Monday, June 6, 2016

Book Reviews from Zubiri's 2016 Language Class

Win Forever By: Pete Carroll w/ Yogi Roth

Genre: Autobiography/Sports

Summary: Win Forever is a autobiography that talks about Pete Carroll’s struggles with coaching in the NFL and his overwhelming success as head coach of the USC Trojans. Carroll talks about his competitive spirit and how his success came from his winning philosophy “Win Forever.” Also Carroll talks about his love for the game and how he was able to turn a school from bottom of the barrel to the top of the totem pole. He was recently fired from The New England Patriots and felt his coaching career was finished, but his hopes were not diminished as he got the call to coach for USC. USC was recently in a slump and were last in the Pac 12. After one season Carroll took the Trojans to 6 national championships.

Favorite Part: My favorite part of the story is when Carroll talks about his time growing up in California. He was always the smallest kid on the field and that lack of size he made up for with heart. Then he got his big break and was able to play Division I at Pacific University.

Recommendation: I recommend this book because Carroll depicts the type of coach I would like to have and even if you’re not into sports, everyone has a competitive drive. Carroll teaches us not only how to use it on the field, but in regular life.

Ryan Cano-Williams

The River by Gary Paulsen
Genre: Realistic fiction         
Summary:The River by Gary Paulsen is the sequel to the novel Hatchet. In this book, Brian Robeson returns to the wild a year after being stranded there for 52 days, but this time he goes to a new location with Derek Holtzer, a psychologist who works with a government program that teaches people to survive in situations like the one Brian experienced. However, this trip is planned and seems too easy to Brian after three days of apparent dumb luck finding a premade shelter and stumbling upon flint. During that third night a lightning storm hit and struck both Derek and Brian putting Derek into a coma and knocking Brian out for a brief while. The only way for Brian to save Derek’s life is for him to build a raft and pull him up the river to a trading post for help. Along the way Brian loses the raft temporarily due to white water rafts, but retrieves it and eventually gets Derek to safety at the trading post.
My Opinion of the Book: This sequel dulls in comparison to Hatchet and actually does its original an injustice with the simplicity in which the story was constructed. It was just another example of a failed attempt in creating a book sequel.
I would not recommend this book because it is way too fast paced to lead to no type of climax with a typical resolution that was expected since the character Derek got struck by lightning.
Naren Hunter
The Color Complex Summary 
Genre: nonfiction 
Summary of book: This book explains the politics in how people of color are portrayed in 
society. Providing background history from slavery days and much of what was going 
on in the 20th century, Kathy Russell, Midge Wilson, and Ronald Hall all provide 
examples to demonstrate how as a Black person, usually the lighter you are the more 
you're accepted by society. From physical features such as hair and how women of 
darker skin try and change their hair just to look in the slightest bit acceptable to their 
peers, to the privileges in the workforce, their dating life, and how the media portrays 
those of lighter skin, this book opens your mind into seeing that colorism and 
discrimination still take place in today's day. It isn't just a white and black type of 
discrimination either and the authors do a good job of showing how discrimination 
persist even amongst the people in the Black community. The authors seem to have the 
goal to educate the reader about the real life controversial issue and how it affects the African American 
community. The authors also demonstrate how to change it all in the 
epilogue, which I thought was pretty cool. 
My Opinion: This book is a good read. Every page of the book provides you with 
interesting details and examples relating to this topic. I really did enjoy reading this book 
and it taught me so much more about the Black community and it really served its 
purpose when it came down to educating me about the whole controversial idea of 
discrimination and how it's deeper than just and Black and White thing. 
I recommend this book because its does a tremendous job of informing without trying to 
sound too sophisticated. It wasn't too easy of a read but easy enough to understand the 
message being portrayed by the authors. It also got straight to the point and didn't drag 
out the facts about things which also made me wanna keep reading 
Thabiso Moroke

Summary of book
The book Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez is an autobiography about a conflicted teenager. The autobiography depicts how Luis came to be a gangbanger and the lifestyle he has because of his choices. It illustrates the struggles he and his family encountered here in the US (they are from Mexico). Luis becomes a gangbanger and then talks about the difficulties he comes across with his gang. One can seethe type of lifestyle he acquired for himself and the consequences he then suffers. The book ends with Luis getting out of jail. He gets out of jail and sees no choice but to move away from his childhood home. While leaving he is confronted by an old disabled rival, Chava, who blames him for his condition. Chava brought along two guys that would willingly fight Luis but he is able to calm Chava and embrace him.
My Opinion of the Book
In my opinion I did not really like the book. I thought it was okay but it didn't really intrigue me. I thought the story was overall a good story but in all honesty I could have gone without reading this book. I had heard from a lot of people that it was very good but came to find for myself that it was okay. However other peoples opinion may differ from mine.
Recommend ?
I would not recommend this book to a friend because I thought it was kind of boring. If they want to read a book about a gangster they should read Monster the autobiography of an L.A. gang member by Sanyika Shakur. That is an amazing book that never gets boring, I didn't want to put it down. I wanted

to continue reading more and more. In fact after I finished reading it I actually did some extra research on the book, that’s how interesting it was.
Marlene De Los Santos
Book report
The book that I read is called 2001: A Space Odyssey and it is science fiction story published in 1968 about an adventure through space and it's beginnings. The story starts with our primitive ancestors and talks about their early struggles and then their encounter with an alien device known as a monolith. The monolith would give knowledge to the primitive beings that roamed the earth and somehow influence the primitive beings to start using bones and weapons. This would happen again in the year 2001 and the humans would discover once more the monolith on the moon and would send them on an adventure to Saturn. The trip would take years for the humans to reach Saturn. On aboard the spaceship, was Hal, the smartest machine created and would help the human with their trip through space. Problems would arise though out their journey and would lead to the resolution.
My opinion. The book was very interesting to me because of the idea of traveling through space and visiting other planets. It's a very unique book that was ahead of it's time in 1968 and still is due to the idea of traveling pass the moon and traveling toward other planets.
I recommend this book to any reader who finds space interesting and is willing to read a book that starts slow but gets better. If you like space and adventure this is for you.
Omar Bautista
Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Fantasy ,Young Adult fiction  
Summary of the Book:  The Selection is the chance of a lifetime for poor citizens of the kingdom. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels maids to serve their every will. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon and have a happily ever after with him. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare the worst chance to ever come to her in her life.It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her leaving them to have a slight chance of living comfortably. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. But will prince Maxon make her have a change of heart about living this life. Will they mend each other's hearts and find an eternal love.
My Opinion: The book was interesting yet the plot was a typical plot that you can think of. Yet what made it apart from other stories was the author didn't just focus on the romance they focused on the kingdoms struggle as well. The romance between the two characters was good because, they didn't connect quickly it wasn't unreal. It unraveled like a normal relationship having some things in common but, disagreeing in other thing. Which is something that I loved because it wasn't fake at all.
Recommendation: I would recommend it only if you like romance if not then don't read it. The plot doesn't take as long to unravel as other books which is a bonus if u want to read something that is straight to the point. There are some times where it get boring because it's the same ideas, but there are good plot twists which make up for it.
Conclusion: Overall the book was great and it's a four book series so you get more of it. The author has a great writing style which gets addictive. It's a great romance you feel like you're in her shoes at times because, the romance is relatable. If you enjoy this kind of style of book then it’s the right book to read.
Diana Rodriguez
Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green and David Levithan
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Summary of Book:  Two boys living in Illinois have the name but live two totally different lives. The first Will that was introduced likes to live a quiet life with no attention directed to him. The second Will is pretty dark and diagnosed with depression. The whole novel is LGBT themed, as Will #1 has a gay best friend and Will #2 is gay himself. Both Wills have a very small group of friends at school and have a girl currently in their love lives, with Will #1 showing some interest to the girl but not Will #2. The Two Wills end up meeting each other and become close, but not too close. That’s where life changes for them.
My Opinion: I enjoy reading this book, although I did not finish the novel. Meeting someone who has the same name as you might be awesome or be a little weird, but in the end, they’re still someone totally different from you other than sharing the same name.
Recommendation: Yes, I would recommend this book because of how relatable the stories are. Most books don’t really seem realistic to today’s society and what goes on at school, but this book seemed like it was happening in front of my eyes. Everytime I read the book, I laughed and shared that section with my friends.
Conclusion: This book was amazing overall. It didn’t feel like it was a fictional piece since it felt so real. It was easy to read and totally relatable to today, even though it was published in 2010.It was a funny and enjoyable novel to read. I would watch the movie if there was one, but there isn’t one. There aren’t many books that are LGBT themed and this book seems to be a great example of one. If you enjoy LGBT themed novels, John Green and David Levithan’s works, this is a book for you.
Juliana Kim

Monday, November 19, 2012

Marcus Anderson, Fernando Garcia, and Steve Miramontes

Marcus Anderson, Fernando Garcia, and Steve Miramontes are three students in Mr. Danziger's class. They wrote an essay based on a prompt called "I Come From" which were selected for publication by Pen Center USA. Mr. Danziger, a Venice High English teacher, is a member of Pen in the Classroom and many of his students' essays have been published in anthologies by Pen in the Classroom.

Link to Venice student essays

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fireworks by Amy Lowell

Poem and video of someone reading the poem.

For 10 points, listen to the video and write a comment stating your opinion here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Persuasive Writing: Movie Review "The Birds"

"The Birds" Movie Review from Prentice Hall Literature Gold Edition (9th grade)

Common Core Standard 8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning

Movie clips from the suspense movie "The Birds" by Alfred Hitchcock

See this one first.

Sunday, October 21, 2012



Students were asked  to write a memoir about an experience that affected them. Here are some samples from Ms. Zubiri's 9th and 10th grade classes.

By Angie Maximo

During my 2012 summer vacation, I traveled with a group of handbell ringers from Mark Twain Middle School to London, England. Our handbell choir is a group of seventeen young teenagers ringing bells to different type of music. For example, church music, rock ‘n roll, and many more. We were invited to ring at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. We took 8 chaperones to take care of us in this long trip. We all stayed in the University of Kent right outside of London, England for 9 days. 
We performed in places and events during the time we were there. Our first performance was at an Olympic Festival. We rang a little bit of everything. Such as, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele, and Beethoven. One of my favorite performances we had was at the Olympic Park, where the open ceremony was taken at. Although, we got wet while ringing because it was drizzling and we didn’t have nothing to cover us. We walked for a long time and we had to carry our equipment, which was really heavy. It was worth it. But we didn’t just go to work hard and perform. We had fun spending time with each other like a family.
The bus rides in our tour bus were the funnest out of the whole trip because all of the kids would talk, sing, take pictures, and even dance. And because of the tight schedule we had, sometimes we had to change in the bus or because we didn’t feel comfortable with what we were suppose to wear that night for a performance. Our tour bus guy drove us everywhere around the city, took us to different restaurants and always made it on time to all of our performances.
On free days, our bus driver would take us out to look at historical cathedrals, museums, and towers. Some of my favorite parts of this trip in London, was going to the London Eye, going to the Tower of London, eating the traditional dish “fish and chips”, which is a fried piece of fish with French fries with lemon, and going to the Wembley Soccer Stadium. Going to the Wembley Soccer Stadium was a dream come true. Our whole bell choir and chaperones were invited to go see the soccer game France vs. Japan. It was woman soccer, but I didn’t mind as along as I was there. It was amazing and super fun. Being able to hear everyone in the stadium cheering for their favorite team was the funnest thing besides the bus rides.
However, we also went to Paris, France for a day. We took a train from London, England to Paris, France. The train ride was about 3 hours straight. We had snacks to enjoy while in the train and a comfortable seat to sit on. While in Paris, we couldn’t do many things we all wanted to because of a tight schedule.
We didn’t have a tour bus there but there was a family from Los Angeles living there for the summer, we knew them because they would also go to Mark Twain Middle School, and they showed us around. We traveled form place to place by using the subways. We went to the most important places to visit which were the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Norte-Dame, and Ave des Champs-Elysées. All these places were amazing and unforgettable. The Eiffel Tower was huge and really hard to take pictures with. I couldn’t believe I was right in front of the Eiffel Tower. We went back to London and kept going out to perform. But our time there was up. We sadly had to get back home after 9 days in London. This trip was a good experience and I will always look back at this memory.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech "I Have a Dream" Lesson Plan

The above video is the full speech given by Martin Luther King Jr.

LAUSD Teachers: The second video above is a shorter version that includes the section of his speech that is in the 9th grade Prentice-Hall anthology. You can assign this for home viewing, because it cannot be opened in the classroom due to LAUSD filtering. Just have students google "VeniceHighBuzz" and they should be able to easily find this page.

To view the Youtube videos in the classroom,  I have included links below, which should lead you to the LAUSD sign in and show allow you to view it in the classroom. To view it without pausing problems, click on "low quality" once you open the video.

Link to Part 2/2 of MLK Jr.'s speech, which includes the section of his speech in Prentice-Hall.

  Link to Full Speech on Youtube

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oprah Youtube videos for "Night" by Elie Wiesel

Youtube videos related to Night by Elie Wiesel
The following videos were created by Oprah Winfrey when she produced a special documentary on the Holocaust, which included collaboration by Elie Wiesel in person.

For teachers with filtering systems: To view them in the classroom, click on the links and go to the Youtube page. This should allow you to then sign in to your filtering system and hopefully view the videos in the classroom. Don't forget to click "low quality" when viewing, to avoid pausing problems.

Oprah and Elie Wiesel Part 1

Oprah and Elie Wiesel Part 2

Oprah and Elie Wiesel Part 3

Oprah and Elie Wiesel Part 4