Language Arts 7, English 10

Yarber's bio:

MA:  Smith College, Massachusetts
Co-Author, Reviewing Basic Grammar, 9th Ed.
Founder:  EssayCoachLA (
Member:  L.A. City Attorney's Neighborhood Justice Panel
Member:  L.A.P.D. LGBTQ Outreach Working Group
Adopting Donor:  Westside German Shepherd Rescue


LAST EXTRA-CREDIT CHANCE OF THE SEMESTER:  Attend the City of Malibu Holiday Open House at 4pm-6pm on Thursday, December 14.  You'll enjoy many works of art and live performances by MHS students.  And there's cocoa! Take a photo of yourself standing next to ONE art piece by an MHS student.  Then, write a one-page fictional story based on that art piece.  Turn in the one-page story, with the photo attached, by Thursday, December 21 -- no late papers will be accepted since this is an extra-credit assignment.  The story and photo are worth up to 7 points.  No story without photo will be accepted.  Website with event info:

Are you good at getting plants to grow?  We'll choose two people from each class period to grow seeds for four of the flowers named in the short story "A Crush."  Whichever class emails me a photo of the first flower bloom gets a class party.  The PTSA and I will supply the seeds. The flowers, shown in order below: marigolds, zinnias, four o'clocks, and nasturtiums:


Asters and cornflowers, shown below, are also mentioned in the story as gifts for Dolores.  If you can find seeds for them, we can try to grow them, too.



Your mystery book reports will be graded and returned in the week of December 3. There's no need to ask me about your book report grade before then.

All work for the second six-week grading period has been graded and posted on Illuminate. If you don't see a grade posted for an assignment that you think you submitted, then it's likely been left unclaimed because you didn't write your name on it. Check the stacks of graded work to see if your anonymous assignment is there. Twelve-week grades will be posted on Wednesday, November 16.  Do not email me to discuss your grade; see me in class. Email is for concerns that cannot be discussed in person.


As announced in class, I no longer allow students to rewrite / type illegible work. I was very nice about that in the first six weeks, but by now you should have developed neater penmanship or a typing habit.  Illegible work receives a 59% F.  


We desperately need standard-sized staples.  Can you

contribute some?
To thank you, we'll put your name in BIG LETTERS LIKE THIS

on our web page.




for beautiful boxes of shiny staples!

We are still accepting more staples!


Every day, we suggest you bring your planner, college-rule paper, black or dark blue ink pens, and outside reading.


Keep in mind:

Late work receives 80% credit if one day late, 70% credit if two days late (no work is accepted three or more days late).

All work must be completed in black or dark blue ink, or via typing, unless otherwise noted.  See me if you need help getting a proper pen or writing paper.

All work must have a full heading in upper right corner: first and last name, date, class period.

Write on fronts of paper only, not on backs. 

Illegible (unreadable) work receives an F.  I no longer permit you to rewrite / type illegible work for full credit. 

Staple multiple pages of an assignment before turning it in; I do not provide secretarial services.

There is no need to ask if I've graded an assignment yet. A grade for the assignment will appear on Illuminate when it has been graded.

Allow two school days for responses to emails, in keeping with SMMUSD staff guidelines.  Students, there is no need to email me questions that you can ask the next day in class.

In keeping with State law, if you're absent, you must ask me for makeup work on your day of return; otherwise no makeup work is available.

There are no bathroom passes available in our class. Your class schedule is designed so that you have a chance for a bathroom break at least every two hours, which is reasonable for a healthy youngster.  If you need more breaks, submit to the nurse a letter from your physician.  Instructional time is highly valued at MHS, and we want you in class during class time.


Our next outside reading book is in the mystery, historical fiction, biography, autobiography, sci fi, fantasy, romance, horror, or non-fiction (science, arts, history) genre. Your book must have at least 100 pages and no movie tie-in. Book reports written on books with movie tie-ins receive a grade of F/59%.  Visit our campus library or any public library to choose a book; there's no need to ever spend money on an outside book for our class.  Remember, it's up to you to ensure there's no movie tie-in.  If you miss the book report, it your responsibility to ask to make it up on the day you return. The in-class book report occurs on the designated Final Exam Day.

Weds., 12-13-17  7th grade: Read and compose 10 highlights for "An American Childhood," p.120. Compose an 8-item cause-and-effect chain for "An American childhood." Answer #1-8, p.126. All work is due Friday, 12-15-17.  A link to free online version of "An American Childhood":
Mon., 12-4-17  All grades: bring pleasure reading tomorrow.  7th grade: Make your cause-and-effect chain for "A Crush." Answer #1-8, not #7, p. 372.  
Weds., 11-29 and Thu., 11-30  7th grade: Read "A Crush," p.364 and answer questions A through G in the righthand margin -- due at next meeting. Expect a quiz Friday.  Link to free online version of "A Crush": 
Mon., 11-27-17 Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break.  7th grade: Write at least one page about your first crush.  Then, write at least one page on a separate topic: something you did which brought at least two results.  Both writing tasks are due tomorrow.  All grades: mystery book report is tomorrow.
Weds., 11-22-17  All grades:  Your "Thank an MHS Staffer" letter is due today. 
Weds., 11-15-17 + Thu., 11-16-17   7th Grade: Writing task: "Who Protects Me?" Make it at least a full page; describe person; include at least 2 examples of how this person looks out for you. Then, read "Dirk the Protector," page 270, and answer questions 1-8, not 5, p. 277.  All work is due at next session. Link to free online of "Dirk the Protector":     

Tues., 11-14-17  7th Grade: Read + compose 10 highlights for the short story "Charles," by Shirley Jackson, in red textbook. Then, write at least a page in which you suggest 5 detailed steps that Laurie's parents could follow to correct their child's behavior. All work is due tomorrow. Free, online version of "Charles":
10th Grade: Read second 1/2 of "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe, p. 23-30. Then, answer "Question" and "Conclude" on page 24, 27, 29. All work is due tomorrow.

Mon., 11-13-17  10th Grade: Read first half of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Fall of the House of Usher," in the white consumable workbook. Answer the "Question"and "Conclude" in the right hand margin of the pages. Due tomorrow.
Weds., 11-1-17 and Thu., 11-2-17  7th grade: Read and compose 15 highlights for the Chaim Potok short story, "Zebra." Also, write at least a page and a half about "Who / What Helps Me Heal." Work is due Friday, 11-3-17 at BOP.  Here's a link to a free, online version of the story:
Thu., 10-26-17  10th grade: Write at least one page to tell us what lies ahead for Holden in the 5 years after his breakdown.   7th grade:  Read and compose 10 highlights for O. Henry's short story,  "A Retrieved Reformation," p.228.  Highlights are due tomorrow.  Here's a link to a free online version of the story:
Mon., 10-23-17  All classes:  The in-class book report on your ghostly/horror book is TODAY.  Bring your book to class!
Fri., 10-20-17  All classes:  Your next in-class book report on your ghostly/horror book is this coming Monday. Bring your book to class!
Weds., 10-18-17 and Thu., 10-19-17  7th grade: finish reading The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street by the start of class on Friday. There may be a quiz tomorrow.  Free online version of the teleplay:
Tue., 10-17-17  10th grade:  Write at least one page about a time when you wanted madly, desperately to escape (could be a place, a situation, an emotion, etc.) -- due Thursday
Thu., 10-12-17  All grades:  bring your outside book tomorrow (Friday). You'll get some hints about the Oct. 23rd book report and can start some note-taking to prepare.
Weds., 10-11-17  7th grade: answer study questions for Langston Hughes' short story, "Thank You, M'am" ... due BOP tomorrow. Also: write half-page about the best parts of your ROPES day, due BOP tomorrow.  10th grade: no class today
Mon., 10-9-17  7th grade:  Bring needed supplies for tomorrow's ROPES field trip!  10th grade: Read chapters 20, 21 of The Catcher in the Rye.
Weds., 10-4-17 and Thu., 10-5-17  7th grade: Read all information on p.63. Read "Thank You, M'am," a short story by Langston Hughes, p.64. Bring your outside book for final approval Friday.  Here's a free online version of "Thank You, M'am":    10th grade: be ready for quiz on RYE Friday. Bring outside book for final approval Friday.
Thu., 9-28-17  7th grade:  Imagine that you are Marta at the end of the story and write a letter (1 page) from Marta to her competitor. Then, imagine you are her competitor and write a letter from her to Marta. Use two separate sheets of paper and staple them together with the "From Marta" letter on top.  This work is due tomorrow (Friday). Here's a free online version of the story: file:///C:/Users/mlyarber/Downloads/The_Scholarship_Jacket%20(1).pdf    Also: bring pleasure reading Friday. 10th grade:  Read chapters 14 and 15 of RYE; bring pleasure reading tomorrow.  All classes: bring pleasure reading tomorrow.
Weds., 9-27-17 7th grade: Read "The Scholarship Jacket," p.217. Answer #1-7 except #4 on p.224 -- due next meeting. Here's a free online version of the story:  file:///C:/Users/mlyarber/Downloads/The_Scholarship_Jacket%20(1).pdf  All classes: bring pleasure reading Friday.
Tue., 9-26-17  10th grade:  Read chaps 13, 14 of RYE. A quiz is possible tomorrow.
Mon., 9-25-17 All grades:  your in-class book report is today.  Bring your sci fi / fantasy novel! Eat a healthy, low-sugar breakfast!
Fri., 9-22-17  All grades: your in-class book report is this Monday.  Bring your sci fi / fantasy novel!
Weds., 9-20-17  7th grade: Read "The Three-Century Woman," p. 242. Answer #1-8, p. 249. Then, list at least 5 inventions or scientific advancements that the main character lived through (1899-2001). Writing task: write about 3 careers that won't exist in 10-15 years; then write about 3 careers that will be NEW in 10-15 years; provide an explanation for each prediction.  Here's a link to a free online version of the short story:
Weds., 9-13-17  10th grade: answer 6 study questions on whiteboard for chapters 10, 11, 12 of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE (due tomorrow)
Thu., 9-14-17  7th grade:  Read the second half of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," p.83 -end.  Here's a free online version of the story:  
Weds., 9-13-17  7th grade: Read and compose 10 highlights for first half of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," pp. 74-82 (due tomorrow). Here's a free online version of the story:    If you're using this link to do highlights, then read and compose highlights for pp 1 through 1st half of p.5 of the free online version.  10th Grade: 
Tue., 9-12-17  7th grade: finish "Brock: 10 Years Later" letter / journal entry (due tomorrow)  10th grade: Read chapters 7 & 8 of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE and answer study questions given in class -- due tomorrow.
Thu., 9-7-17  See below (Weds., 9-6-17) for 7th grade.
Weds., 9-6-17  7th grade: Study 5 stages of plot, p. 26. Write at least one page on this topic: A Place I'd Like to Visit; due Friday. Read + compose 12 highlights: "The Last Dog," p.44 in red textbook. A link to free online copy of "The Last Dog":
Fri., 9-1-17  All grades: bring your outside reading book for approval today. Review guidelines above.  Bring the book this coming Tuesday, September 5, also.
Thu., 8-31-17  All grades: bring your outside reading book for approval tomorrow. Review guidelines above.  Bring the book this coming Tuesday, September 5, also.
Weds., 8-30-17:  7th grade:  answer #1 -8, but not #4 or #6, on p.39.  Answer in complete sentences.  Due BOP tomorrow
Tue., 8-29-17 7th grade: 12 highlights for the short story "Seventh Grade" are due tomorrow; there may be a quiz on the story tomorrow. You can find an online copy of the story here:    10th grade: Read and compose 10 highlights for chapters 1 and 2 of The Catcher in the Rye (due tomorrow BOP)
Mon., 8-28-17  7th grade: due tomorrow: "A First Impression" writing task
Tue., 8-22-17 7th grade: bring one of your summer books from the official list to class on Weds./Thurs. You will complete your summer book report in class.  7th & 10th grades: turn in "Summer Moment" essay Weds/Thurs. 

Every 7th-grader's best friend:  page 26, 5 Stages of Plot:

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