Aug 08

Welcome Students and Parents! Let’s Make It a Great Year!

Welcome_largeWelcome to the online presence of Mrs. Gastelum’s Language Arts Classes.  On this site you’ll find information you’ll use for class as well as useful resources to help you excel in Language Arts. 

Check the calendar for the class agenda and use the links provided to visit the school and the library websites.

If you are absent, it’s your responsibility to find out what you’ve missed.  Visiting this site will help you do just that.

Parents, if you haven’t already done so, please contact our office at 386-329-0588 to get your Skyward account so you can check the grade book as often as you would like.  This is a great way to stay on tops of things.  Students who have parents with Skyward access often do far better in their classes.  You are also encouraged to sigh up for text messages through  Information is available on this site and provided by me on the first day of school.

Remember if you have any questions you can always email me at


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Oct 08

Patin’s Punkin Patch

Spooky Cajun ghost story about two boys’ misadventures in a haunted pumpkin patch one Halloween.

Source: Patin’s Punkin Patch

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Sep 27

The 5 Types of Text Structure

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Sep 01

Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day

  • Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong wrote this song about his father, who died of cancer on September 1, 1982. At his father’s funeral, Billie cried, ran home and locked himself in his room. When his mother got home and knocked on the door to Billie’s room, Billie simply said, “Wake me up when September ends,” hence the title.
  • The line “seven years has gone so fast” is a reference to how Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt’s band Sweet Children (which would morph into Green Day), was formed seven years after Armstrong’s father died.

    “20 years has gone so fast” represents the time from his father’s death to when Billie Joe wrote the song.

  • This was originally slated for Green Day’s 2002 compilation album Shenanigans, but Billie Joe didn’t feel that he was in an emotional state to record it, so the song was held back and used on American Idiot>>
  • The video was directed by Samuel Bayer, who directed Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video. Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood starred in the video, which isn’t about Armstrong’s father, but more a reflection on the mood in American after the September 11 attacks. In an interview with MTV, Bayer said this video was “hands down the greatest thing I’ve ever done.” >>
  • According to VH1’s Pop-Up Video, all the explosions in the clip were real. One effects guy even had to dodge a rocket when it flew through the window where he was stationed.

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Jan 19

What is an Objective Summary?

Objective means “not influenced by personal feelings or interpretation.” A summary is a short statement that gives the main points or ideas of something. So an objective summary is a short statement or paragraph that tells what something is about but does not include irrelevant details or your opinions. HINT: An objective summary should not be written in the first person (“I”) voice.

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Jan 19

What is a Central Idea?

A central idea is a main point that the author is making (also called a main idea or a key idea). In other words, a central idea is what the article is mostly about. You can think of a central idea as a thesis statement: one sentence that states what the article is about. A text could have more than one central idea. A central idea can always be supported with details from the text. HINT: When you search for central ideas, be sure to pay special attention to titles, subheadings, and the first and last sentences of each section.




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Nov 06

Punctuating Dialogue

dialoguebubblesClick on this link to find information about the correct way to punctuate dialogue.


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Oct 17

Biography of Edgar Allan Poe

poe-006Click here to view the biography of Edgar Allan Poe

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Aug 26

What Are Nouns?

The basic definition of a noun is a person, place, thing or idea.

Watch this short video to learn more.


Review your Nouns paper and make corrections after viewing the video.  Turn in.

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Aug 26

Types of Sentences

When you learn to write, you begin by learning about the four types of sentences and the role punctuation plays in determining and creating those different sentence types.

The four types of sentences in the English language include:

  • Declarative sentence
  • Imperative sentence
  • Interrogative sentence
  • Exclamatory sentence

And there are only three punctuation marks with which to end a sentence:

  • Period
  • Question mark
  • Exclamation point

Click this link to learn more: Types of Sentences

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Aug 15

Grammar Rock



Complete the Grammar Rock worksheet by answering the questions about each video. 

Be prepared to share and discuss your answers.

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Jan 07

5 Ways to Write Better Arguments

Click on the photo to read the article.
2012-03-01-Better Arguments

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Dec 01

Charles Dickens Biography

 Read the material you were given in class and view the Biography. Complete the questions using correct structure and grammar.

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Dec 01

The Origins of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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Oct 21


original-281389-1Characterization Definition

Characterization is a literary device that is used step by step in literature to highlight and explain the details about a character in a story. It is in the initial stage where the writer introduces the character with noticeable emergence and then following the introduction of the character, the writer often talks about his behavior; then as the story progresses, the thought-process of the character. The next stage involves the character expressing his opinions and ideas and getting into conversations with the rest of the characters. The final part shows how others in the story respond to the character’s personality.

Characterization as a literary tool was coined in the mid 15th century. Aristotle in his Poetics argued that “tragedy is a representation, not of men, but of action and life”. Thus the assertion of the dominance of plot over characters, termed as plot-driven narrative, is unmistakable. This point of view was later on abandoned by many because, in the 19th century, the dominance of character over plot became clear through petty bourgeois novels.

Types of Characterization

An author can use two approaches to deliver information about a character and build an image of it:

1. Direct or explicit characterization

This kind of characterization takes a direct approach towards building the character. It uses another character, narrator or the protagonist himself to tell the readers or audience about the subject.

2. Indirect or implicit characterization

This is a more subtle way of introducing the character to the audience. The audience has to deduce for themselves the characteristics of the character by observing his/her thought process, behavior, speech, way of talking, appearance, and way of communication with other characters and also by discerning the response of other characters.


Characterization is an essential component in writing good literature. Modern fiction, in particular, has taken great advantage of this literary device. Understanding the role of characterization in storytelling is very important for any writer. To put it briefly, it helps us make sense of the behavior of any character in a story by helping us understand their thought processes. A good use of characterization always leads the readers or audience to relate better to the events taking place in the story. Dialogues play a very important role in developing a character because they give us an opportunity to examine the motivations and actions of the characters more deeply.

Source: Characterization

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Sep 17

Homophones: Know the Difference!

Visit the following links to practice using these words correctly.

It’s or Its?

There or Their or They’re

To or Too or Two?


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Sep 12

Vocabulary Word Diagram Notes

Draw one diagram for each vocabulary word.  











See the sample below.  It uses the first word from your Vocab01 words.














Parts not completed will be marked off 5 points.

To download the template for this, click the link below and use the discount code to download it for free. (This keeps others from using our stuff.)  If you’ve forgotten the code, email Mrs. G or check your skyward account.

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Aug 19

How you learn!

Scanning of a human brain by X-rays

Scanning of a human brain by X-rays

Know yourself to improve yourself  ~Auguste Comte

Use the papers given to you by Mrs. G and the links below to learn more about yourself. This assignment is worth 100 points.

Personal Learning Style Inventory

Multiple Intelligences

Brain Dominance


Assigned Thursday, August 20th- Had class time and DI period to complete.  Those who didn’t finish must complete for homework and turn in on Monday, August 24, 2015.

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