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Mrs. Primack's English Class

SIX TRAITS OF GOOD WRITING- ORGANIZATION

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4 Organization    

Organization is the internal structure of a piece of writing, the thread of central meaning, the logical and sometimes intriguing pattern of the ideas.

An effective piece of writing begins with an inviting introduction that draws in or "hooks" the reader.  The writer develops the ideas in a logical and effective order so that the reader hardly thinks about it.  The pacing is well controlled; the writer knows when to slow down and elaborate, and when to pick up the pace and move on. The body is built with supporting details that fit where they are placed.  Thoughtful transitions clearly show how ideas connect.  Finally, the conclusion ties everything together.

 

/  Inviting Introduction - hooks or grabs the reader

 

/  Logical Sequencing- the order of the writing makes sense

 

/  Smooth Transitions- link key points and ideas

 

/  Good Pacing- gives information at just the right moment

 

/  Conclusion- ties it all together and makes the writing feel complete

 

 

Organization Rubric

Advanced/5:

 

Organization supports the central idea (thesis). The order and structure move the reader through the text easily.
A. An interesting introduction draws the reader into the paper, and a satisfying conclusion leaves the reader with a sense of resolution.
B. Smooth, effective transitions exist among all elements (sentences, paragraphs, and ideas).
C. Organizational patterns are effective but unobtrusive. Paragraphing is natural and appropriate.

Acceptable/3: Organization supports the central idea (thesis). However, the order and structure do not readily move the reader through the text..
A. The introduction and conclusion are present.
B. Transitions are present but commonplace, inappropriate, or excessive.
C. Organizational patterns are present but predictable. Paragraphing is not consistently natural and appropriate.

Unacceptable/1: Organization neither supports nor develops the central idea (thesis). The lack of order and structure detract from the reader¹s understanding.
A. The introduction and conclusion are not present.
B. Transitions are nonexistent.
C. Organizational patterns are haphazard and disjointed. Paragraphing is not utilized or is misapplied.

 

 

Parts of the Whole

 

The following sentences come from a short story. They have been rearranged. Read them and decide what you think is the correct order.

 

 

1.     Again he heard the sound, and again.

 

2.     He lunged for it; a short, hoarse cry came from his lips as he realized he had reached too far and had lost his balance.

 

3.     Somewhere, off in the blackness, someone had fired a gun three times.

 

4.     He leaped upon the rail and balanced himself there, to get greater elevation; his pipe, striking a rope, was knocked from his mouth.

 

5.     " It's so dark," he thought, "that I could sleep without closing my eyes; the night would be my eyelids--"

An abrupt sound startled him.

 

6.     The cry was pinched off short as the blood-warm waters of the Caribbean Sea dosed over his head.

 

7.     Off to the right he heard it, and his ears, expert in such matters, could not be mistaken.

 

8.     Rainsford, reclining in a steamer chair, indolently puffed on his favorite brier.

 

9.     Rainsford sprang up and moved quickly to the rail, mystified.

 

10.   The sensuous drowsiness of the night was on him.

 

11.   There was no sound in the night as Rainsford sat there but the muffled throb of the engine that drove the yacht swiftly through the darkness, and the swish and ripple of the wash of the propeller.

 

12.   He strained his eyes in the direction from which the reports had come, but it was like trying to see through a blanket.

Write the numbers of the sentences in the order you believe they should be placed.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leads

The lead (beginning or introduction) establishes the direction your writing will take. A good lead grabs your reader's attention and refuses to let go.  In other words, it hooks the reader.

 

Read each of the following opening paragraphs. Evaluate the lead. Which ones do you feel are the most effective and why?

 

1. Richard Connell's story "The Most Dangerous Game," offering a tightly-knit narrative of adventure and melodramatic suspense, would seem a likely vehicle for cinematic adaptation. Of the two main characters, one is ordinary, the other bizarre. The story does not involve much complexity of consciousness; rather, it succeeds as entertainment, and it is therefore well-suited for the Hollywood treatment that was to be made within eight years of its writing. The story was first published in 1924; in 1932 it was produced as a motion picture for RKO by David.....

 

 

2. Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" has thrilled readers since its first publication. In 1924, the year of its release, Connell was awarded the prestigious O. Henry Memorial Award for short fiction. Readers and critics alike have consistently appreciated and enjoyed this story, even as many of Connell's other stories, novels, and collections have fallen out of print. Critics initially praised the story as an excellent action-adventure tale, a tightly told story that moves quickly through a nail-biting plot. Connell has been praised for the fluidity of his simple writing style and his ability to entertain.

 

3. If you think gangsta rap, pierced navels, and pink hair are the first teenage fads ever to shock a generation of parents, think again. After World War I (1914–1918), adults took a hard look at the generation coming of age—and were frightened by what they saw. Girls called "flappers" flaunted short skirts (to the knee), short hair, and lots of makeup. Guys, known as "sheiks," wore huge, baggy pants and displayed "fast" attitudes. Jazz music was hot. Dance parties lasted late into the night. And who knew what went on after hours. "Youthful morals are being broken down," declared The Illinois Baptist magazine in 1922.

 

 

2.           

 

Marc lives in a sunny city in the southwestern United States. After sunset, though, his parents will not let him ride his bike, jog to a friend's house three streets away, or even walk his dog. Marc's parents say the neighborhood is too dark. One evening a neighbor was robbed walking home from a bus stop. She could not describe the mugger, even though street lights line every block of her route. Unfortunately, the lights are fitted with sodium-vapor lamps, and she could barely see in their dim, pinkish glow. Marc's neighbor became a victim of the near-useless lamps that her city installed. The city is required by law to combat light pollution with dimmer street lights. Actions taken by city and state legislators to prevent light pollution are well meant, but so far they cause bigger problems than they solve. Until better solutions are found, prevention of light pollution should not be required by law.

 

 

3.           

 

The poet John Donne wrote, "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main." In terms of biodiversity (also called biological diversity), no living organism is an island. All life on earth is bound together in one interdependent system. Biodiversity refers not only to every plant, animal, and microorganism, but also, on smaller and larger scales, to their genes and to the ecosystems they form. When an individual species decreases or becomes extinct, the loss may be felt on all three levels.

 

 

4.           

 

Imagine flying at 25,000 feet in an airplane that is forty degrees below zero inside. It is so cold you have to wear a heated suit that plugs in like an electric blanket. To protect your hands from frostbite, you wear three pairs of gloves that are also heated—silk inside of wool inside of leather. You will have nothing to eat or drink during the ten-hour flight. To top it all off, your plane is being shot at because you are on a dangerous mission during wartime. You have a death-defying job to do as a crew member in a B-17G, a plane so large and powerful that it is called a "Flying Fortress."

 

 

5.           

 

Are you ready to give up your summer vacation and go to school all year? Officials in some school districts are changing the school calendar. As a result, students are attending classes during the summer and taking breaks at other times of year. As bizarre as this idea might sound, it does offer advantages. A year-round schedule reduces school overcrowding, improves teachers’ lives, and helps students learn.

 

 

6.           

 

Traveling to space in an elevator sounds like a detail from a science fiction novel, but someday it could be reality. The following article describes a new material which scientists are using to invent the foundations for an elevator to space.

 

 

7.           

 

In 1841 the British scientist Robert Owen introduced the word dinosaur into the English language by combining the Greek words for "terrible" and "lizard." He used it to describe large bone fossils that had been discovered in southern England. Before this discovery, scientists had no idea that enormous reptiles once existed. Since the nineteenth century, more than one thousand species of dinosaurs have been identified. Dinosaur fossils have been found on every continent. Yet scientists still do not know what made the dinosaurs disappear. How could such massive creatures have simply vanished from the planet?

 

 

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Reflection: What conclusions can you draw about writing an effective lead?

 

 

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Extend your Learning: Bring in two good examples of well developed leads. Be prepare to explain what makes them good leads.

 

Activities:

 

Make these beginnings into great leads.

 

  1. I had a good time at the beach.
  2. One day I played soccer.
  3. On Thursday, I had tacos, my favorite.
  4. Martin Luther King was born on January 15.
  5. Connecticut is a cool state.

 

Select one of the following topics. Write a lead for it.

 

1. Write about what you think the world will be like in 100 years.

 

2. We are learning all the time. Write about something you have learned

recently and how it has affected you.

 

3. You have been asked by your principal to recommend one course which

will help you prepare for the job you want in the future. It could be a

course your school is already offering or a new course. Write an

essay to explain to your principal the course you would recommend. Be sure to give the reasons for your suggestion.

 

4. Explain the main reasons why you think students drop out of school.

 

5. Talk about your favorite music and why you like it.

 

6. Think of your favorite year in school. Explain why it was your favorite year.

 

7. Friends are important, but everyone has a different opinion of what makes a good friend. Explain what, in your opinion, makes a good friend.

 

8. Some teachers are special. Without giving any names, explain why one particular teacher in your life was special. 

 

9. If you could change one thing about your school, what would you

change? Explain why.

 

 10. We all get angry at times, but different people react in different ways. Some people show their anger openly, and some hide it within themselves. Explain and describe what you do when you get mad.

 

11. Friends sometimes experience conflicts. Explain why this happens.

 

12. If someone were new to your town, explain to him/her the highlights.

 

*********************************************************** 

Evaluate your lead:

 

How does your lead establish the direction your writing will take?

 

 

  

 

 

My thoughts about leads: How do effective leads help a writer communicate his/her message?

 

 

What do you need to do to improve on this skill in your own writing?

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patterns of Organization

 There are several ways to organize your writing. Not every pattern will work for every writer or for every piece of writing. It is important to organize the writing in an order that is interesting, but more importantly it must be logical. In other words, it has to make sense to the reader. Everything must fit together, much like the pieces of a puzzle.

The examples that follow are only a paragraph in length and only serve as short models of each pattern. However, the concept for each pattern is the same regardless of the length
.

 

Chronological order is the order in which the events occurred, from first to last. This is the easiest pattern to write and to follow.

It seemed like an ordinary day when she got up that morning, but Lynda was about to embark on the worst day of her life. First, she fell in the bathtub because her mother forgot to rinse out the bath oil. Then she spilled orange juice on the outfit she had spent hours putting together for school pictures. When she changed, she messed up the French braid her mother had put in her hair. As she walked out the door, she dropped all of her school books and her math homework flew away. Once she made it to the car she thought everything would be all right. She was wrong; her father didn't look before he backed out of the driveway and ran into the neighbor’s truck. Lynda’s side of the car was damaged the most, and she ended up with a broken arm. That night, she cried herself to sleep.

 

Cause and Effect Order- In this type of order, the cause (or reason) is usually discussed first. This then leads to a discussion of the effect (or result.)

Because toys have become electronic devices, some children today are unable to entertain themselves. Gone are the days when children invented their own adventures and used sticks as swords. cookie sheets as armor, and refrigerator box as a fortress to defend. The electronic age has delivered children all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that are supposed to be realistic. Some toys even have buttons to push so prerecorded messages can be played to begin scripted adventures that require no imagination. No imagination? No wonder some children today have short attention spans.

 

Problem Solution Order- In this type of order, the problem is presented first. Details about the problem, including its cause, follows. Next, a suggested solution will be discussed, including details that support the solution.

Several students receive poor grades on writing assignments, not because they lack the ability to communicate, but because they can not seem to manage their time when it comes to a large project. They do not know where to begin, and therefore put things off until the last minute. To solve this problem, students need to develop a timeline for completing the project. If they divide the assignment into manageable “chunks” or parts and then set a schedule for completing each part, they will be able to finish the entire project before the deadline. Without the pressure of not knowing where to begin, the students will be able to focus on the assignment and communicate their ideas effectively.

 

Spatial Order-This type of organization takes the reader from one spot the next, as if the reader were looking at something. It is very descriptive.

 

I couldn’t believe my eyes when we finally emerged from the storm shelter. Where the barn once stood there was now only a few tufts of hay. The path that led to the house was scattered with branches and debris. The house! The entire roof was gone. The north wall was caved in and we could see right into the house. Well, what was left of it. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I noticed that most of our belongings had been sucked up into the great vacuum and scattered across the countryside. We heard a loud cracking and moaning as the west wall gave way and collapsed, sending up a wave of dust. And yet, there in the middle of the front yard was mother’s prized rose bush. It swayed in the breeze as if nothing had happened. Seeing it made me realize how lucky we were to be alive. We stood there in dismay, our arms locked around one another.

 

Order of Importance- This type of organization takes the reader from the least important idea to the most important idea. The ideas build in importance, holding the reader's attention. The best is saved for the last.

 

My encounter with nature became a learning experience for me. I learned to come prepared for anything. Our canoe overturning was proof that anything could happen. All of our supplies were gone. I also learned that although nature is beautiful, she can also be deadly. If it hadn’t been for the cave we discovered in the moonlight, the hail storm surely would have killed us. Most of all, I learned to trust my mother. I never thought I would say this, but she does know a thing or two. She kept her wits about her and kept me calm as well. Even in the middle of nowhere without any supplies, she still managed to take care of me. Her grandfather had taught her how to survive in the wild, and she hadn’t forgotten a thing.

 

Reverse Order of Importance- In this type of organization, the most important idea is stated first and the least important idea is stated last. This method is used most often in newspaper articles. This way if the reader does not finish the article he/she will still know the most important details. This method grabs the reader's attention in the beginning, but it does not work very will in holding the reader's attention clear to the end.

 

A plan to improve the city’s park was approved Monday night by the city council. The plan involves adding landscaping to the north end, rebuilding the bridge over the lake, and updating the playground equipment. Funds for the project have been donated by local businesses who hope that improving the park will bring more people to the downtown area which will in turn bring more customers. The next order of business is for the city council to open the bidding process for the various improvements.

 

Process Order- In this type of order, a sequence of actions is described. It instructs the reader on how to do something. It is basically a set of directions. Owner's manuals and cookbooks are organized in this pattern.

The first step in redesigning your closet is take everything out and sort through it. Anything you haven’t worn in over a year should be given to charity. Check garments for wear and tear. Take care of anything that needs mending. If it is beyond repair, get rid of it. The second step is to install a closet organizer. Choose one that will hold the different types of garments in your wardrobe. The third step is to put items in the closet so that those you wear most often are easy to access. The final step is to stay organized. Put garments back in their appropriate places so that you will be able to find them.

 

Classification Order- In this type of order, the main idea is broken down into smaller areas or classifications. Each classification is then discussed.

 

There are four basic modes of writing. Each mode may take different forms, but has a primary purpose. The first is expository writing, which has a purpose of explaining something or giving directions. Providing directions to your house is an example. The second mode is persuasive writing, which has a purpose of influencing the reader’s way of thinking. An advertisement is a an example of persuasive writing. The third mode is descriptive writing, which has a purpose of providing vivid details so that the reader can picture what is being presented. An essay that depicts the glorious Grand Canyon is an example. The fourth mode is narrative writing, which has a purpose of presenting an experience in the form of a story. A personal account of a vacation is an example of narrative writing.

 

Comparison/Contrast Order (Block)- In this pattern of organization, one item is discussed in detail before the next item is mentioned. In other words, each item gets its own "block" of space within the writing.

 

As a child, I thought my parents were ignorant and out of touch with reality. They couldn’t possible understand anything I thought or felt. When they weren’t annoying me with their ridiculous lectures, or grounding me for minor infractions of the rules, they were embarrassing me in public. As a parent, I find it frustrating that my children think I have no clue about their lives, even though I understand perfectly well what they are thinking or feeling. I find myself giving my children the same lectures I once thought were ridiculous. My children can not seem to follow the rules their father and I have set, and they are continuously embarrassing me in public. My, how things have changed.

 

Comparison/Contrast Order (point by point)- This type of order is again based on comparison (the similarities) and contrast (the differences.) Instead of being divided into parts, however, both sides of each point are discussed together.

 

Although they are sisters, Jennifer and Jessica are complete opposites. Jennifer enjoys playing sports, while Jessica would rather watch. Jennifer has no interest in playing a musical instrument, while Jessica is the first chair violinist. Jennifer listens to new age music, while Jessica prefers country. Jennifer’s favorite subject is English, and Jessica’s favorite is math. Jennifer likes to curl up in a chair on a rainy day and read a good book , but Jessica would rather sleep all day. No one would ever guess that they are actually twins.

 

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Extend your Learning: Bring in examples of writing that illustrate any of these patterns of organization. Identify the pattern.

 

 

 

Using Transitions

 

Transitional devices are like bridges between parts of your paper. They are cues that help the reader to interpret ideas a paper develops. Transitional devices are words or phrases that help carry a thought from one sentence to another, from one idea to another, or from one paragraph to another. And finally, transitional devices link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.

Good transitions can connect paragraphs and turn disconnected writing into a unified whole. Instead of treating paragraphs as separate ideas, transitions can help readers understand how paragraphs work together, reference one another, and build to a larger point. The key to producing good transitions is highlighting connections between corresponding paragraphs. By referencing in one paragraph the relevant material from previous ones, writers can develop important points for their readers.

Example: Amy Tan became a famous author after her novel, The Joy Luck Club, skyrocketed up the bestseller list. There are other things to note about Tan as well. Amy Tan also participates in the satirical garage band the Rock Bottom Remainders with Stephen King and Dave Barry.

Revision: Amy Tan became a famous author after her novel, The Joy Luck Club, skyrocketed up the bestseller list. Though her fiction is well known, her work with the satirical garage band the Rock Bottom Remainders receives far less publicity.

 

It is a good idea to continue one paragraph where another leaves off (instances where this is especially challenging may suggest that the paragraphs don't belong together at all.) Picking up key phrases from the previous paragraph and highlighting them in the next can create an obvious progression for readers. Many times, it only takes a few words to draw these connections. Instead of writing transitions that could connect any paragraph to any other paragraph, write a transition that could only connect one specific paragraph to another specific paragraph.

Here is a list of some common transitional devices that can be used to cue readers in a given way.


To Add:

and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, nor, too, next, lastly, what's more, moreover, in addition, first (second, etc.)

To Compare:

whereas, but, yet, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, by comparison, where, compared to, up against, balanced against, vis a vis, but, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, although this may be true

To Prove:

because, for, since, for the same reason, obviously, evidently, furthermore, moreover, besides, indeed, in fact, in addition, in any case, that is

To Show Exception:

yet, still, however, nevertheless, in spite of, despite, of course, once in a while, sometimes

To Show Time:

immediately, thereafter, soon, after a few hours, finally, then, later, previously, formerly, first (second, etc.), next, and then

To Repeat:

in brief, as I have said, as I have noted, as has been noted

To Emphasize:

definitely, extremely, obviously, in fact, indeed, in any case, absolutely, positively, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically, unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation

To Show Sequence:

first, second, third, and so forth. A, B, C, and so forth. next, then, following this, at this time, now, at this point, after, afterward, subsequently, finally, consequently, previously, before this, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then, soon

To Give an Example:

for example, for instance, in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation, take the case of, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration, to illustrate

To Summarize or Conclude:

in brief, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said, hence, therefore, accordingly, thus, as a result, consequently, on the whole


Activity 1: Add the transitions below to the following sentences to make the ideas flow.

 

Finally                                in conclusion                       to conclude                           to sum up

 

1. There were a lot of problems discussed at the meeting. After a few hours, we were able to prioritize the problems in the order we want to solve the problems.

 

2. Many parents and students have been complaining about the program. Scores on the end-of-grade tests have gone down from last year; teachers are not very motivated; and everyone is frustrated. Some improvements in the middle school program need to be made.

 

3. I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season.

 

4. There was a malfunction in the smoke machines and lights, the curtains would not open and close properly, and one of the actors was sick with no stand-in. The play was a disaster.

 

first, second, third, ...
furthermore
in addition
moreover

also
and
another
besides

1.     The little girl put on her yellow shirt and brown overalls.

2.    Chris is on the basketball team this semester at Indiana School for the Deaf.  He is on the soccer team.

3.    We will be here for one more week so we can finish up our work. We are staying longer is because we do not want to miss the Deaf Way conference.

4.    Pour a half-cup of milk in the bowl; add two eggs; and stir the mixture.

5.    I admire I. King Jordan because he is the first deaf president of Gallaudet. I admire him because he is a great long distance runner. He is a dedicated family man. All in all, there is not much to dislike about the man, except he is too perfect!

6.    Crystal likes camping in the mountains. Crystal is an experienced hiker.

7.    Texas School for the Deaf is perfectly located. It has a strong academic program. The school has a preschool program where both deaf and hearing children learn together.

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by comparison
compared to
in comparison

in like manner
like
likewise
similarly

 

 

 

 

1. At St. Rita School for the Deaf, a private school, there is a dress code that mandates how the students are to dress. The boys must wear a pair of pants and dress shirts. The strict dress code requires plaid skirts and blouses for the girls.

2. Her grandmother, Sally loves the Gallaudet Homecoming football game.

3. The news reported that Montana would be very cold this week. I said, " Rochester will be, too."

4. Ronda bought a new Saturn car; so the rest of her friends did the same thing.

5. Greensboro, N.C. is much smaller than Washington, D.C. is.

6. Bob loves to go to parties. Sue loves to stay at home with her family.

7. Seven years ago when the printer worked well, it has been "ill" a great deal of the time in recent weeks.

*********************************************************

although
but
however
in contrast
in spite of
nevertheless

nonetheless
rather than
though
unlike
yet

1.     I am not able to go to the beach with you. Thanks for asking me.

2.    Karen's cat, Salem is so unlike Midnight. Midnight likes to nap a lot and Salem likes to play a lot.

3.    The idea of attending the play at Gallaudet is nice. The Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research conference is scheduled at the same time.

4.    I eat green beans because they are healthy, I hate them.

5.    Steven was extremely tired, he washed the dishes.

6.    The play was great.  I am sick of seeing it for the fourth time.

7.    Amber, Sharon, and Megan went to Busch Gardens for the day. __________the cold weather, they enjoyed themselves.

8.    Sharon and Megan enjoyed the Loch Ness Monster ride.  Amber thought that Alpengist was faster and had more twists.

9.    Sharon has not visited the Land of the Dragons. If she had had a kid, she would have gone by now.

10.  Alexander Graham Bell believed in oral education for deaf children. Edward Minor Gallaudet believed in using American Sign Language to educate deaf children.

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Activity 2- Read the following two articles. Add transitions where they are needed to improve the flow of ideas.

Students will pay the price for snow days

By Kurt Schauppner
The Desert Trail

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 5:41 PM CDT

 

TWENTYNINE PALMS — Twenty-nine Palms High School students who enjoyed two days without school because of a snowstorm in December will pay for them with two extra school days, including one the day after graduation.

This is according to information sent via fax from Twenty-nine Palms High School last week.

Because of the second extra day, seniors who attend graduation ceremonies on Thursday, June 11 and then go to Grad Night at Disneyland will be returned to school on Friday, June 12, a minimum day, and will be expected to remain there until 11:15 a.m.

Seniors who do not take part in Grad Night will still need to return to school on Friday to collect their diplomas. For other students Thursday and Friday, June 11 and 12, both minimum days ending at 11:15 a.m., also will be final exam days.

A parent conference day previously set for Friday, March 20 has been canceled so school can be held that day.

Two new parent conference days have been set, one from

5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 2 and the other from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14 to make up for the canceled conference.

According to Woods, the snow make-up days were selected by the district and are included in the section of the district’s contract with teachers dealing with the school calendar.

In the event of days lost to snow, she said, the first day is made up by canceling a parent conference day. Additional snow days are made up by adding days to the end of the school year.

She noted that Basin schools on the west end, which saw more school days canceled because of the December snowstorm, will see more extra days added.

Parents, she noted, have been sent letters advising them of the need to stay in town until after Friday, June 12.

“Don’t make those plane reservations,” she said.

Seniors, she added, will return to the school around mid-morning June 12. They will pick up their diplomas and collect any transcripts they may need. They will probably only be at school for about an hour.

Other Morongo Unified School District schools on the east side, including Monument High School and Twenty-nine Palms Junior High, will also have snow make-up days on March 20 and June 12.

 

Copyright © 2009 - Hi-Desert Star

Climber dies in 100-foot fall

Woody’ Stark remembered as icon in Joshua Tree

Published: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:22 AM CDT

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK — A 67-year old Riverside man died and his 44-year-old climbing partner was severely injured Sunday afternoon when they fell while climbing in the Hidden Valley area of Joshua Tree National Park. Curtis Woodrow Stark II of Riverside and Alfred Kuok of Claremont were climbing a rock formation known as The Great Burrito about 4 p.m., park Chief of Interpretation Joe Zarki said Monday.

Zarki said Stark, who was in the lead, began losing his grip on the rocks. He began to descend the rock face but lost his grip and fell.

Zarki said as Stark fell, he lost the protective devices he had installed on his way up and crashed into Kuok, who also lost his grip on the rock.

Kuok’s protective devices held, but Stark plummeted about 100 feet.

Zarki said Stark, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered severe head injuries and died instantly.

Two firefighters from Joshua Tree were also climbing in the area and responded, helping the younger man off the cliff face, Zarki said.

Kuok was treated for back pain, rib injuries and possible internal injuries before being flown by a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department helicopter to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs for treatment.

Zarki said four rangers and nine volunteer Joshua Tree Search and Rescue team members responded to the emergency.

This week, Stark’s friends remembered him as a man who simply loved to climb and commanded respect for his love of the sport despite age and injury.

“I wouldn’t say he was reckless, but he was a go-for-it guy, and a lot of climbers in their 60s are not go-for-it type of dudes,” said climbing buddy Todd Gordon of Joshua Tree.

The climbing world knew Stark as “Woody,” and he had climbed in Asia, South America, Alaska and most of the western United States.

Gordon said Stark was a retired schoolteacher and voracious reader: “His house was filled with bookcases and next to the bookcases were more books piled to the ceiling.”

The father of two, Stark had a wide circle of friends and did mountaineering and ice climbing, in which he would scale frozen waterfalls.

The Joshua Tree community knew him as a pioneer. “He’s a little bit of an icon, because in the 1960s, when Joshua Tree wasn’t much of a climbing area, he and his friends were some of the first ones to do some of the climbs, and now they’re some of the most famous and popular climbs in the world,” Gordon said.

Stark was an old-fashioned climber, his friend said.

“He always climbed the same — whether he was 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60, there was only one way to do it. The technology of climbing has made things a lot safer, but he just climbed the way he learned, relying on confidence, skill and nerves.”
                                       
Copyright © 2009 - Hi-Desert Star

My thoughts about transitions: How do transitions help a writer communicate his/her message?

 
 

 

 


?WRITE NOW:

Pre-writing- Select one of the topics from the list on page #. Decide on a pre-writing strategy:

  •  brainstorm
  • think/reflect
  • talk/remember
  • jot ideas/draw
  • read/research
  • observe/view

Planning- Organize your thoughts and develop a plan for your essay.  Remember to consider purpose, audience, point of view and format.

 

Revising-

 

��  My piece begins with an introduction (lead) that grabs readers’ attention and gives a taste of what is to come.

 

��  The ideas in my piece of writing move in a logical sequence from one to another.

 

��  My piece has an appropriate pace. I’ve moved quickly through some parts (using a wide angle lens) and slowed down to include vivid details (zoom lens) in other parts.

 

�� I’ve used transition words to show how ideas are connected to one another and to make my writing move along smoothly.

��  My piece ends with a conclusion that wraps things up and feels satisfying to the reader.

 

Rewrite- to improve any area that you do not feel is strong enough.

 

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