Mr. Johnston


What the idiom says

What it really means

“Forget it, Malc.”

“I do not forget anything.”

Completely erase this idea from your mind.

Stop talking about it.

“The first three might just be the tip of the iceberg.”



“Its hard to get off the ground with unknowns.” P.43



“But she didn’t come across as completely cracked.” “I did not detect any severe wounds.” P.47



“Q – the killer – isn’t making a song and a dance about it.”  “To avoid detection, Q is unlikely to indulge in such behaviour.” P.67



“Now I’m buzzing.” “I do not detect any sound.” P.68



“This isn’t going anywhere.  I’m probably barking up the wrong tree.” “That would be an unusual activity for a human being.” P.116



Expectations for creating a cartoon:

  • reread a section of your book that includes an important issue about spying that you want to portray
  • jot down details that you would like to provice as information in the cartoon
  • decide on a humourous situation to represent the idea/event
  • write a humourous caption or statement to capture the essence of the issue
  • be prepared to discuss teh cartoon adn the caption


Example: Will (from STORM) using his Eye-Spy:

  • an illustration of the outside wall of David Wickett's house but also seeing inside
  • Will cutting through the cabin wall with Eye Spy
  • inside Greta is dusting when the Eye Spy comes through and kicks up some dust
  • As Greta stares at the dust, Will is seen yelling through the hole, "Sorry about the dust, I just wanted to see who was here!"


Grade 8 Article

Students, Say Goodbye to Snow Days - and Say Hello to School at Home


Grade 7 Article

Eight Ways to Tell if a Website is Reliable


*With gratitude and credit to Vale Middle School and Mary Devine Middle School of Oregon and Pennsylvania respectively.

1. record

2. distance

3. waves

4. address

5. purchase

6. reader

7. swipe


Find and write two separate definitions for each of the above words AND write a sentence to match each definition.

Students were informed in all three classes (7W, 80 & 8S) that they will require a composition writing journal of no less than 150 pages.  This journal will stay here at the school and students will use it for a Writing Journal both as a creative outlet as well as for  a place to respond to poems, articles, readings, debates, etc.

Students will need to have this by Friday, March 14th.  They can be found at most dollar stores and range from $1 to $2.

While most look like the picture below, a number of different styles have been discussed that will be acceptable for our purposes.

composition notebookcomposition notebook

This week in class we have discussed both of the Bingo Cards for Booklovers produced by Random House.  I will inlcude the link to Random House's website here and the bingo cards below.

 Booklover BingoBooklover BingoYA Booklover BingoYA Booklover Bingo






We also discussed a great website for avid readers to keep track of the books they have read and to generate recommendation lists based on what they have read and liked.  It is a free website for which individuals can sign up.  It also has iPhone and Android Apps for people/students on the go.


Grade 8 Questions for

STORM: The Black Sphere



‘abolition of a debt’ =


tartan kilts =


Arran jumper =


brogue =



1.  What was Will’s task and how was he going to accomplish it?

2.  Think about Will’s task and predict what Elke and the other two will be doing.



Grade 7 Questions for

Roll Call

1. Does Luke get any useful information from Owen about young Emily’s disappearance?


2. We’ve found out that opera singer Emily likes to read myths, and she might have read Ice Cold.  Is she going to become a suspect, and does she or any other possible suspect have links with young Emily?




You are to complete a full page of brainstorming for the Personal Narrative that was introduced in class today.

Assignment is as below:




Choose 1 (and only 1) of the following prompts for which you are to write a narrative.  Be sure to pay attention to the guidelines discussed in class (also available as a downloadable file on Mr. Johnston’s webpage) about the structure of a Personal Narrative.



1.   Think of a place that's so special to you that you just love thinking about it.

·       It might be as big as a city, or as small as one corner of a room. Tell one story that comes to mind when you think of this place; AND

·       Describe this place so clearly that your reader will know just what it's like to be there.



2.   Think of an event you will want to remember when you are older. Tell about what happened in a way that's so clear that if you read this story again when you are 80, every detail will come flooding back as if it happened yesterday.


3.   Think of a person you have known who has been important to you. Describe why he or she made such an impression on you or made a difference in your life.


There will be a short quiz on Thursday, December 19th for GRADE 8 students.  The quiz will be on:

  • Points of View (1st, 2nd, 3rd person)
  • Sentences & Sentence Fragments
  • Subjects and Predicates (both full and simple)

Notes for these can be found in the document gallery in case a student was absent on the days they were given or if they forgot their work at home.

Grade 8

Write down and answer the two questions below in your notebook.

a. What is happening that involves spying?  Is spying in this way, or any other justified?


b. Think about Will, Andrew, and Gaia's dilemma.  What do you think will happen now?

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