Helen Keller Mini-Bio
Short video to build background for expository essay specific examples...there are many in the series.
Specific Example Article
Read through for sixteen people who could be used as specific examples on the STAAR essay
STAAR EOC Example Essays from the state
Anti-stress Video Smiley
Beautiful Ode to Joy video - watch and relax if you get stressed studying for the test!
38 Common Errors
John Green explains 38 common errors - many of which I have seen on sample writing tests
Grammar Bytes Practice Activities
Click on the links for "interactive exercise" to do online grammar practice with immediate feedback.
Apostrophe Quiz Practice
Apostrophe Practice 1
Apostrophe practice game (the silly and sometimes frustrating soccer game)
Comma Practice Quiz with Notes
Comma Practice 1
Comma practice for summer school students
Comma Practice 2
More commas for summer school
Comma Practice 3
Another comma site for summer school
Comma Practice 4
And yet more comma practice for summer school
Semicolon Practice
Try this when you're done with the commas
Semicolon practice 2
Grammar for summer school
STAAR Practice Questions - Eng. I and II
Released practice test items for both reading and writing. Scroll down to the EOC section and choose either English I or II, Writing or Reading. The last page of each set has a key for the multiple choice items. 2013 Summer School students: if you would like to write the practice essays or short answer questions, I will be happy to look over them for you during the "intensive review sessions" for your test. Ask your summer school teacher for dates/times.
Sample STAAR Essays - Eng. I
Scroll down to English I; choose either Spring 2012 Literary Scoring Guide or Spring 2012 Expository Scoring Guide to view the scoring guide, read sample essays, and view grader comments about each essay. These were written for the actual STAAR test two years ago by real 9th graders somewhere in Texas. English II students - there are no samples available yet (as of July 28, 2013) for your test, but reading the English I expository examples could be very helpful.
Essay example (High score)
For summer school - annotated example of an expository essay (from another state's yearly test)
Essay example (Low score)
For summer school - annotated example
Essay example (Middle score)
For summer school - annotated example
PDF of The Rights to the Streets of Memphis
Project Gutenberg
Free downloads of public domain works (Frankenstein is available here), available in a number of formats.
Google Books
Some free book downloads available from this site