Are we in the Middle of a Mass Extinction?

A Science Writing Project:

Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Many of them perished in five cataclysmic events.

According to a recent poll, seven out of ten biologists think we are currently in the throes of a sixth mass extinction. Some say it could wipe out as many as 90 percent of all species living today. Yet other scientists dispute such dire projections.

As our panelists debate the issue, they also consider how one species — Homo sapiens — may be triggering a modern mass extinction.  What do you think?

  2. Four scientists state their opinions on this topic.
    1. Read all four opinions.
    2. Read the Questions and Answers in the Roundtable Discussion.
    3. Use the Graphic Organizer to list the arguments for and against this statement.
    4. Which are most convincing to you?
    5. Where can you go to find out more?
    6. What is your position?
      1. State your position and support it with evidence from your research.
  3. Using your web-based research, plus information from the Discussion Roundtable on the PBS/Evolution website, state your own position on the question: “Are we in the middle of a Mass Extinction”
    1. Open up a Google Doc, label it “Lastname_Extinction_102314″ and share it with Mr. Blakney.
    2. Use three or four sources/to support your position.
    3. Remember to cite your sources.

Cell Structure and Function Quiz

A new quiz on Cell Structure and Function has been posted to Discovery Education! This is a do-over for the one we took in class. Use the link in the right-hand column of this page to get to your Discovery Education account. This quiz is live now and is due on October 20th! Buena Suerte!

Reading Project

Reading Response Journal

A Reading Response Journal is a way for you to be an active reader and interact with the text by recording your personal reactions, predictions, and analyses.

The focus of these journals is your own understanding of the text. There are no right or wrong responses. Your main focus is on recording your thoughts and analyzing the text.

Reading Response Requirements:

  • You must record at least SIX (6) responses
  • You must locate and copy an important quote for each response.
  • Each response must be one full page in length
  • This may include any additional quotes you choose to add to your response.
  • Your response must display effort and thoughtfulness.
  • Be thoughtful and challenge yourself to fully understand all aspects of the text.

Wonderful Words: You must find at least TEN (10) vocabulary words from your novel and write them on the Wonderful Words list.

 Your Response Journal and your Reading Project are due Thursday, November 6

 Manila Folder:

  • Front Cover
    • Book Title
    • Author
    • Your Name, Group, Date
  • Inside Cover
    • Character and Conflict
    • Choose two main characters from the novel. By each character’s name, list four or five words which describe the character distinctly.

Example from “To Kill a Mockingbird”

  • Scout Finch: strong-willed, intelligent, tomboyish, loyal, quick-tempered
  • Jem Finch: thoughtful, steadfast, imaginative, maturing
  • Atticus Finch: just, courageous, insightful, determined
  • Boo Radley: reclusive, lonely, simple, protective
  1. Write about the main conflict of the book and its climax. Give at least three examples which reflect this specific conflict. Be sure to identify the conflict as either an internal or external conflict.
  2. Choose one character that changes with the progression of the novel and write about his or her progression. Trace the changes that the character undergoes from the beginning of the novel to the end and support your response with evidence from the text.
  3. Three paragraphs:
    1. Describe Character at beginning
    2. Describe how Character changes
    3. Analyze what causes the Character to change


Choose ONE (1) of the following writing assignments.

  1. Write a review of the book in the style of a magazine or newspaper literary review. In the review, you will rate the book, describe whether or not you recommend this book, and explain your reasoning for your thoughts.
  2. Imagine you are one of the characters from the story. Write a diary entry from the first person point of view reliving important events from the book.
  3. Explain how the book affected you – What did it mean to you? How did it connect to your life? What have you learned from the story? Be sure to use specific detail from the work to explain your thoughts and feelings.
  4. If you could change the title of the book, what might that title be? Using specific references from the text, explain the appropriateness of the new title.
  5. Explain the significance of the setting to the story. How important is the setting in the story? Why is the story set where it is?

Art Work

  • Include drawings, pictures, designs and other artwork that represents the novel.
  • You must include at least THREE (3) pieces of artwork in your folder.
  • Make it neat, colorful, and attractive.



NWEA Monday

6M will be testing during A-Block, 6B will be testing during B-Block!  Bring a couple of sharp pencils and a silent reading book. Get plenty of sleep Sunday night! The Fraction Test and Cell Vocabulary Quiz have been postponed to Wednesday!