Senior Memory Book

            We are all individuals shaped by our experiences, the people with whom we surround ourselves, and the communities in which we live.  As you approach the important milestone of high school graduation, take a look back over the last 17 - 18 years at the memories that have shaped you into the person you are today.  This book will consist of thoughts, pictures, memories, and so much more. 

There are 15 required chapters to construct. Each chapter needs to be typed and double-spaced and will be assessed for focus/organization, elaboration/support/style, and command of the English language.  This means that you will need to proofread and edit before turning in for a grade.  Each chapter must be turned in by the due date; chapters turned in late will qualify for half credit.  Each writing component to be turned in must be at least one page, double-spaced, and typed in Times New Roman, font-size 12.  If you want to change your font for the finished project, that is your prerogative.  Turn in each chapter by the due date designated in the information packet.

Your Senior Memory Book should be a 3-ring binder, photo album, scrapbook, or whatever you deem qualified to hold all the required information.  All pictures and information must be school appropriate.  Once you receive the chapter back from me, make any changes, print off a new copy, and then you may add anything you want to your book to illustrate the topic of each chapter (i.e. pictures, items you have collected over the years, newspaper clippings, invitations, drawings, computer graphics, stickers, die-cuts, captions, awards, honors, ribbons, pins, certificates, examples of school work, etc.). 

The goals for this project are that you become a better writer, get to know yourself better, include things that are significant to you, and create something that you would be proud to share with your family and friends.  Be creative and have fun.  Remember, this is your legacy!

Chapter 1 – “Who Am I?”                                                                    Due Date:  September 8, 2017

            This chapter will be a compilation of lists that describe you as a person.  Each list must contain at least five items, except for the favorite quote.  The required lists are:

  • Favorite movies
  • Favorite books
  • Favorite foods
  • Best Things in Life
  • Favorite quote with explanation
  • Bucket List

Total points:  ______/ 30

Chapter 2 – “Before I Was, There Were…”                                         Due Date:  September 29, 2017

            Make or obtain a family tree chart.  Then write a brief description of your family tree; tell about folks who were around before you were born:  grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and older siblings. 

Total points:  ______/12

Chapter 3 – “Family Lore”                                                                  Due Date:  October 19, 2017

            Collect at least five family stories from a variety of family members.  These can be about you or about someone else in your family.  Encourage the person to be as detailed as possible and even to provide pictures if possible (photocopies are fine).

            Put the five stories together in whatever logical order you feel is best, and then write an introduction and a conclusion.  If you write the story in that person’s voice, identify the teller and his/her relationship to you.  For example, before a story you might write “This is a story told by my mother, Mary Bailey, about her mother, Minnie Bainbridge.”

Total points:  _______/17

Chapter 4 – “Suddenly, I Became Me”                                                           Due Date:  November 3, 2017

            When and where were you born?  Were there any unusual or humorous circumstances surrounding your birth?  How was your name chosen; what does it mean?  What was going on in the world on the day you were born; with whom do you share a birthday?  What were the first couple of years of your life like?  (Look back at your baby book – first tooth?  first word?  first step?)  What memories do you have of your first five years, if any?  What are some of those stories your mom tells that you wish she wouldn’t?  Some resources you might check are your baby book, photo albums, and family members.

            You will need to include a page to give an overview of the world when you were born.  This does not have to be in essay form.  You can simply make a list.  Include things like:  Who was President?  What was happening in the world of entertainment like movies, songs, t.v., Grammy/Oscar awards, etc.?  What was happening in the world of sports, such as who won the Super Bowl, World Series, etc.?  What zodiac sign were you born under?  What is your birthstone?  Were there any famous people born on your birth date?  What was the price of any items during this time?  You may include these or list other things you would prefer.  This list must include at least 10 items although you may list as many as you like.

Total points:  _______/22

Chapter 5 – “I Grew Up Here!”                                                           Due Date:  November 17, 2017

            Write about your home and neighborhood.  You may have moved around a bit; if so, include information about all the homes you’ve lived in.  Describe your bedroom over the years.  How did your space change as you grew?  Describe the colors, decorations, etc., of your various rooms.  What was your hometown like?  What was your neighborhood like?

Total points:  ______/12

Chapter 6 – “School Bells”                                                                  Due Date:  December 1, 2017

            Write about kindergarten through 6th grade - first day jitters, fears, anticipation; learning to read and write; special friends, teachers; school programs (did you play a tree in a school production?), etc.  Tell about where you lived during this time and the schools you attended.  Include favorite childhood activities you enjoyed during this period of your life.  How has your family changed from Chapter 4?  This is a good place to include some of your early school work or artwork when you put the portfolio together.

Total points:  ______/12

Chapter 7 – “Middle School:  Growing Pains, Crushes, and Being a Good Sport”

Due Date:  December 15, 2017

            Okay, you’re not a “little kid” anymore.  How did the work change that year?  Did you still like school?  Write about the first crush you had.  Who was it?  What happened to that person?  Did you become active in sports during this time?  Which ones?  What were some of the “growing pains” that you went through during this pre-adolescent time in your life?  Your body was beginning to change; girls outgrew boys.  This was a clumsy period – how did you ever survive it?  How did your relationship with friends and with the opposite sex change?  Tell about your teachers, friends, activities, successes, heartbreaks, accomplishments, etc..

Total points:  _______/12

Chapter 8 – “I Wish I Could See _____________ Again!”                 Due Date: January 12, 2018

            Tell about a childhood friend, neighbor, or teacher that you have no contact with anymore but would like to see again.  What was your relationship with that person like back then?  What happened to change that?  Why would you like to see this person now?  What would you tell that person?

Total points: _______/12

Chapter 9 – “Besides My Parents, There Was…”                                Due Date:  January 26, 2018

            Write about the one most influential person, other than your parents, in your life.  I know this is difficult to do, but don’t waffle here and try to select more than one.  Do some soul searching and choose the ONE person who has been the MOST influential.  Tell why you chose this person. 

Total points:  _______/12

Chapter 10 – “Freshman Year”                                                            Due Date:  February 9, 2018

            Wow!  Remember those days when YOU were the new kid and it seemed as if everyone else was a whole foot taller than you?  Remember coming to the BIG school and thinking you would never find your way around?  How was your freshman year?  What were some of your anxieties?  How was the transition from middle school to high school?  What were some of the horror stories you had heard about high school?  Were any of them true?  How did you manage to “fit in” with high school life?  Who were your friends?  Favorite teachers?  What were some memorable moments during this year?

Total points:  _______/12

Chapter 11 – “Sophomore Year”                                                          Due Date:  February 23, 2018

            Do the same thing you did with freshman year.  Only now you are a little more comfortable.  Write about learning to drive, beginning to date, getting that first job, ordering your class ring, becoming  more involved in school, etc. 

Total points:  _______/12

Chapter 12 – “Junior Year”                                                                  Due Date:  March 16, 2018

            Prom, moving up the class ladder – still not at the top but within sight of it.  Write about your junior year.  What were your best and worst subjects?  Teachers?  Did you join any new teams or clubs?  Some say this is the hardest year?  Was it?

Total points:  _______/12

Chapter 13 – “At Last, I’m a Senior!”                                                  Due Date:  April 6, 2018

            Write a reflection of your senior year so far – choosing graduation invitations, getting measured for cap and gown, having your own parking spot!  How did it feel to go through all those “lasts” – last time for summer reading, last pep rally, last basketball game?  Was it everything you expected, or was it a little different?  How did YOU treat this year’s freshmen?  What are you feeling now, as you get ready to embark on a new chapter of your life? 

            During your senior year what was happening in the world of news, entertainment, sports, etc?  You must have a minimum of 10 things on this list.

Total points: _______/22

Chapter 14 – “My God”                                                                       Due Date:  Optional

            Express in this chapter how you’ve seen God work in YOUR life in the past.  This could cover several events or one event in particular.

Total points:  OPTIONAL

Chapter 15 – “My Friends”                                                                  Due Date:  Optional

            Do what you want with this chapter, but the topic is friends.  You might want to use this section to write letters to some of your friends who have stuck with you through thick-and-thin, love you for the good and the bad, and know you at your core.  You may want to include several pictures of fun times, or write about adventures that you have had with your friends.  Have fun with this chapter.  Mark my words - you will want to revisit this section of the book as the years go by!

Total points:  OPTIONAL

Chapter 16 – “Parent Interview”                                                          Due Date:  April 20, 2018

            Follow the instructions on the following page for this chapter.  Please begin this process as soon as possible.  Although this is one of the most difficult assignments in the book, it is usually the most rewarding. 

Total points: ________/62

EPILOGUE – “If I Could Live My Life Over Again, I Would …” OR “Why I Would Not Change Anything About My Life”

                                                                                                            Due Date:  April 27, 2018

            Write at least a thoughtful, reflective paragraph.  The length is up to you.

Total points: _______/12 (General Rubric)


Total points: _______/50 (If your Senior Memory Book is complete and shows some creativity and thought, your portfolio grade will be no less than an 80%, or 40/50.  The more thorough and the more creative you are in decorating your book and pages and sections with drawings, pictures, photographs, newspapers clippings, awards, or brochures, the higher your grade will be.  Any book that does not contain all of the 15 required chapters will receive a lower grade, no matter how fancy it is.)



I have one last piece of advice for you.  There will be many moments in your life:  other graduations, weddings, babies, etc.  However, high school graduation is one of the most monumental events in your life.  I know it is hard not to look at this as a grade, especially since you need this class to graduate.  However, this is my graduation gift to you.  I am requiring of you to create something that you will have to look back on for the rest of your life.  I have had countless students through the years who have told me how much they appreciate having this book to look through.

This summarizes who you are and where you have been.  Add as much extra to this book as you want.  I have only provided certain requirements as a starting point from which you are to jump.  Don’t just add as much as you can for my benefit because you want a good grade.  Add as much as you will because this is a summary of your first seventeen to eighteen years of life that I hope you and your family will cherish forever.  Make this project entirely you.

I wish you and your family nothing but enjoyment and fond memories as you put this book together.

God bless you in your journey,

Mrs. Davis





Interviewing your Parents                                                                                        Due:  April 20, 2018

Design and conduct an interview that will enable you to discuss parenthood and the parent/child relationship with your parents.

Part I: Introspection

Before you design and conduct your interview, consider and respond in writing to the following questions:

1. What issues seem most relevant to your relationship with your parents now?

2. What issues were most relevant when you were younger? What issues do you expect to become more important in the future?

3. What would you like to learn about parenting from your parents?

4. What would you like to know about your parents themselves that you may not have discussed?

5. How are the themes of facing the unknown and the need for community relevant to the parent/child relationship, especially as children become adults and as parents grow older (as children and parents move from one stage of life to another)?

6. Which aspects of your relationship with your parents are most difficult? Complex? Rewarding? Why? How may your parents perceive these aspects?

7. Which texts (literature, songs, films, myths, stories, etc.) have shaped your understanding of parenthood and the parent/child relationship? What have they taught you?

8. What do you envision when you think about the lives of your parents before they became parents?

9. Would you like to be a parent? Why? What sort of parent do you imagine that you would be?

10. What are the greatest risks of parenthood?

11. What are the most important duties of a parent to his or her child, both when that child is young and when he or she is older?

12. What are the most important duties of a child, both when he or she is young and when he or she is older, to his or her parents?

Typed questions and answers:  _______/ 24 points







Part II: Preparation and Conversation

1. Based upon these considerations, formulate a list of twelve–fifteen open-ended questions pertaining, either directly or indirectly, to parenting and the parent/child relationship. Consider these questions in terms of their general themes, and order them in such a way that they build upon one another.

2. Interview at least one parent, transcribing the conversation directly. Remember, this should be a conversation that takes place face-to-face.

Typed transcript of interview: ________/ 24 points


Part III: Reflection and Creation

1. Reflect upon the experience of developing and conducting the interview. Take into account the many dimensions of your experience as well as the experience of the person or people you interviewed. (You may choose to complete this part of the assignment in writing, but you will not submit it.)

2. Compose a personal essay or brief memoir based upon the content of Parts I and II of this assignment. This essay or memoir should take the facts of your life and the life or lives of the person or people you interviewed, as well as your relationship with the person or people you interviewed as the foundation for an exploration of the parent/child relationship

Remember, for the purposes of this assignment, you define the term “parent.”  Most of you will interview your mother and/or father, but you may choose to interview another person whom you respect as a parent.

Written document of the interview process:  _______/ 12 points 

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