300 L Street
Aurora, NE 68818

English Department – Mrs. Wiarda

A quick note from Mrs. Wiarda

Hello, and welcome to my webpage!  I am beginning my 30th year of teaching, and I am just as excited (and nervous) this school year as I was 30 years ago in my first classroom!  I am looking forward to an exciting and productive year!

On this page, scroll down to read course descriptions and daily writing quotes from the in-class writing board.

The following is my contact information should you need to get a hold of me or need to set up an appointment to discuss assignments, your writing, or your research.

Mrs. Karrie Wiarda
AHS, Room 102
Prep  Term 1 – Block 3    Contact time: 12:30-1:30 (Wed. 11:00-11:45)
You can also find me in my room  beforeschool from 7:50-8:15 or
after school (most days) from 3:30-5:00.

For longer discussions, it is best to make an appointment.

School phone – 402.694.226
Home phone – 402.854.2017
email address:  kwiarda@4rhuskies.org

Writer's Board Opportunities

Use the writer’s board in room 102 to share quotes you find on writing, literature, and communication, or use it to share your own work (best writing from assignments, poetry, etc.). All submissions must be approved by the teacher before being posted in class.
Thank you!

Class Site for Blogs

The following is the link for my class site for blogs. This currently pertains only to Terms 1 and 2, but may include more classes in the future. http://wiarda3.edublogs.org
To view blogs, you will need a password. Parents may contact me for that password.

This Week's Quotes from the Writer's Board

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination. But it should finish in the reader’s.”
-Stephen King

“Writing is not like painting where you add…Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible.”
– Eli Weisel

Course Descriptions

English IV

English IV is a course designed to expose students to three themes throughout terms one and two based on three questions: Who am I? Where am I? What is my purpose? These questions will be explored through reading and writing exercises that include a “Deep Map” exercise, a “Life Soundtrack” exercise, the play Hamlet, research into the history and concerns of the county, research of a person of interest presented in a multi-genre paper, reading of a variety of texts, small-group-chosen literature, and other texts. Students may also create projects using technology including blogs, iMovies, and other publishing formats. A more complete explanation and syllabus is provided on the page for this class.

English IV Daily Agenda
October 28, 2016


  • Opening
  • Start a new document for the next set of This I Believe essay responses
    • “The People Who Love You When No One Else Will” by  Cecile Gilmer
    • Who are the people who have always been there for you? Who are the people you or your family have been there for?  Who are the people who love you no matter what and what can you say about them? Who are the people who “show up” in your life when you need them the most? How can you apply this to your life?
  • Recap Chapters 1 & 2 of The Hobbit

TUESDAY (1)   Career Day – Speakers and Meetings

  • Opening
  • This I Believe Response:
    • Newt Gingrich’s “The Willingness to Work for Solutions”
    • How can we, as citizens of a great nation espousing freedom, promote working together to find solutions? How do we get our leaders to come together to solve problems? How can we, as citizens, be catalysts for a movement of problem solving and helping each other?


  • Opening
  • This I Believe Response
    • Miles Goodwin’s “The Connection Between Strangers”
    • What this little girl did is such a small act of kindness yet it has lived on through this man’s memory and life. Think about the out-of-the-blue kindnesses you have been shown in your life and describe one or two of them. Do you still remember how it made you feel? When is a time you reached out unexpectedly and showed kindness to someone else?  What effect did it have on you or the other person? When is a time you witnessed from afar an act of kindness that stayed in your memory even though you were not a part of it?


  • Opening
  • Humor Friday

Honors Composition II/
Wesleyan Honors Academy-English 1010

This course is offered during term one or term two of the fall semester. This course focuses on the themes of sense of identity, sense of place, and sense of purpose. The inquiry for this course is based upon three questions for the student to consider during the term: Who am I? Where am I? What is my purpose?

Students can expect to write several essays, read mentor texts, analyze and replicate different forms of writing, read and write responses to articles, respond to others’ work, create and write a blog, and research and write on a topic that will be presented in a symposium. The symposium paper, presentation, and participation will make up the final exam. A more complete explanation and syllabus is provided on the page for this class.

College Composition Daily Agenda
October 28, 2016


  • Writer’s Board Conversations
  • Begin Deep Map Presentations
    • Fill out a response to each speaker. Include something you learn about him or her, something you find that you have in common, and something to give positive feedback on.


  • Writer’s Board Conversations
  • Discuss Independent Work
    • For Monday, read the article titled “Know Thyself” and come prepared with discussion notes.
    • For Tuesday, write an essay about your Deep Map
      • two to three pages, double spaced
      • separate paragraphs for introduction and conclusion
      • more than one paragraph in the body of the essay
      • pay attention to:  transitions, avoidance of the use of contractions,  going deeper than the surface of ideas


Honors College World Literature
Wesleyan Honors Academy 1020

College World Literature is a course for students wanting to further their experience with world literature. Students will be given the opportunity to read authors and poets from Ancient Greece, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Students will be expected to keep an electronic learning journal that tracks their thinking as they read and as they experience different forms of difficult literature. Students will also be involved in a research project in which they read and research an author of their choice to create an annotated multigenre paper. There will also be a group literature project as we finish up the course. Weekly pieces of writing in response to other pieces of literature and writing as well as other exercises can be expected to be encountered during the duration of this course.

Honors College Writing and Research
Central Community College at Grand Island, English 102

College Honors Writing and Research is a course designed to further deepen the writing and research experience for the honors dual credit student. This course is a college freshman level course which meets the General Education requirements in the Communications area.  Course Competencies are as follows:

  • Demonstrate a variety of research techniques utilizing college-level information resources
  • Analyze the information and/or methods of persuasion used in a source
  • Document sources of information using an academic citation style (i.e., MLA, APA, CMS, CSE)
  • Compose a position/issue paper utilizing the writing process
  • Synthesize multiple sources to argue a position
  • Follow the steps of the research process
  • Compose a research paper draft utilizing the writing process
  • Revise research paper draft in response to audience feedback
  • Use research to present ideas to peers

Students in this course will be graded on: a final, full-length research paper and presentation, short-term research elements, writing exercises, reading responses and analysis, synthesis writing, and assignments that are given by the instructor. Students may also be given the opportunity to produce a research-based presentation focused on a local issue or idea.

Honors College Writing and Research Daily Agenda
October 28, 2016


  • Peer Review #1


  • Peer Review #2


  • Work on revisions and edits


  • Literature and Poetry with Paige
  • Work on visuals for presentations


  • Humor with Shelby
  • Work on visuals and timing for presentations

Creative Writing

The objective of a Creative Writing course is to tap into your creativity and produce pieces of writing that are new to you and your reader. I think we all have a great deal of creativity within us, and with a bit of direction and prodding we can find that creativity and tap into it for some wonderful pieces of writing.

In this course, we will write. A lot. Every day, in fact. We will also read and listen to others’ writing as well. We will practice with figurative and sensory language, we will study poetry and imagery, we will delve into the short story, and we will take a look at dominant impressions and single effect. Every day we will have a writing exercise and a journal topic to get our brains warmed up.

Creative Writing Weekly Agenda
November 2, 2016


  • Welcome and Writer’s Board
  • Journal:  Choices
  • Share table group Personification poem
  • Review steps
  • Create one or two personification poems for Tuesday. Have them in a printable presentation mode


  • Welcome and Writer’s Board
  • Journal: Modern Day Sleeping Beauty
  • Share individual Personification Poems (ChatterPix or iMovie)
  • Basics of Ballads:  narrative, rhyme scheme, rhythm
  • Brainstorm common stories
  • Small group: create a short ballad from a common story



  • Journal
  • Work on Ballad – Due on Monday
  • One-to-One meetings for personal writing project


  • Journal
  • Check for questions on ballads
  • Word Games – Playing with Language and Reading makes for a better writer

Works by Students

Student Poetry

Slith’ring shapes and growing fiends
appear on every side.
Their tight’ning grip and deaf’ning shrieks
oppress my every stride.

Deep’ning fear and helplessness
control my wand’ring mind,
as realization of the end
ensnares me from behind.

Poison ache and wid’ning fear
start dissipating light.
It enters in my mind and soul.
I enter ceaseless night.

Some like to remember,
But I like to forget;
Cause that’s my best chance,
And that’s my best bet,
To somehow survive this;
And yet…

I feel like it’s crashing,
Falling apart;
My world crumbles in slow motions,
The smoke clouds my heart.
I have a deadly assurance
That this is the start

Of tears like a rainstorm,
Breaths like a hurricane;
I’m sorry you’re suffering,
Trust me, it’s myself I blame;
It cuts through my soul
Just to hear you say my name.

But memories, they torture me;
Replay a thousand more times.
And it’s not like they sting,
They’re sickly sweet, they cloud my mind.
Like a poison in disguise,
that if I consume, will make me blind,

Make me paralyzed,
Make me deaf
Oh, how hard I try
To utterly forget!
But when you let go of your past
You have practically nothing left.

Reminiscence is fatal,
And my mind I’d like to lose;
I want to destroy it altogether,
Because maybe when I do,
I can start completely over
Without the memories of you.

I think magic lurks
Behind the tinkle of snowflakes.
The sound of a smile,
The music memories make.

Behind the sight of hidden hopes,
The sweet aroma of raindrops.
The desolate sting of broken dreams,
The cycle of life that never stops.

Behind the feeling of holding a baby,
And of being where you belong.
Behind hugs from a butterfly,
And the rainbows of a song.

Behind the wailing of cold, lonely wind,
The bittersweet taste of passing on.
Behind the bloodstains of a hero,
Behind a soul long gone.

Behind the melody of changing seasons,
And the harmony of star wishes.
The unlimited outcomes of a life,
And the many kinds of kisses.

Behind the releasing of clasped hands,
Of life-long friends parting ways.
Or, behind waking and sleeping,
And the continual passing of days.

Behind a falling star from heaven,
And a sad, crying cloud.
Behind the imaginations of a heart,
And the first cry of life so loud.

I thirst for you, your sincere smile,
for you to come my way.
My longing for your slow caress
grows stronger every day.

Your voice is one I have not heard,
but it consoles me still.
My spirit longs for your soft words.
My soul is yours to fill.

I need your face, so warm, so kind
to bring warmth to this place.
My body aches for tender touch,
I long for your embrace.

Student Projects

After spending several weeks writing different types of poetry, students compiled their best examples into a project that contained elements of the visual as well as the auditory in presenting their work to their classmates.

After reading a piece of descriptive writing, students created a Power Point presentation to show their classmates evidence of the following elements: dominant impression, objective statements, subjective statements, detail, figurative language, sensory language, and favorite sentence. Each slide is timed and presenters had to share information and explanations within a five to twenty second time frame.