Grade 7: The Monsters are Due on Maple Street

Tomorrow we will begin reading and analyzing our first short story of the unit. Students will explore The Monsters are Due on Maple Street by Rod Serling. We will be focusing on analyzing the setting, character development, and theme of this text.

Audiobook: Monsters.m4a

Click here to access the corresponding comprehension questions and activities:

The Monsters are Due on Maple Street Assignment

Grade 7: Exploring Theme Identification

When trying to identify the theme of a story or novel think about the following:

  • What life lesson/idea is the author trying to teach the reader?
  • How can this lesson/idea from the “small world of the story” be applied to the “real world”?
    • Think about the big picture
  • The theme is not going to be stated directly
          • You will need to make an inference (read between the lines)

Click the link below and make a copy of the assignment:

Theme Practice

Grade 7: OJCS Set the Scene (Due: Friday 10/9)

Last week we discussed the importance of using descriptive language when creating the setting of a short story. We talked about using language that paints a picture in the mind of the reader. Students were encouraged to incorporate the five senses into their writing.

Task: A film crew has decided to film a movie about OJCS! You have been tasked with describing the environment of OJCS to the director before he arrives on site. 

Step 1: Set the scene of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Write two paragraphs that incorporate the five senses and descriptive adjectives to describe the environment of OJCS as YOU see it.

Step 2: Edit your paragraph. Check for spelling, grammar, and capitalization mistakes.

Ensure that you followed the directions and included the five senses as well!

Here is the rubric for this descriptive writing assignment:

Descriptive Writing Rubric

Grade 7: Short Story Unit

This week we have begun our Short Story Unit. Students will be studying: literary devices, setting, plot diagrams, characterization, mood, theme, conflict, and other key concepts. We will be reading and analyzing short stories along with creating our own. Please click the link below to review our notes/activities Google Slides presentation. (Please note: This presentation is a living document –> It will be updated daily)

Grade 7 Unit 1: Short Stories


Parents: Virtual Back to School Night (9/23)

Dear Parents,

Welcome to our “Virtual Back to School Night” at OJCS! If are unable to make it to our live Google Meet discussions, please check out the video presentations below. Each presentation contains expectations, a curriculum overview, behaviour management policies, homework policies, distance learning information, and contact information.

Click the link below to access the Middle School Distance Learning Schedules: Distance Learning Schedules


Grades 6-8: Accessing the Library Online

This year, students will access the library online to reserve books! After students have reserved a book, Mr. Washerstein will deliver the book to you during English class. When you are finished, you can return your book to Mr. Washerstein.

Click here to view our library catalog: OJCS Library Link

It will then ask you to log in.  Your login is the first letter of your first name, then a period, then your last name.

Example: b.areader 

Everyone’s password is the same: books


How do I reserve a book?

Step 1: Select a book

Step 2: Click the holdings tab

Step 3: Click the reserve button




Grades 6-8: Moving Forward During a Pandemic (Due: Friday 9/18)

Reflection is essential in order promote personal growth. Today we will spend time discussing mindful moments.

The purpose of this activity is to reflect upon your experience over the past 7 months. Our lives have changed in various aspects for better or worse. How can we learn from these experiences moving forward?

Click here to access the assignment:

Moving Forward During a Pandemic Assignment Sheet

Grades 6-8: Welcome Back Middle School Students!

Welcome back! We are excited to begin a new school year filled with learning, personal development, and critical thinking. Today we spent the first three periods discussing expectations, changes, and other essential information that every middle school student should be aware of. As questions arise, please reach out to your teachers as soon as possible!

Click the link below to access and review our presentation:

OJCS Middle School 2020

Grades 6-8: Language Arts Summer Review

Check out some of the summer reading recommendations from Brigitte: Summer Reading Recommendations

In addition, for those who want to practice their writing skills over the summer, check out these writing prompts:

Creative Writing Prompts

Personal Narrative Writing Prompts

Students are encouraged to post their writing pieces on their blogs over the summer.