Life Science Grade 12 Assignment 2014 Nfl

At the time, Tiffany Papageorge was convinced it was the worst assignment ever. Back when the Los Gatos resident was still living in Salt Lake City, she and her ninth-grade classmates were asked to interview someone who was near death and describe his or her experiences. After the interviewee had passed away, the students were to visit the cemetery and write a suitable epitaph. A third component of the lesson required students to pen a short book that would explain death to small children.

Aside from the inherently maudlin aspects, it was a harrowing experience for Papageorge, who had recently experienced the sadness of her parents’ divorce and (when she was just 8 years old) had endured the deaths of 12 members of her large, loving Greek family in a single year.

But the assignment was to prove pivotal in Papageorge’s life: Now married and the mother of three–following a lengthy and successful career as an actress–Papageorge has transformed her middle school essay into an award-winning children’s book. With its depiction of a child who must learn to deal with loss and letting go, “My Yellow Balloon” is helping readers young and old navigate significant transformations in their own lives.

By the time she was given that fateful writing assignment, Papageorge had already been acting for 11 years. At the age of 17 the young performer was invited to participate in one of the Sundance Institute’s acting labs, overseen by “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Sting” director George Roy Hill. On Hill’s advice Papageorge enrolled in and completed the Masters in Fine Arts program at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater. Papageorge did this prior to receiving her bachelor’s degree and after turning down an offer to enter the drama program at the prestigious Juilliard School.

While juggling subsequent acting gigs at Disney, CBS and other major production outlets, Papageorge received a degree in English from St. Mary’s College in 1998. Marriage followed a few years later, along with a move to London with her new husband, Paul. While in the UK, Papageorge found herself pursued by 36 talent agents–and nearly wrestling away the lead in “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” from Penelope Cruz.

“Penelope had done many films, while I’d only done TV… so in the end the director went with her.”

One of the few things Papageorge had brought with her to England was the children’s book she’d written all those years ago at Bonneville Junior High School. When a devastating tragedy struck–a young boy for whom Papageorge had been a babysitter was struck and killed by an automobile–she again took out the yellowing pages and had a look. “At the funeral I thought, ‘Someday I’ll publish this,’ ” Papageorge said.

In ensuing years Papageorge was forced to come to terms with the losses she had suffered earlier in life. She decided to channel her sorrow into writing.

“One in 20 kids loses a parent by the time he or she is 18,” Papageorge noted. “That doesn’t even include kids who have to deal with moving away from their friends, or a family member who’s sick or incarcerated or unemployed, or some other huge disappointment. My book became a metaphor for all of that.”

“My Yellow Balloon” emerged as the story of young Joey and his best friend, a bright yellow balloon he wins at a carnival. The pair are inseparable, until one day when the balloon becomes unattached from Joey’s wrist and takes flight. In the aftermath Joey must learn to grieve and deal with loss.

Papageorge’s book went unfinished and mostly untouched for several years; in the interim her first two children arrived. Then one afternoon, while watching her little ones run through the Town Plaza sprinklers, Papageorge had an epiphany.

“I kept thinking about it, and then as I was driving the kids down University Avenue, I pulled over and wrote it all down on a deposit slip. I’ve been on a very long journey with it ever since,” she said, laughing.

When a deal proffered by a large New York publishing house proved unworkable, Papageorge opted to create her own label, Minoan Moon. She calls herself “profoundly lucky” to have connected with former DreamWorks animation artist Erwin Madrid, who contributed his artistry to 2005 Best Animated Feature Oscar winner “Shrek 2.” Said Papageorge, “Erwin’s illustrations are unbelievable. He had no ego; he told me he’d never worked harder or been so professionally inspired in his life.”

Almost as soon as the book was bound and shipped, it began attracting national attention. Papageorge has since been asked to speak and do readings from coast to coast, including an appearance at the annual symposium for the National Alliance for Grieving Children, and at the Compassionate Friends conference, which draws more than 3,000 attendees each year who have lost their children. Two schools in Maryland have already made the book part of their core curriculum, and grief centers in Oklahoma and Michigan are offering the book to their clients as well.

Papageorge’s book and its lessons will soon receive even wider exposure, when “My Yellow Balloon” becomes a live stage presentation. The author is doing the adaptation, and is working with Mannheim Steamroller founder Jackson Berkey to create the score.

“The only fan letter I ever wrote was to Mannheim Steamroller, many years ago,” she explained. “Jackson actually wrote back to me, and we eventually became friends. When I sent him a copy of the book and told him we’re doing it as a play, he called and said he wanted to be a part of it.”

“My Yellow Balloon” completely sold out of its first printing, but more copies will soon be available on Amazon. An eBook–featuring the voices of Papageorge’s son Timothy, a fourth-grader at Blossom Hill Elementary, as Joey, and her husband as “the balloon man”–also will make its debut on Oct. 7. In between public appearances Papageorge is at work on additional children’s books, a novel and a play, and is getting up to speed on the finer points of publishing. “I love publishing so much, and want to do more of it for other people,” she said. “I’m getting a lot of submissions, so it’s incredibly exciting.”

When asked what she hopes readers will take away from her first book, Papageorge grows reflective. “The book is largely about connections, and how those connections are transformed and alter who we really are,” she said. “In classes I’ve taken, I’ve learned that yellow is the color of transformation. Somewhere inside of me, at 14 I think, I already understood that.”

Tiffany Papageorge will give readings and sign copies of “My Yellow Balloon” at the Los Gatos Company, 17½ N. Santa Cruz Ave., on Oct. 4, and at the Wooden Horse, 796 Blossom Hill Road, on Oct. 18. For more information, visit

Product Description

Absolute and relative location are two basic, important geography tools that all students must master. Why not teach students these vital skills in a fun, active way? This assignment will do just that!

Absolute location, of course, requires students to use latitude and longitude to give their answers. Relative location requires cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) and intermediate directions (northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest).

While there are many available assignments to teach these concepts to elementary school and middle school/junior high school students, here's one with a twist!

Students will locate all 32 NFL football teams using absolute and relative location.

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This would be an effective assignment near the beginning of the school year, when students are transitioning into autumn and the NFL season opens its newest season. However, its strength will help reinforce skills later in the school year as well.

Included, please find the assignment with a chart for record-keeping, an answer key, a blank USA map, a political USA map, and an idea for an extension assignment.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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