Valentine’s Day Bonus Opportunity

I will never offer “extra credit” to just one person. (And I usually ask you about your missing assignments first. Doing those and getting them turned in sometimes makes a world of difference.) Anyway . . . Whenever I offer a “bonus” opportunity, I offer it to everyone — to be fair.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and because I love candy hearts, although I am very particular about which kind I like (see this post where I briefly explain the difference), I am offering a Candy Hearts Writing Bonus opportunity.

Here’s how it works:
(1) I will give you three candy hearts. They each (of course) will have a message on them.
(2) You connect one heart’s message to something in history (for a history bonus) in 250 words posted on your blog.
(3) You connect one heart’s message to something you are currently reading (for an ELA bonus) in 250 words posted on your blog.
(4) I am giving you three hearts just in case . . . it gives you a little more to work with.
(5) You may do the ELA bonus, the HSS bonus, or both.
(6) You may eat the hearts when you are done.


Here’s how it might work for ELA:

It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m celebrating by eating candy hearts. All candy hearts contain a message, and one of mine reads “Got cha!” This makes me think of what I am currently reading with my students in literature. It is a book entitled Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang. It is more of a personal narrative or autobiography, rather than a novel, and it tells about the author’s personal experiences living through the Cultural Revolution in China, which started in 1966. Ji-li was a model student whose world was turned upside down when she discovered that her family (and those of some of her friends) had skeletons in their closet, according to the Communist Chinese government. Ji-li’s grandfather had been a landlord, and her family was accused of having bourgeois tendencies. Because the government was encouraging a campaign of getting rid of the four olds — old habits, old ideas, old traditions, and old culture — families were encouraged to destroy anything that fit that criteria. Old china, old photo albums, old traditional clothing . . . all had to be thrown out. Of course, some families didn’t want to give up these precious family heirlooms. So they hid them. At the same time, though, bands of youth known as the Red Guards, took it upon themselves to search various homes, ransacking them for evidence of “four olds” stashes. Drum and gong sounds alerted neighborhoods that the bands of Red Guards were coming. Whose house would they visit this time? Ji-li and her family lived in a state of nervous anxiety, wondering when their family’s apartment would be targeted. Days passed. “Got cha!” It finally happened one night. The Jiang family was subjected to the dreaded search; after the Red Guards left, it took two days to set their house back to rights. I thank goodness this is nothing I have ever experienced, nor am likely to experience here in the U. S.

3 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Bonus Opportunity

  1. Dear Mrs. Rovira and Scholar Bloggers,
    Thank you for inviting us to visit your blog! We are happy to make your acquaintance. I love the idea of the three candy hearts, and I hope some of your students took up the extra credit challenge. Red Scarf Girl sounds like a very intriguing read. I like to teach with books that help us learn something about history or the world. We are currently reading Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, and we just finished Peak by Roland Smith. (I can’t seem to figure out how to do italics when leaving a comment or I would be italicizing the titles.) Both are well-written, interesting novels, but are very different from each other in topic. Do you have a favorite book to teach?
    We hope to have some time in the computer lab tomorrow so that all the students can connect with each other. I did mention to them today that we had received a comment from you, but we are starting some standardized testing today, so we didn’t have much free time for blogging. Everyone was excited about new friends in California.
    Please come and visit us at Hey, Kids again, or stop by any of our student blogs. We love blogging! Some favorite blogging activities are Blogging Parties when we reach a goal ( a movie party for a visitor from all 50 states on our Clustrmap), Family Blogging Month (a drawing and prize each week for those students who have had a family member comment on their blog), and the Student Blogging Challenge, which starts this month.
    Thanks for reaching out! We will respond in kind as soon as possible.
    Mrs. Donofrio

  2. Wow! It was such a pleasure to see all the visits to our blogs today. 🙂

    I teach both seventh and eighth graders. (All have blogs.) It is my seventh graders who are in the middle of Red Scarf Girl, while we just finished up The Diary of Anne Frank in eighth grade.

    Each year, the eighth graders enter a Holocaust art and writing contest sponsored by the nearby Chapman University. We combine that with reading about Anne Frank. Plus, we invite a Holocaust survivor to come speak to our students in person. It is always a very moving unit. We’re coming to the end of that now, though, and next up in our curriculum is a focus on poetry.

    For the seventh graders, I too, try to choose titles that complement our curriculum in history. In California, seventh graders study the medieval world, including medieval Chinese dynasties such as the Tang, Song, Ming, and Qing. Red Scarf Girl is set during the cultural revolution in China, so it is a natural continuation of where we leave off in history. Some of my students, too, have parents that were directly affected by the Cultural Revolution, so it has been an especially touching experience for them to read this book. After this, we move into feudal and medieval Europe, so I’ll be reading an age-appropriate version of The Canterbury Tales, which I totally LOVE.

    My students were SO excited to see that some of them received comments on their blogs. They wanted to go immediately to their devices to read them. Those that didn’t get a comment were motivated to write something that was possibly “comment-worthy” and entertaining. I didn’t see all of my students today, as I was out of the classroom (but onsite) working on school-related business. In the coming days, hopefully you will see more comments from us coming your way.

    Do you have a particular era in history you like to read about? I’m always on the look-out for compelling titles to read. 🙂

  3. Hello Mrs.Rovira

    Im Kayla from Mr. Millers room I love how you put the snoopy. I also like hoe you put yummy food on your blog….now im hungry. How many kids do you have at the school? I like how you just dont offer extra credit to just one person. I fell the same. I never knew that a teacher would do a valintines bonus. Thats so cool.

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