurst, lived a lovely lass called Linda the Lonely.
Linda was lonely because, ever since she was a little girl, she had been
locked in the lodge by her wicked uncle, Lord Ludwig of Liverwurst.”

 

So begins “The Legend of Linda the Lonely” in The Sesame Street Book of Fairy Tales.

By now you have noticed something strange about the first paragraph of poor Linda’s story—it’s full of the letter “L.”

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Samson and Second Chances

Samson and Second Chances

MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

When I think of a new year and new beginnings, I think of Samson, the Bible’s strongman.

You know, Samson with the long hair. Samson who wanted to marry a woman from an enemy country, a woman his parents did not approve of. Samson who tore a lion apart with his bare hands and then pestered people about it. Samson who killed thirty men at his wedding. Samson who hung around with Delilah.

That Samson.

Samson’s life was miraculous from the beginning. His mother could not have children, but an angel of the Lord announced to her that she would have a child and that he would help free the Israelites from the iron fist of the Philistines.

For most of his life, however, he pretty much did whatever he wanted to do.

But here’s the amazing part, the part about new beginnings:

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The Journal Entry of a Historical Figure


MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS

journalJean Fritz was born in November.

So, who is Jean Fritz? You may know her by the many wonderful historical books she’s written. Here are just a few:

The Cabin Faced West (about George Washington)
And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?
Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?
Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution
Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold
Where Do You Think You’re Going, Christopher Columbus?
You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?

Jean Fritz loves to

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